Pez’s Weekend Soccer Preview

Here we are, with a preview of the weekend’s EPL matches.  This could be the biggest week of the season, with huge top 4 and bottom 3 implications.  We’re gonna jump right in here, a lot to get to. First, we’ll take a quick look at the table currently

epl standings.png

Top 4:

 Manchester United vs. Arsenal –

Arsenal are all but out of the top 4  They have been falling quicker than Alexis getting hit in the face with a throw in.   It would take a big disaster from United and City for Arsenal to jump back in. With that being said, it could all start on sunday with a big win for the gunners.  Since losing Pogba, United’s offensive attack has looked out of sorts.  It looks like he will be back this weekend to start bridging offense and defense.  Arsenal and United have looked out of sorts recently, with both teams dropping vital points.  United could have jumped over city into 4th, but tied with Swansea city at home, their 10th league tie of the season at home.  If United are able to come out of their Europa League semifinal healthy, and have one of Bailly/Smalling/Jones back, I think they are able to take this match.

Prediction: United 2 -1 Arsenal

Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have played spoiler in recent weeks, upsetting Liverpool at Anfield with former Liverpool great(?) Christian Benteke scoring both goals for Palace.  Palace has been playing some great counter-attacking football with their pacy and skillful wingers.  City needs the win to try and cement their place in the top 4, and although Palace seem safe from relegation, they could use the extra three points. I expect a back and forth physical affair, with both teams netting one goal.

Prediction: City 1 – 1 Palace

Liverpool vs. Southampton

Ahh, Liverpool scouts get a first hand look at all of their transfers for this summer.  What a treat, they don’t even have to leave Anfield! Southampton has been underwhelming this season, they have always been a selling club and it has shown this year.  They are in 9th place, but easily could have done better.  Liverpool has not been the same without Sadio Mane, who went out for the season about a month ago.  They were saved by the Goal of the Season on Monday.  If you haven’t seen it, just sit back and enjoy that pure unadulterated goodness

Liverpool went on to win 1-0, and took all three points.  City and United still have a game in hand on Liverpool, but the three points were vital here.  Coutinho limped off in the 13th minute, which could be bad news.  We will see what happens there, but this could easily be a game where southampton plays out of their skin and steals a win.

Prediction: Southampton 2 – 1 Liverpool

Chelsea and Tottenham looks to continue their winning ways.  CHelsea is playing Middlesbrough, who look all but relegated.  Chelsea should be able to control the game, and take an easy victory against the soon to be relegated side.  Tottenham have a little bit of a tougher matchup against West Ham, but with their form they should be able to pull out the easy victory as well.  It will be tough for Chelsea to lose the title now, but stranger things have happened.  Expect the gap between Spurs and Chelsea to be the same after this weekend.

And now.. We must take a moment of silence for our fallen brothers, Sunderland.  David Moyes has been on a rollercoaster since he failed at Manchester United. After being hand picked for the job by SIr Alex Ferguson, Moyes has been nothing but a disappointment in his managerial ventures since then, and Sunderland is just another example.  Relegated, playing awful football, and just not enjoyable to watch.   His famous “We need to stop conceding and score more.” quote just shows how out of his depths he has been since leaving Everton.  That’s how you win games in any sport David, score more than the other team.  His failures will be long spoken of in English Football Lore.. unless you know he turns it around and becomes a good coach, which would be a bigger miracle than Leicester winning the title at 5000/1 odds.  Remember, he could have stayed at Everton, been hailed as a great coach for years, and never expected to do any better than top 6.  Ahh, hindsight is always 20/20.  Goodbye Moyesy, you will not be missed.

We also must welcome Rafa Benitez back into the premier league.  After being fired by Real Madrid after six months, he took a job to try and save Newcastle from relegation.  He was unable to, but stuck around and led them back to the premier league as they have earned promotion for the 2017/2018 season.  Gotta respect the man for sticking around and doing what he was hired to do.  Now let’s hope they can stay, and maybe we’ll see DeAndre Yedlin become a formidable right back in the PL and as a US International for years to come.

We’ll see where we stand next week, but look for the relegation and top 4 chances to be a little clearer after this weekend.  The games in hand for City and United could come to be huge if they are able to win, but United will have to face Tottenham in the upcoming weeks.  Europa League may be their best chance at Champions League Football, but we will have to wait and see.

Follow @npezzillo on Twitter for all (some) of your soccer needs!

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