Midweek Football Review

Races heat up!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle 3 vs. 1 Everton

This was a massive game at St.James’s Park as Everton travelled to play Newcastle. Everton took the lead in the 36th minute thanks to a Lascelles own goal and had been the better team up till that point. Holgate returned the favour a minute later to bring Newcastle back into the game. Fraser gave Newcastle the lead in the 56th minute and Trippier scored a brilliant goal in the 80th minute to seal the win. Newcastle climb out of the relegation zone and into 17th a point behind Everton with two games in hand and a point above Norwich. Lampard loses his first Premier League game in charge of Everton but they still have three games in hand. 

West Ham 1 vs. 0 Watford

Bowen scored in the 68th minute of this game as West Ham got all three points against Watford. West Ham move back into 4th with the win a point above Arsenal. Watford drop down to 19th with the loss but have two games in hand as they sit three points from safety.

Burnley 1 vs. 1 Man United

Pogba scored to give the United the lead in the 18th minute and United should have put the game to bed in the 1st half. Rodriguez scored the equaliser for Burnley in the 47th minute after some brilliant work by Weghorst. Burnley ended the game strongly but could not find the winner. Burnley remain bottom of the table with four games in hand and they sit four points from safety. Man United drop down to 6th with the point and have one game in hand and sit a point from top four.

Norwich 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

Pukki scored in the 1st minute to give Norwich the lead over Palace. Zaha scored the equaliser for Palace in the 60th minute. Neither side could find the winner. Norwich drop down to 18th in the table a point from safety with one game in hand. Palace remain 13th in the table with the point and have one game in hand. 

Tottenham 2 vs. 3 Southampton

Bednarek scored an own goal in the 18th minute to give Spurs the lead. Broja equalised for Southampton in the 23rd minute. Son restored Spurs lead in the 70th minute but Southampton had other plans. Elyounoussi equalised for Southampton in the 80th minute and Adams scored the winner for them in the 82nd minute. A collapse by Spurs and a big come back for Hassenhutl. Spurs remain 7th in the table  three points from 4th with three games in hand. Southampton move up to 10th with the win and have one game in hand. 

Man City 2 vs. 0 Brentford

Mahrez scored a penalty in the 40th minute and De Bruyne made it two in the 69th minute for a routine win for Man City. City remain top of the league with a 9 point gap as they go 13 points clear of 3rd placed Chelsea. Brentford remain 14th in the table but only six points above the relegation zone now. 

Aston Villa 3 vs. 3 Leeds

James scored in the 9th minute to give Leeds the lead. Coutinho equalised for Villa in the 30th minute. Ramsey gave Villa the lead in the 38th minute. Ramsey then made it three for Villa in the 43rd minute. James got one back for Leeds before half time. Llorente equalised for Leeds in the 63rd minute as Konsa was sent off for Villa in the 87th minute. A blockbuster game but points shared in the end. Villa remain 11th in the table with two games in hand. Leeds remain 15th in the table with two games in hand. 

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 Leicester

Jota scored a goal in each half to get a comfortable win for Liverpool over Leicester. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table but go four points clear of Chelsea and stay with in 9 ponts of City with a game in hand. Leicester drop down to 12th in the table with three games in hand. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Arsenal

Gabriel scored the only goal of the game in the 25th minute as Arsenal got all three points at Wolves. Martinelli was sent off for Arsenal in the 69th minute as well. Wolves remain 8th in the table with two games in hand while Arsenal move up to 5th in the table a point from 4th with two games in hand. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Real Betis beat Rayo Vallecano 1-2 in the 1st leg of their semi-final while Bilbao and Valencia drew 1-1 in their first leg. Both games are evenly poised but Betis have a slight advantage going into the 2nd leg. Nothing to lose for all four teams. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Inter beat Roma 2-0, Milan thrashed Lazio 4-0 with Giroud scoring another brace, Fiorentina beat Atalanta 2-3, and Juventus beat Sassuolo 2-1. Some big semi-finals are set and it looks to be a very exciting Coppa Italia this year. 

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals 

Monaco beat Amiens 2-0, Versailles beat Bergerac on penalties, Nice thrashed Marseille 4-1, and Nantes beat Bastia 2-0. One would say that Monaco and Nice are the favourites out of the teams that are left but anything can happen with Nice probably being the best out of all the teams. 

Al-Hilal 0 vs. 1 Chelsea Club World Cup Semi-Final Review

Onto the final!

Chelsea took on Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal on Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup semi-final. The winner of the game would seal place in the final alongside Brazilian team Palmeiras. Al-Hilal picked a strong team with Marega, Pereira, and Ighalo all starting. Chelsea selected Kepa in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta and Alonso started as the wing backs with a midfield of Kovacic, and Jorginho. Havertz, Ziyech and Lukaku started up front. A strong lineup by both teams as they looked to reach the final.

Al-Hilal started well but Chelsea grew into the game in the first half. Chelsea had several good chances in the first half but the final finish was missing as usual. Al-Hilal didn’t have a shot on target for much of the first 45. The only goal of the game came in the 32nd minute as Havertz did well to dribble and put in a cross which fell into the path of Lukaku who smashed it into goal. The Belgian improved as the half went on but Chelsea failed to double the lead.

Al-Hilal came out to play for the 2nd half and grew back into the game. They got several corners and began to test Kepa. Kepa made a particularly brilliant save late on that kept Chelsea in the lead. Chelsea did hold on for the win though and will now play the final on Saturday.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A cleansheet for Kepa as his redemption season continues to go well. It was a brilliant save late in the game and it is a testament to his quality that Chelsea have not missed Mendy. Another very good game for him.

Defenders

All the defenders did pretty well. Christensen made a particularly good challenge in the 2nd half to deny a counter. Rudiger handled Ighalo well. Silva was his calm self while Azpilicueta and Alonso were decent as the wing backs. Sarr came on in the 2nd half for Alonso to see out the game.

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kovacic did really well in the 1st half. Jorginho had to come off at half time and that did impact the fluidity with which Chelsea passed in the midfield. Kante came on in his place but didn’t have his usual impact. Mount came on in the 2nd half as well to add some bite and threat. Kovacic had a very good all round game and played some brilliant passes as well. 

Forwards

The forwards all did relatively well in this game. Havertz was a constant threat and his movement seemed to allow Lukaku to play better. Havertz should have scored but he hit the post. Ziyech again and had an influential game as he continues to enjoy game time at the moment. Lukaku began the game poorly and missed a chance from point blank range. His goal was a poachers one and he was more involved following the lead. Some good linkup play and a constant threat. 

Manager

Zsolt Low was taking care of the management side while Tuchel contnues to isolate in London. Tuchel though delievered the half time team talk and would have liked that the team kept a clean sheet. We should have been more clinical in front of goal though. Final no 5 for the German at Chelsea though.

Chelsea will play the final against Palmeiras on Saturday night. It is bound to be a big game for the club. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Al-Hilal vs. Chelsea Club World Cup Semi-Final Preview

Another trophy to win!

Chelsea will take part in the semi-final of the Club World Cup on Wednesday as they take on Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal. The londoners have been in Abu Dhabi for the last few days and have had a mid season camp of sorts with warm weather training. The Club World Cup is no friendly tournament though and Chelsea have lost the final once before in 2013. Al-Hilal are the opposition and are managed by former Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim. 

Al-Hilal have won four of their last five games and beat Al Jazira 6-1 to get into the semi-final. They are in no way a team to take lightly for Chelsea and it seems that Tuchel and the players know that. Tuchel himself won’t be present for this game as he continues to isolate in London. Chelsea are hoping that he might make it for the final or 3rd placed game. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Plymouth Argyle at the weekend. It wasn’t the greatest of games and it took 120 minutes for Chelsea to get past the Championship team. The Blues were not poor but it was another game where there was no cutting edge up front. The only attacking player that seemed to play the whole game at a good level was Hakim Ziyech. The winger continues to thrive in Chelsea’s formation switch. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will have Edouard Mendy back in the fold after he was crowned an Africa Cup of Nations champions with Senegal on Sunday. It is yet to be seen whether he will start the game though. For safety I will say Kepa will probably start. Mount was also touch and go but has returned to training recently. Chelsea should revert to a back three of Chalobah, Silva, and Rudiger for this game. Hudson-Odoi, and Sarr should start as the wing backs with Kovacic, and Kante in midfield. Mount, Ziyech, and Havertz should start up front. 

Tuchel could of course start with a back four with Sarr probably starting on the left but Al-Hilal are a pacy team with plenty of attacking talent. I wouldn’t start Lukaku either because he was far from decent at the weekend. There are several options and I think the lineup above could easily transition to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with Chalobah and Sarr playing as full backs. It’s a solid team either way. 

Al-Hilal Team Preview

Al-Maiouf is the goalkeeper with a back four of Abdulhamid, Jang, Al Bulahi, and Al-Shahrani. Kanno, and Cuellar serve as their two sitting midfielders. Up front is where the talent lies in the team. Marega the former FC Porto striker plays as a winger while Pereira who Chelsea fans know all to well from his West Brom days plays as the playmaker. Al-Dawsari plays on the left wing with Ighalo their striker. Ighalo the former Watford and Man United striker has been in fine form this season while all the front four scored against Al Jazira. They have Carrillo on the bench as well. A talented team with a talented manager. 

Starting XI Prediction

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The Club World Cup is the missing link for Chelsea as a club. It is the only trophy we have not one and the hunger for all the players should be real. It won’t be an easy game but if Chelsea play at their best level then we should book a place in the final. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea 2 vs. 1 Plymouth Argyle FA Cup 4th Round Review

An unexpectedly tough game.

Chelsea welcomed Plymouth Argyle to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for the FA Cup 4th Round game. Plymouth sat 7th in League One so on paper it should have been an easy afternon for Chelsea. It did not get off to the best starts though as Thomas Tuchel turned in a positive covid test and had to isolate. Chelsea still selected a strong lineup as Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr. Kovacic, and Jorginho started in the midfield two wth Hudson-Odoi, Mount, and Ziyech playing behind Lukaku up top. Tuchel was communicating with the staff via the phone throughout the game as it kicked off.

Gillesphey gave Plymouth the surprise lead against the run of play in the 8th minute via a set piece. Plymouth then defended with their lives as Chelsea hit the post three times. The equaliser finally came in the 41st minute after Mount sent in a low cross and Azpilicueta backheel flicked it into the goal.

It was all Chelsea for much of the game but Plymouth did come out and test Kepa in the latter stages in the 2nd half. The game went into extra time and Chelsea finally gained the lead in the 106th minute thanks to Alonso. Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz linked up well and Havertz cut back for Alonso to smash Chelsea into the lead. Plymouth then threw the kitchen sink at Chelsea and got a late penalty to send the game to penalties. Kepa though was more than up for the task and saved the shot to deny Plymouth. Chelsea saw out the final few minutes for the win. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa was strong once again and the goal that was conceded was not his fault but due to more marking. The penalty save is what Kepa is brilliant at and it was great to see him save Chelsea once again. A good overall game for him.

Defenders

Azpilicueta got a brilliant goal while Alonso also came off the bench to score the winner. Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr had decent games as well. Chalobah came on later in the game to see out the win. The defence continues to be the torch bearer for goals in this team. 

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kovacic along with Mount found it tough to handle Plymouth physically in the 1st half. They got better as the game went on. Mount got an assist to his name. Saul came on later in the game to help search for a winner and see Chelsea to victory.

Forwards

Apart from Ziyech who was brilliant for the whole 120 minutes and Havertz and Werner who played a part in the winner no one else did much at the top. Hudson-Odoi didn’t have the best of games and was being muscled off the ball by Plymouth players. Lukaku was at his worst again and looked like he couldn’t be bothered to be on the pitch. Late to every ball, loose passes, no conviction it was a lacklustre performance. 41 shots and only 11 on target sums up Chelsea in front of goal. 

Manager

Tuchel would have been happy to see Chelsea progress to the next round but apart from that it would have been a poor performance for him. There is not much the German could have done and the players on the pitch really need to pick up in performances especially in attack.

Chelsea progress to the next round where they will face Luton Town away from home. For now Chelsea travelled to Abu Dhabi on Sunday for the Club World Cup. The team will be in the middle east for the week and will look to win another trophy. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

League football is back!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle vs. Everton

Newcastle were very busy during the winter transfer window as they spent nearly a 100 million euros. Trippier, Targett, Burn, Wood, and Bruno all came into the team with Bruno being the most eye catching acquisition from Lyon. A combative midfielder that has a knack to attack as well. Everton were also busy as they brought in Lampard as the manager and got Alli, and van de Beek into the team. Newcastle have two games in hand and sit 19th in the table one point from safety. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last three. Everton sit 16th in the table with three games in hand and haven’t won a game in a long time. A big game with pressure on both teams. The reverse fixture was postponed. 

West Ham vs. Watford

A London derby as Watford travel to West Ham. West Ham sit 5th in the table with no games in hand while Watford sit 18th with two games in hand. West Ham have lost their last two and are looking for a win to stay in the top four race while Watford will love to pull out of the relegation zone at least momentarily. Another big game with high stakes. West Ham beat Watford 1-4 in the reverse fixture. 

Burnley vs. Man United

Burnley are unbeaten in their last two and have four games in hand as they sit 20th in the table three points from safety. United sit 4th in the table with one game in hand and a point above 5th. Another game with both teams having plenty to lose. Burnley will not fear United and will know that they can get a result if they stay strong at the back. United beat Burnley 3-1 in the reverse fixture. 

Norwich vs. Crystal Palace

Norwich have won their last two and have a game in hand as they sit 17th in the table a point above the relegation zone. Palace sit 13th in the table and have only won one of their last five games. Norwich are the team in better form which is a rarity and Palace will want to bounce back. A tough game but Norwich lose more if they can’t get a result. An interesting one to watch. Palace beat Norwich 3-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Tottenham vs. Southampton

7th placed Spurs have three games in hand as they take on 12th placed Southampton who have one game in hand. Conte lost his first game in the league as Spurs manager to Tuchel and Chelsea the last time around. Southampton have only lost one of their last five games. An interesting game for sure but Tottenham can move closer to top four with a win. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. 

Man City vs. Brentford

City sit 9 points clear at the top with no games in hand as they take on Brentford who sit 14th in the table and have lost their last four games. This should be an easy win for Man City as Brentford are in dismal form at the moment. City beat Brentford 0-1 in the reverse fixture. 

Aston Villa vs. Leeds

Villa sit 11th with two games in hand as they take on Leeds who sit 15th with two games in hand as well. No real stakes in this game but it should be an entertaining one for sure. The reverse fixture was postponed. 

Liverpool vs. Leicester

Liverpool sit 2nd in the table and have a game in hand as they cling on to some hope of a title race. Leicester sit 10th in the table with three games in hand but are in dismal form at the moment. Leicester beat Liverpool 1-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Wolverhampton vs. Arsenal

Wolves sit 8th in the table and are in brilliant form with two games in hand. Arsenal sit 6th in the table with two games in hand. Two point separate the two teams so this is a massive game. If Wolves win they go above Arsenal while if Arsenal win they open up a five point gap. One to watch for sure. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Rayo Vallecano take on Real Betis while Bilbao take on Valencia. None of the traditional top three in the Copa Del Rey this season. I would say Betis are favourites to qualify from the first semi-final while Bilbao are the in form team in the 2nd. An interesting couple of fixtures. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Inter take on Roma, Milan take on Lazio, Atalanta take on Fiorentina, and Juventus take on Sassuolo. All the four fixtures are tasty ones and it’s safe to say anyone could progress from them. A very interesting set of games. 

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals

Monaco take on Amiens SC, Bergerac Perigord entertain Versailles, Nice take on Marseille, while Nantes welcome Bastia. Some very interesting fixtures and all teams are relatively well matched. Should be some interesting outcomes. 

Weekend Football Review

Some major upsets!

FA Cup 4th Round 

Man United 1 (7) vs. (8) 1 Middlesbrough

Sancho scored in the 25th minute to give United the lead but Crooks equalised for Middlesbrough in the 64th minute. Neither team could find the winner as the game eventually headed into penalties. Both teams managed to score all their penalties until Elanga missed his which sent United out of the FA Cup. Middlesbrough continue on to the next round while United realistically can only look to a top four finish this season.

Kid’minster 1 vs. 2 West Ham

Penny scored in the 19th minute to give Kidderminster the lead against West Ham. The home team were so close to a famous win but Rice scored the equaliser in the 91st minute. The home team were then close to reaching penalties but Bowen found the winner in the 121st minute. West Ham proceed to the next round but Kidderminster really made them work for it. 

Man City 4 vs. 1 Fulham

Carvalho gave Fulham the surprise lead in the 4th minute but it only served to wake City up. Gundogan eqalised for City two minutes later and Stones gave them the lead in the 13th minute. Mahrez added two goals in the 2nd half to seal the win for Man City. City progress to the next round while Fulham will now concentrate on getting back into the Premier League. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Norwich

McLean scored the only goal of the game right before half time as Norwich held on for a win against Wolves. Wolves will now focus on finishing as high as possible in the league while Norwich continue on to the next round. 

Everton 4 vs. 1 Brentford

Life for Lampard as Everton manager got off to a great start as Everton got a big win against Brentford. Mina gave Everton the lead in the 31st minute and Richarlison doubled it in the 48th minute. Toney got one back for Brentford in the 54th minute via  a penalty but Holgate and Townsend added two more in the 2nd half to seal the comfortable win. 

Southampton 2 vs. 1 Coventry

Gyokeres scored in the 22nd minute to give Coventry the lead but Armstrong equalised for Southampton in the 63rd minute with a brilliant strike. Walker-Peters scored the winner for Southampton in the 112th minute. Southampton survive a shock to progress to the next round while Coventry are sent out. 

Crystal Palace 2 vs. 0 Hartlepool

Guehi scored in the 4th minute to give Palace the lead while Olise doubled the lead in the 22nd minute. Hartlepool could not score any goals as Palace cruised into the next round. 

Tottenham 3 vs. 1 Brighton

Kane scored in the 13th minute to give Spurs the lead while March scored an own goal in the 24th minute to double that lead. Bissouma got one back for Brighton in the 63rd minute but Kane added a third three minutes later to seal the win for Spurs. Spurs progress to the next round while Brighton are sent back home. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 1 Cardiff

Jota scored in the 53rd minute to give Liverpool the lead while Minamino made it two for Liverpool in the 68th minute. Elliot made it three in the 76th minute while Cardiff got a consolation goal in the 80th minute via Colwill. 

Nottingham Forest 4 vs. 1 Leicester

Zinckernagel, Johnson, and Worrall scored in the 1st half to give Nottingham Forest a blistering 3-0 lead. Iheanacho got one back for Leicester in the 40th minute. Spence got a 4th for Forest in the 61st minute to seal the win for the home team. Forest on a roll as they progress to the next round while the holders Leicester are sent home packing. 

La Liga MW 23

Sevilla drew against Osasuna 0-0, Real Sociedad drew with Valencia 0-0, Barcelona got a big win against Atletico 4-2, Villarreal beat Real Betis 0-2, and Madrid beat Granada 1-0. Real Madrid increase their gap at the top to six points. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Barceona make up the top four as Atletico drop down to 5th. Villarreal move up to 6th while Real Sociedad sit 7th. A good weekend for Real Madrid while Barcelona get a massive win and move into the top four. Worrying times for Atletico as they will need to find form. 

Serie MW 24

Roma drew 0-0 with Genoa, Milan came from behind to beat Inter for what was a big win, Giroud with two goals. Lazio beat Fiorentina 0-3, Cagliari beat Atalanta 1-2, Napoli beat Venezia 0-2, and Juventus beat Verona 2-0. Inter see their lead at the top cut down to one point. Napoli, Milan and Juventus make up the top four. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma sit 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. A big weekend for Milan and Napoli as they get back into the title race while Juventus also get a good win with Vlahovic scoring. 

Bundesliga MW 21

Frankfurt beat Stuttgart 2-3, Bayern beat Leipzig 3-2, and Leverkusen thrashed Dortmund 2-5. Bayern increase their gap at the top to 9 points as they begin to pull away once again. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th in the table. Bundesliga looks like a foregone conclusion once again as Bayern should roll on and win.

Ligue MW 23

Marseille beat Angers 5-2, Monaco beat Lyon 2-0, Clermont beat Nice 0-1, and PSG thrashed Lille 1-5. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg making up the top four. Monaco sit 6th while Lyon sit 8th. Lille sit 11th in the table. Similar to the Bundesliga Ligue 1 is a foregone conclusion. 

Chelsea vs. Plymouth Argyle FA Cup 4th Round Preview

The FA Cup returns to resume football!

After a two week break where most of football including the fans took some time off to rest and relax and freshen their minds after a grueling winter period, the sport is back again. The Fa Cup 4th Round is upon us and Chelsea entertain Plymouth Argyle who sit 7th in Football League One. Plymouth beat Birmingham 0-1 in the last round and have since won one, drawn one and lost two of their games. It’s safe to say Plymouth are relative underdogs going into this game and similar to Chesterfield in the previous round Chelsea are heavy favourites.

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Chesterfield 5-1 in the last round. The club have since won two, drawn one and lost one. This is a good game for Chelsea to get back into the groove of things and another good chance for the academy players to get a run out at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea only play the solitary Premier League game this month against Palace as we will be involved in four different competitions this month. It’s a grueling schedule and a consequence of us being involved on all fronts and doing well. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Bettinelli should be back in goal for this game with a back four of Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, and Malang Sarr. I expect Lewis Hall and Saul to make up the midfield two with Hudson-Odoi, and Charlie Webster supporting Vale and Havertz up front. To be honest it is anyone guess who Tuchel picks having almost a full squad to select from apart from Silva, Pulisic, James, RLC, and Chilwell. Either way whoever plays Chelsea should have enough talent on the pitch and the bench to get the job done early and expertly. The players should be refreshed from the break and that should relfect on the pitch. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Chelsea should get this game done nice and early in the 1st half. I expect a fresh peformance from the team and some of the academy players if given a start should look to impress. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

Back after the winter break with the FA Cup!

FA Cup 4th Round

Man United vs. Middlesbrough

United kick off proceedings on Friday night as they welcome Middlesbrough who sit 7th in the Championship. Middlesbrough beat Mansfield Town 2-3 in the last round and have since won two and lost one. United beat Villa 1-0 in the last round andd have since won two and drawn one. United’s turmoil behind the scenes has continued over the break but on the pitch they should beat Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough have nothing to lose.

Kid’minster vs. West Ham

Kidderminster sit 3rd in the National League as they welcome West Ham who are flying in the Premier League. Kidderminster beat Reading 2-1 in the last round have since won five drawn one and lost one. West Ham beat Leeds 2-0 in the last round have since won one and lost two of their games. On paper West Ham should win this game comfortably but Kidderminster are at home and they always stand a chance.

Man City vs. Fulham

The Championship leaders Fulham travel to the Premier League leaders Manchester City for this game. Fulham beat Bristol 0-1 in the last round and have since won four and drawn one. City beat Swindon 1-4 in the last round have since won one and drawn one. City will ofcourse be favourites but Fulham could pull off an upset in this game.

Wolverhampton vs. Norwich

An all Premier League tie as Norwich travel to Wolves. Wolves beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the last round and have won both their games since. Norwich beat Charlton 0-1 in the last round and have since lost one and won two of their games. Wolves should win this game because they have been in brilliant form but Norwich will look to cause an upset.

Everton vs. Brentford

Everton have been busy over the break as they appointed Frank Lampard to be their new manager. It’s another all Premier League fixture and it should be an exciting one. Everton beat Hull City 2-3 in the last round and have since lost both their games. Brentford beat Port Vale 1-4 and have since lost all four of their games. Goodison Park will be a vibrant place and Lampard will want to kick his tenure off with a win. 

Southampton vs. Coventry

Coventry sit 10th in the Championship and beat Derby 1-0 in the last round. They have since won two and lost two. Southampton beat Swansea 2-3 in the last round have won one drawn one and lost one of their games. This should be an interesting game that could go either way. 

Crystal Palace vs. Hartlepool

Hartlepool sit 16th in League Two as they travel to Premier League Crystal Palace. Hartlepool beat Blackpool 2-1 in the last round and have since won one drawn drawn three and lost one. Palace beat Millwall 1-2 in the last round and have since drawn one and lost one. Palace should win this game comfortably.

Tottenham vs. Brighton

Probably the toughest fixture of the lot as Tottenham welcome Brighton in an all Premier League fixture. Spurs beat Morecambe 3-1 in the last round and have since lost two of their games and won one. Brighton beat West Brom 1-2, and have drawn their last three. This is going to be an interesting game. This is Spurs only chance at a trophy this season so they have to take this seriously. 

Liverpool vs. Cardiff City

Cardiff sit 20th in the Championship but beat Preston in the last round 2-1. They have since won two and lost two. Liverpool beat Shrewsbury 4-1 in the last round and have since won three and drawn one. Liverpool should win this game comfortably. 

Nottingham Forest vs. Leicester

Forest sit 8th in the Championship and beat Arsenal 1-0 in the last round. They have since won three and lost one. Leicester beat Watford 4-1 and have since lost one and drawn one. Forest could cause an upset in this game it will be interesting to keep an eye on it. 

La Liga MW 23

Sevilla travel to Osasuna, Real Sociedad travel to Valencia, Barcelona take on Atletico in the biggest game, Real Betis take on Villarreal, and Real Madrid entertain Granada. Real sit four points clear at the top of the table with Sevilla, Betis, and Atletico making up the top four. Barcelona sit 5th in the table and Sociedad sit 6th in the table. If Atletico beat Barcelona they can open up a four point gap while if Barcelona win they move in to top four. An interesting weekend for sure. 

Serie MW 24

Roma take on Genoa, Inter take on Milan in a massive derby, Lazio travel to Fiorentina, Atalanta take on Cagliari, Napoli travel to Venezia, and Juventus take on Verona. Inter sit four points clear of Napoli and Milan while Atalanta sit 4th. Juventus sit 5th while Roma sit 6th in the table. The derby is a massive game and could see the lead increase to seven points or decrease to one point. Juventus also have Vlahovic up front now which should give them a boost as well. Big weekend ahead. 

Bundesliga MW 21

Frankfurt travel to Stuttgart, Bayern take on Leipzig, and Dortmund take on Leverkusen. Bayern sit six points clear at the top of the table while Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Leipzig sit 6th in the table. An interesting weekend ahead the other teams will be hoping Leipzig can cause some sort of upset. 

Ligue MW 23

Marseille take on Angers, Monaco take on Lyon, Nice take on Clermont, and Lille welcome PSG. PSG sit 11 points clear at the top of the table, with Nice, Marseille and Strasbourg making up the top four. Lyon sit 7th and Monaco sit 8th in the table. Mostly a given that PSG will win the league at this point. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Tottenham MW 23 Review

Make that 4-0 for the season!

Chelsea welcome London rivals Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday night for MW 23 of the Premier League season. Conte picked a strong lineup once again but I was surprised to see Reguilon left out. Tuchel went with a 4-1-4-1 formation as he said post match. Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Jorginho played in the pivot with a midfield four of Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Kovacic, and Ziyech. Lukaku started up front. An interesting lineup and another use of the back four.

Chelsea’s first chance of the game came in the 44th second as Mount played a brilliant ball into the box but Lukaku skied the shot. Ziyech then played a brilliant ball to the far post but Hudson-Odoi headed it wide. Silva then headed wide from the corner. Ziyech then got a shot off while Winks had a shot at Kepa as well. Doherty made an ankle breaking challenge on Sarr in the 19th minute but was not even given a yellow. Hudson-Odoi went close once again. Lukaku then had a shot but sent it wide. Kane then scored a goal in the 41st minute but it was disallowed because he had pushed Thiago Silva in the back. Chelsea then went close a couple more times but neither team could score at half time. 

The first goal came in the 47th minute and what a goal it was. Hudson-Odoi burst past Tanganga and drove inwards to pass to Ziyech on the right hand side. Ziyech cut in made some space and finessed a shot right into the top right corner of the goal. It was as top corner as top corner gets. It was trademark Ziyech and many fans had been waiting for 18 months for that. A brilliant goal. Ziyech then came close once again but this time Lloris managed to save the shot. Dier then brought down Hudson-Odoi and Mount delivered a peach perfect cross into the box which Silva headed to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute. Kane had a couple of chances towards the end of the game but Chelsea managed it well to get three points. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A clean sheet for Kepa. Some key saves during the game but it was more or less a comfortable evening. The Spaniard has stepped up in Mendy’s absence and has done well in all of his games. Very good form him and the teams confidence. 

Defenders

Azpilicueta did well defensively and offensively. His decoy run was key in creating space for Ziyech to take his shot. Silva got a goal and was brilliant all around, very quickly has become one of the fans favourite players. Absolute legend. Rudiger was also comfortable in a back four and controlled the defense well. Sarr stepped up once again and has really built a place for himself in the team. Very good to see for sure. Alonso came on in the 2nd half to see out the win. 

Midfielders

Jorginho, and Kovacic controlled the midfield well and were their usual brilliant selves. Mount had a very good game and should have got a couple of assists. It was a more energetic peformance from all that were involved. Kante came on in the 2nd half along with Saul as both of them helped maintain the cleansheet. 

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi started the game poorly but grew into it. He had Tanganga on strings for much of the game and the Spurs defender really should have been sent off. Did really well to get the assist for Ziyech’s goal. Lukaku was similar, the Belgian should have at least one or two goals to his name but he worked hard off the ball and at least visibly showed effort on the pitch. Ziyech was hands down the man of the match. From minute one in his favoured right wing position he ran the show. This was the player Chelsea bought two summers ago. A brilliant goal as well it was an amazing show from him.

Manager

Tuchel makes it three wins in a row against Conte as he did against Pep last season. It was a performance that will do him and the team a world of good going forward. A switch in formation will also add weapons to his arsenal.

Chelsea remain 3rd in the table with a 9 point lead over United who are 4th and a point behind Liverpool who are 2nd. Chelsea go into the a two week break now before we return with FA Cup action at home against Plymouth Argyle. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Stumbling blocks!

Premier League MW 23

Watford 0 vs. 3 Norwich

Josh Sargent scored his first two goals in the Premier League while Kucka added an own goal in the final minutes of the game as Norwich came out comfortable winners. Dennis was sent off for Watford in the 78th minute. This was a massive game in terms of the relegation battle as Watford drop down to 19th two points from safety with three games in hand. Norwich move out of the relegation zone with the win and sit 17th a point above the relegation zone with one game in hand. It will be interesting to see whether Ranieri survives the break. 

Everton 0 vs. 1 Aston Villa

Buendia scored the only goal of the game right before half time which was a beautiful looping header as Villa got all three points. It was a big win for Gerrard, Coutinho and Digne who was just forced out of the club recently. Everton remain 16th and only four points above the relegation zone with three games in hand. Villa move up to 11th in the table with two games in hand. Everton need to find a manager over the break.

Brentford 1 vs. 2 Wolverhampton

Moutinho scored in the 48th minute to give Wolves the lead but Toney equalised in the 71st minute. Parity was shot lived as Neves restored Wolves lead in the 78th minute. Wolves then held on for the win. Brentford remain 14th in the table with the loss while Wolves remain 8th in the table with two games in hand. Wolves only sit four points away from 4th. 

Leeds 0 vs. 1 Newcastle

A massive win for Newcastle as Shelvery scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute. Leeds remain 15th in the table with two games in hand while Newcastle move up to 18th in the table a point from safety with two games in hand as well.

Man United 1 vs. 0 West Ham

This game looked like it was heading for a draw but Rashford came off the bench to score the winner in the 93rd minute. There are question marks over whether Cavani who provided the assist was offside or not but the goal was given. Man United leap frog everyone and move into 4th in the table a massive win for them in terms of the top four race. West Ham drop down to 5th a point behind United. United have one game in hand. 

Southampton 1 vs. 1 Man City

Walker-Peters scored in the 7th minute to give Southampton the lead while Laporte equalised for City in the 65th minute. Neither team could find the winner. Southampton remain 12th in the table with the point. City’s winnning run comes to an end but they remain top of the table with a 9 point lead. Southampton have one game in hand. 

Crystal Palace 1 vs. 3 Liverpool

Van Dijk scored in the 8th minute to give Liverpool the lead while Ox scored in the 32nd minute to double that lead. The Ox goal should have been ruled out because he was offside but VAR chose to ignore it. Edouard got Palace back into the game in the 55th minute and the Eagles looked the better side in the 2nd half. Their momentum was halted as Liverpool were given a penalty after Jota ran into Guaita. It was never a penalty but Fabinho stepped up and made it three in the 89th minute. Palace drop down to 13th with the loss while Liverpool move to within 9 points of City with a game in hand. Palace also have a game in hand.

Arsenal 0 vs. 0 Burnley

A massive point for Burnley as Arsenal were held at home and lost pace in the top four race. Arsenal remain 6th in the table two points from 4th with two games in hand. Burnley remain bottom of the table four points from safety with five games in hand. 

Leicester 1 vs. 1 Brighton

Daka scored in the 46th minute while Welbeck equalised for Brighton in the 82nd minute as the two teams shared a point. Leicester remain 10th with three games in hand while Brighton remain 9th with one games in hand. 

La Liga MW 22

Villarreal beat Mallorca 3-0, Celta Vigo drew with Sevilla 2-2, Atletico came from behind to beat Valencia 3-2, Real Madrid drew with Elche 2-2, Real Sociedad drew with Getafe 0-0, Bilbao beat Vallecano 0-1, and Barcelona beat Alaves 0-1. Real Madrid remain four points clear at the top of the table. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Atletico make up the top four. Barcelona sit 5th in the table a point behind Atletico while Real Sociedad sit 6th. Villarreal move up to 7th while Bilbao sit 9th in the table. Big weekend for the teams chasing top four and Real Madrid. Real Madrid have hit the breaks recently and need to pick up momentum to maintain their gap. The rest are doing well to reduce it. 

Serie MW 23

Inter beat Venezia 2-1, Lazio drew with Atalanta 0-0, Napoli beat Salernitana 4-1, Roma beat Empoli 2-4, and Milan drew with Juventus 0-0. Inter increase their gap at the top to four points with a game in hand. Napoli, Milan and Atalanta make up the top four. Juventus sit 5th a point behind Atalanta. Roma sit 6th four points behind Juventus. Lazio sit 8th in the table. A tight race in Italy this season but Inter are maintaing their gap while other stumble. Roma have picked up some form in recent games and will look to continue it. 

Bundesliga MW 20

Union Berlin beat Monchengladbach 1-2, Freiburg beat Stuttgart 2-0, Dortmund beat Hoffenheim 2-3, Leverkusen beat Augsburg 5-1, Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 2-0, and Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 1-4. Bayern maintain their six point gap at the top of the table. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Freiburg sit 5th in the table while Leipzig sit 6th. Bayern are comfortable as usual but the others did well to win their games this weekend. 

Ligue MW 22

Lyon beat St.Etienne 1-0, Brest beat Lille 2-0, Marseille beat Lens 0-2, Montpellier beat Monaco 3-2, and PSG beat Reims 4-0. PSG maintain their 11 point gap at the top of the table. Nice, Marseille, and Strasbourg make up the top four. Monaco sit 7th, Lille sit 10th and Lyon 11th in the table. Ligue is straight forward at the moment but their are some surprise names in the top four places. The usual top teams continue to stumble.