Barstool's Midweek Soccer Preview + Sam's Army Ep. 32 – The “Mighty Mighty Man United vs Arsenal” edition

Sam’s Safe Space For Soccer Stoolies

1-EPL (2)

Hi Haters™,

Reminder: everything you are about to read down below (and much, muuuuuuch more) can be found in audio form by subscribing/listening to the podcast. Don’t like podcasts? No problem, subscribe anyway to help prove to the Powers That Be around here that soccer is a force to be reckoned with – meaning more/better content, more/better merch, etc.

For those wondering what the latest episode of Sam’s Army contains, here’s a brief rundown (note: there are time stamps for all the different sections on the podcast home page… listen to the parts you like, skip the parts you don’t – easy peasy):

SUBSCRIBE:

iTunes

Spotify

Now on to the super brief and extra rapid midweek preview….

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

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Scores from this past weekend:

3-results

***

Rapid fire news, notes, highlights, lowlights and observations:

Arsenal looked hungry and Spurs looked tired. Good and important win for the Goonies. A loss would have been far more devastating to Arsenal’s psyche than it would have been a boost for Spurs, so credit to Unai for pulling the right strings. Either way it was a HELL of a game and felt like the players, for perhaps the first time in a while, were as into it as the fans.

– Never has a pregame description been as apt when previewing the three dærbies on Sunday:

4-dærbies

– I was hopeful that Liverpool and Everton might be a lot more entertaining than the last handful of Merseyside dærbies. NOPE! And I wouldn’t say the finish to the game made up for it, but Origi’s last minute goal was about as exciting as it was ridiculous.

– Credit to Fulham for only conceding twice to Chelsea. Nevertheless, proper butt kicking, this.

Newcuckstle is all the way back after letting West Ham walk into and do naughty things all over its house and home

Lester topped Watford in what was secretly an incredibly fun game to watch… the Hornets need to get find their goal-scoring shoes (or buy some in January).

Southampton – a team that never wins and rarely scores – come up with one of their more spirited performances all season but still fired their manager right after the game. The fact that a 2-2 draw against United is now a fire-able offense for a relegation contending team might just be rock bottom for the Red Devils.

Palace mopped the floor with Burnley. Game could have been 10-0 after 60 minutes and 15-0 after 70 minutes. Poor finishing, bad luck and Joe Hart (believe it or not) are what held the score to 2-0.

***

POWER RANKINGS

TOP 4
1. City
2. Liverpool
3. Arsenal
4. Tottenham
Honorable mention: Chelsea, Everton, Lester

BOTTOM 3
20. Burnley
19. Southampton
18. United
Dishonorable mention: Huddersfield, Wolves

***

Table as it stands now:

5-table

And the midweek schedule:

6-schedule

***

PICKS OF THE WEEKEND

United [+140]
Arsenal [+200]
Draw [+240]

‘Member when I say Spurs coming off two hugely emotional games were primed for a letdown against Arsenal this weekend and Spurs promptly dropped a fat deuce all over themselves on Sunday? Yep, flip that and reverse it, except this time it is Arsenal going on the road off a huge game and laying an egg. United have not been good but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have, and who knows exactly which of Arsenal’s defenders are going to be healthy for Wednesday’s game.

United to win 2-1.

7-jozay
Fun fact: had to go back to his Madrid days to find a pic of Dear Leader smiling

**

Watford [+850]
City [-330]
Draw [+450]

City are scoring goals for fun and conceding fewer than just about anybody. And they are looking great doing it. That is an incredible bad recipe for opponents. Nevertheless, I somehow talked myself into going out on a limb in this one – mostly because Watford has played MUCH better than their results would suggest lately, and are tough at Vicarage Road – so I gotta stick with my initial pick: Watford with a famous 1-1 win.

**
Additional picks (to increase the odds I eventually get one right) going in order from most to least interesting:

WOLVES vs CHELSEA – Wolves need to get their life together but Chelsea is not the team to do it against. Grigori Rasputin (Wolves coach – true story read a book for me one time) for some reason HATES Leander Dendoncker who played for Belgium at the World Cup this summer and was brought in on a big money deal but has played a grand total of ZERO minutes for Wolves this season. I’d say it might be time to put your personal difference aside but what do I know. Either way Wolves will probably find a way to make it tough but I’m still going Chelsea to win 2-1.

8-nuno
Twins

BOURNEMOUTH vs HUDDERSFIELD – Anybody who actually watched Bournemouth play versus City, and didn’t just look at the final score after the game, knows that the Cherries looked pretty damn good despite playing at the Etihad. Huddersfield make everybody earn it but Bournemouth’s weakness is their defense and the Bulldogs – nine goals in 14 games – won’t be able to take advantage. Bournemouth to win 3-1.

TOTTENHAM vs SOUTHAMPTON – The rudderless Saints will be a nice change of pace for a Spurs team that has been playing Chelsea, Inter and Arsenal recently. Tottenham to win 3-0.

EVERTON vs NEWCASTLE – In years past Everton would be at high risk of coming out deflated after an excruciating loss against Liverpool like they experienced this weekend… but I’m willing to put a little faith in Marco Silva using it as motivation to get the team back up for a game that they’d really have no excuse for losing. Newcastle found a little form but West Ham was a stark reminder that this team isn’t going anywhere until Ashley sells it or invests in some more players (aka sells it). Everton to win 2-0.

WEST HAM vs CARDIFF – There are more Hammies on injured reserve right now than on the active roster, which seems like an annual tradition for the club. Maybe look into a new training staff or at least regimen – just a thot? Anyway, Cardiff are no pushover and West Ham come in as extremely heavy favorites (-150 vs +450), which is precisely the kind of game that history tells us you would be an idiot to bet on West Ham. Gimme a 1-1 draw.

BURNLEY vs LIVERPOOL – Pray for Joe Hart. Liverpool to win 4-0.

BRIGHTON vs PALACE – The Eagles looked jarringly good this weekend but the Seagulls are pretty damn tough to break down at home. Will they cancel out? Let’s say they cancel out. So unless Wilfy Zaha has one of those “here, team, let me carry you on my back all by myself performances” he comes up with every couple months, this one smells a lot like a 1-1 draw.

FULHAM vs LESTER – Ranieri River Rivalry! Both teams like to counterattack so the game will either look like a middle school dance where girls stand on one side of the room and boys stand on the other and they both sit their looking at one another for 90 minutes… or it will be a fun back and forth battle. Fulham went for it against Southampton but tried sitting back more against Chelsea. Lester – in terms of quality – is right in the middle so it’ll be interesting to see how Ranieri plays it. I said it would be a shootout on the podcast but that was before learning that Jamie Vardy picked up an injury in training and will be out a while. Ah well, guess I gotta pick and stick at this point. Lester to win 3-2.

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

So there we have it. Fun slate of midweek action so be sure to plan accordingly for a nice, long liquid lunch. On a related note, for people going to MLS Cup this weekend, we may see you there – stay tuned. Either way, back on Friday with another podcast and weekend preview.


Holler,
Samuel Army