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!!!

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. 

Weekend Football Review

The FA Cup goes on!

FA Cup 4th Round 

Chorley 0 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

Vitor Ferreira scored in the 12th minute as Wolves won against Chorley to progress to the next round. Chorley kept themselves in it but they could never break the Wolves defence which kept a clean sheet. 

Southampton 1 vs. 0 Arsenal

Gabriel scored an own goal in the 24th minute that gave Southampton the lead and Southampton held on to it even after Arsenal tried their level best to get back into the game. The holders Arsenal are knocked out of the FA Cup while Southampton progress to the next round. 

Brighton 2 vs. 1 Blackpool

Bissouma scored a belter in the 27th minute to give Brighton the lead. Madine equalised for Blackpool right before half time. Alzate then scored the winner for Brighton in the 58th minute. Brighton move on to the next round to continue a good cup run while Blackpool are knocked out. 

Sheffield United 2 vs. 1 Plymouth Argyle

Basham scored in the 39th minute to give Sheffield United the lead while Billy Sharp made it two at the beginning of the 2nd half. Plymouth got one back through Camara but Sheffield United held on to progress to the next round. Plymouth are knocked out. 

West Ham 4 vs. 0 Doncaster

Fornals and Yarmolenko scored in the 1st half while Butler scored an own goal in the 2nd followed by a debut goal for youngster Afolayan. West Ham continue their brilliant form in both the cup and league as they reach the next round at Doncaster’s expense. 

Cheltenham 1 vs. 3 Man City

The scoreline without the details might fool you because City barely managed to win this game. May scored for Cheltenham in the 59th minute to give them the lead and they held on to it until the 81st minute when City finally managed to score after bringing on several players. Foden equalised followed by goals from Jesus and Torres as City managed to reach the next round. Cheltenham will feel hard done but they tried their best and nearly managed a massive upset. 

Fulham 0 vs. 3 Burnley

Rodriguez scored two while Long added a 3rd as Burnley ran out comprehensive winners over Fulham. Fulham can now focus on the league and getting out of the relegation zone while Burnley continue on in the FA Cup. 

Brentford 1 vs. 3 Leicester

Sorensen gave Brentford the lead in the 7th minute and they held on to it for the 1st half. Leicester came out fighting in the 2nd and Under equalised in the 46th minute. Tielemans then got the lead for Leicester in the 51st minute via a penalty while Maddison made it 3 in the 71st minute. Leicester progress to the next round as they continue to fight on 3 fronts while Brentford can now focus on promotion to the Premier League. 

Man United 3 vs. 2 Liverpool

This game was way better in than the Premier League version purely because this was in the FA Cup. Liverpool finally managed to score a goal this year as Salah got them the lead in the 18th minute. Greenwood equalised for United in the 26th minute. Rashford then got United the lead in the 48th minute only for Salah to equalise once again for Liverpool in the 58th minute. There was only one person who would grab the winner and Fernandes came off the bench to score a free kick in the 78th minute and take United to the next round. Liverpool’s only win remains against Villa’s U23 team. 

Everton 3 vs. 0 Sheffield Wednesday

Calvert-Lewin scored in the 1st half while Richarlison and Mina added goals in the 2nd as Everton ran out comfortable winners against Sheffield Wednesday. Everton progress to the next round while Sheffield Wednesday are knocked out. 

Wycombe 1 vs. 4 Tottenham

Onyedinma gave Wycombe a surprise lead in the 25th minute which seemed to shock Spurs into waking up. Bale equalised right before half time but Wycombe held on as much as they could. Winks gave Spurs the lead in the 86th minute and Ndombele added two goals late in the game to seal a win for Mourinho. Spurs go onto the next round while Wycombe are knocked out. 

La Liga MW 20

Villarreal drew with Huesca 0-0, Sevilla beat Cadiz 3-0, Real Sociedad drew with Real Betis 2-2, Real Madrid beat Alaves 1-4, Barcelona beat Elche 0-2, an Atletico beat Valencia 3-1. Atletico remain 7 points clear of the rest with a game in hand while Real Madrid sit 2nd. Barcelona are 3 points behind them in 3rd while Sevilla sit 4th a point behind Barcelona. Villarreal and Real Sociedad sit 5th and 6th while Valencia are 14th. Still very much Atletico’s league to lose and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. 

Serie MW 19

Roma beat Spezia 4-3, Inter drew with Udinese 0-0, Atalanta beat Milan 0-3, Juventus beat Bologna 2-0, Verona beat Napoli 3-1, and Lazio beat Sassuolo 2-1. Milan remain top of Serie A with 2 points with Inter right behind them. Roma gain ground on them now only 4 points behind Inter as they sit 3rd while Juventus sit 4th a point behind Roma with a game in hand. Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio make up 5th, 6th, and 7th. It is very much a race between the top teams in Italy and this weekend helped bring some teams back into the mix. 

Bundesliga MW 18

Monchengladbach beat Dortmund 4-2, Wolfsburg beat Leverkusen 0-1, Mainz beat Leipzig 3-2, and Bayern beat Schalke 0-4. Bayern go 7 points clear at the top after a massive weekend of results for them. Leipzig sit 2nd while Leverkusen, and Wolfsburg make up the top four. Monchengladbach sit 5th while Frankfurt sit 6th. Dortmund drop down to 7th in the table as they struggle to put together some form. Bayern are beginning to look like they will run away with the league again. 

Ligue MW 21

PSG beat Montpellier 4-0, Monaco beat Marseille 3-1, Lille beat Rennes 0-1, and Lyon beat St.Etienne 0-5. PSG and Lille remain level at the top of the table while Lyon and Monaco make up the top four. Marseille sit 6th in the table. Still close in France and that’s a good thing because usually PSG are well beyond their rivals at this stage. 

Chelsea 3 vs. 1 Luton Town FA Cup 4th Round Revew

Steps in the right direction!

Chelsea welcomed Championship side Luton Town to Stamford Bridge on a snowy sunday afternoon for the FA Cup 4th round tie. Chelsea needed a response after the Liecester game and Lampard fielded a strong lineup. Kepa started in goal with Reece James, Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back four. Gilmour and Mount started in the midfield two with Pulisic, Werner, and Ziyech playing behind Tammy Abraham. A lineup that everyone was happy with and a slight tactical change from Frank as well. Mason Mount also became the youngest player to captain Chelsea since one John Terry. 

Chelsea started the game well with Luton’s high line allowing Chelsea space in their half as we pressed with intent and actually created chances with the ball. The first goal came in the 11th minute as a quick throw in was taken from Ziyech who found Werner, Werner then drove with the ball and his pass was deflected into the path of Abraham who finished past Sluga to make it 1-0. Chelsea switched gears and we got the 2nd soon after as Reece James found Abraham with a flicked pass to head the ball into the net and make it 2-0 in the 17th minute. Chelsea then relaxed a bit and a mess up in the middle of the park allowed Luton to counter and get a goal in the 30th minute. The good thing was that conceding the goal actually seemed to motivate the men in blue and we should have easily gotten our 3rd or 4th in the final 15 minutes of the 1st half. 

Luton came out fighting for the 2nd half and almost equalised early on but Kepa made a brilliant save to keep it 2-1. Chelsea had a slew of chances with Pulisic missing a couple and several balls across the box but no one being able get at the end of them. The 3rd goal finally came in the 74th minute as we stringed a passage of play from our own box and ended up finishing via Tammy. Abraham completed his hattrick and was subbed off for Giroud, while Havertz came on for Ziyech. Hudson-Odoi had earlier come on for Pulisic. We created several more chances to in the 2nd half and Werner who had a brilliant game got a penalty late on. Although when things aren’t going your way they really don’t and his penalty was saved by Sluga. The game ended 3-1 and Chelsea reached the next round. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa did well for most of the game, the goal was partly his fault but also Zouma’s who moved out of the way blindsiding Kepa. A great save in the 2nd half and a calm and collected performance otherwise. Good for him. 

Defenders

A defensively solid performance apart from the goal conceded. Reece James and Emerson worked the flanks well delivering good crosses while also staying strong defensively. Christensen, and Zouma were solid in the centre and barely let Luton have any time on the ball. 

Midfielders 

Captain Mason Mount led by example as he was all over that midfield making tackles, playing passes and pressing constantly. Gilmour was great as well and always looked to play the forward pass when he had the ball. Billy really should be starting if Kante is not fit. Kovacic came on late for Mason Mount and he did well to just see out the game. Kova did make some trademark runs through the middle though which could have led to goals as well. 

Forwards

A hattrick for Tammy Abraham as he becomes the first striker this season to reach the double figure mark. Tammy could have easily had a couple more though and Chelsea need to work on that clinical aspect of the game. Pulisic himself could have had a couple of goals but he similar to some other players looks a bit out of form. Ziyech was good in the game and probably deserved a goal or assist for the chances he created. Werner played extremely well for the 90 minutes and was incredibly unlucky to not get a goal or assist. He worked hard made runs, and continued to do that after the missed penalty as well. The goals will come for Timo and when they start they won’t stop, I am a 100% sure of that. Hudson-Odoi had a positive impact on the game as he got an assist for the 3rd goal while Giroud didn’t have much to do but did get a few shots off. Havertz also came on and looked lively as he continues to get back to pace with the game. 

Lampard

Lampard got what he wanted from the players, to see the passion and drive which led to a positive result. We could have had several more goals and Lampard will want to improve on that but its a step in the right direction. Like Frank said do the basics right and the results will come. 

A good day overall and another game in which the academy excelled. Chelsea will face Barnsley away in the next round the 2nd time we play them this season but for now its a visit by Wolves on Wednesday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Luton Town FA Cup 4th Round Preview

We go again!

Chelsea welcome 13th placed Championship club Luton Town at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the 4th round of the FA Cup. Luton sit 6 points from 7th at the moment as they stand an outside shot at making a play off place. Luton have gone through a resurgence in recent years as they were promoted from League Two in 17/18. In 18/19 they gained a second successive promotion to enter the Championship from League One and have since remained there. This season Luton have won 9 drawn 6 and lost 10 in the league. Luton beat Reading 1-0 in the last round and have since won 1 and lost 2 of their games. 

Chelsea go into this game having beat Morecambe 4-0 in the last round. We then went on to beat Fulham but lost to Leicester during the week with the pressure back on Lampard after a short reprieve. It’s safe to say that Chelsea go into this game in a cloud of rumours, and bad reviews with the team having put in another lacklustre performance against Leicester and looking out of it. The press conference on Friday saw Lampard come out swinging as he pulled no punches and reiterated his desire to turn it around. Lampard was asked a quiet nonsensical question about when he thought the new signings would reach their potential. The question really had no answer and the journalist himself got flustered after asking it. Lampard then asserted himself when asked about player confidence as he criticised journalists for writing articles that would obviously damage any players morale and a certain confirmation bias used when writing them. Lampard’s defending his players and no one can really blame him for that and if journalists can write such scathing pieces about players and managers then they should know that it can reach the point when a the player or manager answers back. There weren’t any other major questions asked but quotes in the embargoed section have Lampard speaking about just winning games for now and showing the drive and hunger in game. Lampard has also defended Kai Havertz once again and said that he will be a top player without a doubt but needs time. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Kepa should return in goal for this game and I expect, Rudiger and Christensen to also feature as the centre backs. Azpilicueta and Emerson should start as the full backs. I would actually switch to a more simple 4-2-3-1 for this game with Gilmour and Kova as the two CDM’s. Pulisic, Havertz, and Hudson-Odoi to play behind Werner. Just something different and really if those front 4 can’t finish goals I don’t know what will at this club. The 4-3-3 isn’t working at the moment and literally a minor tweak can switch things up. We could also play a 4-4-2 with Giroud and Werner up front but I think that less plausible. Chelsea as usual will have plenty of possession so we shouldn’t really need that extra player in midfield. 4 quality players should be enough to break the lines and finish off chances. We had a strong lineup against Morecambe and we should have the same in this game as we look to continue to game momentum. 

Luton Town Team Preview

Luton under their manager Nathan Jones are quiet flexible when it comes to formations. I think for this game they will stick with a 3-5-2 of sorts to sit back and defend and counter when given the opportunity. Dewsbury-Hall a loan player from Leicester is one to keep an eye on in the midfield while James Collins is their top scorer with 9 goals this season. Luton don’t seem to score many or concede many so it is set up to be a smash and grab type of game. 

Starting XI Prediction


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Chelsea and Lampard just need to get the results, but hopefully we can field some of our starters in this game and the attack can continue to form chemistry for the next few games. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

The expected teams qualify!

FA Cup 4th Round Replay

Liverpool 1 vs. 0 Shrewsbury

Williams scored an own goal for Shrewsbury in the 75th minute to cap a woeful display from the away side on a day when Liverpool were playing their 3rd choice team. With all the first teams stars on vacation this was a great opportunity for Shrewsbury to get one up on Liverpool but their performance was really poor and Klopp without even trying reached the next round of the FA Cup. 

Oxford United 2 vs. 3 Newcastle

Longstaff and Joelinton scored in the 1st half to give Newcastle a comfortable lead. The final 10 minutes saw a resurgence from Oxford and Kelly got one back in the 84th minute. Holland then equalised in the 94th minute to send the game into extra time. Saint-Maximin then scored a brilliant winner in the 116th minute to send Newcastle to the next round.

Tottenham 3 vs. 2 Southampton

Stephens scored an own goal in the 12th minute to give Tottenham the lead, while Shane Long equalised in the 34th minute. Ings then got Southampton the lead in the 72nd minute but Moura equalised for Spurs 6 minutes later. With the game on a knifes edge and Southampton the better team a Son dive in the 87th minute got Spurs a penalty. Son stepped up and scored to send Spurs into the next round and rather harshly dump Southampton out. Southampton can be encouraged by their recent form while Tottenham continue their search for silverware this season with Mourinho at the helm. 

Copa Del Rey Quarter-Finals

Granada beat Valencia 2-1, Mirandes beat Villarreal 4-2, Real Sociedad beat Real Madrid 3-4, and Bilbao beat Barcelona 1-0. A case of the bigger teams taking things for granted as Granada, Mirandes, Real Sociedad, and Bilbao are the semi-finalists. Not a massive negative for Real Madrid as they still had a good performance but Barcelona go from bad to worse with poor performances on the pitch being complimented by internal turmoil between Abidal, and Messi. 

DFB Pokal 3rd Round

Frankfurt beat Leipzig 3-1, Werder Bremen beat Dortmund 3-2, and Bayern beat Hoffenheim 4-3. Bayern now the clear favourites in the DFB Pokal as some major teams drop out. Dortmund and Leipzig now have one less competition to worry about but Bayern can aim for more silverware. 

 

Midweek Football Preview

Cup games!

FA Cup 4th Round Replays

Liverpool vs. Shrewsbury

Klopp having gone 22 points clear in the league is now on vacation as he and his players can’t be bothered by the FA Cup. Shrewsbury now get a free hand at Anfield to beat a Liverpool youth team to reach the 5th Round of the FA Cup. Shrewsbury have lost both their games since drawing against Liverpool but they will not take this game lightly as a loss against a youth team won’t do any favours to their reputation.

Oxford United vs. Newcastle

Newcastle could not get the job done and have hit a bit of a goal drought as they now travel to Oxford. Oxford won their game since beating Newcastle and will be hopeful to get a win especially at home. 

Tottenham vs. Southampton

Southampton and Tottenham played out an entertaining draw last time out but Southampton are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment. Tottenham got a morale boosting win against City on Sunday and will hope to carry that into this fixture as Mourinho looks to end Spurs trophy drought. 

Copa Del Rey Quarter-Finals

Quarter Final time in Spain as Granada take on Valencia, Mirandes take on Villareal, Real Madrid take on Real Sociedad, and Bilbao take on Barcelona. Some interesting fixtures throughout with none of the teams guaranteed a qualification to the semis. All to play for in this competition although Real should be the favourites based on their current form while Barcelona really need to pick up the pace.

DFB Pokal 3rd Round

DFB Pokal returns as Frankfurt entertain Leipzig, Dortmund travel to Werder Bremen, and Bayern take on Hoffenheim among other teams. The title race in Germany is a highly entertaining one at the moment and several top teams are still in contention to make it a double domestically. 

 

Weekend Football Review

All the usual teams progress except Spurs.

FA Cup 4th Round

Brentford 0 vs. 1 Leicester

Leicester made it to the round of 16 after Iheanacho scored in the 4th minute. Brentford could not break through Leicester’s defence as the Foxes held on to their lead for the rest of the game. Brentford now go back to fighting for promotion while Leicester continue their search for a possible trophy this season. 

Newcastle 0 vs. 0 Oxford United

Newcastle could not beat Oxford at home while Oxford stayed strong as the teams now go into a replay that will be played at Oxford. Newcastle now face a tougher trip while Oxford will be hopeful that the home advantage helps them get through to the next round. 

Burnley 1 vs. 2 Norwich

Norwich got to the round of 16 as they once again got some respite from their poor performance in the league this season. After a tough 1st half Hanley and Drmic scored in the 53rd and 57th minute as the Canaries took a comfortable lead. Pieters got one back for Burnley in the 72nd minute which set up a nervy ending but Norwich held on. 

Southampton 1 vs. 1 Tottenham

This was always going to be a tough game and it turned out to be one as the 1st half was a balanced one with neither team scoring a goal. Son gave Spurs the lead in the 58th minute and it looked like Mourinho and co would hold on but Boufal equalised for Southampton in the 87th minute. The two teams now head for a replay at Tottenham which could be an advantage to either team. 

Millwall 0 vs. 2 Sheffield United

Besic and Norwood scored in the 2nd half as Sheffield continued their bright season by reaching the round of 16. Millwall made it tough but Sheffield had the quality to get the win. 

West Ham 0 vs. 1 West Brom

Townsend scored in the 9th minute and Ajayi was sent off for West Brom in the 72d minute as West Ham could not take advantage. Things go bad to worse for Moyes as he tries to find a solution and bring some hope to the club. West Brom are having a great season at the moment with promotion also in their sights. West Ham can now focus on surviving relegation. 

Man City 4 vs. 0 Fulham

Ream was sent off for Fulham in the 6th minute and before it had even started Fulham’s game fell apart. Gundogan and Silva scored in the 1st half while Jesus added two goals in the 2nd as City continue their defence of the FA Cup. 

Tranmere 0 vs. 6 Man United

United returned to winning ways in great fashion as they thrashed League One side Tranmere away from home. Maguire, Dalot, Lingard, Jones, Martial and Greenwood all scored in the game as United and Ole found a side in England they could beat. United reach the Round of 16 still in 2 competitions. 

Shrewsbury 2 vs. 2 Liverpool

Liverpool and Klopp played a mixture of youth and bench players again as they took on Shrewsbury. Jones, and an own goal from Love made it a comfortable lead for Liverpool in the 2nd half. Cummings though scored in the 65th minute and then scored in the 75th minute to get a draw for the home team and take the game to a replay at Anfield. Klopp has received criticism for saying that the youth team will play the game against Shrewsbury and that he himself will not be on the bench because the team will be on vacation. A great opportunity for Shrewsbury to reach the round of 16. 

Bournemouth 1 vs. 2 Arsenal

Saka and Nketiah scored in the 1st half to give Arsenal a good lead and Bournemouth only managed a goal in the 94th minute but it was too late. Arsenal reach the round of 16 as Arteta continues to build something at the Emirates. 

La Liga MW 21

Valencia beat Barcelona 2-0 as Setien faces a tough period in his early days, Sevilla beat Granada 2-0, Atletico drew against Leganes 0-0 as Simeone faces pressure and the big winners were Real Madrid who won 0-1 against Valladolid. Real go three points clear at the top of the table with Barcelona, Sevilla, and Getafe making up the top four. Atletico drop into 5th. Big weekend for Zidane and co as they look to win the title. 

Serie MW 21

Milan beat Brescia 0-1, Atalanta beat Torino by 7 goals, Inter drew with Cagliari 1-1, Roma drew with Lazio 1-1, and Napoli beat Juventus 2-1. Juventus and Inter both dropped points as Juventus still stay clear of Inter by 3 points at the top. Lazio and Roma make up the top four while Atalanta are 5th only a point behind Roma. Milan move up to 8th as they eye a possible Champions League spot. 

Bundesliga MW 19

Dortmund beat Koln 5-1, Monchengladbach beat Mainz 3-1, Frankfurt beat Leipzig 2-0, Bayern beat Schalke 5-0, and Leverkusen beat Dusseldorf 3-0. Leipzig the big losers this weekend as everyone else gains ground on them. Bayern are only a point behind the leaders now while Monchengladbach, and Dortmund make up the top four. The Bundesliga title race is well and truly a four horse race. 

Ligue MW 21

Nice drew with Rennes 1-1, Marseille drew with Angers 0-0, Monaco lost to Strasbourg 1-3, Lyon beat Toulouse 3-0, and PSG beat Lille 0-2. PSG the big winners in Ligue 1 this weekend again as the holders go 10 points clear at the top. Marseille, Rennes, and Montpellier make up the top four while Lyon are 5th, Lille are 7th and Monaco are 13th.