Samuel Army’s Weekend Soccer Preview/Picks – The “Norf London Dærby Innit” Edition

Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies

Hi Haters™,

Big, biggggggggggggggggggggggg weekend.

Well, yeah, that too but (arguably) more importantly there is a game with a London team that actually has some top 4 implications as well:

Nice.

Now let’s take a look at what’s to watch this weekend (and how to lose our hard earned moneys)…



ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Scores from last week:


POWER RANKINGS

TOP 4
1. City
2. United
3. Chelsea
4. West Ham
Honorable mention: Lester, Tottenham

BOTTOM 3
20. West Brom
19. Sheffield Utd
18. Newcastle
Dishonorable mention: Burnley


WATCHABILITY INDEX (meaning must-watch … not always a good thing)

1. Liverpool (why are they so good in UCL and so bad in EPL?)
2. Chelsea (Tuchel hates America)
3. Leeds (unpredictability is fun!)
 


Table as things stand:

Dangly status: bit of breathing room for the boys

And the schedule for this weekend:


PICKS OF THE WEEKEND

ARSENAL [+155]
TOTTENHAM [+185]
Draw [+240]

Not a great season in Norf London so far. Tottenham are looking at an outside shot at top four and Arsenal have an outside shot at grabbing a Europa League spot. But let’s be serious. Both teams are looking at this season’s Europa as their best shot at snagging a Champions League. In a weird way that makes this game all the more important since things are going so poorly in other respects.

The odds are mighty interesting. I am convinced Tottenham are a better team. Not by a little bit but also not by a ton. By a medium-sized amount. If you want to break it down Arsenal have a stronger defense but Spurs are better everywhere else. (Note: anyone suggesting I am saying that out of bias clearly has not been reading these blogs very long since I have said otherwise when I believe otherwise.) 

Given how the front three (Kane/Sonny/Bale) have come together in recent weeks, I was all jazzed up to say Spurs would dominate… but then, of course, Kane may or may not have picked up a little knee knock:

I assume he will be fine and still think Tottenham will win out in the end but Arsenal will likely make a good game of it and anyone liking money should absolutely hammer BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE.

Prediction: SPURS TO WIN 3-2


UNITED [-111]
WEST HAM [+340]
Draw [+260]

Lingod Dærby sans Lingod (on loan from United so not playing for West Ham) just feels wrong. I would have paid money to see whether he would celebrate his balls off if he scored, plus his absence is a big miss for the Hammies given how well he has been playing.

West Ham have proven all the haters (awkward cough) wrong time and time again this season. I don’t know how they were so bad at identifying talent for years and years and years and then suddenly do everything right last summer but credit to the Hammies front office because they turned a relegation battler into a legit to-half team. Sleep on them at your peril.

So let me be clear: I am not sleeping on West Ham this weekend. I just think United are a better team.

Prediction: UNITED TO WIN 2-0

Giphy Images.

Me preparing to eat my words if/when West Ham win


LEEDS [+375]
CHELSEA [-135]
Draw [+300]

I have been clear about the fact that Tommy Tuchs is on my last damn nerve what with his overt anti-Americanism, pure hatred of liberty and total lack of respect for The Babyjesus. Inserting our guy with two minutes to go in a 2-0 game against Everton was the last straw. I am firmly #TuchelOut.

Having said that, and speaking as a neutral third-party, something about this game smells funny. A “trap” game of sorts for Chelsea. Yes, they haven’t lost since TT came on board and, yes, they are fresh off their best performance of the season. Leeds, on the other hand, have won one of their last five and were held scoreless in the last two. So an easy win for the Blues obviously make a lot of sense… too much sense. Bielsa’s boys are unpredictable enough – meaning high enough ceiling if they actually show up – and it’s a little too early for a true late season collapse, PLUS Chelsea may have one eye on next week’s second leg with Atletico (and rest some guys).

Prediction: 1-1 DRAW


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): 

• PALACE 2-1 West Brom

• EVERTON 2-0 Burnley

• Fulham 0-3 CITY

• Southampton 1-2 BRIGHTON

• LESTER 1-0 Sheff Utd

• Wolves 1-2 LIVERPOOL


REST OF EUROPE

SPAIN: Seville Dærby is always awesome especially when both clubs are good like this year with 6th place Betis heading to 4th place Sevilla

GERMANY: 2nd place RBL look to bounce back from laying an absolute egg in the Champions League on Sunday (9:30am CT) as 4th place Frankfurt come to town

ITALY: 6th place Napoli visits 2nd place Milan on Sunday (2:45pm CT)



So there we go. MORE Champions League next week. Stay pumped. Thanks for reading you beauties!

Holler,
Samuel Army