Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chelsea 3 - 5 Arsenal

Review


Well well well. I expected a high-scoring game but 8 goals, really? Both teams didn't not play particularly well. Scrappy passing and quick counter attack resulted in the goals. 


Like I have said earlier in the previous post, Robin Van Persie is currently having the form of his life, and he simply can't stop scoring at the moment. I am pretty impressed with Theo Walcott, and it seems like the young boy have grown up. His passing, crossing, shooting and decision-making have all but improved. The Gunner's defence worked pretty well except for Per Mertasacker, who is quite slow compared to the fast paced English Premier League. He might need a couple more games or maybe a season to get used to the pace of the game. Alex Song, in my opinion is the backbone of Arsenal. He is the one winning the challenges, making the tackles and then feeding them to Mikel Arteta, Aaron Remsey, Gervinho or Theo Walcott to start the attack. He is the most consistant player in the Arsenal side so far. 


In the blue corner, the ageing Chelsea. John Terry despite scoring a goal, slipped when receiving a back pass from Florent Malouda's back pass, allowing Van Persie to simply round Petre Cech to make the score 4-3. John Terry doesn't look like the player he used to be 2-3 years ago. Is it time's up for him ? I was pretty disappointed with Ashley Cole in left back because is that what you expect from a England International player? Making silly mistakes and poor decisions. Theo Walcott totally rampaged over Cole in the game. Frank Lampard is still running the show for Chelsea. John Obi Mikel is doing his job as a defensive midfielder but he wasn't getting stuck-in during the game. I myself is not a huge fan of Ramires, and I believe he should be on the bench or in other lower league teams. He is just a lightweight midfielder with a little Brazilian flair. That's all. Torres, struggling for goals as usual. Enough said. Sturridge was working his socks off for the team, I see a young a upcoming striker contenting for the Top Scorer in the next few years in the English Premier League. Mata continues his consistent form playing well for Chelsea. Romelu Lukaku = Flop. Keep him in the Reserves until he is ready, if he ever will be. A giant with no skill, no speed, no sense of football. Come back in a few years time young lad. Next Drogba? hmmmm...


So despite having all the statistics going for Chelsea, they still lose to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Neither teams look to have the quality that Manchester City had. Even Liverpool were having positive signs now. Will Chelsea hold on and continue to challenge for Top 4? Will Arsenal continue winning if Van Persie gets injured?

Watch all the Goals and Highlights here!


Courtesy of FootyTube


Other Results
Everton               0 - 1    Manchester United
Manchester City  3 - 1    Wolverhampton Wanderers
Norwich City        3 - 3    Blackburn Rovers
Sunderland          2 - 2    Aston Villa
Swansea City      3 - 1    Bolton Wanderers
Wigan Athletic     0 - 2    Fulham
WBA                   0 - 2    Liverpool 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chelsea V Arsenal

11:45 GMT, 29 October, 2011
Stamford Bridge


Overview

Arsenal's Talisman, Van Persie, scoring 4 goals in his last 2 games, brought Arsenal to 7th position in the English Premier League. However, they are still 12 points from leader Man City and 6 points away from opponent Chelsea. A win against Chelsea would narrow their gap to 3 points and suddenly Arsenal look to be challenging for top 4 all over again. Arsenal currently have won 4 successive games including a 0-1 win against Marseille in the Champions League and a 2-1 victory against Bolton in Carling Cup.

On Chelsea's side, Chelsea came back from a shocking 0-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers, with Bosingwa and Drogba getting sent off in the 1st half. Chelsea will also be looking to close the gap against league leader Man City, trailing them by 6 points.


Arsenal have only won once in Stamford Bridge in their last 10 outings. Chelsea have a perfect home record winning 4 out of 4 home games, scoring 12 and conceding 4. On the other hand, Arsenal have a terrible away form notching just 1 point in 4 outings. They manage to score 6 goals and conceded 14 goals(worst away goals conceded with Swansea), but it includes the 8 goals at Old Trafford.

Verdict
Even though Chelsea lost their last game against QPR and Arsenal have been on a winning form. I don't see Arsenal getting anything out from this game. They do not have the depth and Chelsea are simply too strong for them. With Chelsea's perfect Home form and Arsenal's winning away form, I reckon it will be a Chelsea win. Van Persie need to perform some miracle if they were to at least get a point.





Prediction
Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal

Monday, October 24, 2011

Manchester United 1 - 6 Manchester City



Review
How disappointing for a being a United fan. But no one can deny that City were the better team.
United had no fighting spirit, no energy, no winning mentality, or simply out-played, out-classed.


From my point of view, Manchester United looked so haggard. Ferdinand and Evans were merely spectators for whole game(Evan for half the game). Has Ferdinand passed his peak? It does seem so to me. While Phil Jones is doing pretty well in the centreback position, why does Fergie change him into an defensive midfielder? Nani, a winger, suppose to take on defenders and send the crosses, but he simply lack the creativity and touches to beat his man. I don't remember seeing him beating any City players down the wing. Evra seems a bit out of sort the last few games after receiving the armband. Anderson is pretty much a lightweight midfielder compared to any other Premier League team.Lastly, De Gea still have a lot to learn. Smalling, Ashley Young, Welbeck and Rooney are only those I watch willing to fight for the win.


On the other hand, City were a different side. Showing composure, mobility, playing as a team. Joe hart didn't have much action today. Beside from Fletcher's goal, the other shots were all aimed directly at him. Lescott and Kompany were holding their line firmly, Richards and Clichy were defending and helping out in attack at times. Barry, Yaya Toure and James Milner were simply too much for Anderson and Carrick to handle. And the strike force of Silva, Aguero and Balotelli. I am very impressed with the skills of Silva. The way he dribbled would strike fear in any teams. They were already 0-3 up and Nasri was not even introduced yet.


To sum it up, Manchester City would definitely be a force to be reckon with unless the other Premiership teams can do a miracle in stopping them. At the current form they are playing, it looks like they will start to run away from the pack. But remember, it's only 9 games into the season. 


The real question is 
'Can Manchester City maintain their form throughout the season?' 




The next preview will be on Chelsea V Arsenal on 29 October 2011, Stamford Bridge

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Manchester United V Manchester City

TheHardTackle
Overview

With both team winning in their Champions League tie, they will be looking to fight it all out in the Manchester Derby. Rooney with 2 goals against Otelul Galati from the spot, and Aguero grabbing a late winning against Villareal. Both striking department doesn't seems to have a problems finding a winner.

With United dropping points against Liverpool last week, City will be looking to widen the gap by continuing with their great form. Free-scoring City have notched an amazing 27 goals in 8 games(average 3.38goals/game), and conceding just 6, but 5 of those were conceded away from Etihad Stadium.
On the other hand, United look determined to get all 3 points and get ahead of their rivals to regain their top spot. Fergie's side with 25 goals in 8 games (average 3.13goals/game) and conceding 6 goals too. But remember the 8-2 win against Arsenal and 0-5 win against Bolton Wanderers, bring their goal average higher. They have just been scoring 1 or 2 in the last few weeks.

The past 4 matches between the teams playing at Old Trafford yield a whopping total of 19 goals, so you can expect lots of goal scoring opportunities on 23 Oct. Another interesting fact is that City have not won United at Old Trafford in the last 5 heads up. City won United only in the 2007/2008, the year which they won the UEFA Cup.

Both teams have huge squad depth and I can see both managers experimenting their players in the past few games. I will give a rough prediction of the starting line up.

United - De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Nani, Fletcher, Giggs, Young, Welbeck, Rooney
City - Hart, Kolarov, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Barry, Yaya Toure, De Jong, Nasir, Da Silva, Dzeko


Verdict 
The whole of Manchester would be watching the game as well as their rivals. It will definitely be a free flowing, open attacking style of football from both sides. This by far the most exciting Manchester derby.
Despite being a United fan, I love to see United edging one over their rivals, but City are really strong this season. A draw would be favourable result for United.




Prediction
Manchester United 2 - 2 Manchester City  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Liverpool 1 - 1 Manchester United

REUTERS
Review

Totally spot on with my prediction. But one thing that surprised me was the starting line up chosen by Sir Alex Ferguson. Putting Phil Jones in the middle of the park was something not expected. With Man Utd legend Ryan Giggs with Darren Fletcher and Park Ji-Sung in midfield. Fergie certainly know his players well enough. I thought the combination of Chris Smalling and Park on the right side did a fantastic job in restraining Liverpool's deadly left side consisting of  Jose Enrique and Steward Downing, whose combination could easily tear any Premiership right side apart easily. I am also surprised with the Danny Welbeck starting as a lone striker for United. Welbeck certainly has a great future ahead of him given his pace, control, creativity and determination.

Steven Gerrard starts his first game for Liverpool and result in a well-taken freekick from 25 yards after Ryan Giggs left a space in the wall. Being 1-0 down, United have plenty of fire power on their bench. Rooney and Nani were summoned to rescue United. In the final 15 minutes Javier Hernandez was sent on. Within 6 minutes, he manages to head in a equalizer for United. No wonder people are comparing him to Ole Gunner Solskjaer aka SuperSub. In the final few minutes, United had to thank De Gea for performing world class saves to keep it level until the final whistle.

There are some controversy between Suaraz and Evra. Evra claimed that Suaraz was using racially abusive language on him "at least 10 times". Suaraz strongly denied any of such claims and the FA looks to investigate this matter.

1-1 is a good result for both team, and I am sure Man City and Chelsea are both glad that United dropped 2 points. Next weekend is the Manchester Derby. Stay tune for my preview and please give me your feedback about my post. Much Thanks. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Liverpool V Manchester United

11:45 GMT, October 15, 2011
Anfield 

Overview


This Saturday early kick-off is Liverpool V Manchester United. For the Liverpool fans, they are all looking forward to see Steven Gerrard in action after missing out for seven months from a groin injury. The last game Gerrard played was a 3-1 win over Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Anfield on March 6. After the 4-0 defeat to Tottenham, Liverpool have bounce back strongly with 3 wins in a row, including a 2-1 win over Brighton in Carling Cup Round 3.


I reckon that if they keep their form, they will be a tough nut to crack for United. Luis Suárez would be the key man to watch out in the big game having score in his last previous 2 outings. 
Anyone remember Suárez tearing United's defence apart in their last meeting? I do. And with the young backline of United. I am unsure if United would be able to keep a clean sheet.


Manchester United, not known for their fast start in the Premier League, are surprising in pole position after 7 games, notching 6 wins and 1 draw.
So far, it's been smooth sailing for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, and this saturday they will face their first serioust challenge. United have lost at Anfield in their last 3 outings, so this definitely give the young United side a few creeps up their nerves. The only issue United have is probably the tight fixtures with an Away Champions League game against Otelul Galat 3 days later, followed by Clash of Manchester on the 23 Oct.


I see Kenny Danglish stick to Reina in goal, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher, Jose Enrique and Martin Kelly in defense. Charlie Adam, who i have been very impressed with, Stewart Downing and Dirt Kuyt in midfield. The last slot would most probably be the skipper, Steven Gerrard on his first start in seven months. Upfront would be Luis Suaraz and Andy Caroll, who i am not impressed by his performance so far.


On the other side, I see Ferguson sticking his faith in De Gea, but Anders Lindegaard might just grab the slot after the donut incident. Jonathan Evans would partner Phil Jones, who started his first international game for England last week, would be keen to build on his performance. 
Patrice Evra and possibly Antonio Valencia who is willingly to play anywhere. Nani and Ashley Young would be on the wings with Anderson in centre mid. The last midfield slot could be Darren Fletcher who have been out with an illness. If he have not recovered. Michael Carrick or Park Ji Sung could easily fill his boots with the deep squad depth. Upfront would be Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney, who will be looking to get over the red Card last week for England in the 2-2 draw against Montenegro.

Verdict
Manchester United have not won in the last 3 games and Anfield. But with their superb form and morale in the squad, history is not a factor for them. Liverpool welcomes back Steven Gerrard.
With both sides wanting to win, I fancy and open game of free-flowing football with at least a couple of goals. 
King Kenny Danglish V Sir Alex Ferguson, Who will prevail? 



Prediction
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United 


Please comment and give me feedback to improve my posting, Thanks

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Montenegro 2 - 2 England

The result was pretty way off from my prediction. I did not expect Phil Jones to appear on the right back position because it's not his natural position. But I'm not Fabio Capello, so we'll leave the team selection to him.

England pretty much controlled most of the possession of the game, and from my point of view, Darren Bent was pretty much a spectator in the game. Only when he pops up to score the 2nd goal for England then I realise he was there. He was pretty much quiet for the whole game.

For the Rooney's red card, it was totally unnecessary to vent his frustration. Maybe the stress from his dad's involvement with a illegal betting scam in Scotland showed a little. The game changed when Bent was replaced by Frank Lampard with a 4-5-1 formation. It show weakness and trying to protect the lead. This might prompt Montenegro to attack more in front of their home crowd.

As i do not watch Italian Serie A, I am particularly impressed with Mirko Vucinic with his amazing footwork. He dribbled past England's defence as if they weren't there. With each failed attack, it boosted the morale of the Montenegro. Before the equalizer, there was a penalty appeal where Gary Cahill apparantly nudged a Montenegro player. At that point, it seems that a goal is inevitable.


Anyway, a strong showing by Montenegro and like I said in my previous post, draw is sufficient for England to secure a berth in the Euro Championship. Good luck to England in the Euro 2012!

Image by: Michael Regan



My next English Premier League Preview will be Liverpool V Manchester United. Stay tune as I will post a few days earlier.
Please comment and give your feedback in the comment section below. Thanks

Thursday, October 6, 2011

European Championship Qualifying Group G

Montenegro V England
19:00 +00.00, October 7, 2011
Stadion Pod Goricom


As it is the International Week, there will not be any Premier League game playing this week.
So i will like to warm up by writing a simple preview of England's International game. 


Overview


England still unbeaten in Group G, having 5 wins and 2 draws, ended their last game with a  1-0 win over Wales as Ashley Young scored the winner at Wembley.
Montenegro with 3 wins 2 draws and 1 loss, ended their last game with a 2-1 lost against Wales.


Montenegro are pretty strong at home having played 3 games, winning 2 and drawing 1. Conceding just 3 goals in the 6 games of Euro Qualifying is amazing. England will most probably have a tough time breaking down Montenegro's defence. Despite have good defence, Montenegro have problems in their striking department scoring just 5 goals in 6 games, where their counterpart have a total tally of 15 goals in 7 games. Montenegro will be heavily relying on their star striker Mirko Vucinic to provide the goals to have any chance of scoring against England.


For England, Chris Smalling is out with a groin injury, so the possible starting line up would most probably be Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gary Cahill, who is the preferred choice for Fabio Capello. 
And the Right back slot would most probably be Micah Richards.Controlling the midfield would probably be Garath Barry, Steward Downing, Theo Walcott. The final slot could be Frank Lampard who scored a hat-trick the last weekend with Chelsea 1-5 win over Bolton. Scott Parker might come on for Lampard in the second half.


Upfront would be Wayne Rooney, possibly partner with his Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck.


Verdict


The last time England played Montenegro, it was a 0-0 stalemate. England needing just a win to qualify , I expect this game to be a low scoring draw or England just edging a win.




Prediction:  
Montenegro 0 - 1 England 




Please give comments and feedback so that I can improve on the posting. Thank you and stay tune for the next preview. 
Liverpool vs Manchester United

English Premier League Preview

Hi to everyone. This is going to be a blog solely focusing on English Premier League.
I will give detailed pre-game analysis to a chosen game every week. A prediction of the final score will also be give at the end of the preview. This is wholly a preview from my personal perspective and might be bias in some way or another.