A World Title To Be Decided On A Fantastic Sunday of Football
Written by Bobby McMahon 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.
- Since beating Chelsea at Loftus Road QPR have only picked up a win and a draw in their 6 games
- QPR have picked up as many points against top-half sides (8) as points against teams in the bottom half this season.
- Heidar Helguson missed match against Liverpool last Saturday but scored 4 goals in the games previous
- Important spell coming up for QPR – Sunderland, Swansea and Norwich in 3 of next 4
- Manchester United’s next four – Fulham, Wigan, Blackburn and Newcastle
Aston Villa v Liverpool
- One of Aston Villa’s features while Martin O’Neill was in charge was organization at set plays – at both ends. How things have changed. This season almost a third of the goals conceded by Villa have come from corner kicks while they have only scored twice from set plays.
- Villa’s two goals against Bolton ended a three game scoreless run
- Liverpool are also having trouble in front of the opposition’s net – they currently “own” the worst chance conversion rate of shots into goals in the Premier League (8.9%).
- Weird stat of the week – Liverpool’s José Enrique has shielded the ball out of play more than any other PL player this season -15 times he has stuck his posterior out.
Tottenham v Sunderland
- There was a definite sign of renewed spirit last week from Sunderland as Martin O’Neill became only the third manager out of the last 11 Premier League managerial appointments to have won their first league game in charge
- Seb Larsson scored a stunning winner a few years ago for Birmingham at White Hart Lane and he will be someone for Spurs to take note of again on Sunday – he has scored three goals directly from free kicks this season already.
- Spurs have won last 5 games at home in the PL
- Arguably Stephane Sessegnon has been Sunderland’s best player this season but one area of improvement available to him is his finishing – rarely has there been an end product to his lead up play.
- Will Gareth Bale play? He was listed as doubtful all week so I dropped him to my Fantasy Football bench. It could backfire and my efforts to stay in touch with front-runner Eoin O’Callaghan may take another blow.
Manchester City v Arsenal
- Over the last five or six years Arsenal’s record in North West has been spotty at best.
- They beat Wigan 4-0 a couple of weeks ago but horror shows at Old Trafford and Ewood Park are still very fresh.
- Both sides are down to a third option at left back – for Arsenal Vermaelen is likely to start and Zabaleta for City.
- Aguero lining up against Mertesacker must have City fans drooling and Arsenal fans dreading the sight.
- Referee for this one is Phil Dowd
Lazio v Udinese
- These two have the best defences in league with only 7 conceded by Udinese and 11 by Lazio
- Udinese has recorded an incredible 9 clean sheets already this season
- Compared to last season Lazio one point better off (scoring more goals) while Udinese has 10 more points (goals against down from 15 to 7)
- The summer signing of goalkeeper Federico Marchetti by Lazio has looked inspired but he will be out for a month
- Now questioning the resilience and self-believe of Lazio – they have picked up 12 points from trailing positions.
- Udinese is at home to Juventus on Wednesday in their final game before the holiday break
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