There aren’t a ton of Barstool personalities willing to acknowledge the presence, let alone the beauty of jogo bonito, but among those that do last weekend turned into a bit of a nightmare.
First there was Tottenham, who did what Tottenham always do when the going gets tough: they ran home to mama carrying a big, fat L… this time courtesy of Dead[ish] Brom, thus opening up the all-too-real and potentially painful possibility that they could crash out of the top four coming down the stretch.
Next there was Feitelberg’s lifelong beloved Liverpool, which could have secured its own top four status and saved Spurs’ ass all in one fell swoop by beating Chelsea… so obviously they laid an egg, putting up little fight in settling for a 0-1 loss, that was as “blah” as it was viral for the Blues. As a result, the race for the top four is suddenly looking miiiiiiiiiighty interesting again.
Finally we’ve got Big Cat’s Swans, who were sitting pretty in early March coming off two straight wins but then – sadly – forgot how to play soccer at a particularly crucial juncture and, after putting up zero fight in losing 1-0 to a Bournemouth side with nothing on the line, now find themselves IN THE RELEGATION ZONE with just two games left to be played. That, as we say in the biz, is no bueno.
(Granted, it was looking even worse for Swansea right up until Everton scored an equalizer in the 96th minute of a game that was only supposed to have four minutes of extra time… hence only a bit of a nightmare instead of a “total” nightmare.)
So that’s the backdrop for a midweek slate of games that will determine whose and how clenched various buttcheeks will be this coming weekend when 10 games featuring all 20 clubs will kick-off in parallel to close out the season on “Championship Sunday” (never mind what a painful misnomer that turned out to be this year – sheesh).
But before worrying about next weekend, let’s take a quick look at what is on deck over the next few days…
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
I’ll save the full rundown of recaps for Friday’s blog and skip right to the good stuff, starting with how things stand right here and right now:
Graphic is pretty self-explanatory but essentially the clubs in the various boxes are – barring numerous overlapping miracles – the only ones with anything to play for at this point.
As for the schedule of games to be played this midweek, this is what we’ve got:
Games don’t get much more important than this one. The loser is not automatically relegated. However, they will be in youuuuuuuuuuuge doo-doo and no longer control their own destiny. (Note: to add one more layer of drama on top of things, Dead[ish] Brom is praying for a draw, which is the only result in which they would not be immediately relegated.)
Neither Swansea nor Southampton comes in playing well. That probably goes without saying about a matchup in May involving 17th place and 18th place team, but it is particularly true for these two where Swansea are winless in their last eight (including one FA Cup game) and Southampton have two wins in their last 23 games. Yikes.
That said, the Saints have looked a fair bit better in recent weeks, if only because Swansea just plain can’t score any damn goals. They have scored a single goal in two of their last seven games and haven’t scored multiple goals in a game since their last win over West Ham – when the Hammies were in the middle of a club-wide mental breakdown – in early March.
In other words, there is a pretty good explanation for why Southampton, who shown some spine in recent weeks, are the favorites coming in, despite the game being played in Wales. One positive for the hosts was the last minute red card given to CB Maya Yoshida against Everton, who is now done for the season. It is admittedly a small ray of sunlight in the darkness, but when you are as desperate for goals as Swans are, anything helps.
I’d like to say I am totally unbiased on this but the truth is I’m not. I have enjoyed laughing at Big Cat whenever Swans have sucked a fat one
but that’s just friends joshin on the internet. Just between you and me (cause there’s no way in hell Dan is reading this), when the rubber hits the road I’d hate to see all the blood, sweat, tears and money he has invested in the club going down to the drain to the Championship. So I’m going with a goal from Ayew-A (aka Andre) that ends up saving the Swannies bacon once again. Swans to win 1-0.
As for the rest of the midweek games, I’ll do Kmarko a real big solid and wait to post another quick blog tomorrow with previews and predictions for Chelsea and Tottenham games. After all, those extra 20-25 clicks might just be what puts Barstool over its quota for the month! See yous tomorrow, blud fam.