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Weekend Soccer Preview/Picks – The “Salvation Dærby + FA Cup B.S.D. Semis” Edition

Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies

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Hi Haters™,

We are reeeeeeeeeeeeally getting down to it this weekend. Bayern were crowned eons ago, Liverpool followed suit weeks ago and Real Madrid just clinched La Liga on Thursday

leaving the Serie A as the only major league still up for grabs… though Juventus has kept one hand on the Scudetto from day one.

That said, there are still Champions League spots and relegation fates to be determined so let’s take a look at what is worth paying attention to and watching (not to mention winning moneys) on this weekend:



ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Quick reminder of the midweek scores:

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POWER RANKINGS

TOP 4
1. United
2. City
3. Liverpool
4. Chelsea
Honorable mention: Burnley, Tottenham, Arsenal, Sheffield Utd, Wolves

BOTTOM 3
20. Norwich
19. Aston Villa
18. Bournemouth
Dishonorable mention: Watford, West Ham, Palace

As for where that leaves us with TWO games to play:

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And the rather truncated schedule for this weekend (since four of the big dogs are still alive and playing in the FA Cup semifinals – one on Saturday and the other on Sunday [see below])::

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PICKS OF THE MIDWEEK

West Ham [+135]
Watford [+240]
Draw [+205]

Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu game for both clubs, which are on the verge of securing another season in the big time. A win in this one would punch their ticket, while a loss raises the possibility that Bournemouth and/or Villa could catch them.

The Hammies come into the game in better form having just curb stomped the dead and buried Norwich last weekend thanks to a FOUR-SPOT put up by Michail Antonio.

dis u Norwich?

Both sides come in relatively healthy and I suspect they are both going to play very tight, looking to avoid costly mistakes that would cost them a huge loss more so than focusing on trying to win. Probably won’t be the most entertaining game all weekend, and a point apiece wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for either.

Prediction: 1-1 draw [note: I do not hate the under]


Tottenham [+135]
Lester [+225]
Draw [+250]

Both clubs have stumbled down the stretch but, while Lester will be missing their two best defenders in Chilwell and Soyuncu, I trust Tottenham’s defense about as far as I can throw them. (Reminder: I have inverted biceps.) 

Prediction 2-2 draw [note: if you accused me of hating the over I would call you a liar]


A few more predictions (to increase the possibility that I possibly get one right – maybe):

Norwich 0-2 BURNLEY

• Bournemouth 2-2 Southampton


FA CUP – SEMIFINALS

Two games involving four Big Swinging Dicks. As a neutral I gotta say I am pretty excited about watching these games without a care in the world. The pressure may be highest on Arsenal given that – unlike the other three – the Gunners have basically been eliminated from qualifying for next season’s Champions League. A legit trophy would go a long way towards salving that wound.

Arsenal [+825]
Man City [-285]
Draw [+450]

Arsenal are fresh off a win over Liverpool, which ought to give them some confidence heading into this one. Unfortunately Liverpool are still drunk from celebrating their first league title in 30 years and – without having to worry about Champions League anymore – have no effs left to give. When VVD is playing like David Luiz you know something is seriously amiss.

City, on the other hand, do have some effs to give. In addition to the mickey mouse cup and a MASSIVE legal battle so far this season, they have their sights set on being the first British club to win a quadruple if they can win the FA Cup and Champions League in the coming weeks.

Arsenal are dangerous enough to give anybody trouble, and that certainly includes City’s makeshift backline (which is what cost them any chance of competing with Liverpool for the title this year), but if you got balls enough to pick the Gunners and their bedraggled defense against a healthy and happy Manchester City…. your balangly bits are a LOT bigger than mine.

Prediction: City to win 3-1


Man Utd [+145]
Chelsea [+200]
Draw [+235]

I have been saying it for several weeks now but United look as good as they have looked in many years right now. Their midfield is suddenly a well-oiled machine led by Fernandes and Pogba, who are feeding the three-headed beast that is Rashford/Martial/Greenwood. Chelsea has suffered a recent dip in form that has seen them scrape by Palace, get pounded by Sheffield Utd and squeak past Deadwich. The one word of warning I will include, though, is that anyone betting against The Babyjesus in his current form is a gosh dang idjit.

Prediction: United to win 3-2 [note: love don’t like the over]


REST OF WORLD

ITALY: Juventus host Lazio on Monday (2:45pm CT) in a game that the visitors MUST win to have any glimmer of hope of catching the 27-time defending champs. Also worth watching is Roma vs Inter on Sunday (2:45pm CT) because it oughta be a great game… and Atalanta is must-watch TV anytime they are on so keep an eye out as they head to Verona on Saturday (10:15am CT).

SPAIN: last matchday of the season so everybody plays on Sunday with the best games being Atletico Madrid hosting Real Sooooooobadsincetherestart (2pm CT) and Valencia at Sevilla (2pm CT).

MLS: even most of the haters would have to admit that the #MLSisBack tournament has been pretty damn exciting so far with the main theme – as ever – being that nobody has EVER gone poor betting underdogs in this league. For example, Orlando City has been (arguably) one of the better teams so far while Atlanta, NYC and Seattle have kinda stunk. The games are on first thing in the morning and in the evening when there is little else going on so you really have no excuse not to watch. Just do it.

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NWSL: THINGS JUST GOT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY MORE INTERESTING as the NC Courage – the big swinging tits of the tournament – went undefeated in the prelims then promptly LOST moments ago in the first round of the playoffs to the previous WINLESS Portland Thorns…. meaning everybody suddenly has a shot at winning the damn thing. For the record, games are on CBS All Access, which you are probably going to have to subscribe to anyway since they are going to be showing Champions League next month.

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Big weekend ahead. Thanks for stopping by. Back with another midweek preview on Monday.

Holler,
Samuel Army