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Barstool’s Midweek Soccer Guide – The “Louis Van Gone” Edition

Sam’s Soccer ex-Stravaganza!

1-EPL

Hello-eth thou soccer haters and lovers alike,

It’s Tuesday, it’s testicle-retracting cold outside, and we are many months away from yoga-pants season again. In other words, life sucks. There is some good news though! No, it’s not Champions League – I didn’t say “great” news, after all. But the next best thing: some midweek EPL action to help shepherd you through an otherwise painful couple days.

Unfortunately I’m on the road this week, so I have had to dispense with some of the normal pageantry, such as the news and notes section to get you up to speed on what has been happening in and around the league, and am going to jump directly into the previews and predictions… apologies in advance.

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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

A quick reminder of what happened last matchday (which you probably don’t really recall because of the drunken stupor you may still have been in):

2-EPLscores

As a result, the updated table looks like this:

3-EPLtable

And here are the games on tap over the next couple days…

4-EPLschedule

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PICKS OF THE WEEK

Newcastle (+375)
United (-135)
Draw (+260)

My patience with Louis Van Gaal’s “geniusness” has run out and I’m not even a United fan, so I can’t even imagine what Red Devil fans want to do to him at this point. He is an abject joysucker. He’s your friend’s girlfriend whose only mission in life is to complain about every little fucking thing around her. He is soccer’s equivalent of the succubus from South Park. He is all of those things rolled up into a tight ball with a smart haircut.

5-succubus

True fact: United is actually on a two-game win streak, and three-game loseless streak. I bet you didn’t know that though because even when they win, the performance is depressing enough that it feels like a loss. Beating Sheffield United at home 1-0? Yep, big time loss.

Know what else will feel like a loss? Losing to 18th place Newcastle, who despite being in the relegation zone at the moment have been showing some signs of life lately, especially at St James Park, and particularly if players like Emmanuel Riviere, Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons pass their fitness tests ahead of the game. As it is, I’m going with Newcastle to win 2-1.

No hair, no problem

No hair, no problem

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Tottenham (-140)
Leicester (+400)
Draw (+280)

Spurs and Foxes fought to a 2-2 draw in which my beloveds required a late (and admittedly somewhat questionable, but ultimately correct – and I will fight you if you feel differently) PK converted by Baerry Baene just to salvage a draw in an FA Cup game at White Hart Lane this weekend. Add to that Jamie Vardy is reportedly going to be back in action and the line in this game may seem a bit ludicrous. It’s not. Spurs rested a lot of guys, including Kane (for most of the game) and more importantly (as strange as that sounds) Jan Vertonghen, who has proven to be an absolutely vital complement to Toby Alderweireld in the center of defense. Anybody’s questioning Vertonghen’s importance should go back and watch Alderweireld’s performance against Leciester this past weekend. Mangala-without-Kompany parallels are immediately brought to mind. Thus, with those players back, Tottenham is going to be too much for the mighty Foxes. Spurs to win 3-1.

To live is to hurt

To live is to hurt

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Other games:

• Dayyyyyyyyyyyyyy-yum, there are a lot of good games on deck this week. Liverpool [+170] host Arsenal [+150] in a game with important ramifications for the table. The Reds are in 8th but only 3 points out of 5th, and Arsenal have gone top but could theoretically head into the weekend in third as they could get jumped by both Leicester and City. Unfortunately I couldn’t rightly label this one as the “game of the week” in part because so many key players will be missing, including Lexi Sanchez for Arsenal and basically anybody who has or possibly ever could score a goal for Liverpool (plus Danny Ings). Klopp is going to keep this game ridiculously tight, which may make things a bit tough on the Gunners, but tough to imagine Ozil and Co. not eventually finding a breakthrough – and gotta love those odds. Arsenal to win 1-0.

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• Watford has been way better than I gave them credit for so far this season, and good for them, but they have hit a rough path lately and are catching Southampton on a bit of an upswing, particularly at home and with Graziano Pelle expected to be back in action. Southampton to win 3-2.

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So there you have it: the best most succinct guide to today’s and tomorrow’s games Barstool will ever publish today… possibly even this week.

arsenal


Holler,
Sam U.L. Army