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Premiership Roundup 05-06 April

Another week of Premiership games has passed and it looks like the Premiership battle is going to be very exciting. The weekend started with the exciting match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Both teams had an eye on there champions league matches and hence rested some quality players. Arsenal started well but it was Liverpool who took the lead through Peter Crouch. Arsenal equalized through a Bendtner headed goal. Liverpool’s Vornonin was guilty of missing several chances later in the match but a draw in the end further dented Arsenal’s title hopes. For a second time in a row, Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down, a thing that is becoming synonymous with the Liverpool – Arsenal game.

Chelsea mean while defeated Manchester City impressively 2-0 to continue there march towards the title. Manchester United drew with Boro 2-2 to drop some points and keep the title hopes alive of Arsenal as well as Chelsea. United’s draw means that they are three points ahead of Chelsea who they are supposed to play at Stamford Bridge on 26th April and 6 points ahead of Arsenal who they play at the weekend. Ronaldo’s 37th goal of the campaign gave United the lead but Boro, who have a good record against United leveled when Afonso Alves scored his first goal for the club. Boro played some good football and created plenty of chances. It was not surprising that Boro took the lead again through Alves to make the score 2-1. United defense was clearly vulnerable because of lack of Vidic and things became much worse when Ferdinand was also substituted because of injury. But united got the equalizer when Ji Sung Park’s cross was converted by Rooney through a deflection and the score became 2-2. If Ferdinand’s injury turns out to be serious, United can miss there center half pair of Vidic and Ferdinand for the crucial matches against Arsenal, Blackburn and Chelsea.

The next 2-3 matches will be crucial for the three teams and will be the decider in who wins the Premiership. In the other matches Aston Villa defeated Bolton 4-0 to send them towards relegation. Roy Keane’s Sunderland beat Fulham 3-1 to ease the pressure and Fulham looks set to drop of the Premiership. Steve Bruce came back to haunt his former club as Wigan recorded a 2-0 win against Birmingham. The King Kev revolution seems to have started at Newcastle as they recorded there third straight win with a 3-0 win over reading. Blackburn and Totenham drew 1-1 while Everton defeated Derby 1-0 to pile the pressure on Liverpool for the fourth place.

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Champions League Roundup 01-02 April

The first round of CL quarter finals has passed and we can be almost certain who are going to reach the semi finals with the exception of Liverpool and Arsenal. Manchester United got the job done thanks to goals from Ronaldo and Rooney in a 2-0 win against Roma. Even though Roma dominated the game for a few intervals, there lack of clinical finishing and an inspiring performance from Van Der Sar prevented them from scoring. Though Roma have beaten Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabau, i don’t think they will be able to defeat United at Old Trafford. Though they might have Totti back for the return leg, Ronaldo’s form has been World Class and the pace of United attack is frightening.

As for Barcelona, they have there 17 year old sensation Bojan to thanks for there 1-0 win against Schalke. The young forward is outshining the players such as Henry and Eto and has earned praise from the manager Frank Rijkard. And with the quality of players at the disposal of Barca, they cant lose the game at home. So we should expect a crunch semifinal between Manchester United and Barcelona. The most eagerly awaited match was between Arsenal and Liverpool which was drawn 1-1 with Liverpool getting the vital away goal. Even though Arsenal outclassed Liverpool for much of the game and they were harshly denied a penalty, Liverpool certainly has the edge at Anfield and i have a feeling that Liverpool will progress.

Chelsea wont be able to forget how they lost the game to Fenerbache 2-1. They were exceptional in the first half but still ended up losing the game due to two quick goals from Fenerbache. Maybe Chelsea should have listened to Anelka who warned about the threat of his older team. But still I fancy a Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge unless Fenerbache mount a late rally like the match. So we might have another semifinal between Liverpool and Chelsea and we might end up having an all English final.

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Premier League set for an exciting finish with just 6 games remaining

With just 6 games remaining, the Premier League is set for a dramatic finish, it has happened after a long time but it is worth the wait. The fight between Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are sure to go till the end but Man Utd have an upper hand. Lets look at the remaining fixtures of all the team and analyze that which team has a good chance of winning the title

Manchester United’s remaining fixtures

  • Middlesbrough v Man Utd
  • Man Utd v Arsenal
  • Blackburn v Man Utd
  • Chelsea v Man Utd
  • Man Utd v West Ham
  • Wigan v Man Utd

The two fixtures that may have an impact on the title race are the ones against Arsenal and Chelsea. If Arsenal lost to United at Old Trafford, there title challenge could be over as the lead might increase to 9 points. United’s away match against Chelsea could very well prove important as it will be a must win for Chelsea if they want to reclaim there title. In the other fixtures, the one against Blackburn away will be somewhat difficult while i expect United to win the rest of games.

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures

  • Man City v Chelsea
  • Chelsea v Wigan
  • Everton v Chelsea
  • Chelsea v Man Utd
  • Newcastle v Chelsea
  • Chelsea v Bolton

Chelsea do have some difficult away games to Manchester City and Everton and a difficult one against Manchester United at home. With Man City and Everton both playing for Europe, they can be difficult to beat. but Chelsea have a very good home record and that will be there plus point. However, the match against Manchester United will be a must win for them.

Arsenal’s remaining fixtures

  • Arsenal v Liverpool
  • Man Utd v Arsenal
  • Arsenal v Reading
  • Derby v Arsenal
  • Arsenal v Everton
  • Sunderland v Arsenal

Arsenal definitely have a very bad ass schedule both in Premier League as well as Champions League. In a period of 10 days, they play Liverpool three times and Manchester United away. There squad depth is not very large and this may be a factor for there downfall. It will be a make or break period for them. I definitely think the match against United will decide Arsenal’s fate. While the rest of the games which they play are relatively easy, fatigue can be an important factor for them.

With Champions League also happening, it will have an impact on all the teams. And who knows, we might have a few surprises from the rest of the teams. By far, Manchester United who are in great form are my first favorites to win the title. But football is so full of surprises.

What do you guys think? Who do you think will go and win the league?

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The Arsenal Comeback

Boltan 2 – 3 Arsenal

These are the type of matches which makes you love football. Arsenal needed a win to get there title challenge back on track and what a way to get it. Arsenal didn’t get off to a great start as Boltan scored from there first attack with a header from Matthew Taylor. Things got worse for Arsenal as Diaby was sent off for a professional foul and Taylor’s deflected shot doubled Boltan’s lead. It looked as if the game along with the title challenge might be over for Arsenal as they were lacking there natural rhythm and Boltan were well organized.

But come 60th minute and things started to change for Arsenal. An unmarked William Gallas scored from a Fabregas corner and just six minutes later, Arsenal won a penalty and Van Persie converted it to send Arsenal level. Van Persie had another good chance but he fired wide from 12 yards. But the game was set for a fairytale finish as Arsenal scored through a Fabregas deflected shot in the 90th minute and Arsenal recorded there first win in 6 games to keep them in the title charge.

With the champions league also coming up, it will be interesting to see how the small and young Arsenal squad deal with all these games. Arsene Wenger should have brought a couple of players in the January window. But with the young players playing extremely well, anything is possible.

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The Big four EPL Showdown

Ferguson, Benitez, Grant, Wenger

The English Premier League has definitely reached the crunch stage. With just 8 games remaining, the title can go either to Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea. Tomorrow’s match between the big four may turn out to be a crucial movement in the final rankings. A few weeks ago, Arsenal were cruising, they were 5 points ahead but after four successive draws, they currently lie 3 points behind Manchester United. And it could have been more miserable for Arsenal had Chelsea not drawn with Spurs.

It is one of the most close call finishes in the Premier League which i have seen after a long time. The pressure will be mainly on Arsenal and Man Utd but i would be a fool to rule Chelsea out. If Manchester United win against Liverpool and Arsenal lost to Chelsea, then it might be "Title Gone" for Wenger. Consistency will definitely be the key in these last matches. And with the Champions League also looming close, the freshness and determination will also play a big part. Liverpool have been in great form recently winning there last 5 premier league matches. The form of Torres has been exceptional. Looking at both set of players, we might have a classic match to watch but these big matches usually turn out to be quite boring. I think defense will play a key part in this game. How the defenders will be able to cope with the likes of Torres, Gerrard, Rooney, Ronaldo, Nani and Tevez can certainly have a bearing on the outcome. These games are usually decided by a solo goal. United have won there last 5 fixtures with Liverpool but Liverpool will be going there thinking of a win as there recent form in the League as well as Champions League has been tremendous.

The game between Arsenal and Chelsea is crucial for both of them. Arsenal’s poor form recently have seen them being replaced by Man Utd at the top of the table. Chelsea were also poor in there 4-4 draw against Spurs but the home advantage may give them the edge here. Chelsea have been poor against the big teams this season and Grant may want to set the record straight. There home form has been terrific and i cant see them losing this.

With so much pressure surrounding these fixtures, i don’t think we are about to witness an exciting game. The game may be settled with a 1-0 , 2-0 , 1-1 score line but who ever wins will be the one thing that will matter in the end. We will talk more about this after the matches. Till then stay tuned.

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Can Arsenal win the Champions League

A few days ago, if you had asked someone whether Arsenal were capable of winning the champions league, then they would surely have doubted it. After Eduardo’s injury and draws against Birmingham and Aston Villa, few people would have thought that Arsenal can win against Milan at San Siro considering that no English team have beaten them at San Siro. But history was made when Arsenal beat Milan at San Siro and the main point was that they virtually outclassed them at there own turf. Now the pundits are saying that they have an excellent chance of reaching the finals for the second time in three seasons.

Milan started the game well and were playing like champions for the first few minutes after they were outclassed by a youth and pace of the Arsenal side. Even though Arsenal scored the goal very late in the game, it was no clear indication of the way that the game had proceeded. Even though Milan had Kaka with them, he was virtually overshadowed by the performance of Fabregas and Adebayor, two young stars of the Arsenal team. The best thing that can be said about this performance was that it was away from home. For progressing in the Champions league, away form is of utmost importance and if you can defeat AC Milan at home, you can compete against almost any team. Last year, Manchester United were outclassed by Milan at San Siro and if Arsenal can beat them at there own turf, they are sure a team that has the right to be thought of as a future Champion.

Now any team would like to avoid them in the draw for the next round but the best thing i like about champions league is that it is so unpredictable. Anything can happen, so lets just wait for the draw.

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