Tag Archives: football

WSL Update: Gameweek eight review and week nine preview

Arsenal break top-flight winning margin, the Hammers earn dramatic victory and the Royals secure last minute draw

 The Gunners were in phenomenal form last weekend, securing a record 11-1 victory over struggling Bristol City at Meadow Park. 

 Dutch record goal scorer, Vivianne Miedema, played a pivotal role in the outcome of the game by scoring six times and provided four assists.

 This result moves Arsenal to the top of the table, level on points with Manchester City, who secured a 1-0 win over bottom side Liverpool thanks to a headed goal from former reds captain, Gemma Bonner.

Fellow title contenders Chelsea meanwhile had their game with Everton postponed due to a frozen pitch meaning that they dropped to third.  A date for the rearranged match is yet to be confirmed.

Reading meanwhile secured a dramatic draw with Hope Powell’s Brighton thanks to a goal from their midfielder Remi Allen, who converted the last kick of the match in a goalmouth scramble that secured a 2-2 draw for the Royals.

There was also drama in West Ham’s match with Manchester United.  The Hammers overturned a 2-1 deficit to secure a 3-2 victory at their Rush Green Stadium. Two free kicks in the last ten minutes from German midfielder Katharina Baunach helped complete a thrilling comeback.

The final game of the round saw Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City play out a 1-1 draw at the Blues’ Damson Park Stadium. Abbi Grant gave the midlands club the lead in the first half before the North London side hit back through Kit Graham, 17 minutes from time that earned Spurs their first top flight draw.

Gameweek nine preview: Sunday 8th December

Chelsea vs Manchester City (Kick-Off 12:00) – Match on TV BT Sport 3

Undoubtedly the match of the weekend, only two points and one place separates these two sides heading into this encounter.

Emma Hayes’ blues are currently the only unbeaten team in the league while Manchester City have only lost once in the league all season.

The last four league meetings between these two teams have ended in draws, with Chelsea needing a 89thminute goal from So-yun Ji in the last match between the sides, to secure a 2-2 draw at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium.

Prediction: Draw 1-1

Think this will be a high quality match, both sides are in terrific form heading into this one but we predict that the encounter will ultimately end up as a draw. Both teams will be happy with at this stage.

Manchester United vs Everton (12:00)

Both of these sides have met once already this season with Casey Stoney’s Manchester United winning 3-0 on that occasion in the WSL Cup.  They have also both enjoyed decent starts to the campaign, just three points currently separates Everton in fourth from Manchester United in fifth.

The Red Devils however have been very strong at home this season having only lost on one occasion in all competitions and that was against defending champions Arsenal.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 win

Anticipating a much tighter match than their only previous meeting in the cup, we think that United will just come out on top in this one due to their strong home form so far this season.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion (14:00)

This is the first time either of these sides have met in the Women Super League and both are coming into this game not in the best of form, having drawn against Birmingham City and Reading respectively last time out.

Tottenham have only won once at home all season and that was against bottom side Liverpool in their first home match of the campaign, while Brighton has not won an away match all season.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 win

I fancy Spurs to get back to winning ways.

Liverpool vs West Ham United (14:00)

Last season the reds did the league double over the Hammers and the Merseyside club desperately need a win to kick-start their campaign.  They put in an improved display against Manchester City in their last match and could of perhaps nicked something.

The Hammers meanwhile have been very up and down this season, reflected by their current league position of eight. They did secure an important 3-2 win against Manchester United last weekend.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 win

I have a feeling that the Vicky Jepson’s side will finally secure that elusive first win of the campaign in this one.

Reading vs Arsenal (14:30)

Reading has never beaten the Gunners in their seven encounters with the current champions. The Royals however did manage a draw in the corresponding fixture last season, 0-0.

Kelly Chambers’ team will however be forgiven for approaching this match with trepidation having witnessed the Gunners put 11 past a struggling Bristol City team last weekend.

They will particularly have to keep an eye on the leagues’ current top scorer, Vivianne Miedema if they hope to get anything from this match.

Prediction: Arsenal 4-1 win

Predicting a comfortable victory for the league leaders.

Bristol City vs Birmingham City (15:00)

Both sides are heading into this match short on confidence and are struggling near the bottom of the table.

Tanya Oxtoby’s west midlands team in particular will still be recovering from their record defeat against the Gunners last time out.

The Blues meanwhile are fairing slightly better and do have a good record against Bristol City having won four of their five encounters, however the Robins only victory over Birmingham did come earlier this year.

Prediction: Birmingham City 2-0 win

I think that Bristol City will still not have fully recovered from their heavy defeat to Arsenal last weekend and anticipating the blues to come away with the points.

Amazon prime: a new era for football broadcasting?

As Amazon Prime Video broadcast their first Premier League games this week, is this a preview of things to come?

Image result for amazon package
Not your usual delivery! Amazon take on new Premier League broadcasting deal.

In an agreed 3 year deal, Amazon are set to start out their football broadcasting career with December’s fixtures. This strategic deal comes with aim of the company to see an influx of new customers during the busiest time of the year. For the already members of Amazon Prime, they will benefit from watching for free whereas new customers can enjoy a free trial, with follow up prices at the beginning of permament membership set to increase. A free trial period is a risk taken by operators at Amazon in hope that people will follow up their subscriptions.

If this is the way football media is heading, the effects could be very damaging in terms of reducing live match day attendances. As the variety of subscription services are increasing, it is likely football fans will already subscribe to at least one of the major sports broadcasters in Sky Sports, BT Sport or now Amazon. Alongside the current expense of travelling to away games especially, could this be another factor to prevent football fans from travelling away?

If this is to be the case, in the next ten years there could be rapid change in how the game operates. Football’s commercialisation is continually on the up rise – meaning football clubs always have to look to protect themselves financially. This could mean in future they take broadcasting opportunities into their own hands. Could it be that the clubs themselves start up subscription services such as those of MUFC TV and LFC TV? These already offer some game footage and insider viewing for their subscribers. For supporters this could become a choice between your traditional season ticket or a digital season ticket for home viewing.

Despite this, it is unlikely clubs will endeavour to claim tv rights from the broadcasters just yet, so for now it seems it shall be them battling it out for top spot of football television.

Match preview: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN VS LEEDS UNITED

On the back of two polar opposite results at the weekend, will form go out the window in the West Yorkshire derby?

With Leeds United undoubtedly being the most successful West Yorkshire team so far this season it would be expected they would take all three points from The John Smiths stadium in the early kick off on Saturday. However, the last two contests between the two teams, all be it two seasons ago, saw bragging rights sway in Huddersfield’s direction with a 1-0 win at Elland Road and a 2-1 score line on home turf.

Leeds will be heading into the game on the back of an emphatic 4-0 win against Middlesbrough which continued an unbeaten run of eight games. Arguably Leeds’ strongest team in recent years, accompanied with a highly praised manager in Marcelo Bielsa has seen them excel through the season and sit second in the table closely behind West Bromich Albion.

However, a short trip down the M62 tells a much different story. Huddersfield have not had the most comfortable of returns to the Championship, recording just four wins since August but had seemed to find some form under new boss Danny Cowley in recent weeks. The Terriers were put to shame with a 5-2 defeat at Ashton Gate on Saturday, a place Huddersfield have never enjoyed visiting, which may dampen wishes of 3 points against their closest rivals on the 7th.

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Last time out; Michael Hefele secures a Terrier’s victory with last minute winner in an ugly derby game.

Due to the important stake of bragging rights surrounding the game, both sets of supporters will be reliant on their star players turning up. For the Lily Whites, Patrick Bamford will be who they are looking out for to make an impact, just as he has done in recent weeks with 7 goals to his name this season. With a misshapen Huddersfield defence of late, with both first choice full backs in Jaden Brown and Danny Simpson out with injury, it could be an area for Leeds to take advantage. Equally, Huddersfield with be hopeful prolific striker Karlan Grant maintains his impressive goal scoring record for the season, Grant is argued for be Town’s most important player this season and someone they do not want to let go of.

If anything is to go off the last outing against the two sides, the game is set to be a physical, highly fought and possibly ugly. However a game that will surely be enjoyed by both sides and entertaining for the neutral.

Zlatan Ibrahimović set to return to A.C. Milan

After starring for the MLS’ LA Galaxy for the past two seasons, Zlatan Ibrahimović has reportedly agreed to a principle deal, returning to A.C. Milan for at least until the end of this season.

Ibrahimović, who scored 42 goals in 61 appearances for the Serie A side from 2010 to 2012, will be brought in for some much-needed assistance as Stefano Pioli’s Milan are currently in 11th place in the league with a record of 5-2-7. The Lion has several years of Serie A experience under his belt, playing for the likes of Juventus (2004 to 2006), Inter Milan (2006 to 2009), as well as Milan. 

However, critics wonder if Ibrahimović, 38, will be able to play at a high level in one of the top leagues in the world. Even though the Swedish international played a pivotal role for the Galaxy as he accumulated 52 goals in 56 appearances for the club, the North American league is considered a place where Europe’s biggest stars come to retire. 

This move back to the San Siro will be a huge step in Ibrahimović’s career to see if he still has the ability to play a top-level league. Do you think he will shine again in Italy?

WSL weekly round-up and predictions for week eight

The top five sides in the Women’s Super League all won in this week’s round of matches, while 10-player Reading pulled off a remarkable 3-2 comeback against West Ham United.   

Convincing wins for the WSL top two

League leaders Chelsea thrashed Birmingham City 6-0 thanks to a brilliant free kick from Ji-So- Yun, a striker’s finish from centre back Millie Bright doubled the Blues advantage. Two goals a piece from England striker Beth England and Drew Spence followed this.

Title challengers Manchester City put five past West Midlands side Bristol City to claim their sixth win of the season from seven games.  Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert scored the only goal of an otherwise uneventful first half.

The second half saw Nick Cushing’s side run away with it however, England’s star striker Ellen White doubled the visitors lead before German striker Pauline Bremer scored two late goals either side of Caroline Weir’s long range finish.

Defending Champions grind out win

The Gunners meanwhile stay in third place following a 1-0 win over bottom side Liverpool.  Last season’s top scorer, Vivianne Miedema scored the only goal of the game mid-way through the first half.

Joe Montemurro’s side however were wasteful in front of goal with Beth Mead and Danielle van de Donk wasting good chances, while Leah Williamson struck the cross bar from long range.

Liverpool meanwhile has still to score from open play this season with their only goal coming in the 1-1 draw with Bristol City from the penalty spot.

Toffees prove too good for Spurs

Everton secure their third league win in a row as they produced an impressive display against Tottenham.  The Toffees captain, Lucy Graham scored one and had a huge influence in forcing the own goal.

This win moves the Merseyside club up to fourth in the table just three points behind Arsenal in third.

United record their biggest WSL win so far

Leah Galton starred in an impressive 4-0 win for Casey’s Stoney’s Manchester United side against Hope Powell’s Brighton & Hove Albion.  The United striker scored two and set up the opening goal for winger Lauren James. Katie Zalem then secured all three points for the home side from the spot late on.

This win means that the Red Devils have won four of their past five matches in the WSL and currently sit fifth in the table.

Royals pull off stunning comeback

The most entertaining match of the weekend involved last season’s FA Cup Finalists, West Ham.  The Hammers went 2-0 up through goals from Katharina Baunach and Irish striker Leanne Kieran, in between the goals; Reading’s Welsh midfielder, Rachel Rowe was shown a straight red card.

The Royals however, went on to score three goals in seven second half minutes to complete a remarkable 3-2 win. They could have even added to their tally as England midfielder Fara Williams and Sophie Howard both hit the woodwork.

Preview and Predictions for Week 8

Friday November 29th

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Reading Kick-off (19:45)

The Royals won both meetings between the sides last season and have been impressive away from home this campaign so far having won three of their four away matches.

Hope Powell’s team meanwhile have only won one match at home all season, however that win came in their last home match against Birmingham City.

Prediction: Reading 3-1

The Royals are coming off an impressive victory against West Ham last week and have the momentum, I can see them claiming all three points in this one.

Sunday December 1st

Everton vs Chelsea (12:30)

In the four meetings that have taken place between these two sides so far Everton are yet to record a victory.  The Toffees however did draw this corresponding fixture last season 0-0 back in September 2018.

Both sides are also in terrific form at the moment as Everton have won three WSL games in a row against Brighton, Liverpool and Tottenham.  While the Blues have yet to loose a match all season and have so far only dropped points against Brighton, where they drew 1-1 in matchday two.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1

This is a tough game for league leaders, Everton are playing well at the moment however I can see Emma Hayes’ side just sneaking the win.

Arsenal vs Bristol City (12:30) – Live on BBC Red Button and online

This is the second meeting in the space of two weeks between these two sides.  Arsenal won their league cup meeting with Bristol City 7-0 so the West Midlands club will certainly go into this match with trepidation.

Bristol City are still yet to win a match in the Super League this season and have never beaten Arsenal in their previous six meetings with the Gunners.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-0

The Gunners were wasteful in front of goal against Liverpool and should have scored more last weekend, Bristol City however are struggling and can’t see them proving too much trouble for Joe Montemurro’s side.

Manchester City vs Liverpool (14:00)

Liverpool have only beaten Manchester City once in their seven encounters between the two sides, that victory came back in May 2018, a 1-0 win curtsy of a goal from Beth England, who now plays for Chelsea.

This season the citizens are currently unbeaten at home and have won every Super League home match so far.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-0

I am predicting another comfortable afternoon for Nick Cushing’s side. 

West Ham United vs Manchester United (15:00)

This is the first Super League match between these two sides; the Hammers however have been struggling at home so far this season having only won once.  That was on match day two against Birmingham City 1-0.

Casey Stoney’s team meanwhile have been in good form in the last few matches and were unlucky to loose their last away match at Chelsea 1-0.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1

Expect the red devils to keep their impressive start to WSL life going.

Wednesday 4thDecember

Birmingham City vs Tottenham Hotspur (19:30)

This game has been moved from it’s orginal date due to Solihull’s FA Cup Second round match with Rotherham at Birmingham’s SportNation.Bet Stadium on the 2ndDecember.   

This is the first ever-domestic meeting between these two sides as Tottenham are newly promoted to the Super League this season.

Both sides are coming into this game out of form having lost their last three matches in all competitions.

The midlands side struggles show how they have missed the influence of former striker Ellen White who scored 21 super league goals in 26 appearances for the club before departing for Manchester City in the summer.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0

Birmingham City are a team that are struggling to replicate their form of the last campaign and lost comprehensively against Chelsea last time out. I think that Tottenham will be the team that gets back on track in this one.