English Premier League Top goal scorers- Tips, Odds

2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C Preview [Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Curaçao]

HONDURAS , via fanolato2

About

Introduction

The current ‘successful’ era of Honduras football can be pinpointed to the 2007 Gold Cup. Reinaldo Rueda’s first tournament in charge saw him beat Mexico in the group stage, with THAT famous kiss. While Honduras did not win, there was hope again after a disastrous 2006 World cup qualifying campaign, where Honduras didn’t even make the final Hexagonal. Honduras then qualified, with Rueda in charge, to South Africa 2010 (Thank you Bornstein) for the first time since 1982, and then with another Colombian in Luis Suarez, they made it back again in 2014 to Brazil. Both performances at the actual World Cup left a lot to be desired. While losing to France is expected, the final group stage match in 2014 vs Switzerland left a sour taste.
For 2018, after a disastrous Hernan Medford UNCAF tournament stint, Honduras turned to Costa Rica’s 2014 miracle worker, Jose Luis Pinto. Pinto then had disappointing showings in the 2015 Gold Cup and qualified to the Hexagonal under a lot of criticism of the team’s play, particularly the defending of crosses. Once in the Hex, despite USA’s destruction of Honduras in San Jose, and despite one defensive mistake after another in late game situations dealing with crosses, Honduras still found themselves in the playoff vs Australia for the 2018 World Cup final spot, by making a spirited comeback vs Mexico in the final hexagonal game, who up to then had not lost in qualifying. The playoff just set the pain back a month though, as Honduras played two very sad games vs Australia, both at home and away, meaning that Honduras would not be the first Central American team to qualify to three World Cups in a row.
Now Honduras looks to another foreigner, Fabian Coito, the Uruguayan who has been a long standing disciple of Oscar Tabarez and manager of the Uruguayan U-20s. With only one friendly under his belt, there is a lot to learn on how his teams will approach this Gold Cup.

Manager and Squad

Manager: Fabián Coito (Uruguay)

FINAL 23 MAN SQUAD

POTENTIAL STARTING XI

 R. Castillo M. Chirinos A. López A. Elis L. Garrido B. Acosta E. Izaguirre M. Figueroa (C) H. Figueroa B. Beckeles L. López 

Players to Watch

Alberth Elis (RW)
The Houston Dynamo winger and forward,has been rumoured with moves to Europe the past couple of years. He is pacy but strong, and is a physical mismatch for many fullbacks. His decision making can be an issue. Very unselfish in the box, often to a fault, he will have to become a more decisive finisher for Honduras to make a leap in this Gold Cup. He will be looking for that move to Europe, and there is no better place than at an international tournament.
Michaell Chirinos (LW)
The small and skillful winger currently playing in Liga MX for Lobos BUAP (Now Bravos de Ciudad Juarez), on Loan from Olimpia. He has 6 goals and 4 assists for a team that is more likely fighting against relegation than for a trophy. The good production and his incisiveness will provide a different kind of weapon than Elis on the opposite wing. As Chirinos is better at keeping the ball close to his feet, and at combining with teammates, Honduras will look to trust often in counters but also when the smaller sides of this tournament attempt to stifle Honduras’ attack with numbers behind the ball.
Henry Figueroa (CB)
The center back, who was heavily criticized during the 2018 WC qualifying campaign, will need to step into leadership for Honduras during this Gold Cup. Maynor Figueroa his likely partner at the back is showing his age, and the Motagua youth product will have to take it upon himself to ensure that defense is quick when balls are played behind them, and strong when defending crosses. Currently a starter at Alajuelense of the Costa Rican league, Henry isn’t great on the ball like Maynor is and has been, but he is a good reader of the game, and is absolutely fearless going into tackles. He can exposed against the most skillful players on 1v1 situations, but he has great recovery speed. He will want to maybe make a jump to MLS or Europe, and this could be the platform that propels him that way.

Points of Discussion

  • Can Coito improve defensive performances?

    In the 2018 qualifiers, Honduras let in late goals at Panama (90th minute by Roman Torres), vs USA (85th Minute Bobby Wood), at Costa Rica (90th + 5 minute by Kendall Waston). All those goals came from crosses that were not dealt with or lack of concentration. It turned out to be the achilles heel of the national team. Can Coito ensure better solidity? He might have to make some changes, which leads to…
  • How long can Maynor Figueroa and Emilio Izaguirre start in defense?

    Figueroa, the former Wigan Athletic and Hull City defender now at MLS, is both the captain of the team and was one of the most scrutinized players for not qualifying. His decline in athleticism has exposed his bad positioning issues, and rivals have taken advantage of this. But as the captain and leader of the national team, it will be a tough decision to bench him. Similar with Izaguirre who is one of the emotional leaders of the team, and has so much European experience with Celtic. But at the Glasgow side, Izaguirre has not been chosen often since he returned from his short time in the Saudi league. Leading to the question on whether he is being chosen on what he can do or what he has done for the national team.
  • Can Honduras finally win a major trophy?

    Honduras has only once won the CONCACAF Championship/Gold Cup, and it was at home in a tournament that doubled as World Cup qualifying. Since 1981, Honduras has not lifted any actual hardware. There have been feel good stories, like in 1991 losing out in the final of the first Gold Cup to the USA in penalties, or the 2001 Copa America third place in what was Honduras’ first and only participation in that tournament. Honduras is thirsty for a trophy, and with key absences in the Mexican side, plus a renewed spirit from the new manager, Honduras might have a reason to hope this summer.

JAMAICA , via kauliflower_

About

  • Nickname(s): Reggae Boyz
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 11
  • Best Finish: Runner Ups (2015, 2017)
  • FIFA Ranking: 53 (5th in CONCACAF)

Introduction

Jamaican Football has not been this exciting since the late 90s when current head coach, then top striker, Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore and Co. lead the nation to a first World Cup appearance at France 98'. After various false revivals this crop of Jamaican footballers is arguably the best in two decades. After being outplayed in two Gold Cup finals in a row the Reggae Boyz will be looking to make it third time the charm with another deep run expected by a team full or experience, talent and youth.
Beating the USA in a recent friendly on the eve of the tournament (albeit a weaker USA starting 11) will surely give a mental boost to the players and management in their hopes to repeat the exploits of 2015 and 2017. Many key players have been retained in all positions from the previous Gold Cup campaign with a few fresh faces, some long overdue.

Manager and Squad

Manager: Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica)

FINAL 23 MAN SQUAD

POTENTIAL STARTING XI

 D. Mattocks B. Brown P. Vassell L. Bailey M. Hector K. Lambert K. Lawrence S. Francis D. Lowe A. Powell A. Blake (C) 

Players to Watch

Andre Blake (GK)
Goalkeeper for the current MLS Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union has been a key players for club and country for the past seasons. After suffering a heartbreaking injury in last tournament's final (NSFW?), he will be hoping to lead the team to another final as captain and custodian.
Peter-Lee Vassell (AM)
Recently drafted by Los Angeles FC in the MLS Draft, Vassel is a creative midfielder not often seen among Jamaican youths. Although struggling for game time at high fliers LA FC, when he puts on the national jersey he shows the potential, vision and creativity that convinced LA FC to acquire the service of the young midfielder. He can use this tournament to convince Bob Bradley he deserves a starting spot at Los Angeles.
Leon Bailey (RW)
The Bayer Leverkusen winger has finally committed to the Reggae Boyz after stand-offs with the Jamaican Football Federation and his management (His Step-father) and himself (situation is too long to explain in this post). His pace and skills on the wing and his eye for goal may be what gives Jamaica an edge in this year's Gold Cup. If he's on his game, he could be a top 5 player in CONCACAF.

Points of Discussion

  • Third time's the charm?

    With the USA seemingly still suffering from demons of that warm night in Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico with a solid but not spectacular team, and Canada and Costa Rice with slightly aging squads, all things are aligning for a first nation to win the Gold Cup since Canada in 2000. Jamaica have their fates in their own hands and should not fear any of the teams in CONCACAF.
  • Leon Bailey

    Leon Patrick Bailey. Where to start. Born in Jamaica, he was taken to Europe by his step-father along with his step-brother with the intent to find European clubs for his then minor children. After arriving in Europe and shocking scouts of various teams (KRC Genk of Belgium a front runner) he and his family had to return to Jamaica but that did not stop the Baileys and after a couple 'not so legal' encounters, a verbal agreement with Ajax FC and a police raid, Leon Bailey eventually signed for AS Trencin as a youth player, eventually moving to KRC Genk as his first professional contract. Bailey won the Belgian Young Player of the Year in his first season at Genk and attracted many clubs, halfway into his second season in Belgium, Bayer Leverkusen came and he signed in Janaury 2017. His time in Germany has had many ups and downs but he has shown his skills and aggressive dribbling in a very up and down Leverkusen team. After failing to be eligible for England and seemingly burying the hatchet after 2 or so years of conflict with the JFF, Bailey is donning the Black, Green and Gold. However, all this turmoil the worst thing that could happen is him not showing up in this tournament, after all this is his performance at the senior international level.

EL SALVADOR via Currul

About

  • Nickname(s): La Selecta, Los Cuscatlecos, La Azul y Blanco
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 11 Times
  • Best Finish: Quarter-finals (2002, 2003, 2011, 2013, 2017)
  • FIFA Ranking: 71 (9th in CONCACAF)

Introduction

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, it was the first country from that region to qualify to a World Cup (Mexico 1970). Twelve years later ‘La Selecta’ would qualify for their second (and last to date) World Cup in Spain 1982 where they scored their first goal in a World Cup ik the first game where they lost to Hungary in a historical game that ended 10-1. The Salvadorian National Team has won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean games in two occasions (1954 and 2002). El Salvador had some troubles qualifying to the 2019 edition of the World Cup after a shocking lost against Bermuda but they earned their ticket in their last game of the Concacaf Nations League after beating Jamaica 2-0 at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the country even though the country have not qualified to the World Cup in 37 years. The Cuscatlecos enter this Gold Cup in great form and in a winning streak of 5 games in a row after beating Haiti twice (1-0), Guatemala (3-1), Jamaica (2-0) and Peru (2-0).

Manager and Squad

Manager: Carlos de los Cobos (Mexico)

FINAL 23 MAN SQUAD

POTENTIAL STARTING XI

 N. Bonilla J. Alas M. Monterrosa D. Cerén Ó. Cerén N. Orellana J. Jiménez R. Domínguez I. Mancía B. Tamacas H. Hernández (C) 

Players to Watch

Óscar Cerén (RM)
The younger of the Ceren brothers, probably the player with most protection in the country at the moment. He was an important part for Alianza in order to reach 6 finals in a row. Rumors had linked him to MLS before so we’ll see if the Gold Cup is the tournament that makes him migrate to another league.
Narciso Orellana (DM)
The best midfielder in the country at the moment, key player in Alianza too, has the quality to migrate to another league and Alianza had received offer from Europe for him but the money wasn’t right for them. The 24 year old will be essential for the midfield in El Salvador for years to come. Because his dimunitive 5'7" (170 cm) stature, he retains the ball easily and his aggressive style of play is something to look out for.
Nelson Bonilla (ST)
Currently the most successful Salvadorian playing in a foreign league after scoring 25 goals in 32 games in 2018 for the Sukhothai in Thailand, Bangkok United paid more than 1 million dollars to sign him. Wirh 14 goals in 40 games, a lot of the hope for goals in El Salvador is on Bonilla’s back.

Points of Discussion

  • Momentum!

    For the first time in a long time Salvadorians are expecting and with hope that the team will perform good in the tournament after showing a good style and game the friendlies played, who knows maybe this year will be the first time that ‘La Selecta’ reaches more than Quarter Finals in the Gold Cup.
  • Lack of goals in the past

    El Salvador has struggled finding a reliable goal scorer for the team after the match fixing ban in 2012 that took out of professional soccer 11 players from the national team and gave temporal bans to a couple more including Rodolfo Zelaya who at that moment was the starting forward and the player with most talent in the team. Can Bonilla, Rugamas or Portillo finally fill the shoes of the great Raul Diaz Arce, Ronald Cerritos and Rudis Corrales who were the last great goal scorers in La Selecta.
  • Can de los Cobos make the match fixing ghost go away?

    Even though is being 7 years after the ban most of the fans have not forgotten about it, Carlos de los Cobos was the coach when the Match Fixing happened and no one really know how much he knew about everything or even if he knew anything a all, that was one of the most painful memories in recent time for Salvadorian fans as the team were in a good route to qualify to the 2010 World Cup but made some questionable mistakes in key games that later on were found as fixed. We’ll see if this generation is the one that finally is going to throw away that bad memory for Salvadorian fans.

CURAÇAO , via ArawakFC

About

  • Nickname(s): n/a
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 2
  • Best Finish: Group Stage (2017)
  • FIFA Ranking: 82 (15th in CONCACAF)

Introduction

Curaçao used to play as the Netherlands Antilles up until 2010. The only notable achievements being two 3rd place finishes in 1963 and ’69 in the old CONCACAF championship(1963-1989), which was the predecessor to the Gold Cup.
In 2010 that all changed as they gained their constituent country status. The “Curaçao Football Federation” was established in 2011, making it the youngest football federation in the world. In June 2015, Patrick Kluivert, who’s mother is from Curaçao, was brought in to coach the team and he started to raise the bar for the then mostly amateur team. With Kluivert’s pedigree, it was now possible to recruit professional players, playing in the Eredivisie, lower levels of the Dutch footballing pyramid and across other European leagues. The most notable players recruited at that time were Eloy Room(GK) and Leandro Bacuna(MF). In just one year, Kluivert managed to equal the amount of wins(6) the team managed from 2011-2014.
With much of the groundwork laid out by Kluivert, his successor, assistant coach Remco Becentini led the team to their first ever title in 2017, beating Jamaica to take the Caribbean Cup. The key player though in the final wasn’t any of the players born in the Netherlands, but it was Willemstad born and raised Elson Hooi, who netted a brace to secure Curaçao’s first triumph in its history as an autonomous nation. To give everyone an idea of the scale of the achievement, Curaçao went from being 183rd (lower than Aruba) in the FIFA rankings to 68th in a period of just 3 years.
The Gold Cup in 2017 wasn’t a success, having lost all 3 of their group stage matches to Jamaica, Mexico and El Salvador. However, the experience playing at such a tournament for the first time would prove to be invaluable for a team aspiring to become the smallest nation to reach the FIFA world cup.
Recently, the team participated in the CONCACAF nations league qualifiers which also doubled as qualifiers for the Gold Cup. Curaçao showed that they now belong in the upper tiers of CONCACAF, having seemingly outgrown most of the other Caribbean island nations.

Manager and Squad

Manager: Remko Bicentini (Netherlands)

FINAL 23 MAN SQUAD

POTENTIAL STARTING XI

 J. Arias E. Hooi R. Bonevacia G. Nepomuceno L. Bacuna M. Maria J. Carolina D. Lachman C. Martina (C) J. Gaari E. Room 

Players to Watch

Cuco Martina (RB/CB)
One of the most experienced players in the squad, having played in the Premier League and Eredivisie, he will be critical for organizing the team in defense and for overall motivation and moral. Together with Room, they have the Captain duties within the squad. While normally a right back, Becentini has used him in central defense as well.
Leandro Bacuna (CM)
Another experienced player in the Championship and Premier League, his presence and quality on the ball, but also his physicality will be needed in midfield. His skill and ability on the ball is miles ahead of most teams in the Caribbean region. His verstatility will also be of use, capable of playing quite literally anywhere in midfield and fullback if absolutely needed
Elson Hooi (LW)
Small, quick and versatile at 5'6" (67 cm). Was a key player for them in the Caribbean cup. If Hooi starts firing again, he is an incredible joy to watch and dangerous in attack.
And when I say quick, I mean QUICKKKK, can be a bit selfish with the ball at times but can skin defenders. Think of him as a shorter, less bulky Adama Traore

Points of Discussion

  • "Total Football" principles introduced by Patrick Kluivert

    Curaçao plays a possession game, building out from the back with ever present “triangles”. They need to take care of their defense, because it is not the most sound with only Martina having top level experience. Which is why Cuco Martina is selected to play center back at times. What they need to avoid at all cost, is an injury to goalkeeper and captain Eloy Room. The keeper position is the one with the least depth and if Room is out, they are left with one EFL League Two keeper and an amateur keeper from Curaçao’s own Vesta.
  • To close....

    Curaçao went from a mostly amateur side, to almost a full professional side in under a decade. They did this by hiring Kluivert and supporting him in trying to get Dutch born players with roots in Curaçao to choose to play for the national team. Players like Kuwas (who elected to not play this Gold Cup), Bacuna and Room all played for the Dutch youth sides. Looking at the future, there are also plenty of Curaçao born and Dutch born players of Curaçaoan descent currently playing for various youth sides in Europe. With proper coaching and infrastructure and the willingness to improve, I can’t bet against this side advancing passed the group stage of the Gold Cup and I can’t help but imagine if they can make the World Cup given that CONCACAF have two extra spots this time around from 2026 onward.
Tune in tomorrow when sardar_star will be posting Group D!

Don't forget to participate in the Predictions Game in the comments below!

PREVIOUS REVIEWS

GROUP A: Mexico, Canada, Martinique, Cuba

GROUP B: Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bermuda

submitted by BuzzBuzz01 to soccer [link] [comments]

/r/Championship's Championship club by club season preview - part 1!

Part 2 here - Part 3 here - Part 4 here

On Friday at 8pm UK time, Reading and Derby County will kick off the 127th season of the English second division - also known as the Championship! 24 clubs will compete for 3 promotion spots to the Premier league (2 via automatic promotion and 1 via playoffs) and to avoid the 3 relegation spots to the third tier a.k.a League One.

Its looking like a really tight and competitive season. The league is absolutely full of ambitious player and managerial talent - the more time goes by the more it looks like a Premier League 2. If you want a competitive league with proper English football, that also has the spice of skilful players and forward thinking managers, it really is the place to go.

This is guide written by the fans who have come together on /Championship - an absolutely huge thanks to them. Do check out the sub, we try to keep it a good place to discuss the EFL, away from the rancid gloryhunting shithole that is /soccer (just kidding - I like this place). Lots going on, including a score predictor thread which is running all season.

This guide is in table order with the PL demoted sides first. Only 5 clubs today (because the Swansea one is a fucking novel and I can't fit any more in), the rest will be submitted tomorrow and Friday. Do bare in mind that not all the transfer news will be up to date as these guides were largely written a week ago. Point out to me if there are any clear errors with formatting or spelling.

Championship info, links and media

/Championship's 17/18 player of the season review

Season previews: The Guardian | Sky Sports | The Mirror
EFL focused podcasts: Not the Top 20 | The Totally Football League Show
The 17/18 table - Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham went up. Barnsley, Burton and Sunderland went down. This season West Brom, Swansea and Stoke join from the PL and Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham join from League 1.
These are the bookies' favourites for promotion (via Oddschecker):
Club Odds
Stoke 2.75
Middlesbrough 4
West Brom 4
Nottingham Forest 4.5
Leeds 4.75
Swansea 5
And relegation:
Club Odds
Rotherham 2.2
Bolton 2.25
Ipswich 4.5
Reading 5
QPR 6
Hull 6
How to watch in the UK: Live rights are owned by Sky Sports. They are upping the number of televised matches this season. Reading v Derby on Friday is televised. The weekly highlights show previously on Channel 5 is moving to Quest TV, which apparently is on Freeview.
How to watch abroad: Depends, but in most territories, the iFollow Service is available, which is £110 to watch all a single club's matches. Bargain. I think the clubs that aren't on iFollow have their own similar streaming services.
Check out club Youtube channels - quite a few of them post extended highlights now with their own commentary, including Derby, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and more. (You may need VPN to watch if you're abroad.)

Swansea City by RafiakaMacakaDirk and my_knob_is_gr8

Location: Swansea, Wales
Nickname: Swans, The Jacks
Major honours: Football League Cup (2013), Championship Play-off Winner (2011), League One Winners (1925, 1949, 2008)
17/18 finishing postion: 18th (Premier League)
Transfermarkt squad value: €115.5 mil NOTE: This number is as of July 22nd, when we still have Mawson (€15 mil), A. Ayew (€15 mil), Bony (€10 mil), Clucas (€8 mil) and Fernandez (€8 mil), who are all pretty much expected to be sold, or loaned out, before the season starts. Without all of these players except Bony (who's injured for a while so it makes it unlikely he'll be sold soon), the squad value would be around €70 mil.
Manager: Graham Potter joined the Swans on 11th June 2018. In 2010, he became head coach of Östersund, who were in the fourth tier of Swedish football. 5 years later, he got the club promoted into the Swedish top flight and in 2017, they won Svenska Cupen which qualified them for the Europa League where they managed to get through the group stage. He’s been applauded for what he did at Östersund and the way he managed to build the club up from nothing. The year after his success in the Europa league he signed a 3 year contract with Swansea.
Potter is well respected by The Swans and after a few years of poor managerial and financial decisions his appointment is seen as a step in the right direction to bringing us back to our old ways of being a well-run club. Potter has been recognised for his "progressive" and "unconventional" coaching methods. At Östersund, he encouraged his players and staff to engage in community activities, such as performing in theatre and music productions which was designed to take them out of their comfort zone. Potter describes his style of football on the pitch as "tactically flexible, attacking, and possession-based". At Östersund, he deployed a flexible 3–5–2 formation centred on ball possession.
Best player(s)/ talisman:With many of our best players being rumoured with a move away what good players that remain at the start of the season is yet to be seen.
Alfie Mawson is probably our standout player. He’s been amazing for us since we got him and was a bargain at about £3m. He’s great in the air and is just an all round tank. Keeping him will be a huge boost for us and should be solid in the championship.
Federico "El Pajaro" Fernandez has also been strong at the back with Alfie. The pair played with each other for the majority of last season and together became a solid unit. We will most likely sell him to reduce wages though.
Jordan Ayew put in a great shift last season and was our top goal scorer. His work rate was immense and was able to drop back and defend when needed. He’s fast, able to beat a man and a decent finisher. Sadly all these players are transfer targets for other clubs and might not even be here at the start of the season. If we can keep a lot of our players we should have a decent season but who knows who'll be left by the end of the window…
Rising star: Swansea’s U23 had a great season last year and with Potter wanting a young and fresh squad, a handful have moved up into the first team.
Our standout youngster, Oliver McBurnie, joined Barnsley on loan in January last season where he went on to win a Championship player of the month award after 6 goals in 8 games and went on to win Barnsley’s Player of the year award. While only 22, he’s struggled to break into our first team but will most likely be our main striker for the coming season. Be on the lookout for his long legs, miniature shinpads and ridiculous sock length! LEGS LEGS LEGS!!!
Connor Roberts performed well at RB last season and adapted quickly to the premier league where he battled Kyle Naughton to be in the starting line up and did great when given the chance. Decent at going forward and professional at the back. Hopefully potter puts him ahead of Naughton.
What happened last season?: What Happened last season?: After our great escape the season before and with Paul Clement at the helm there was optimism that the 17/18 season could be our turning point where we start rebuilding 'The Swansea Way". How wrong we were.
After a disastrous transfer window where we sold Sigurdsson and never replaced him and started panic buying the week before the transfer window closed we were left an obvious hole in our team. We had no creativity in midfield and no one could kick the ball into the box to save their life. And just to rub it in further Renato Sanches turned out to be more disappointing than Bob Bradley. With the team sitting bottom of the table Clement was sacked in late December.
Then along came the wise talking Carlos Carvalhal who managed to rebuild the confidence the team had lost. Our results took a turn for the good, beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham consecutively at home. He pulled us out of the relegation zone and things were looking good. However, the good times were quickly followed by the bad times. Our form turned and we didn’t win a single one of our last 9 matches. We were quickly relegated after pitifully losing to both Southampton and Stoke in our last 2 games of the season.
Highlights (Or lowlights):
The pass by Renato Sanches that summed up his and our season
Swansea City 3-1 Arsenal
Summer transfer business (so far): At the end of last season, it was clear we needed several transfers, both in and out. However, this would all depend on the manager we got.
Yan Dhanda (Free, Liverpool): A 19 year-old Midfielder, Yan Dhanda left Liverpool this summer and joined the Swans in a free, before we even hired Graham Potter. At one time one of the most promosing youngsters in Liverpool's Academy, injuries slowed down his progress, and ultimately made him fall behind other players. Citing lack of first-team playing time, Dhanda decided to join us this summer in hopes of getting regular playing time in the senior squad. Through 3 pre-season games, Dhanda has been one of the brighest and most impressive players in the squad, even scoring a game-winning goal and smashing a penalty in a shootout against Genoa. With our current injuries and shenanigans involved in our midfield, Dhanda has a good chance of becoming a starter and hopefully guide our midfield during the season.
Jordi Govea (Free, Real Madrid): Another 19 year-old from Ecuador, Jordi was the first signing under Potter. Not much can be said about the lad, but this is what Real Madrid had as his bio:
Jordi is an Ecuadorian defender who possess three key qualities for a player in his position: he's skilful, is able to go past a player and has a good shot on him. He's left footed and is able to send in good crosses on the run.
With Martin Olsson currently as our starting LB, and Kyle Naughton as the backup, the hope is that Jordi can develop on our U-23 squad and hopefully move up to the senior squad in coming years. Also the only man I've seen do a medical while wearing jeans (https://twitter.com/SwansOfficial/status/1015251916132057089)
Joel Asoro (€2 mil., Sunderland): Yet another 19 year-old, a Swedish winger who has represented his country in the younger levels, he was Potter's first senior signing. With world-class speed, and some impressive skills, Asoro was able to score 3 goals and get 2 assists last season in 26 apperances for Sunderland. While these numbers may seem a bit disappointing, many of these games were sub appearances on a very dysfunctional team. Along with Dhanda, Asoro has been one of the most impressive players during preseason, constantly beating his man with either speed or skills, and whipping in good balls to Legs. At the current rate, Asoro appears to have a good chance of starting on the right wing spot, with Nathan Dyer and Luciano Narsingh backing him up.
Predicted starting XI: NOTE: This is gonna be assuming Mawson, A. Ayew, Clucas, and Fernandez are all sold by the start of the season. If by some reason they end up staying, they are pretty much guaranteed to start. Based on the pre-season games so far, a lineup looking like this would be plausible, with Rodon most likely to be replaced by a CB (possibly Scott McKenna) when we buy one. Our second unit is looking something like this.
Best case scenario: Graham Potter is able to motivate and make sure our senior players (Fer, Carroll, etc.) stay fit, along with our youngsters being able to make an impact as expected, and also we retain Mawson, Fernandez, and Clucas, we can finish in the top 2 and get promoted automatically.
Worst case scenario: Our worst case scenario, and something many of us fear of happening, consists of primarily 3 things. 1. Graham Potter isn't given enough time to build an identity with our squad and is sacked by the midway point of the season by the greedy, dumb American owners. . 2. We end up not replacing the players we sold properly like last summer, therefore having a squad with holes everywhere and no chemistry. 3. Our youngsters such as Asoro, McBurnie, Dhanda and company don't pan out and progress at all, thefore becoming mediocre players. This would all culminate in us looking like Sunderland, and making relegation a probability.
Prediction: Realistically I see us selling Mawson and company in the last days before the season starts and not replacing them properly until later on. Because of this, as well as our current injuries with Fer and Clucas, I can see us initially struggling to build an identity but over time, we will start playing like Potter wants us and finishing the season strongly.
8th place, missing the play-offs by 4 points
What will happen to your closest rivals?: The scum that is known as Cardiff City will break the record for lowest points ever accumulated in a Premier League season, getting 5 points all from draws, and will therefore get relegated with 17 games to spare.

West Bromwich Albion by Joelwba

Location: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands
Nickname: The Baggies, The Throstles
Major honours: 1x League title, 1x League Cup, 5x FA Cup
17/18 finishing postion: 20th in Premier League (relegated)
Transfermarkt squad value: £101.16m
Manager: Darren Moore or Big Dave as he's known to Albion fans. A club icon as a player in the early 2000s, he returned to look after our U23 squad before being promoted to assistant manager by Alan Pardew in January. Following the end of Pardew's horrific reign, Moore took temporary charge with Albion facing inevitable relegation. He led us to wins over Newcastle, Spurs, Man Utd and a draw with Liverpool, somehow taking our futile battle for survival to the final week of the season. Following this he earned the head coach role permanently. Moore is loved among the Albion faithful, largely due to his reputation as a player here. He heavily favours a 4-4-2 formation and at the back end of last season, tended to soak up pressure and play on the counter attack. It will be interesting to see how his approach differs in a league where we are one of the favourites, not fighting to survive (hopefully)
Best player(s)/ talisman: It's an interesting situation for Albion currently. There are plenty of Premier League quality players still in the squad. A lot depends on if they are picked off before the deadline shuts. Chris Brunt is a club stalwart and likely to be reappointed as captain. He is adored by the fans and in my opinion will be an incredible asset in the championship. His set pieces alone will bring 10+ goals to the side. Kieran Gibbs is a high quality player who appears to be set to stay and should make a big difference. Jay Rodriguez, Craig Dawson, Salomon Rondon and Nacer Chadli should all make a big difference in this division IF they stay. In all honesty I expect to lose a few of the above. Sam Johnstone appears to be an astute signing to replace the outgoing Ben Foster.
Rising star: Sam Field he's one of our own! He looked completely at home against some of the top Premier League sides last campaign. A box-to-box midfielder, he's full of energy and looks so comfortable on the ball. I expect him to be a major part of our side this season, having just signed a new long-term deal.
Kyle Edwards is an exciting attacking midfielder who has been impressing in pre-season. He may have a part to play following a loan spell at Exeter last campaign.
Jonathon Leko looked like a potential world-beater when he first came through a couple of years back. A lightning quick winger full of tricks. A loan spell at Bristol City and limited appearances later he seems to be losing his way. Will be an interesting one to watch.
Finally, the enigma that is Olly Burke. After signing with us last summer for £15m, he failed to impress any of the four managers we had over the season. He looks exciting when he comes on, without any end product so far, and was unfairly blamed for a loss at West Ham by Alan 'Coward' Pardew. We all know the talent he's got. Hopefully we can see it this season.
What happened last season?: Let's not talk about it... We finally escaped the stranglehold of Tony Pulis, only to opt for the human joke that is Alan Pardew and duly hurtled towards relegation. Four of our players stole a taxi and then played (and lost) the following weekend.
Pardew was sacked about 3 months too late, and Moore took over, restoring pride with some notable wins over Man Utd and Spurs.
This season we also lost the great Cyrille Regis, and the outpouring of emotion and the coming together of the club during the weeks after his passing was something special.
Summer transfer business (so far): We started by releasing Claudio Yacob, Boaz Myhill and Gareth McAuley. Yacob and McAuley will be greatly missed but it is perhaps the right time for them to go.
Jonny Evans departed for Leicester for a cut-price £3m, Ben Foster left for Watford and James McClean has departed for Stoke City.
Sam Johnstone has been bought in to replace Foster, with Jonathon Bond arriving as backup. Kyle Bartley has joined from Swansea City and it appears that Harvey Barnes will soon be arriving on loan from Leicester.
Finally, James Morrison is currently out of contract but still with the club. His future is uncertain.
I am very happy with Johnstone and Bartley. It has been a quiet window for Albion so far but that is largely a good thing. The squad is packed with Premier League talent and the window is more about keeping hold of them.
There is major interest in Dawson and Rondon, along with interest in Rodriguez, Hegazi and Chadli. If any of the above go, then we would need to replace. Otherwise I would be happy with another striker and another CB.
It is also worth mentioning that every player in the Albion side suffered a 50% wage cut upon relegation which means that we are financially sound despite relegation, but may lead to more big names leaving.
Predicted starting XI: This is my best attempt. It will undoubtedly be 4-4-2. We may see Nyom in at right back and perhaps Barry in for Field.
Obviously about half of this side could leave, so we shall see.
Best case scenario: The bulk of the side remains and the quality in the side shines through as we breeze to automatic promotion.
Worst case scenario: The better players leave or do not put the effort in. Moore cannot transfer his great start into his first full season in management. We become embroiled in a relegation battle
Prediction: It will be somewhere in the middle. I'd like to think we'll go up automatically but I think play-offs are more likely. 6th
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Villa won't go down but will settle into mid-table, despite the recent takeover.
I think Wolves will do well in the PL, although I don't know how long Nuno will last before a big club comes in.

Stoke City by mrmariomaster

Location: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Nickname: The Potters
Stadium: bet365 Stadium, 30,089 seats
Major honours: 1972 League Cup
17/18 finishing position: 19th, Premier League
Squad value: £127.8 million
Manager: Gary Rowett signed from Derby in May. His honest attitude has brought lots of optimism to fans, who are looking forward to an overhaul of the Club. His style of play seems to change based on the squad he has available.
Best Player: Joe Allen was vital to the Club last season, giving us hope that we would avoid relegation. His massive new contract signed this summer shows how loyal and committed to the Club he is, and will be a vital player this season.
Rising star: Tom Edwards is a local lad who has won the Under 18 Player of the Year award twice in the Club. In the latter parts of last season he played some good first team football.
What happened last season: A pathetic attempt at a season that had been coming for a while under Mark Hughes. Paul Lambert was appointed in January, but a win rate of just 2 in 15 matches wasn’t enough for him to keep his job and miss out on the million pound bonus offered to him.
Transfer business so far: So far this has been a decent transfer window. Peter Etebo had an amazing World Cup for Nigeria and Benik Afobe looks really promising. Adam Federici has also been appointed to replace Lee Grant. Xherdan Shaqiri has left along with a few players like Stephen Ireland and Glen Johnson who will not be missed. Badou Ndiaye also looks to be on his way out, but it looks like Jack Butland will stay with us, which is massive. Perhaps most surprising are the new contracts signed by our 2 best players last season, Joe Allen and Moritz Bauer.
Predicted Line up: Here is our predicted squad. I’m not sure what formation we will have. EDIT: This is a new version, complete with our rumoured new signings and in the right formation.
Best case scenario: Stoke will finish top with an all-time Championship points record.
Worst case scenario: A mediocre start to the season will see Rowett sacked and Stoke with a disappointing mid-table finish.
Prediction: I think with our squad and our new manager, we will finish 1st.
What will happen to our closest rivals? Port Vale will be relegated to the Vanarama National League.

Aston Villa by trueschoolalumni

Location: Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE
Nickname: The Villans, The Villa, Prince William's Club, David "Twat" Cameron's Second Club.
Major honours: 7 First Division wins, 7 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, 1 European Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intertoto Cup
17/18 finishing postion: 4th
Transfermarkt squad value: £67.77m and dropping fast
Manager: Steve Bruce (for now). Former Man Utd playing legend who's been a fixture of English football for decades. He joined Villa in 2016 after successful runs at Hull, Sunderland (yes they were good once) and Birmingham City. A bit of a promotion specialist, he's taken Championship clubs up to the Premier League 4 times in the past and just missed out last season, losing 1-0 to Fulham in the Playoff Final. Tactically, he's fairly old school who prefers 4-4-2 or a 4-1-4-1, usually involving a big man up top. Fun fact: while managing Huddersfield in 1999 he wrote three novels, "Striker!", "Sweeper!" and "Defender!", which focus on main character Steve Barnes, a football manager. Barnes solves crime and takes on terrorists, and the books have become prized rarities. The Guardian's Football Weekly podcast managed to get a copy and read out some of the copy - suitably awful.
Best player(s)/ talisman: There's only one Jack Grealish. A Villa boy through and through, he's been with the club since 2001 (aged 6), and made his way into the first team in the 2013-14 season. He's been the centre of controversy a few times, most notably getting on the beers and passing out on a Tenerife street. Playing as a number 10, his quick feet and dribbling skills provide a number of goals and assists, as well as fouls. He probably went down a bit too easily when first in the Premier League, but time in the gym has noticeably toughened him up and he's a much more solid player as a result. One of the better players in the Championship, and due to Villa's abject finances, a transfer target for the likes of Leicester.
Rising star: Keinan Davis could possibly be it, potentially Andre Green and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy as well.
What happened last season?: Have you ever walked into a casino, spotted the roulette table and popped £10,000 on red? It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off. You've doubled your money if you win, but look like a right git if you lose. Villa figured this was a good way to approach 2017-18: spend millions on players, get in lots of loans, gamble everything on achieving promotion. After a so-so start, Bruce got the team playing well, stringing together a number of wins and moving through the playoff spots. Unfortunately they ran into a few teams playing out of their skin - champions Wolves ran away with the league and boasted a squad that included several Champions League players. Neil Warnock's Cardiff couldn't stop winning and grabbed the second automatic promotion. In the playoff final Villa came up against a Ryan Sessegnon-led Fulham and were just pipped at the post 1-0.
Summer transfer business (so far): It's one-way traffic, due to absolutely abysmal finances. Loan spells for Lewis Grabban, Robert Snodgrass, Josh Onomah and Sam Johnstone have all ended, which is almost the spine of the team (Johnstone in particular - he was arguably the best keeper in the Championship and personally bagged a number of wins). Plus clubs are circling to pick off whatever assets we have left (eg. Jack Grealish, James Chester). With no prospect of anyone new coming in, it looks like the youth academy will be getting a lot more game time.
Predicted starting XI: Possibly this, but half these players could be gone before the first match.
Best case scenario: Mid-table anonymity would have to be best case - Villa are a mess and could go down this time around.
Worst case scenario: Our finances are the real issue - they are dire. Villa need to find £9 million this month to avoid going into administration. Owner "Dr." Tony Xia is a billionaire, apparently, but tax bills went unpaid and the question remains if he's able to support the club as generously as he has in the past. Administration, points deductions and potentially relegation to League One are all real possibilities right now. It's not looking good.
Prediction: Due to financial irregularities in the 23 clubs above us, Villa will get into the Champions League and take out the likes of Atletico, Bayern and Real Madrid on the way to our second European Cup. "Taylor, Green, prepared to venture down the left. There's a good ball played in for Jack Grealish. Oh, it must be and it is! It's Keinan Davis!"
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Unfortunately the Scum managed to avoid League One in the final rounds of the season. Here's hoping they go one better. Agbonlahor to re-sign for one game: the Derby. And score the winner, again.

Middlesbrough by OneSmallHuman

Location: The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Founded: 1876
Nickname: The Boro (Or just Boro)
Major honours: The League cup 2003-2004 season
17/18 finishing position: 5th
Transfermarkt squad value: 79.34m
Manager: Tony Pulis became manager of us in late December 2017, replacing the sacked Garry Monk after a pretty lacklustre few months of the campaign (despite where our league position was). Pulis is known in England for being the man that is never relegated when in charge of someone in the top flight. We are all aware of Tony Pulis' style of football. You start by having a strong and massive defence and maximise your use of set pieces to gain an advantage. Pulis is a lover of all set piece plays, whether that is crossing the ball in from a corner or free kick, or launching a ball into the box from a throw in, they're all in his arsenal of weapons. 'Pulisball' as it is pretty much known. Pulis has achieved promotion from the championship once before with Stoke, and I hope he achieves it again with us this season
Best player(s)/ rising star: I mean, where else do I begin. Adama Traore. Arguably the best player in the championship on his day and is one of the most frightening dribblers in English football, maybe even world football. The winger is known for his speed and dribbling ability although is usually criticised for his lack of end product. Before last season I would've agreed, however 5 goals and 10 assists, with all but 2 assists coming before Pulis' arrival show the progression of the Spanish winger.
As for other members of the squad, Ben Gibson, the prodigal son. Boro through and through he's progressed into a commanding centre half with the ability to play out from the back thanks to Karanka. He gained attention and emerged as one of the few given credit after our disappointing premier league campaign but was only the subject of one bid upon our relegation, from now manager Tony Pulis. It remains to be seen whether he'll be here come the first game of the season, but I hope he will be.
As for future stars, Dael Fry, already has played 2 championship campaigns for us and looks as assured as a veteran of the game. Another centre half produced by our academy and he is being played in cdm this pre-season by Pulis, to add to his versatility. Hopefully a standout season for him, especially if Gibson does end up leaving. Finally, yes, he does always look as confused as images of him show.
What happened last season?: Well, the first half of the season was tragic under Monk. We played really poor football at times and looked like we hadn't defended a day in our lives. There was also no consistency in the team, we'd win one game then lose the next. A key theme under both managers however, was our inability to beat those around us in the table. After Pulis' appointment the results picked up and it ended with us finishing 5th in the table. We ultimately lost in the playoff semi finals to Aston Villa but honestly, we didn't think we'd even be in the top half around Christmas.
Summer transfer business (so far): Just the three deals to talk about so far. We've acquired Paddy McNair from Sunderland who looks like a decent player. He's been utilised in right back and midfield during pre-season so it looks like they'll be his positions for the season. I imagine he'll play alongside Clayts and Howson in a midfield three.
Aden Flint was signed from Bristol City and I think I'm in the minority when I say I don't like how much we paid for him. Obviously the man is a Pulis player but I'm a bit unsure about his defensive ability. That being said he's looked strong during pre-season and I'm sure Pulis will get the best out of him. Fabio departed our club for Nantes so we'll need more full back cover.
As for the rest of the window, I expect Gibson to leave but will be delighted if he doesn't. One of our strikers will also leave and Braithwaite should follow after his decent World Cup performances. We'll probably bring in a striker and a winger and hopefully hold onto Adama. That'd be a successful window in my eyes.
Predicted starting XI: My best guess The only other guess I could make is that Gibson might leave and then Ayala would start, but he's injured at this point in time. Britt might play over Gestede too if Pulis is feeling fancy.
Best case scenario: It has to be top of the pile right? It's not out of the question to imagine us up there and if everything clicks then we've got a chance. A defence that scores more than some teams' strikers, Adama channelling his inner Messi and finding consistency, Rudy/Britt/Bamford scoring for fun. It could be carnage.
Worst case scenario: I can't see us finishing outside the playoffs, if we did then that would be gut-wrenching. But if we did then that would most certainly be the worst. Realistically, it'd be losing in the playoffs... again, and if it were in the final again then god help me. Although saying this, now losing Bamford and maybe Traore will be a worst case scenario in itself, definitely if they're not replaced.
Prediction: Have to be confident, although it always kills me. 1st or 2nd. Tony Pulis and his nice white trainers carry us to the promise land. That being said, we never do it the easy way.
Best Match of Last Season Sorry Leeds fans, but it had to be. "Hattrick Bamford" as our Twitter account tweeted, 3-0 against Leeds with Adama running the show. Leeds clearly found some positive from the game as they're set to sign him off us. This was the sign of what we should've done more last season. Showed what Paddy could've been too if given an even more extended period in Striker by himself. Oh well.
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Who even are our closest rivals in this league? We're in geographical purgatory. Can't say Sunderland anymore so what? Leeds? Bielsa either turns them into the well oiled machine they hope for or he succumbs to the old Leeds ways and is sacked by December. As for the Mackems, probably promoted from League 1.
submitted by s0ngsforthedeaf to soccer [link] [comments]

Match Thread: Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Chelsea vs Liverpool

Overview

Match Day 26
Kick-off: Sunday, 6th of Feb 2011 at 4.00pm GMT (11am East Coast, 3am Sydney)
Location: Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, London
Referee: Andre Marriner (16 matches, 2 red cards)
Assistant referees: Scott Ledger & Adam Watts
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
Previous Fixture: Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield with Fernando Torres scoring two goals. The match marked the beginning of a form slump for the title holders. Soccernet Match Report
Television: Live on Sky Sports 1 (UK), Fox Sports (Aus) and Fox Soccer Channel (USA)
Websites: Liverpool Latest News, Chelsea Latest News

Reddit Live Chat

LIVE CHAT NOW OPEN
[http://live-news.appspot.com]
If you have problems accessing live chat, privmsg me here or email me on my username at gmail.com

Match News

Match Trivia

Pre-Match Press Quotes

We are more important than any player they have got. We'll play against whoever they put on the pitch. I would expect they would relish the battle against him [Torres] but they have competed brilliantly against everyone since I have come in
-- Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool Manager

Media

Site Links
Soccernet Gamecast
Guardian Gamecast
Sky Sports(UK) Preview

Live Streams

Streams will be updated 30-15 minutes before the game. Check back here
Site Links
LiveTV Homepage STREAMS
myp2p Homepage STREAMS
atdhe Homepage
rojadirecta HOMEPAGE (scroll down to liverpool vs chelsea) STREAM

Match Odds

The price on Liverpool has been shifting a lot while Chelsea have shortened. A lot of money on Torres to score at $2.20
Agency Chelsea Draw Liverpool
SportingBet 1.53 3.70 5.75
William Hill 1.57 3.75 6.00
Bet365 1.57 4.00 6.00
Betfair 1.64 4.30 6.00
Bets: 2-2 is $19, while Chelsea to lead at half time and Liverpool to win is paying $41

Table

Pos Team P W D L F A D P
1 Man Utd 25 15 9 1 55 24 31 54
2 Arsenal 25 15 5 5 54 27 27 50
3 Man City 26 14 7 5 42 22 20 49
4 Chelsea 24 13 5 6 46 21 25 44
5 Tottenham 25 12 8 5 35 27 8 44
6 Sunderland 26 9 10 7 32 31 1 37
7 Liverpool 25 10 5 10 33 31 2 35
8 Bolton 26 8 9 9 36 37 -1 33
9 Stoke 25 10 3 12 31 32 -1 33
10 Newcastle 25 8 7 10 40 38 2 31

Stats

Chelsea Liverpool
Top Scorers Florent Malouda 9 Fernando Torres
Didier Drogba 9 Steven Gerrard
Salomon Kalou 7 Dirk Kuyt
Nicolas Anelka 6 Maxi Rodríguez
Assists Didier Drogba 8 Steven Gerrard
Yellows Branislav Ivanovic 7 Fernando Torres
Reds Michael Essien 1 Lucas
Last 5 (home/away) W-D-W-D-L W-L-L-L-L
Last 5 W-W-W-L-D W-W-W-D-L
Avg. Scored1 2.2
Avg. Conceeded1 0.6
*1. Average at home for home team, away for away team *

Last 5 Results

Chelsea Result Liverpool Result
Sunderland (A) 4-2 Stoke (H) 2-0
Bolton (A) 4-0 Fulham (H) 1-0
Blackburn (H)) 2-0 Wolves (A) 3-0
Wolves (A) 0-1 Everton (H) 2-2
Aston Villa (H) 3-3 Blackpool (A) 1-2

Lineups

Chelsea

Manager:
Formation:
Unavailable:
In doubt:
Possible Starting (unconfirmed)
No. Player Pos
1 Petr Cech GK
17 José Bosingwa RB
2 Branislav Ivanovic CB
26 John Terry CB
3 Ashley Cole LB
5 Michael Essien CM
12 Jon Obi Mikel CM
8 Frank Lampard CM
39 Nicolas Anelka RW
9 Fernando Torres ST
11 Didier Drogba LW
Subs
No. Player Pos
22 Ross Turnbull GK
4 David Luiz CB
15 Florent Malouda F
19 Paulo Ferreira D
21 Solomon Kalou F
51 Josh McEchran M
43 Sala

Liverpool

Manager:
Formation:
Unavailable:
In doubt:
Starting (Confirmed - LFC)
No. Player Pos
25 Reina GK
23 Jamie Carragher CB
34 Skrtel CB
5 Agger CB
34 Kelly RWB
2 Johnson LWB
21 Lucas CM
8 Gerrard CM
17 Maxi Rodríguez LM
4 Meireles CAM
18 Kuyt ST

Live Updates

Min Action
0' KICK OFF
33' FUCK!! MAXI!!
45' HALF TIME - Awesome Game. Torres had one chance, runs onto a ball from Drogba that was cut across goal. Brilliant last second block from Carragher. And then there was Maxi. Maxi, maxi maxi. No doubt that video will be all over reddit within an hour.
45' SECOND HALF
65' SUBSTITUTION CHELSEA Solomon Kalou (9M pounds) has come on for Fernando Torres (50M pounds)
68' RAUL MEIRELES!!!! LIVERPOOOOOL!
90' FULL TIME what a game, what a weekend!
(Apologies for not keeping up a running game log. I got a bit carried away watching the game. Almost had a heart attack)

Match Overview

Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1
Meireles 68'
_____________________ ___ _____________________ ___

Match Stats

Chelsea Liverpool
0(0) Shots (on Goal) 0(0)
0 Fouls 0
0 Corner Kicks 0
0 Offsides 0
0% Possession 0%
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 0

Match Reports

[TBA]
submitted by nikcub to soccer [link] [comments]

Pre Match Thread: UEFA Champions League (Group Stage) - Chelsea FC vs. FC Schalke 04

UEFA Champions League (Group Stage) - Chelsea FC vs. FC Schalke 04 17/9/14

19:45 BST / 11:45 PDT / 13:45 CDT / 14:45 EDT / 04:45 September 18th AEST

Stadium: Stamford Bridge

Location: Fulham, London, SW6 1HS Capacity: 41,798 Weather: 20°c (68°f) - Cloudy - BBC

Match Officials:

Referee: Ivan Bebek Sideline Assistants: Tomislav Petrović, Miro Grgić 4th Official: Dalibor Conjar Official's Country: Croatia

Match Odds:

Chelsea Win: 30/100 Draw: 4/1 Schalke Win: 9/1 Source: SkyBet
  • Didier Drogba could feature for Chelsea in Wednesday's Champions League Group G opener against Schalke at Stamford Bridge after recovering from injury.
  • Petr Cech is expected to start in goal over Thibaut Courtois
  • Mourinho is aiming to become the first manager to win the competition with three different clubs, having triumphed with Porto in 2004 and then with Inter Milan in 2010
  • Troubled times at Schalke have resulted in a crisis of confidence with senior players vocal in their dissatisfaction as they prepare to open their Champions League campaign at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC

Manager: José Mourinho
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1) from: Cech, Courtois, Schwarzer; Ake, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Christensen, Filipe Luis, Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma; Fabregas, Hazard, Matic, Mikel, Oscar, Ramires, Salah, Willian, Schurrle; Costa, Drogba, Remy.

Facts:

  • With one eye on the trip to Manchester City on Sunday, Mourinho will have some tough decisions to make about his starting XI to face Schalke.
  • Chelsea have scored 11 goals in just three league games this season. Last season it took them until their eighth league game to score their 11th goal.
  • Diego Costa has scored seven goals in four Premier League matches; Fernando Torres took 43 games to reach this figure for Chelsea.
  • Filipe Luis could also be handed his first start of the season at left-back to give Cesar Azpilicueta a rest.
  • Nemanja Matic was cup-tied for Chelsea’s campaign in the Champions League last season after joining from Benfica in January. Now available, he should start alongside Cesc Fabregas in the holding role on Wednesday.
  • Chelsea have won four out of four in the Premier League this season, scoring 15 goals in the process – their most prolific start to a season since 2010/11.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 30 home league games, dating back to January 2013. That came with April's 2-1 defeat by Sunderland AFC.
  • Diego Costa passed a late fitness test on Saturday on the hamstring problem that forced him to pull out of the Spain squad to start against Swansea City AFC. He scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win, making it seven goals in four Chelsea appearances since his summer move from Club Atlético de Madrid.
  • Costa is only the second player to score in each of his first four Premier League games after Micky Quinn, who achieved the feat for Coventry City FC in 1992.
  • Nemanja Matić's goal in the 6-3 victory at Everton FC on 30 August was his first for the club. It took him 22 appearances to get off the mark.
  • César Azpilicueta and Thibaut Courtois have both signed new five-year deals this month.
  • Gary Cahill has been named England vice-captain and took the armband when Wayne Rooney was substituted during England's friendly draw against Norway and the 2-0 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying win in Switzerland earlier this month.
  • Twenty-six players left Chelsea on loan this summer.
  • Mourinho has never lost a home game against German opposition (W5 D2).
Form vs. FC Schalke 04: 3W 1D 0L

FC Schalke 04

Manager: Jens Keller
Schalke XI (4-4-2) from: Ralf Fährmann, Christian Wetklo, Timon Wellenreuther; Marvin Friedrich, Benedikt Höwedes, Dennis Aogo, Atsuto Uchida, Christian Fuchs, Pascal Itter; Kevin-Prince Boateng, Christian Clemens, Marco Höger, Sidney Sam, Tranquillo Barnetta, Roman Neustädter; Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Chinedu Obasi, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Facts:

  • The Royal Blues’ goalkeeper had been one of the few visiting players to offer up a vaguely presentable performance as they gave in meekly to Mönchengladbach, their Bundesliga campaign having already adopted an air of farce.
  • Their first three league games have yielded a solitary point, fortunately if inappropriately enough earned against Bayern Munich, to cast them into the relegation zone of the fledgling table.
  • Confidence is drained, senior players increasingly vocal in their dissatisfaction at the team’s lack of progress, and now they must visit Chelsea: Premier League leaders, scorers of 15 goals in four games to date. Jens Keller and his team arrived in London on Tuesday with a sense of dread of what might await.
  • This is a club in a state of shock, memories of the relatively productive run-in to last season fading by the week.
  • At Mönchengladbach on Saturday Keller found himself without eight senior players
  • For the first time in 46 years, Schalke have failed to win any of their first four competitive games of a new season.
  • Schalke were dumped out of the German Cup by third-tier SG Dynamo Dresden in their season curtain-raiser on 18 August, the visitors losing 2-1.
  • The Royal Blues kicked off their league campaign with another 2-1 defeat – this time at Hannover 96 – before a 1-1 draw with champions FC Bayern München that ended a run of seven successive league losses to the Bavarians.
  • Schalke managed a solitary point from their opening three league games in 2013/14 before recovering to record their third top-three finish in five seasons.
  • Joel Matip picked up a problem with adductors in training on Wednesday and is sidelined along with Jan Kirchhoff, who suffered a knee injury against Bayern.
  • Fabian Giefer (adductors), Sead Kolašinac (knee), Felipe Santana (adductors), Leon Goretzka (hamstring) and Jefferson Farfán (knee) are all long-term absentees.
  • Atsuto Uchida, who suffered a patella tendon injury at the FIFA World Cup, played 45 minutes on 4 September as Schalke won 6-0 in a friendly against a composite XI made up of players from TSV Steinbach and SSV Langenaubach.
  • Benedikt Höwedes, utilised as a makeshift left-back, played every minute of Germany's victorious FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil. Julian Draxler was also in the squad, making a 15-minute cameo in the 7-1 semi-final win against the hosts.
Form vs. Chelsea: 0W 1D 3L
submitted by ZzHostagezZHD to chelseafc [link] [comments]

Leicester City's 'King Power' synchronicity

BACKGROUND to "The Greatest Footballing Story Of All Time"
England's Leicester City (LC) and King Richard III share a very special bond, based on the fact that Richard III was buried there following the Battle of Bosworth. His remains were entombed in Greyfriars church which was demolished after 1536. A story circulated that Richard's bones were thrown into the River Soar by the nearby Bow Bridge after the demolition. For a long time this was believed to be nothing more than legend. However, by the end of the 20th century, "aided by a plaque near the Bow Bridge", this account was deemed historically correct.
All of this is worth mentioning because of an excavation that took place at the site of the old church in 2012. A complete skeleton was uncovered, that of a male showing severe scoliosis and major head wounds. On February 4th in 2013 the University of Leicester confirmed that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III. This discovery, of the remains of a major English king, made world headlines.
Richard's remains were reburied in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015, and here is where our story gets interesting... At the time Leicester City's soccer team was in last place in the English Premier League, (EPL). The EPL does not impose player parity as three of the four major North American major sporting leagues do with 'salary caps' (basketball, football and ice hockey). The Daily Mail later wrote about the gross inequity, writing that, "The combined cost of Leicester’s probable starting XI will be £21m. To put that into context, David Silva is the eighth most expensive player in [Manchester] City’s side, and he cost £24m. In total, City’s team cost £292.9m to assemble."
When Richard III was buried the EPL was well into the 2014-15 season, and it was increasingly looking as if the last-place Foxes would be one of the teams to face relegation or demotion from the EPL. But LC's collective fate began to turn in the match which immediately followed Richard III's burial. On April 4th LC won their first match in three months. Their 2-1 home victory over West Ham, at 'King Power' Stadium was won on a goal by Andy King, his 50th with the Foxes.
LC then won six of their eight remaining matches and avoided relegation. By any club's standard it was a very solid way to finish the season. Yet despite their very strong finish, nobody expected Leceister City to continue their winning ways the following year. Bookmakers famously gave the Foxes a 1-in-5000 chance to win the championship in 2015-16. The long odds meant that the bookies considered such an outcome virtually impossible and, by the way, perceived to be less likely than Elvis Presley being found alive that same year, or Kim Kardashian becoming US President in 2016.
Nonetheless, LC continued their winning ways and a series of improbable comeback victories in the fall of 2015 saw them rise to the top of the EPL standings.
APRIL 4-15, THE TURNAROUND DATE ..
To some, the longer Leceister City stayed atop the Premier League, the more significant King Richard's burial seemed to be. After all, the Foxes' run began in their very next match, after literally months of losing. Given the 'King' Richard connection, it became noteworthy that Andy 'King' had scored the winning goal in that turnaround game against West Ham who was also the only 'King' to see playing time during the EPL's 2014-15 season, in a league that lists 500 players the member teams' rosters. With all due respect to Richard III, as far as the soccer pitch is concerned you couldn't get a better 'Leicester City' King than Andy, who has played his entire career with the club. He was also a very unlikely-improbable hero, as this was just one of two goals that King would score all season, and the 50th of his career.
So, in hindsight April 4th proved to be a very significant date, adn from the start of the turnaround there was this 'King' twist to what The Sun and other major media sources described as "the greatest footballing story of all time.".
And April 4th was also the 58th birthday of Leicester City's owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha is also the CEO of Thailand's mighty 'King Power' International Group which is why the Foxes' home field is called King Power Stadium, with the Thai brand having been founded 1989.
So, King Richard's connection to Leicester and that of the King Power corporation's are entirely unrelated considerations. And as this story evolved 'King Power' took on a folklorish meaning. Was King Richard III lending good vibes to the Foxes? asked the British media lightheartedly. After all, their turnaround did begin in the 4/4 match that immediately followed his proper burial.
Make of that what you will, but the idea of spiritual support was taken very seriously by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Seriously enough that for some time he had been sending a revered Thai monk over from Thailand in order to 'purify' King Power Stadium. Later on the King Power CEO began having Thai monks attend home games, to bless the players before the kick-off, before spending the match deep in meditation in a specially designated room at King Power stadium. For these efforts, and thanks to the Foxes concurrent success, LC became Thailand's adopted EPL team and eventually a story of global interest.
People waited for Leicester City's virtually impossible run to end, but end it did not. On May 2nd - or so it appeared - LC clinched the Premier League title. The news of the Foxes' ultimate victory spread across the planet.
However, when all was said and done it turned out that the Foxes had quietly clinched the title on April 10 in Week 33. The surrounding details should be mentioned in a presentation like this, as the details add to the narrative of things all coming together in what must be a very improbable (non-random?) manner for LC.
On April 10 LC earned their 72nd point in a match against Sunderland, which would be all the points they'd need, as second-place Arsenal would finish the season with 71. This means that the winning goal in the Sunderland was also the EPL season-clincher: and Jamie Vardy's goal in the match's 66th minute proved to be apt timing for this great English story) (i.e. 1066).
Although this goal's EPL-season implications would have to wait before being made fully known, when Vardy scored LC fans were well aware that goal represented a significant one for the franchise, as Vardy had just become the first Leicester player since Gary Lineker in the 1984–85 season to score 20 goals in English football's top division. And here, given our overarching "King Power" narrative, I will add Lineker, born in Leicester and one of England's most prolific international goal-scorers, had accomplished this feat a very tidy 500 years after the death of Richard III in 1485 (which may in turn recall Andy King's historic 50th goal in this storyline). Jumping ahead to 2015 Richard, the last English monarch to die in battle, was buried in Leicester on 26 March, the 85th day of the year.
So, Vardy's first goal against Sunderland on April 10 matched an old club record of consequence while clinching LC the EPL title in this transcendent story. But there was more thing: With this same goal, scored by the Barclays Premier League Player of the Season and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, also secured LC its first invitation to the UEFA Champions League, the European club championship tournament which dates back to 1955.
As mentioned, the story of Leicester City's success made the news worldwide and for very good reason: This may be the only time, in any major sporting league across the planet, that a team has gone from being in last place one season to being champions the next.
Here is what Leicester City's two-year turnaround looked like, up to and including the championship clincher against Sunderland, in Wins, Draws (d)and Losses:
dLdWWLdLLLLdLLLLLLWdWLLLLdLdL--burial Richard III 26 March 18 --- 4 April 18: WWWWLWWdW --end 2014/15 ,avoids relegation -- 2015/16 WddWdLWdWWWWdWWWLddWdWWWLWdWWWWW
'King Power' indeed.
SyncGuy44
submitted by SyncGuy44 to Synchronicities [link] [comments]

BetSafe soccer predictions (not mine, sharing newsletter for discussion)

The web site BetSafe.com shared the predictions below. What do you think? I personally would not trust predictions sent over by a bookmaker.
Premier League
Aston Villa vs Man City Man City finally looked like the team that on paper they should be last weekend in a massive 4-1 victory over rivals Manchester United. I believe the confidence taken from this match will be enough for City to make easy work of Aston Villa. Bet is Man city (3-way handicap) 2.27. Bet on correct score and if Yaya Toure scores the last goal we’ll refund losing bets as a bonus. Check out more of this week’s last goal scorer cash back offers here.
Swansea vs Arsenal Arsenal were running riot over a stoke side that had the previous week held Man city to a 0-0 draw. With the addition of Mesut Ozil Arsenal have looked even stronger as a team and currently sit top of the table. Bet is Arsenal to win 2.24 La Liga
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Atletico sit above Real in the table and remain unbeaten so far this season including when they played away at Barcelona. It is always brave taking on Real Madrid but this week I feel it’s justified, bet is Atletico Madrid +1 (3-way handicap) 2.32. If you want to go for correct score in this match we will refund your stake as a bonus if Karim Benzema scores the last goal.
Serie A
Torino vs Juventus In this hot derby I think both sides will look to get out of the blocks strong and both sides have averaged over 2.5 goals in their respective fixtures for the season so far. I think picking a clear winner here at the prices offered is too tricky, my bet is both teams to score 1.90. We are also offering last goal scorer cashback in this match if Fernando Llorente scores the last goal.
Bundesliga
Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg It is still early in the season and as such volatile but Bayern Munich has had 4 of their opening 5 matches finish under 2.5 goals. Wolfsburg are a side full of inconsistency in their results so far this season but if we look at last season they conceded only just over 1 goal on average for away games last season. Bet is under 3.5 goals 2.01.
submitted by SmartBets to SmartBets [link] [comments]

Premier League Top Scorer Predictions & Tips Published on 08/08/17 By Tim @ Betting Gods The Premier League Top Scorer betting brings together some players who have proven their talents in the Premier league already on more than one occasion, players who may do better at their second attempt, and a few debutants who could take to it like a duck Aguero to become the Premier League’s top goal scorer. Sergio Aguero was unable to do anything to stop Manchester United completing the local derby double last week. But he seems perfectly poised to overtake Aubameyang at the top of the goal charts and swoop in and take the Golden Boot award once again. Premier League Top Scorers . Jamie Vardy. Leicester. 128 mins per goal. 2944 mins played. 23 Goals scored. 5 Assists. Shots on target Total. 63%. 43. 68. Danny Ings. Southampton. 130 mins per goal BettingTop10 uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. The goalscorer markets are some of the most hotly contested in the betting industry. Even when you are betting on an individual game they are tough to call, which is why the odds of the bet, be it first, last, or anytime scorers can be so high. The difficulty increases further when you try to predict the top goal scorer in the league or the cup.

[index] [7411] [12877] [9596] [4671] [4234] [7667] [13546] [6985] [3685] [3781]