Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
Looking to break the brevity record with this week’s preview/predictions because (a) I am on the road and (b) most of y’all probably just want my picks to fade anyway and (c) I anyway gave away a lot of the picks in this week’s podcast when chatting with the Blackhawks Brendan Perlini, so let’s take a real quick and very dirty look at what’s going on this weekend…
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Results from last weekend (and Friday):
Was Southampton’s “performance” against Lester today the saddest display of soccer in Premier League history? Many people are (rightly) asking. Going down a man in the 12th minute is tough but the lack of effort was just plain appalling.
Honorable mention: Arsenal, Palace, Burnley
Dishonorable mention: Brighton, Wolves
The table as things stand:
And this weekend’s schedule:
PICKS OF THE WEEKEND
Rematch of the Champions League final from May that now feels like it took place about a decade ago – especially for Spurs fans. Liverpool have by and large continued to look like one of the world’s best teams, however, have looked relatively pedestrian by their standards the last week or so after settling for a draw with United and only beating something called Genk by three goals.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have played like poop for months with the lone exception of a 5-0 ass whupping of some Serbs this week. I came into the season saying they were easily among the best four clubs. Talent-wise they are but there has been a negativity hanging over the club that has lingered ever since guys like Eriksen and Alderwiereld didn’t get sold like they wanted to. So was Tuesday a breakthrough or just a momentary break from the darkness? Honestly not sure. I am guessing they come up with a huge moral victory and push Liverpool to the brink….. before conceding in the 89th minute. Liverpool to win 2-1.
*LOCK OF THE WEEK*
Watford are going to win a game this season, I can feel it in my plums. They played well against Tottenham last weekend and should ride that confidence booster into this week against a Bournemouth squad that has been as inconsistent as any team in the league. The time is now. Watford to win 1-0.
Some more predictions (to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right – maybe):
• CITY 3-1 Villa – Villa have been impressive this season but on the road at City seems like a big ask.
• Brighton 0-0 Everton – Nobody is as adept at following a huge win with a disheartening performance quite like the Toffees.
• WEST HAM 2-1 Sheffield Utd – I love this Sheffield squad. Well coached, just enough talent to be dangerous, and the right mix of committed team defense plus knowing when to be opportunistic on offense.
• Burnley 1-1 Chelsea – This pick is ENTIRELY contingent on Frank continuing to hate fun and success and MERICA, and not starting The Babyjesus. If the TBJ is out there from the start then I am going 3-1 Blues.
• Newcastle 0-2 Wolves – Newcastle has scored five goals all season, in part because Steve Bruce has no idea how to properly play to Miggy Almiron’s strengths. The only reason this isn’t a LOCK is that Wolves are coming off another tough Spursday night game in Europa, which has been a bit of an issue for much of the season.
• ARSENAL 1-0 Palace – Credit to Palace for a shockingly solid start to the season. I honestly don’t know how they have done it. As in, seriously, they are in 6th place on 14 points from nine games having scored… wait for it… EIGHT GOALS! Talk about holding it together with twigs and chewing gum. Unai Emery’s personnel selections continue to make very little sense to me but if he plays most or even some of his best players (several of which were rested on Spursday) they should be too good.
• Norwich 1-2 UNITED – Norwich is just over a month removed from beating City – member that? My how the situation has changed in the weeks since as the Canaries have gone from exciting upstarts to overmatched yesterday’s news. The wee buggers gotta show me something before I’d ever put more moneys on them at this point… even against United.
LAP AROUND THE WORLD
ITALY – 6th place Roma vs 12th place Milan on Sunday in a battle to see who will continue to have one of the more disappointing starts in the league
SPAIN – El Clasico postponed… sad! Let’s go with Getafe visiting Sevilla on Sunday (12:30pm CT).
GERMANY Schalke host Dortmund on Saturday (8:30am CT).
So there we have it. Big weekend. In and out. Stay safe out there, fam.