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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 Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Looking Ahead – Everton and Blackburn Travel Well, Stoke Trying To Hit Target, Ranieri Next Target

Written by on September 23, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in General

1.    Manchester City have taken full points from their two home games so far this season. They have scored seven and have not conceded a goal.

But on Saturday a team that has been a real bogey visits Etihad Stadium.  Everton have won 7 of their last 8 meetings with City and the last four in a row.

If you think Everton can continue the streak then you probably also think that Tim Cahill might get on the score sheet. The Australian has scored never scored at Etihad Stadium but he did score on his last three visits to Eastlands. (Sarcasm)

2.    Can Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero maintain their red-hot starts to the season? Before this season the best scoring start was six in the first five games – Rooney has 9 already (and missed a penalty) while Aguero has 8.

3.    Arsenal have conceded 14 goals and Bolton have allowed 13. Looks like a scoreless draw then.

4.    Known over the last decade or so for finishing games strongly it is worth noting that Arsenal has yet to win a second half in the game Barclay’s Premier League games played so far.

5.    Wolves went to Anfield as 2010 was drawing to close and pulled off one of the surprise results of last season when they won 1-0. It was to be a dagger in the heart of then boss Roy Hodgson although he hung on for a few more days. This time around both teams have lost their last two games and have no interest in completing a hat trick of futility.

Liverpool will also be aware that the next two rounds of play bring matches against Everton and Manchester United.

6.    Blackburn’s recent record at St James’ Park is remarkable – they have won on each of their last five Premier League visits. Can they maintain their Newcastle form and make it six consecutive wins? Another sidebar is that Blackburn have gone 31 games without consecutive wins. After their 4-3 win against Arsenal they have a chance to break that streak.

7.    File this under something has to give…maybe. Currently Fulham are the only side without a Premier League win. Will they get their first three-point haul of the season or will West Brom get their first at home – or will it be a point each?

8.    Anyone who has had trouble making the start of games involving Spurs this season have not missed out on too many goals. Twelve of 15 goals in 4 Spurs games this season have come in 2nd half. This weekend they will be looking to make the late show at Wigan.

9.    Manchester United are top of the Premier League while Stoke are sitting four places below them. It has the makings of an interesting match but a look at the scoring statistics show that the sides are very much at either end of the continuum.

Manchester United has averaged a goal every 21 minutes; Stoke a goal every 150 minutes. Another stat to note – Stoke have had just 17 shots on target in five games.

10.     As the season’s end comes into view the MLS schedule has a number of very intriguing matches set. The two conference leaders face each other although they are facing very different season end scenarios. The Galaxy are already guaranteed a play-off spot but there is no such certainty for the Crew in the dog-fight that is the Eastern Conference.

The Crew have been leaking goals lately while the Galaxy are having a tough time in the CONCACAF Champions League.

11.     Woe is the New York Red Bulls. First it was draws, then the slippage in league position and now it looks as if finger-pointing season has started.

If they could focus they will see that the position is far from terminal and a win against another play-off seeking team, the Portland Timbers, would do no harm whatsoever.

Portland are a point up in the wild-card race and they tied 3-3 first time around. If this is normally a 6-pointer then the possibility of owning a head-to-head advantage might make this game a 6.5-pointer.

12.     Eighteen coaching changes at Inter Milan since Moratti took charge in the mid-nineties. Claudio Ranieri is the latest man to enter the managerial revolving door. His first game in charge is at Bologna this weekend.

13.     Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic missed last season through injury so there is always a sense of fingers crossed on his return. Two goals in midweek was a definite move in the right direction. This weekend Fiorentina plays Napoli.

14.    Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up Bayer Leverkusen, travels to play third place finishers Bayern Munich. Based on Bayern’s performances to date Bayer have one of the most difficult tasks in Europe this weekend. What’s more is their quite awful away record against Bayern.  Can Bayer Leverkusen record only their third win away to Bayern Munich in 33 visits?

15.     Atletico Madrid have been Barcelona’s bogey team for a long-time. Last season Barcelona completed the domestic double over Atleti, can they take the first step to repeat this weekend?

Falcao has scored five goals in the last two games and Atleti have won both 4-0. Barcelona have scored 17 goals in four games.  Anyone else salivating?

Fantasy Football Update

I have dropped Darren Bent and picked up Adebayor. My transfer kitty is now sitting at $5.5M but I wary of being accused of panick buying should I splurge.

Last week’s signing Ryan Shawcross has been dropped to the bench – I can’t get my head around having Wayne Rooney as my captain playing up against one of my defenders.

Jamie Carragher is called in to replace Shawcross although I do have Carragher transfer-listed.

A change in formation to 3-4-3 has striker DJ Campbell replacing midfielder Paul Scharner.

And this gets me to a question. What are your thoughts on the best formation for Fox Fantasy Football?

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5 responses to “Looking Ahead – Everton and Blackburn Travel Well, Stoke Trying To Hit Target, Ranieri Next Target”

  1. Erik says:

    The best formation for the FSC would be a: 1-1-2-1

    Derek would be in goal because I can’t see him doing any good anywhere else on the pitch.

    Bobby would be my lone defender because his experience and smarts would have him in the right place all the time.

    Eion and Asa would be my midfielders. Eion looks like he can move up the pitch better than the other 4 (not sure if that is saying much – maybe by default?) and Asa looks like he can be a “Bull in a China Shop” and overpower people in the middle of the pitch.

    Michelle would be the striker because she is the most striking of the 5 of you. I can see her getting in the 6-yard box and using deductive reasoning to get the goalie to move off the line. With her short hair a header wouldn’t mess up her hair – while I could see someone like Derek crying his eyes out if his hair got messed up.

    Is this the best formation you were talking about, Bobby 🙂

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    re: FFF Best Formation

    I would tell you but I’d have to kill you.

    PS Darren Bent to score 3 consecutive hat tricks upon his return!

  3. I thought that the Shawcross move might back fire by getting a goal.

  4. J rob says:

    3-5-2 or 3-4-3

    I play a different league where goal-scoring midfielders who provide assists provide top value. As do defenders who can do the same thing. EPL doesn’t see many scoreless draws so I avoid 4 or 5 defenders.

    Strikers who take penalties are great too.

    http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk is invaluable.

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