Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
EDITOR’S NOTE: BREAKING NEWS OF MAN CITY’S TWO-SEASON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BAN ADDRESSED DIRECTLY BELOW
Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is allegedly in the air. You know what is not up in the air? Who is going to win the Premier League because Liverpool has that ish on lockdown
or do they…….
Nah, they do, they really really do. You can root for flying asteroids or viral pandemics or nuclear-weaponized dictators/terrorists all you want but the fact is Liverpool are champions and we must all accept it.
The good news is that there is still a TON to play for. In England alone we have a battle for top four that will likely come down to the final weekend, plus a serious relegation scrap involving a whole slew of teams that will be sweating their balls off for the next few months… meanwhile Norwich is lounging by the pool sipping on
And then we got possible title challenges in Spain and Italy, and the best race of all in Ze Bundesliga… and don’t even get me started on Champions League where Liverpool’s incredible season could suddenly feel a little less special and/or Pep says he could get shit-canned and/or Mourinho+Spurs=???? and/or is Barcelona done or finished and/or is PSG going to finally not blow it and/or nobody is discussing Bayern but they may be soon and/or is Zizou somehow a better coach than player and/or yeah, you get the idea.
Point being, who needs love when you have soccer drama? Not me! Now let’s take a look at the weekend ahead…
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
WE INTERRUPT THIS STORY FOR A LATE BREAKING ANNOUNCEMENT:
Wow. I have been saying for many months if now years that this is going to be a big deal annnnnnnnnnnd yes, this is a big deal. Who knows what the fallout is going to be but here are some general thought and/or predictions off the top of my head:
- Shot in the dark: City’s high powered attorneys get the ban reduced to one season on appeal
- Players that were maybe/probably gonna leave are absolutely gone (notably Leroy Sane and David Silva)
- City finds a way to pay existing players enough to keep most of them
- Pep leaves for – after a season of rest and recuperation – Juventus (though it would be funnier if he joined PSG and then they get banned for something similar)
That is all in the future though. In the right here and now THE TOP FIVE IS NOW KEY FOR THIS SEASON (Lester, Chelsea, Sheffield, Spurs, Wolves, Everton, United and arguably Arsenal fans rejoice) AND this ramps up the importance of this season’s Champions League for City by a factor of a zillion (beers), and by golly I am 100000000000000% (beers) here for it. Pep was already talking about getting fired if he doesn’t win it before this happened before [had he heard the whispers of what was coming down? Prolly]… but the pressure now… wow, this is gonna be fun [for neutrals].
Reminder: last weekend was shaping up to be the worst non-international break weekend of games in history and it managed to even exceed these expectations when the City/West Ham game got cancelled due to inclement weather. Anyway, the handful of games that were played ended like this:
Honorable mention: Chelsea, United, Tottenham, Sheffield Utd
- West Ham
Dishonorable mention: Aston Villa, Brighton, Palace
Annotated table as things stand:
And finally another abbreviated weekend schedule (albeit nowhere near as tame as last week):
PICKS OF THE WEEKEND
So let’s be clear about one thing: this is obviously the highest profile game of the weekend but it was NOT – on paper anyway – the best game of the weekend, which should have been Wolves/Lester…. until that game turned into a yawnfest. Ah well.
United signing a striker on deadline day who (a) isn’t good and (b) can’t practice or play with the team because he came from China and might have coronavirus. The hilariousness of that situation is really, REALLY not being talked about enough.
That leads to the obvious question: who is going to put the biscuit in the basket for United? Martial? Maybe. Greenwood? Perhaps (if OGS lets him play). Pogba? Haha, jk.
So I’m breaking my own rule and saying No Pulisic, Maybe (A Small) Party. Chelsea to win 2-1.
Couple more predictions (to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right – maybe):
• SOUTHAMPTON 1-2 Burnley
• Norwich 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL
• Aston Villa 2-3 TOTTENHAM
• ARSENAL 2-0 Newcastle
REST OF WORLD
GERMANY – Not a great weekend in Ze Bundesliga (for once) but let’s go with Paderborn hosting the suddenly Klinsmann-less Hertha Berlin on Saturday (8:30am CT).
ITALY – Atalanta host Roma on Saturday (1:45pm CT) and Inter visit Lazio on Sunday (1:45pm CT).
SPAIN – Real Madrid welcome Celta Vigo on Sunday (2pm CT).
CHAMPIONSHIP – 5th place Nottingham Forest head to 1st place West Brom bright and early on Saturday (6:30am CT). Great game. Watch it. (ps: wtf is happening to Leeds… In Bielsa We [Still] Trust????)
So there we have it. Sorry for no pod. Some unexpected travel stuff came up and interview canceled last minute. Good one coming next week though. That is my promise to you - both of you. Love ya'll.