Archive | August, 2009

Weekend Thoughts/Observations

30 Aug
  • Thank goodness for Steven Gerrard.  The Liverpool skipper scored his approximately 345th late game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Bolton.  The Reds are still looking shaky, especially at the back (with the exception of Glen Johnson, who has been awesome), so they need to get that sorted ASAP.
  • Manchester United got lucky.  Arsenal looked to be in complete control of the game, but a five minute self-destruct phase handed the game to United.  A bad penalty and an own goal, tough loss.
  • Manchester City’s summer spending spree has paid off – at least so far. City is 3-0 and new boy Emmanuel Adebayor has already scored twice.  Now we’ll have to see if they can keep it up.
  • Along with Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham are the only two undefeated teams in the league.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, Bolton and Portsmouth have yet to earn a point.
  • There’s an international break already – sigh, the Prem won’t be back in action til September 12.  Teams will be playing World Cup qualifiers this time and several squads, including England, can advance to the finals in South Africa with victories.
  • Hull City’s Jozy Altidore has gotten off to a good start with his new club.  He hasn’t started any matches, but he’s been a spark off the bench for the Tigers.  He has one goal and an assist so far.  Here’s hoping he can keep getting regular action and playing at a high level.

Premier League Results – August 30

30 Aug

Aston Villa 2 (Pantsil 2 – o.g., Agbonlahor 58)
Fulham 0

Everton 2 (Saha 61, Baines 90 – pen)
Wigan 1 (Scharner 56)

Portsmouth 0
Manchester City 1 (Adebayor 29)

Premier League Results – August 29

29 Aug

Manchester United 2 (Rooney 58 – pen, Diaby 63 – o.g.)
Arsenal 1 (Arshavin 39)

Blackburn 0
West Ham 0

Bolton 2 (Davies 32, Cohen 46)
Liverpool 3 (Johnson 40, Torres 55, Gerrard 82)

Stoke City 1 (Kitson 42)
Sunderland 0

Tottenham 2 (Crouch 71, Lennon 90)
Birmingham 1 (Bowyer 74)

Wolves 1 (Stearman 45)
Hull City 1 (Geovanni 2)

Chelsea 3 (Anelka 45, Ballack 46, Cole 51
Burnley 0

Premier League TV Schedule – Aug 29-30

28 Aug

The marquee game of the week is definitely Manchester United hosting Arsenal.  Arsenal has looked really strong in the first couple matches of the year, hanging six goals on Everton in the season opener and four on Portsmouth last weekend.  Manchester United lost a surprising game to Burnley last week, but bounced back to trounce Wigan, 5-0.  Arsenal will be without Cesc Febregas after he strained his hamstring, while United will be without defensive stalwarts Rio Ferdinand and Edwin Van Der Sar.  Despite the injuries, it’s a huge contest for both squads as they look to take an early edge in the race for the title.

Liverpool desperately need a victory at Bolton if they want to even have a sniff at the title race this year, having already dropped two of three.

Without further ado, this week’s matches:

Saturday, August 29
Chelsea vs. Burnley – 7:30 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Blackburn vs. West Ham – 6:45 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
Bolton vs. Liverpool – 9:30 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Stoke City vs. Sunderland – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Tottenham vs. Birmingham City – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Wolves vs. Hull
Manchester United vs. Arsenal – 12 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday, August 30
Portsmouth vs. Manchester City – 8:25 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Everton vs. Wigan – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Aston Villa vs. Fulham – 8 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Champions League group stage set

27 Aug

The Champions League group stage is all set after today’s draw in Monte Carlo.  The competition dates for group games are: September 15/16 and 29/30, October 20/21, November 3/4 and 24/25 and December 8/9.  The groups are as follows:

Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa
Group B: Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich
Group D: Chelsea, Porto, Atletico Madrid, APOEL Nicosia
Group E: Liverpool, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debrecen
Group F: Barcelona, Internazionale, Dinamo Kiev, Rubin Kazan
Group G: Sevilla, Rangers, Stuttgart, Unirea Urziceni
Group H: Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiacos, Standard Liege

I can’t say I know a lot about some of these teams, but just looking, I’d say that Group C is probably the toughest.  I like Liverpool’s draw in Group E; I think they have a good shot of making it to the knockout stage (they always play well on the European stage).  In case you were wondering, Debrecen is out of Hungary.

Champions League draw today

27 Aug

Sorry for the complete lack of any posting whatsoever in the last couple weeks. Basic Prem rundown so far: Liverpool has had a nightmare start, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are all looking strong. I’ll be better about posting starting this weekend, I promise.

Anyways, the draw for the group stage of the Champions League is today. I’ll post the results of the draw when it happens later. There’s 32 teams and eight groups. The teams are split into four pots based on their UEFA coefficient and one team from each pot goes into each group.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW SEEDINGS

Pot 1
1 Barcelona (ESP, holders) 121.853 coefficient
2 Chelsea (ENG) 118.899
3 Liverpool (ENG) 118.899
4 Manchester United (ENG) 111.899
5 Milan (ITA) 110.996
6 Arsenal (ENG) 106.89
7 Sevilla (ESP) 100.853
8 Bayern Munich (GER) 98.339

Pot 2
9 Lyon (FRA) 91.033
10 Internazionale (ITA) 87.582
11 Real Madrid (ESP) 78.853
12 CSKA Moscow (RUS) 71.525
13 FC Porto (POR) 68.292
14 AZ Alkmaar (NED) 64.826
15 Juventus (ITA) 63.582
16 Rangers (SCO) 56.575

Pot 3
17 Olympiacos (GRE) 52.633
18 Marseille (FRA) 48.033
19 Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 46.370
20 VfB Stuttgart (GER) 45.339
21 Fiorentina (ITA) 42.582
22 Atletico Madrid (ESP) 41.853
23 Bordeaux (FRA) 40.033
24 Besiktas (TUR) 32.445

Pot 4
25 Wolfsburg (GER) 21.339
26 Standard Liege (BEL) 21.065
27 Maccabi Haifa (ISR) 17.050
28 FC Zurich (SUI) 14.050
29 Rubin Kazan (RUS) 9.525
30 Unirea Urziceni (ROM) 8.781
31 APOEL (CYP) 4.016
32 Debreceni (HUN) 1.633

Premier League kicks off tomorrow!

14 Aug

Can I just say how incredibly excited I am for the season to start? It should be another great one. Defending champ Manchester United has to replace their best player and who knows who can fill the void left by Ronaldo. Liverpool faces a similar situation since Xabi Alonso went to Real. However, I think both squads are strong enough and will stay in the top four. Chelsea looked excellent in their preseason tune-ups in the States and also go into the season on a high after beating United in the Community Shield. If they can keep their momentum going, they will be tough to beat (as much as it pains me to say that). I think Everton will finally break through into the top four this season. They are a solid team and will knock Arsenal out of that fourth spot.

Ok, so this season, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to attempt to pick the results (W-L-D) of each game each week and then tally up my results after each round of games. Since it’s the first week of the season, I’m also going to be throwing out my picks for league champs as well as some other stuff.

Premier League champion: Chelsea
Top Four: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton
Bottom Three: Portsmouth, Birmingham, Blackburn
Player of the Year: Fernando Torres

Week One Picks
Chelsea vs. Hull – Chelsea wins
Aston Villa vs. Wigan – Villa wins
Blackburn vs. Manchester City – City wins
Bolton vs. Sunderland – Draw
Portsmouth vs. Fulham – Draw
Stoke vs. Burnley – Burnley wins
Wolves vs. West Ham – West Ham wins
Everton vs. Arsenal – Draw
Tottenham vs. Liverpool – Liverpool wins
Manchester United vs. Birmingham – Manchester United wins