Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Weekend's EPL Results Analysis:

EPL Results:
Round 26.

Saturday's Action:

Chelsea 3 Bolton Wanderers 0
This match was played at Stamford Bridge as 5th placed Chelsea hosted 19th placed Bolton. 
Defender David Luiz opened the scoring for The Blues in the 48th minute. Striker Didier Drogba doubled the hosts lead in the 61st minute to score his first goal since going to the African Cup of Nations. Midfielder Frank Lampard capped off the match with a goal to make it a 3-0 win to Chelsea after 79 minutes.

This means that Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas lives to fight another day in the EPL, while Bolton boss Owen Coyle is in no better position with lowly Bolton.

FACT: This is Chelsea's first win in 5 matches (against QPR in the FA Cup).

Midfielder Frank Lampard celebrates his 12th goal of the season against Bolton in the 79th minute to put Chelsea 3-0 up.

Newcastle United 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
This match was played at The Sports Direct Arena as 6th placed Newcastle hosted 16th place Wolves.
Striker Papiss Demba Cisse scored his second goal for his new club after only 6 minutes. Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez scored a belter from 25 yards out to double the Geordies' lead in the 18th minute. Winger Matthew Jarvis halved the hosts 2-0 lead in the 50th minute and gave Wolves hope to salvage something away from home. Striker Kevin Doyle equalised in the 66th minute for Wolves and that is how the match finished. 

Newcastle will feel disappointed that they gave up a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, but grateful they did not lose and are still in 6th place. Wolves will feel happy that they cameback from 2 goals down, but unlucky not to win the match and are still in trouble, seven points off 15th placed Aston Villa - still in relegation trouble.

QPR 0 Fulham 1
The first London derby of this weekend was between QPR and Fulham.
Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the only goal of the match for the away side after 7 minutes. QPR midfielder Samba Diakite picked up two yellow cards in the space of 14 minutes and brought QPR down to ten men - on his debut after moving to Rangers in the January TW. 

Fulham celebrate striker Pavel Pogrebnyak's early 7th minute goal to win the match against QPR at Loftus Road...

Fulham beat QPR again for the second time this season, but it was less routine than the 6-0 win in October 2011.
West Bromwich Albion 4 Sunderland 0
15th placed West Brom hosted an in-form Sunderland side in 9th place, who were only 10 points off 4th place. 
Striker Peter Odemwingie broke the deadlock for the home side after only three minutes into the match to put West Brom ahead. Midfielder James Morrison scored a header to made it 2-0 to WBA in the 41st minute. Odemwingie scored his second of the match, three minutes after the start of the second half to put The Baggies in a surprising controlled position. Midfielder Keith Andrews rubbed salt in the wounds, making ut 4-0 in the 90th minute on his debut scoring his first goal for WBA.

Wigan Athletic 0 Aston Villa 0 
This match was hosted at the DW Stadium as 20th placed Wigan hosted 14th placed Aston Villa.
This match ended in a goalless draw, with both teams staying in their same respective positions but only a point ahead from their last matches.
Villa will feel upset that they could not get the job done against a weak Wigan side stuck in 20th place, while Wigan will feel relieved that they did not lose at home, but could have moved further off the bottom of the table with a win.

Manchester City 3 Blackburn Rovers 0
1st placed Manchester City hosted 18th placed Blackburn at The Ethiad Stadium. 
Striker Mario Balotelli broke the deadlock for the home side in the first half (30th minute). Striker Sergio Aguero scored his 20th goal of the season to double the lead in the 52nd minute after capatalizing on goalkeeper Paul Robinson's fumble out towards him. Fellow striker Edin Dzeko ended the match in the 81st minute to give City a 3-0 convincing lead and keep the pressure on rivals United in 2nd place, two points behind them.

Striker Sergio Aguero scoring City's second against Blackburn on Saturday.

FACT: City are now unbeaten at home in one whole year at The Ethiad.

Today's Action:

Arsenal 5 Tottenham Hotspur 2
North London Derbies between these two teams never seem to disappoint, and today's was not stalemate either.... Striker Louis Saha put the away side in-front after only 4 minutes, before former Gunner forward Emmanuel Adebayor doubled Spurs' lead with a penalty, 30 minutes later to give Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a real headache. Full-back Bacary Sana halved the 2-0 lead in the 40th minute, before captain and striker Robin Van Persie curled a stunning shot past Brad Friedel to equalise for the home side. Midfielder Tomas Rosicky scored his first goal at The Emirates since 2010 to make it 3-2 in the 51st minute before a Theo Walcott doubled in the space of three minutes (65th and 68th min) allowed Arsenal a 5-2 comfortable scoreline.

Striker Robin Van Persie celebrates scoring to equalise for Arsenal against Tottenham in the 43rd minute. He has now scored 29 goals this season in all competitions.

Norwich City 1 Manchester United 2

Stoke City 2 Swansea City 0

Carling Cup Final: 

Cardiff City 1 Liverpool 1 (AET 2-2) (Pens 2-3)

Well, well, well! What a match at Wembley! Everyone (except me) thought that this would be a rout in Liverpool's favour.... but it was nothing but!

Defender Martin Skrtel equalised for The Reds in the 60th minute after striker Joe Mason had put The Bluebirds ahead after only 19 minutes... The 90 minutes was over and the match went to extra time. Striker Dirk Kuyt made it 2-1 to Liverpool, three minutes after coming off the subs bench (in the second half of extra time). Everyone thought it was over, but defender Brian Turner shot through Pepe Reina's legs from a corner in the 118th minute to make the match go to penalties.
Liverpol captain and midfielder Steven Gerrard missed his penalty, along with Charlie Adam (who skied his to Row Z). 5 penalties scored later, Steven Gerrard's cousin Antony stepped up to take it, but his shot narrowly missed the left post and Liverpool prevailed!

Liverpool's jubilant celebration after beating Cardiff on penalties to win their first trophy in 6 years.
Is this a sign of things to come for King Kenny's men?
Is this the start of a new Liverpool generation??

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Weekend's EPL Fixture Previews:

The Weekend's EPL Fixture Previews:
Hello and welcome to Round 26 of this season's EPL.
We have nine tasty and interesting matches over the weekend including the North London derbies between Arsenal vs Tottenham and QPR vs Fulham.

Tomorrow (15:00 unless stated):

Chelsea vs Bolton Wanderers:

This match will be played at Stamford Bridge as 5th placed Chelsea host 19th placed Bolton.
Chelsea will be without captain John Terry for Saturday's game against Bolton after he was ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.
Ashley Cole is likely to return at left-back after being left out of the starting XI against Napoli and Fernando Torres is expected to be available despite missing training during midweek due to illness.
Midfielder Juan Mata is ready despite suffering a suspected broken finger on Tuesday in Italy but full-back Jose Bosingwa is out after suffering a muscle injury.

Bolton midfielder Mark Davies is expected to be fit after a hamstring problem.
New striker Marvin Sordell is eligible for selection again after being cup-tied for last weekend's FA Cup fifth-round victory over Millwall.
Defender Joe Riley is a doubt due to a foot injury and forward Kevin Davies, who sustained medial ligament damage in his knee in early February, is unlikely to be ready to make his return to action yet.
Chelsea will hope to end their current poor form of late against a side who they thrashed 6-0 in the last meeting.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has scored 11 goals this season for The Blues - joint highest goalscorer along with Daniel Sturridge...

Newcastle United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers:

This match will be held at The Sports Direct Arena as 6th placed Newcastle host 18th placed Wolves in a surprising mismatch (especially this season).
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will welcome back key midfield duo Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye for tomorrow's clash with Wolves.
Tiote has missed Newcastle's last seven games because of his involvement in the ACON with Ivory Coast, while Cabaye has now completed his three-match ban.
Full-back Ryan Taylor is also available after missing the 5-0 defeat against Spurs with an ankle injury, but Leon Best and Sammy Ameobi (both knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Wolves midfielder Karl Henry is available after a three-match suspension for his silly red card against Aston Villa.
Winger Michael Kightly is also back in contention after suffering a back injury against Villa in January.
Top scorer Steven Fletcher was unable to train earlier this week because of a virus and migraine but caretaker boss Terry Connor is optimistic he will be fit.
He will be managing his first match for Wolves in this season.

Stephen Fletcher: Scored 10 goals for Wolves this season. Top scorer.

FACT: Wolves have not kept a clean sheet in the last twenty two EPL matches.

QPR vs Fulham:

This match will come from Loftus Road as London clubs QPR and Fulham go head-to-head.
Midfielder Samba Diakite who joined from Nancy (on loan until the end of the season) is in line to make his QPR debut.
Striker Bobby Zamora faces his old club after moving to Rangers for a sum of £8million in the January transfer window but fellow striker Djibril Cisse is suspended, while Heidar Helguson (groin), DJ Campbell and Luke Young (both hamstring) are still injured.
31-year-old forward Andrew Johnson will return to the Fulham squad after being out for several weeks with a left adductor injury.
Fellow strikers Pavel Pogrebnyak and Orlando Sa are also available, while defender Philippe Senderos returns after a grade two strain in his left adductor. Zdenek Grygera (knee) and Steve Sidwell (hernia) are the only first-team players unavailable.

This match will have a frosty atmosphere with former players facing each other and tempers flaring, Fulham will hope to win again (like they did in October 6-0) but it will not be straight forward against a rejuvenated QPR side who were busy during last month's TW.

Striker Bobby Zamora has scored for his new club QPR, and faces his old club Fulham tomorrow....

West Bromwich Albion vs Sunderland:

This match will be played at The Hawthorns as 14th placed West Brom host an in-form Sunderland side who have been influenced by the arrival of manager Martin O'Neil who replaced Steve Bruce who was sacked earlier in the season.
West Brom midfielder Keith Andrews is in strong contention to make his full debut in Saturday's home Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland.
Albion's transfer deadline signing from Blackburn is favourite to replace the injured Paul Scharner (rib) after impressing as a substitute and scoring during the 5-1 win over his former club Wolves.
Skipper Chris Brunt (ankle) is close to fitness but fellow midfielder Zoltan Gera (knee) remains a long-term absentee as the Baggies search for their first home win since November.
Nicklas Bendtner could return to the Sunderland after recovering from a facial fracture.
The striker has returned to training wearing a protective mask, although was ineligible to play against parent club Arsenal in the FA Cup last weekend, as were fellow loan signings Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos.
Midfielder David Vaughan is back in training after an ankle problem, but the match is too soon for him, and only defenders Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles/calf) remain on the long-term casualty list.

FACT: Manager Martin O'Neill has only lost three matches in charge of Sunderland since the 10th of December 2011.
Staggering feat, without buying any players, Steve Bruce was messing about then!

Martin O'Neill: The epicenter of Sunderland's success this season.

Wigan Athletic vs Aston Villa:

This match will be played at the DW Stadium as Wigan host Aston Villa.
Aston Villa welcome striker Gabriel Agbonlahor back after he had back and hamstring problems which meant that he has missed Villa's last three matches.
Chris Herd could also be involved after coming through an hour in a reserve match unscathed. The midfielder has been out for around two and a half months with ankle ligament damage.
McLeish said he had a few other players with minor injuries who may not recover, but declined to name individuals.
Defender Richard Dunne (shoulder) and Ciaran Clark (knee) are both long-term casualties.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has a fully-fit squad.
Striker Callum McManaman has recovered from a back problem while a number of players were able to overcome colds and viruses during the club's recent trip to Oman.
Midfielder Mohamed Diame may be set for his first appearance since returning from ACON duty.

Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers: LIVE at 17:30pm
1st placed Manchester City host lowly Blackburn at The Ethiad Stadium in a big mismatch with the two teams at two different ends of the EPL table.

Manchester City defender Micah Richards (knee) is fit for tomorrow's fixture against 17th placed Blackburn.
Richards required lengthy treatment during Wednesday's 4-0 Europa League win over Porto but completed the game while midfielder Gareth Barry, who was withdrawn to protect a muscle twinge, does not have a serious problem.
Defender Kolo Toure, midfielder Yaya Toure (both international duty at the African Cup Of Nations) and striker Mario Balotelli (suspension) return to domestic action after lengthy absences. Striker Carlos Tevez, now back in training, is not yet match-fit.
Blackburn midfielder David Dunn is a doubt due to a thigh injury.
Winger Junior Hoilett is fit, while defender Jason Lowe begins a two-match ban having picked up his 10th booking of the season against QPR and fellow defender Gael Givet is still suspended also.
Centre-back Christopher Samba, who has not played since January 2 and last month handed in a transfer request, appears poised to leave Rovers to join Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala. 

Manchester City should and probably will thrash Blackburn who lack flair in every part of the pitch apart from the wing - where Holiett will be given a rough time against the likes of Richards and Kompany....

Striker Sergio Aguero has scored 20 goals for Manchester City this season - third highest goalscorer in the EPL.

Sunday (13:30 unless stated):

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur:

This tasty North London fixture at The Emirates on Sunday is my featured match between 4th placed Arsenal and 3rd placed Tottenham.
Tottenham forwards Emmanuel Adebayor (knee) and Rafael van der Vaart (calf) have trained this week and are expected to be fit for Sunday's north London derby at Arsenal.
Full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto (groin) and midfielder Luka Modric (illness) missed last week's FA Cup game but should also be available to play at the Emirates.
Defender Ledley King (knee) faces a late fitness test, midfielder Sandro is a major doubt due to a calf injury, and William Gallas (calf) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are long-term absentees.
Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny (knee) and Kieran Gibbs (groin) face fitness tests ahead of the game.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey (ankle), defender Francis Coquelin (hamstring) and centre-half Sebastien Squillaci (groin) are all sidelined.
Defender Carl Jenkinson recovered from a back problem and played for the reserves in midweek, but centre-back Per Mertesacker (ankle) is a long-term absentee, along with full-back Andre Santos (ankle), midfielders Abou Diaby (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (ankle).

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor faces his old club away from home along with some interesting comments made by player from both teams so it has the making of a hostile atmosphere.
Tottenham feel they are the best team in London, and beat Arsenal 2-1 in their last meeting so The Gunners will be looking for revenge at home but they may struggle against an in-form Spurs side.

Robin Van Persie vs Gareth Bale:
Over £80million worth of Talent..... 

Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale has scored 11 goals this season. 2nd highest midfield goalscorer in the EPL.

Robin Van Persie: 28 goals in all competitions this season..... highest goalscorer in the EPL.

Tottenham have won three of the last four meetings against rivals Arsenal....

Norwich City vs Manchester United:

Defender Rio Ferdinand will return to the Manchester United squad for Sunday's trip to Norwich.
Ferdinand was rested for yesterday's Europa League match against Ajax but manager Sir Alex Ferguson will look to the 33-year-old to bring some stability to a back four that struggled badly at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney (throat) is a doubt, whilst there is also speculation Tom Cleverley has suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury.
Defender Zak Whitbread could return to the Norwich first-team as he recovered from a hamstring injury, but his fellow defender Daniel Ayala continues to miss out.
Marc Tierney (groin) and Jonny Howson (knee) are both on the comeback trail, but Sunday's match will be too soon for them.
FACT: Manchester United have won 8 out of last 13 EPL away matches, and have kept the most clean sheets (12)

Stoke City vs Swansea City: LIVE at 15:00pm

Stoke boss Tony Pulis will make a significant amount of changes from the side knocked out of Europe last night for Sunday's clash against 11th placed Swansea. The Potters boss left nine first-team players at home for the 1-0 defeat by Valencia, including the likes of Peter Crouch, Jon Walters and Matthew Etherington, and all are likely to come in as Stoke look to arrest a run of four straight league defeats.
Centre-back Robert Huth serves the final match of a three-game ban but midfielder Rory Delap is available after having his red card against Crawley overturned last week, while Pulis could give Asmir Begovic a start in goal ahead of Thomas Sorensen.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has a near full-strength squad to pick from.
Midfielder Joe Allen has returned to full fitness after missing their last match against Norwich.
However, Kemy Agustien looks set to miss out after he picked up a knock in training and fellow midfielder Andrea Orlandi (hamstring) is also a doubt.
Right-back Curtis Obeng could be in line for his debut following his recent arrival from Wrexham.
Either side could move up to 9th place with a win (provided results go their way), with Stoke having the advantage resting their first-team players yesterday against Valencia.


 Carling Cup Final:
7th placed Liverpool face Championship club Cardiff City in a mismatch at Wembley.
Luis Suarez will be hoping to prove a danger against Cardiff aswell as Craig Bellamy who will be played against his hometown.

Cardiff City vs Liverpool: LIVE at 16:00pm

The Bluebirds hope to become the first Welsh side to win the Carling Cup against a Liverpool squad who have not won a trophy in 6 years since they won the League cup in 2006.
FACT: Cardiff have beaten Liverpool 5 out of the last 6 times.....
Interesting fact....


Zenit St. Petersburg have confirmed the signing of Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin on a loan until the end of the season.
Bye! You will be more effective in Russia (hopefully it will be permanent in the Summer)

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed the departure of defender Christopher Samba to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £7million.

Their defence is sure to crumble now, if it had not already before.... now that their star player has left, many more will probably follow and leave.

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    Thursday, 23 February 2012

    Link for Champions League Last 16 Part 2 featuring Napoli vs Chelsea:

    See you tomorrow for the weekend's EPL previews including Arsenal vs Tottenham and Stoke vs Swansea City (plus a Carling Cup final special).

    Thanks for reading, spread the word!

    Friday, 17 February 2012

    FA Cup 5th Round Fixtures and Previews:

    FA Cup 5th Round Previews:


    15:00pm (unless stated) 

    Chelsea vs Birmingham City: LIVE at 12:30pm
    Defender John Terry looks unlikely to be risked for the match against Birmingham, despite recovering from the knee injury that has sidelined him for three weeks.
    Ashley Cole (calf) is unable to play tomorrow.
    Strikers Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou will only be available in the midweek tie against Napoli after returning from African Cup of Nations duty, but midfielder Ramires could return from a knee injury against Birmingham.

    Birmingham will be without front-line strikers Nikola Zigic (knee) and Marlon King (groin).
    Adam Rooney is set to bolster the attack as npower Championship play-off contenders City look to secure a quarter-final spot for the third successive season via a major upset.

    Chelsea will hope to move swiftly from their current (let's just say) 'interesting' form of late with a comfortable win against Championship opposition. It may not be routine against the power of Adam Rooney and co though who have secured a quarter-final place in the FA Cup for the past two years.

    Everton vs Blackpool:
    Everton will be without midfielder Steven Pienaar for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Goodison Park because the winger, on loan from Tottenham, is cup-tied.
    Midfielder Landon Donovan is available for the last time before he returns to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but illness could rule him out. Striker Nikica Jelavic misses out due to pubalgia (which is a groin problem)
    Young playmaker Seamus Coleman could feature for The Toffees having overcome a thigh problem, but defender Shane Duffy has an ankle complaint and joins an injury list that also includes Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka (both knee)
    Everton will be expecting to win against a lower side. To say the least...!

    Millwall vs Bolton Wanderers:

    Bolton forward Kevin Davies has been ruled out of the 5th round tie at Millwall due to a knee injury.
    Owen Coyle has revealed that he sustained medial ligament damage in the 2-1 loss to Wigan last week. Defender Tyrone Mears is facing more time on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from a broken leg.
    New striker Marvin Sordell is cup-tied, but defender Joe Riley may feature having regained his fitness after a groin problem and there could be first Bolton starts for two January signings in centre-back Tim Ream, who would make his debut and on-loan winger Ryo Miyaichi.
    Bolton's new strengthed side should have enough to see off Millwall, and a place in the Quarter-finals would boost the board of directors' faith in under-fire manager Owen Coyle. 

    Norwich City vs Leicester City: 
    Norwich will have striker James Vaughan in the squad to face Leicester in Saturday's FA Cup tie after five months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
    The Canaries are still without Daniel Ayala (hamstring) and Zak Whitbread (hamstring).
    Norwich will be praying that their current form in the EPL, may continue in the FA Cup tomorrow.

    Sunderland vs Arsenal: LIVE at 17:30pm
    Arsenal are without centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth-round tie away at Sunderland.
    Mertesacker (ankle) is out for the long term, according to manager Arsene Wenger, while Koscielny (knee) should be missing for only one week.
    Gervinho returns from African Nations Cup duty, but defenders Carl Jenkinson (back) and Andre Santos (ankle) are still out, along with midfielders Abou Diaby (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (ankle). Thierry Henry has completed his loan spell from New York Red Bulls and is back in America much to Arsenal supporters discontent (as they feel the spell was too sort for the legend).
    Midfielder Lee Cattermole could be back in the Sunderland squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.
    Striker Nicklas Bendtner is on loan from The Gunners so he is ineligible for the fifth-round clash at the Stadium of Light.
    David Vaughan (ankle) is still out as are Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles).

    Sunderland gave Arsenal a run for their money in the EPL last week, with an unlucky 2-1 loss thanks to Aaron Ramsey and Thierry Henry's late goals. They want revenge against an Arsenal side who have lost morale after their humilating 4-0 loss on Wednesday against AC Milan.


    Crawley Town vs Stoke City: LIVE at 12:00pm
    Stoke boss Tony Pulis will rotate his squad after the 1-0 defeat to Valencia yesterday in Spain for the trip to Crawley on Sunday.
    Defender Matthew Upson could be involved after serving a European ban, while fellow centre-back Robert Huth will sit out the second of his three-match domestic suspension, but goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is likely to keep his place. Stoke have to monitior the fitness of midfielder Dean Whitehead after he sustained a nasty gash to his leg yesterday against Valencia in a clash. 

    Stevenage vs Tottenham Hotspur: LIVE at 14:00pm
    Rafael van der Vaart has failed to overcome a calf injury and will miss the match against Stevenage on Sunday.
    Defender Younes Kaboul is struggling with a knee injury and captain Ledley King is likely to be rested, meaning Ryan Nelsen should start his first game for his new club.
    Forward Louis Saha did not play for Everton in the FA Cup earlier this season and he is therefore available this weekend, but long-term absentees William Gallas (calf) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are out.
    Spurs are in-form this season and could even win the EPL for the first time since, since.... err... 1950.
    If they lose to Stevenage, they will be livid as they will want every trophy possible this season....

    Liverpool vs Brighton and Hove Albion: LIVE at 16:30pm
    Maxi Rodriguez could make his return to the Liverpool team in this weekend's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Brighton at Anfield.
    Midfielder Rodriguez has not featured since the end of January due to a foot problem, in the 2-1 win against United in the 4th round.
    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has indicated that young defenders Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson may come into his thinking for the tie.
    The Reds will expect to win comfortably after beating rivals Manchester United in the 4th Round, but Brighton will be hoping to keep Liverpool busy throughout the match and hopefully pull off an upset (which they nearly did in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup)

    My Predictions:

    Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Stoke, Everton, Bolton, Norwich all prevail - making an all EPL Last 8 quarter-final line-up.

    UEFA Europa League Last 32 Coverage:

    UEFA Europa League Last 32 First Leg:

    Tuesday's Results:

    Rubin Kasan 0 Olympiakos 1
    Fuster 71'
    Braga 0 Besiktas 2
    Sivok 37'
    Simao 58'

    Today's (main) Fixtures:

    Live from 18:00pm (unless stated):

    Lokomotiv Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao
    Ajax vs Manchester United
    United face a tough test against Dutch opposition in Amsterdam. 
    Defender Rio Ferdinand will captain United in their last-32 first-leg tie as full-back Patrice Evra is rested following an 'emotional week'.
    Ryan Giggs (ankle) misses out along with striker Dimitar Berbatov, who was injured in training on Tuesday. 
    Winger Nani (foot) and defender Phil Jones (ankle) return after missing the last four matches.
    Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley are also in the 20-man squad.
    Danger man: Ashley Young to give Ajax problems with his pace and creativity.

    AZ Alkmaar vs Anderlecht
    Lazio vs Atletico Madrid 
    Legia Warsaw vs Sporting Lisbon
    Viktoria Plzen vs Schalke 04
    FC Porto vs Manchester City: LIVE at 20:05pm
    City welcome back midfielder Yaya Toure and defender Kolo Toure against Porto tonight.
    They are back from African Cup of Nations duty were they came 2nd.
    Striker Mario Balotelli is also in contention after serving a domestic suspension but fellow striker Carlos Tevez who is back in training after his absence in Argentina has not been registered.
    Danger man: Vincent Kompany to defend City's back-line against players like Hulk and Moutinho which he has done successfully since the start fo the season.

    Stoke City vs Valencia: LIVE at 20:05pm
    Stoke will be without defender Matthew Upson as he was sent off in their final group stage match against Besiktas in December and has to serve a one-match suspension.

    Centre-back Robert Huth is available along with Jonathan Woodgate and Danny Collins are now eligible to play.

    Danger men: Jermaine Pennant and Ryan Shotton with the pace down the wings to give Valencia's back four trouble thoroughout.

    Udinese vs PAOK Salonki: LIVE at 20:05pm

    Results and Analysis link here:

    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    UEFA Champions League Results:

    UEFA Champions League Last 16 Results:
    This midweek is the first CL and EL action in 2012......
    With four EPL clubs in competition in the space of two days, it is sure to be an exciting week.

    Yesterday's Action:

    Bayer Leverkusen 1 Barcelona 3
    The best footballing team in the world showed yet again why they are the best in the business with a comfortable 3-1 win against tough German opposition.
    Chilean winger Andres Sanchez scored twice (41st minute and 55th minute) to give Barcelona a 2-1 lead after Michal Kadlec levelled after 51 minutes.
    The best player in the world, Lionel Messi added a third in the 88th minute to give Barca a relaxing 3-1 aggregate score, with away goals almost pushing the defending champions through to the Last 8.

    Magic Messi: Capping off a fine performance for Barca in Germany. 

    Sanchez scoring to make it 2-1 to Barca against Leverkusen after 55 minutes.

    FACT: Sanchez scored his first two goals in the Champions League in his career yesterday.
    FACT: Lionel Messi has now scored 7 goals in the Champions League so far this season - and is the competition's top goalscorer.

    Lyon 1 APOEL 0
    The French giants take a slender 1-0 home lead against the 2011 Cypriot champions to Cyprus.
    Striker Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the match for 'The Kids' in the 58th minute.

    FACT: APOEL are the first team from Cypriot to ever reach the Last 16 of the Cl.

    Today's CL Action:

    Zenit St Petersburg 3 Benfica 2
    This match was played in Russia on a cold night with temperatures falling down to -10c.
    Defender Maxi Pereira opened the scoring for the visitors after twenty minutes, before striker Shirokov equalised for Zenit, seven minutes later. 
    After these two quick-fire goals, it was relatively quiet for the rest of the half and the second half was quiet until 71 minutes, when midfielder Sergei Semak gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the match after a cross was finished with a cheeky backheel past the keeper.
    Striker Oscar Cardozo tapped in a goal from 4 yards out after a comical mishap by the keeper after a weak shot was parried - straight into Cardozo's feet.
    The old saying is that you are at your most vulnerable when you have just scored, and this was the case for Benfica who took their foot off the pedal for a second and were punished. 
    Less than a minute later, Shirokov scored his second of the match to give Zenit a late winner in the 88th minute and to give them the 3-2 aggregate edge going into the second leg of the tie.....

    Shirokov celebrates scoring a late winner in Russia against Benfica.

    AC Milan 4 Arsenal 0
    Robinho, Boateng and Ibrahimovic showed no mercy........

    My thoughts and opinions on tonight's 4-0 loss against AC Milan:

    See you tomorrow for some tasty Europa League fixtures including Manchester City vs FC Porto, and Manchester United vs Ajax.

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    Today's EPL Results and LATEST News:

    These were the last fixtures in the Round 25 of this season's English Premier League:

    Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 West Bromwich Albion 5
    This match was played at Moleniuex as 18th placed Wolves faced 15th placed West Brom. 
    Striker Peter Odemwingie opened the scoring after 35 minutes for the away side. Forward Stephen Fletcher scored his 10th goal of the season to level just before half-time in the 45th minute. Midfielder Jonas Olsson made it 2-1 to West Brom after 65 minutes and Odemwingie added his second of the match thirteen minutes later (78th) to make it 3-1. New signing Keith Andrews made it 4-1 in the 85th minute, before Odemwingie completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute to cap off a great performance by the away side.

     Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie celebrating scoring his hat-trick against Wolves.

    Manchester City 1 Aston Villa 0
    This match was played at The Ethiad as 2nd placed City faced 14th placed Aston Villa. If Villa won, they would shoot up to 11th while City were chasing rivals United who were ahead of them (by only 1 point). 
    This game was a very cagey affair with 20 fouls for both sides and 26 shots between them (on and off target) but defender Joleon Lescott finally broke the deadlock for the home side after 63 minutes. This was how the match finished so City took a slender 1-0 win and move above United into 1st, two points ahead while Aston Villa drop down to 15th place only seven points above relegation....

     Joleon Lescott scoring the only goal of the match for Manchester City against Aston Villa in the 63rd minute.

    Did not really look that good on paper, but with seven goals between them, they were two interesting matches.

    EPL News:

    Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has apologised for refusing to accept Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra's hand at Old Trafford yesterday.
    Good.... it was a silly decision that took all eyes away from the match....

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will receive a formal approach to take over as England manager from the FA within the next few days after former manager Fabio Capello resigned on Wednesday.
    Dilemma for Redknapp.... Spurs or England!?!?

    Winger Ryan Giggs has signed a one-year extension to his Manchester United contract in a deal that will see the Welshman complete his 21st season as a first-team player.
    A brilliant achievement for anyone, and he is still super-fit and essential to United's plans at 37 years of age.

    American side New York Red Bulls have confirmed that striker Thierry Henry will not be allowed to extend his loan spell at Arsenal.
    Sad news for The Gunners, as the legend was needed in their short-term future.... what does this mean now?

    And lastly:
    Andre Villas-Boas has said that yesterday's 2-0 defeat to Everton is Chelsea's worst display of the season.

    What does this mean for Chelsea? Are they going to sack AVB (like everyone else who has tried and failed)?
    Are they even going to qualify for the Champions League with Arsenal and Liverpool strong candidates?

    Thank you all for reading my EPL Blog, if you like it then follow me and continue reading my posts.
    I will see you later.

    Saturday, 11 February 2012

    EPL LIVE Saturday Special:

    Hello and welcome to the 25th Round of EPL Matches in the 2011/12 Season. 
    This is going to be an interesting week of football with five clubs playing in Europe next week.

    Watch out for Tottenham vs Newcastle and Blackburn vs QPR which could be goal feasts.....

    Today's EPL Matches:

    Early kick-off:
    Manchester United vs Liverpool: LIVE (started) at 12:45pm

    Interesting match ahead at Old Trafford as striker Luis Suarez returns from an eight match ban to face the team who gave his the ban - Manchester United. Liverpool are eyeing the last Champions League spot while United will be desperate to continue pressurising rivals City in 1st place.
    United will be looking for revenge after losing to The Reds in the FA Cup 4th Round who are on a high after beating both Manchester clubs and have won three matches in a row. Expect drama and shots.

    Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Welbeck.
    Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Cleverley, Pogba.

    Weaker than usual?
    United are wearing their home kit and are weaing black armbands because this is their first home match since Monday's anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

    Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Spearing, Henderson, Kuyt, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Carragher, Adam, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy.
    Adam should be playing instead of Spearing....?
    Liverpool are wearing their alternate (white and blue) kit.

    Prediction: Manchester United win as they are at home, they want revenge against Liverpool and are looking to get their 20th EPL title this season..
    Even though The Reds have the second best defensive record in the EPL this season, United have the second best goal record this season.....
    0: The match is finally underway here between Manchester United and Liverpool. The main story in the last 5 minutes is that Suarez has snubbed a handhake from Evra.
    1: Defender Rio Ferdinand is needing treatment after Suarez barged he onto Evra and on the floor.
    6: Antonio Valencia is fouled by Jose Enrique just outside the box on the right hand side. Giggs delivers the ball in and Glen Johnson heads it behind with Rooney lurking. The corner falls to Rooney but his header is weak and into the hands of Pepe Reina.
    10: Luis Suarez is getting unsurprisingly booed here.
    12: Liverpool holding the ball, trying to dominate here.
    26: Giggs on the ball, passes straight to Rooney who drills a shot low and hard from 25 yards out.... WIDE!!!
    30: Cross by Valencia into the box for Scholes who heads the ball towards goal...... Reina parries and Skrtel clears the ball out of the danger area.
    Close from United, finally starting to play like champions....
    34: Giggs finds Valencia who whips a ball into the box, high for Patrice Evra who jumps over the defender and heads the ball.... OVER THE BAR!!!
    37: Danny Welbeck runs at the Liverpool defence and finds himself inside the box before taking a shot.... WIDE!
    Good play by the young striker.
    41: Midfielder Steven Gerrard takes a shot..... deflected for a corner.
    44: Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing gets the first yellow card of the match after a late tackle.
    45: The fourth official signals 2 minutes of stoppage time to be added on.
    45+2: The referee blows the whistle for half-time here.
    United should be in-front at half-time due to their chances, but don't be surprised if they come out in the second half all guns blazing against Liverpool who want to keep them grounded.

    45: The referee blows the whistle to start the second half here.
    46: United win a corner in the opening minute of the second half. Ryan Giggs flicks the ball into the box for Wayne Rooney who volleys the ball towards goal.... GOAL!!!! 
    In the first minute of the second half, what a reaction by United!
    50: Midfielder Jay Spearing loses the ball to United's Valencia, he passes the ball to striker Wayne Rooney and he slots the ball past Pepe Reina into the goal to double United's lead in the space of 3 minutes.
    What a start to the second half for United!
    53: 'Suarez, Suarez, what's the score' rings out around Old Trafford as the United fans celebrate. Striker Andy Carroll is currently warming up on the touchline.
    80: Midfielder Michael Carrick is cautioned with a yellow card after a tackle. 
    Striker Luis Suarez shoots inside the box..... GOAL!!!
    Is it too little, too late for Liverpool?
    90: The referee blows the final whistle here at Old Trafford. 
    United move up to 1st place, 1 point ahead of rivals City who face Aston Villa at 4pm tomorrow. Liverpool stay in a lowly 7th place with 39 points from 25 matches.

    Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1

    Today's 15:00pm kick-offs (unless stated):

    Sunderland vs Arsenal
    Blackburn vs QPR
    Bolton Wanderers vs Wigan Athletic
    Everton vs Chelsea
    Fulham vs Stoke City
    Swansea vs Norwich
    Tottenham Hotpsur vs Newcastle United: LIVE at 17:30pm

    15:00: The 15:00pm kick-offs have all kicked off in the EPL.

    Everton vs Chelsea: LIVE
    On loan midfielder Steven Pienaar scores for Everton on his second spell for the club after 5 minutes! Chelsea are behind away from home after 5 minutes.

    Midfielder Steven Pienaar celebrates after beating goalkeeper Petr Cech to put his side 1-0 up in the 5th minute against Chelsea.

    Blackburn vs QPR: LIVE
    Nigerian striker Yakubu scores his 13th goal of the season for Blackburn to break the deadlock for the home side after 15 minutes. 

    Fulham vs Stoke: LIVE
    Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak (what a tongue twister!) scores his first goal for his new club after moving in the January Transfer Window.

    Pogrebnyak: New Fulham goal-scorer???

    Blackburn vs QPR: LIVE
    Miidfielder Steven NZonzi doubles Blackburn's lead in the 23rd minute to put the home side 2-0 ahead.

    Fulham vs Stoke: LIVE
    Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has scored a goal here - an own goal. Doubles Fulham's lead.

    Swansea vs Norwich: LIVE
    Striker Danny Graham opens the scoring with his 12th of the season at The Liberty Stadium to put Swansea 1-0 ahead. 

    Bolton vs Wigan: LIVE
    Defender Gary Caldwell scores for Wigan to put the away side in-front just before half-time. Roberto Martinez' team talk is going to change now....

    Blackburn vs QPR: LIVE 
    Defender Nedum Onuoha scores the second own goal of the afternoon after his deflection from midfielder Junior Holiett's shot turned into his own net to put Blackburn comfortably 3-0 up at half-time.

    The 15:00pm kick-offs in the EPL have all grinded to a holt for fifteen minutes while the managers talk tactics to the players....

    Blackburn 3 QPR 0
    Bolton 0 Wigan 1
    Everton 1 Chelsea 0
    Sunderland 0 Arsenal 0
    Swansea 1 Norwich 0
    Fulham 2 Stoke 0

    The second halves have started in the EPL all over the country.

    Swansea vs Norwich:
    And the first goal of the second half comes from The Liberty Stadium...
    In-form English (hint hint) midfielder Grant Holt equalises for the away side after 47 minutes.

    Norwich celebrate forward Grant Holt's equaliser in the 47th minute at The Liberty Stadium.

    Swansea vs Norwich:
    Antony Pilkington puts The Canaries ahead in the match for the first time after 51 minutes to give Swansea a headache.
    Quick start by Norwich in this second half....

    Swansea vs Norwich:
    ANOTHER GOAL from The Liberty Stadium......
    Grant Holt scores again to put Norwich 3-1 up in the 63rd minute!

    Bolton vs Wigan:
    Midfielder Mark Davies scores an equaliser for Bolton after 67 minutes to make it 1-1 at The Reebok.

    Sunderland vs Arsenal:
    Finally a goal here at The Stadium of Light, but for the in-form hosts as midfielder Josh McClean opens the scoring in the 70th minute!

    Midfielder Josh McClean opens the scoring for the home side against Arsenal after 70 minutes.

    Blackburn vs QPR: LIVE
    Striker Jamie Mackie brings a goal back for the away side as Rangers fight for a late comeback.

    Everton vs Chelsea: LIVE
    Denis Stracquarlursi doubles The Toffees' lead at Goodison Park against 4th placed Chelsea in the 71st minute!
    Surely no way back for The Blues now!?!?

    Sunderland vs Arsenal: LIVE
    Midfielder Aaron Ramsey comes off the Arsenal bench - three minutes later, he equalises for the away side! 1-1 with 15 minutes left of the game, it could still go either way here..

    Ramsey's strike levelled the match against Sunderland in the 75th minute.

    Bolton vs Wigan: LIVE
    James McCarthur puts the away side ahead once again after 76 minutes at The Reebok.

    Fulham vs Stoke: LIVE
    Defender Ryan Shawcross halves Fulham's lead in the 78th minute... The Potters have faint hope of salvaging something in this match.

    Swansea vs Norwich: LIVE
    Striker Danny Graham scores his second of the match from the penalty spot in the 89th minute to halve Norwich's 3-1 lead to 3-2...
    1 minute plus stoppage time for Swansea to get something here...

    Blackburn vs QPR: LIVE
    Striker Jamie Mackie scores his second of the day but surely it's too late...?
    3-2 to Blackburn.

    Sunderland vs Arsenal: LIVE
    Andrey Arshavin with a cross into the box for lurking striker Thierry Henry who heads the ball towards goal..... GOAL!!! Arsenal have stolen the match in the last dying seconds! 

    Thierry Henry: What. A. Legend.

    From 1-0 down, to 2-1 up!
    And Henry is the scorer! What a finale to this match!

    The referees have all blown their whistles in the EPL 15:00pm kick-offs....

    Sunderland 1 Arsenal 2
    Thierry Henry marks his last EPL appearance in an Arsenal shirt before going back to New York Red Bulls with a goal as The Gunners made a remarkable 15 minute comeback. They move up to 4th place, in serious contention for the last Champions League spot at the end of the season.
    FACT: Henry has scored more goals this year than £50million man Fernando Torres.. *cough*

    Fulham 2 Stoke City 1
    Although Stoke fought throughout the match, Fulham prevailed with new signing Pavel Pogrebnyak scoring on his home debut.

    Swansea 2 Norwich City 3
    Grant Holt scored twice as Norwich became only the second team to win away from home against Swansea this season.
    Opposite striker Danny Graham scored twice (once from a penalty) but it was not enough as Swansea drop to 11th place in the table while Norwich move up to a comfortable 8th. 
    FACT: Danny Graham and Grant Holt have scored 23 goals combined this season, which is more than any player in the EPL (on their own) apart from Robin Van Persie. 

    Everton 2 Chelsea 0
    Chelsea fall to their 6th defeat of the season as they lost 2-0 to 10th placed Everton.

    Blackburn 3 QPR 2
    A 5 goalfeast at Ewood Park as Blackburn beat a newly renovated QPR side by 3 goals to 2.
    Jamie Mackie scored twice but it was not enough as the home side won.
    QPR are now currently in 16th while Blackburn are in 18th, with both teams level on points.

    Bolton Wanderers 1 Wigan 2

    Tottenham vs Newcastle United: LIVE at 17:30pm

    Friedel, Walker, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Parker, Kranjcar, Bale, Adebayor, Saha.  Subs: Cudicini, Lennon, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Nelsen, Khumalo.

    Striker Louis Saha starts for Spurs at home...

    Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan, Guthrie, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse. Subs: Elliot, Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Abeid, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Ferguson.

    Full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto opens the scoring for Spurs in the 4th minute.
    Assou-Ekotto opens the scoring for Spurs after 4 minutes against Newcastle.

    Striker Emmanuel Adebayor passes the ball to Louis Saha who shoots from 12 yards, and scores from 12 yards to double the home side's lead after 6 minutes and score on his home debut.

    Striker Louis Saha doubles Tottenham's lead - after only 6 minutes.

    FACT: Adebayor has now made 8 assists this season, only Manchester City's David Silva and Manchester United's Antonio Valencia have more in the whole of the EPL.
    Does not look good though for Newcastle....

    Assou-Ekotto passes a through ball to midfielder Luka Modric who crosses the ball into the box for Adebayor. He brings the ball back for Louis Saha who smashes the ball towards goal... and SCORES his second of the match after only 20 minutes in the first half!! 
    9 assists...

    Tottenham defensive midfielder Scott Parker has been given a yellow card after a dangerous tackle on Newcastle striker Demba Ba from 25 yards out. It is also the first yellow of the match so far.

    Midfielder Niko Kranjcar scores  after Tim Krul parried Emmanuel Adebayor's shot. 4-0 now and Spurs are killing Newcastle at the moment....

    Full-back Kyle Walker has been given the second yellow card of the match after a late challenge on opposite full-back James Perch in the 39th minute.

    18:14: The fourth official signals for three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

    18:17: The referee blows the whistle for half-time here.
    FACT: This is the first time in EPL history that Tottenham have been 4-0 up at half-time.

    18:51: Louis Saha crosses the ball into the box for Emmanuel Adebayor who volleys the ball towards goal..... GOAL!!! Adebayor scores his 10th goal of the season! 

    19:20: The referee blows the whistle for full-time after playing three minutes of stoppage time at White Hart Lane.

    Tottenham take advantage of earlier results with a five star performance from Adebayor and Saha.
    They are now ten points clear of 4th placed rivals Arsenal, and only five points of 1st placed United.
    Newcastle stay in 6th place, but fail to capitalize on Liverpool's 2-1 loss against United earlier in the afternoon.

    Emmanuel Adebayor making it 5-0 to Tottenham against Newcastle after 64 minutes.

    Thank you for reading my EPL Blog. 
    Comment, follow and continue to read for more EPL football action.

    See you tomorrow for:
    West Bromwich Albion vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: LIVE at 13:30pm
    Manchester City vs Aston Villa: LIVE at 16:00pm