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United and Liverpool Strike Early And City Respond

Written by on December 19, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Aston Villa, General, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, QPR

Wings to victory for Manchester United as they got off to a terrific start against QPR. In the first minute pressure on the QPR defense led them to giving the ball away. A pass was played out to Valencia and Rooney was on the spot to accept the return and power and header into the turf and then into the QPR net.

It was an advantage that United never looked like giving up. Read the rest of this entry »

A World Title To Be Decided On A Fantastic Sunday of Football

Written by on December 17, 2011 | 6 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Lazio, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, QPR, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, Udinese

FIFA Club World Cup Final

Santos v Barcelona

  • Certainly the final everyone expected and largely on account of Santos holding on to most of their players after winning the Copa Libertadores one of the most promising
  • Santos Coach Muricy Ramalho Santos has young team with a couple of vets, the likes of Elano, and Borges who was a signing post Copa Libertadores 
  • It is the youngsters that receive most of the attention – Neymar, Ganso, Alan Kardec (returned to Brazil from a spell with Benfica), Danilo (joining Porto during transfer window) 
  • Semi-final opponents Kashiwa Reysol were not able to exploit a Santos defense that is said to be a bit short of pace – conversely there is a believe by Santos that Barcelona have not had to deal with a talent like Neymar

Barclay’s Premier League

QPR v Manchester United

  • This is one for earlier risers in North America or when a DVR comes in very hand.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wolves At SAF’s Door – Literally; QPR/Liverpool Mirror Images; Cahill Has An Unwanted Anniversary In Sight

Written by on December 9, 2011 | 6 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, QPR, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Arsenal v Everton

Van Persie – Going into any Arsenal match it is impossible not to consider the performance by Robin van Persie – not only this season but in the 2011 year.

He has scored 32 goals in the Premier League in 2011 which is 13 more than the next highest total recorded by Wayne Rooney.

In club and country play he has scored 45 goals in a little over 50 games.

Of course the van Persie narrative is not complete without a reference to his past injury problems – if he can stay fit it will the first season he has started in more than 30 league games for Arsenal.

Vermaelen – Given van Persie’s form it has been easy to overlook the difference the  return of Thomas Vermaelen has made to Arsenal.

Arsenal are a significantly better side defensively when Thomas Vermaelen plays – decisive, driving – and he is a goal threat at set plays and when he moves forward.

Everton are coming off a 1-0 loss to Stoke and it was a game that saw them fail to record a shot on goal.

They have only gained a single point from a top half team this season.

Tim Cahill has not scored a Premier League goal in 2011 and December 20, 2010 was his last one – against Man City (22 games ago).

Liverpool v QPR

You get the feeling that this Liverpool side (and supporters) relishes shots at what we assume to be their closest competitors but it has been opponents such as QPR that have proved to be real stumbling blocks for Liverpool this season.

Liverpool have dropped nine points against teams currently in the bottom half of the Premier League including home draws against promoted teams Swansea and Norwich.

Luis Suarez is still creating chances but he is struggling to execute – has not scored in the last seven Premier League games.

QPR are almost the mirror image of Liverpool excepting that they are the underdogs.

QPR have picked up more points against top-half sides than teams in the bottom half so far this season.

Journeyman striker Heidar Helguson is making a case to be the surprise packet of the season.

The much travelled 34 year-old Helguson has 6 goals in 7 starts and 2 substitute appearances.

Manchester United v Wolverhampton

I read an article this morning that bore a headline of howling wolves and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The suggestion was that the wolves are circling the manager so it seems very appropriate that Wolves are in fact United’s opponents this Saturday.

Although given United’s Champions League exit Wolves might go to Old Trafford fearing a United backlash.

At some point United will break out of a run of form that has rarely hit the level of mediocre. 

The points may have been collected but the performances have been unconvincing.

Here is a selection of stats and facts:

  • United have four 1-0 wins and a 1-1 draw since being hammered by Manchester City and they have not scored more than a goal in last 7 PL games
  • 18 of United’s 31 goals came in their first four games; 13 of 31 goals came in two games against Arsenal and Bolton
  • Wayne Rooney has not scored in PL goal since Chelsea September 18 – 7 games ago and he has not scored from 28 shots in his last 8 games in all competitions

The likely season ending injury to Nemanja Vidic is a body-blow.

Manchester United have conceded just one goal in the six Premier League  matches he has started in this season.

With Vidic in the starting eleven United’s winning percentage is 25% greater than when he is not.

With Vidic missing Wolves will look to get ball wide and pump crosses in – something that is a default tactic for them going forward.

Wolves’ success rate with crosses this season is an impressive 28% which is up from 22% last season.

Wolves have specialized in digging holes this season – nearly 2/3 of the goals they have conceded have been in first half and they have only scored 1 goal in the opening 30 minutes of games.

Weird stat of the day – 13 of Wolves 24 goals allowed have come from a left footed shot.

Fantasy Football Update

Vincent Kompany out – Thomas Vermaelen in and made captain. Still in pursuit of Eoin O’Callaghan but he is enjoying a Manchester City type season – except for the money.

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