Arsenal v Manchester City betting preview: Free tips

Arsenal vs Manchester City, Premier League 2015/16: Where to watch live, preview, betting odds and possible XI

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[Translation] Which La Liga club fits each Premier League team?

Good morning lads and lassies of soccer. To celebrate that the Bundesliga finally comes back I bring you the transcripton/translation of a pretty interesting video I had watched some time ago, related (and literally titled) "Which La Liga team fits each team of the Premier League?"
Now, I know the issue about fans that have simpathy for "second" teams is polarizing and as we all know after last year, it can become something completely vomitive, but this video is indeed trying to give fans of Spanish clubs reasons to like a particular English club, and with that said, tbh I believe at the end of the day most fans, plastic or not, do feel at least some simpathy for some clubs above others excluding their own. From the small town fan who supports their local club but also the "big" team that challenges for the league in the top division, to the Ultra that hates every club of their country that isn't his but do likes a foreign club of which he befriended their respective Ultras in the past, I'm pretty sure that most football fans do feel at least a bit of simpathy for some particular club of a foreign league.
But well, that discussion shouldn't be the topic of this. The fact is that these Spaniards of the video do like particular English clubs and to guide other similar Spaniards analyzed the situation and created this "guidebook" about which Premier League club "currently" fits each La Liga club, and that is what will be shown here.
With a last emphasis in the "currently", there's nothing else to say as preview. Just remember that these aren't my opinions and I'm only sharing what they decided.

Newcastle United & Athletic Club

Crystal Palace & Getafe

Liverpool & Real Madrid

Norwich & Valladolid

Bournemouth & Eibar

Burnley & Alaves

Sheffield United & Mallorca

Brighton & Levante

Leicester & Villarreal

Southampton & Leganés

Watford & Granada

Chelsea & Atletico Madrid

Tottenham & Sevilla

Manchester United & Valencia

Everton & Real Sociedad

Manchester City & Barcelona

West Ham & Espanyol

Wolves & Real Betis

Aston Villa & Celta de Vigo

Arsenal & Osasuna

*and that's it. Hope that you liked it as I did. Do you have any opinions about how to make this even more accurate? feel free to share them.
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Team Preview - Manchester United [Premier League 2019-20 - 15/20]

Manchester United

by CrebTheBerc

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Today we're with the most successful team in English domestic football, Manchester United.
About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
6 38 19 9 10 65 54 +11 66
Last season started off with a bang as we quickly sealed the double transfers of Diogo Dalot and Fred. Unfortunately the rest of the transfer window was a shit show as we chased targets the board wouldn't sanction the funds for (Ironic now I know) and Mourinho quickly descended into his infamous 3rd season meltdown.
Early signs were there as we lost 3-1 to Brighton in the second week with individual defensive errors key to the loss, followed by a comprehensive 3-0 loss to Tottenham featuring Ander Herrera as a CB. Mixed results followed culminating in a fantastic 3-2 comeback against Newcastle which many speculated save Mourinho's job with rumors circulating that he was on the edge. We then went on a run of 9 games that saw us win 3, draw 4, and lose to both City and Liverpool. For anyone who somehow didn't see the Liverpool game, it was the most lifeless performance I've seen from a United team. We conceded 36 shots, more than last place Huddersfield did over both of their games against Liverpool last season, and Mourinho was sacked the following day.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as a caretaker and went on an incredible 11 game unbeaten streak including wins against Tottenham and Arsenal. We managed a fantastic comeback against PSG in the Champion's League off the back of a controversial penalty and Ole was signed on permanently to many fan's delight. Unfortunately the season again went to shit. In our final 9 run of games we barely beat Watford and West Hame while losing 5, drawing 2, and getting knocked out of the FA cup and CL with mostly poor performances.
At the end of last season most fans seemed to want Ole backed in the transfer market along side an experienced DoF appointment. Assuming those two things happened I think most fans were cautiously optimistic, especially with Chelsea's ban and Arsenal's financial situation.

This season

As things stand the expectations for the next season are somewhat precariously balanced. We've addressed 2 huge issues in the team transfer wise with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire (deal yet to be finalised) shoring up the defense and Dan James joining as a depth option on the wing. We are currently linked heavily to Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic to a lesser extent. Bringing in Dybala would definitely improve the team and Mandzu would turn the window into a major positive.
We still have a lot of issues however. Despite winning all of our preseason games there are massive questions in midfield. Pogba remains our only creative option and Scott McTominay has stepped up as his undisputed partner in a double pivot. Outside of those two our options are extremely limited. Matic has continued to regress and has looked very poor, Pereira is better farther forward and overall hasn't offered a ton, and Fred is far too inconsistent in his performances. We desperately need a midfield reinforcement which looks unlikely to arrive. RW is also a concern, however we seem determined to wait for Jadon Sancho so we will make due with a variety of options there.
To turn to the positive, several of our players look much improved from last season such as Anthony Martial who's work rate has been praised in preseason. Our young stars have also shone and look ready to hopefully contribute this season. Regardless, this will be another transitional year for us, although hopefully we stick to a plan this time. The board seem prepared to back Ole long term and play the long game, however I don't think any United fan really trusts Woodward or the Glazers so who the fuck knows what will happen.
For now I think most United fans would be happy with the summer assuming we bring in Dybala, with the note that we need a winger and midfielder next season. From there I think we'll have to see if our performances can improve from the end of last season and figure out what to do if they don't. The main goal is top 4 and decent cup runs with youth involved.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Daniel James Transfer Swansea City Manchester United 18 million
Aaron Wan-Bissaka Transfer Crystal Palace Manchester United 45 million
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
Aaron Wan-Bissaka
We've been crying out for a proper right back for a while now and in his appearances so far he's looked very impressive. He's a wall in defense and has showed good moments of quality forward, combining well with Pogba too. I know it's only preseason but he already looks to have filled a huge hole in the squad.
Scott McTominay
Scotty has become something of a fan favorite recently, he keeps things simple but does them very well. Since impressing in the second half of last season he has kept his upwards trajectory and in many fans opinion has earned a starting spot to start the season.
Marcus Rashford
Fell out of form and carried an injury to finish the season, but looks energetic and hungry this preseason. Whether he starts out wide or up top is kind of up in the air(and maybe moot as our front 3 will be flexible), but we have high hopes he'll continue developing and break his current scoring record(13) this season
Honorable Mention: Mason Greenwood
The 17 year old looked extremely composed in our final game of the 18/19 season and has continued that in preseason. With the RW spot open and his performances so far, he may be in line to have somewhat of a breakout season this year
What the fans think
Thanks to /Reddevils for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
We will finish top 4, but not very comfortably and we'll lose some big games (Liverpool, City) by quite a lot. In Europa League some kids who at first won't play in the Prem will shine and become first team players, whilst gradually phasing out older ones. Ole will finish the season as our manager and everyone will expect bigger things in the next one.
better than some think, not as good as others think but lots of people will be pissed off. It will be very tough breaking the top 4 but with consistency we can do it. I will say a fourth place finish and no trophies. I consider that a fantastic season for us atm.
We are all hyped and I think we have made some of the right moves in terms of transfers and our ambition in style of play, but I still think we will have some woeful performances and make it a fight to finish top 4. Pogba will drive us all mad but somehow still be statistically our best player, we wont finish the transfer window as we hope and we will still have obvious problems that just wont be addressed properly - OGS has a lot of pressure to make it work and make it work fast.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
Wan-Bissaka, Two-Bissaka, Three-Bissaka, four. Having an actual right side will do wonders
Paul Pogba. On his day, he’s the best midfielder in the league (and maybe the world). I think he’ll be playing in a double pivot with McTominay, but with less defensive responsibilities then when he was in the pivot under Mou. He’ll probs be playing box to box, his best position I think, and should score up a range of assists considering he’s easily our most creative player. I expect a 25 g+a season from Paul.
I think Rashford is going to have a really good season and repay the faith Ole has shown in him. This is going to be his first full season as the main striker so I think he will have a 20 goal season
How do you think the team will line up?
4-2-3-1 - this is assuming we sign Maguire. I would also expect to see a new signing in the no10 position, most likely Dybala, in for Mata. Lingard probably the least nailed-on out of the rest of the lineup (James and Greenwood will challenge for that spot) and Matic could fade as the season goes on with McTominay and Fred ready to come in. The rest of the team basically picks itself right now.
Either in a 4-3-1-2 with Martial and Rashford spliting out wide with an attacking midfielder pressing and playing like a false nine. Or in a 4-2-3-1 with inside forwards. Against more defensive teams you would expect Mata to start and in bigger matches Lingard would be more likely to feature somewhere. In both systems expect Martial and Rashford to be totally fluid and swap positions a lot. In the Europa League and League Cup expect a lot rotation and chances for youngsters such as Tuanzabe in defence, Chong on the wing, Gomes as a 10/winger and Greenwood as a striker.
De Gea, AWB, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, McTominay, Mata(maybe Dybala), Lingard, Rashford, Martial
is how I feel we'll start the first few months but by the end I wouldn't be surprised to see Greenwood or Gomes in that team.

Wrap Up

by NickTM
The Manager: Remember how Man Utd started the season with Jose Mourinho in charge? Remember how Ole Gunnar Solskjær came in and put together such an impressive list of results? Remember how Manchester United then locked him down to a three year contract after every fan in the world plus every ex-United player in the media was so jubilantly calling him the second coming? Remember how that form immediately turned to shit, winning only two more league games from then 'til the end of the season? God, that was fun, wasn't it?
The Team: Lacking talent has not been Manchester United's major issue over the past couple of seasons despite their lack of Premier League titles to show for it. Victor Lindelöf and Chris Smalling - and, one would imagine, Harry Maguire too soon - protect David de Gea, who remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world despite a down year by his lofty standards last season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has taken a step down in terms of club prestige to generously help out Manchester United at right back, allowing the Ashley Young as starting right back era to gracefully come to a close. Luke Shaw looks to have finally locked down his spot on the left of defence after first being dropped and then subsequently dropping some weight under Mourinho. Nemanja Matic still patrols the defensive midfield - albeit with less effectiveness than in the past - alongside Paul Pogba, whose ongoing angst about getting paid obscene amounts of money to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world wore thin months ago. Up front, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial support a striker, although whether that's going to be Romelu Lukaku or Marcus Rashford remains to be seen. It's a strong squad with, crucially, a lot of depth; Eric Bailly, Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo, Fred, Diogo Dalot, Scott McTominay, Daniel James, Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones are just some of the squad options, offering a wealth of experience and quality. Issues still remain in areas of midfield, but there should be enough there to challenge anyone on the pitch.
Why to like them: Juan Mata. Aaron Wan-Bissaka's a good South London lad.
Why to dislike them: If you're not English, it's difficult to sum up the depth of feeling generated by Manchester United. The most effective way I've found is this: they're the Dallas Cowboys. They're the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Ferrari, the All Blacks, the Roger Federer if Federer was a dickhead, the Australia cricket team circa about 2007, the Floyd Mayweather, the Jon Bones Jones. That alone should get you to dislike them.
Now, to hate them, I'm not certain it's possible unless you grew up in England during Manchester United's dominant years in the past two decades. At least a third of the kids in your class would be Man Utd fans, whether you lived next to the stadium or in Land's End. They were, of course, obnoxious in the extreme, flaunting their plasticity for all to see and preening themselves in the reflection of their team's dominance. Now, that's just kids being kids, sure, but the issue is it kept going when they were adults. Hundreds of them, everywhere, chatting bollocks about how Federico Macheda was going to be the next Van Nistelrooy and having their eyes glaze over when you mention you support a club not in the Premier League. These hordes of milquetoast, half-and-half scarf wearing bellends decrying how unfair it was that Chelsea were spending so much money, and no, it's fine that Man Utd do the same because we earnt it, you see. Never mind Manchester United were one of the earliest examples of getting artificial investment via John Henry Davies funding their entire 80,000 capacity stadium for free, giving them a huge competitive advantage in the nascent era of football that established the future trajectories of so many clubs. Oh, and of course it's fine for them to bash Chelsea and Man City and what have you, but the moment anyone says a word against precious Manchester United it's all "jealousy" and that most vacuous and vapid of rallying cries, "hated, adored, never ignored", a pathetic and overplayed attempt to spin other peoples' dislike into a positive like a thin-skinned, emoji-obsessed athlete on Twitter.
And then there's the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the team they supported because they were good fails to win anything, oh dear lord. If you've never been in a bar filled with Manchester United fans when they fail to win a game then good grief that needs to be on your bucket list. You'd assume the walls were about to cave in and planes to drop out of the sky with the amount of angst on display. They treat it like it's their god-given right to be winning football games and any calmer or more rational voice is immediately drowned out by the chorus of "but we're MANCHESTER UNITED", as if being good ten years ago guarantees you success for the rest of eternity and being a 'big team' means losing is somehow completely unacceptable on any level. Their tiny plastic brains proceed to melt out of their ears and thousands across the country drop dead, with nothing of value lost.
Summary: Think I blacked out for a moment there. Anyway, you'd assume Man Utd could capitalise on some of the issues from the sides that finished higher than them - Chelsea's transfer ban, Arsenal's failure to address a leaky defence - are having at the moment. On top of that, they also don't have to contend with Champions League football, and although they're back in the Europa League for the first time since 2015-16 (in which they won it) it's quite a different beast and you'd expect key players to be able to get more of a rest. If De Gea can find his form again, if Harry Maguire lives up to his transfer fee and doesn't end up the next in a long line of underperforming Manchester United centre-back signings, and most importantly if Ole Gunnar Solskjær can prove his worth as a manager in a season that will likely prove the litmus test then the sky's the limit. It's a team capable of challenging for the title with a bit of luck and a few wobbles from the teams above them. Whilst that isn't that likely, you definitely wouldn't bet against a top four finish, and signs are that that'd be considered a pretty successful season all considered.

Links

Aston Villa | Sheffield United | Norwich City | Brighton | Southampton | Burnley | Bournemouth | Newcastle | Crystal Palace | Watford | West Ham | Leicester | Everton | Wolves
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Team Preview - West Ham [Premier League 2019-20 - 11/20]

West Ham United

by Sonofabilic

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Today we'll be smashing down some mash & jellied eels as we take a look at West Ham.
About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
10th 38 15 7 16 52 55 -3 52
Coming off the back of a chaotic 2017/18 season - one that saw two managerial dismissals in the shape of Slaven “sonofa” Bilic and David “jobs for the boys” Moyes, the sacking of our chief scout for a cheeky bit of racial profiling, our financial overlords continually using rejected Eastenders scripts as a basis for running the club, and of course the small matter of pitch invasions, coin throwing, and fans fighting that took place in our March game against Burnley - the biggest aim for the 18/19 campaign was a bit of calm and forward thinking off the pitch and hope that this would result in progress on it. Enter the softly spoken “Engineer” Manuel Pellegrini.
The former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager joined on a 3 year deal from Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune and represented a high profile appointment by a board who had promised to improve their running of the club. Normally when someone from East London orders something from a Chinese they insist on adding a side of chips, but on this occasion it was decided that our Chinese takeaway would be better served with a Director of Football to provide us with a hitherto non-existent level of respect in the transfer market so Mario Husillos, who had previously worked with Pellegrini at Malaga, took control of transfer proceedings. The owners had pledged to back the manager in the transfer market and duly did so by twice breaking the clubs transfer record on Issa Diop (£22m) and then Felipe Anderson (£35m) as well as recruiting the likes of Yarmolenko, Balbuena, Fabianski and Jack Wilshere to breath a bit of life in to both our squad and our medical room.
Most importantly for most West Ham fans though: the owners also pledged to step out of the spotlight and stop using the club as a megaphone to remind everyone what top business(wo)men they are. In last year’s preview I mentioned this commitment and said “we’ll wait and see on that one”. Well, we waited and - say it quietly now - they actually kinda followed through. No more public negotiations, no more leaks of internal affairs to the media, no more slagging off the players or manager in their weekly Sun column. The manner in which we’d began to manage ourselves was, dare I say it, quite mature?
It seemed that so long as things started to improve off the pitch most Hammers were willing to chalk up the season as a bit of a transitional one and be a little forgiving of poor results, although starting the season with 4 defeats on the trot certainly did raise a few eyebrows. The rest of the season would go on to be pretty inconsistent which is very on brand for West Ham. We’d go from looking World Class one week against the likes of Man Utd (H) or Everton (A) to looking Vauxhall Conference class the next week against the likes of Cardiff (A) or AFC Wimbledon (A). Pellegrini seemed to spend a decent portion of the season trialling different tactical set ups, with 4-2-3-1, 4-4-3, 4-2-2-2, 4-1-3-2, and all the other number combinations getting a run out at somepoint, and his efforts to settle on a best team weren’t helped by the health of his squad, with no less than 6 squad members (Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Reid, Carroll, Sanchez & Wilshere) missing most of the season through injury. Their loss did however open the door to four academy graduates (Grady Diangana, Ben Johnson, Conor Coventry and Joe Powell) who were all able to earn their first cracks at the senior side.
While I’ve waxed lyrical about our improvements off the pitch it obviously wasn’t all good, with main man and star of Eminem’s “Stan” music video Marko Arnautovic throwing his toys out of the pram in an effort to engineer a move to China in January. While this seemingly caused a great deal of drama behind the scenes, it culminated in him receiving a new contract and pay increase as he publically stated that he loved West Ham and never truly wanted to leave, in perhaps the least convincing performance from an Austrian since we were asked to believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger was an average joe American mattress salesman in Christmas classic “Jingle All the Way”.
Ultimately though it was a relatively positive season for the team. Redevelopment of the London Stadium had begun, with a fancy new carpet replacing the garish green felt, the newly named “Billy Bonds” stand, and plans to move the seating closer to the pitch all finally starting. The stadium is still a vision of a nightmarish dystopian future, but at least it was starting to a bit more like our nightmarish dystopian nightmare you know? The season had seen us achieve our highest finish and accrue our highest number of points & wins since moving the London Stadium, we had become the first side to score & win at London’s newest billion pound toilet bowl, we even won 8-0 at one point! The season certainly wasn’t the be all and end all, but it represented a stable foundation to build from.

This Season

It’s a bit of a tough one to gauge going in to next season. We’ve managed to clear 7 overpaid bit part players off the wage bill as well as finally granting our resident moody Austrian his childhood wish of playing in the Asian Champions League. We have brought in two big money signings, Pablo Fornals and Sébastian Haller, who look like they can immediately improve our first team quality, and we have a raft of long term absentees like Wilshere, Lanzini and Yarmolenko back amongst the squad. The hope is that going in to Pellegrini’s second season at the club we can start looking like a team built in his image (tactically, I mean, though I will concede that in previous years we’ve looked his image visually). The bulk of our transfer budget going on attacking talents suggests we’re going to try and play increasingly on the front foot next season, and while we could probably do with some additional coverage at the back it looks like we’ll be going in to the season with the same back 5 for the first time since the Large Samuel regime. Like I said though, next season is a tough one to work out what actually represents a successful campaign. With the middle class of Everton, Leicester, Wolves and Watford all looking increasingly dangerous, with the Hasenhüttl revolution in full swing at Southampton and a frustrating, back to basics Burnley on the up, and with the desperate need for someone in the top 6 (fingers crossed Frank Lampard) to have an absolute melt down for anyone to even have a sniff at the Europa League group stage let alone champions league, you’d have to say that any improvement on our 52 points last season would represent a decent season, with 7th spot being an ideal one. Let’s just hope there’s a cushty little FA Cup run and a few mega club scalps in there too.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Pablo Fornals Perm Villarreal CF West Ham Utd £24m
Sébastian Haller Perm Eintracht Frankfurt West Ham Utd £45m
Roberto Perm RCD Espanyol West Ham Utd £0
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
Sébastian Haller
This may come as a surprise to many of you, but we here at West Ham have struggled in recent years to bring in a quality, non perma-injured striker, so there is a great deal of hope that Javier might be the answer to this generation game conveyor belt of subpar forwards. Yeah ok I copy pasted that bit from my preview two years ago and left Chicharito’s name in because unfortunately our desperate hope for an answer to our centre forward problem is as relevant now as it was two years ago, and the year before that, and the year before that, and… you get the point. We’ve spent big to bring in the 6’4’’ Frenchman, but where we knew that Hernandez’s limited skillset represented a bit of a gamble, Haller really looks like he could have it all – “he scores goals, sets them up, makes tackles, leads from the front and has a far better attitude than the striker he is replacing” is how Martin Laurence of the Guardian summed up our new no.22, and that is exactly the sort of centre forward we need to bring the most out of the maverick attacking talent surrounding him. Despite seemingly being Pellergrini’s second choice behind Maxi Gomez, Haller really does look like a fantastic acquisition. It’s a good job he’s a big lad with broad shoulders, because he’s going to be carrying about a decades worth hopes and expectations.
Lukasz Fabianski
Last season Lukasz was not only our Hammer of the Year, he was also our get out of jail free card on more occasions than I’d care to count. With highest number of saves in the league, as well as the third most high claims, and fourth most punched clearances, our Polish number 1 certainly had his work cut out for him, and as we continue to transfer in to more of an attacking unit there’s every reason to believe he’ll have more of the same to do next campaign. In Adrian, Randolph, Jaaskelainen and Green we’ve had a string of good shot stoppers who were always vulnerable to dropping an absolute clanger, but in Fabianski we finally appear to have a steady, safe set of hands who could very well be the best ‘keeper outside of the top 6. Not bad for £7m.
Declan Rice
Entering his third campaign as a first teamer, the 20 year old has truly established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet now and has proven England’s most controversial Irish acquisition since the 1921 Northern Ireland partition. A keen and precise tackler with a great sense of positioning, Declan loves to get in close to harry the opposition off the ball before recycling it off to one of his midfield colleagues. It’s looking like he might be lining up alongside the likes of Wilshere, Lanzini, Fornals, or an aging Mark Noble next season so if he can get the ball to them then he can be sure they’ll be able to move it forward, but it does mean he will be increasingly expected to pick up the vast majority of defensive slack in midfield, so he’s going to have to better the high standards he set himself last season. There’s a lot of hope that Declan will continue to earmark himself as a future club captain, but if he continues on his current trajectory there’s also the unfortunate recognition that he may have his fair share of suitors next summer
What the fans think
Thanks to /Hammers for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
Cautiously optimistic. We've brought in some decent attacking talent and hopefully offloaded all the toxic personalities that could destabilise the season midway through. That said, the attacking unit needs to gel quickly as our plan seems to be outscore the opposition (and we don't look remotely like being able to keep a clean sheet). The squad depth is concerning also, as I have little faith in our back ups if they're called upon and we still haven't addressed areas like a mobile ball winning midfielder or adequate left backs. But with some of the big clubs in disarray, I think we'll manage top 10, maybe top 7 if it all clicks.
Keeping with the Game of Thrones theme, we've got the quality there but there's sort of an underlying dread it's all going to go horribly wrong. It could either go seasons 1-4 or seasons 5-8. No in between.
I think going forward we will be really good. Defensively we are gonna be so suspect. No additional fullbacks or support for Rice is going to cost us severely. I can see 9th/10th.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
I think Rice will be out stand out player this year he just keeps getting better and has a great attitude. I hope Fabianski keeps his form and if he does he will be a contender too. Could be Wilshere as he's had a great pre season but he is more likely to Andy Carroll it. I am reserving judgement on the new signings until I see them in action with the team.
Given his position and what is already in place around him, I think Fornals will really shine. He's a playmaker that adds dynamism, great passing, and creativity to a solid, but slow, midfield. I think he will integrate with an already very strong attack that just needs another creator to really make the most of players like Felipe Anderson and Antonio.
How do you think the team will line up?
Our game plan is looking like we're gonna have 6/7 attacking players on the pitch at any given moment with Rice filling the 'Hodor' role of holding back the hoardes from our fragile, innocent defenders before (GoT spoiler) ultimately succumbing and dying for the cause as Balbuena and Diop look on in horror.
Assuming a team where everyone is fit.
Fabianski in goal Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Masuwaku Noble, Rice Yarmalenko, Fornals, Anderson Haller
But keep in mind the depth of Wilshere, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Antonio, Chicharito and the youth prospect of Diangana who Pellegrini played a fair bit last season.

Wrap Up

by NickTM

The Manager: It was nice to welcome back Manuel Pellegrini last year. The venerable old Chilean always had the air of the urbane about him, and his calming presence on the sidelines is one that Man City fans will remember fondly. Pellegrini is generally a bit of a neutral's favourite given his propensity for consistency in regards to the media and referees as well as a rather attractive style of play, and his presence stabilised West Ham after a rocky couple of seasons. He'll be looking to push on and properly establish West Ham in the top half. Soon.
The Team: There has been a lot of player turnover in the past season and a half, and the outlook of the squad has changed drastically. Gone are the likes of James Collins, Joe Hart, Cheikhou Kouyate and Andy Carroll, and others like Angelo Ogbonna have been superseded by superior options. Lukasz Fabianski, who belied his early career reputation at Arsenal to develop into an excellent Premier League goalkeeper, takes the gloves, and Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena's solid partnership in the centre of defence put an end to the baffling array of players the Hammers had fielded there previously. Pablo Zabaleta's advancing years might be a concern, but he and Arthur Masuaku are nonetheless given licence to go forward by the steady presence of Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble in central midfield. It's definitely the forwards that are the most exciting aspect of the team, though: Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Sebastian Haller is a front three packed with potential and talent, and with the return of Manuel Lanzini and Javier Hernandez as a super-sub you wouldn't bet against West Ham putting in quite a few goals this year.
Why to like them: Well, that front three is a good start, and also mentioned previously is how likeable Manuel Pellegrini is. Ribman is still there for West Ham games; if you're ever in the area on matchday I highly recommend. I also quite like the Carpenter's Arms, in a similar vein.
Why to dislike them: Their stadium acquisition was funded essentially by a council 'loan' from one of the most deprived boroughs in the entire city that'll probably never be repaid. Speaking of, and I know all of this is pretty well-trodden ground, but christ that stadium isn't much cop. I went there a couple of times and I was so far away it felt like I was watching a West Ham game through the wrong end of a telescope. Also, the bastards released Andy Carroll and made everyone who is a fan of big, elbowy strikers really sad. Luckily we still have Peter Crou-
Summary: Everything seems to be in place for West Ham. They've got a top quality manager and - hopefully - a legitimately good striker for the first time in quite a while. A strong defence with Declan Rice holding in front of it is the equal of any outside the big teams, and they've built plenty of talent on that base. They seem well-placed for a push next year, be it for domestic silverware or for Europe.
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Team Preview - Manchester City [Premier League 2019-20 - 20/20]

Manchester City

by ibpants

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Our final preview of the season analyses our reigning champions, Manchester City.
About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
1 38 32 2 4 95 23 +72 98
It went well. It went very well. After Manchester City’s Centurions season in 2017/18 saw them run away with the title setting all manner of records as they went, there was a lot of expectation that we’d see a much closer race in 2018/19. That proved to be the case as City finished 2 points shy of their record-setting total and only won the league by a single point, yet it was still the second highest points total in Premier League history and was topped off with a unique domestic clean sweep (3 or 4 domestic trophies depending on your feelings about the Community Shield).
The season kicked off with confident 2-0 victories over Chelsea in the Community Shield and Arsenal in the league opener before Kevin De Bruyne’s injury problems began (injury problems that would plague the majority of his season). His absence didn’t prove to be as pivotal as many feared/hoped, however, thanks in no small part to Bernardo Silva’s formidable season.
After the opening months City had dropped just 4 points and were looking strong, and then December happened. The packed month included 9 matches across all competitions and it took its toll as City lost 3 of their 7 Premier League matches.
Heading into January with Liverpool still unbeaten the title looked lost until the top two met at the Etihad. A true heavyweight clash delivered in entertainment and saw City take all three points by the very finest of margins as John Stones made a vital clearance through the legs of Mohamed Salah with just 11mm to spare.
After beating Liverpool City dropped just 3 more points, ending the season on a remarkable 14-game winning streak to claim the first back-to-back Premier League trophy in 10 years.

This Season

While the squad is (on paper) quite comparable to the ones that set both the highest and second highest Premier League points totals in consecutive seasons, the loss of Vincent Kompany is difficult to quantify. Cynics might reasonably point out that City are losing an ageing centre-half who only plays sporadically and is prone to occasional hasty decisions meaning they will just have to give more minutes to a younger centre-half in John Stones, who also appeared sporadically and is prone to occasional hasty decisions. In a strictly material sense that might all be true, but in among Kompany’s hasty decisions was an improbable 30-yard potshot in the 70th minute against Leicester that won the match and kept the title race in City’s hands. It’s his remarkable force of will, his experienced leadership, and his eagerness to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders when no one else can that will be missed with the departure of Kompany and it remains to be seen if there is anyone that will step and lead in the same way.
There’s some change at the back for City this season. Stones and Laporte are expected to be the first choice central pairing, but Otamendi (as the most experienced centre-half in the squad, capable of playing on the right or left side, and probably the best aerial defender in the squad) is likely to be leaned on more this coming season than last. The fourth spot will likely be a straight head-to-head between Fernandinho and the promising young Eric Garcia. At fullback there’s a little more attacking impetus than previously - Zinchenko increasingly looks like a real left back, but Mendy’s injury troubles continue, so Angelino has been brought back to maintain the depth that the outgoing Fabian Delph provided but with more of an attacking mindset. On the right you can expect Walker to finally get some days off with the introduction of another attack-minded option in Joao Cancelo.
The future of the number 6 position looks to finally have been figured out with the signing of Rodri after various misfires in the transfer market and with any luck we’ll have the joy of watching a fully fit Kevin De Bruyne all season. It remains to be seen what role David Silva will play in his final year, especially with Phil Foden needing all the minutes he can get if he is to replace the Spanish stalwart long-term.
Should Sane stay It will be the same again up top with quality depth abound all vying for their place in the matchday XI. Riyad Mahrez began finding his feet at the tail end of 18/19 with a run of strong performances so the hope, should Sane leave, is that Mahrez will continue that form and prove an ample replacement for the upcoming season.
Last season there was a need to prove that the 100 point season wasn’t a fluke. 98 points and 5 out of 5 pieces of domestic silverware later it’s been pretty well established that City probably are in fact that good and may well be able to continue putting up these kinds of numbers until either Pep leaves or the rest of the league adapts (whichever comes first).
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Rodri Perm Atletico Madrid Manchester City £62.5m
Joao Cancelo Perm Juventus Manchester City £26m + Danilo
Vincent Kompany Perm Manchester City RSC Anderlecht Free
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
David Silva
Worth watching out for if only because this is likely to be the last Premier League season for one of the league's greats. On top of that, with the departure of Vincent Kompany, David Silva will be the most senior member of the dressing room and is widely expected to take on the captaincy. Despite making his name as an archetypical number 10, David Silva has managed to stand out as a dynamic and modern number 8 - while at 33 he may not be quite the player he once was but he continues to provide much of the creativity in the final third so enjoy him while you can.
Rodri
The number 6 position in general will be one to watch this season. In previous years Fernandinho has been undisputed first choice, but at 34 years of age he can’t last forever. Ilkay Gundogan started to make a case for himself in the run-in last season having finally added a little extra defensive nous to his already outstanding passing range and ended the season as a starter. New signing Rodri (at age 23) appears to be the future of the number 6 role - touted by many as Busquets 2.0 and now training under the same coach that brought Busquets to the world’s attention, Rodri’s ascent seems inevitable, but arriving in a new league and playing rather a different style of football will test his adaptability in the short-term.
Kevin De Bruyne
Not exactly a hidden gem here but your life can only be improved by watching out for a fully fit KDB. De Bruyne was among the very best players in the League (if not world) in 2017/18 but struggled significantly with injuries and missed much of last season. It may seem like a stretch to say that he was “missed” given the levels City reached last season but when he’s in the team City can transition much more efficiently and there’s always a sense that one pass could cut open even the most resolute defence.
What the fans think
Thanks to /MCFC for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
Last season was an unprecedened success, winning every domestic trophy possible. The aim for this season will obviously be to continue on as we have been domestically, and improve in Europe. The past two campaigns have been disappointing, and I think we can do better - but will we? It's hard to say. However, I think we're the most equipped team to fight on two fronts - especially after signing Rodri, in a position we've always lacked cover - so I think retaining the title is feasible, and I'd be happy with an improved performance in Europe.
I think we'll win the league. I think our fixture schedule is fairly kind to us (easier run-in than Liverpool and most of our tricky away games are in the first half of the season when we're usually on fire). I trust our players a lot more this time around - although you could argue that the Old Guard carried us in the final weeks of last season, the younger players have got experience and confidence now, and I think that's invaluable.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
KDB has looked frightening ever since he came off the bench at the FA Cup (not to mention his performance against Tottenham before his last injury). He seems angry and frustrated about last season, as if he's got something to prove. I think he's a shoe-in for our player of the season if he can stay fit. I can also see Jesus and Mahrez really coming into their own this season; both of them suffered from low confidence last season, and I think the summers that they had and their great performances at the end of last season signal a lot of growth from both of them.
I think we'll win the league again. This time around I don't think it'll be a close title race like it was last season. We'll get around 93 points while Liverpool will finish second and get around 88 points. In the FA and League cup, I think we'll win one the two and may get knocked out early in the other one. I think this season in the CL, we'll finally reach the final but lose the final.
Gonna go with Bernardo Silva. Let him play his own game and he is one of the best in the league. You would be hard pressed to find many better in the division. Down and up the pitch he works tirelessly. Never gives up. Gonna be hard to find anyone to outperform him this season. Run, pass, shoot, tackle, he can do it all. Around him he has an aura of a greatness.
How do you think the team will line up?
4-3-3 like always, but with even more depth. Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri/Dinho, Silva, KdB; Sterling, Aguero, Bernardo, should be our first choice starting XI. Rodri vs Dinho is anyone's guess. If Mahrez steps up, we might see Bernardo moved to the midfield paired with KdB. Aguero will continue to start over Jesus, Nico will likely rotate with Stones and Cancelo (if he comes) will rotate with WalkeZinchenko. We might even see Mendy play a full match before the season ends.
And now we come to the hardest part, predicting the line up. Desert any dreams on consistency at the door. You are going to see a lot of rotation from City this season. Never assume we will have everyone healthy at the same time, but if we do I think this is how we will line up.
4-3-3 formation
Ederson
Walker-Stones-Laporte-Zinchenko
De Bruyne-Rodri-D.Silva
B. Silva-Aguero-Sterling

Wrap Up

by NickTM

The Manager: The legendary Pep Guardiola. Not much to say about him that hasn't already been said at length. A managerial genius, Guardiola's dogmatic adherence to the style of play he passionately believes in is no deterrence to the outright dominance of his teams. With 28 pieces of silverware in his collection as a manager alone, he's as close to a guaranteed title win as you can get from a manager of a top club. Entering his 11th year of top-level manager, his brilliance remains undimmed.
The Team: Simply put, Manchester City's team is terrifying. It's unlikely any club team has brought to bear this level of depth in talent in the Premier League at very least. Ederson holds court between the sticks in his third season at the club, and Aymeric Laporte partners one of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones just in front. Danilo has been replaced by Joao Cancelo at right back, and Oleksandr Zinchenko's highly successful conversion to left back makes him the leading contender for that spot. It's in midfield where the team wins their games, though, a superlative array of talent fronted by Silvas David and Bernardo, held together by Fernandinho (and the newly arrived Rodri) and powered by Ilkay Gündogan's dynamism. An attacking trio containing Raheem Sterling, the supremely reliable Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus will be affected but not brought low by the unfortunate loss of Leroy Sane. That's without even mentioning the brilliance of the returning Kevin De Bruyne, the promise of Phil Foden or the absolute talent of Scott Carson. It is a glittering squad.
Why to like them: Guardiola's teams play football 'the right way' (tm) and whilst their style of play isn't necessarily my favourite, it's hard to not appreciate the sheer fluidity of attack and technical prowess being displayed. Raheem Sterling has also blossomed from the kid with a dodgy agent who sacked off Liverpool at a moment's notice to England's leading attacking talent and icon for the fight against discrimination in football.
Why to dislike them: Their owners essentially launder the image of a brutal, oppressive regime as well as their own grimy reputations simply by owning a successful football team, and it clearly worked for City fans. Personally, despite all the fanboying over their playstyle, I'm not really much of a fan. Pep Guardiola has a tendency to be unbearably smug at times. Also, they're really fucking good, so it's fun to watch them lose.
Summary: Got it in the bag, surely? Man City replaced their major first team loss in Danilo and propped up Fernandinho's advancing age with his heir apparent in Rodri. Their strength in depth continues to be unrivaled, and Raheem Sterling continues to improve as Sergio Aguero has shown no signs of slowing down. The major questions for me revolve first around losing Leroy Sane, which takes away not just some options in depth but also a truly direct runner that City could well miss against certain teams. More notable might be the intangible loss of Vincent Kompany, the City legend departing to Anderlecht as player-manager. Kompany's leadership and will to win were obvious even in one of his numerous spells on the sidelines, and when he got on the pitch he'd produce moments of brilliance that have kept Man City alive when they were faltering - the most recent being that wonderful goal against Leicester that sent them top. It's a strong team with a lot of experienced leaders, but it's hard to calculate the value of such a talisman until he's gone. With all that said, you'd be a fool to bet against them retaining their title, and you have to make them favourites at this early stage.

Links

Aston Villa | Sheffield United | Norwich City | Brighton | Southampton | Burnley | Bournemouth | Newcastle | Crystal Palace | Watford | West Ham | Leicester | Everton | Wolves | Man Utd | Arsenal | Tottenham | Chelsea | Liverpool
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[Pre-Match Thread] Liverpool vs Chelsea - Premier League

LIVERPOOL CHELSEA

Matchday 34
14 April 2019
Kick Off: 16:30 GMT Convert to local time
Venue: Anfield
Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Odds: Liverpool 8/11 Chelsea 18/5 Draw 14/5 (Via SkyBet)
Links
Where to Watch
Pre-Match Conference: Jurgen Klopp
Preview
  • Liverpool return to action on Sunday, with Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea visiting Anfield in the Premier League.
  • The Reds come into the game buoyed from a 2-0 UEFA Champions League win over FC Porto and will be out to maintain their place at the top of the table with victory over the Blues.
  • Chelsea were also victorious in midweek, as they beat Slavia Prague 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. Sarri's men were not at their best, but the victory was their fourth in a row in all competitions.
  • Liverpool top the table by two points from Manchester City, although they have played a game more than Pep Guardiola's side and know they can't afford to drop points if they are to be crowned champions.
  • Chelsea should provide a stiff test and are also in need of all three points as they continue their battle with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United for a place in the top four.
Statements
Jurgen Klopp:
  • "I feel the positive energy. It's a massive change from surprise we are up there to getting used to it and getting more confident.
  • "The five or 10 seconds after the Tottenham equaliser [at Anfield two weeks ago] was the best reaction in the stadium.
  • "We really feel as one with the supporters as a whole group. You don't walk alone, you're never alone in these situations.
  • "We are trying to keep this dream alive and at the moment it's all good."
Maurizio Sarri:
  • "To face Liverpool is going to be difficult for us but every game now is difficult.
  • "We know well the risks of this match but we also know that when we are able to play at 100% of our potential, we can gain points anywhere.
  • "We are in a very good physical and mental condition right now."
Match Facts
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 37 Premier League games at Anfield - only once in their top-flight history have they had a longer unbeaten home run (63 between Feb 1978-Dec 1980).
  • Chelsea have lost their last five Premier League away games against fellow 'big six' opponents, including all three this season by an aggregate score of 1-11. However, the Blues have won three of their last four away league games against sides starting the day top, including a 2-0 victory at Anfield in April 2014.
  • Chelsea have won three Premier League games in a row for the first time since September 2018, when they won their first five matches in the competition under Maurizio Sarri.
  • Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge netted the equaliser for his side at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture back in September; the only player to previously net both home and away against the Blues within the same campaign was Fabio Borini, who did so for Sunderland during the 2015-16 season.
  • Only three of the last 32 visiting managers have managed to taste victory in their first Premier League trip to Anfield (W3 D5 L24); Louis van Gaal in March 2015, Slaven Bilic in August 2015 and most recently, Paul Clement in January 2017.
  • Roberto Firmino has scored seven goals in his last six Premier League home games for Liverpool. However, the Brazilian has only faced Manchester United (8) and Everton (7) more often than Chelsea (5) without finding the net in the Premier League.
  • Chelsea's Eden Hazard has had a hand in more goals than any other Premier League player this season (28 - 16 goals and 12 assists). The only league season in which the Belgian has been involved in more goals was in 2011/12 with Ligue 1 club Lille (36).
Head to Head
  • Liverpool have not won any of their last six Premier League home games against Chelsea, drawing four and losing two of those - they have never endured a longer winless run against an opponent in the competition.
  • The Blues have only lost twice in their last 16 meetings with the Reds in all competitions, and both of those defeats came at Stamford Bridge.
  • Chelsea have already tasted victory at Anfield this season, winning 2-1 in the EFL Cup third round. They have never won twice away to Liverpool in the same season.
  • Liverpool wins: 77 Draws: 41 Chelsea wins: 63
Team News
Liverpool
  • Liverpool will welcome back left-back Andrew Robertson from a suspension that ruled him out of the midweek Champions League win over Porto.
  • Joe Gomez was named on the bench on Tuesday and is in line for a first appearance since early December, though Dejan Lovren performed well at the back against Porto. Gomes is with U23s so definitely out for today's game.
Chelsea
  • Chelsea have the full squad to choose from, except left-back Emerson, who missed Thursday's game, will be assessed before the game.
Predicted Lineups
Liverpool XI:
  • Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Chelsea XI:
  • Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Hudson-Odoi, Higuain, Hazard
Form

Chelsea D L W W W
Liverpool W W W W W
Points Table
POS CLUB P W D L GD PTS
1 Liverpool 33 25 7 1 55 82
2 Man City 32 26 2 4 62 80
4 Spurs 33 22 1 10 30 67
3 Chelsea 33 20 6 7 23 66
5 Man United 33 19 7 7 19 64
Format Credit: u/YIIZWL
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Team Preview - Southampton [Premier League 2019-20 - 5/20]

Southampton FC

by NickTM

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan I, in this case, gives an overview of his a team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Today we're staying on the south coast and taking a day in Southampton.
About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
16 38 9 12 17 45 65 -20 39
Southampton underwent what some politely call a 'transition year' last season out. A raft of player turnover marked the close season; Dusan Tadic, Guido Carrillo, Sofiane Boufal, Jordy Clasie, Harrison Reed, Josh Sims, Florin Gardos and Jeremy Pied all left the club on loan or permanently over the summer, with Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares and Steven Davis all being shipped out on loan in the winter window. Manolo Gabbiadini also returned to his home country in January after a spell in which he generally failed to catch fire in a way the Saints had hoped. To bolster the squad, Celtic's Stuart Armstrong was brought in alongside centre back Jannik Vestergaard, Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi and Manchester City's Angus Gunn, the latter introduced with expectations of being the team's goalkeeper potentially for the next decade or beyond. Finally, Danny Ings arrived on loan, seeking to revive a career that had stalled due to a succession of nasty injuries.
Despite this, Southampton endured the first half of the season in something close to a full-blown crisis. A win against Crystal Palace in September proved the only one for months, and as the season wore on and the team's position slipped ever lower in the table, so the stakeholders began to feel the heat. First to go was vice-chairman Les Reed and he was followed swiftly by technical director Martin Hunter before the axe finally fell on manager Mark Hughes, who left the club after 8 months with a brutal record of 3 wins in 22 league games. His replacement was, seemingly, already lined up, and within two days Ralph Hasenhüttl had been confirmed as manager. His first game in charge was an important loss in a relegation six-pointer against Cardiff, but in their manager's first home game Danny Ings scored twice and Charle Austin netted five minutes from time to claim a 3-2 victory over Arsenal and change the entire complex of the season.
From there, Southampton slowly but surely dug themselves out of trouble. A draw against Chelsea highlighted the newfound defensive competence of the team and wins over Leicester and Everton soon followed, the Saints pulling off a critical win against Fulham to drag themselves out of the relegation zone. Three more wins in the next five games consolidated them as relegation rivals faltered, and eventually a back-and-forth 3-3 against Bournemouth sealed their Premier League status for another season.

This Season

Well, the subreddit certainly seems to have bought into the cult of Ralph. They're not the only ones buying, either; Southampton moved quickly to bring in one Che Zach Everton Fred Adams, who continues his meteoric rise from non-league to finally end up in the Premier League. Other reinforcements also came in attack, with a £20m outlay enough to turn Danny Ings' loan into a permanent transfer. The final signing so far was Moussa Djenepo, a hugely talented winger from Standard Liege. Elsewhere, a fond farewell was said to the continually underrated Steven Davis, whilst Matt Targett and Jordy Clasie both departed.
It's clear Hasenhüttl has a vision for how he wants his team to play, so it's likely Southampton will be trying to employ his favoured hassling, high tempo style, and the signings so far underline that. Che Adams is a particularly intriguing player, as the dominant Championship striker failing to make the grade at the Prem is a well-worn trope, but he most definitely fits Ralph's style and his time in the lower leagues has furnished him with a wealth of experience and gamesense despite his relatively tender years. Danny Ings is, of course, a known quantity, having departed Liverpool with a fair amount of love from the fans, and the insurance of having a proven Premier League quality striker cannot be overstated for a team that battled relegation last year. If everything works out and the team pushes upwards in the table, Djenepo's raw talent will become all the more enticing with more freedom to play.
Saints fans will expect to be heading back towards the realms of the table they've made their own in recent years as opposed to slumming it in the bottom third, and despite their travails last season the core of the team is still very strong. It'd be a brave man to bet big against them making the top half again.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Che Adams Perm Birmingham City Southampton 15
Moussa Djenepo Perm Standard Liege Southampton Undisc.
Danny Ings Perm Liverpool Southampton 20
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
Nathan Redmond
Saints' reigning player of the year began to show some properly impressive form under Hasenhüttl, and expectations are accordingly raised.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
It's hard to understate Højbjerg's influence in midfield, and he's often the driving force behind much of what Southampton do well on the pitch.
Moussa Djenepo
Who knows how his season will pan out or even how much he'll be involved, but there's a reason young, tricky wingers always engender such excitement amongst the fans. If he settles in and hits form, Djenepo could well end up looking like a masterstroke.
What the fans think
Thanks to /SaintsFC for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
The season is looking promising with Ralph having a full pre season and premier league experience. The team have made some good signings and we could come around mid-Table. I’m being optimistic and thinking 10th is doable.
A strong mid table dropping to around 13th at the lowest, a slow start to the beginning of the season but once the rhythm gets going with the newer manager and players I feel it well gel together quite quickly.
I'm quietly optimistic with how this season will go. Despite the fact we continue to ship out the deadwood and reduce the size of the squad, we have brought in some electric forwards in Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo. Hasenhuttl has given us a glimpse of what is to come, and with a full pre-season under his belt, I'm hopefully that we will find ourselves back in the top half like we were a few seasons ago.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
Nathan Redmond, at the start of last season he was an unpopular figure with the Saints fans but he comes into this season as our reigning Player of the Year and for good reason. Hasenhuttl’s high-octane style suits him down to the ground, he’s gone from stuck on the wing for a side who constantly slowed down play in the final third to being a more central player in a team that aims to win the ball high up, break forward, and get shots off quickly. He’s always had bags of talent but poor decision making, playing in a team with a clear tactical plan that suits his qualities should lead to him getting at least 10 goals this season.
Ward-Prowse added a whole new side to his game last season under Hasenhuttl, adding an edge that he never showed early in his career - this means that is finally set to establish himself as a starter in the team, after showing plenty of promise but never really finding a permanent role up to now. His set piece ability is also up there with the best in the league.
Either Che Adams or Nathan Redmond. Both have a lot to prove and had good previous seasons which will hopefully continue into this one.
How do you think the team will line up?
---------------------------Gunn
-----------Bednarek-----------Vestergaard
Valery-----------------------------------------------Bertrand
------------------Höjbjerg----------Romeu
Djenepo--------------------------------------------Redmond
--------------------Adams----------Ings
If Ralph moves towards his 4-2-2-2, maybe something like this? Though as others have mentioned, 5ATB is also a possibility against stronger teams.
Hasenhuttl is known to prefer the 4-2-2-2 but has spoken a lot about changing formations mid-game, has a history of changing formations from game to based on opposition with us (my favorite example is lining up in a 5-2-3 with wingers against Wolves to exploit the space behind their wing backs in a match we won 3-1 thanks to our wingers finding those spaces) and hasn’t been shy about making clear tactical alterations within games.
We’ll likely see the 4-2-2-2 used, along with some variations of a 5-3-2/5-2-3 from time to time but we won’t be beholden to playing in one particular formation by any means.
In terms of the players nailed onto the team sheet, that’s probably Gunn, Valery, Bednarek, Bertrand, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, and Redmond with Ings, Che Adams, Vestergaard, Romeu, and Djenepo also getting plenty of playing time. I reckon we’ll see a lot of Michael Obafemi off the bench as an impact sub, with room for another one or two academy players to earn themselves plenty of playing time
TheRalphExpress

Wrap Up

by NickTM

The Manager: Given the amount of times Ralph Hasenhüttl's name has come up in this preview alone I'd be amazed if you need that much more of a breakdown of him, so I'll keep it short. The former RB Leipzig manager already dug Southampton out of quite a hole last season, and his penchant for an aggressive and fast style of play should make Southampton intriguing viewing.
The Team: As mentioned earlier, it's surprising a team of this assembled talent managed to dance with the drop so much last season. Ryan Bertrand, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Mario Lemina, Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse; these names are just a sampling of a laundry list of proper Premier League-level players that should be finding their level again this season. It remains to be see what will happen in regards to Mario Lemina and Charlie Austin appears to have had a slapfight with his manager, so expect more of both ins and outs in the coming weeks.
Why to like them: James Ward-Prowse is a bit of a throwback player, a not particularly quick sort-of winger with a deadly delivery of the ilk that's just nice to still have around. Their Twitter signing announcement videos actually hit that lovely sweet spot where they're clearly putting effort in, but it resulting in a tongue-in-cheek bit of fun rather than some horribly overblown and dramatic 2 minute long biopic. Everyone loves them a bit of Danny Ings, noodle tendons and all. Shane Long's name can be shortened to Shlong.
Why to dislike them: Jesus Christ how can you fuck up red and white stripes so badly?! It looks like you've got to get rid of leftover black ink. Also, it's incredibly uncharitable to dislike their existence fuelling others fans' shite banter about how they're a Liverpool B team, and yet...
Summary: Not too much to say that I haven't already, I feel. It'd be surprising to see them anywhere below 14th given their array of talent, but I suspect most Southampton fans would be happy with simply going the season without getting into a proper relegation scrap. The team is young and talented and has time on its side, so a year of consolidation wouldn't be the worst thing by any means, but I expect good things nonetheless.

Links

Aston Villa | Sheffield United | Norwich City | Brighton
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Team Preview - Bournemouth [Premier League 2019-20 - 7/20]

AFC Bournemouth

by bluecherry94

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. We're continuing our seaside theme today with AFC Bournemouth.

About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
14 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14 45
After the first 12 games of last season and sitting pretty in 6th place, rumour has it that certain Cherries fans had started picking which destination they'd prefer for a Europa league 1st qualifying round away day. However after yet more long-term injuries and a resulting loss of form the season fizzled out to a safe 14th place. Don't let the 14th place finish fool you as in my opinion this was the season where the most progression was made since promotion to the Premier League, with the team pulling off some brilliant results (see Bournemouth 4 - 0 Chelsea) and a slight tweaking the style of play, producing scintillating football at times.
The emergence of the deadly "front 4" providing goals and assists galore saw Callum Wilson finally get his deserved international call up and debut goal against the USA, resulting in him being linked to Chelsea for £40m+ in January. Ryan Fraser narrowly missed out on being the top assister in the Premier League to a certain £130m Galactico and has in result been linked with the likes of Everton and Arsenal for £30m (with a year left on his deal). David Brooks has emerged from young boy into a £50m player linked with Manchester United and Josh King continues to be one of the most criminally underrated strikers in the Premier League. With these 4 signed at a combined £13.4m, I'd say the efforts of Eddie's long term planning are coming to fruition.
As has been the issue with every campaign since promotion however, the defence has been the issue. 70 goals were conceded last year, a figure beaten only by Fulham and Huddersfield, who will be playing for Championship glory next season. However a return of 56 goals scored, the most outside the top 6 make up for this. Don't ever say you don't get value for money at Dean Court.
The final couple of games gave reason for optimism however. A brilliant debut against Spurs for young Irish keeper Mark Travers came as a pleasant surprise, as well as promising performances from young fringe players such as January signings Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke as well as academy product Jack Simpson.
Overall, another entertaining season of good football was left with the bitter-sweet taste of what could have been after that early season form. Injuries to Lewis Cook and record signing Jefferson Lerma were absolutely key, and came at the same time as the drop in form, which is no coincidence. It is hard to complain as a Bournemouth fan, but you get the feeling that fans are starting to get frustrated at a stale-ness within the club. No progress has been made on a new stadium and the cups still seem to be an opportunity to give fringe players some minutes. The new training ground is however under way, so the pavilion outside the ground can stop being used for training soon enough and hopefully can be used as a tool to attract better players to the South Coast. As if the beach and the prospect of a house on Sandbanks was enough!

This Season

After spending £31m (Transfermarkt) on Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke in January of last season, I wasn't expecting too much from the business this summer. Eddie had been chasing Mepham for what seemed like an eternity, so I'm excited to see what he'll bring to the table this season and Dominic Solanke seems to be hugely rated in the England setup, however he has a job displacing King or Wilson up top.
So far only 2 signings have come in, and they can now be described as very 'Bournemouth' signings. We seem to have found a niche in attracting some of the best young British talent in the Football League and offering them a chance at breaking into a team in the Premier League. Lloyd Kelly comes in for £13m as a highly rated left back who, again is highly rated in the England setup and performed well at Championship level last season for Bristol City. We've also signed right-back Jack Stacey from Luton Town who, I confess I don't know much about but he seems like a full back who loves to get forward and scored a few goals last season as well.
We're rumoured to be looking for a Goalkeeper, Centre Midfielder and a StrikeWinger in the rest of the window. We've been strongly linked with Jack Butland, who could go down as one of the best signings in our history if completed as he was very close to Jordan Pickford in competing for England's #1 spot, but his stock has dropped after playing for an underperforming Stoke in the Championship. That superb shot-stopper is still in there however and could be a massive signing. We also seem to be heavily linked with Philip Billing from Huddersfield. From afar I've heard stories about him having a bad attitude when not picked which you never like to hear, but Eddie could go after Anna from Love Island for all I care, I'd still back him to make the right decision on signing a player.
In terms of exits, we've managed to start being able to get good fees for our players. £20m rising to £26m for Tyrone Mings is a great deal for all parties. It's such a shame it hasn't worked out for Tyrone and I truly wish him all the best at Villa. Whoever managed to convince Sheffield United to not only target Lys Mousset, but fork out £10m for him deserves a heavy commission as a result of that sale. You can see he's got ability, but he's too friendly with Jordon Ibe and I don't think that's helped his attitude. It was a sad moment to see Marc Pugh finally leave, however it's absolutely the right time. As of the time of writing this, Harry Arter is still with us and I would love to see him charging around our midfield again.
To use the old cliche however, the best business this summer has been to retain the aforementioned front 4. Wee man (Ryan Fraser) still hasn't signed a new deal as of yet. With 1 year remaining I'd be gutted to see him go on a free, but I heard someone saw he liked a tweet begging him to sign a deal. Looking forward to the official announcement in the coming days.
I'd love to see us have a go in the cups, I've always said it would be a dream to see Bournemouth at Wembley and I feel we're established enough as a Premier League side to be able to afford the risk of a deep cup run. However as always, the priority has to be staying in the league.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Lloyd Kelly Transfer Bristol City Bournemouth £13.3m
Jack Stacey Transfer Luton Town Bournemouth £4m
Lys Mousset Transfer Bournemouth Sheffield United £10m
Tyrone Mings Transfer Bournemouth Aston Villa £20m
All fees from Transfermarkt
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
David Brooks
It's hard to put Brooksy in as a player to watch out for after a break-out season last year, but boy does he have talent. Dejavu occured when he got injured during the 4-0 battering of Chelsea which ruled him out for a while. I can see him progressing further this year and providing more game deciding contributions, could be one to watch out for in the Fantasy League too as he's got bags of goals and assists in him.
Lewis Cook
Had injuries not been a concept, Lewis would be a sure starter in England's midfield. Yet again his season was ended early with a ligament injury and he's only just come back into training. However given an extended run of games he can build a formidable partnership in midfield with yellow card machine Jefferson Lerma to put him right back in contention for another England call up.
Chris Mepham
As mentioned above, Eddie had chased Mepham for 18 months prior to him actually signing in January last year for £12m. Another one of those 'Bournemouth' signings who can come from the Football League and make an impact at Premier League club. Steve Cook and Nathan Ake have become the standout centre-back partnership for us over the last 2 years, however if last season's 70 goal concession is on it's way to being repeated, something will have to change and from the few performances (bar his debut away at Arsenal) he put in last season I can see him progressing to be a real leader in the team. I've seen him touted as a future Wales captain and I'd love to see him also develop the leadership qualities to be a key part of our team to come.
What the fans think
Thanks to /AFCBournemouth for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
We should be capable of making the top half of the table. I wouldn't be surprised if we fall somewhat short of this ambition at the start of 2020 when we have a number of easier fixtures. With another possible league cup quarter final in the mix this would be very much on the cards in my mind. I'd hope for 52-54 points if we're playing as good as we can but 46-48 would be expected.
It's going to very much depend on us getting over our injury problems, because they seem to rear their ugly head every season, but I am quietly optimistic of challenging our high points total of 16-17. If we get the luck we can maybe do a Wolves. We have a nicely settled team and I think that will work in our favour over buying lots. I wouldn't mind two or three new ins to replace outgoings though.
We’ll finish on our highest points tally to date, but not highest table position. We’ll be plagued by injuries a couple of these will be out for long periods (Wilson, Fraser, Brooks, Lewis cook) that will result in some non-starters having to step up.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
David Brooks or Lewis Cook would be the best bets. Brooks is extremely technically gifted and I fully expect him to be one of our highest contributers in combined goals and assists next season. With the Euros coming next summer he should be attracting all sorts of admirers so this might be his last season with us. Cook on the other hand is essential to how Eddie Howe wants us to play. His passing ability is unmatched in our squad and he sets the tempo of how we play. He's back from a lengthy injury so I'm hoping his presence could revitalise the squads performances. Might not contribute in goals and assists but will certainly play a decisive part in whether or not we have a successful season.
It could be any one of four or five. At Bournemouth we don't really seem to do star players, but put it down to a team effort. Saying that, Ryan Fraser is going to be a key player, simply down to the fact that we still don't know for sure that he is staying. If Fraser stays then his partnership with Callum Wilson is again going to be pivotal.
I'm excited to see how our midfield shapes up this season too. Lewis Cook has the ability to really cement himself as a future England staple, and I really believe Jefferson Lerma can show how good he really is in his second season in England. Lerma is the tough man in midfield we have cried out for for years (ever since Marvin Bartley in L1 really - different standard, of course) and I can't wait to see Jeff terrorise his opponents again come August. At the back I expect Nathan Ake will be as dominant both positionally and in the air again. That man just has a sixth sense on where to be and when. On the right I hope that young David Brooks can continue to show the ability he served up in his first Premiership season last year.
Lewis Cook back from injury is ready to show us the quality that we know he has and start to fulfill his potential
How do you think the team will line up?
Boruc, Kelly, Ake, S Cook, Smith, Lerma, L Cook, Fraser, Brooks, King, Wilson. Formation: same 4-5-1 horseshoe when off the ball and using King and Wilson's speed to counter while relying upon Brooks, Fraser and Cook to make the right decisions to keep up the counters momentum, 4-2-2-2 on the ball with Fraser and Brooks working the space on the wing while Cook controls the tempo until we facilitate an opening with Wilson and King plugging the space in front of the opposition back four.
Line up
Agree with matey above: Boruc Smith Cook Ake Kelly Brooks Cook Lerma Fraser King Wilson

Wrap Up

by NickTM

The Manager: Eddie Howe has been highly rated since before he even stepped foot in the Premier League, and since then his reputation has only grown. With a glowing track record of developing talent and what is clearly quite an effective recruitment team behind him, that Howe is entering his seventh full season as manager is something of an achievement for Bournemouth themselves, given the bigger clubs that were circling every time they dumped one of their managers. His commitment to decent football has won Bournemouth a fair amount of admirers in the media, and for good reason.
The Team: Pace is all over this team, from the quick off the mark Nathan Aké at the back to Jefferson Lerma's charging around in midfield to the absolute array of quick forwards. Jordon Ibe, Dom Solanke, Callum Wilson, Junior Stanislas, Ryan Fraser and especially Josh King all have pace to burn, and the threat of it alone is enough to keep teams off-balance. It was nice to see Callum Wilson return with a good haul of goals last year after some particularly nasty injury travails, and Bournemouth fans will be hoping Lewis Cook pulls off something similar. It's also a very English team, which will probably keep them afloat when the Faragian blackshirts march on Westminster next year and burn anyone with a particularly foreign sounding name at the stake.
Why to like them: Artur Boruc is always worth keeping an eye on in case he does something utterly insane. The aforementioned pace means some quite gorgeous raking through ball counterattacks can occasionally be seen, and when in more thorough possession of the ball Bournemouth's attractive style of play is pleasing on the eye.
Why to dislike them: Despite their reputation for positive football, a constantly overlooked feature of Bournemouth teams over the last few years has been their cynical fouling and approach to play that gets constantly glossed over by pundits in favour of talking about how plucky and small they are. Personally I've always had a small, nagging vendetta against them ever since a Bournemouth fan a few years ago adamantly insisted Junior Stanislas was better than Wilf Zaha.
Summary: Another season in the Prem for the smallest team in the league, and it's another season where they'll be hoping to stay up with authority. Enough time has passed now that lots of people are expecting them to push on a little this year, and if injuries don't rear their ugly head they could well be on their way to the top half.

Links

Aston Villa | Sheffield United | Norwich City | Brighton | Southampton | Burnley
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پیش بازی آرسنال و منچستر سیتی - هفته 17 پریمیر لیگ انگلیس - وان ایکس بت

پیش بازی آرسنال و منچستر سیتی - هفته 17 پریمیر لیگ انگلیس - وان ایکس بت

آرسنال - منچستر سیتی
Premier League : Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview

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اطلاعات بازی
  • انگلیس - لیگ برتر - هفته 17
  • زمان: ۲۴ آذر - ساعت ۲۰:۰۰
  • داور: پل تیرنی
  • انگلیس، لندن
  • استادیوم امارات

اطلاعات آماری
  • منچستر سیتی در 5 بازی قبلی خود مقابل آرسنال در هر دو نیمه پیروز شده است.
  • در 7 بازی قبلی منچستر سیتی در لیگ برتر بیش از 2.5 گل زده شده است.
  • در 9 بازی از 11 بازی قبلی آرسنال مقابل منچستر سیتی بیش از 2.5 گل زده شده است.
  • منچستر سیتی در 5 بازی قبلی خود مقابل آرسنال پیروز شده است.
  • منچستر سیتی در 9 بازی از 10 بازی قبلی خود مقابل آرسنال حداقل 2 گل زده است.
  • منچستر سیتی در 8 بازی از 9 بازی قبلی خارج از خانه خود در لیگ برتر حداقل 2 گل زده است.
  • منچستر سیتی در 3 بازی قبلی خارج از خانه خود مقابل آرسنال موفق به کلین شیت شده است.
  • در 4 بازی قبلی آرسنال در لیگ برتر بیش از 2.5 گل زده شده است.

پیش بینی اتفاقات بازی
  • منچستر سیتی بوسیله ضربه شروع مجدد به گل خواهد رسید
  • منچستر سیتی فرصت‌های گلزنی زیادی ایجاد خواهد کرد
  • منچستر سیتی بوسیله ضربه ایستگاهی مستقیم به گل خواهد رسید

پیش بینی هواسکورد
  • آرسنال 1 - 3 منچستر سیتی

ورود به سایت پیش بینی وان ایکس بت ، بهترین شرط بندی خارجی از طریق لینک زیر
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Match Thread: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur [2015 League Cup Final]

Chelsea 2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
Match Info:
Football League Cup Info:
  • Most Successful Club: Liverpool (8 Titles)
  • Trophy
  • Qualification: Third Qualifying Round of Europa League
  • Previous 5 Finals:
Year Winner Opponent Result
2014 Manchester City Sunderland 3-1
2013 Swansea City Bradford City 5-0
2012 Liverpool Cardiff City 2-2 (3-2 on penalties)
2011 Birmingham City Arsenal 2-1
2010 Manchester United Aston Villa 2-1
Preview:
Chelsea:
  • Subreddit: /chelseafc
  • Injuries: John Obi Mikel
  • Form: D D W W D
  • Road To Final:
Round Home Away Result
Third Round Chelsea Bolton 2-1
Fourth Round Shrewsbury Town Chelsea 1-2
Fifth Round Derby County Chelsea 1-3
Semi Final (First Leg) Liverpool Chelsea 1-1
Semi Final (Second Leg) Chelsea Liverpool 1-0 (2-1 agg)
Jose Mourinho will be keen on collecting his first trophy of the season. The Londoners have been in good form all season leading in the Premier League by 5 points over Manchester City and going unbeaten in the Champions League so far. After a couple shaky performances during the Christmas period Chelsea have since stabilized. However one of their two defeats this season has come at the hands of todays opponents. Tottenham beat Chelsea convincingly at White Hart Lane earlier in the season. However in my opinion if Chelsea bring their A game I can't see them losing.
Tottenham Hotspur:
  • Subreddit: /coys
  • Injuries: None!
  • Form: D L W W W
  • Road To Final:
Round Home Away Result
Third Round Tottenham Nott'm Forrest 3-1
Fourth Round Tottenham Brighton 2-0
Fifth Round Tottenham Newcastle United 4-0
Semi Final (First Leg) Tottenham Sheffield United 1-0
Semi Final (Second Leg) Sheffield United Tottenham 2-2 (2-3 agg)
Tottenhams season started the opposite to Chelseas. Some disappointing performances had some fans calling for Pochettinos head. However they have improved and now sit 7th in the Premier League. They've only lost 2 games since early December in the League and with an in form Harry Kane Spurs will be keen to mirror their previous performance against Chelsea, coming out 5-3 winners. Tottenhams last trophy came in 2008 where they won the League Cup beating todays opponents Chelsea 2-1 aet. They will need to be at their best to beat Chelsea and Harry Kane will need to score.
Managers:
: Jose Mourinho
: Mauricio Pochettino
Starting Line-Ups:
Nation Chelsea Event
1 Cech
2 Ivanovic
5 Zouma
26 Terry (c)
28 Azpilicueta
7 Ramires
24 Cahill
4 Fabregas (89')
22 Willian (76')
19 Costa (90+2')
10 Hazard
Nation Tottenham Hotspur Event
1 Lloris (c)
2 Walker
15 Dier
5 Vertonghen
3 Rose
42 Bentaleb
48 Mason (70')
22 Chadli (80')
23 Eriksen
17 Townsend (61')
18 Kane
Substitutes:
Chelsea Event Spurs Event
13 Courtois 13 Vorm
3 Filipe Luis 33 Davies
6 Ake 21 Fazio
8 Oscar (89') 19 Dembele (61')
23 Cuadrado (76') 25 Stambouli
11 Drogba (90+2') 11 Lamela (70')
23 Remy 9 Soldado (80')
Highlights:
props to Omar_Til_Death for them
Match Events:
1' Chelsea get us underway!!! They will be wearing their traditional blue kit while Tottenham will be wearing their white kit. Good luck to both sets of supporters!!
5' Fabregas gets a good ball in to Ramires whose in the box but his shot is blocked by the Tottenham defender.
8' Ivanovic gets a good cross into the box to Costa but Lloris intercepts and gets it away for a corner before the Spaniard can do any damage.
10' Spurs win a free kick just outside the box. Eriksen hits it well and it cannons off the bar!!! great strike by the Dane!!
11' Kane has his first sight on goal but Cech saves comfortably
13' Costa receives the ball and dribbles to the edge of the box before finding Hazard in a more central position. The Belgian has a shot but its well wide.
18' Rose fouls Hazard on the edge of the box. WIllian takes the free kick but drives it straight into the wall.
20' Danny Rose gets forward for the first time this match. He takes on the Chelsea defence and gets through. However his shot is well wide.
23' Willian passes a beautiful ball over the Spurs defence and finds the dangerous Hazard. He cuts inside Walker but his shot is blocked.
28' Tensions are high at Wembley. Costa and Bentaleb have a go at eachother but the referee quickly sorts it out
31' Dier gets the first card of the game for a bad tackle on Costa
35' Walker does well to win a corner for Spurs. They try to take it short but Chelsea intercept and counter attack
36' Rose finds Eriksen in the box and he has a shot through the defenders legs but Cech saves well.
38' Chadli shoots for range but its waaaaaaay off target
41' Walker is down injured and needs some treatment
44' GOAAAAAAAAAALLLL Chadli fouls Ivanovic right infront of the linesman. A good position to cross it in. Willian takes it and it drops to Terry who smashes it. It takes a deflection and Lloris has no chance of saving it!!!
45+1' Chelsea win a corner. Hazard sends it in to Ivanovic at the back post. He heads it across goal to Cahill whose header is on target but Lloris saves well
Half Time: Chelsea 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea Stats Spurs
41% Possession 59%
8 Shots 9
2 Shots on Target 2
3 Corners 1
6 Fouls 9
46' Tottenham get us underway for the second half.
47' Chadli does well to retain possession and release Rose who has run forward. He crosses the ball into the box however its too close to Cech who gathers easily.
49' Hazard receives the ball on the wing and runs at the injured Walker. He gets a good cross in but none of his teamate are there to capitalize.
50' Fabregas tries a bicycle kick but Lloris saves!!
59' GOAAAAAAALLLLL Fabregas finds Costa in the box he creates some space and shoots, it takes a huge deflection off Walker and goes in!!
60' Bentaleb has a shot from distance but its well wide
61' Spurs Sub: Dembele Townsend (1/3)
64' Hazard tries to curl one in the bottom corner but hes just off target
69' Chelsea try something different from the free kick. Hazard almost finds Fabregas in the box but Rose gets a small touch that puts off the Spaniard.
70' Willian gets a yellow card
70' Spurs Sub: Lamela Mason (2/3)
72' Cahill gets a yellow for a foul on Kane
74' Azpilicueta needs treatment for a knock to his head
75' Spurs get a freekick on the edge of the box but they take it quickly and waste the chance.
76' Chelsea Sub: Cuadrado Willian (1/3)
76' A good corner is sent in by Eriksen. Kane gets a header on it and its just wide!
78' Bentaleb gets a yellow for a foul on Cuadrado
80' Spurs Sub: Soldado Chadli (3/3)
85' A battered and bruised Azpilicueta is fouled twice in two minutes on the righ wing. First by Kane then by Soldado
86' Cuadrado is given a yellow card
87' Kane has his first real chance of the game but a diving tackle by Terry blocks his shot
89' Chelsea Sub: Oscar Fabregas (2/3)
89' Soldado crosses to Lamela but Ivanovic gets in the way and clears for a corner
90' There will be 4 added minutes
90+2' Chelsea Sub: Drogba Costa (3/3)
Full Time: Chelsea 2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
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Pre-Match Thread: Brighton vs Spurs (17 April 2018)

Premier League Match Day 34
Tuesday April 17th, 2018
Kick Off: 19:45 (GMT), 2:45 PM (EST)
Venue: American Express Community Stadium, Brighton
TV: Sky Sports (UK), NBCSN (US)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Evening Standard Preview
"Tottenham look to return to winning ways on Tuesday’s night clash on the south coast after seeing their 14-match unbeaten run ended by Manchester City. Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat was Spurs’ first lost in the league of 2018, and their first since they lost away to the now champions back in December. Brighton, meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from their defeat at rivals Crystal Palace and create a buffer between themselves and the drop zone. Albeit in 13th, Chris Hughton’s side are only seven points above the drop zone and facing a very tough run-in. Significantly for the visitors, three points will guarantee a second successive league finish above Arsenal and restore their 10-point advantage over Chelsea."- Evening Standard
-Brighton are 13th in the Premier League. Their 35 points give them a seven point cushion on the relegation zone, but they are not mathematically safe from the drop yet.
-Last time out, the Seagulls lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace. They haven't won in the league since a 2-1 win over Arsenal on March 4th.
-Here's the match thread from the last time we played Brighton, a 2-0 win in December with goals coming from Son Heung-min and Serge Aurier.
Team News
-Danny Rose (calf) is expected to be sidelined short-term but will not be available for this match.
-Kyle Walker-Peters (hamstring) is not mentioned in the team news anymore, which means he's presumably available for this one.
-Harry Winks (ankle) is currently rehabbing in Qatar. Seems unlikely that we'll see him again this season.
-Brighton will be without Izzy Brown and Steve Sidwell, who are both sidelined with long-term injuries.
-The Seagulls will also be without Davy Propper due to a suspension from a red card he picked up against Huddersfield Town.
COYS
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[OC] AFC Ajax 2018/2019 Season Preview

On wednesday, July 25th, Dutch club AFC Ajax will start their competitive season with a home game in the 2nd Champions League qualification round against Austrian team SK Sturm Graz. This makes it the perfect time to look back at the preseason campaign, transfers and more. So let’s do it!
Preseason
Because Ajax finished in 2nd place last season in the Eredivisie they have to start their competitive season on July 25th. This meant that our preseason began while everyone else was still going crazy about the World Cup. Our first real training session was June 20th, while in the days prior some players took some individual tests.
All of this was without players like Nico Tagliafico, Lasse Schöne, Kasper Dolberg and Hakim Ziyech, who were all present in Russia. We also missed Donny van de Beek, Noussair Mazraoui, and Matthijs De Ligt, who had played internationally in recent weeks before the World Cup. These guys were expected to be back at the club the next monday, when the squad left Amsterdam for a training camp in Klosterpforte, Germany.
Before that however, Ajax played their first preseason game against VVSB Noordwijkerhout. This amateur team is active in the Tweede Divisie, the 3rd highest level of Dutch football.
Ajax won this game rather easily, which ofcourse was to be expected against an amateur team. Goals were scored by Teun Bijleveld (0-1 & 0-2), Kaj Sierhuis (0-3 & 0-5), Dani De Wit (0-4), Klaas- Jan Huntelaar, (0-6) and Hassane Bande (0-7). Highlights
Ofcourse it’s nice to start the season with a win but more than that can’t be said about this game. On to the training camp in Germany!
During this training camp we played 2 games against German amateur teams. The first one against SC Preussen Münster 06, playing at the 3rd level of German football.
Goals by: Kevin Rodriguez (0-1), Rasmuss Kristensen (1-1), Martin Kobylański (1-2), Lucas Cueto (1-3). Highlights
Not a good game from Ajax obviously, but it has to be said that Ajax played with 2 completely different teams in either half. Only the second game of the season, let’s move on quickly.
Ajax - SV Lippstadt 08: 9-0
And so we did, with a game on the last day of this training camp. The opponent was SV Lippstadt 08, active at the 4th level of German football. In this game first team goalkeeper André Onana played his first game of the new season. Slowly but surely the squad is getting back together.
Goals by: Noussair Mazraoui (1-0 & 5-0) Zakaria Labyad (2-0 & 6-0), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (3-0 & 4-0), Dani De Wit (7-0, 8-0 & 9-0). Highlights
Good to see another big win, and nice to see every goalscorer scored multiple goals, topped by Dani De Wit’s hattrick.
This concluded Ajax’ first training camp of the preseason.
As has been costumary in recent years, from now on Ajax plays 2 games per day for the remainder of the preseason. The first double header was played back in the Netherlands on July 7th. First against Danish team FC Nordsjaelland and the opponent for game 2 was FC FCSB (formerly known as FC Steaua Bucuresti).
Our first game against a more serious opponent - FC Nordsjaelland plays in the Danish Superligaen - and it showed. Nordsjaelland was the more dangerous team overall, playing on the counter attack. Although we were mostly playing with our ‘B’ team.
Goals by: Andreas Skov Olsen (0-1), Karlo Bartolec (0-2), Mathias Rasmussen (0-3), Dean Solomons (1-3). Highlights
Goals by: Florin Tanase (0-1), Carel Eiting (1-1). Highlights
All in all a pretty boring game. Not much happened on either side.
This game was not announced beforehand and (as far as I’m aware) not open to the public. The scheduled game against Anderlecht was later in the day, so this game was played between both teams ‘B’ squads.
One notable thing that happened in this game was the horrific injury of Hassane Bandé. A hard sliding tackle caused him to suffer a broken fibula and he tore the inside of his ankle. I apologise for not knowing the proper term of what I mean. But this means he will be sidelined for 6 months. (Tackle around 1:20-1:25 in the highlights a little bit later on, you don’t see any gross stuff but just in case you don’t want to see it.)
On to the game itself, which was a real goalfest, which we were on the losing side off.
Goals by: Edo Kayambe (0-1), Kaj Sierhuis (1-1 & 2-3), Mohammed Dauda (1-2), Ryota Morioka (1-3 & 3-5), Knowledgde Musona (2-4), Sebastian Pasquali (3-4). Highlights
Goals by: Ivan Santini (0-1 & 1-3), David Neres (1-1), Landry Dimata (1-2). Highlights
We’re getting closer and closer to the start of our season, because now it’s time for the 2nd preseason training campl. This time we will be in England for a week, playing 2 games on July 19th. League 1 side Walsall FC and newly promoted Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers FC will be our opponents.
Goals by: Donny van de Beek (0-1), Ruben Neves (1-1). Highlights
Goals by: Andy Cook (1-0 & 2-0).
This concluded the preseason games that we had to play before the game against Sturm Graz next wednesday. However, om August 3rd Ajax will play another practise game against VFL Wolfsburg, where former Ajax player Riechedly Bazoer currently plays. This will be 8 days before the first match in the Eredivisie, at home against Heracles Almelo.
Preseason Conclusion
Obviously the preseason games did not go how we wanted them to go. Our only wins came against amateur teams very early on and the play itself wasn’t anything to be proud of either. Caveats being that we still don’t have all our players back from their holidays and/or injuries and the fact that new signings Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic barely haven’t made any minutes (Blind) or haven’t played at all (Tadic).
However not everything was just bad. One big positive was the inclusion of 16 year old midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, who is one of the club’s biggest talents, especially in his age category. The young midfielder dared to pass defenders and had some good passes in his arsenal.
I personally thought (although I seemed to be in the minority on this point) that it was clear how we wanted to approach certain aspects of the game, namely the pressing when trying to capture the ball. This was definitely not flawless but the idea on how to do it was visible.
The offensive link up play was also very nice to see at times. Quick one touch combinations and forward passing will clearly be the intention this upcoming season.
Our preferred formation will as always be a 4-3-3 with a defensive center midfielder. Other than that we could play some games or at least parts of games in a 3-4-3.
Ajax - Sturm Graz
Head coach Erik Ten Hag said the following about the starting line up against Sturm Graz:
I knew beforehand that I would have a suitcase full of question marks. But the most important thing is that we were able to bring guys towards the full 90 minutes. We won’t be in absolute perfect shape, but no team will at this point.
We have trained really hard, which we needed in the build up. Now we will take it a little bit easier. I am sure the players will be much fresher on wednesday. There are still 3, 4, or 5 positions which I have doubt over going into the game against Sturm Graz.
Starting 11 prediction
GK Onana RB Kristensen RCB De Ligt LCB F De Jong LB Tagliafico CDM Eiting (Youth player) RCM van de Beek LCM Ziyech RW Neres ST Huntelaar LW Lang (Youth player)
I think this will be the starting line up based on the game against Wolverhampton. Left winger Noa Lang played in place of Labyad because he has to sit out a suspension from last season with FC Utrecht and as I sad earlier Dusan Tadic has not played for us yet. I do however think that he will come on as a substitute in the second half, and ultimately be our starting left winger with Labyad as his replacement once the season is properly underway.
Maybe Daley Blind could start, but I think that’s just a little bit too soon. I think Frenkie De Jong will start as left centre back because he did against Wolves (and he played there a bit last season) and in particular Maximilian Wöber had a rough pre season and, ever since he got injured last season, he’s had a difficult time. Additionally I think new signing Perr Schuurs will be used as a replacement for Matthijs De Ligt at right centre back.
Bringing this back to wednesday, this will essentially mean that offensively we will play a 3-4-3 with Frenkie moving forward into the midfield.
Defensively I think this will mean that CDM Eiting will have to help Frenkie deal with the attackers.
I think Blind will be our starting left sided centre back which ideally would mean that De Jong will move into that CDM spot to serve as our playmaker, leaving Eiting on the bench.
Lastly it is interesting to point out why I chose for Huntelaar instead of Dolberg.
Ever since Kasper Dolberg suffered an injury last season which made him miss quite a large portion of the season he hasn’t played a game from start to finish. I think it’s a safe bet that he will play later on in the second half but the best decision is to take it easy with him and gradually increase his playing time. He will be our starting striker during the regular season.
How I think we will line up once everybody is healthy and there won’t be any more outgoing transfers
GK Onana RB Mazraoui or Kristensen RCB De Ligt LCB Blind LB Tagliafico CDM De Jong RCM van de Beek LCM Ziyech RW Neres ST Dolberg LW Tadic
I haven’t included Veltman mainly because he has a pretty bad ankle injury as of right now, so we’ll have to wait to see how he will return. I also think Mazraoui and Kristensen are 2 talented young guys who could be going for that starting right back spot regardless of Veltman is there or not.
Transfers for the 18/19 season
Incoming:
(Sidenote, the positions I listed are positions where I know they can play and where I think they could play in case there will be any other out going transfers.)
I think we’ve done some great business here. A good mix of youth and experience and players who can play on a multitude of positions. The obvious headliners are Dusan Tadic and the returning Daley Blind. (I only included that because it still cracks me up.)
It’s very sad that we won’t be able to see Bandé play this season, but we’ve talked about that earlier so I’ll leave it at that for now.
Perr Schuurs is known in the Netherlands as one of the biggest domestic talents, especially for the centre back position. He will make appearances this season but he’ll mostly play for Jong Ajax (2nd team), getting prepped to be the replacement of Matthijs De Ligt.
The only criticism I have concerns the transfer of Zakaria Labyad, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with his abilities or whether or not he will be useful for us, because I think he will be.
The criticism lies in the fact that it appears that the only reason we decided to buy him was because coach Ten Hag wanted him. The two have a history at FC Utrecht. The scouting department did not recommend him. But, like I said, I think he will still be useful to us coming off the bench.
Now let’s look at the first team players who have left us.
Outgoing:
I debated with myself over including Zeefuik, because he played most of his games in Jong Ajax. He has however played some games for the first team so I decided he should be included here.
The biggest eye catcher for international football fans is obviously the departure of Justin Kluivert, both for his last name, and the fact that he is the best player out of this group. Personally I am very sad to see him leave. He is a young, talented player who I think has a bright future ahead of him. It’s a shame he left us at this young age, while he hasn’t played that many first team games for us yet. However he didn’t want to renew his contract which was ending at the end of the season after this upcoming one so we had to sell him now to get some money out of it.
A lot of Ajax fans have been giving him shit for leaving us in the way he did and because they feel like he isn’t ready for it yet. I agree with the latter but ultimately I just hope he succeeds.
For Dutch fans the other remarkable transfer is the one from Viergever, moving to our biggest competitor for the Eredivisie title, being PSV.
During his time with us he had had some good moments, highlighted by his goal against Schalke 04 in the Europa League under Peter Bosz. But all things considered the coaching staff and club management felt like he isn’t good enough anymore and that we have to move forward. This, combined with the fact that his contract was running out, freed the way for him to move to the team from Eindhoven. I hope he personally does well there.
Now to talk about the big mess surrounding Amin Younes. As you’ll see in the comments I completely forgot about him so I added this in later. Where to begin..?
He lost his first 11 spot to the younger and more goal focused Justin Kluivert. Because of this he was set to leave us last winter on a permanent deal to Napoli. This ultimately did not happen. He even denied signing a 5 year deal with the Italians which would’ve gone into effect this summer after his deal with us had ended. Following this the Serie A club showed documents which allegedly had 31 of his signatures on them.
After this whole mess VFL Wolfsburg showed interest. For Younes this was looking pretty good until VFL Wolfsburg called off the transfer because ‘the obstacles before the transfer weren’t taken away’. Whatever that means.
On top of all of this he also suffered a pretty severe injury which means he won’t be able to play for months.
Napoli chairmain De Laurentiis would be willing to talk about a transfer for him if a team was willing to put €20.000.000 on the table.
Last player I want to talk about is Mitchell Dijks. Not because he was especially valuable to us or anything but for the fact that he was set to leave us in the 2016/17 season.
During the January 2017 transfer window we loaned him out to Norwich City, which included an option to buy. He played 15 games in the Championship for them, scoring 1 goal. I think everybody was under the impression that he would join them permanently at the start of the 17/18 season, but that deal fell through because they could not reach an agreement on pay. His contract also ran out and now he signed a 5 year deal in Italy.
Thoughts about the transfers
Everything considered we have had a good window. We got rid of the players we didn’t need anymore and brought in players who can contribute immediately and set us up for the future. Tadic and Blind will ofcourse be expected to take the lead this season as 2 of the most experienced and best players in the squad.
This concludes my season 2018/2019 preview for my team AFC Ajax! I hope you enjoy reading it! (If you’re not too put off by the absolute wall of text that is..)
Bring on the season!
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