Tag Archives: Manchester City

Will Liverpool make it unbeaten?

As of their recent fixture against Sheffield United, Liverpool completed a full calendar year unbeaten in the Premier League and with performances like Thursday’s, their run looks set to continue.

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A fimilar image; Liverpool’s front three celebrate another Premier League goal.

Nothing but admiration is what has to been given to Liverpool’s perfomances of late, whether it has been a goal fest as such against Mersyside neighbours Everton or a 1-0 against a valiant Wolverhampton. Liverpool’s football has been mature and is evidence of 4 years of Jurgen Klopp’s management and timely building of what can be suggested to be a world class team.

The front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah have been poignant to the Red’s success in front of goal but this season, but its been clear the rest of the team are just as important. Working from the back, Virgil Van Dijk has been at the heart of their defence. Advantageous to the team, Van Dijk’s height to reach defensive headers and composure when passing out from the back under pressure, is a massive part of his game and why he is a world renowned defender.

What is particular about the Liverpool team is their knowledge of spatial awareness with passes and even clearances nearly always find man in red helping to maximise possession. Aswell, as passing their way through teams, Liverpool boast the talent of their two first choice full backs in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Their crosses into the penalty area have become staple to the team’s goal scoring opportunities with both players continuing to rack up their personal assists.

It can be argued Liverpool’s success has been formulated from all aspects of their play and management and a new culture brought in by Klopp since his arrival. This season has also seen them be able to cope with absentees of Lovren and Matip in defence due quality in the depths of their sqaud. Which can be contrasted to league rivals Manchester City who have not had an as simple season as reigning champions. Aymeric Laporte’s injury early in the season has made him exempt for the majority of City’s games and their results show they have not been able to cope as well as the City fans would have wanted. Consequently seeing them fall further and further behind League leaders Liverpool.

There is a feeling this is already Liverpool’s year and 13 points ahead it is difficult to see where 4 defeats would come from, even if Liverpool are prevented of an invincible title its hard to see them not lifting the Premier League trophy come spring.

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?

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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.

Manchester City owners add Mumbai City to CFG network

“We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole.”

Manchester City owners City Football Group (CFG) have announced the purchase of a majority stake in Mumbai City FC.

It comes just a day after CFG announced the sale of a 10% stake to American technology investment firm Silver Lake for $500 million, valuing the group at just short of $5 billion.

The Indian Super League side become the eighth football club involved in the group’s network, also joining Melbourne City in Australia, New York City in the USA, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu in China.

It was announced on Thursday morning that a 65 per cent share has been acquired, while the club’s existing shareholders – including actor and film producer Ranbir Kapoor – will hold the remaining shares.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG, said in a statement that the group believes the investment will provide “transformative benefits” for Mumbai City, CFG and to Indian football as a whole.

He added: “City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.

“We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the Club as quickly as possible.”

While the deal provides clear benefits for Mumabi City and Indian football, it is also likely to benefit the rest of the CFG network, in particular flagship club Man City.

With the Premier League champions unable to play in countries such as India or the USA every week, CFG provides an opportunity to maintain franchises of the brand in such locations, enabling a constant market presence.

Deloitte’s Fernando Pons has stated that the CFG model is a leading example of ‘glocalisation’, a concept which implies adapting global products for local markets.

And while Man City merchandise isn’t sold by other CFG clubs – so that supporters of different British teams are not alienated – Pons states that followers of subsidiaries will almost certainly become MCFC fans.

A wider network of clubs improves their capabilities in terms of supporter base, and the larger their fan base the more revenue CFG will produce. With that in mind, it is unlikely that the group will stop at Mumbai, and – according to reports – CFG could make a move in Brazil and Mexico next.

Women Super League – 24/7 Football weekly round-up and predictions

Women’s Football Weekend: 16-17thNovember

WSL attendance figures soared as the first ever Women’s football weekend proved a huge success and as the Tottenham co-head coach, Karen Hill expressed,

 “ It shouldn’t be a moment – it should be something that hopefully becomes the norm.”

More than 70,000 attended the six matches on show last weekend that included a Super League record 38,262 fans at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium watching Arsenal’s 2-0 win against North London rivals Tottenham.   This surpassed the previous record that was set on the opening day of the campaign at the Manchester Derby by a further 5,265.

In terms of the League itself after six games played only a point separates the top three of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.

The league leaders, Chelsea secured a 1-0 win against newly promoted Manchester United in front of a sell out 4,790 crowd at the Cherry Record Stadium, thanks to a penalty from Norway defender, Maren Majelde in the 68thminute.

Casey Stoney’s United side were unfortunate not to get anything from the match as their striker, Ella Toone was denied by the woodwork eight minutes from the end.

England’s Georgia Stanway featured heavily in Manchester City’s 5-0 win over West Ham United, the midfielder scored twice but was then sent off in the second half on what was her 100thappearance for the club.

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool are still searching for their first win of the campaign after slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton, in the first ever Super League match to be held at Anfield.

A mistake from Liverpool keeper Anke Preuss, who fumbled Lucy Graham’s strike into the goal before half time ultimately proved the difference between the two teams.

Brighton & Hove Albion however were able to secure their first win of the season at the Amex Stadium as they beat Birmingham City 3-0 thanks to two goals from striker, Kayleigh Green.  Bristol City meanwhile twice came back from two goals against Reading at the Madjeski Stadium to draw 3-3.

Preview and Predictions for Week Seven – Sunday November 24th

Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion (12:30pm)

Following Brighton’s first win of the campaign last weekend; the seagulls travel to face Casey Stoney’s Manchester United at the Leigh Sports Village.  Hope Powell’s team have now won their last two games in all competitions, having also won 5-0 against the London Bees in the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday and look to have turned a corner after a difficult start to the season.  United however will be determined to bounce back from last weekend’s set back against Chelsea.

Prediction: 2-0 Manchester United

Despite Brighton’s recent upturn in form I think Manchester United played well last week and were unlucky to not get anything. I can see them returning to winning ways in the league.

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur (12:30pm)

Spurs come into this game having lost back-to-back games against their London rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea in all competitions. Everton meanwhile won a closely fought Merseyside Derby and are one of this season’s surprise packages having won four of their six games in the league so far and are currently sitting fourth.

Prediction: 2-1 Everton

I reckon that the Toffees will maintain their impressive start to the season, Tottenham are currently going through a tricky period and I believe that will continue at Everton’s Haig Avenue.

Bristol City vs Manchester City (12:30pm) – Live on the BBC Red Button and Online

Bristol City is one of two sides in the Super League who have yet to record a victory this season.  Their were however signs that things are started to turn around for them as they showed plenty of character to claim a point at Reading last time out.  Nick Cushing’s City side have been very impressive so far this campaign, despite being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month they have only lost once in the league so far this season.

Prediction: 3-0 Manchester City

Despite an improved display by the West Midlands side in their last match I cannot see them getting anything against one of the leading sides.

Arsenal vs Liverpool (2pm)

The Gunners head into this game in fine form having won five out of their last six matches in all competitions.  Their opponents, Liverpool however are in desperate need of a win having lost three matches and are still to win in the league this season. Vicky Jepson’s side however did play well against their Merseyside rivals last time out that demonstrates a first win might not be too far away.

Prediction: 4-0 Arsenal

Joe Montemurro’s team are on an impressive run and think that will continue against the league’s bottom side.

Birmingham City vs Chelsea (2:45pm) – Live on BT Sport 1

The Midlands side have proved to be a tough nut for the league leaders to crack in recent times. Emma Hayes’ team lost their last league meeting 3-2 back in January of this year at the Cherry Red Record Stadium and they could only draw the corresponding fixture 0-0 last season. Birmingham has however struggled to replicate their form of the last campaign having only managed one win in the league this season against the bottom side, Liverpool.

Prediction: 3-1 Chelsea

I don’t think that Birmingham are playing well enough at the moment to cause the West London side the same problems that they did last season.

West Ham United vs Reading (3pm)

Both of these sides have enjoyed mixed starts to the season so far, the Royals are currently one point and one place ahead of this Sunday’s opponents in seventh.  The Hammers however have won two of the three league meetings between the teams, but the corresponding fixture last season finished 0-0.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Both sides are currently struggling for consistency and both managers will think this is a game that they cannot afford to lose.