Midweek Football Review

Champions League does not disappoint. 

Champions League Round of 16 Leg 1

Atletico Madrid 1 vs. 0 Liverpool

Liverpool suffer a surprising defeat in Madrid as Saul scored for Atletico in the 4th minute to give them the win. A Diego Simeone side that goes 1-0 up so early is always going to sit back and defend the lead and Liverpool could not break them down. Klopp was outclassed by Simeone but Liverpool were relatively sour about the defeat. Everyone is going around saying that we will beat Atletico at Anfield but Liverpool for me are setting up a positive narrative for Atletico in the 2nd leg. If Atletico get one away goal then all the pressure falls on Liverpool. An interesting 2nd leg awaits but Atletico have a slight advantage at the moment. 

Borussia Dortmund 2 vs. 1 Paris Saint Germain

The first half of this game was the opposite of what everyone expected as neither team was able to break each other down. The 2nd half though returned the teams to normalcy as Haaland opened the scoring in the 69th minute. Neymar then got the equaliser for PSG in the 75th minute via some good work by Mbappe. Haaland though scored the winner 2 minutes later with a brilliant goal that almost tore the net. Dortmund win the game but PSG get a crucial away goal as they look to win the tie in the 2nd leg. PSG can’t afford to lose another knockout tie in this fashion and unlike previous times they are the ones needing the win now. The 2nd leg should provide some good entertainment and if Dortmund can get an away goal that changes everything. Also how good is Haaland.

Atalanta 4 vs. 1 Valencia

Atalanta are the underdogs this season but they proved again why they should be taken seriously as they beat Valencia in comfortable fashion. Hateboer opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Ilicic scored the 2nd in the 42nd minute, Freuler then added a 3rd in the 57th minute and Hateboer added a 4th in the 62nd minute. Cheryshev did get a goal back for Valencia in the 66th minute which means they have to score 3 without reply in the 2nd leg to reach the quarter finals. Valencia need a miracle and while anything is possible I think if Atalanta get an away goal they have both feet in the quarter finals. 

Tottenham 0 vs. 1 RB Leipzig

Leipzig came out fighting in this game as from kick off they dominated play and should have been 1-0 in the opening 30 seconds. Tottenham were reeling for much of the game and could not compete with the speed of Leipzig’s press and the pace upfront. No Kane and no Son meant that Tottenham had no body up front and Ampadu in the centre of the Leipzig defence dominated the likes of Moura. Leipzig get a crucial away goal and one would expect them to score more at home in the 2nd leg. Mourinho will feed of this underdog mentality though and I would not put it past them nicking a 2-0 win in Germany. An interesting 2nd leg awaits but for now Nagelsmann and co have one leg in the quarters. 

Premier League MW 26

Man City 2 vs. 0 West Ham

Rodri scored in the first half and De Bruyne scored in the 2nd as City dominated the Hammers while putting aside all the off pitch problems. West Ham posed no real threat as things go from bad to worse for Moyes. City go to within 22 points of Liverpool while West Ham are 18th and one point from safety. 

Europa League Round of 32 Leg 1 

Brugge drew with Man United 1-1 with one thinking United have the advantage after nicking an away goal. Brugge though should not be taken lightly and they could easily reach the next round. Inter beat Ludogorets 0-2 with late goals from Eriksen and Lukaku as they now should reach the Round of 16. Sevilla drew with Cluj 1-1 and got the crucial away goal while one would expect them to beat Cluj at home. Frankfurt thrashed Salzburg 4-1 and should firmly have a foot in the next round now. Shakhtar beat Benfica 2-1 but Benfica are still in it with the away goal. Getafe beat Ajax 2-0 and now Ajax have it all to do in the 2nd leg while also trying to keep a clean sheet. Leverkusen beat Porto 2-1 but Porto are still in it with the away goal. Arsenal nicked a 0-1 win against Olympiacos as they should reach the next round with a win in the 2nd leg. Wolves thrashed Espanyol 4-0 and Roma beat Gent 1-0. 



Midweek Football Preview

The Champions League is back!

Champions League Round of 16 Leg 1

Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool

Liverpool’s journey to retain the Champions League continues as they take on Atletico in Madrid for the 1st leg. Since MD 6 Atletico have won 5 games, drawn 2 games, and lost 4 games. Liverpool have since won 14 games and drawn 1 and lost 1, although the draw and loss were when they fielded youth teams in the cup games. Atletico finished 2nd in their group while Liverpool were top in theirs only having lost 1 game. One can expect Atletico to be on the defensive and rely on the counter attack with players like Correa, Carrasco, Vitolo, and Morata causing some threat to the Liverpool defence. Liverpool won’t be worried and a point or more would be a decent return although I do expect them to win this game given their form this season. 

Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint Germain

A highly entertaining game is expected as high flying team Dortmund take on PSG with both teams capable of scoring several goals while also being leaky in defence at times. Dortmund have won 6, drawn 2, and lost 4 of their games since MD 6 while PSG have won 14, and drawn 2. Dortmund have scored 36 goals and conceded 19 in those 12 games while PSG have scored 60 goals and conceded 15 in 16 games. One team has clearly scored more and conceded less although they do play in a slightly inferior league compared to the Bundesliga. Dortmund have made a sleuth of signings in the winter transfer window with Haaland beingt he shining star and continued his scoring run from Salzburg, while players like Sancho, Reus, Gotze, Hazard etc all continue to be a danger. PSG’s threats are already known with Mbappe, Neymar, Icardi, Cavani, Di Maria all being players that PSG can call upon going forward while others like Sarabia have also impressed. This game is too close to call although over two legs with the money spent PSG should go through but I feel Dortmund could cause an upset. 

Atalanta vs. Valencia

Two evenly matched teams go head to head as Atalanta are 4th in Serie A while Valencia are 7th in La Liga. Atalanta have won 6, drawn 2, and lost 3 of their games since MD 6 while have won 5, drawn 3, and lost 4. Similar form for both teams but one clearly in a better position as most of those Valencia wins came in cup games. Atalanta have been dark horses for some time and will feel they can at least reach the quarter finals of the competition given their high scoring form. The Italians are known to get some big wins and Valencia will have to stay strong defensively if they want to stop Atalanta. Valencia have enjoyed a good group stage having topped their group but have since dropped off in form. Ilicic, and Zapata can cause threat by Atalanta while Gosens is also a good left back, Valencia can call upon Guedes, Parejo, Kondogbia, Gomez etc to provide the threat going forward while Gaya has a deft left foot. Evenly matched teams but I give Atalanta a slight edge. 

Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig

Tottenham sit 5th in the Premier League and finished 2nd in their group as they take on Leipzig who topped their group and sit 2nd in the Bundesliga. Tottenham of course have a new manager in Mourinho since MD 6 with whom they  have won 7, drawn 4, and lost 3 games. Leipzig had a blistering 1st half of the season but have dropped off since MD 6, they have won 4, drawn 3, and lost 2. Tottenham have played more games but the two teams are in similar form with one manager extremely experienced in Mourinho while Nagelsmann is still a youthful coach. Tottenham are leaky as well but are beginning to grind out wins in Mourinho fashion having won their last 3 games. Leipzig seem to be learning how to deal with the pressure but are still a massive threat. Tottenham can call upon Son, Alli, Moura, Bergwijn, Lo Celso etc as they look to reach the final once again while Leipzig have Werner, Schick, Olmo, and defenders like Upamecano to rely upon. The teams are defensive and rely on the counter and so this game should be tight with not to many goals but if Leipzig are ruthless with their chances they could win. 

Premier League MW 26

Man City vs. West Ham

The storm called off the game last weekend as City and West Ham finally get the chance to play this week. City have suffered another blow as they were banned by Uefa for two seasons from European competitions and so it will be interesting to see how they react going forward knowing they might not play in Europe for some time. City though should win the game while West Ham and Moyes could take advantage of some Turbulence off the field for Pep. 

Europa League Round of 32 Leg 1

Champions League drop outs Club Brugge take on Manchester United, fellow drop outs Inter travel to Ludogorets, Sevilla travel to Cluj, Frankfurt take on Salzburg, Benfica travel to Shakhtar, Ajax travel to Getafe, Leverkusen entertain Porto, Arsenal travel to Olympiacos, Wolves take on Espanyol and Roma entertain Gent. Some of the interesting 16 fixtures in the Europa League as the teams look to gain a trophy and a place in the Champions League for next season. Holders Chelsea are of course in the Champions League this season and so there will be a new winner this season. 



Midweek Football Review

The best of the worst. 

Premier League MW 24 and Game In Hand

Aston Villa 2 vs. 1 Watford

A relegation battle saw Villa take on Watford as Watford took the lead in the 38th minute via Troy Deeney. Villa got a late revival as Douglas Luiz equalised in the 68th minute with the momentum was with the home team to take a win. Mings then popped up to score the winner int he 95th minute as Villa got a massive three points in their bid for survival. Villa climb up to 16th 2 points clear of the relegation zone. Watford drop into 19th. 

Bournemouth 3 vs. 1 Brighton

Bournemouth got a massive win for their survival hopes as they beat Brighton at home. Wilson opened the scoring in the 36th minute and Gross scored an own goal to double Bournemouth’s lead in the 41st minute. Wilson then got his first goal since September in the 74th minute to make it 3-0. Mooy got a consolation goal for Brighton in the 81st minute. Bournemouth are 18th level on points with West Ham and Watford at 23. Brighton are now winless in 4 and sit only 2 points above the relegation zone as they need to start winning games. 

Crystal Palace 0 vs. 2 Southampton

Southampton got back to winning ways against Palace as they got a good away win in London. Redmond opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Armstrong scored the 2nd in the 48th minute. Southampton enter the top 10 as they move into 9th while Palace drop out of the top 10 and into 11th. 

Everton 2 vs. 2 Newcastle

Kean got his first goal for Everton as he got the lead in the 30th minute. Calvert Lewin then doubled the Toffees lead in the 54th minute. It looked like Everton were heading for another win but Newcastle came back in remarkable fashion as Lejeune got two goals in the 94th and 95th minute to get a point for Bruce and his men. Everton drop into 12th while Newcastle drop into 14th. 

Sheffield United 0 vs. 1 Man City

Aguero came off the bench to get the winner once again as City won the game in the 73rd minute. Uptil then the game was very tight and Sheffield were playing well but City managed the three points. Sheffield drop into 8th in the table while City remain 2nd and 16 points behind Liverpool. 

Leicester 4 vs. 1 West Ham

Barnes and Pereira scored in the 1st half to get a comfortable lead against West Ham in the 1st half. Noble then scored a penalty in the 50th minute to give the Hammers some hope but Perez scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to return Leicester to winning ways. Leicester go 8 points clear of 4th while West Ham sit 17th and very much in a relegation battle. 

Tottenham 2 vs. 1 Norwich

A must win game for Spurs as Alli gave Tottenham the lead in the 38th minute. Pukki then scored a penalty to equalise in the 70th minute. Son then rescued Mourinho and team in the 78th minute with a winner. Tottenham climb up to 6th level on points with Wolves and United while Norwich remain bottom of the table and 6 points from safety. 

Man United 0 vs. 2 Burnley

United made it two losses in a row as they shockingly or perhaps not lost to Burnley at Old Trafford. Wood scored in the 1st half and Rodriguez scored in the 2nd half as Burnley stayed strong and United offered nothing. United remain 5th but now 6 points from the top four while Burnley climb up to 13th in the table. 

Wolverhampton 1 vs. 2 Liverpool

A very tight game as Liverpool travelled to Wolves looking to maintain their winning run. Henderson scored in the 8th minute to give Liverpool the lead as Wolves then piled the pressure on in an open game. Wolves were the better team in the 2nd half as Jimenez levelled for the home team in the 51st minute. Wolves should have got another goal for all the pressure they put on Liverpool but the away side stayed strong. Firmino then popped up with a brilliant strike to get Liverpool all three points in the 84th minute. Wolves drop into 7th while Liverpool go marching on. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 32

Sevilla beat Levante 3-1, Barcelona came from behind to beat Ibiza 1-2, Real Madrid beat Unionistas 1-3, and Atletico shockingly lost to Cultural Leonesa 2-1. Things are eerie at Atletico at the moment as the rest continue their Copa Del Rey journey in search for silverware. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Napoli beat Lazio 1-0, and Juventus beat Roma 3-1 as they reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia. The other two fixtures are to be played next week. 


Midweek Football Preview

The games don’t stop!

Premier League MW 24 and Games In Hand

Aston Villa vs. Watford

18th vs. 17th in what is a big relegation battle. Villa sit a point behind Watford but Watford are the team in form as the Hornets can go 4 points clear of the relegation zone. For Villa a win would see them climb out of the relegation zone and above Watford who drop down. A big game for both teams but Watford have the edge form wise. Watford beat Villa 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

Bournemouth vs. Brighton

Bournemouth are in terrible form as they look to gain some points to climb out of the relegation zone. Brighton have 1 win in their last 5 games as they sit 15th and need to win themselves to stay above the relegation scrap. A must win game for the Cherries but one Brighton will feel confident that they can get points from. Brighton beat Bournemouth 2-0 in the reverse fixture.

Crystal Palace vs. Southampton

Southampton will hope to get back to winning ways as they travel to London to play Palace who got a big point against City. A win could see Southampton enter the top 10 but Palace are rejuvenated but the signing Tosun and will hope to win the game themselves. An interesting and open game that should have goals in it. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. 

Everton vs. Newcastle

11th and 12th go head to head as they sit level on points in the table. Everton are looking to win while Newcastle got a brilliant win in their eyes against Chelsea at the weekend. Everton should win this game though since they are at home while Newcastle will hope to get a point or more. Everton won the reverse fixture 1-2. 

Sheffield United vs. Man City

City dropped points against Palace to move 16 points behind Liverpool as they now travel to a Sheffield side who are far from pushovers. Sheffield sit 7th in the table and are targeting the Europa League spot at least as they will seek a point or more agains City. City tend to bounce back after dropping points and this could be a big win for Pep or another shock. City won the reverse fixture 2-0. 

Leicester vs. West Ham

Leicester have lost their last two games as they entertain a West Ham side who have 1 of each under Moyes. Leicester really need the win as they sit 3rd and further dropped points could see them dragged into a top four race while West Ham need the win to climb away from the relegation zone. An interesting game but one which Leicester should ideally win. Leicester won the reverse fixture 1-2. 

Tottenham vs. Norwich

8th placed Tottenham have drawn 2 and lost 2 in their last 4 games while Norwich remain bottom of the table but finally managed a win at the weekend. Tottenham need to win this game to keep their top four chances alive and really they should manage to beat Norwich at home. Norwich will hope that they can carry some form into this game and a point or more would be a massive boost for the Canaries. The reverse fixture was a 2-2 draw. 

Man United vs. Burnley

United sit 5th as they entertain Burnley who are 14th. United lost to Liverpool at the weekend while Burnley ended their losing streak but beating Leicester. United tend to bounce back from losses and so they should win this game but Rashford is out and Burnley are bullies and so this could be an interesting game for Dyche and his team. United won the reverse fixture 0-2.

Wolverhampton vs. Liverpool

Wolves got a big win against Southampton at the weekend as they sit 6th while Liverpool look to continue their run of winning games. Liverpool should win this game as they do win all their games but Wolves are known to cause upsets. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 in contentious atmosphere and Wolves will hope to exact some revenge. 

West Ham vs. Liverpool

The game in hand is to be played between West Ham and Liverpool. Liverpool could go 19 points clear while West Ham will probably lose this game. Moyes might cause an upset but that is a fools hope as the Hammers have probably lost this game. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 32

Sevilla take on Levante, Barcelona travel to Ibiza which should be a good vacation, Real Madrid travel to play Unionistas, and Atletico travel to play Cultural Leonesa. Straight forward wins for all teams involved as they should make the round of 16 without any problems.

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Napoli take on Lazio, Juventus take on Roma, Milan welcome Torino, and Inter entertain Fiorentina. Tough games for all the teams as they look to reach the semi finals of the Coppa Italia. 


Midweek Football Review

Usual suspects.

Carabao Cup Round of 16

Burton 1 vs. 3 Leicester

Iheanacho and Tielemans scored in the 1st half to give Leicester a comfortable lead at half time. Boyce then scored in the 52nd minute to give Burton some hope but Maddison scored at the end of the game to seal a win for Leicester. 

Everton 2 vs. 0 Watford

Holgate and Richarlison scored in the final 20 minutes of the 2nd half to get Marcos Silva a win against his former side. Watford continue their form without a win while Everton get some momentum. 

Man City 3 vs. 1 Southampton

Otamendi and Aguero scored in the 1st half while Aguero added a 3rd in the 2nd half before Stephens got a consolation goal for Southampton. City continue their form in a usual win while Southampton manage to concede less than 5. 

Liverpool 5 (5) vs. (4) 5 Arsenal

An entertaining game to say the least as Liverpool won on penalties. Mustafi scored an own goal in the 6th minute to give Liverpool the lead. Torreira then equalised for Arsenal in the 19th minute following which Martinelli scored in the 26th and 36th minute to give the Gunners a 1-3 lead. Milner then scored a penalty in the 43rd minute to make it 2-3 at half time. Maitland-Niles scored in the 54th minute to give Arsenal a 2-4 lead but the Gunners could not hold on as Chamberlain and Origi scored in the following ten minutes to make it level. Willock then scored a belter of a goal in the 70th minute and it seemed like that would be the winner for Arsenal but Origi scored in the 94th minute to take the game to penalties. Liverpool finished all their penalties as they move on to the quarter finals.

Aston Villa 2 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

El Ghazi gave Villa the lead in the 28th minute but the 2nd half saw Cutrone equalise for Wolves in the 54th minute. Elmohamady then scored the winner for Villa in the 57th minute. 

La Liga MW 11

Atletico drew against Alaves 1-1, Barcelona beat Valladolid 5-1, Sevilla drew against Valencia 1-1, and Real Madrid beat Leganes 5-0. Barcelona move to the top with Granada still to play while Real Madrid, Granada, and Atletico make up the top four. 

Serie MW 10

Inter beat Brescia 1-2, Napoli drew with Atalanta 2-2, Roma beat Udinese 0-4, Juventus beat Genoa 2-1, and Milan are yet to play. Juventus, Inter, Atalanta, and Roma make up the top four while Milan could go up to 10th with a win. 

DFB Pokal 2nd Round

Bayern beat VFL Bochum 1-2, Leverkusen beat Paderborn 1-0, Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 1-6, Dortmund beat Monchengladbach 2-1, and Frankfurt beat St.Pauli 1-2. Usual wins for Germany’s top sides in the cup but Dortmund had to fight hard while Leipzig were dominant. 

Coupe De La Ligue Round of 32

Nice lost to Le Mans 3-2, Monaco beat Marseille 2-1 to make it twice in a row as they begin to gain some form in recent weeks. 


Midweek Football Preview

Cups and Leagues continue!

Carabao Cup Round of 16

Burton vs Leicester

Burton beat Bournemouth 2-0 to reach the Round of 16 while Leicester beat Luton 0-4. Burton sit 13th in League One having won 2 of their 6 games since, while Leicester are 3rd in the Premier League having won 3 of their 4 games. Leicester should win this on paper and on the pitch but since Luton are home they will make it a difficult game. 

Everton vs. Watford

An all Premier League fixture as Everton take on Watford. Everton beat Sheffield Wednesday in the last round while Watford beat Swansea. Everton have been inconsistent but Watford are at the bottom of the league although they have drawn their last three games. League form never matters when cup games come along and so this should be an interesting fixture. 

Man City vs. Southampton

City 2nd in the league go up against Southampton who are 18th. City beat Preston in the last round while Southampton beat Portsmouth and both teams face off in the league once again next weekend. Southampton lost to Leicester by 9 goals and so City will be licking their lips at the prospect of causing more damage even though City have not been at their best themselves.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Another all Premier League clash as league leaders Liverpool face off against Arsenal who sit 5th. Liverpool beat MK Dons in the last round while Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest. Liverpool have not been their best but unlike previous seasons they are grinding wins out and Arsenal are suffering some turmoil within the club. Arsenal did not have a great weekend and if Liverpool are solid they can easily pile even more misery on the London club.

Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton

Premier League clash once again Villa who are 15th take on 12th placed Wolves in this round. Villa have been decent since being promoted but have been too inconsistent while Wolves have improved over the last few weeks after a poor start. Villa beat Brighton in the last round while Wolves won on penalties against Reading. This should be a close and interesting game.

La Liga MW 11

Atletico travel to Alaves, Barcelona take on Valladolid, Sevilla travel to Valencia, and Real Madrid welcome Leganes. Barcelona and Real Madrid play catch up to the rest as they return to games after a week off. Granada travel to Getafe looking to keep their lead at the top of the table. 

Serie MW 10

Inter travel to Brescia, Napoli take on Atalanta, Roma travel to Udinese, Juventus take on Genoa, and Milan welcome SPAL. Several draws at the top during the weekend shortened the gap at the top as Juventus and Inter look to return to winning ways. 

DFB Pokal 2nd Round

Bayern travel to VFL Bochum, Leverkusen take on Paderborn, Wolfsburg take on Leipzig, Dortmund welcome Monchengladbach, and Frankfurt travel to St.Pauli. Some tough fixtures in this round of the German League Cup but Bayern should have an easy win.

Coupe De La Ligue Round of 32

Nice travel to Le Mans, Monaco take on Marseille as these teams look to win a domestic trophy rather than the league.



Chelsea 3 (5) vs. 0 (1) Malmo Europa League Round of 32 2nd Leg Review

Sarri passes test no 1.

Chelsea got the job done with a good second half performance against Malmo as Giroud, Barkley and Hudson-Odoi scored. Sarri was under pressure going into this game and so he selected a lineup that would have appeased some Chelsea fans temporarily. Caballero started in goal with Emerson, and Christensen coming in for Alonso and Rudiger. Kovacic played behind Kante and Barkley in the Jorginho position while Hudson-Odoi started alongside Giroud and willian in attack. The first 30 minutes of the game were poor from Chelsea as there were several miss placed passes and slow play all around. The game picked up as the teams approached half time but Malmo held on. Chelsea switched another gear in the 2nd half and Giroud opened the scoring in the 55th minute as Kante broke through the midfield and laid the ball off to Willian who crossed it in for a Giroud tap in. Emerson then broke into the Malmo final third and the Swedish side conceded a free kick in the 74th minute. Barkley then stepped up and scored a brilliant one as Chelsea doubled the lead. CHO sealed things off in the the 84th minute as Willian switched play to CHO who attacked the penalty area and drove a low ball into the net. 3 goals Cheslea fans happy and we progress to the Round of 16.

Post match Sarri stated that if Chelsea played like they did in the first 30 against City then we would get thrashed again. Sarri also praised CHO, Emerson, and Christensen on their displays and said that they would feature more. Sarri was asked whether he had talks with Roma to which he replied he had not and that they person in question was in Saudi Arabia. Sarri also questioned why the media did not put Emery under pressure but Sarri should know that the media don’t like Chelsea. 

Player Review

  • Caballero – A good performance with no real problems to face, some much needed game time as well considering he might have to start against City.
  • Azpilicueta – Probably the poorest player on the pitch and it is not often that I have said that about Dave. Azpi seems to be going through rough patch of form but with Zappacosta out through illness he had to feature. 
  • Rudiger – A solid display at the back but it remains to be seen whether he or Christensen will start alongside Luiz. 
  • Christensen – Another good performance and the hope is that he starts alongside Luiz against City as he brings a calmness to the central defensive area unlike when both Luiz and Rudiger are on the pitch. 
  • Emerson – Grew into the game and ended the 90 minutes as one of the better players. Got an assist for Barkley’s goal and had brilliant linkup play with the left hand side. Emerson needs to start against City, although the odds are that Alonso does. 
  • Kovacic – Kovacic had a better 2nd half as he dictated play well but the first 30 minutes showed why Sarri starts Jorginho in that position as he knows it well and passes the ball that bit faster. Still not a bad performance and one which he should feature in more often. 
  • Kante – Kante seemed to be playing deeper in this game although with the liberty to move up the pitch and he was crucial for several of Chelsea’s moves. People who dont want Chelsea regularly won’t see the impact that Kante makes and so pundits will always make the defensive argument. The fact is that Kante transcends any position. 
  • Barkley – Barkley finds it tough with the tactics but while his play was sloppy and he does stop attacks he did score a brilliant free kick when called upon and the only way is upward. 
  • Hudson-Odoi – When called upon CHO performs and he once again showed why he should start ahead of Willian and Pedro. With Pedro suffering a stomach virus it basically was fight to see who plays alongside Hazard and Higuain on Sunday and the hope is that CHO one that battle in Sarri’s eyes. Similar to Emerson though the odds are that Willian starts the game against City. 
  • Giroud – Giroud might find it tough to score in other competitions but the Europa League is his party and he got another goal making it 6 out of 7. A good performance and a goal is all you can ask from a striker. 
  • Willian – Not amazing and only began to perform well when the team was 2-0 up but he did get two assists. It remains to be seen who starts on Sunday but I would rather see CHO start with Willian coming on for him. 
  • Jorginho – Jorginho came on as a sub for Kante and was unfairly booed by a minority of the fans to whom I say you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. To his credit Jorginho laughed it off and passed the ball faster in his area. 
  • Loftus-Cheek – RLC came on for Barkley and played on the right hand side as he linked up well with CHO and if it were not for his back problem we obviously see him more. One hopes he starts against City but most likely he features off the bench. 
  • Ampadu – Ampadu came on for Azpi at right back but had little chance to impress although his link up play with CHO and RLC was awesome. 

So, Chelsea head into the City game with a win, its a final and so the ambience will be different than a cup game. The odds are heavily against us but one can only hope that the players channel previous final performances and then what happens will happen. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!


Chelsea vs Malmo Europa League Round of 32 2nd Leg Preview

Game no 1 to save Sarri. 

Chelsea got dumped out of their first cup competition on Monday as they lost to United at the Bridge by to 2 goals to nil. It was another performance which lacked fire and appetite but what annoyed the fans even more was Sarri’s team selection and substitutions of which the pinnacle was bringing on Zappacosta for Azpilicueta. The fallout has been renewed pressure from a section of the fans for Sarri’s sack and reports since Monday have stated that Sarri has two games to save his Chelsea career. While it would be sad if Sarri got the sack and while I still think that if he were to win this game and by some miracle beat City at the weekend he would at least see out the season but Sarri has not covered himself in glory with his stubbornness and refusal to change the lineup and listen to others. 

Redemption no 1 comes today as Chelsea take on Malmo at home in the 2nd leg of the Europa League Round of 32. Chelsea won the 1st leg 1-2 but as Sarri said in his pre match press conference Malmo are very dangerous away from home and considering our current form they wont be too scared of coming to the Bridge. Sarri was questioned on his team selection and whether others should get a chance to play to which Sarri replied that when others have got a chance to play they have made mistakes as well and that is why he thinks it is a case of mentality rather than the players. The nonsensical question of Kante’s position was also asked. On his future Sarri stated that he sees himself staying at Chelsea for a long time because that is his vision and if given time it would bear results. Sarri stated that if Chelsea were to win two three games in a row then it would bring a positive mood which I agree with and there are no better games than the next three which if we were to miraculously win would mean that we reach the Round of  16, win the Carabao Cup and beat Spurs at home. I really should slap myself in the face but hope is something that everyone should have. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Pedro, Zappacosta, and Kepa who is a doubt for the City game as well. The biggest quarrel among the Chelsea fan base both who want Sarri to stay and go has been the continued use of players like Alonso, Pedro, Willian etc when CHO, Ampadu, Christensen and the rest have remained on the bench. Sarri needs to change the personnel at least in this game if he wants to see a positive atmosphere in Stamford Bridge. A change of formation is a long shot though. 

Starting XI Prediction


Chelsea need to win convincingly and IF players like CHO, RLC, and Emerson are given a chance they need to put in a good shift to stand a shot at playing on Sunday. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!


Malmo 1 vs. 2 Chelsea Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg Review

First away win and first away goals of 2019!

When the lineup was released for the game Chelsea fans all over the world cried out that Sarri was digging a hole for himself. Kepa started alongside Azpi, Luiz, Christensen, and Emerson at the back, this selection came as no surprise. Jorginho, Kovacic, and Barkley started in the midfield although I would have liked to see Ampadu start. Up front came out as the biggest shock as Willian, Giroud, and Pedro started up front with Hazard, Higuain and CHO on the bench. The biggest disappointment came as CHO did not start. Malmo had the better first half but Chelsea controlled possession and Barkley scored the opener in the 30th minute. Giroud then scored in the second half to double the lead. Hazard, Kante, and CHO were brought on although the inclusion of Hazard and Kante was not necessary. Chelsea had two away goals but silly play led to Malmo scoring in the 80th minute and them now being able to take that to the Bridge. 

Chelsea now head to Monday with an FA Cup game against United. This game was far from great but the players got the job done and for now that is all we can ask. Barkley and Kovacic performed well with Christensen again showing that he should get more starts in the Premier League. On wards and upwards as we look to finish off this tie in the 2nd leg. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!


Malmo vs. Chelsea Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg Preview

A chance to bounce back.

Amongst all the doom and gloom of the loss to City we might forget that we are still technically up for three trophies this season. A quick chance to bounce back from the loss comes in the Europa League against Swedish side Malmo in the Round of 32. Malmo are in their off season right now having finished 3rd in the Allsvenskan last year. Malmo are managed by Uwe Rosler who is City legend and also coached Wigan a couple of seasons ago. Malmo are a Swedish club with rich history and also take credit for introducing a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic to world football. Uwe Rosler has coached his team to be solid defensively and largely play on the counter and considering Chelsea’s recent results Rosler will most likely do the same today.

City is the past now for Chelsea as we look to maintain our goal for a Europa League trophy and an alternative route to the Champions League for next season. Top four is still a viable option but it would be good to win the Europa League and use it as another key to get into the Champions League. In his prematch press conference Sarri mostly talked about the same topics as usual while Pedro said that the players were behind the manager but admitted that Sarriball was a hard to understand. Chelsea face off against United at home in FA Cup on Monday and so an away win would be a great way to build some confidence up for the games ahead. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without RLC who has been left at home because another back issue while Alonso has been rested. Cahill and Drinkwater remain at home. Even though Chelsea have United on Monday Sarri should select a strong team and so Kepa, Azpi, Christensen, Luiz, and Emerson should start at the back. I would like to see Zappacosta given a chance but since we are away Azpi will probably start. Kovacic should replace Jorginho in the regista role with Barkley and Kante starting upfront although Ampadu could start ahead of one of those players. Up front Hazard Higuain and CHO should start because they are the best chance we have at killing off the game and really no one else deserves to start. 

Starting XI Prediction –