Samuel’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
Stop what you are doing for a moment, take a little gander, and actually think about this:
Are the Hammies gonna be able to stick around? Not sure. But I’ll be damned if they – David Moyes in particular – don’t deserve some serious kudos. Sitting top 4 in (basically) March is no joke. And they fact we have basically normalized Lester being in the Champions League spots at this point is a credit to the job that club has done reinvesting in themselves year after year since the miracle of 2015-16.
A negative nelly would of course accuse clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool, and especially Tottenham and Arsenal, for sucking ballsack all season thus allowing the aforementioned clubs to jump them. Thankfully there are no negative nellies around here.
So credit to the Hammies and Foxes. If I could award you a banner I would.
Now let’s take a look at the weekend…
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Scores from last week:
Honorable mention: West Ham
20. Sheffield Utd
19. West Brom
Dishonorable mention: Burnley
WATCHABILITY INDEX (meaning must-watch … not always a good thing)
1. Liverpool (one day they suck, the next they probably suck again, then the next they don’t… season is on the verge of collapsing but also feels like they could still pull things together… maybe?)
2. United (still don’t fully trust them but any team capable of scoring and conceding to anyone makes for fun watching)
3. Leeds (like United but times two)
Table as things stand:
Dangly status: little extra breathing room for the boys (but not much)!
And the schedule for this weekend:
PICKS OF THE WEEKEND
DO YOU LIKE FREE MONEY? I certainly do, and Chelsea coming off a tough UCL win facing United – a better team to begin with – who just rested some guys during a UEL walkover is the stuff that free money dreams are made of. The one and only concern I have about this is that OGS didn’t sit Bruno on Spursday. If he had I would be mortgaging your house and throwing it on this game. As it is I’ll just dip into the 401(k) a bit.
To be fair, Chelsea still have not lost since Timmy Tooks took over. But things just don’t smell right. He doesn’t seem to know what his best XI or formation is and they have been just skating by against largely lesser opposition (yes, that includes Spurs; no, it doesn’t include Atleti – that was a nice win even if Simeone once again hurt his own team by not letting them off the leash).
So long story short: United is better and more rested… and somehow the underdog. LESGO!
Prediction: UNITED TO WIN 3-1
Both teams come in off hard fought UEL games and while I would give the nod to Lester overall Arsenal has been playing a bit better thanks to Saka killing it and Aubameyang missing less sitters than before. This feels like a close, low-scoring game and the (likely?) absence of James Maddison jussssssssst about seals it for me…
Prediction: 1-1 DRAW
WEST HAM [+1200]
It’s not often that Ham shocks the world. The Swine flu scared a few billion people a few years ago but that is the closest thing I can imagine to what would happen if Moyes Boys somehow walk into the Etihad and hand City their first lost since the Trump administration.
And yet – annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd yet – I gotta admit I’m eyeing those odds up like its bartime and they are a burrito (after all the soft 6s laughed in my face). City played in Eastern Europe on Wednesday and this game is the first game at the buttcrack of dawn (in the US anyway) on Saturday. Not a lot of turnaround time there. West Ham have shown that they can bunker and make what few chances they get count. That’s precisely how they beat Tottenham last weekend. Spurs ain’t City, that’s for sure, but point is that the conservative style that Moyes has instilled in the Hammies has at least an outside chance of finagling a result if City’s striker-less [note: Gabby Jesus aint it] style just isn’t clicking this weekend.
Having said all that I can’t do it. City have graduated to “you’re an idiot if you bet against them” status at this point. But if you are feeling especially frisky, I’m just saying that idiots sometimes get rich.
Prediction: CITY TO WIN 2-0
Some more predictions… to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right, maybe (note: gonna start highlighting my BETTER BETS – meaning the ones I legitimately like as opposed to just picking because it's kinda my make pretend job – in BOLD):
• West Brom 2-3 BRIGHTON
• Leeds 1-1 Villa
• Newcastle 0-2 WOLVES
• Palace 1-2 FULHAM
• TOTTENHAM 2-0 Burnley
• Sheffield Utd 0-3 LIVERPOOL
• Everton 2-2 Southampton (letdown city, population: Toffees)
REST OF EUROPE
SPAIN: been a minute since La Liga has had a big weekend bit they bounce back in style here with 4th place Sevilla hosting 3rd place Barcelona on Saturday (9:15am CT) then 6th place Villarreal welcoming leaders Atletico Madrid on Sunday (2pm CT)
GERMANY: 2nd place RBL host 8th place Borussia Monchenpenisgladbach who have been in freefall ever since their coach announced plans to head to Dortmund at the end of the season (Saturday at 11:30am CT)
ITALY: 2nd place Milan have had a rough go of it lately and need to get their ish back together this weekend at 4th place Roma (Sunday at 1:45pm CT)
So there we go. Champions League takes a break next week so bit of an off week coming up. Rest up. Lots more good stuff coming shortly. Thanks for reading you beauties!