Midweek Football Preview

More cups!

FA Cup 5th Round

Peterborough vs. Man City

Peterborough beat QPR in the last round and sit bottom of the Championship. They have since drawn one and lost five. Man City beat Fulham 4-1 in the last round and sit top of the Premier League. They have since won four and lost one of their games. This should be a straightforward win for Man City. Anything else and it would be a massive shock. 

Crystal Palace vs. Stoke City

Palace beat Hartlepool 2-0 in the last round and they sit 11th in the Premier League. Palace have since won one, drawn three, and lost one. Stoke beat Wigan 2-0 in the last round and sit 15th in the Championship. Stoke have won one, drawn two, and lost two since. Palace are the better team on paper and are at home so they should win this even if Stoke cause some problems. 

Middlesbrough vs. Tottenham

Middlesbrough beat United on penalties in the last round and sit 8th in the Championship. They have since won two, drawn one, and lost two. Spurs sit 7th in the Premier League and beat Brighton 3-1 in the last round. They have since won two, and lost three of their games. With Tottenham away and the form that they are in this result could go either way. Spurs though are still favourites on paper.

Southampton vs. West Ham

An all Premier League clash as Southampton take on West Ham. Southampton sit 9th in the Premier League and beat Coventry City 2-1 in the last round. The Saints have since won three and drawn one of their games. West Ham sit 5th in the table and beat Kidderminster 1-2 in the last round. The Hammers have since won two and drawn two. Neither team is unbeaten in their last four but Southampton have won one more game. This should be an interesting game between two good teams and the result can go either way.

Liverpool vs. Norwich

The newly crowned Carabao Cup champions take on another cup as they welcome Norwich City in an all Premier League clash. Liverpool beat Cardiff 3-1 in the last round and have since won five and drawn one of their games. Norwich beat Wolves 0-1 in the last round and sit bottom of the table. Norwich have since drawn one and lost three of their games. This should be a straightforward win for Liverpool.

Everton vs. Boreham Wood

Everton beat Brentford 4-1 in the last round and sit 17th in the Premier League as they take on Boreham Wood. Everton have since won one and lost three of their games. Boreham Wood sit 3rd in the National League and beat Bournemouth 0-1 in the last round. They have since won two, drawn one, and lost two. Everton are at home and even though Boreham Wood will give it their all Everton should win this game. 

Premier League (Games in hand)

Burnley vs. Leicester

Burnley sit 18th in the table as they take on Leicester who sit 13th. A win for Burnley would take them out of the relegation zone and into 15th in the table on goal difference with two games in hand remaining. A win for Leicester won’t mean much movement but it will take them closer to mid table with three games in hand remaining. A big game for both teams Burnley have only lost one of their last five games while Leicester have lost three and drawn two. One game to keep an eye on.

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Valencia take on Bilbao with an aggregate score of 1-1. Betis take on Rayo Vallecano with an aggregate score of 2-1. The Valencia Bilbao game is finely poised and the result can go either way. Betis have a slight advantage but Vallecano are no pushovers and will give it a go. Any team can reach the final. 

Coppa Italia Semi-Final 1st Leg

Milan take on Inter, and Juventus travel to Fiorentina. Two very good games and neither team are clear favourites in their fixture. Milan and Inter are going though a rough patch at the moment while Juventus are inconsistent. Fiorentina are having a decent season. Who will take advantage in the 1st leg?

DFB Pokal Quarter-Final

Union Berlin take on St.Pauli, Hamburger take on Karlsruher, Leipzig travel to Hannover, and Bochum welcome Freiburg. Leipzig are the most high profiel team remaining in the cup. Freiburg are having a very good season though and so are Union Berlin. Anything can happen. 

Coupe De France Semi-Final

Nice take on Versailles, and Monaco travel to Nantes. Nice should beat Versailles and reach the final while Monaco and Nantes will be a more cagey affair. Nice will be favourites though with Monaco and Nantes being at a similar level this season. 

Barnsley 0 vs. 1 Chelsea FA Cup 5th Round Review

Just about got through…

Chelsea travelled to Barnsley for the 5th Round of the FA Cup and came back with a 0-1 win in a game that Barnsley dominated. Tuchel made 10 changes to the side with several regulars rested entirely. Kepa started in goal with Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back 3. Alonso, and Hudson-Odoi were the wing backs with Kante and Gilmour playing in the midfield. Pulisic, Tammy, and Ziyech started up front. The bench had players like Bate, and Anjorin on it. 

What was expected to be another convincing win like the 6-0 one at Stamford Bridge turned out to be nothing like it. Chelsea were on the back foot form the get go as Barnsley pressed in packs and the players didn’t know what to do. Sloppy passes weak touches and lethargy were the key words for Chelsea’s 1st half performance. Barnsley actually had some really good chances and Kepa made some key saves to keep us in the game. The only players that I thought did well in the 1st half were Gilmour, and Christensen. 

Christensen, and Alonso came off at half time for Tino Anjorin, and Reece James as we switched to a back four. The switch worked as Chelsea got hold of the ball and began to pin Barnsley in their own half. The winning goal came in the 64th minute as Reece James assisted Tammy for a tap in. Kepa made some good saves once again but Chelsea held on for the 3 points as Kovacic, and Rudiger came on to see off the game. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A good game for Kepa, his passing was really good, and apart from one corner incident he looked assured. Pulled of some good saves to keep us in the game. A clean sheet is all that Kepa can ask for and he got that. 

Defenders

The defence was had some problems when faced with the press of Barnsley but they managed it well. Christensen took a slight knock to the head and had to come off but the rest all did a good job. No one stood out but Zouma was particularly solid once again. 

Midfielders

Kante struggled as he looks to be regaining fitness. The Frenchman doesn’t seem 100% up to task yet. Gilmour did a good job during the game and was lively. The midfield did face problems with the press but we settled in during the 2nd half. Kovacic and Anjorin just added a bit of strength going forward. Anjorin looked lively but his final ball was lacking. 

Forwards

Pulisic had a quite game as the pitch and the press didn’t help him find space. Ziyech also didn’t have a great game as our wingers apart from Hudson-Odoi struggle to find form. Tammy was good and got another goal to add to his tally this season. 

Manager

Tuchel did a good job changing the tactics in game to give Chelsea an advantage during the 2nd half. It’s good to see that he likes to make changes at half time if things aren’t working. It’s another win for him and progression in the FA Cup. For now that’s all he probably wants. 

Midweek Football Review

Some big results!

FA Cup 5th Round

Burnley 0 vs. 2 Bournemouth

Surridge scored in the 1st half while Stanislas scored an 86th minute penalty to send Bournemouth into the quarter’s of the FA Cup. Bournemouth have had a turbulent few weeks but this victory will be welcome respite for them. Burnley get knocked out of the cup and can now focus on survival for this season. 

Man United 1 vs. 0 West Ham

What was the most boring game of the round saw United finally win it in the 97th minute of extra time as McTominay popped up to score the winner, United continue on to the next round while West Ham and Moyes can now focus on getting a place in the top 7.

Swansea 1 vs. 3 Man City

City made achieved a record by winning their 15th game in a row in all comps as Walker, Sterling, and Jesus scored to give City 3 goals. Whittaker got one back for Swansea in the 77th minute but it was just consolation. Swansea will now focus on promotion to the Premier League while City are still in all four competitions. 

Leicester 1 vs. 0 Brighton

Iheanacho scored in the 94th minute to seal a win for Leicester and avoid extra time for the Foxes. Brighton played well but just fell short at the end. Leicester move onto the quarter’s while Brighton will now focus on avoiding the relegation zone. 

Sheffield United 1 vs. 0 Bristol City

Mawson was sent off in the 65th minute for Bristol City, and Sharp stepped up and converted a penalty in the 66th minute as Sheffield United edged into the quarter finals. 

Everton 5 vs. 4 Tottenham

A mad game of football as Everton won a thriller in extra time against Tottenham. Spurs got the lead in the 3rd minute via Sanchez. Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, and Sigurdsson scored during the rest of the half to give Everton a 3-1 lead, Lamela got one back for Spurs right before the half ended. Sanchez then equalised for Spurs in the 57th minute but Richarlison regained the lead for Everton in the 68th minute. Kane then equalised once again for Spurs in the 83rd minute which sent the game to extra time. Bernard scored the winner in the 97th minute to take Everton to the quarters. Spurs still have the Carabao Cup, Europa League and top four qualification to worry about. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 2 Southampton

Ings and Armstrong scored in the 2nd half to seal a win for Southampton and take them to the next round of the FA Cup. Southampton have been on a very poor run and this will be a welcome win for them. Wolves are dumped out and will now focus on a top 10 finish. 

La Liga (Game in hand)

Real Madrid beat Getafe 2-0 in La Liga to move to within 5 points of leaders Atletico. Atletico still have 2 games in hand over their city rivals. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Sevilla took a good lead over Barcelona as they beat them 2-0 while Bilbao and Levante drew 1-1 in their leg. Barcelona need to pull of a comeback in the next fixture while it’s all to fight for in the Bilbao Levante game. 

Coppa Italia Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Juventus and Inter drew 0-0 which sent Juventus through to the final after their first leg win. Atalanta beat Napoli 3-1 to seal their place in the final. Juventus might not be doing that well in the league but they are still on course to win a trophy while Atalanta are no pushovers. 

Barnsley vs. Chelsea FA Cup 5th Round Preview

Barnsley round two!

Chelsea travel to Barnsley for the 5th Round of the FA Cup this season. Chelsea have already played Barnsley in the Carabao Cup this season, a game which the blues won comfortably at Stamford Bridge. Barnsley are 13th in the Championship and are winless in their last 5 games in the league but they beat Norwich 1-0 in the last round. The FA Cup is always tricky and is known for it’s surprise results so Chelsea will have to be at the top of their game to beat Barnsley. 

Chelsea go into this game having won our last 3 games under Tuchel and still unbeaten in his first 4 games. We have also only conceded one goal under our new German manager as we look to continue that positive trend. Chelsea beat Luton Town 3-1 in the last round which turned out to be Lampard’s last game in charge of the club so the least the Blues can do is continue this journey and try to replicate a trip to Wembley but top it off with a win in the final. The game against Sheffield United was not the best but Chelsea got the job done and we replied well to conceding which was similar to how we played at the beginning of the season. There is a positivity at the club right now one which we need to continue. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Werner and Silva both recovering from injuries although Werner’s is just a dead leg. Havertz may or may not play no one really knows but the rest are available. Tuchel has said that there will be changes in the lineup due to rotation and giving people a chance. Kepa will start in goal and its a fresh start for the Spanish goalkeeper who could bounce back. Reece James, Zouma, Christensen, and Emerson should start as the back four ( yes I do think we will play a back four although I have been proven wrong). Kante, and Gilmour should start in the pivot with Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech, and Tammy up front. If Havertz is not available I expect Mount to start. Several academy players like Livramento, Anjorin, and Bate have also been training with the team but I don’t think either of those players will start. It’s a strong team and I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the youngsters play. 

Barnsley Team Preview

Barnsley have some dangerous players like Woodrow, Chaplin, and Kane up front. Not Harry. They play a 3-4-3 and I expect them to stick with it and mostly counter Chelsea. They have nothing to lose but playing a pressing game would play into Chelsea’s hands. Valerian Ismael their manager knows Tuchel from his Bundesliga days but other than that he should have no advantage over him. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Chelsea have a good opportunity to progress to the next round, and this is also a good game for some of the bench players to make an impact and stake a claim under Tuchel. A chance to experiment with the formation but the intensity needs to remain. We need to be clinical as well. A tricky game but a chance to move forward, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Liverpool FA Cup 5th Round Review

Brilliant performance!

Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 in the 5th Round of the FA Cup as Willian scored in the 1st half and Barkley scored a brilliant goal in the 2nd. Liverpool were searching for a win to bounce back from their defeats at Atletico and Watford but Lampard and co had other plans in mind. Klopp selected a pretty strong lineup with Adrian in goal, and Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, and Williams as the defenders. Jones, Fabinho, and Lallana made up the midfield while Origi, Minamino, and Mane started up front. Lampard selected a strong lineup as well with Kepa returning to goal, along with Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, and Alonso as the defenders. Gilmour started in midfield along with Barkley and Kovacic while Pedro and Willian supported Giroud up front. 

The first 5 minutes were shaky for Chelsea as we were firmly on the back foot and Liverpool created some great chances but Kepa made good saves. Chelsea began to grow into the game and the breakthrough came in the 13th minute as while trying to play out from the back Fabinho misplaced his pass and Willian latched on to shoot at goal and his shot hit Adrian and went into the net. A slightly fortuitous goal but one that put the home team in the lead. The first half was end to end as around 10 minutes later Kepa made a triple save to deny Liverpool from equalising. A slight bummer were the injuries to Kovacic, and Willian as Jorginho and Mount came on in the first half. Chelsea also missed some great chances but we defended well and went into half time with the lead. 

The 2nd half started in similar fashion but Chelsea were better on the ball and faster in our passing. We allowed Liverpool possession of the ball but also closed down any 50-50’s and fought hard for the 2nd ball. The 2nd goal came in the 64th minute as Pedro picked up a loose ball and flicked it on to Giroud but Van Dijk headed it into Barkley’s path who drove forward from his own half to smash it past Adrian. A brilliant solo goal that the Everton fan will remember for sometime. Chelsea also managed to hit the post twice once via Mount and once via Giroud but we stayed strong defensively. Reece James came on for Giroud in the final moments as the Frenchman looked exhausted and Chelsea saw out the win. 

Player wise Kepa was really good and calm in front of goal, the break away from the team seems to have reignited his fire and that triple save was the cherry on top of a brilliant display. Azpilicueta and Alonso worked well against Mane and Origi while also posing some threat going forward. Zouma and Rudiger both had shaky moments at the start of the game but both pulled off good performances but Zouma was slightly better. Barkley got a brilliant goal and improved in the 2nd half while Kovacic was great until his injury although it looks like he will be back sooner rather than later. The shining light of the midfield and the man of the match in fact was 18 year old Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour. It was like watching a mix of Xavi and Iniesta as he sat in the Jorginho position and shielded the defence picking up loose balls and making tackles but then driving forward to launch attacks as well. A brilliant moment came in the 2nd half as he nutmegged Fabinho with ease and the made a perfectly weighted pass to Giroud who’s shot hit the side netting. With Jorginho ruled out for the next three league games and Kovacic injured Gilmour will surely be starting more games in the coming weeks. Pedro was lively as ever and worked really hard throughout the game but his finishing was lacking and he missed a great chance to score when he was through on goal. Willian was decent while Giroud was great once again as he worked tirelessly and linked up play when he could. Jorginho, and Mount were good once they came on and Mount worked hard as he pressed Liverpool players. Reece James did not have much time to make any real impact. 

Liverpool seem to be going through a bit of a rough patch or it seems like their luck has finally run out. The good thing for them is that they have already sealed the title but a treble is a distant memory and it won’t be a record breaking season by any means. Chelsea go on to the Quarter-Finals where we will play an away game at Leicester. Next up for Chelsea is a visit from Everton on Sunday in the Premier League as we push for our top four place. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Chelsea vs. Liverpool FA Cup 5th Round Preview

Big game under the lights!

Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night for the 5th Round of the FA Cup. Liverpool beat Shrewsbury in the last round after Shrewsbury had managed to get to take the tie to a replay. Liverpool fielded their youth team against the minnows and managed to beat them. Liverpool have since won 2 of their games and lost 2 of their games with a 1-0 loss in Madrid against Atletico and a 3-0 loss in the Premier League against Watford which ended their unbeaten run. The wins have also been shaky as they just managed the solitary goal against Norwich and had to comeback from 1-2 down to beat West Ham 3-2 in slightly fortuitous circumstances. I always believed that Liverpool have been no where near as good as they were last season and that luck was very firmly on their side in the way that they managed to avoid teams scoring goals agains them. Recent weeks seem to have finally caught up to them. 

Chelsea beat Hull City 1-2 in the last round and have since been in dubious form ourselves as we have won 1 game, drawn 2 and lost 2. We have been far from the form that saw us reach the top four in the early stages of the season and that has been mainly in part due to our miserable injury list. Our injuries have not even been spread out but our mostly in the forward positions and so that has hampered our chance of rotating players. It also does not help that all those injured are starters as opposed to our bench players being the ones who are fit. Our last result was the 2-2 draw against Bournemouth which was a game where we failed to take our chances and allowed the Cherries back into the game. Against Liverpool we cannot allow any such margin of error as we saw how diligent Atletico and Watford were. Against Liverpool we need to stay solid at the back and make sure that we finish our chances up front if we are to reach the next round of the FA Cup. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Tammy, and Kante while Christensen has also been added to the list for this game. Loftus-Cheek will also not feature as he played 90 minutes for the U-23’s on Monday. I believe Kepa will return to goal for this game, I think we will switch back to 4 at the back for this game with Reece James starting at right back, Zouma, and Rudiger as our centre backs and Emerson as our left back. Jorginho, Kovacic and Gilmour should be our midfield 3 while Mount and Tino Anjorin should accompany Giroud further forward. I think Tino who is an exciting youngster might be given the nod to start for this game. Armando Broja has also been called into the squad and I have a feeling he might be on the bench as a back up to Giroud. It is an interesting lineup which is needed as we have to rotate. 

Liverpool Team Preview

Liverpool need to return to winning ways and so while Klopp has barely played any starters for the last few rounds of cup competitions in his own words he expects to make some changes to that. Adrian might start in goal with Trent as right back, and Milner as left back with Matip and Van Dijk as the centre backs. Fabinho, Curtis Jones, and Lallana should start as the midfield with Harvey Elliot, Origi, and Takumi Minamino as the forwards. Of course Klopp could field a stronger team given that it is Chelsea but if we were to take out any more of the youngsters it would send a bad message to people in general. The likes of Salah, Mane, Firmino etc should all be on the bench in case Liverpool feel that they need them. There is still plenty of threat in this lineup and Liverpool will know Chelsea’s propensity to make mistakes. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Atletico have done it and Watford have done it and we were not far off in our earlier encounters against Liverpool this season. The whole team will have to put in 10/10 performances and the key is to finish our chances and by the end of 90 minutes we should have sealed a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Cup games!

FA Cup 5th Round

Portsmouth vs. Arsenal

Portsmouth sit 3rd in League One as they are looking to return to the Championship after some really bad times in football. Portsmouth beat Barnsley 4-2 in the last round and have since won 7 of their games while losing 2. Arsenal just about managed to beat Bournemouth 1-2 in the last round and have since won 3 of their games while drawing 1 and losing 1. Arsenal did not play this weekend as City were involved in the Carabao Cup final so Arteta should have a rested squad for the Monday night game. It is an interesting fixture with the two teams in good form and an away trip in the FA Cup against a weaker team is always tricky. Arsenal are beatable and Portsmouth will know that as they look to cause an FA Cup upset. 

West Brom vs. Newcastle

West Brom sit 1st in the Championship as they seek promotion to the Premier League for next season. The home side beat West Ham 0-1 in the last round and have since won 5 of their games while drawing 1 and losing 2. Newcastle beat Oxford United 2-3 in a replay and have since lost 2 and drawn 1 game. West Brom are clearly the team in better form and while Newcastle might have the history and stature behind them I expect West Brom to go through on their form and the fact that they are at home. 

Reading vs. Sheffield United

Reading sit 16th in the Championship as they entertain Sheffield who are well rested after not having played last weekend. Reading beat Cardiff on penalties in a replay and have since won 2 games drawn 1 and lost 3. Sheffield beat Millwall 0-2 in the last round and have since played 3 games winning 2 and drawing 1. This should be a straightforward win for Sheffield as they look to enter the next round. 

Tottenham vs. Norwich

An all Premier League clash as Tottenham take on Norwich. Tottenham beat Southampton 3-2 in a replay and have since won 1 of their last 4 games while losing the other 3. Norwich beat Burnley 1-2 in the last round and have since won 1 drawn 1 and lost 2 of their games. Tottenham are a team in need of a win as Mourinho’s best chance at ending Spurs trophyless run comes in the FA Cup. Norwich finally managed a win during the weekend as they beat Leicester and will feel that this fixture is a freebie. I expect Tottenham to struggle for the win but they should get past Norwich. Norwich though can cause an upset as the pressure is not on them to perform.

Leicester vs. Birmingham

Leicester beat Brentford 0-1 in the last round and have since drawn 2 and lost 3 of their games. Birmingham sit 15th in the Championship and beat Coventry on penalties in a replay to reach this round. They have since won 2 and drawn 4 of their games. Two teams in poor form although one is unbeaten and that is the Championship team. Similar to Norwich Brimingham can go into his game with no pressure as Leicester are the ones who need to end their poor form. An open game that Leicester should win although an upset in the FA Cup is never far away. 

Sheffield Wednesday vs. Man City

Sheffield sit 12th in the Championship as they beat QPR 1-2 in the last round and have since won 1 drawn 3 and lost 4. Man City beat Fulham 4-0 in the last round have since won 4 of their games while losing 2 as well. City should win this game at the end of the day and read the next round without any issues. 

Derby County vs. Man United

Derby are 13th in the Championship as they beat Northampton 4-2 in a replay to reach this round. Derby have since won 2 drawn 2 and lost 2 of their games. Man United beat Tranmere 0-6 in the last round and have since won 4 of their games while drawing 3. United are clearly the team in better form as they visit Derby who have a certain Wayne Rooney in their ranks. This should be a fun game and Derby will know that a defeat is not always far at Man United at the moment. Derby should use their home advantage and could end the day by reaching the next round. 

Copa Del Rey Semi Final 2nd Leg

Mirandes entertain Real Sociedad with Real in the driving seat having won the 1st leg 2-1. Mirandes did get an away goal though and a solid home performance could see them reach the final. In all honesty though Real Sociedad should get some goals as well and reach the final. Granada entertain Atheltic Bilbao with the 1st leg having ended 1-0, Bilbao are in the driving seat and an away goal would make it a tough task for Granada to reach the final. I expect the two away teams to make it to the final. 

Coppa Italia Semi Final 2nd Leg

Juventus welcome Milan with the first leg having ended 1-1. Juventus have barely played since then and our struggling for some form while Milan have also been dodgy in recent weeks. It should be an open game with the pressure on Sarri and Juventus to deliver. Inter travel to Napoli with the score at 1-0. Napoli have the away goal and Conte and co have it all to do as they look to reach the final having barely played over the last two weeks. These two fixtures are two close to call and anyone could reach the final although it remains to be seen whether the games are played due to the threat of the Coronavirus. 

DFB Pokal Quarter Final

Fortuna Dusseldorf travel to Saarbrucken, Bayern travel to Schalke, Leverkusen entertain Union Berlin, and Frankfurt welcome Werder Bremen. Fortuna, Bayern, Leverkusen, and Frankfurt should reach the semis in my opinion with the other teams having been poor this season and Saarbrucken being from a lower league. 

Coupe De France Semi Final

Lyon welcome PSG while St.Etienne entertain Rennes. Two high profile semi finals with Lyon always a threat on their day and PSG front runners in one fixture. The other fixture has St.Etienne who are a decent team while Rennes are the current holders. Rennes should reach the final but Lyon PSG is a game that is too close to call. 

 

Chelsea 0 vs. 2 Man United FA Cup 5th Round Review

Out of our first cup competition.

Chelsea lost to Man United 0-2 thanks to goals from Pogba and Herrera in the 1st half. Sarri selected the same exact lineup that he has tried again and again but it once again did not work as Alonso was selected ahead of Emerson, Kovacic played in the midfield as RLC did not feature in the squad and CHO was on the bench as Pedro started. Herrera scored in the 31st minute as United utilised the space left by Alonso and then once again used the same space for Pogba to score. Chelsea had no reply and the substitutions of Barkley, Willian, and surprisingly Zappacosta did not benefit Chelsea in any way. 

I have gone over the faults of the players and the board and those faults still hold but Sarri is now running into his fair share of blame. I get that he does not have the players and that he has stuck to 14 but he cannot keep selecting this same set of starting XI. Sarri’s lineups and in game management and lack of flexibility when it comes to his formation will be his downfall. Whether we like it or not if he continues down this path the board and the set of fans that ask for the manager to get sacked will get their way but unlike previous occasions we wont have Drogba, Terry, Lampard etc to dig us out of our hole. 

Sarri needs to change it up if he wants to have any future at this football club, sacking him would mean that this whole season was a waste of time and our club will find themselves in the same position in the 1 or 2 years again. We have our 2nd leg against Malmo and if the same team plays I give Malmo a chance, then we have our final against City and for all honesty that we might lose, following that we have a game against Spurs and I cant see those guys win again. Sarri needs to buy himself time for the next few months to insure that he can play Sarriball at Chelsea next season otherwise it will be curtains on his time at this club. COME ON MAN!!!!

Weekend Football Review

Standard wins in England but shocks elsewhere.

FA Cup 5th Round

Queens Park Rangers 0 vs. 1 Watford

Capoue scored right before half time to seal progression into the quarter finals for Watford against local rivals QPR. It was an expected win and this year with so many top teams out there are are high chances that some surprising teams can reach the latter stages. 

Brighton 2 vs. 1 Derby County

Derby had a poor performance in the first half as Knoackaert and Locadia scored in the first half to give Brighton the lead. Derby came out rejuvenated for the 2nd half and 38 year old Ashley Cole scored his first goal in the FA Cup ever for Derby. Brighton held on to reach the quarters. 

AFC Wimbledon 0 vs. 1 Millwall

Murray Wallace scored in the 5th minute for Millwall and they held on in their London Derby to reach the quarters. Millwall are tough place in London to go to and it will be interesting who they play against. 

Newport County 1 vs. 4 Man City

Newport held on to City for 45 minutes as City tried to manage the poor away pitch and score a goal. City then upped the ante in the 2nd half as Sane, and Mahrez scored either side of a Phil Foden brace to give City a 4 nil lead. Amond had got one back for Newport while the scoreline was 2-1 but City finished the team off. City now reach the quarters with either Chelsea or United joining them as the other top 6 team. 

Bristol City 0 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

Cavaleiro scored in the 28th minute to seal a win for Wolves as Bristol tried hard but could not equalise. Doherty caused several problems for Bristol in the first half and his cross found Cavaleiro in the box. Wolves reach the quarters as well. 

Doncaster 0 vs. 2 Crystal Palace

Schlupp and Meyer scored in the 1st half to give Palace a comfortable win away Doncaster and progress them to quarters of the FA Cup. It was an expected win and Palace will fancy their chances to reach the semi’s. 

Swansea 4 vs. 1 Brentford

Watkins scored for Brentford in the 1st half but Swansea returned for the 2nd with vengence as an own goal from Luke Daniels started an avalanche of Swansea goals. James, Celina, and Byers added the rest as Swansea joined the rest of the teams in the quarters. 

La Liga MW 24

Atletico won against Rayo Vallecano 0-1, a Messi penalty meant that Barcelona just managed to beat Valladolid 1-0, Real surprisingly lost to Girona 1-2 at home, and Sevilla lost 3-0 to Villarreal. Barcelona restore their lead to 7 points as Atletico move back into 2nd with Real and Sevilla making up the top four. 

Serie MW 24

Juventus beat Frosinone 3-0, Milan beat Atalanta 1-3 in a highly important game, Inter beat Sampdoria 2-1, and Napoli drew with Torino 0-0. Juventus open up a 13 point gap at the top of the table with Napoli, Inter and Milan making up the top four. 

Bundesliga MW 22

Bayern beat Augsburg 2-3, Leipzig beat Stuttgart 1-3, Hoffenheim beat Hannover 3-0, Monchengladbach drew with Frankfurt 1-1, Leverkusen beat Dusseldorf 2-0, and Dortmund play Monday night. Bayern cut the deficit to 2 as they trail Dortmund who are yet to play Monchengladbach, and Leipzig make up the top four. 

Ligue MW 25

Lyon beat Guingamp 2-1, Marseille beat Amiens 2-0, Monaco beat Nantes 1-0, Lille drew 0-0 with Montpellier, and PSG beat St.Etienne 0-1. PSG remain 12 points ahead with two games in hand while Lille, Lyon, and Marseille make up the top four. Monaco move up to the 16th with the win. 

Chelsea vs. Manchester United 5th Round FA Cup Preview

Last year’s final in the 5th round!

Chelsea beat Malmo at midweek in Sweden with a rotated squad and with many players rested. United lost to PSG midweek in what was their first loss under Ole and also lost Lingard and Martial to injury something they had not planned for. United have been flying high since Ole took charge and they finally moved into the top four last weekend after Chelsea’s abysmal loss to City. These are crucial games for United but they are more likely to concentrate on the league and a top four finish rather than the FA Cup although at the end of the day that is just talk. 

Chelsea need to win this game and there is no point of analysing the game too much as a positive reaction and a win are the only options that the Chelsea players can afford. No matter what the lineup and who are selected Chelsea need to start winning their games again and a home game against United in the FA Cup is the perfect way to get back on the move.

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea have a full squad to select from and if Sarri wants keep his support going from the Chelsea fan base he needs to start CHO alongside Hazard and Giroud. Emerson should start ahead of Alonso but it is likely Alonso could start. IF RLC is fit then RLC should start but he should not be risked if his back is still a problem. Christensen could start alongside Rudiger but Luiz’s long balls are a danger. 

Man United Team Preview

With Lingard and Martial out the only real problem area for Ole comes in deciding who starts alongside Rashford. Ole has two options either start Lukaku and Rashford with Mata behind them or start Rashford, Lukaku, and Sanchez in a front three. The rest should be pretty standard.

Starting XI Prediction

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This game has the potential to be a statement game for the players at Chelsea Football Club. Win the game and show that they are strong players who back the manager and can take good momentum into the League Cup final. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!