EPL during the holidays!!!

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by SAMCRO, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    This is my favorite time of year in the EPL. Teams playing 5 matches (beginning tomorrow/Wednedsay) thru New Year's. It's a big opportunity to make moves for top four (or avoid relegation) if you can stay healthy.

    Chelsea - @Sund, @CP, Bourn, Stoke, @ Spurs
    Arsenal - @Evert, @ City, WBA, CP, @ Bourne
    Liverpool - @M'boro, @Evert, Stoke, City, @ Sund
    City - Wat, Arsenal, @Hull, @Liverpool, Burn - probably the toughest stretch of the 6 teams vying for top 4.
    Spurs - Hull, Burn, @S'hmapt, @Wat, Chelsea
    United - @CP, @WBA, Sund, M'Boro, @WH

    For our Swans fans, they get the 3 teams directly above them over the next 5 matches (West ham, M'Boro, and Palace) and play no one in the top 6, so a HUGE opportunity for them to get themselves out of danger
     
  2. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    Yeah well let's just say today did not start that stretch off so well. We're scoreless at the half and then allowed West Brom to score a hat trick within a 5-6 minute span. They scored a worthless goal late and had another opportunity to at least have a -1 in GD but couldn't convert.

    They are in serious trouble and honestly, I can't see Bradley surviving this stretch. Today's game may have been a massive nail in his coffin. Between the loss to Spurs and this debacle, Swansea has appeared lost. They aren't t just losing 1-0 or 2-1. They are letting up goals in bunches. To say that they need to win the next TO is an understatement. They need to win it for survival, period.....

    The board screwed up in the transfer window and the team is suffering. Selling Ayew and whiffing on bringing back Joe Allen is really hurting them. I just can't find anything positive to say right now. I really thought they turned a corner after last weeks massive win against Sunderland. Then that 5 minute span happened where the goals came pouring in today.ugh
     
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  3. hardcorehusky

    hardcorehusky Randy's back and you're gonna be sorry!!

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    I am not sure why they sold Ashley Williams as well. He was error prone but a stabilizing force at CB. Losing Ayew did not help. Llorente is a good pick up, but they need help everywhere.
     
  4. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    I didn't see the match so can't comment on how they played, but losing @WBA and @ Spurs (#7 and #5 in the table currently) shouldn't be too damming, even if they did get smoked in London. Their 3-0 win v Sunderland was huge, and their next 4 matches will probably define and determine their season. @ #17 M'boro, v # 15 West Ham, v. #10 Bournemouth, @ #16 Palace. They will need to make hay here if they want to stay up. After that, their next 6 are a bit of a murderers row... v Arsenal, @Liverpool, v S'hampton, @ City, v Leicester, @ Chelsea.
     
  5. businesslawyer

    businesslawyer

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    I don't understand the concern for Bradley's future either. With the loss, hasn't he won 2 of the last 4, with the two losses being on the road? Did anyone think he was going to make them a good team this season? I would have thought the goal was to get out of the relegation zone, and then start heading in the direction of middle tier. Losing some road games to top half clubs while you're winning at home and making the slow climb should hardly be scaring or worrying anyone.
     
  6. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    I think the concern is that they aren't going to escape the relegation zone. I know WBA was top tier this year but they are not usually in that spot so I think the view point of many Swansea fans, myself included, was that this was a game that could have been won. Especially after watching the solid performance against Sunderland.

    I personally wasn't expecting Bradley to bring Swansea to the upper half but I expected some better results then what they're showing. Their defense is atrocious and that's not entirely on Bradley. It's more on ownership and their lack of foresight to sign better defensive players and not sell Williams. He also provided leadership.

    The part that is disturbing the most is that they'll play to a draw in the first half in many of these games and then as soon as one goal is conceded it's like the floodgates open up and the goals pour in.

    The next 4 games will absolutely define their season. Even then, it won't be an easy road. I'll be curious to see who they bring in during the January window...
     
  7. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    In August of 2017, Swansea will be playing in the Championship with a new manager, or in the Prem with Bob. Based on his record, I wouldn't be optimistic. Getting fired is what Bob Bradley does. This is a guy that was fired by Alexi Lalas for crying out loud.
     
  8. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    Is that an insult? Getting fired by a d-bag?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  9. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    F Bradley.....3-0 to Middlesbrough? Seriously? It wasn't even close....I know that they are hoping to pick up players in January but to be honest it won't be of any use if they don't win the next two. Not draw, win. Why he is keeping some of the players in the lineup that he does is mind boggling.....Taylor and Rangel are abysmal. Taylor has been getting destroyed on the flanks the past few games. He's also not starting Leroy Fer who is the top flipping goal scorer on a team that can't score. I don't get it, I really don't. One more nail in Swansea's coffin.

    If they are waiting for January to try and revamp the team and then see what Bradley can do, all is lost.
     
  10. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    If you're bad enough that Lalas fires you, yes.
     
  11. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    It's tough to reinvent a team amidst ten match days in December.

    This is like West Brom in 2015 before they brought Pulis in. They could still be ok if they get something going in January.
     
  12. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    Tough week for the Swans and Gunners, good week for Spurs, City, United, and Chelsea. The Merseyside Derby should be a good one this afternoon. Everton coming off a big home result v Arsenal, and Liverpool playing to jump to 2nd place and try to keep pace with enfuego Chelsea. Love this time of year in the EPL

    Top 4
    Chelsea (43 pts) - Bournemouth, Stoke, @ Spurs
    City (36 pts.) - @ Hull, @ Liverpool, Burnley
    Liverpool (34 pts, played 1 less game than rest) - @ Everton (today), Stoke, City, @ Sunderland
    Arsenal (34 pts) - WBA, CP, @ Bournemouth
    Spurs (33 pts) - @ Southampton, @ Watford, Chelsea
    United (30 pts) - Sunderland, Middlesbrough, @ West Ham

    Relegation
    CP (15 pts) - @ Watford, @ Arsenal, Swansea,
    Sunderland (14 pts) - @ United, @ Burnley, Liverpool
    Swansea (12 pts) - West Ham, Bournemouth, @ CP
    Huk (12 pts) - City, Everton, @ WBA
     
  13. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    Just unreal.4-1. Only fitting that Ayew started off the onslaught considering he never should have been sold.....
     
  14. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Has Bob been fired yet? #NotGoodBob Men in Blazers already has a hashtag for him.
     
  15. hardcorehusky

    hardcorehusky Randy's back and you're gonna be sorry!!

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    Well, he tried. Hopefully Swansea City can pull an escape trick with their next manager.
     
  16. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    It appears that the FA and the EPL officials have all but determined that Man U will finish in the top 4 if they have any say in it. I've noticed them getting the some of the old 'Sir Alex' calls over several matches this season, but yesterday's officiating was over the top. I am not a West Ham fan at all, but yesterdays game was possibly the most suspect I've seen. I stopped watching at one point b/c it was just so bad. From the straight red card in the 14th minute (on a 50/50 ball that when he blew the whistle I first thought he was calling a foul on the United player), then literally a minute later a United player took down a West Ham player in pretty much the same fashion and nothing was handed out.

    Giroud with possibly the goal of the year v Palace on Sunday
    City with a big win while playing a man down @ Burnley, and Sunderland drawing with Liverpool was big.

    Some big matches today and tomorrow...
    Bournemouth v Arsenal should be good. Arsenal is playing well, hoping Bournemouth can eke out a draw at least.
    Palace v Swansea with huge relegation implications. A Palace win puts Swansea 7 points (and a lot of goals on goal diff) south of safety, and then their next 5 EPL matches are against Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester, Chelsea. It's a little early to say a team has a "must win" match, but if Swansea doesn't get a point today, they may not see another point until March.... and by that time they will be all but relegated.

    Spurs v Chelsea tomorrow afternoon is the premiere match of this week. Chelsea has been unstoppable the last 3 months, and Spurs have won the matches they were supposed to win over the holiday run of play. COYS!
     
  17. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    Can't wait. Come on you Spurs is right! But no games on Thursday? What am I going to do?
     
  18. meyers7

    meyers7 Smarty Pants

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    That were pretty weren't it?
     
  19. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    Wow, some sick finishes today. The Swans with a huge road win, and Bournemouth with a big draw v Arsenal (which probably feels like a loss to The Cherries the way this one fnished)

    Swansea was up 1-0 most the match, Zaha and Palace tie it up with a beauty in the 85th minute, Swans come back with a great goal in the 88th minute and are able to hold on for a massive 3 points.

    Aaaaand Bournemouth ties/loses 3-3 to Arsenal. That was a wild final 20 minutes. Bournemouth up 3-0, Arsenal scores goals in the 70th and 75th minutes to cut it to 3-2, Bournemouth goes down a man when they get a straight red card in the 83rd minute (i missed the foul, so don't know if it was red worthy or not), and Giroud levels it 3-3 two minutes into added time.

    A Spurs win tomorrow jumps them ahead of Arsenal and City into 3rd place... HUGE game tomorrow at the Lane
     
  20. meyers7

    meyers7 Smarty Pants

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    Looking forward to a nice...draw. ;)
     
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  21. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    That draw was more than nice. It was practically Arsenal Wins 3-3.
     
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  22. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    Huge win by Swansea yesterday. Was able to watch the last 10 min of the game and missed the goal by Palace but saw Rangel put one in after a sweet pass over the top by Fer.

    I said repeatedly that Bradley was making a mistake leaving Fer on the bench. He showed why today. Here's to hoping our new manager is a solid one and the 30 million pound transfer money they allotted pays off.

    As Samcro said, I don't see a win, let alone a point, until March. I'm hoping they pull out one or two WTF wins or draws like they did last year or two years ago near the end of the season against Chelsea and I believe Arsenal. It might have been last season.

    I'm just worried that they really killed their chances by only winning 2 games in this December time frame. All those games were winnable and they blew it. That GD will be tough to overcome.
     
  23. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    Alli with a header in the final minute of the 1st half puts Spurs up 1-0 at the break. Lot's of tackles, fouls, but only 3 yellow cards handed out so far (which is well below the Spurs-Chelsea average).
    Should be a more explosive and faster second half as Chelsea will push the pace now that they are playing from behind. Spurs had a 1-0 HT lead v Chelsea at the Bridge a couple months ago and ended up losing 2-1, so a lot still to play for.
     
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  24. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    Final, Spurs win 2-0. Eriksen assisting Alli on both goals. Alli has been en fuego as of late. Spurs are finally healthy (which they haven't been since September) and playing very well.

    So going in to FA Cup action this weekend the top of the table is:
    Chelsea 49 pts, +27 GD
    Liverpool 44 pts, +25 GD
    Spurs 42 pts, +25 GD
    City 42 pts, +19 GD
    Arsenal 41 pts, +22 GD
    United 39 pts, +12 GD

    Don't forget, Liverpool also has an upcoming home and home v. Southampton for the EFL (Cap One) Cup semi-final, so they will be playing 5-6 games over the next 3 1/2 weeks. This on the heels of playing the very busy holiday match schedule.
     
  25. meyers7

    meyers7 Smarty Pants

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    Though I hate to see Spurs ahead of us, it was probably best to take points of Chelsea.

    We are gonna be short in midfield for a bit. Cazorla still looks to be a couple months away (probably longer), Coquelin is out now with a hammie, Elneny is off to the African Cup. Özil is coming back from being sick (flu, strep?). Think we are down to Xhaka, Ramsey and Iwobi for the 3 midfield positions.

    Might be getting Welbeck back soon though, maybe for the FA this weekend. Wenger will have to do some rotation for that. Dip into the youth probably.
     
  26. Chuck

    Chuck

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    What's the general consensus on the fairness of EPL? The standings seem a lot more familiar this year, even to someone that only started following (a bit more each year) about 4 years ago. Is that just a coincidence? Money? I ask, because it seems like the questionable calls (offsides, red cards, PKs) seem to be going to the favor of the traditional power on a regular basis. A ref's calls are so subjective in soccer that you can always second guess, but it seems to be a pattern. My 10 year old is a Man U fan. Their most recent win was totally handed to them with a questionable (at best) early red card, and a non-called offside. FIFA has certainly had it's issues, but I've never thought of EPL as being (somewhat) fixed? Am I imagining things or is this an issue?
     
  27. UCFBfan

    UCFBfan

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    Not sure about bad calls etc within games as I think that claim can be made in every sport on every level. In terms of the standings, they will always contain 3 of Arsenal, Chelsea, ManU, Man City. Then you'll get either a Tottenham, Liverpool, or a random team to round out the top 4 or 5. It all comes down to money and those 5 teams have it in boat loads. You then have the Evertons and Stokes of the league who are consistently mid table and at times get higher. After that you get a bunch of teams that get promoted and have a few good seasons or more (West Ham, West Brom, Southampton, Swansea, Sunderland). However, those teams flirt with relegation and in the case of Swansea this year, may actually go down.

    The only blip on this came last season with Leicester winning it all and Chelsea finishing on the wrong end of mid table. However they will always be a rarity if not a once in a lifetime thing.

    So your son being a Man U fan will guarantee him a life of enjoying EPL soccer. For fans of the non Big 5, you just pray you don't have a down season.
     
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  28. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

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    I jinxed it, sorry Vertonghen... this one is on me. He's definitely out for the City match this weekend, and thought to be out for 6 weeks due to re-injuring the same ankle that had him miss part of the Euros and the beginning of the season.

    Ever since Spurs witched to 3-4-2-1 with a back line of Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen allowing Rose and Walker to play more of a midfield role on the outside with Alli nd Ericksen supporting Kane up top Spurs have been on fire. Hopefully Davies and/or Wimmer can cover the left and they don't have to revert back to a 4 man back line. Big test at City Saturday. The Citizen's are on the brink of collapsing and are viewing this as a MUST win match.
     
  29. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    If you don't like the calls then just wait a game or two.

    Pep's stock is dropping like a rock. But, it remains to be seen if he is being exposed or they are just slumping. The EPL has the best managers in the world now so at any given moment, Pep, Conte, Jose, Mauricio, Jurgen etc are going to be looking bad. But the argument that Pep doesn't know what to do when he isn't running a super club like Barcelona or Bayern is compelling.
     
  30. businesslawyer

    businesslawyer

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    With Davies and Wimmer to cover, while you hate losing any starter I don't think the loss of Vertonghen hurts them that much. He missed 2 to 3 months last year in the second half of the season, Wimmer covered for him and Spurs played really well in Vertonghen's absence.

    As for the 3 FB formation, I don't think there is any risk they move away from that any time soon, assuming Walker and Rose stay on the field. I do think that when they play their second unit (like they will against Wycombe in the next FA Cup tie), you will see them revert to 4 at the back. Having Trippier and Davies playing wing backs, as opposed to more defensive fullbacks in a 4 man back, doesn't get you what moving Walker and Rose up does.