Barstool’s Midweek Soccer Preview – The “Liverpool B-holes: Clenched or Super-Clenched?” Edition
It’s Wednesday and life sucks except no it doesn’t because the soccer gods are here to save the day with not one but two mighty fantastic games – each important in their own special way.
So set up an offsite meeting, develop a tummy ache, concoct some sort of story…. just do what you gotta do to be able to watch, even if it is simply finding a way to stream it in your office/class (RIPIP Reddit Soccer Streams).
Time for a quick and dirty preview? Time for a quick and dirty preview.
Honorable mention: Arsenal, Tottenham
And the schedule for this week:
“Wait, you’re doing all this just to preview one game???”
No, silly goose, I’m doing all this just to preview one game and to remind Arsenal fans how dangly the danglies are at the moment… AND because this “one game” has massive implications in this season’s title race.
Liverpool have been cruising for much of the season. So much so in fact that a lot of people were crowning them champs a few weeks ago. But sprinkle in some injuries, add a dash of poor performances, and BY GOLLY things have gotten miiiiiiiighty interesting. You can always tell how perturbed a particular fanbase is by how butthurt they get about things I post on Instagram. Suffice to say the butthurt-o-meter hit a new season high for Liverpool fans on Monday based on their response to simple facts:
PICK OF THE MIDWEEK
City suffered a shocking upset to Newcastle a week ago but bounced back nicely to deal with Arsenal handily. This may come as a surprise to a lot of people but they are a much better team than Everton on paper, and they have plenty of motivation since a win would bring them level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table. They have no new injury concerns but are coming off a Big Six game and are facing yet another one (Chelsea) this weekend, which is something to keep in mind.
As for the Toffees, WOOF. The club is in a tough spot and fans are rightfully disappointed, frustrated and angry. They brought in yet another high-flying manager, they have continue to splurge on expensive players, and yet year after year they are stuck in that perpetual purgatory that is being way too good to get caught in a relegation battle but at the same time being nowhere near good enough to push for a Champions League spot. The season feels as though it is circling the toilet once again after they lost five of their last eight games, including an FA Cup game to lower-tier Millwall.
A win for Everton today would easily replace ‘almost drawing with Liverpool’ as the highlight of the season and, despite how poor they have played lately, I can’t help thinking they come out with a rousing performance today. Good enough to win? That’s asking a lot. I thought Pep might rest a few guys ahead of Chelsea and it turns out he is based the XIs that just came out with Sterling and KDB on the bench… buttttttt that just means he is playing guys like Gundogan and Other Silva instead. What a tough life Pep lives. Also, Richarlison is starting on the bench for Everton. So while I was hemming and hawing internally about possibility pretending I have big balls and picking Everton to win 1-1…….. I can’t do it. I just can’t my balls aren’t big enough.
City to win 2-1 thus pulling even with Liverpool on 62 points.
Zis is nussing! Game in hand! Vee are fine!
Apparently I misspoke earlier when I said I was posting this blog just to preview Everton/City and drop some danglies on Arsenal’s forehead… because today we also have got ourselves the first of three Clásicos that will be played over the next month.
This is the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinal so things might be a little cagey but if you were perhaps under the impression that Barcelona/Real Madrid has lost some of its majesty just because we don’t have the Messi vs Ronny angle then you, sir and/or ma’am, are seriously mistaken. Clásicos were awesome long before the two soccer geniuses came along and (though I can’t actually bring myself to fathom it) they will be awesome after they are gone.
The lineups aren’t out yet but both managers will undoubtedly go with strong XIs, with the biggest unknown being whether Messi will be ready to go after coming off injured against Valencia this weekend. Madrid have not sucked nearly as much lately, and are not the same team that got DESTROYED by Barcelona 5-1 in October.
Random observation: Barcelona have consistently come out flat in the first legs of Copa Del Rey home-and-homes so far this season, including losses to Levante and Sevilla (and before that almost failing to beat something called Cultural Leonesa)… and then they picked it up to stomp some fools in the second leg. Those were all on the road so maybe a little bit different, but worth pointing out for anybody looking to throw some shekels on the game. [UPDATE: Messi starts on the bench… another “interesting” data point!]
Either way, El Clásico is never not worth watching so find a second screen and get after it this afternoon.
So there we have it. I’ll be back with the latest and arguably greatest weekend preview on Friday.