Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
The English Premier League is back and people are about to get mad and sad and depressed and godamn we are going to savor every single second of it so much more. Normally I would put out one blog covering the “weekend” games and another for the “midweek” slate… but – much like the rest of life these days – the lines are going to be blurred over the next couple months as leagues try to squeeze as many games in as fast as they can
before the second wave hits to finish as quickly as possible. As such, I haven’t quite figured out how often to post blogs but for now let’s take a quick look at what to watch for over the first few days (and worry about later, welp, a little later)…
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Not that these are at all relevant at this point, but for posterity’s sake here are the scores from the last round of game (most than three months ago):
Needless to say this is a total crapshoot as well but taking into account recent results PLUS the return of some extremely important players due to injury…
Honorable mention: Wolves, Arsenal, Tottenham, Lester
19. Aston Villa
Dishonorable mention: Bournemouth, Watford
Table as things stand:
And finally the upcoming schedule:
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Reminder: we just dropped a podcast in which Larry Nance Jr (big Chelsea fan), Mikey Fowler (Gooner) and myself (unbiased and neutral) went into a lot of detail about the storylines and games to watch, and included plenty of predictions about how the battle for top five and relegation will play out, and of course picks for the games this week/weekend. So if you want a more detailed discussion please go check that out. Below, for your reading pleasure, I will include an abbreviated summary…
HUGE game between two of the biggest wild cards coming off the extended layoff. Spurs were absolute garbage before The Rona potentially saved their ass (or at least gave them a lifeline) by allowing their entire strike force to recover from long-term injuries. This team is going to look a LOT different than the beleaguered side that was limping along in early March. United have also been boosted by the returns of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. Should be a fun game, made all the more fun by the fact that it doesn’t matter how much “rest” Spurs got because their defense is still going to be absolutely shambolic. Best bet of the day: lots and lots and lots of goals – if you don’t bet the OVER you hate money. Plain and simple.
Prediction: Spurs to win 3-2 in large part because that will give me faint hope that the team could claw its way back into Champions League contention… because it is the hope that will hurt the most when they poop the bed later on.
I mean that pretty much says it all. Well, that and this:
Real talk though: Arsenal are most dangerous when you expect the least from them. Believe me, I know of what I speak. So, yes, City is a far better team on paper but there are enough unpredictable features – layoff, distraction of the impending suspension, David Luiz – that I can’t help but think that the Gunners are going to make this a MUCH closer game than everyone seems to think. Arsenal to win 2-2 makes a TON of sense… but I’ll be a little wuss baby and say…
Prediction: City to win 2-1
People kinda forget that Liverpool went into the unexpected break fresh off getting their boots knocked by Watford and crashing out of Champions League against Atletico Madrid. The fact is that Everton have zero to play for… unless City mess around and lose to Arsenal, which would mean Liverpool could win the damn league at Goodison. Yikes. In fact that is the only way I could see Everton even giving Liverpool a fight in this one. I’ll assume that City do the business though, taking some of the pressure off.
Prediction: Liverpool to win 2-0
Some more predictions (to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right – maybe):
• Norwich 1-2 SOUTHAMPTON
• Watford 1-1 Lester
• Brighton 1-3 ARSENAL
• West Ham 0-1 WOLVES
• Bournemouth 1-2 PALACE
• Newcastle 1-1 Sheffield Utd
• VILLA 2-1 Chelsea
• CITY 2-0 Burnley
We back! We really back! I have missed it – and you beautiful people – so much! Lots more content coming. Stay tuned.