Posts Tagged ‘Premiership’

Premier League Preview: Focus on Chelsea

With two months to go last season, Chelsea where set for their worst campaign since Abramavich took over. But Abramavich made his best managerial appointment in his six years at the club when he brought in Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea where set to exit the Champions League and where losing ground on any chance of a top 4 spot.

But we all know how it ended for Chelsea, with their Blue Angel sat on the crossbar in Stamford Bridge when Messi and Co came round and in the Allianz Arena the Blue Angel took his spot on the crossbar again and Chelsea were crowned the Champions of Europe. Well that’s how Ruud Gullit will remember it.

But Chelsea, league wise anyway, still have a huge 25 points to overcome before they can challenger for the title again. Chelsea are also rebuilding their squad at the moment and to challenge for the league whilst in a transition period takes a big effort from the squad and with competition for the league at its highest level for some years it will be nearly impossible task for Di Matteo’s men to achieve.

Chelsea’s defence also needs some improving or at least David Luiz and Gary Cahill to improve. Luiz has always been a liability to Chelsea and the stupid mistakes he makes on a regular basics need to be removed from his game. Gary Cahill also needs improvement but I would be more confident that he will improve this season. John Terry as always will be key and if Cahill partners him all season Chelsea should maintain a solid defence but if Terry is missing a Luiz and Cahill partnership may cause problems throughout the season.

Chelsea have spent their money on young talents this summer with three excellent signings, not including, Eden Hazard’s brother Thorghan. The three signings they made were Marko Marin, Eden Hazard, and Brazilian playmaker Oscar. All young prospects with a lot of potential, but all will need time to develop as footballers and will need time to adjust to the fast pace of the Premier League before we see them at their best.

So how much of the 25 points will Chelsea win back this season? Without putting an exact number on it my guess would be around 10-15 points which would be an impressive achievement to make up but sadly not enough for them to make a significant challenge for the league. I do believe that Chelsea are on the right road to overcome the massive deficit and in a couple of seasons’ time they will be out right favorites for the league. But for the time being I think that their fans and Roman Abramavich should be patience. I do believe though that Chelsea will make an appearance in Wembley and would tip their ‘second’ team to win the Carling Cup and reach the semi final of the FA Cup at least.

Final Prediction; I reckon they will finish in the top 4 this year which may disappoint most Chelsea fans but considering how rich the competition will be this year come May it could be seen as an acceptable achievement.

Premier League Preview: Focus on Arsenal

Another transfer window and another captain wanting to leave, also with the added frustration of Barcelona sniffing around your midfield (again). Yes, the transfer window is never a quiet place when Arsenal are involved. Robin Van Persie with a year left on his contract looks set to be heading to Manchester United and Alex Song an unsung hero at Arsenal might be tempted to head out of the Emirates to join up with former captain Cesc Fabergas at Barcelona.

But this transfer window wasn’t all doom and gloom for Arsenal as Wenger didn’t want to make the same mistake as last year and got his deals done early. This summer saw Arsenal making what can only be described as the best signings of the summer with Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud, and Santi Carzorla. Arsenal finished 19 points off the two Manchester clubs and Wenger would have been planning to overturn that deficit with Robin Van Persie in the squad and it would be hard to argue that a happy Robin Van Persie with these three signings couldn’t challenge for the Premiership next year. Alas this does not seem to be the case and even if Van Persie is kept and sees out the final year of his Arsenal contract it would be difficult to say whether he’d still be giving 100% commitment to the club.

Arsenal fans can also start to get optimistic about the fitness of Jack Wilshere who missed the entire campaign last season due to injury. With a return date semi-set for October and baring any more setbacks he will be a great boost for Arsenal to have Wilshere back arriving into the busy Christmas period. He was always the ‘what if’ for Arsenal fans last season. Would he be worth 19 points, definitely not. But he certainly is worth the hype around him and if he and other key players, especially those at the back stay fit, the huge 19 points between Arsenal and the top spot seems to feel a bit smaller.

Realistically what can Arsenal fans expect?

Unfortunately for Arsenal fans Robin Van Persie seems content on leaving and Barcelona don’t seem to be giving up in their pursuit of Alex Song any time soon so there could be bad news for Arsenal before there is good news.

But, if the new signings gel well and, as ever, the younger lads come of age this could be a very good season for Arsenal, as previously stated, out of all the Premier League sides Arsenal have by far spent the wisest in the transfer window. Compared to Man City who have only signed Jack Rodwell, Manchester United who have only signed Kagawa plus a teenager from Crew (Powell), and Chelsea who have spent a lot of money but it’s all gone on potential and haven’t really signed any player of distinguished merit yet.

Overall prediction; 3rd, So how is that better than last season? Well it isn’t but I think Arsenal will be one of the main challengers for the league this season and expect them to run a good race however; I just don’t think, especially with Van Persie on the way out, they will stick it out in the last months of the League and will fade out of the picture come the start of May. Wenger will be desperate for a trophy this year and will be looking for strong challenges in the FA Cup and Champions League.

The Premier League Fixture List 2012/13

The complete fixture list of the Barclays Premier League campaign for the 2012-13.

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Arsenal Fixtures;

August

18 Sunderland (H)

25 Stoke (A)

September

1 Liverpool (A)

15 Southampton (H)

22 Man City (A)

29 Chelsea (H)

October

6 West Ham (A)

20 Norwich (A)

27 QPR (H)

November

3 Man Utd (A)

10 Fulham (H)

17 Tottenham (H)

24 Aston Villa (A)

28 Everton (A)

December

1 Swansea (H)

8 West Brom (H)

15 Reading (A)

22 Wigan (A)

26 West Ham (H)

29 Newcastle (H)

January

1 Southampton (A)

12 Man City (H)

19 Chelsea (A)

29 Liverpool (H)

February

2 Stoke (H)

9 Sunderland (A)

23 Aston Villa (H)

March

2 Tottenham (A)

9 Everton (H)

16 Swansea (A)

30 Reading (H)

April

6 West Brom (A)

13 Norwich (H)

20 Fulham (A)

27 Man Utd (H)

May

4 QPR (A)

12 Wigan (H)

19 Newcastle (A)

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Aston Villa Fixtures;

August

18 West Ham (A)

25 Everton (H)

September

1 Newcastle (A)

15 Swansea (H)

22 Southampton (A)

29 West Brom (H)

October

6 Tottenham (A)

20 Fulham (A)

27 Norwich (H)

November

3 Sunderland (A)

10 Man Utd (H)

17 Man City (A)

24 Arsenal (H)

27 Reading (H)

December

1 QPR (A)

8 Stoke (H)

15 Liverpool (A)

22 Chelsea (A)

26 Tottenham (H)

29 Wigan (H)

January

1 Swansea (A)

12 Southampton (H)

19 West Brom (A)

29 Newcastle (H)

February

2 Everton (A)

9 West Ham (H)

23 Arsenal (A)

March

2 Man City (H)

9 Reading (A)

16 QPR (H)

30 Liverpool (H)

April

6 Stoke (A)

13 Fulham (H)

20 Man Utd (A)

27 Sunderland (H)

May

4 Norwich (A)

12 Chelsea (H)

19 Wigan (A)

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Chelsea Fixtures;

August

18 Wigan (A)

25 Newcastle (H)

September

1 Reading (H)

15 QPR (A)

22 Stoke (H)

29 Arsenal (A)

October

6 Norwich (H)

20 Tottenham (A)

27 Man Utd (H)

November

3 Swansea (A)

10 Liverpool (H)

17 West Brom (A)

24 Man City (H)

28 Fulham (H)

December

1 West Ham (A)

8 Sunderland (A)

15 Southampton (H)

22 Aston Villa (H)

26 Norwich (A)

29 Everton (A)

January

1 QPR (H)

12 Stoke (A)

19 Arsenal (H)

29 Reading (A)

February

2 Newcastle (A)

9 Wigan (H)

23 Man City (A)

March

2 West Brom (H)

9 Fulham (A)

16 West Ham (H)

30 Southampton (A)

April

6 Sunderland (H)

13 Tottenham (H)

20 Liverpool (A)

27 Swansea (H)

May

4 Man Utd (A)

12 Aston Villa (A)

19 Everton (H)

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Everton Fixtures;

August

18 Man Utd (H)

25 Aston Villa (A)

September

1 West Brom (A)

15 Newcastle (H)

22 Swansea (A)

29 Southampton (H)

October

6 Wigan (A)

20 QPR (A)

27 Liverpool (H)

November

3 Fulham (A)

10 Sunderland (H)

17 Reading (A)

24 Norwich (H)

28 Arsenal (H)

December

1 Man City (A)

8 Tottenham (H)

15 Stoke (A)

22 West Ham (A)

26 Wigan (H)

29 Chelsea (H)

January

1 Newcastle (A)

12 Swansea (H)

19 Southampton (A)

30 West Brom (H)

February

2 Aston Villa (H)

9 Man Utd (A)

23 Norwich (A)

March

2 Reading (H)

9 Arsenal (A)

16 Man City (H)

30 Stoke (H)

April

6 Tottenham (A)

13 QPR (H)

20 Sunderland (A)

27 Fulham (H)

May

4 Liverpool (A)

12 West Ham (H)

19 Chelsea (A)

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Fulham Fixtures;

August

18 Norwich (H)

25 Man Utd (A)

September

1 West Ham (A)

15 West Brom (H)

22 Wigan (A)

29 Man City (H)

October

6 Southampton (A)

20 Aston Villa (H)

27 Reading (A)

November

3 Everton (H)

10 Arsenal (A)

17 Sunderland (H)

24 Stoke (A)

28 Chelsea (A)

December

1 Tottenham (H)

8 Newcastle (H)

15 QPR (A)

22 Liverpool (A)

26 Southampton (H)

29 Swansea (H)

January

1 West Brom (A)

12 Wigan (H)

19 Man City (A)

30 West Ham (H)

February

2 Man Utd (H)

9 Norwich (A)

23 Stoke (H)

March

2 Sunderland (A)

9 Chelsea (H)

16 Tottenham (A)

30 QPR (H)

April

6 Newcastle (A)

13 Aston Villa (A)

20 Arsenal (H)

27 Everton (A)

May

4 Reading (H)

12 Liverpool (H)

19 Swansea (A)

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Liverpool Fixtures;

August

18 West Brom (A)

25 Man City (H)

September

1 Arsenal (H)

15 Sunderland (A)

22 Man Utd (H)

29 Norwich (A)

October

6 Stoke (H)

20 Reading (H)

27 Everton (A)

November

3 Newcastle (H)

10 Chelsea (A)

17 Wigan (H)

24 Swansea (A)

27 Tottenham (A)

December

1 Southampton (H)

8 West Ham (A)

15 Aston Villa (H)

22 Fulham (H)

26 Stoke (A)

29 QPR (A)

January

1 Sunderland (H)

12 Man Utd (A)

19 Norwich (H)

29 Arsenal (A)

February

2 Man City (A)

9 West Brom (H)

23 Swansea (H)

March

2 Wigan (A)

9 Tottenham (H)

16 Southampton (A)

30 Aston Villa (A)

April

6 West Ham (H)

13 Reading (A)

20 Chelsea (H)

27 Newcastle (A)

May

4 Everton (H)

12 Fulham (A)

19 QPR (H)

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Manchester City Fixtures August

August

18 Southampton (H)

25 Liverpool (A)

September

1 QPR (H)

15 Stoke (A)

22 Arsenal (H)

29 Fulham (A)

October

6 Sunderland (H)

20 West Brom (A)

27 Swansea (H)

November

3 West Ham (A)

10 Tottenham (H)

17 Aston Villa (H)

24 Chelsea (A)

27 Wigan (A)

December

1 Everton (H)

8 Man Utd (H)

15 Newcastle (A)

22 Reading (H)

26 Sunderland (A)

29 Norwich (A)

January

1 Stoke (H)

12 Arsenal (A)

19 Fulham (H)

29 QPR (A)

February

2 Liverpool (H)

9 Southampton (A)

23 Chelsea (H)

March

2 Aston Villa (A)

9 Wigan (H)

16 Everton (A)

30 Newcastle (H)

April

6 Man Utd (A)

13 West Brom (H)

20 Tottenham (A)

27 West Ham (H)

May

4 Swansea (A)

12 Reading (A)

19 Norwich (H)

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Manchester United Fixtures;

August

18 Everton (A)

25 Fulham (H)

September

1 Southampton (A)

15 Wigan (H)

22 Liverpool (A)

29 Tottenham (H)

October

6 Newcastle (A)

20 Stoke (H)

27 Chelsea (A)

November

3 Arsenal (H)

10 Aston Villa (A)

17 Norwich (A)

24 QPR (H)

27 West Ham (H)

December

1 Reading (A)

8 Man City (A)

15 Sunderland (H)

22 Swansea (A)

26 Newcastle (H)

29 West Brom (H)

January

1 Wigan (A)

12 Liverpool (H)

19 Tottenham (A)

29 Southampton (H)

February

2 Fulham (A)

9 Everton (H)

23 QPR (A)

March

2 Norwich (H)

9 West Ham (A)

16 Reading (H)

30 Sunderland (A)

April

6 Man City (H)

13 Stoke (A)

20 Aston Villa (H)

27 Arsenal (A)

May

4 Chelsea (H)

12 Swansea (H)

19 West Brom (A)

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Newcastle Fixtures;

August

18 Tottenham (H)

25 Chelsea (A)

September

1 Aston Villa (H)

15 Everton (A)

22 Norwich (H)

29 Reading (A)

October

6 Man Utd (H)

20 Sunderland (A)

27 West Brom (H)

November

3 Liverpool (A)

10 West Ham (H)

17 Swansea (H)

24 Southampton (A)

27 Stoke (A)

December

1 Wigan (H)

8 Fulham (A)

15 Man City (H)

22 QPR (H)

26 Man Utd (A)

29 Arsenal (A)

January

1 Everton (H)

12 Norwich (A)

19 Reading (H)

29 Aston Villa (A)

February

2 Chelsea (H)

9 Tottenham (A)

23 Southampton (H)

March

2 Swansea (A)

9 Stoke (H)

16 Wigan (A)

30 Man City (A)

April

6 Fulham (H)

13 Sunderland (H)

20 West Brom (A)

27 Liverpool (H)

May

4 West Ham (A)

12 QPR (A)

19 Arsenal (H)

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Norwich City Fixtures;

August

18 Fulham (A)

25 QPR (H)

September

1 Tottenham (A)

15 West Ham (H)

22 Newcastle (A)

29 Liverpool (H)

October

6 Chelsea (A)

20 Arsenal (H)

27 Aston Villa (A)

November

3 Stoke (H)

10 Reading (A)

17 Man Utd (H)

24 Everton (A)

27 Southampton (A)

December

1 Sunderland (H)

8 Swansea (A)

15 Wigan (H)

22 West Brom (A)

26 Chelsea (H)

29 Man City (H)

January

1 West Ham (A)

12 Newcastle (H)

19 Liverpool (A)

29 Tottenham (H)

February

2 QPR (A)

9 Fulham (H)

23 Everton (H)

March

2 Man Utd (A)

9 Southampton (H)

16 Sunderland (A)

30 Wigan (A)

April

6 Swansea (H)

13 Arsenal (A)

20 Reading (H)

27 Stoke (A)

May

4 Aston Villa (H)

12 West Brom (H)

19 Man City (A)

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Queens Park Rangers Fixtures;

August

18 Swansea (H)

25 Norwich (A)

September

1 Man City (A)

15 Chelsea (H)

22 Tottenham (A)

29 West Ham (H)

October

6 West Brom (A)

20 Everton (H)

27 Arsenal (A)

November

3 Reading (H)

10 Stoke (A)

17 Southampton (H)

24 Man Utd (A)

27 Sunderland (A)

December

1 Aston Villa (H)

8 Wigan (A)

15 Fulham (H)

22 Newcastle (A)

26 West Brom (H)

29 Liverpool (H)

January

1 Chelsea (A)

12 Tottenham (H)

19 West Ham (A)

29 Man City (H)

February

2 Norwich (H)

9 Swansea (A)

23 Man Utd (H)

March

2 Southampton (A)

9 Sunderland (H)

16 Aston Villa (A)

30 Fulham (A)

April

6 Wigan (H)

13 Everton (A)

20 Stoke (H)

27 Reading (A)

May

4 Arsenal (H)

12 Newcastle (H)

19 Liverpool (A)

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Reading Fixtures;

August

18 Stoke (H)

25 Sunderland (A)

September

1 Chelsea (A)

15 Tottenham (H)

22 West Brom (A)

29 Newcastle (H)

October

6 Swansea (A)

20 Liverpool (A)

27 Fulham (H)

November

3 QPR (A)

10 Norwich (H)

17 Everton (H)

24 Wigan (A)

27 Aston Villa (A)

December

1 Man Utd (H)

8 Southampton (A)

15 Arsenal (H)

22 Man City (A)

26 Swansea (H)

29 West Ham (H)

January

1 Tottenham (A)

12 West Brom (H)

19 Newcastle (A)

29 Chelsea (H)

February

2 Sunderland (H)

9 Stoke (A)

23 Wigan (H)

March

2 Everton (A)

9 Aston Villa (H)

16 Man Utd (A)

30 Arsenal (A)

April

6 Southampton (H)

13 Liverpool (H)

20 Norwich (A)

27 QPR (H)

May

4 Fulham (A)

12 Man City (H)

19 West Ham (A)

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Southampton Fixtures;

August

18 Man City (A)

25 Wigan (H)

September

1 Man Utd (H)

15 Arsenal (A)

22 Aston Villa (H)

29 Everton (A)

October

6 Fulham (H)

20 West Ham (A)

27 Tottenham (H)

November

3 West Brom (A)

10 Swansea (H)

17 QPR (A)

24 Newcastle (H)

27 Norwich (H)

December

1 Liverpool (A)

8 Reading (H)

15 Chelsea (A)

22 Sunderland (H)

26 Fulham (A)

29 Stoke (A)

January

1 Arsenal (H)

12 Aston Villa (A)

19 Everton (H)

29 Man Utd (A)

February

2 Wigan (A)

9 Man City (H)

23 Newcastle (A)

March

2 QPR (H)

9 Norwich (A)

16 Liverpool (H)

30 Chelsea (H)

April

6 Reading (A)

13 West Ham (H)

20 Swansea (A)

27 West Brom (H)

May

4 Tottenham (A)

12 Sunderland (A)

19 Stoke (H)

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Stoke City Fixtures;

August

18 Reading (A)

25 Arsenal (H)

September

1 Wigan (A)

15 Man City (H)

22 Chelsea (A)

29 Swansea (H)

October

6 Liverpool (A)

20 Man Utd (A)

27 Sunderland (H)

November

3 Norwich (A)

10 QPR (H)

17 West Ham (A)

24 Fulham (H)

27 Newcastle (H)

December

1 West Brom (A)

8 Aston Villa (A)

15 Everton (H)

22 Tottenham (A)

26 Liverpool (H)

29 Southampton (H)

January

1 Man City (A)

12 Chelsea (H)

19 Swansea (A)

29 Wigan (H)

February

2 Arsenal (A)

9 Reading (H)

23 Fulham (A)

March

2 West Ham (H)

9 Newcastle (A)

16 West Brom (H)

30 Everton (A)

April

6 Aston Villa (H)

13 Man Utd (H)

20 QPR (A)

27 Norwich (H)

May

4 Sunderland (A)

12 Tottenham (H)

19 Southampton (A)

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Sunderland Fixtures;

August

18 Arsenal (A)

25 Reading (H)

September

1 Swansea (A)

15 Liverpool (H)

22 West Ham (A)

29 Wigan (H)

October

6 Man City (A)

20 Newcastle (H)

27 Stoke (A)

November

3 Aston Villa (H)

10 Everton (A)

17 Fulham (A)

24 West Brom (H)

27 QPR (H)

December

1 Norwich (A)

8 Chelsea (H)

15 Man Utd (A)

22 Southampton (A)

26 Man City (H)

29 Tottenham (H)

January

1 Liverpool (A)

12 West Ham (H)

19 Wigan (A)

29 Swansea (H)

February

2 Reading (A)

9 Arsenal (H)

23 West Brom (A)

March

2 Fulham (H)

9 QPR (A)

16 Norwich (H)

30 Man Utd (H)

April

6 Chelsea (A)

13 Newcastle (A)

20 Everton (H)

27 Aston Villa (A)

May

4 Stoke (H)

12 Southampton (H)

19 Tottenham (A)

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Swansea City Fixtures;

August

18 QPR (A)

25 West Ham (H)

September

1 Sunderland (H)

15 Aston Villa (A)

22 Everton (H)

29 Stoke (A)

October

6 Reading (H)

20 Wigan (H)

27 Man City (A)

November

3 Chelsea (H)

10 Southampton (A)

17 Newcastle (A)

24 Liverpool (H)

27 West Brom (H)

December

1 Arsenal (A)

8 Norwich (H)

15 Tottenham (A)

22 Man Utd (H)

26 Reading (A)

29 Fulham (A)

January

1 Aston Villa (H)

12 Everton (A)

19 Stoke (H)

29 Sunderland (A)

February

2 West Ham (A)

9 QPR (H)

23 Liverpool (A)

March

2 Newcastle (H)

9 West Brom (A)

16 Arsenal (H)

30 Tottenham (H)

April

6 Norwich (A)

13 Wigan (A)

20 Southampton (H)

27 Chelsea (A)

May

4 Man City (H)

12 Man Utd (A)

19 Fulham (H)

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Tottenham Hotspurs Fixtures;

August

18 Newcastle (A)

25 West Brom (H)

September

1 Norwich (H)

15 Reading (A)

22 QPR (H)

29 Man Utd (A)

October

6 Aston Villa (H)

20 Chelsea (H)

27 Southampton (A)

November

3 Wigan (H)

10 Man City (A)

17 Arsenal (A)

24 West Ham (H)

27 Liverpool (H)

December

1 Fulham (A)

8 Everton (A)

15 Swansea (H)

22 Stoke (H)

26 Aston Villa (A)

29 Sunderland (A)

January

1 Reading (H)

12 QPR (A)

19 Man Utd (H)

29 Norwich (A)

February

2 West Brom (A)

9 Newcastle (H)

23 West Ham (A)

March

2 Arsenal (H)

9 Liverpool (A)

16 Fulham (H)

30 Swansea (A)

April

6 Everton (H)

13 Chelsea (A)

20 Man City (H)

27 Wigan (A)

May

4 Southampton (H)

12 Stoke (A)

19 Sunderland (H)

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West Bromwich Albion Fixtures;

August

18 Liverpool (H)

25 Tottenham (A)

September

1 Everton (H)

15 Fulham (A)

22 Reading (H)

29 Aston Villa (A)

October

6 QPR (H)

20 Man City (H)

27 Newcastle (A)

November

3 Southampton (H)

10 Wigan (A)

17 Chelsea (H)

24 Sunderland (A)

27 Swansea (A)

December

1 Stoke (H)

8 Arsenal (A)

15 West Ham (H)

22 Norwich (H)

26 QPR (A)

29 Man Utd (A)

January

1 Fulham (H)

12 Reading (A)

19 Aston Villa (H)

30 Everton (A)

February

2 Tottenham (H)

9 Liverpool (A)

23 Sunderland (H)

March

2 Chelsea (A)

9 Swansea (H)

16 Stoke (A)

30 West Ham (A)

April

6 Arsenal (H)

13 Man City (A)

20 Newcastle (H)

27 Southampton (A)

May

4 Wigan (H)

12 Norwich (A)

19 Man Utd (H)

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West Ham United Fixtures;

August

18 Aston Villa (H)

25 Swansea (A)

September

1 Fulham (H)

15 Norwich (A)

22 Sunderland (H)

29 QPR (A)

October

6 Arsenal (H)

20 Southampton (H)

27 Wigan (A)

November

3 Man City (H)

10 Newcastle (A)

17 Stoke (H)

24 Tottenham (A)

27 Man Utd (A)

December

1 Chelsea (H)

8 Liverpool (H)

15 West Brom (A)

22 Everton (H)

26 Arsenal (A)

29 Reading (A)

January

1 Norwich (H)

12 Sunderland (A)

19 QPR (H)

30 Fulham (A)

February

2 Swansea (H)

9 Aston Villa (A)

23 Tottenham (H)

March

2 Stoke (A)

9 Man Utd (H)

16 Chelsea (A)

30 West Brom (H)

April

6 Liverpool (A)

13 Southampton (A)

20 Wigan (H)

27 Man City (A)

May

4 Newcastle (H)

12 Everton (A)

19 Reading (H)

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Wigan Athletic Fixtures;

August

18 Chelsea (H)

25 Southampton (A)

September

1 Stoke (H)

15 Man Utd (A)

22 Fulham (H)

29 Sunderland (A)

October

6 Everton (H)

20 Swansea (A)

27 West Ham (H)

November

3 Tottenham (A)

10 West Brom (H)

17 Liverpool (A)

24 Reading (H)

27 Man City (H)

December

1 Newcastle (A)

8 QPR (H)

15 Norwich (A)

22 Arsenal (H)

26 Everton (A)

29 Aston Villa (A)

January

1 Man Utd (H)

12 Fulham (A)

19 Sunderland (H)

29 Stoke (A)

February

2 Southampton (H)

9 Chelsea (A)

23 Reading (A)

March

2 Liverpool (H)

9 Man City (A)

16 Newcastle (H)

30 Norwich (H)

April

6 QPR (A)

13 Swansea (H)

20 West Ham (A)

27 Tottenham (H)

May

4 West Brom (A)

12 Arsenal (A)

19 Aston Villa (H)

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Liverpool – A club in turmoil?

There is no doubt about it that Liverpool F.C is one of the greatest clubs in Britain, dare I say it, the world. A club decorated with major trophies from FA Cups to First Divisions t0 Champions Leagues. They are known and respected by almost every football fan from around the globe.

Yesterday Kenny Dalglish was sacked as manager of Liverpool. “King” Kenny is regarded as a legend at the club having won multiple trophies as both player and manager in his first stint in charge but failed to live up to his name this time around. The news brought mixed emotions for the Liverpool fans, some said it was the right thing to do, others believed he needed more time. The owners were convinced though, they felt that despite winning the League Cup and guiding them to the FA Cup final were they narrowly lost to Chelsea, that their league performance was simply not good enough. Dalglish was the third manager to lose his job at Anfield in just two years.

This year saw rivals Everton finish above Liverpool for only the fourth time since 1962 despite the Toffees spending far less money. Is this a sign of things to come?

It now seems like a lifetime ago since Liverpool lifted the Champions League in Istanbul. That was just 2005. They also made the final two years later only to be bet by Ac Milan 2-1, but unfortunately for Liverpool it doesn’t look like they’ll replicate that for some time to come.

The club spent over £136 million from Summer 2010 – January 2012. Giving the amount invested into the team they were expected to challenge for the top four in Dalglish’s first full season in charge, they didn’t even finish close.  They came eighth,  a total of 17 points off the top four. The Reds lost as much as they won last season, 14 games. Definitely not acceptable for the money that was invested into the team.

Dalglish’s men had a bit more success in the cup competitions though and came close to doing a cup double. Would that of kept him in the job?

Will the owners be able to continue to pump money into the club without selling? I seriously doubt it. Top goalscorer Luis Suarez is heavily linked with a move to PSG so they could be faced with a real dilemma, keep arguably the best player or try make a healthy profit on the Uruguayan. Charlie Adam and Dirk Kuyt are also rumoured to be leaving Merseyside this Summer.

Will Suarez still be a Red come next season?

Plenty of managers are being linked with the Anfield job as you would imagine. The main names being thrown around are Andre-Villas Boas, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, Frank Rijkaard and former boss Rafa Benitez.

Whoever takes over is going to have his work cut out for him. The fans want European Football again and ultimately, eventually, a Premier League title. Although that would be a long term goal.

Are Liverpool starting to decline and become just a top half side who won’t realistically challenge for a top four spot for some time to come or can they rebuild and break it? With the right man in charge you never know.

 

 

Football Topic end of season awards.

The end of the season has come and it’s time to declare the winners of each category in our opinion for the Premiership, Serie A and La Liga.

Barclays Premier League:

Darren’s picks –

Player of the season: Vincent Kompany
Young player of the season: Sergio Aguero
Manager of the season: Alan Pardew
Signing of the season: Nikica Jelavic
Overachievers: Newcastle/Norwich
Underperformers: Aston Villa
Flop of the season: Stewart Downing
Comeback player of the season: Paul Scholes
Moment of the season: City’s comeback on the last day to clinch the title.
Match of the season: Man United 4-4 Everton
Goal of the season: Haten Ben Arfa vs Bolton. Wonderful solo run.
Hero of the season: Fabrice Muamba. It was amazing to see him back at the Reebok.
Villain of the season: Luis Suarez/Joey Barton
Unsung Hero: Alex Song

 

Our young player of the season.

Craig’s pick –

Player of the season: Robin Van Persie
Young player of the season: Sergio Aguero
Manager of the season: Alan Pardew
Signing of the season: Demba Ba
Overachievers: Newcastle
Underperformers: Aston Villa/Liverpool
Flop of the season: Stewart Downing
Comeback player of the season:Paul Scholes
Moment of the season: Fabrice Muamba returning to Reebok
Match of the season: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
Goal of the season: Mata Volley v MUFC
Hero of the season: Mario Balotelli
Villain of the season: Carlos Tevez
Unsung Hero: Grant Holt

Serie A:

Ibra had his best season as an individual but failed to win a major title in the end.

Player of the season: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Young player of the season: Gaston Ramirez
Manager of the season: Antonio Conte
Signing of the season: Andrea Pirlo
Overachievers: Lazio
Underperformers: Inter/Genoa
Flop of the season: Diego Forlan
Comeback player of the season: Andrea Pirlo/Diego Milito
Moment of the season: Del Piero and Pippo Inzaghi scoring on the last day of the season
Match of the season: Inter 4-2 Ac Milan/ Inter 4-4 Palermo
Goal of the season: Juan Cuadrado vs Siena
Hero of the season: Heroes, Udinese offering to take care of the late Piermario Morosini’s disabled sister.
Villain of the season: Delio Rossi for attacking his own player/ Genoa Ultras.
Unsung Hero: Antonio Nocerino

La Liga:

Player of the season: Cristiano Ronaldo
Young player of the season: Javi Martinez
Manager of the season: Jose Mourinho
Signing of the season: Radamel Falcao
Overachievers: Malaga
Underperformers: Villarreal
Flop of the season: Ruud Van Nistelrooy 28Games 4 goals
Comeback player of the season: Abidal playing again after cancer
Moment of the season: Ronaldo silences the Nou Camp
Match of the season: Levente 3-5 Rayo Vallecano
Goal of the season: Ronaldo 1st v Levante
Hero of the season: Eric Abidal
Villain of the season: Pepe
Unsung Hero: Xabi Alonso

Pepe seemed to be constantly in trouble. What’s new?

Who would be your picks?

Manchester City; Premiership Champions

Manchester City were crowned champions yesterday after a dramatic last day of the season.

Vincent Kompany Lifts the Premiership High After a Dramatic Last Day

After the most exciting end to a Premiership season. With it all to play for in the tittle, for European places and a relegation spot to sort out.

The unfortunate teams where Bolton who were relegated after drawing 2-2 against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. Other misfortunate teams were Manchester United, Newcastle, and Tottenham who have an agonising wait in their hands to see if 4th spot will be enough to secure a Champions League spot. Tottenham are reliant on Bayern Munich to beat Chelsea next Saturday in the Champions League final.

Manchester United finished their game against Sunderland as Champions elect. But only for it to be snatched away two minutes after the full-time whistle, as Manchester City scored two late goals, through Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, to secure the tittle. City who were 2-1 down to QPR going into injury time. But they did the impossible and lifted the Premiership for the first time and are champions of England for the first time since 1968.

Arsenal also had cause to celebrate after beating West Brom to claim the 3rd and final guaranteed Champions League place.

Newcastle failed to get a Champions League spot after results didn’t go their way and they couldn’t overcome Everton themselves. Despite the last day failure, this has been a remarkable season for Newcastle who were tipped to finish only a modest mid-table spot at the start of the season.

See also: Champions League Final

The Premiership: Last Day Scenarios

Another Premiership season has come and gone but there is still a lot to sort out in the final round of fixtures this Sunday. Here are all the possible scenarios for the key battles.

The Title Race;

The Title race will go down to the last day, with both Manchester clubs still in with a chance to lift the title. Manchester City are firmly in the driving seat and a win against QPR at the Etihad would crown them champions for the first time in 44 years, but any slip up from City will give United the chance to retain their Premier League crown who still have a tough job to do themselves against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Another and more unlikely scenario is if both sides win but Man United match Man City’s score and win by a further 8 goals. A scenario that not even United fan’s could dream up.

Prediction;

Both sides to win.

Winners: Manchester City, Runners Up: Manchester United

 

The Champions League Spots;

The last guaranteed Champions League spot is still up for grabs, with three teams still in the hunt. Arsenal, Tottenham, and Newcastle are still looking for that last guaranteed spot. There is still a chance that fourth place could get one of the teams a place, in the best placed play-off round, but that place would be taken away if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final of the competition itself. Arsenal’s destiny is in their own hands and a win away at West Brom would assure them an automatic spot in the group stages in next season’s Champions League. If Arsenal fail to win, Tottenham would have to beat Fulham at White Hart Lane in order to leap frog Arsenal. Another way and less likely scenario is if Arsenal lose by two goals or more and Tottenham at least draw against Fulham. Newcastle have to rely on both Arsenal and Tottenham to lose (or Tottenham to draw) for them to take the last guaranteed spot. Newcastle also have arguable the trickiest task as they face Everton at Goodison,a must win for Newcastle.

Prediction;

Arsenal to win, Tottenham to draw, and Newcastle to win.

3rd: Arsenal, 4th: Newcastle, 5th: Tottenham

 

Relegation;

Wolves and Blackburn may already be relegated but who will join them?

Bolton Wanderers currently occupy the final spot and must beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. If they do manage to win against Stoke it would mean QPR would have to get at least a point against Manchester City. This scenario would mean that both sides would be level on points but QPR boast a better goal difference and Bolton would have to win their match by at least 7 goals. Aston Villa are mathematically still in the relegation battle but for them to be relegated they must lose and there to be a 17 goal swing in Bolton’s favour. QPR would also need to win against Manchester City for Aston Villa to go down.

Predictions;

Bolton to draw, QPR to lose, and Aston Villa to draw.

18th: Bolton Wanderers, 17th: QPR, 16th: Aston Villa

 

Other unsolved battles;

Only a point separates Everton and Liverpool, in the favour of Everton, and bragging are on the line as Liverpool will be keen not to finish behind their Blue neighbours. Swansea and Norwich will be battling it out to be crowned the best of the promoted sides. Both have preformed above expectations this season and are locked on 44 points with Swansea having the better goal difference.

 

Fixture List:

Chelsea v Blackburn

Everton v Newcastle

Man City v QPR

Norwich v Aston Villa

Stoke v Bolton

Sunderland v Man United

Swansea v Liverpool

Tottenham v Fulham

West Brom v Arsenal

Wigan v Wolves