Arsenal's Champions League experience should be enough to see them safely through to the Group stages, however with the absence of Aaron Ramsey in centre midfield the Turkish side managed by mad-cap former Croatian manager Slaven Bilic have a fair chance of upsetting the odds at the Emirates tonight and wouldn't it be ironic if one time transfer target Demba Ba was to score the goal to send Besiktas through?
It's probably a bit early to be calling this a title decider however given how closely Liverpool ran Manchester City to the title last season it takes on the magical 6 pointer conundrum.
Add in the return to the Premier League of former City striker Mario Balotelli whom won't play to-night for Liverpool and a little bit of spice could be added to a clash which is normally fiercely contested.
Tony Pulis would have been proud of his former sides performance last week against Arsenal despite going down 2-1 with just a few minutes left on the clock while todays opponents West Ham were also denied a share of the spoils against Tottenham in the final moments last week!
Can't see past the draw @2/1 in this one with both sides equally matched by spirit and battling prowess!
Chelsea's first-half demolision of Burnley last week was probably the best we've seen from them since the "Special One's" return to the Chelsea fold and a repeat performance should be more than enough to despatch of another newcomer Leicester who themselves got a creditable draw with Everton in their opener!
Swansea will no doubt be buzzing having beaten Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford in last weeks opener while Burnley will be hoping to avoid a repeat performance of their first half against Chelsea in their opener in which Burnley could have been licking their wounds had Chelsea not taken their foot off the throttle for the second half!
Arsenal laboured to a 2-1 win against managerless Crystal Palace last week, however a repeat performance this evening against Everton at Goodison could see a repeat of their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Toffeemen last season.
Having seen both in action last week in which neither were convincing, it's fair to say they both need to up their games if they want to make the Top 4 come the end of the season and given Arsenal's performance last week it has done nothing too suggest they can overturn a three goal deficit from last season so I'm going for an Everton win @17/10.
A point a piece would all but assure both sides Premier League status for next year and don't be surprised to see that happening having spent most of the season in the relegation zone I'm sure both Sunderland and West Brom would be happy with a share of the spoils.
Manchester City can take a giant leap towards securing their second Premier Title in three years with a victory against Aston Villa at the Etihad tonight and like so many more in the footballing World we can't see anything less than a home win despite the inevitable nerves which City may have tonight their home record against the Villian's is almost second to none with only one defeat in 11.
Arsenal should be able to secure yet another Champions League season for next season with a home win today against West Brom even if Arsene Wenger's men do have an eye on their FA Cup Final against Hull in two weeks time!
Best Bet: Arsenal -1 @5/6
Scorecast: Arsenal 3-1@10/1
First Goalscorer: Yannick Sanogo @4/1
Click Here for all the rest of today's football betting!
Chelsea should make a return to the top of the League today albeit with a game more played than their rivals but nonetheless putting pressure on your rivals never done anyone any harm, and as for Norwich they could be waving a long goodbye to the top-flight with another defeat almost certain today at Stamford Bridge.
Having toyed with relegation for quite a while Swansea who are now safe should be able to show us what their really about with a home win against a Southampton side who have been creating numerous chances without converting them into goals!
Best Bet: Swansea @6/4
Scorecast: Swansea 2-1 @8/1
First Goalscorer: Michu @13/2
Click Here for all the rest of today's football betting!
Manchester City vs Liverpool: Preview, possible lineups & Predictions - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
The bank holiday weekend ends with a mouth-watering tie as the top two teams from last season go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City and Liverpool both started their season with a victory and if either side can maintain their 100% start after this match they will have every reason to feel confident about the remainder of their season.
Unlike my MLS predictions piece from back in March, we were able to get part of the gang together for some roundtable-style predictions. Today we have Dan, Jay, Chris, and Matt to provide their respective predictions for the upcoming English Premier League season. I will serve as the moderator, and..
For the past seven years I've posted my predictions at the beginning of each season for how the final Premier League table will look. And, at the same time, I've always opened it up to you, the readers, to cast your predictions too. So how did we do?
First up is my prediction, which was a complete failure this season.
So here we are - the last weekend of the Premiership with Manchester City just needing to avoid defeat at the Etihad to lift their second title in recent years. Liverpool face newcastle at Anfield hoping City slip up.
We think it unlikely and this weekend will see the title move east across the city from Old Trafford to their Blue rivals.
The Black-and-Red head to Space City this weekend to try and beat the Houston Dynamo on the road for the first time ever.
You can't really call it the unspoken truth anymore, since everyone keeps saying it, but D.C. United has never won a soccer game in Houston. They'll try to end that streak of futility against the Dynamo Sunday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The last time D.C. United played at FedExField, an Higuain scored against them in a 3-0 win for the visitors. The last time the Columbus Crew played in DC, a different Higuain scored for the visitors as they downed the Black-and-Red. But tomorrow evening, when United take on the visiting Crew out at FedExField, no Higuain will be playing.
D.C. United look to rebound from their loss in New England, while injury-depleted Sporting Kansas City try to find their way without several key players. But how will it all go down Saturday at RFK Stadium?
As we've documented in this space, Sporting Kansas City has basically owned our beloved D.
United just had their unbeaten streak snapped, while Philly haven't won since mid-March.
D.C. United will take the field tomorrow afternoon against the Philadelphia Union looking to start a new unbeaten streak to replace the one that was broken deep into second half stoppage time last weekend in Portland.
We polled several of our top writers to get their predictions and analysis on who they think will win the World Cup quarterfinal games, as well as who will advance through the semi-finals and all the way to the World Cup Final at Maracana.
Not surprisingly, there's a lot of difference in opinion regarding who will progress.
This one is going to be the anticlimactic finish to the day for most. Australia v Chile. So let's get to it. A few to choose from, but most are recent for Australia. Mark Schwarzer v Elias Figueroa Schwarzer has been a steady rock in the back for Australia. With a career some 20 years and 109 appearance for the Socceroos, Schwarzer has appeared in 3 World Cups, Uefa Cup twice,
Ooooo kids. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about two of the most storied players in the game. Alfredo Di Stefano vs. Johan Cruyff Di Stefano, born to Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, moved to Spain to play for Real Madrid after some time with Millionairos in Argentina. Within 4 years, he was gaining Spanish citizenship (something of a uproar happened over this as Real
Well, it's off and running. Today we get our first full day of games, which of course seems to overlap with my USSF licensing class and drive there, but so be it. I bring you your first matchup of the day: Roger Milla vs. Cuauhtemoc Blanco vs. Both phenomenal players on the field, both having some of their best games in the twilight of their careers, and both iconic for
Alright kids. Last World Cup we did a WAGs matchup and we'll continue that with our Facebook page, but here, we'll show the true fans a matchup worthy of their time. Today, at 3pm CST, Brazil v Croatia. In our minds, it'll be: vs. Both phenomenal players for their countries. We could have gone the easy route with Pele, but Socrates was more than a player, he was a statesman and all
Members of our staff and the rest of the B&RU community have opinions. Those opinions do not stop at the water's edge, so today we open our series of World Cup predictions posts with the obvious place: Group A.
You guys. You guys! The World Cup starts today. After four years of waiting and planning and qualifying, we ease into the 2014 tournament with just a single game as hosts Brazil take on the always strong Croatia.
It has been an exciting group stage of the 2014 World Cup, full of drama, entertainment and passion. We have sixteen nations left. For the first time ever three of these are from the Concacaf after USA qualified in their dullest match of the tournament, where it did seem they relied on Portuguese and German largesse.
The time has come for my World Cup predictions. I am, in my own view, notoriously bad at it. I analyze too much, playing on the safe side, and guessing wrongly on the surprises that are always going to happen in a tournament. I have played the entire tournament on paper, and here are my predictions: Group A: Brazil will win.
A little late in the day, as the season has technically started, but I'm back with a few predictions for the season ahead who will shine, who will step up, and how it will all go. Like many, I'm optimistic about Arsenal's chances this season the difference between now and a year ago, when we entered into the season under a cloud (that grew poisonous in our defeat to Villa), is remarkable we've been efficient in the market, signed some genuinely excellent players, and while there is still work to do, the signs are overwhelminglypositive.
[W]hen asked by the esteemed editors of this site to compile a preview to the League One season I had to first humbly remind them that my own team, Carlisle United, were cruelly and indignantly relegated to League Two at the end of last year. There followed a degree of brow furrowing consternation before an uttered agreement that 'I'd do'.
The Black and Red United staff weighs in with our predictions for the Biggest Game of Them All. Share your take in the comments!
One game to rule them all, and it goes down Sunday afternoon on ABC. We here at B&RU didn't want to wait another day to share our predictions for the World Cup final, though, so use part of your Friday afternoon time-killing with us as we try to prognosticate our way through Germany-Argentina.
The Brotherly Game staffers make bold predictions about the second half of the 2014 MLS season for the Philadelphia Union. Nostradamus need not worry.
Ok, so while it's not exactly the middle of the season, I thought that we were close enough to the halfway point that we could start making predictions as to how the rest of the 2014 MLS campaign would play out.
The Red Bulls take a three-game unbeaten streak down to Dallas this weekend in search of their first road win, where they face the formidable Dallas... um... FCs? Sure. The Dallas FCs, who are sitting third in the West with 16 points on 5 wins and 18 goals over 8 games--a pretty nice ratio.