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[Discussion] Who will win the EPL?
This weekend, the EPL takes a break from regular league play to shift focus to the FA Cup. That gives us a minute to step back and take a look at the league so far. With 23 of 38 rounds in the books, who is going to win the league? The way I see it, there are four real challengers. Leicester City Leicester are the team that shocks the world more and more each week as they inch closer to the title. They currently hold a 3 point lead in the league, sitting on 47 points. It has been a remarkable season for a team that was nearly relegated last season and didn't appear to get all that better over the summer. But they have been inspired by Riyad Mahrez, N'Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy and look to be ready to make a legitimate race toward the end. Despite everyone's reservations, Leicester are in it to win it. Arsenal At this point it seems that Arsenal are favorites. While they are 3 points behind Leicester, they are just now getting many of their injured players back (Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin) and they have a very experienced roster, full of players who are used to playing in huge matches. That experience could prove invaluable for a team that is looking to win its first league title in ages and ages. The fan base wants it, and this could be the year that Arsenal break their curse. Manchester City City are another team with a great pedigree. They are full of experience and talent, and many of the players on this team were around when City last won the league a few season ago. They are no doubt hungry to repeat that success, and are level with Arsenal on points. However, they just got news that superstar newcomer Kevin de Bruyne will be out 6 weeks, which could seriously hurt their chances. He has been one of their star performers this season. Tottenham Spurs are the sleepers in this race, sitting 5 points behind leaders Leicester. But their form has been superb. They have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Hugo Lloris and a terrific defense to boot, not to mention their talisman Harry Kane and the blossoming midfielder Dele Alli proving to be one of the most exciting players around. Many see Spurs as more pretenders than contenders, but I'm not ready to count them out. My money is on Arsenal. I think they have the squad depth required to make it happen, with the experience and quality they have on their roster. I'm not counting out any of these teams and I honestly think anyone could win, but for the moment, I'm picking Arsenal. Who do you think will win the league when it's all said and done? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda @Bobs
[Discussion] EPL's most UNDERrated player?
So after we talked about the most overrated players yesterday, it only makes sense to do the opposite today! Who are the most underrated players in the EPL? Riyad Mahrez - Leicester City While teammate Jamie Vardy gets lots of the headlines for his goal scoring, Mahrez has been an absolute standout for Leicester this season. He's turned in great performance after great performance and has even added to his game with some goals. He definitely deserves more credit. Yannick Bolasie - Crystal Palace You knew I had to include a Palace player on the list! At his best, Bolasie is an absolute terror down the wing or through the middle. He has pace and strength like any player in the league and just needs to round out his goalscoring form to make his game complete. He nearly made a big money move to Spurs over the summer but Palace held onto him, and with his form this season they'll be happy they did. Jack Butland - Stoke City While Butland is beginning to accumulate some accolades for his play this season in net for Stoke, it's time we start considering him one of the league's best keepers. He's got a little while to go before he unseats Joe Hart as England's #1, but it looks like the future of English goalkeeping is in safe hands with Butland's talent. Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool Sure, everyone knows that Coutinho is a great player, but I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for what he does for Liverpool. His work rate is off the charts and he has come up with some truly ridiculous goals to go along with amazing assists over the past few seasons. For my money, he's as good as attacking midfielders come in the Premiership. Romelu Lukaku - Everton Lukaku is a player whose stock has gone from way up to way down and now he's flying high again. After being a highly touted Chelsea youth product, Mourinho sold him away to Everton. He struggled for the Toffees at first but has come up with the best form of his career this season. At just 22 years old, the Belgian has a huge future ahead of him. I'm going with Coutinho as my choice. The man simply cannot be stopped and does not get enough credit! Who do you think? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
[The Sports Guru] EPL Match Day 21 Preview
It's an unusual week in the English Premier League, with the FA Cup fixtures over the weekend interfering with the normal schedule. So that means we've got a full fixture list coming up today and Wednesday - here's what to look forward to! Manchester City vs. Everton City's form has been all over the place this season, but it has done them some good to this point, as they sit in 3rd place on 39 points, just 3 behind leaders Arsenal and one behind second place Leicester. Kevin de Bruyne has been an absolute standout, while the return to fitness of Kun Aguero and David Silva have City fans dreaming of a really solid second-half of the season and another title. But Everton is no easy match, much less at Goodison Park. Most interesting of all is that these two teams faced off in the League Cup just a week ago, and Everton took it 2-1, so they'll no doubt be feeling good about their chances. In the end, though, I think City will use their strength in attacking to take it to to Toffees. My pick: City 3, Everton 1. Spurs vs. Leicester Two teams that are going to be absolutely sick of each other in a week's time are Spurs and Leicester. After playing to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the FA Cup over the weekend, the two face off in the league on Wednesday, only to play their FA Cup replay next weekend. Three matches in two weeks will be a lot for these two teams and it'll be interesting to see if either of them really go for this one. Spurs have been really positive in the league recently and have risen to 4th, 4 points behind Leicester who sit on 40. I'm really looking forward to this one, which will be played at Spurs' White Hart Lane, giving them the upper hand. I think they'll manage a win and send Leicester down the table a spot. My pick: Spurs 1, Leicester 0. Arsenal vs. Liverpool *Match of the Week* A great match to look forward to will be leaders Arsenal vs. Liverpool. Two of the league's most historic sides face off at Anfield on Wednesday, and while Liverpool's form has been rocky since Jurgen Klopp arrived, they are never to be counted out. They have some awful injury troubles and are really struggling, especially in the back, where they are missing Sakho, Srktel and others, leaving them with mostly youth players. Arsenal looked strong in their 3-1 win over Sunderland in the FA Cup over the weekend and have been playing the best football in the league over the past few months. I think they continue their form in this one despite playing on the road. My pick: Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1. Enjoy the matches everyone! @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda @mchlyang
Chelsea lose again, Leicester win again!
I feel like I'm writing the same card each week. Looking at the above is truly unbelievable. Leicester City, the team that everyone expected to be relegated after somehow escaping relegation last year, sit in FIRST PLACE after half of the season has passed. And the best part is, they've earned every bit of it. Riyad Mahrez - who assisted one goal (to the perfect Jamie Vardy) and scored an absolute stunner of his own (seriously, he looked like Messi, curling one around the keeper with his left foot) - could be the best midfielder in the Prem right now. He's that good. Vardy can't stop scoring, as he continues to lead the scorers' chart with 15 goals from 16 matches. Truly, hard to believe. His goal yesterday which got the scoring started vs. Chelsea was beautiful, as he latched on to the end of a delicious cross from Mahrez and poked it home for the goal. Pure class. The other end of the table brings a very different reality. Chelsea, who at this time last year were all but certain to go on to win the title (which they did), sit in 16th place. One point off the relegation zone. They have been outplayed all season long and their 9 losses are no illusion. They just are not any good. It's difficult to believe that a team with Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and others in their First XI could lose 9 matches. But they have done. Manager Jose Mourinho said that he felt 'betrayed' by his players in the game last night as they continuously missed assignments and failed to follow his instruction. I'm not sure how true that is but in any case, for me, it's time for him to go. Cheers to Leicester City. I hope their success continues. They are an absolute joy to watch, as they seem to be as shocked as everyone else when they keep winning. Did you see any of the match? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
EPL Matchday 15: Five takeaways
Another great week of EPL football - let's break it down! 1. Leicester are for real This team gets more and more convincing each week. This week it was Riyad Mahrez with a hat trick to crush Swansea 3-0 and Leicester move to first place all alone, two points ahead of Arsenal. Jamie Vardy's goal scoring streak ended at 11 matches but he played a fine match all the same. He's not the only threat this team have, and Mahrez showed that their form could be here to stay as they continue to fight off the big-name clubs. 2. Chelsea's poor run cannot be denied Things are getting out of hand for Mourinho's Chelsea, as they fell to bottom feeders Bournemouth 1-0 to slip into 14th place, with just 15 points from 15 matches. Just like Leiecester but the opposite, it's time we stopped assigning labels to a Chelsea team just beacuse they won the league last season; the reality is that they are not a good club at the moment. Mourinho could well be on his way out. 3. Xherdan Shaqiri is right where he belongs The Swiss winger came to Stoke in a shock move this season and played his best match in the EPL by far on Saturday as he came up with an absolutely brilliant assist and was involved in the second goal as Stoke beat City 2-0. He's a thrilling player with an amazing combination of pace and skill and he is going to do a lot of great things in this division - be it for Stoke or another big club that comes asking come transfer time. 4. Klopp will have growing pains While Liverpool have looked better under Jurgen Klopp than they did under Brendan Rodgers, their 2-0 loss to Newcastle shows that things won't always be so smooth. The team looked lost and were simply outclassed by a Newcastle side that has been so poor all season. It's going to take Klopp some time to get his players the way he wants them and they could bring in a few big names in the January window to move things along. It was a damaging defeat for 'Pool. 5. No one is safe This week represented what I love most about the EPL - the amazing, up-and-down nature of the relegation race. Villa, Bournemouth, Sunderland, and Newcastle -- all relegation candidates -- all picked up points this week and while Villa are still languishing in the basement, it just goes to show you that anything can be turned around. It's only early December but already it seems as if the relegation race will come down to the wire.
EPL Match Day 23: What we learned
I had a lot of fun watching this week's matches in the EPL. Here are my takeaways! Liverpool need to defend better The most exciting match of the week was no doubt the 5-4 thrilled between Liverpool and Norwich. Liverpool came from behind multiple times in this one, scoring at the last kick of the match to take it 5-4. From a neutral standpoint, it was a terrific match, but both managers will be ashamed at their defenders. It was absolutely shambolic. Jurgen Klopp is known to be an attacking manager, but he needs to sort out his defense if Liverpool want to finish in a high position this season. They got away with one here. Villa not done quite yet Aston Villa recorded their fifth consecutive match without a loss, moving them to 13 points. They are still 9 points from safety, but this is a very encouraging run of form for Remi Garde's men as they attempt to claw their way out of the basement. They will need to start piling up some more points in the next few weeks but it looks like a team that everyone had marked as relegated will put up a real fight before the season has its last laugh. Title race remains wide open Thanks to City's slip-up at West Ham and Per Mertesaker's foolish challenge on Diego Costa that got him sent off and gave Arsenal a mountain to climb vs. Chelsea, Leicester City return to the top of the table after their 3-0 drubbing of Stoke. No one seems to really believe that they can finish the season atop the table, but with City and Arsenal continuing to drop points, Leicester may just have a chance. And don't count out Spurs, who beat a struggling Palace side 3-1 to stay in the hunt. They may have the best form of any team in the league right now and I would not sleep on their title chances. Oh - and look out for that boy Dele Alli, who scored what will surely go down as the goal of the season. An absolute STUNNER!
EPL Match Day 22: What we learned
Match Day 22 is just about in the books in the EPL, with one match later today yet to be played (Watford vs. Swansea). Let's recap the weekend's action. Rooney won't quit You just can't count that man out. He's now scored in four consecutive matches for United and is keeping this team afloat on his own, answering critics left, right, and center. United weren't great in their 1-0 win over Liverpool (Rooney's goal was actually their only shot on goal), but they played extremely well defensively, as they have done for most of the season, and Rooney knocked in a scramble off a corner kick from good work by Fellaini to steal the win late on. Tough loss for Liverpool, who just have not gotten enough results recently. They can pretty much say goodbye to their top-4 hopes. City are reemerging as favorites Does anyone actually want to win the title? Arsenal and Leicester continue to drop points (both are winless in their last two), leaving the top of the table open again for Manchester City to climb their way back. After their 4-0 shellacking of Palace (sigh), they are within 1 point of joint leaders Leicester and Arsenal. Kun Aguero looked the best he has all season in this one and it's time that we start really looking at City as one of the favorites - not just handing it to Arsenal. Game on. The relegation battle is on This is the time in each season when it feels like even the teams at the very bottom start to put together some form and work to fight their way out of the basement. It's true of Villa, who now have four points in their past two matches (though they are still 8 points from safety); it's true of Newcastle, who surprisingly beat West Ham 2-1 to move up to 17th; and it's true of Bournemouth, who look like they may be staying up after all, especially after a big 3-0 win over rivals Norwich. I love watching the teams at the bottom of the table scrap for points, and today's Watford - Swansea match is a huge won for the Welsh side. Did you see any of the matches this weekend? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
EPL Boxing Day Fixtures Preview
It's the most exciting time of the year in the English Premiership, with teams playing on Boxing Day (Saturday) and again on Monday. Lots of points are decided in these two rounds, so let's take a look at the Boxing Day match list first! Here are some of the matches to really look forward to. Stoke City vs. Manchester United Many think this could be the beginning of the end for Louis van Gaal. Stoke are always a tough match, especially at home (though their home form hasn't been as good this year as it usually is). But United are struggling mightily and are winless in 6. van Gaal will need to put out an attacking side to try to instill some faith in the United board and supporters so he can turn around the fate of this club before it's too late for him. My pick: United 2, Stoke 0. Liverpool vs. Leicester City These are two of the most surprising teams in the league this year, albeit for very different reasons. We all know the Leicester story, as they have been atop the table for some weeks now and look to be the real deal. On the other hand, Liverpool continue to struggle despite having brought in big-name manager Jurgen Klopp. They sit in 9th, though they are just 5 points off the coveted top 4. This could be a big turn around match for Klopp. My pick: Liverpool 2, Leicester 2. Chelsea vs. Watford So, which Chelsea is for real? The team that struggled and slumped to 15th under Jose Mourinho? Or the team that looked great last time out against Sunderland following the sacking of Mourinho? The Watford test will go a long way to showing us. Watford have been great recently, winning four in a row and climbing to 7th. Chelsea will want to put an end to that run and begin to string together some victories of their own. My pick: Chelsea 3, Watford 0.
EPL Match of the Week: Leicester City vs. Chelsea
We'll have to wait until Monday for this week's EPL Match of the Week, but it should be a great one all the same. It's the two most surprising teams of the season, if you ask me: Chelsea vs. Leicester City. However, their surprises have been for wildly different reasons. Chelsea, last year's champions, currently sit in 14th place with just 15 points from 15 matches. Leicester, who only barely avoided relegation last season, sit in first place in the shock of the season. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahre have led the way for Leicester in their renaissance, as Vardy leads the scoring charts in the division and Mahrez is being celebrated as one of the league's best midfield, especially after his hat trick last week. Leicester are coming off a huge 3-0 win over Swansea City with led to the subsequent sacking of Gary Monk for the Swans. Their form has been super and it's time we take them seriously. Chelsea, on the other hand, continue to struggle. While they had a good week by qualifying for the Champions League final 16 to salvage some hope of silverware, their EPL form has been dreadful. The midweek win over Porto and the qualification will definitely have spirits high in Chelsea's camp but it cannot be ignored that the players just aren't getting it together in the same way they did last year. Manager Jose Mourinho is under fire and deservedly so. Prediction I never thought I'd say this at the beginning of the season, but I believe Leicester can do it. I think they're going to add to their amazing run and continue to put Chelsea to shame. I'll say Leicester 2, Chelsea 1. Bang. What do you think? I know @mchlyang will disagree and hopes Chelsea will pull it off but can they do so against the hottest team in the league? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda