Samuel Army’s Weekend Soccer Preview + Picks – The “Boxing Day(s) Bonanza” Edition
Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
Welp. It was a good run.
It looks like my shotgun relationship with Manchester United may be coming to an end.
The “love” that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. Point being any unconscious bias that I might have been harbouring in favor of United…
Now onto the Boxing Day previewing and predictioning!
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Scores from last weekend:
Honorable mention: Chelsea, Southampton, Burnley
20. Sheffield Utd
19. West Brom
Dishonorable mention: Palace, Brighton, Arsenal
WATCHABILITY INDEX (meaning highest on the must-watch TV scale… not always for complimentary reasons)
1. Leeds (“fck defense let’s get buckwild’)
2. United (nobody more schizo than United at the moment)
3. Arsenal (they have to score some goals at some point, right? Right???)
Table as things stand:
Dangly status: CRITICAL DROOPAGE
And the schedule for this weekend:
PICKS OF THE WEEKEND
Arsenal have been bad. Real bad. This is the kind of game where in the past I would fully expect them to come up with an unexpectedly impressive performance. This team just doesn’t seem capable of it at the moment – especially if Aubameyang (who hasn’t been great anyway) is out with a calf problem. Chelsea have issues of their own with too many guys – eg, Werner, Havertz, Giroud and Abraham – all wanting to play in the same dang spot up top… but none of them have taken the bull by the horns and scored on a consistent basis. Still got too much for Arsenal though.
Prediction: CHELSEA TO WIN 2-1
Easily the best game of the weekend (though it may get a little overshadowed by the luster of a “London Dærby”). Lester – specifically their midfield – treated Tottenham like a little btch boy last weekend and got a full week of rest whereas United played a midweek Make-Belieague quarterfinal against Everton. Advantage (Sneaky) Foxes, no doubt, especially with this game kickoff off at the buttcrack of dawn on Saturday.
However, OGS rested some guys on Wednesday and United away from Old Trafford has been unstoppable for whatever reason. Tough not to be excited about the game as a neutral, which should be back and forth with plenty of opportunities on both ends, but gun to head I think United will struggle but find a way.
Prediction: UNITED TO WIN 3-2
Wolves have been a tough team to pin down this season, with their two latest results – beating Chelsea then losing to Burnley – being a perfect microcosm of their inconsistent form. A lot of that is no doubt a result of trying to cope (and score) without Raul Jimenez. I was leaning towards Tottenham being too much to handle but Dear Leader Jozay played a shockingly strong XI in the midweek against Stoke. Spurs looked tired in that game soooooooo needless to say this weekend could be a real slog.
Prediction: 1-1 draw
Some more predictions… to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right, maybe (note: gonna start highlighting my BETTER BETS – meaning the ones I legitimately like as opposed to just picking because it's kinda my make pretend job – in BOLD):
• Villa 1-1 Palace
• Fulham 2-3 SOUTHAMPTON
• CITY 1-0 Newcastle
• Sheffield Utd 0-2 EVERTON
• LEEDS 2-1 Burnley
• WEST HAM 3-1 Brighton
• LIVERPOOL 2-0 West Brom
REST OF WORLD
Everybody else is on siesta this weekend.
So there we have it. While all the other leagues are kicking back the Premier League is going balls to the wall over the next week with another full slate of games kicking off on Monday and then yet another next weekend. The biggest winner(s) may be the club(s) that come through this holiday crunch with as few big injuries as possible.
Merrrrrrrry christmas and thanks for reading you beauties!