Live EventBarstool Picks Central | Friday, September 30th, 2022 Presented by FireballWatch Now

Barstool’s Weekend Soccer Preview – The “Liverpool Letdown vs Arsenal Being Arsenal” Edition

Sam’s Safe Space For Soccer Stoolies

1-EPL

Hi haters,

That’s me (minus the boobs) on the twitter at the moment after the powers that be threw my ass in jail for

2-allegedly

posting copyrighted material. Nothing like a double dick kick of watching Spurs lose then getting suspended on twitter for posting a video of Spurs losing to maximize the Spursiness of the situation. Hopefully they will not sentence @BarstoolSam to death and let me out in a few days… but for the time being you can find me at @SamsArmy (for those of you wondering why I haven’t tweeted and/or been unresponsive this week).


Incidentally, a friend of mine (not to brag) asked if I’m sad knowing this is the last weekend of the year that America will watch, let alone care about soccer since college football starts the following weekend. Sad? About that?? There is absolutely nothing better in the world than waking up at the buttcrack of down and cracking a few beers with breakfast while watching soccer then transitioning seamlessly into pre-gaming for an entire afternoon and possibly evening of college football (and/or NFL on Sundays). The only thing sad about it is that more people don’t appreciate the splendor of being able to sit on your ass for 18 straight hours doing nothing but sipping cold ones, ordering GrubHub and watching sports. Days like that are my happy place. Our grandparents fought the Nazis expressly so we could spend the entire day on the couch fluffing our sports boners.

But, alas, the soccer-to-football combo platter is still one week away. Fear not though as we should have jussssssst enough great games on deck this Saturday and Sunday to keep us more than entertained.

So with that, let’s get to it…

***********************************

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Results from last weekend:

3-scores

News, notes and observations:

– United looked gooooooooooooooooooood. Again.

Wuddup Huddersfield! Six points from two games and about as close to the top of the table as Tottenham has been in its decades in the big boy division. Haters will say they have beaten Palace and Newcastle, and the haters would be correct, but eff the haters. After all, United has beaten the Ham Sammies and Swansea, which ain’t much more impressive. By the way, it seems to be going waaaaaay too far under the radar that David Vagner, Huddersfield’s manager, is American(ish). Did Big Bad Bald Bob get a raw deal last season? Sho nuf, but Vagner’s roster isn’t much better (if at all) and he’s got as many wins in two games – two – as BBBB managed in 11 games. Point being, perhaps it is about time we as Americans showed a little love for the club and our nation’s first successful* EPL coach…

4-vagner

– The world seems like a pretty messed up place at the moment but the fact West Brom has won back-to-back games by a score of 1-0 gives me all sorts of warm and fuzzies.

– After losing their opening game in embarrassing fashion, West Ham Sammies were losing 0-2 and down a man against Southampton. If that is not rock bottom it is pretty damn close. Many teams would have folded under those circumstances, but the Hammies dug deep and scored two goals to draw level. Sure, they gave up a goal in injury time to lose it, and that sucks, but the fact they showed a little spine in that situation was actually kind of impressive. It also may have saved Slaven Bilic’s job – for better or worse.

– Stop me if you have heard this one before but Tottenham lost a game they probably should not have. Credit to Chelsea – and especially Marcos Alonso who scored a brilliant free kick and late winner that Spurs’ GK Hugo Lloris shat himself in somehow not saving – for bend-don’t-break defense and a smart strategy to essentially ignore Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier (who repaid this lack of respect by doing absolutely nothing all game), which for me was the difference in that game… well, that and the fact Harry Kane didn’t convert a few chances you’d normally expect him to. All in all it was a relatively good performance for Spurs, and in theory should quiet some of the “They can’t play at Wembley” chatter given how they controlled most of the game. (But it won’t.)

– What’s that Arsenal fans? Are you snickering about Spurs losing? I didn’t think so. (On a related note: brilliant start for Jese Rodriguez, who may be precisely the touch of class that Stoke desperately needed.)

– Everton versus City was a weird game. Finagling a point away at the Etihad is never a bad result, and Rooney’s finish was classy af, but BOTH yellow cards to Kyle Walker were pretty bad and had a huge impact on the game. Point being, we didn’t learn nearly as much about either team as I would have thought… though I gotta say I was thoroughly impressed by Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The striker is still wet around the ears but looks like he has the tools and the tenacity to be a force if he puts it together. Also, kids, this is why you should be a soccer player when you grow up:

5-lewin

***

POWER RANKINGS

Member that time last week when I said I was going to try to find some ways of streamlining the weekend blog to make some time for alternative information-dispensing opportunities that may or may not be in the works (and/or on the radar)? Well unfortunately I am dumb so here is me making the blogs even longer by adding a new weekly section in which I will power rank the TOP 4 and BOTTOM 3 based on clubs’ form right here and now. Let’s start at the top…

<<>>

1. United
2. City
3. Spurs
4. Chelsea
Honorable mention: Everton

Awwwwwww shit, I just pissed a lot of people off. But riddle me this Chelsea fans (I’ll get to the Toffees in a second), do you honestly believe that if you played Tottenham 100 times at a neutral venue – say, for argument’s sake, Wembley – that you would win more games than Spurs? If you said yes you are a big fat gaping liar. As for Everton, can’t knock pulling out a draw at City but there were just too many asterisks with the sending off and horrific finishing by the home side.

>>>BOTTOM 3<<<

20. Palace
19. Brighton
18. Bournemouth
Dishonorable mention: Newcastle

There’s not much to say about Brighton and Palace, which have not done a godamn thing yet this season. Among the three other point-less (as in zero points) clubs, the Hammies showed some spine against Southampton, which leaves Bournemouth and Newcastle, and I’m giving the tiebreaker to the Cherries for having done nothing with a slightly easier schedule. Not a good look for any of them so far though.

***

Early look at the table:

6-table

If you stop and think about it, Spurs intentionally losing to Chelsea just so they could keep resting their danglies on Arsenal’s forehead was a pretty bossy move, imo.

Anyway, this weekend’s schedule:

7-schedule

***

PICKS OF THE WEEKEND

Liverpool [+230]
Arsenal [+110]
Draw [+250]

Both clubs are on similar trajectories, coming out of the gate playing zero defense then following it up last weekend by forgetting how to play offense. So which teams will show up on Sunday? My guess is that this will turn out to be the “wtf is defense?” matchup of the week, with Liverpool’s massively important midweek game (admittedly at home) – an impressive win over Hoffenheim – perhaps playing a big role in the final result.

Assuming Adam Lallana and Philippe “Dembele Stole His Girl/Club” Coutinho are both out that means Liverpool’s midfield is likely to tire late, which could be particularly problematic if Lexi Sanchez (as expected) makes his season debut. I was leaning towards a 3-3 draw the entire time I was writing this but the more I think about it the more I think the Gooners will end up stealing the points on a late Giroud header. Arsenal to win 3-2.

Dat beak doe

**

Chelsea [-240]
Everton [+650]
Draw [+240]

DAMN, the data geeks who crunched the numbers and made the schedule this season did Everton zero favors putting them up against City and Chelsea – both on the road, no less – in two of the Toffees first three games. (United’s first three, in contrast, are Hammies, Swans and Lester [at home].) But the great thing about the balanced home-and-home 38-game schedule that the EPL plays is that in the end it shouldn’t matter.

Let’s keep in mind though that this Chelsea is not that Chelsea (from last season). They looked completely “meh” in the Community Shield against an extremely “meh” Arsenal side, then got spanked at home by Burnley and scraped out a win against Spurs in a stadium where Spurs have historically been bunk af. I would feel much better about London’s blue team if Eden Hazard was going to be back in the lineup to settle things down in the midfield but, alas, he is reportedly not quite ready yet.

As with the Liverpool/Arsenal game, I was leaning towards draw again here, but then remembered that Everton is fresh off a hard-fought Spursday night game in Eastern Europe. Chelsea to win 2-1.

Chelsea and Spurs fighting over Ross Barkley (I hope)

***

Other picks:

• Is this the game that Bournemouth grace the EPL with their presence this season? I think it just might be, but it won’t be enough – albeit barely – against Pep’s waves of weapons. City to win 2-1.

• TOILET BOWL! Palace hosting Swansea is a game that both clubs desperately need to take three points from in order to lessen the long odds that they will be in a relegation scrap come spring. Therefore, splitting the baby makes too much sense. Gimme a 1-1 draw.

Wuddup Huddersfield! Undefeated and coming home to play in front of mama. Steve Mounie and Tom Ince (shouts to the annual preview) have looked good so far, and the Saints road record is pretty dismal. Southampton to win 2-0 though because life doesn’t always make sense – plus I can’t help thinking the southerners got in their own head and took their foot off the pedal against the Hammies last weekend, and will learn from that mistake.

• Newcastle welcoming West Ham in yet another battle to be the tallest short person. Winner automatically vaults out of contention for next week’s bottom 3 and loser pretty much secures their place in it. Sounds like a good time for a 2-2 draw to further complicate matters.

• The loss of Roberto Pereyra and Jose Holebas could be youge for Watford. Brighton have yet to score this season, which an advanced stats guy told me is a trend that – if it continues – will make it tough to avoid relegation. Watford to win 1-0.

• United are playing really well this season. You know how I know? Cause United fans already told me. Lester, on the other hand, have about a million players listed as doubtful for Saturday, including just about every CB on the roster (most notably their importantest new signing Harry Maguire). So as much fun as it would be to see Lester sneak up and punch the Red Devils in the mouth… sigh, seems unlikely. United to win 2-1.

• UNDEFEATED, UNBLEMISHED WEST BROM. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? I like what the Potter’s are cooking up on defense though with Cameron, Shawcross and Zouma forming a solid partnership. Another painfully boring 1-0 win just makes too much sense… but this time for Stoke [to win 1-0].

• Burnley “visiting” Spurs is the ultimate test of the Wembley Curse. If the wee buggers come in and steal so much as a point in this game I will be the first one to admit it is a thing. As of right now though I suspect it is a mountain made out of a mole-hill propagated by the absence of Harry Kane (in last season’s Champions League) and unusually poor finishing from the same lord and savior. Spurs to win 3-0.

***********************************

REST OF WORLD

MLS – too many good games to pick just one this weekend with dærbies all over the place. Do yourself a favor and at least set the DVR for Red Bulls vs NYCFC (6pm CT) on Friday, and Montreal vs Toronto (3:30pm CT) plus Seattle vs Portland (8:30pm CT) on Sunday.

BUNDESLIGA– BVBabyjesus host Hertha on Saturday (11:30am CT) in ze German game of the weekend. He’s so good. Just so fucking good.

LA LIGA – pretty tame slate in Spain highlighted, I guess, by Real Madrid hosting Valenthia on Sunday (3:15pm CT).

SERIE A – Roma welcome Inter on Saturday (1:45pm CT). Be there.

LIGUE NEYMAR– PSG already romped to a 3-0 win on Friday and you missed it you dummy.

***********************************

So there we have it. Best and briefest weekend soccer blog I’ve written all week. Don’t look now but we have an international break dead ahead, so get your BVBabyjesus jerseys all washed and ironed because we got big games at home against Costa Rica (Sept 1) followed by crucial road game at Honduras (Sept 5).

10-neymar


Holler,
Samuel Army