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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
[Poll] Where will Guardiola end up?
It's one of the burning questions in the football world these days: Where will Pep Guardiola coach next season? I'd love for us as a Vingle community to take a stab at it. We know that Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season (and Carlo Ancelotti has already been named his successor), but there is not yet any indication of where Guardiola will be next year. Lots of speculation, no certainty. Here are some of the possibilities. Manchester United Louis van Gaal will be lucky to last to the end of this season at the rate things are going right now. I wrote last week about the possibility that Mourinho could move in and take van Gaal's position before the end of the season, but assuming there is a vacancy at the end of the year, United could be a very attractive option for Guardiola. He loves the big clubs, and United have the biggest market of any club in Europe. It could be a great match. Manchester City Perhaps Guardiola will prefer Manchester's blue half. City are a club with bags and bags of money and that will be an extremely attractive aspect of the club for Guardiola, who will no doubt want to make some transfers wherever he goes to make his own mark on the team. Current manager Manuel Pellegrini is struggling this season, and the consensus seems to be that if he fails to win the Champions League this year, his time at City will be up. Guardiola would be the perfect replacement for the ever-ambitious City. Chelsea Chelsea just appointed Guus Hiddink their interim manager after firing Jose Mourinho, but I don't see Hiddink staying past this season. He derailed the Dutch national team and is a huge part of the reason they failed to qualify for the Euros and I don't think he'll do enough in his few months at Chelsea to turn the team around and convince the board that he's the man for the job. So, there could well be a vacancy in London come the end of the season. Guardiola is a great option for any club, but it makes tons of sense for him to take over Chelsea. They've got lots of money, but an old squad that needs to be retooled, and Guardiola coudl be just the man for them. My money is on Manchester City to be the landing place for Guardiola. I think he's going to be highly coveted, but City will be able to offer him more money than any other team and I think he's going to drool at the chance to take a team from aspiring world forces to the best team in the whole world, as he has done in the past with Barcelona and currently Bayern Munich. What do you think? Could Pep end up outside of England? It's possible, but I bet he's in the Prem next season. Where do you think he'll be? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
EPL Arsenal's for the taking?
Arsenal beat Man City in what is surely one of the biggest EPL results we've had this season so far. And guess what? It was the exact score that I predicted! Arsenal 2, Manchester City 1. That's why they call me the Sports Guru ;) This, as they say, was a true 6-pointer. City could've leapfrogged Arsenal with a win and moved to within 3 points of Leicester, but instead it's Arsenal who will enter Christmas in 2nd behind the leaders Leicester City. A stunning goal by Theo Walcott got the scoring started - he curled one around Joe Hart, leaving the keeper no chance - and Olivier Giroud doubled the advantage before the half with a clever finish of his own, continuing his amazing run of form that has him playing the best football of his life. Yaya Toure hit a classic Toure goal - the sort we've seen from him from time to time over the past 5 or so seasons, where he curls a one-time effort into the top corner - but it wasn't enough for City, who will rue some missed chances by Kevin de Bruyne and others. A great game, but Arsenal are the ones to walk away with the points. At this point, I think we have to see Arsenal as favorites to win the league, even though Leicester top the table. I think everyone - Leicester players included - believes that at some point their form will slip. I think they have an excellent chance of finishing top 4, but I don't think they'll hold on long enough to win the league. And Arsenal look to have turned a corner with their form, as they are finally finding consistency and winning matches against difficult opponents. With Ozil, Giroud and Walcott in the form they are, plus an excellent defense that has allowed just 14 goals in 17 matches, I think Arsenal have what it takes to win the league this season. What do you say? Gunners to the title? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda
EPL Match of the Week: Arsenal vs. Man City
We've got one match this week that stands out above the rest, and it comes to us on Monday afternoon, 2PM ET. It's Arsenal vs. Man City - who takes it? City are coming off a good win over Swansea City, though they left it to late to steal 3 points. It was an important win for them as they kept pace with those at the top of the table. Midfielder David Silva is back from injury and is playing super football, showing again how valuable he is to this team. They just aren't the same team without him. With his form plus that of Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, City have maybe the league's most powerful midfield. Goalkeeper Joe Hart is in great form in net, too, and is saving some real stunning shots to keep City safe. 32 points from 16 matches puts City right toward the top, fighting neck and neck with other title contenders. The often-criticized Olivier Giroud is in the form of his life for Arsenal at the moment, coming off a huge hat trick in the Champions League against Olympiacos to secure Arsenal's advance to the knockout stages. He scored again last week against lowly Aston Villa and is proving to everyone that he can be the main striker for a title-winning side. Mesut Ozil is also incredibly impressive week in and week out and has a ridiculous 13 assists in the league this season. Arsenal sit ahead of City by just one point, with 33 from 16 matches. My pick This is a very tough one to call. With the match being played at the Emirates and Arsenal's form as strong as it is, I'm going to have to take the Gunners. I'll say 2-1 to Arsenal in a big win. Who takes it for you? @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
Champions League Review
With half of Match Day 6 in the books for the UEFA Champions League, half of the groups have been decided. Here's how it all went down on Tuesday. Group A - Real Madrid, Paris SG advance This group was never really in doubt, as it seemed a formality that big boys Madrid and PSG would advance ahead of Sweden's Malmo and pesky Shakhtar from Ukraine. Madrid finished the group in fine style with an 8-0 victory over the Swedes thanks to hat tricks by Ronaldo AND Benzema, while PSG beat Shakhtar 2-0. Group B - Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven advance Group B brought a true shock, as Wolfsburg beat United 2-1 to advance alongside the Dutch side PSV and send United packing. The Red Devils never really put in a complete performance in the Champions League and they paid the ultimate price, as they now enter the Euro League having finished third in the group ahead of CSKA Moscow. It's a huge disappointment for Louis van Gaal but you have to take your hat off to the Germans and PSV who fought hard and deserved to advance. Group C - Atlético Madrid, Benfica advance Atlético Madrid are one of the most consistent sides in Europe and they showed it in the group stages, losing just one match of six and finishing top in their group. They beat Benfica 2-1 today to earn the top spot. They are always a fun team to watch and I'm happy to see them advance. Galatasary finish third to enter the Euro League while Astana from Kazakhstan's dream ends here. Group D - Man City, Juventus advance Again, no real surprise here as both of these teams were heavily favored over Sevilla and Monchengladbach. City wrapped up the top spot in the group today with a 4-2 win over the German side thanks to two goals from Raheem Sterling, while Juventus lost 1-0 to Sevilla to finish second. The Italians will be disappointed to let the top spot slip away as they will not have a more difficult first round in the knockout stage, but they have only themselves to blame. What's the biggest surprise to you? Did you watch any of the matches?