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. 

Midweek Football Review

Races heat up!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle 3 vs. 1 Everton

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

West Ham 1 vs. 0 Watford

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

Burnley 1 vs. 1 Man United

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

Norwich 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

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

Tottenham 2 vs. 3 Southampton

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

Man City 2 vs. 0 Brentford

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

Aston Villa 3 vs. 3 Leeds

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

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 Leicester

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

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Arsenal

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

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

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

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

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

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals 

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

Midweek Football Preview

League football is back!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle vs. Everton

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

West Ham vs. Watford

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

Burnley vs. Man United

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

Norwich vs. Crystal Palace

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

Tottenham vs. Southampton

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

Man City vs. Brentford

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

Aston Villa vs. Leeds

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

Liverpool vs. Leicester

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

Wolverhampton vs. Arsenal

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

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

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

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

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

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals

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

Brentford 0 vs. 2 Chelsea Carabao Cup Quarter-Final Review

Onto the semi-finals!

Chelsea took on Brentford in a London Derby for the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup at the Brentford Community Stadium. Brentford fielded a strong XI with no youth or academy players involved while Chelsea and Tuchel made some big changes. Kepa started in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Chalobah, and Sarr. Xavier Simons came into the senior squad and played right wing back while Alonso played left wing back. Saul, and Kovacic started as the midfield pair while Harvey Vale, and Soonsup-Bell made their debuts alongside Barkley. It was an exciting lineup and the sense before the game was that it was a free for all. 

The first half was all Chelsea in terms of possession but the best chances fell to Brentford in the box with a few free headers but Kepa pulled of some great saves to keep Chelsea’s clean sheet. Chelsea were doing well though and based on context to go 0-0 into the 2nd half was decent outcome. The 2nd half saw Jorginho, and Pulisic come on for Kovacic, and Soonsup-Bell at half time. Jorginho brought further control to the game while Pulisic added some pace in behind Brentford’s defence. James, Mount and Kante came on to try and get Chelsea the win and we did manage the opening goal in the 80th minute as Reece Jame’s low cross was knocked into the net by Jansson. Pulisic then ran onto a pass into the box and got their before Fernandez who brought him down to concede a penalty in the 85th minute. Jorginho stepped up to make it 2 and seal the win for Chelsea. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa had a brilliant game with 3 big saves and a clean sheet in his pocket. With the Africa Cup of Nations coming up in January we will need Kepa to step up and he has done whenever called upon this season. Good game for him.

Defenders

Azpilicueta did well while Sarr was also decent in defence. Chalobah was brilliant as the 3rd defender and to play after a possible injury in the last game was good to see. Simons did well and was probably the least involved of the 3 academy players. It was a competent performance from him. Alonso also played better than he has in recent games and was actually beating Canos and other players in the left hand side. James came on in the 2nd half and forced the own goal with his assist. A clean sheet to add to all of that.

Midfielders

Kovacic got 45 minutes to get back up to speed and did well. Saul played the full 90 in the deeper midfield position and when Jorginho came on he played further forward. It was another good game from him following the Leeds performance and hopefully he can continue this upward trajectory. Vale did well for his debut, plenty of energy, and good link up play along with the ability to hold up the ball. Vale also came the closest to giving Chelsea the lead in the 1st half as his header found Fernandez. It was a good debut for him and hopefully there is plenty more to come. Barkley was not great and looked slow and pensive on the ball. Jorginho was Jorginho when he came on and there were some really good moments from him. Mount did well when he came on and Kante was just brilliant.

Forwards

Soonsup-Bell was also good and given that he was out ill and only had one day to train he did well. Pulisic came on in the 2nd half and added pace and the ability to dribble to the forward line. He drew the penalty as well which was good. 

Manager

Tuchel will be extremely happy with this performance especially with the youngsters. It looked like a tough game given the circumstances but we did well controlled the game and got 2 goals as well. Progressing to the Semi-Finals and players rested, Tuchel could not ask for anymore.

Chelsea move onto the semi-finals and remain in 5 competitions this season. The semi-finals will be played in the first few weeks of January and they will be played against Conte and Spurs. Next up is a trip to Villa Park on Boxing Day, COME ON CHELSEA!!!. 

Midweek Football Review

Carabao not taken lightly.

Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals

Arsenal 5 vs. 1 Sunderland

Nketiah scored in the 17th minute to give Arsenal the lead. Pepe made it two in the 27th minute, but Broadhead got one back for Sunderland in the 31st minute. Nketiah scored two more in the 2nd half to complete his hattrick and Patino added the fifth off the bench to take Arsenal into the semi-finals. A good win for Arsenal in what was an expected result.

Liverpool 3 (5) vs. (4) 3 Leicester

Liverpool heavily rotated their lineup to take on Leicester who fielded a pretty strong XI. Vardy scored two in the first 15 minutes to give Leicester a 0-2 lead, but Ox got one back for Liverpool in the 19th minute. Maddison made it three for Leicester in the 33rd minute as it looked like Leicester had a good lead. Klopp called on the bench in the 2nd half as Jota scored in the 68th minute to make it 2-3. Leicester were so close to getting the win but Minamino scored in the 95th minute to take the game to penalties. Liverpool won the game on penalties and move along to the semi-finals. Leicester bow out as they bottle another game.

Tottenham 2 vs. 1 West Ham

Bergwijn scored for Tottenham in the 29th minute to give Spurs the lead but Bowen equalised for West Ham in the 32nd minute. Moura restored Spurs lead in the 34th and Conte and co held on to that lead for the rest of the game. Tottenham move onto the semi-finals while West Ham are knocked out. 

La Liga (Games in hand)

Villarreal beat Alaves 5-2, Sevilla drew with Barcelona 1-1, Granada beat Atletico 2-1, and Real Madrid beat Bilbao 1-2. Real Madrid sit 8 points clear at the top of the table, while Sevilla sit 2nd followed by Betis and Vallecano. Atletico drop down to 5th in the table and have lost 4 games in a row now for the first time under Simeone. Barcelona remain 7th in the table. Real Madrid have played a game more than anyone else but are firmly in control of the title race at the moment.

Serie MW 19

Juventus beat Cagliari 2-0, Atalanta drew with Genoa 0-0, Lazio beat Venezia 1-3, Roma drew with Sampdoria 1-1, Inter beat Torino 1-0, Milan beat Empoli 2-4, and Spezia beat Napoli 0-1. Inter sit 4 points clear of Milan who move up to 2nd in the table. Napoli are now 3 points behind Milan while Atalanta make up the top four. Juventus move up to 5th in the table while Roma drop down to 6th in the table. Lazio sit 8th in the table. Inter in control for now but not by a big margin as Milan bounce back in this round. Napoli did well to regain control but a shock loss to Spezia will not be welcome. An interesting race all around.

Ligue MW 19

Marseille drew with Reims 1-1, PSG drew with Lorient 1-1, Lille beat Bordeaux 2-3, Lyon drew with Metz 1-1, and Monaco beat Rennes 2-1. PSG remain 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with Nice, Marseille and Rennes make up the top four. Monaco move up to 6th in the table, while Lille sit 8th in the table. Lyon sit 13th in the table. PSG are on their way to another title and Messi has just scored 1 goal in Ligue 1. Not the most entertaining of leagues in Europe. 

Brentford vs. Chelsea Carabao Cup Quarter-Final Preview

Carabao time!

Chelsea travel within London to play Brentford in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup. Brentford beat Stoke City 1-2 in the Round of 16 and have since won 2, drawn 2, and lost 3 of their games. Brentford’s last game came on the 11th so they have had 10 days but with several positive cases and injuries they are also suffering from squad problems. At the moment Brentford sit 12th in the table and have had a decent first half in the Premier League. The same fixture in the Premier League was a tough game for Chelsea and we fought hard for the win with the game ending 1-0. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Southampton on penalties. That game seeks like ages ago and Chelsea have since won 6, drawn 5, and lost 1 of the 12 games. The recent game against Wolves went ahead with the proposal of a postponement by Chelsea being rejected before the game. On the day the result was a decent one and the draw and clean sheet was fine. Nothing has changed since Sunday though with the Covid players still out but Tuchel has brought in some academy reinforcements because it impossible for these players to play 4 games on the bounce. The game on Boxing Day is against Villa at Villa Park and both Brentford and Villa like to play high tempo football. No way these players could play so many games.

Chelsea Team Preview

Christensen, and Chalobah are out injured while Kante will be rested. Havertz, Lukaku, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi remain out due to Covid. Lewis Baker was supposed to play this game but tested positive as well and so is out. Jorginho is back in contention for this game while Chilwell is still out until next month. I expect Kepa to start in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Mbuyamba, and Sarr. James, and Rankine could start as the wing backs with a midfield of Jorginho, and Vale. The front three should be Mount, Pulisic, and Barkley. Now this is a total guess because I do expect Tuchel to rotate given the circumstances. Tuchel does take every trophy seriously but his hands are tied in this situation. The likes of Simons, Gilchrist, Wareham, Fiabema etc could be part of the bench. Saul could start as well but he looked comfortable in a midfield 3 as opposed to a midfield 2 during the weekend. It really is anyone’s guess at the moment.

Brentford Team Preview

Brentford also have several injury issues while Toney might be back for this game. Pinnock also had Covid and could be available. I expect them to rotate their team for this one and we could see some youth players and B team players involved. The injuries are mainly in defence with Ajer a big miss while Raya is also out. Regardless of how Brentford lineup though we can expect them to play the high tempo pressing football they do. Forss is a top scorer in the competition while Ghoddos is also a good player. The likes of Mbeumo, Wissa, Norgaard, etc are available as well. 

Starting XI Prediction

IMG_2463

IMG_2464

Above I have gone with Brentford’s best possible lineup when I do expect them to rotate a few players. As far as Chelsea go that is my best guess as to who could play along with rotation. There is a high chance more academy players will be involved for the Blues. It really could be Brentford B vs Chelsea U23’s more or less. Either way it is a Quarter-Final for a trophy so regardless of who is on the pitch I expect them to give it their all, especially since it’s a London Derby. If we stay solid at the back and finish our chances then we should go through. Time for a new batch of Cobham youngsters to take their chance. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Carabao Cup returns!

Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals

Arsenal vs. Sunderland

Arsenal sit 4th in the Premier League and beat Leeds in the last round of the Carabao Cup. They have since won 6, and lost three of their games. Sunderland beat QPR on penalties in the last round and have since won 4, drawn 3, and lost 5 of their games. Sunderland currently sit 3rd in League One. Based on current form Arsenal should win this game especially since they are at home. 

Liverpool vs. Leicester

Liverpool beat Preston in the last round 0-2. Liverpool have since won 9, and drawn 2 of their games, and sit 2nd in the Premier League. Leicester beat Brighton on penalties in the last round and have since won 3, drawn 3, and lost 4 as they sit 9th in the table. Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield once again and Leicester are the FA Cup holders. Based on current form Liverpool should win this game but Leicester always stand a chance. 

Tottenham vs. West Ham

Tottenham beat Burnley 0-1 in the last round and have since won 4, drawn 2 and lost 2 of their games as they sit 7th in the Premier League. West Ham beat Man City on penalties in the last round and have since won 4, drawn 3, and lost 4. It’s a London Derby and both teams are in similar form going into this game. Tottenham are on an upward trajectory though while West Ham seem to be going through poor form. Either team can win.

La Liga (Games in hand)

Villarreal take on Alaves, and Sevilla take on Barcelona midweek as these teams play their games in hand. It’s a good chance for Sevilla to cut the gap to Real Madrid while Barcelona can cut the gap to the top four. 

Serie MW 19

Juventus take on Cagliari, Atalanta travel to Genoa, Lazio travel to Venezia, Roma take on Sampdoria, Inter take on Torino, Milan take on Empoli, and Napoli take on Spezia. We approach the halfway point of the season in Italy and all these teams play games where they should win. This is a stumbling block of a weekend and it will be interesting to see which teams avoid the hurdles and which trip up.

Ligue MW 19

Marseille take on Reims, PSG travel to Lorient, Lille travel to Bordeaux, Lyon take on Metz, and Monaco take on Rennes. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and this should be another chance for these teams to increase the lead. If PSG stumble then the other teams need to win to cut the gap. 

Euro 2020 Quarter-Finals Day 2 Review

Could be coming home?

Czech Republic 1 vs. 2 Denmark

Denmark were at their blistering best in the 1st half as Delaney scored within 5 minutes while Dolberg scored in the 42nd minute. Denmark could have got a few more if it wasn’t for some last ditch defending and some brilliant saves by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic did grow back in between the two goals but could not finish past Schmiechel. Schick scored in the 49th minute to bring hope to the Czech Republic but Denmark stayed strong and resisted the Czech onslaught. Denmark go through now to the semi-finals of the Euros and considering how they started for them it’s a great journey that hopefully continues. Czech Republic fought well and Schick showed he should be taken seriously as a striker. A young team with plenty of talent the Czech Republic should continue to improve. 

Ukraine 0 vs. 4 England

Kane scored in the 4th minute to send Ukraine’s game plan into the bin. Ukraine had planned to hit England on the break but conceding so early meant that they had to go and search for an equaliser. As soon as the goal went in though England retreated into their own half which allowed Ukraine to grow back into the game and draw some good saves from Pickford. The 1st half ended with Ukraine as the better team. England once again scored early in the 2nd half with Maguire making it 2 in the 46th minute. Ukraine now had to attack which left space that England could exploit. Kane added another goal in the 50th minute while Henderson scored his first for England in the 63rd minute. It was good to see England actually use their talent and the likes of Sancho, Mount, and Shaw had a great game. The goals though were largely due to Ukraine having to chase the game. Ukraine go out but Shevchenko can be proud of the progress his team continues to make. 

Euro 2020 Quarter-Final Day 2 Preview

Is it coming home?

Czech Republic vs. Denmark

Two underdogs go head to head in this game with one destined to go out. Czech Republic comfortably beat Netherlands in their Round of 16 game while Denmark thrashed Wales 0-4. Czech Republic have been consistent while Denmark have won hearts after how they recovered from their first game and what has followed. These two teams deserve to be where they are in the competition and this should be a game with goals. Two talented squads and sets of players. Denmark’s quality edges the win for me in this game though. 

Ukraine vs. England

Ukraine beat Sweden in the Round of 16 while England beat Germany at Wembley. Going into this game there is no doubt over who the favourites are. England are getting results and are yet to concede a goal. It’s a separate fact that mostly all their games are boring to watch because their attacking talent has been shackled. Ukraine are no pushover’s though and have they shown plenty of fight and quality under Shevchenko. I personally believe Shevchenko is the better manager as well. England should do what they always do and play on the counter and Ukraine will have to be quick and clinical with their passing and chances to win this game. It would be great to see Ukraine go through but I think England will get another boring win to take them to the semi’s. 

Euro 2020 Quarter-Final Day 1 Review

Close games!

Switzerland 1 (1) vs. (3) Spain

This game didn’t start of well for Switzerland as Spain scored in the 8th minute thanks to a deflected own goal from Zakaria. Switzerland were much the better team in the 2nd half and but during the 1st half and large parts of the game Sommer and the defence were under pressure. The equaliser came in the 68th minute via Shaqiri. Following the goal it felt like Switzerland could go and get a 2nd but Freuler was sent off in the 77th minute for what was a yellow card offence and never a red. Spain then grew back into the game and Switzerland had to defend well as they Sommer helped them get to penalties. Switzerland started the penalties well but Spain were more clinical as several Swiss players missed theirs. Switzerland are knocked out but can be proud of the tournament they have had. Slightly robbed by English referees but who isn’t at this point. Spain go through after what was a quiet start to the tournament but they will have to be more clinical. 

Belgium 1 vs. 2 Italy

Barella scored in the 31st minute to give Italy the lead while Insigne scored in the 44th minute to double the lead. Lukaku got a goal back via a penalty right before the half ended but Belgium could not complete the comeback in the 2nd half. Spinazzola also suffered an Achilles injury which will sadly rule him out of football for around an year. Belgium are knocked out once again and their golden generation is beginning to run out of time to win something. My opinion is that the managers have never been of quality and Belgium still have a chance to win something with the likes of Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku etc but they need a better manager. Italy go through and are more and more looking like the favourites to win the competition. They dominated this game and by far have been the best team in the tourney.