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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
Palace sign Adebayor!
I never thought I'd really get excited about Emmanuel Adebayor in any way, shape, or form, but I'm desperate. Crystal Palace and the ancient Togolese striker agreed to terms today after long negotiations, and the striker will join the team until the end of the season. Adebayor is actually just 31 years old, but it feels like he has been around for decades. He has been without a club since Spurs released him at the end of last season, but Adebayor has a long history in the EPL, and has played for many of the top clubs. He's got a very impressive resume, even if he is the butt end of many jokes in the EPL for being somewhat underwhelming and always a second-best option. He played for Arsenal for 3 years, Manchester City for 3 years, went on loan at Real Madrid for a season, and then played at Spurs for some four years as well. That's quite a list of top teams. At this stage in his career, Adebayor is nothing to really get terribly excited about. He is slow, but strong as an ox and has always had a really particular nose for goal. And that hunger and desire to score is exactly what Palace need. After they started the season so strongly, Palace have really struggled since the Christmas period. They have picked up just 2 points total in their past 6 league matches and in that period they have scored a grand total of 1 goal. This is a team desperate for a striker, and Ade fills that role. Connor Wickham was brought into get goals, and he has worked hard, but does not seem to be developing into the goal-getter that everyone hoped. Marouane Chamakh, Dwight Gayle and Frazier Campbell have not been even close to good enough and enough is enough. With great service coming from the wings by emerging stars Wilf Zaha and Yannick Bolasie, not to mention a real strength through the middle with Yohan Cabaye and a very solid defense led by Scott Dann and Damien Delaney, Palace have it in them to be a really good side. We saw how well they can play when they racked up points in the first half of the season, and I see no reason they can't recapture that form. They have suffered lots of injuries, but many of their players are back or nearing their return. This could be the cusp of a change in form for the Eagles. I'm thrilled about the Adebayor signing. He can immediately help a side that needs a jolt of energy and experience. What do you think? Is the big man too old to make an impact in the Prem, or can he really be of service to Palace? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzatton @SherzTYCi @krishntejanand @addri @mishthi @andwas @NimishMathur @Sydsocquet @starli @kyleatekwana @BenjiPhilip @Eduardo14 @AshfakEjaaz @EmanueleYagoda @Bobs
[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
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 Matchweek 13: Five takeaways
It's 13 weeks in the books in the EPL and suffice to say that this week brought some major surprises. Let's take a look at the 5 biggest storylines from the week's matches! 5. Spurs continue their climb Harry Kane and Tottenham kept up their great form as they beat West Ham 4-1 to move to 5th in the table. Kane scored twice and has now put together a great run of matches, recovering his incredible form from last season. Could this be the year that Spurs really make a challenge for the top 4? 4. Sunderland grab a win Sunderland got just their second win of the season yesterday as they beat Crystal Palace in London. It was a pretty disappointing match across the board as neither team looked like scoring, but it all went wrong for Palace as Scott Dann and keeper Wayne Hennessey got into a mixup at the back as Jermain Defoe pounced to score the only goal. Some big dropped points for Palace, who could've moved sixth but instead fall to 10th. Sunderland move up to 18th, just one point away from safety. 3. Arsenal fall to West Ham The Gunners missed a gild-edged chance to go top of the table as they fell to lowly West Brom on Saturday, 2-1. West Brom played a great match and took the lead on a Mikel Arteta own goal after getting it started through James Morrison. Terrible result for Arsenal who may come to rue this slip in concentration in a match they surely should've won. 2. Liverpool crush City Liverpool smashed Manchester City 4-1 in a pretty surprising result over the weekend. City could've gained a lead atop the table given Arsenal's slip but failed to take advantage as Jurgen Klopp's men played with confidence and skill to gain a huge 3 points. Great win for Liverpool, bad match for City. 1. Leicester go top Surely the biggest storyline of the week is Leicester, who continued their shocking season and ended the week at the top of the table, ahead of 2nd place United by one point. James Vardy set a Premiership record by scoring in his 10th consecutive match and Leicester seem to be the real deal, much to everyone's surprise. They're a fun story and are playing some great football these days.
Weekend Watch: Arsenal vs. Tottenham
We've got lots to look forward to this weekend in the EPL, but the match that highlights the weekend's action is surely the one that will be played Sunday at 11 AM ET: It's a London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. Arsenal Mesut Ozil and co. will try to bounce back from their embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League during the week. It won't be easy for them but this time they play a tough match at home at the Emirates, which is sure to give the squad a boost. They'll hope to have a great performance from Alexis Sanchez who almost always delivers. Arsenal's EPL form has been outstanding (even though they have faltered in other competitions), as they've won 5 consecutive fixtures and now find themselves on top of the EPL table, behind Manchester City only on goal differential (+13 to +17 for City). They will again be without Hector Bellerin and stud defender Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt, but there are replacements available in Mathieu Debuchy and young center-half Gabriel set to fill in. It's a big match for Arsenal, who will want to prove to themselves and to their supporters that they are better than their 5-1 drubbing showed. They are making a serious title push and winning this derby will be a big step forward for them. Spurs Spurs are coming off a different fortune from Arsenal, as they won their Europa League fixture on Wednesday 2-1 over Anderlecht. Their league form has also been very good of late, with 3 matches and 2 draws in the last five fixtures (including some high scoring affairs like a 4-0 win over Man City and a 5-1 smashing of Bournemouth). Hugo Lloris, for me the most underrated player in the whole of the EPL, will look to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal's forceful attack. Striker Harry Kane will hope to continue to prove that his huge goal output last season was no fluke; he's been in good form recently after a tough start to the campaign and is recovering his eye for goal. Also of major note is winger Erik Lamela, who is under tremendous pressure these days. After a brutal start to life in London with Spurs, the talented youngster seems like he may have finally found his form and has been outstanding this season. The Argentine winger is being charged with filling the gap left by Leo Messi's injury for the national team and has done an admirable job for both club and country in recent months. He's a thrilling player to watch and could be a major difference maker in this affair. Prediction I'm really looking forward to this match and think it could honestly go either way. But with Arsenal's recent form, plus the fact that they'll have the home crowd behind them, I think they will have enough to break down Spurs. It looks to me to be a tight affair, but Arsenal will walk away winners 2-1. What do you think? Any other match you're really looking forward to this weekend? @InPlainSight @AbdulrahmanSaad @trinityarcangel @thefeels @MarcusJiles @DerekGumtow @havic @yaakattackk @bnzattoni @mchlyang