Champions League Preview 26th – 27th November

With Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona safely through to the round of 16, there are many other sides across Europe with ambitions to join them after Matchday 5. The likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Arsenal are almost certain to go through and will be looking to secure qualification in the next few days against Galatasaray, Olympiakos and Marseille respectively. The pick of the bunch are:

Group F

This group is undoubtedly the tightest of the qualifying groups, with 3 out of 4 teams still in contention. Arsenal top the group at the moment but are anything but guaranteed qualification, with not even 12 points able to guarantee qualification. Napoli sit in 2nd and Borussia Dortmund sit in third, 3 points behind Napoli. It is a big shock that Jurgen Klopp’s side are only in 3rd place but they will be looking to gain a place in the Knockout Rounds no matter what.

AC Milan vs Celtic

AC Milan will secure a place in the round of 16 with a win at Celtic Park, but the trip to Glasgow will be anything but comfortable for the Rossoneri, with Celtic having won eight of their last 11 European home games.

Group B

Real Madrid have pretty much guaranteed qualification but the 2nd place spot is far from secure. Galatasaray, Juventus and Copenhagen are all separated by just 1 point and all hungry for a place in the Round of 16. Juventus find themselves bottom with 3 points from 4 games but Copenhagen and Galatasaray are both within touching distance of Vecchia Signora.

These are the most highly anticipated games of Matchday 5, but this doesn’t mean that the others will lack any more entertainment. A full list of fixtures is below:

Tuesday 26th November

Group E

Basel vs Chelsea

Steaua Bucharest vs Schalke

Group F

Dortmund vs Napoli

Arsenal vs Marseille

Group G

Zenit vs Atletico Madrid

Porto vs Austria Wien

Group H

Ajax vs Barcelona

AC Milan vs Celtic

Wednesday 27th November

Group A

Bayer Leverkusen vs Man Utd

Shaktar Donetsk vs Real Sociedad

Group B

Juventus vs Copenhagen

Real Madrid vs Galatasaray

Group C

PSG vs Olympiakos

Anderlecht vs Benfica

Group D

Man City vs Victoria Plzen

Bayern Munich vs CSKA Moscow

File:UEFA Champions League logo 2.svg

Premier League Preview 23/11/2013

 

After what many view as an unsuccessful international break for England, the Barclays Premier League is back and what a game to start it all up again. The early kick off is none other than the Merseyside derby, Liverpool vs Everton. Liverpool will travel to Goodison Park to face rivals Everton at 12:45. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has described the game as, “as good as a game of football can get.” Whilst Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers spoke about the derby saying that,”Both teams are up there and it’s credit to the players and the staff.” Everton have received eight red cards in the last 12 Goodison derbies meanwhile Liverpool have only received one. Liverpool normally come off better in these matches however it wouldn’t be a shock result if Everton won.

Predicted Everton Line up: http://www.futhead.com/14/squads/2802383/

Predicted Liverpool Line up: http://www.futhead.com/14/squads/2802973/

My predicted score is: Everton 1-1 Liverpool

I think that as good as SAS are, Everton are an extremely difficult team to beat, especially at Goodison Park so I think that Everton will concede first but then score and stay solid afterwards to hold out for a draw.

Teams                               Time                      Predicted Score

  • Everton v Liverpool                  12:45pm                     1-1
  • Arsenal v Southampton           15:00pm                     2-1
  • Fulham v Swansea                   15:00pm                     0-2
  • Hull v Crystal Palace                15:00pm                     3-1
  • Newcastle v Norwich               15:00pm                     4-1
  • Stoke v Sunderland                  15:00pm                     2-2
  • West Ham v Chelsea                 17:30pm                    2-3 

-SJ

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England vs Chile Preview 15/11/2013

England will face Chile in as they start preparing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, England are probably one of the favourites along with Brazil, Spain, Germany and a few others, Brazil obviously topping the lot. As much as it would be a shock for England to win, it wouldn’t be impossible. Here’s my predicted England line up against Chile:

  1. Hart
  2. Walker
  3. Jagielka
  4. Cahill
  5. Baines
  6. Townsend
  7. Gerrard
  8. Lampard
  9. Rooney
  10. Sturridge
  11. Welbeck

A strong line up as England try to get into a rhythm playing together again as they prepare to play Germany the next week.

-SJ

Wayne-Rooney-England-6

Can Arsenal win the League? Yes. Will Arsenal win the League? Maybe.

This post is going to be about Arsenal’s current form. Now we all know that Arsenal can win the League this season, the question that nobody seems so sure about is whether or not Arsenal will win the League. There are many myths about Arsenal having a poor defense and letting in easy goals. Maybe two seasons ago I wouldn’t have argued against those but last season, Arsenal had the second best defense in the league and this season, when Koscielny and Mertesacker have started and finished a game together, Arsenal haven’t lost. The midfield doesn’t need much said about it. I feel sorry for Arsene Wenger having to make a decision about which five to start each game. Up front Arsenal have Giroud. He looks a lot more confident in front of goal this season but its not his goalscoring which impresses me. I think that the best thing about Giroud is the way he holds up the ball, his first touch is class and his strength is also very good. Arsenal now look much more solid and in control which I put down to Flamini who could well be one of the best value signings the Premier League has ever seen. He’s made Arsenal a hell of a lot more solid, no more easy goals conceded and he was on a free. At the moment, I’m going to say that Arsenal can’t win the league due to squad depth but if they buy another striker in January and are still in the top two by then, I may just have to change my mind.

-SJ

Ozil

October Team of the Month (BPL)

Here’s my October Team of the Month:

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Formation: 4-4-2

  1. Artur Boruc (Southampton)
  2. Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
  3. Dejan Lovren (Southampton)
  4. Winston Reid (West Ham)
  5. Jose Fonte (Southampton)
  6. Adam Lallana (Southampton)
  7. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
  8. Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
  9. Oscar (Chelsea)
  10. Segio Aguero (Manchester City)
  11. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Subs:

  1. Asmir Begovic (Stoke)
  2. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
  3. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
  4. David Silva (Manchester City)
  5. Samir Nasri (Manchester City)
  6. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)
  7. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Here’s the link to the squad on Futhead: http://www.futhead.com/14/squads/2225977/

-SJ

aguero

Premier League Preview: Sunday 10/11/2013

Sunday sees four absolute screamers take place with struggling to score Tottenham taking on in-form Newcastle. Relegation zone Sunderland take on under-achieving Man City. 1st place Arsenal take on 8th place Man Utd. Out-of-form Swansea host Stoke who are now playing football instead of rugby. The weekend should tell us a lot about the teams in the Premier League. Can Manchester United finally pull off a big win in the league? Will Arsenal continue their great form?Can Sunderland shock City? Can City continue their recent form to enter a Champions League spot? Can Tottenham score a goal from anywhere other than the penalty spot? Can Newcastle continue their great run? Can Swansea bounce back from Sunday’s Welsh derby? Can Stoke continue playing football on the ground? Here’s my score predictions:

  1. Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle
  2. Sunderland 1-4 Man City
  3. Man Utd 1-3 Arsenal
  4. Swansea 2-2 Stoke

Tottenham vs Newcastle will definitely be a close one. Tottenham are struggling for goals at White Hart Lane but are still looking solid defensively. Newcastle on the other hand look good on the attack and defensively. If it was at St. James’ Park, I would predict a Newcastle win but as Tottenham are at home, I predict a 1-1 draw.

Sunderland are looking better under Poyet than they did under Di Canio but I think that Manchester City will still be too good for them. City have started to look really good under Pellegrini, even though they aren’t yet in a Champions League spot, I still think they’ll win, I predict a 4-1 City win.

Manchester United may be at home but they look like a very average team this season with a few world-class players. Arsenal on the other hand look like this could be their year. Not an easy one to call but I still predict a 3-1 win to Arsenal who look astonishingly good at the moment. I must however note that I think Van Persie will score United’s goal.

Swansea look out of form and Stoke look in-form. That probably levels up the playing field. Its a close one to call and it could go either way but I think it’ll go neither way with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

All in all, an immense day of football to round off what should be an immense weekend of football, whatever happens, Arsenal will finish top and Sunderland and Crystal Palace will stay in the relegation zone, the rest can all change.

-SJ 

Arsenal FC vs Manchester United

Premier League Team of the Month-September

Formation: 4-5-1

Manager: Arsene Wenger

         Mignolet

      Coleman       Agger         Reid        Baines

Ben Arfa      Toure    Ramsey     Eriksen     Sigurdsson

        Sturridge

 

Subs: Lloris     Evra     Koscielny     Hazard     Ozil     Barkley     Rooney

In Form player- Aaron Ramsey

Here’s the FUThead link for the team: http://www.futhead.com/14/squads/1067339/

-SJ

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