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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Open Thread and Five To Watch In Bits and Bites

Written by on November 18, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Bayern Mnchen, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Manchester City, Napoli, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Real Sociedad, Valencia

Back to domestic action this weekend. League games Saturday, Sunday and in a couple of cases on Monday and the MLS Cup Final on Sunday – more on that one later in the weekend.

Norwich v Arsenal in the Barclay’s Premier League

This is the early morning game on Saturday so get the coffee on and hopefully this sets the tone for a great weekend.

Arsenal currently 7th have played 5 of top 6 teams in their first 11 matches

Robin van Persie has scored 29 goals in 28 league appearances in 2011.

Thomas Vermaelen has only started three Premier League matches for Arsenal but he has made more clearances than any other Arsenal player – 8 in all

Arsenal got their first away win on their last trip – that to Chelsea. But they also own a horrendous goals against tally with 17 goals conceded in 5 away games

Norwich have lost 2 of their last 7 league games (+ three wins, two draws) but are winless in their last three ( 2 draws and a loss)

Norwich along with Blackburn are the only sides yet to keep a clean sheet

Norwich have conceded a five penalties this season – the most in the league

This is the sort of game that is a must win for Arsenal in order to maintain a challenge for a top 4 spot – 4 teams ahead of them are playing each other

Arsenal with one eye on Dortmund in midweek and coming off an international break – a tricky assignment?

Manchester City v Newcastle in the Barclay’s Premier League

The only two remaining unbeaten sides in Premier League

City have scored 39 goals in their 11 games and while Newcastle have conceded only eight – both best in the categories

City have started 19 different players; Newcastle 16 but goalkeeper and defence has started all 11 games

First of consecutive Saturday’s in Manchester for Newcastle – United at Old Trafford next week – then Newcastle is at home to Chelsea December 3rd

Manchester City is the most efficient side in the Premier League in front of goal – 5.64 shots per goal

But Newcastle’s Demba Ba is an efficient individual with a ratio of 2.88 shots per goal

City has only scored once in opening 15 minutes this season and have yet to concede in that time; 30 of their 39 goals have come in the 2nd half

Newcastle have lost 6 of the last 7 meetings against Man City drawing one during this stretch, and their last win came in 2005.

Left back Ryan Taylor does like to get forward – he leads Newcastle players with 23 attempts on goal and he has scored two. 

Napoli v Lazio in Serie A

Corresponding fixture last season finished 4-3 to Napoli and Edinson Cavani scored a hat trick as Napoli fought back from 0-2 and 2-3 down to win.

Napoli match with Juventus was postponed 2 weeks ago and they lost 2-1 to Catania the week before

Cavani opened scoring against Catania with his first goal since round 2

Lazio sitting top with Udinese on same points – seven points ahead of Napoli with a game more played

Lazio beat Parma 1-0 on a Sculli goal two weeks ago

Lazio unbeaten in Serie A since a 2-1 home defeat to Genoa on September 18 – since then six wins and two draws.

Miroslav Klose is likely to miss game on account of an injury picked up on international duty; defender Andre Dias also out

Lazio has yet to allow a goal in final 15 minutes this season and have taken 13 of their 21 points away from home

Lazio is at home to Juventus next Saturday

Napoli at home to Manchester City in a must win match in Champions League midweek – they have rotated their squad before other CL games this season and may do so again

Valencia v Real Madrid in La Liga

Corresponding game last season finished Valencia 3-6 Real Madrid

Since Jose Mourinho’s arrival, Real Madrid have won six of their seven matches following an international break

Real Madrid had 14 players away on international duty

Real Madrid 39 goals in all – 15 away from home and only conceded 1 goal away from home

Ronaldo 13 goals in 11 league games; Higuain 11 in 11

Valencia’s Jonas with a couple goals against Egypt for Brazil and he also scored the second fastest Champions League goal in history against Bayer Leverkusen a couple of weeks ago – in 10.5 seconds

Jonas signed for Valencia Jan, 2011 from Gremio in Brazil and boy did they get a deal. The release clause was only €1.25 million

Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga

League leaders Bayern Munich against champions Borussia Dortmund, five points behind in second.

Manuel Neuer has allowed only four goals in the opening twelve games of the season for Bayern and at one point had 8 consecutive clean sheets

Mario Gomez has already scored 13 league goals for Bayern  – the last Bayern Munich player to get off to such a prolific start? Der Bomber Gerd Müller in the 1977-78 season

Borussia Dortmund with 5 wins and a draw in their last 6 Bundesliga matches; a vast improvement on 3 losses and a draw in first 6

If you get a chance to watch the match be on the look-out for a player that we will be raving about after next summer’s European Championship – Mats Hummels. Centre back Hummels was let go by Bayern Munich and found a home with Dortmund.  

Fantasy Football move

Joe Hart (Manchester City) was traded for Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) and the additional $2.5M pocketed for another move coming next week. Rationale – needed the money and I needed to create space for another Manchester City player having already hit the maximum of three.

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5 responses to “Open Thread and Five To Watch In Bits and Bites”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Will Suarez and Terry shake hands after their match where one calls the other a “white trash wanker..” with Terry replying “piss off ya bucktooth Indian!”?

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Phil Jones is becoming one hell of a defender, possibly the next Bobby Moore or Beckenbauer.

  3. Carmelo says:

    BTW I have to admit I miss Roberto Mancini a bit…. what he as done on the sky blue side of Manchester is noteworthy, he was a brilliant yet mercurial number 10 in his prime… a hell of a character, maybe that’s why he feels he can conquer Super Mario, but to have the internal fortitude & belief to go to Manchester, don’t be overcome by the Premier League, work on your English, put up with the critics last year, and now display a swashbuckling take no prisoner side…remarkable…. the English media & the various match day commentators will focus on the vast riches at his disposal, yet I can assure you, he is a natural born winner, he is meticulous, focused & hell bent on proving he can succeed… he reminds of the “Special One” without the self promoting quotes…

  4. Gus Keri says:


    “Joe Hart (Manchester City) was traded for Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) and the additional $2.5M pocketed for another move coming next week. Rationale – needed the money and I needed to create space for another Manchester City player having already hit the maximum of three.”

    Are you Hans Backe in disguise?

  5. Hart allowed as many goals as Szczesny today and I have Vorm as well. Need to get Silva into the starting line up.

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