Chelsea vs. Tottenham MW 23 Preview

Round four against Spurs and final game before a break.

Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for MW 23 of the Premier League season. This is the fourth meeting between the two teams this season. The third meeting in the last few weeks. The first two games against Conte and Spurs came in the Carabao Cup semi-final which Chelsea progressed through comfortably. Spurs go into this game sitting 5th in the table with four games in hand. They sit 8 points behind Chelsea and are unbeaten under Conte in the league this season. Leicester have played one game since the 2nd leg which came on Wednesday night. They beat Leicester 2-3 in extra time thanks to two goals from Bergwijn. Some positive momentum going into this game. 

Chelsea go into this game having played two games since the 2nd leg. A 1-0 loss to Manchester City and a 1-1 draw against Brighton. It is safe to say morale is slightly low in the team at the moment. The team looked exhuasted at Brighton and got two days off before returning to training for this game. The reverse fixture was a 0-3 win with Chelsea putting in a brilliant 2nd half display. The cup games were more of a formality although Spurs played better in the 2nd leg. This holds more weight though. A win would increse the gap to 11 points and give Chelsea some breathing space. If Spurs win then they would cut the gap to five points.

Chelsea Team Preview

Chalobah is back in training but probably won’t feature in this game. Kepa will be in goal. I expect a back three of Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Azpilicueta should start at right wing back while I would start Lewis Hall at left wing back. Jorginho, and Kovacic should start in midfield because Kante has not played well in the last two games. No one is performing well in attack but I would star Mount, Havertz, and Werner up top. The German’s have barely got a sniff over the last few games and they deserve a chance to impress. There will be plenty of options on the bench at least in attack. It’s a good XI and they should have some freshness back after a few more days of rest.

Tottenham Team Preview

Lloris should be in goal for this game. Davies, Sanchez, and Tanganga should start as the centre backs. Reguilon, and Emerson should start as the wing backs. Hojbjerg, Winks, and Skipp should form the midfield with Kane and Moura up front. Doherty, Gil, Alli, Sessegnon, and Bergwijn should offer options off the bench. Kane has impressed in recent games and will be keen to impress once again.

Starting XI Prediction

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This is always a big game no matter how many times the teams play each other. For Chelsea it is a chance to go into the break on a high at Stamford Brdige. The energy levels need to be up the players need to know what they have to do. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

Some massive games before the break!

Premier League MW 23

Watford vs. Norwich

A massive relegation battle as Watford entertain Norwich. Watford sit a point clear of Norwich in 17th with three games in hand. Norwich one game in hand going into this game as well. Norwich finally managed to win a game last weekend while Watford have won none of their last five. It is a massive game for both teams. Watford won the reverse fixture 1-3. 

Everton vs. Aston Villa

16th placed Everton are without a manager as they take on 13th placed Villa who have Coutinho in their ranks now. Villa have two games in hand while Everton have three games in hadn with four points separating the two teams. Villa are in a team in form and Coutinho and Gerrard will get plenty of boos when they turn up at Merseyside. This should be a fun game. Villa won the reverse fixture 3-0. 

Brentford vs. Wolverhampton

14th placed Brentford take on 8th placed Wolves. Brentford have lost their last three games and have no games in hand as they played during the week. They could not finish in the game against United and so did not win. Wolves have won three of their last four games and are finally scoring goals. They have two games in hand as well. It’s a massive game for them as they push for top six. Brentford won the reverse fixture 0-2. 

Leeds vs. Newcastle

15th placed Leeds have two games in hand as they take on 19th placed Newcastle who have two games in hand as well. Newcastle have drawn their last two but are still winless while Leeds have won their last two as they look to build momentum. Every game is a must win game for Newcastle at this stage while Leeds will want to avoid a relegation battle. Leeds currently sit 9 points clear of the relegation zone and a win in this game would further ensure that safety. Newcastle have to win. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. 

Man United vs. West Ham

A massive game in terms of top four. 7th placed United have one game in hand as they take on West Ham who sit 4th in the table and have no games in hand. 2 points separate the two teams and a win for either team would be a big step in the right direction. Both teams have won three of their last five games in the league so it is a balanced affair. United won the reverse fixture 1-2. 

Southampton vs. Man City

12th placed Southampton have one game in hand as they take on league leaders Man City. Southampton have only lost one of their last five games while City have won their last 13 in the league. There should be only one winner in this game and I doubt Southampton will cause City any damage. The reverse fixture was a 0-0 draw.

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

11th placed Palace have one game in hand as they take on 2nd placed Liverpool who also have one game in hand. Liverpool are in slightly dodgy form at the moment having only won two of their last five games. Palace though have only won one of their last five games. Liverpool should win this game but Palace will make it hard for sure. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 3-0. 

Arsenal vs. Burnley

6th placed Arsenal have two games in hand as they take on bottom of the table Burnley who have five games in hand. Arsenal’s sole focus is the league now as they try to get top four. Burnley have not played in a while but are still only three points from safety. Arsenal should win this game but Burnley need to start getting some points on the board. Arsenal won the reverse fixture 0-1. 

Leicester vs. Brighton

10th placed Leicester have three games in hand as they take on 9th placed Brighton who have one game in hand. Four points separate the two teams. Brighton are unbeaten in their last five games having won two while Leicester have been inconsistent winning one game and then losing the other. Based on the current trend Leicester should win this game but the way Brighton played against Chelsea this will be a tough task. An interesting fixture. Brighton won the reverse fixture 2-1. 

La Liga MW 22

Villarreal welcome Mallorca, Celta Vigo travel to Sevilla, Atletico welcome Valencia, Real Madrid play Eche again, Real Sociedad play Getafe, Bilbao travel to Vallecano, and Barcelona travel to Alaves. Real Madrid lead La Liga by four points. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Atletico make up the top four. Real Sociedad sit 5th in the table while Barcelona sit 6th. Villarreal, Valencia, and Bilbao sit 8th, 9th, and 10th respetively. Real Madrid are managing to win their games regardless of the opposition while the rest are failing to be consistent. Some slipping stones this weekend maybe. 

Serie MW 23

Inter welcome Venezia, Lazio play Atalanta, Napoli entertain Salernitana, Roma travel to Empoli, and Milan play Juventus. Some big games this weekedn particularly that last one. Inter lead the league by two points with Milan, Napoli, and Atalanta making up the top four. Juventus sit 5th a point outside the top four. Roma sit 7th and Lazio sit 8th. Somg gaps could be reduced or opened up this weekend as Serie A continues to be on tight race. 

Bundesliga MW 20

Monchengladbach take on Union Berlin, Freiburg welcome Stuttgart, Dortmund travel to Hoffenheim, Leverkusen welcome Augsburg, Wolfsburg travel to Leipzig, and Bayern travel to Hertha Berlin. Bayern sit 6 points clear and will be looking to extend that lead. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Hoffenheim make up the top four. Freiburg sit 6th while Leizpig sit 7th in the table. Again as in every week all the other teams can do is try and win their games and hope Bayern slip. 

Ligue MW 22

Lyon take on St.Etienne, Lille travel to Brest, Marseille travel to Lens, Monaco travel to Montpellier, and PSG play Reims. PSG sit 11 points clear at the top of the league and the title at this stage is a foregone conclusion. Nice, Marseille, and Strasbourg make up the top four but the other teams are right behind them as that race heats up. 

Midweek Football Review

Some surprises

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Arsenal 0 (0) vs. (0) 2 Liverpool

Arsenal worked so hard to get this game called off and rescheduled. They got their main players back and fielded their strongest XI. They lost to Liverpool without scoring a goal. Jota scored in the 19th minute and in the 77th minute as they cruised to the final. Liverpool will face Chelsea in the final. Arsenal are now knocked out of all competitions and only have the Premier League to focus on. 

Premier League (Games in hand)

Leicester 2 vs. 3 Tottenham

Daka scored in the 24th minute to give Leicester the lead. Kane equalised for Spurs in the 38th minute. Maddison restored Leicester’s lead in the 76th minute and looked ot be heading for a win. Bergwijn came off the bench to score the equaliser in the 95th minute and get the winner in the 97th minute. Spurs made a brilliant comeback and Leicester again bottled the lead. Leicester remain 10th while Spurs move up to 5th now 11 points clear of Leicester. They are now within eight points of Chelsea with four games in hand. 

Brentford 1 vs. 3 Man United

Brentford dominated Man United for 45 minutes but failed to take their chances. There was only going to be one outcome from there on. Elanga gave United the lead in the 55th minute. Greenwood made it two for United in the 62nd minute and Rashford made it three for United in the 77th minute. Toney got one back for Brentford in the 85th minute. Brentford remain 14th in the table. United remain 7th now only two points from top four with two games in hand. 

La Liga (Games in hand)

Valencia drew with Sevilla 1-1. Sevilla play their game in hand and sit 2nd in the table but still four points behind Real Madrid. Valencia sit 9th in the table. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Real Sociedad beat Atletico 2-0, Real Madrid came from behind to beat Elche in extra time 1-2. Eden Hazard got the winner for them. Bilbao beat Barcelona 3-2 to progress as well. Barcelona and Atletico dumped out and Barcelona especially are having one of their worst seasons ever. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Lazio beat Udinese 1-0, Juventus beat Sampdoria 4-1, Inter beat Empoli 3-2, and Roma beat Lecce 3-1. The favorites won their games and progress to the next round to potentially make up some very tasty fixtures. 

DFB Pokal Round of 16

St.Pauli beat Dortmund 2-1, Hannover beat Monchengladbach 3-0, Leipzig beat Hansa 2-0, and Freiburg beat Hoffenheim 1-4. Some big upsets here and the DFB Pokal will be getting a new winner this season. The biggest teams are out and only Leipzig remain among others. Freiburg especially are having a really good season. 

Ligue (Games in hand)

Lille beat Lorient 3-1. Lille play their game in hand and move up to 8th in the table. Only three points behind 4th placed Strasbourg. 

Brighton 1 vs. 1 Chelsea MW 24 Review

A tough trip indeed.

Chelsea travelled to the Amex to play Brighton for MW 24 of the Premier League season. During the actual MW 24 Chelsea will be in the Middle East taking part in the Club World Cup so this was a game in hand played early. Brighton selecte a strong lineup while Chelsea played their 15th game over the last 6 weeks. Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpi, Silva, Rudiger, and Alonso. Jorginho and Kante started as the midfield two with Mount and Ziyech ahead of them followed by Hudson-Odoi, and Lukaku. It was a 4-2-2-2 formation that could change to a three at the back if needed. 

Brighton were the better team for much of the game. Plenty of shots on the first half but Ziyech got the lead in the 28th minute with an effort from distance. It was a good shot but the muted celebration from Ziyech and the players felt like they were just happy to have got the goal. Chelsea kept the lead going into the 2nd half. 

Webster equalised for Brighton in the 60th minute via a header from a corner and Chelsa did react and finish as the better team but it was too little to late. Brighton were well worth their point and have been a strong team this season taking points off of several of the top six. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper 

No clean sheet for Kepa but the goal was not his fault. It was a powerful header and there was poor marking in the box. Other than that the Spaniard had a good game.

Defenders

Azpilicueta, and Alonso had a torrid time against Cucurella, and Lamptey. The Brighton wing backs left both the Spaniards exhausted by the end of the game. The two also offered little going forward mostly because they were pinned back for much of the game. Silva, and Rudiger were probably the only two players with Kepa who gave good performances overall. 

Midfielders 

Jorginho was decent but Kante had a very tough time. The Frenchman has looked far from his normal self since the City game and it continued in this game. Bissouma wasn’t even on the pitch for Brighton. Mount was no better and looked exhausted as well while Kovacic came on in the 2nd half but could not do much in the final 10 minutes. 

Forwards

Ziyech had a poor start but improved after he scored the goal. Hudson-Odoi had a poor game and after Pulisic recieved criticism against City, CHO did no better with his chance. Lukaku was making constant runs but was not picked out. He himself could have done more as well in terms of dropping deep. Werner, and Havertz came on in the 2nd half and Werner for sure created a few chances but it was too little to late. 

Manager

Tuchel looked exhuasted and frustrated during this game. He was sitting on the bench for much of the game rather than commanding the players. The subs also came in the 80th minute which was unlike Tuchel. Clearly he is disgruntled at the moment.

The draw means that Chelsea remain 3rd with 44 points. Teams around us have games in hand but those teams have to win their games against some tough opponents. Chelsea looked exhausted, the fans are exhausted, and everyone seems like they need a break. One more game at the weekend for Chelsea against Spurs before a 2 week break for much of this team. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Brighton vs. Chelsea MW 24 Preview

A tough away trip.

Chelsea travel to Brighton to play Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex on Tuesday night. Chelsea are playing this game because, during MW 24 the Blues will be in Abu Dabhi playing in the Club World Cup. Brighton sit 9th in the Premier League with 6 wins 10 draws and 4 losses. They have 2 games in hand going into this game. The Seagulls are unbeaten in their last four but their season has been riddled with draws and inconsistency. The reverse fixture was played just before the New Year which Brighton managed draw in the final moments of the game. Graham Potter has built a tough team and every game against them is tough. 

Chelsea go into this game with no games in hand having just played on Saturday. This was supposed to be a week off until the World Cup’s schedule was announced. Still the question needs to be asked as to why this game could not be played on Wednesday. Tuchel and co sit 3rd in the Premier League after the loss to City at the weekend. We sit 6 points clear of 4th placed West Ham and 2 points behind Liverpool. With only one win in our last five fixtures there is a big room for improvement. The draw in the reverse fixture was a game in which Chelsea failed to finish chances and conceded via a header in the final moments of the game. A win in this game would take Chelsea above Liverpool and within 10 points of City with City yet to play and Liverpool having 2 games in hand. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Tuchel said pre match that there are no new injuries but no one is back form injury either. Kepa should start in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger. I expect Sarr to play as the left wing back to deal with Cucurella, while I expect Hudson-Odoi to start as the right wing back to somehow manage to deal with Lamptey. Jorginho, and Kovacic should start in the midfield two. Saul could start but both him and Jorginho would offer little pace in the midfield. Up front I expect a front three of Mount, Werner, and Havertz. I do have a sneaky feeling that Lukaku could start in place of one of the Germans but apart from that I don’t see Ziyech or Pulisic starting this game. Could Lewis Hall be involved? Maybe. Either way it is a strong team but a tired one for sure. 

Brighton Team Preview

I expect Brighton to stick with their three at the back that worked against Chelsea in the reverse fixture. Potter is flexible with his formations though so we could see a change. Sanchez should start in goal with a back three of Webster, Burn, and Veltman. Cucurella, and Lamptey should start as the wing backs with a midfield of Bissouma, and Lallana. Trossard, Mac Allister, and Maupay should start up front. The likes of Moder, and Gross are also back while Welbeck and Alzate are available on the bench. Bissouma was not invovled in the last game so someone could drop in for him. Brighton are a good team with plenty of pace and have a solid defensive record. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Brighton are a good team and will give Chelsea problems especially with the likes of Cucurella, and Lamptey. Chelsea’s attack needs to turn up for this game and we have to be clinical in front of goal. It’s time to build some positive momentum once again. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

A mix of games in hand and cup competitions.

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Arsenal (0) vs. (0) Liverpool

The 1st leg was played last week as Arsenal did well to hold on for a draw after going down to 10 men. Arsenal used a similar loophole to Liverpool to avoid playing during the weekend and will be fresh for this game. Liverpool beat Brentford during the weekend. This should be an interesting game for sure and either team can go through.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Burnley vs. Watford

A relegation battle as 20th placed Burnley take on 17th placed Watford with 3 points seperating the two teams. Burnley have five games in hand going into this game while Watford have three games in hand going into this game. Both teams are in extremely poor form so either team can win this game. The most likely result is a draw. 

Leicester vs. Tottenham

10th placed Leicester have four games in hand as they take on 6th placed Spurs who have four games in hand as well. Both teams did not play during the weekend because of Covid related issues. A win for Leicester would take them to within three points of United while a win for Spurs would take them above Arsenal and a point behind West Ham. Tottenham were abysmal against Chelsea over two legs in the Carabao Cup so there is a need to put in a better performance against Leicester. An interesting game for sure.

Brentford vs. Man United

14th placed Brentford have only won one of their last five games as they take on United who sit 7th and have only lost one of their last five games. This is Brentford’s game in hand while United would have one more after this. United will be favourites but Brentford can get something out of this game especially since they are at home. 

La Liga (Games in hand)

Valencia take on Sevilla amongst other teams.

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Atletico travel to Real Sociedad, Real Madrid travel to Elche, and Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao and Real Madrid just played the Supercopa De Espana final in the Middle East which Real Madrid won. Bilbao will be looking to bounce back while Madrid will want to continue the good form. Some interesting games. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Lazio take on Udinese, Juventus take on Sampdoria, Inter take on Empoli, and Roma welcome Lecce. Home games for all these big teams and one woulde expect all of them to progress to the next round. Milan, Fiorentina, and Atalanta are already through.

DFB Pokal Round of 16

Dortmund take on St.Pauli, Monchengladbach travel to Hannover, Leipzig take on Hansa, and Hoffenheim take on Freiburg amongst others. No Bayern in the DFB Pokal so that is a different. Winnable fixtures for most teams with Hoffenheim and Freiburg being the toughest fixture. 

Ligue (Games in hand)

Lille take on Lorient amongst other games. Lille can go up to 8th in the table with a win in this game.

Weekend Football Review

Some fun results!

Premier League MW 22

Brighton 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

This was a close game as expected and it was a draw as well whch was the most likely outcome. Gallagher gave Palace the lead in the 69th minute but Andersen scored an own goal in the 87th minute to give Brighton a point. Palace seem to always drop points in the final few minutes of a game. Brighton remain 9th in the table with two games in hand while Palace move into 11th with one game in hand. 

Norwich 2 vs. 1 Everton

Keane scored an own goal in the 16th minute to give Norwich the lead. Idah then made it two for Norwich two minutes later. Richarlison got one back for Everton in the 60th minute but Norwich held on for a massive win. Norwich move up to 18th with one game in hand and a point form survival. Everton drop down to 16th and sacked Rafa Benitez on Sunday as they look for a new manager now. 

Wolverhampton 3 vs. 1 Southampton

Jimenez scored a penalty in the 37th minute to give Wolves the lead. Coady made it two in the 59th minute. Ward-Prowse scored a brilliant free kick in the 84th minute but Traore scored in the 91st minute to seal the deal for Wolves. Wolves score three goals in a game which is a rarity as they remain 8th in the table with 2 games in hand. They sit a point behind Man United now. Southampton drop down to 12th with one game in hand. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 1 Watford

Saint-Maximin scored in the 49th minute to give Newcastle the lead but Pedro scored in the 87th minute to equalise for Watford. Newcastle sit 19th in the table with two games in hand and two points from safety. Watford remain 17th in the table with three games in hand and a point above the relegation zone. 

Aston Villa 2 vs. 2 Man United

Fernandes scored in the 6th minute to give Man United the lead. Fernandes then scored again in the 67th minute to double United’s lead. It looked like United would cruise to a surprise win but on came Phillipe Coutinho. Ramsey got one back a from Coutinho assist in the 77th minute. Coutinho then equalised for Villa in the 81st minute. A good comeback from Villa sees them move up to 13th in the table. United remain 7th but now within touching distance of Wolves and Brighton, who also have two games in hand. 

West Ham 2 vs. 3 Leeds

Harrison scored in the 10th minute to give Leeds the lead. Bowen equalised for West Ham in the 33rd minute but Harrison restored the lead for Leeds in the 37th minute. Fornals equalised for West Ham in the 52nd minute but Harrison completed his hattrick and won three points for Leeds in the 60th minute. West Ham remain 4th in the table 2 points above Arsenal who have two games in hand. Leeds move up to 15th with the win and have two games in hand. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 0 Brentford

Fabinho, Ox, and Minamino, scored over the course of the game to get a comfortable win against Brentford. Liverpool move into 2nd, 2 points above Chelsea and 11 points behind City with a game in hand. Brentford drop down to 14th with the loss. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Real Betis beat Sevilla to progess to the next round while Valencia beat Atletico Baleares. 

Serie MW 22

Lazio beat Salernitana 0-3, Juventus beat Udinese 2-0, Roma beat Cagliari 1-0, and Atalanta drew with Inter 0-0. Inter remain 2 points above Milan but both them and Napoli play on Monday and can make up ground on Inter. Atalanta remains 4th while Juventus and Roma remain 5th and 6th. Lazio sit 7th in the table. The title race continues to go through twist and turns in Italy while Mourinho finally ends a winless run of three games. 

Bundesliga MW 19

Dortmund beat Freiburg 5-1, Bayern beat Koln 0-4, Union Berlin beat Hoffenheim 2-1, Wolfsburg drew with Hertha Berlin 0-0, Leipzig beat Stuttgart 0-2, Leverkusen beat Monchengladbach 1-2, Frankfurt drew with Augsburg 1-1. Bayern remain 6 points clear at the top of the table with Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Hoffenheim making up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th, while Monchengladbach sit 12th. Bayern will probably win the league but at the moment there is still some sort of title race going on in Germany. 

Ligue MW 21

PSG beat Brest 2-0, Monaco beat Clermont 4-0, Lyon beat Troyes 0-1, while Lille drew with Marseille 1-1. PSG go 11 points clear at the top of the table while Nice, Marseille, and Rennes make up the top four. Monaco move up to 5th in the table a point behind Rennes. Lille sit 10th in the table while Lyon are 11th. The title is a foregone conclusion at this point but Monaco are looking good at the moment. The likes of Lille and Lyon continue to struggle.

 

Manchester City 1 vs. 0 Chelsea MW 22 Review

Focus our priorites elsewhere. 

Chelsea travelled to the Etihad to play league leaders Manchester City for MW 22 of the Premier League season. This game was very much billed as a last stand and any hope that Chelsea could make up ground on City was contingent on a win. Pep set up with a strong team as several players returned. Ederson started in goal with a back four of Walker, Laporte, Stones, and Cancelo. Rodri, Silva, and De Bruyne started in midfield with Sterling, Grealish and Foden up front. Chelsea had Kepa in goal with a back three of Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Azpilicueta, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Kovacic and Kante in midfield. Pulisic, Ziyech and Lukaku started up front. 

I will sum the game up in one paragraph. Chelsea began well but, City began to dominate possession and the Chelsea back three fell back. The first half had no real clear cut chances but City had the threat. Chelsea failed to register a shot at City in the first half. The first time this happened in a game since 2018. The 2nd half was much of the same. De Bruyne scored a brilliant goal in the 70th minute to get the win for City. Chelsea only woke up after conceding and the subs of Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Werner helped. Nothing more to the game than that, City just clearly better. 

Chelsa Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa did well throughout the game. He came out to make blocks distributed the ball well and made some crucial saves. The goal was not his fault it was just a well placed shot. A good game overall.

Defenders

The defence was good but Sarr stood out in the back three. Thrown into his biggest game yet and did well overall. Rudiger and Sarr kept Grealish, and Sterling quiet for much of the game. Silva was his brilliant self. What can I say about Azpilicueta and Alonso that hasn’t been said. They lack pace and were not able to handle Cancelo and Walker. Alonso especially had a bad time. Stark contrast to Chilwell, and James.

Midfielders

Kovacic, and Kante had good games but they were overrun at times and pressed out of possession. Not the best time for them. Mount came on in the 2nd half and brought some energy but it was too little to late. 

Forwards

The attack was the worst part of the game. Pulisic was non existent but is young and has capacity to improve. Ziyech’s decision making the final third was poor and their is no consistency with him at the moment. Lukaku was extremely poor. The Belgian’s first touch was way off, along with poor decision making and poor finishing. Lukaku could have actually scored two goals but we failed to score any. Hudson-Odoi, and Werner brought some pace to the attack but after conceding any momentum was lost. 

Manager

Tuchel said he was happy with certain aspects of the game. When asked about Lukaku Tuchel said that sometimes the Belgian needs to do the creating himself. Tuchel also stated that the finishing was way off and that the forward players need to be consistent. Tuchel will know there are still several things to achieve this season so he will try to keep the morale high.

A 13 point gap now between Chelsea and City. The title race is well and truly over if you held any hope prior to this game. All Chelsea can do now is try and cut the gap to single digits and win the cups. It would still be a very good season overall. Next up Brighton, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Manchester City vs. Chelsea MW 22 Preview

The top 2 go head to head.

Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium to play league leaders Manchester City on Saturday. City sit 10 points clear at the top of the table and both teams have no games in hand. City have just steamed ahead over Christmas with a bit of fortune with regards to Covid and injuries they have increase the gap. City have won their last 11 games in the league and just look unbeatable at the moment. Liverpool have lost two games and Chelsea have lost 2 games but the draws mean that the gap has just increased over time. 

Chelsea go into this game having drawn four of the last five games in the league. That in itself has seen us drop 8 points which is basically the gap to City. The draw against Liverpool and the 3 performances against Spurs and Chesterfield were good in turns of resting players and gaining some momentum. Chelsea do go into this game better off than they were 2 weeks ago. The reverse fixture saw City win 0-1 thanks to a dodgy goal by Jesus but overall City were the better team. Tuchel said pre match that Chelsea were defensive and didn’t set up right in that game and he takes responsbility for it and has learned from it. Overall Tuchel has played Pep four times and come out the winner three times. There is something to fight for in this game. Tuchel and team will be hungry to set the record straight after that game at Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Reece James and Chilwell as usual. Chalobah is still with injury as well while Christensen has also been ruled out through Covid. Kepa should start in goal but the defence is where it get’s interesting. I expect Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger start in the back three but Sarr could start if Tuchel decides to switch it to a back four. Kante and Kovacic should start in midfield with Alonso, and Pulisic as the wing backs. Mount, Werner, and Havertz should start up front. We could see Ziyech start ahead of Mount though because he looked like he was struggling against Spurs. We could also see Lukaku and Havertz start with Werner dropped but the Germans are more mobile. There are some interesitng tweakes available for Tuchel along with playing Hudson-Odoi as a wing back. 

Man City Team Preview

City go into this game having had a weeks worth of rest. Pep said they had fresh covid cases but did not disclose names. We can base our predicitons off of who was avaiable against Swindon. Ederson might be out with Covid so Steffen could start in goal. Walker and Cancelo should start as the full backs. Laporte and Dias should start as the centre backs. Gundogan, Rodi, and De Bruyne should make up the midfield while Silva and Palmer should start either side of Jesus. City didn’t have the strongest bench against Swindon, Mahrez, Grealish, and Sterling were all missing With players back and more missing this is the safest prediciton to make. A strong starting XI regardless, and one that is churning out results. 

Starting XI Prediction

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It’s for sure a massive game given recent games. If City win then Chelsea would be well and truly out of the title race. If Chelsea win then the gap is cut to seven points with still some to go around. I expect Chelsea to give it their all and if we do it is more than possible to get a result at the Etihad. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

Big weekend of league football!

Premier League MW 22

Brighton vs. Crystal Palace

Brighton sit 9th with 2 games in hand as they take on Palace who sit 12th who have one game in hand. Both teams have only won two of their last five games and have had similar seasons. Two good attacking teams but both inconsistent. An interesting game to kick off the weekend. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw.

Norwich vs. Everton

Bottom of the table Norwich take on Everton looking to break this losing streak they are on. Everton sit 15th in the table with three games in hand and they have only one win in their last five games. A massive game for both teams as they both desperately need a win. Everton won the reverse fixture 2-0. 

Wolverhampton vs. Southampton

Wolves sit 8th with 2 games in hand as they take on Southampton who sit 11th with 1 game in hand. Both are in good form but Southampton have been inconsistent. Wolves are very solid defensively but have to improve in front of goal. This should be a close game. Wolves won the reverse fixture 0-1. 

Newcastle vs. Watford

A big game at the bottom of the table. 2 point separate the two teams and a loss for either would be a big result. If Newcastle lose then the gap to safety might broaden while if Watford lose they get dropped right into the relegation race. A massive game. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw.

Aston Villa vs. Man United

14th placed Villa have lost their last two and have 2 games in hand as they take on 7th placed United who also have 2 games in hadn and lost their last game in the league. Villa were knocked out of the FA Cup by United on Monday and will look to take revenge. Coutinho, and Digne have come into the team and will be available to Gerrard. United have their own turmoil behind the scenes and will not want to lose ground on the top four. Villa won the reverse fixture 0-1 under Dean Smith and will be looking to do the double. 

West Ham vs. Leeds

West Ham jumped into 4th having played their game in hand and now take on 16th placed Leeds who are in poor form recently. Leeds managed to win their last Premier League game but have still not been their best this season. West Ham should win this game. West Ham won the reverse fixture 1-2.

Liverpool vs. Brentford

Liverpool have dropped points in their last three and stuttered to a draw against Arsenal midweek as they take on Brentford who sit 13th and have been inconsistent this season. Brentford lost to Southampton 4-1 midweek. Liverpool look blunt in attack without Salah but they should have enough to beat Brentford at Anfield. Brentford have nothing to lose and they could pull something off. The reverse fixture was a 3-3 draw. 

Tottenham vs. Arsenal

The big North London Derby which finally has some stakes this season as 6th placed Spurs with three games in hand takes on 5th placed Arsenal who have one game in hand. Tottenham are unbeaten under Conte but were extremely poor against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. Arsenal lost to Man City but did well to get a draw with 10 men. Arsenal won the reverse fixture 3-1. This is a big game for both teams. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Sevilla play Real Betis while Valencia travel to Atletico Baleares. The rest of the teams play their games midweek. 

Serie MW 22

Lazio travel to Salernitana, Juventus take on Udinese, Roma take on Cagliari, Atalanta take on Inter, Milan travel to Spezia, and Napoli travel to Bologna. Inter sit a point clear of Milan at the top of the table. Napoli and Atalanta make up the top four while Juventus sit 5th and are playing catchup. Roma are looking to win a game while Lazio sit 8th. The race in Italy is very interesting and the race for top four is equally nail biting. 

Bundesliga MW 19

Dortmund take on Freiburg, Bayern travel to Koln, Hoffenheim take on Union Berlin, Wolfsburg welcome Hertha Berlin, Leipzig travel to Stuttgart, Leverkusen travel to Monchengladbach, and Frankfurt take on Augsburg. Bayern sit 6 points clear at the top of the table with Dortmund, Hoffenheim and Freiburg making up the top four. Leverkusen sit 5th, Frankfurt sit 8th, Leipzig sit 9th, and Monchengladbach sit 12th. Bayern stumbled last week so the other teams will be hoping they stumble again. The rest need to win their games. 

Ligue MW 21

PSG take on Brest, Monaco take on Clermont, Lyon travel to Troyes, while Lille travel to Marseille. PSG sit 11 points clear at the top of the table and the rest are just in for the ride.