Natz’s Premier League Musings

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Times like these I really wish I would have put my money where my mouth is.

I have been saying that Leicester City would win the Premier League since the start of their winning run earlier in the season and have fervently stuck with this belief through thick and rarely thin where Leceister’s form is concerned…

This evening I said that Tottenham was due a loss having only lost once this year, and I was right!

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Arsenal are definitely not deserving of winning the league and once again proved this by losing to the Swans at home tonight…

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The sooner everyone accepts Rainieri and his Foxes are title contenders the better….Despite their home draw to the baggies last night, they are comfortably at the top with a 3 point lead after the results tonight.

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Whether the rest of the world plays catch up and accepts that the league is Leceister City’s to lose or not though, it’s the status quo and I’m pretty chuffed to proclaim that I have known it all along.😉😎

🌟⚽🌟⚽🌟⚽🌟

               ~ Bloodsugar❤Natz⚽

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Premier League Gameweek 26 Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Liverpool

BEFORE THE GAME

A stuttering Liverpool side – we have only won one out of our last six Premier League fixtures – go to Villa Park on Sunday to take on a resurgent Aston Villa. Villa have lost only one of their last five Premier League games, having kept a clean sheet in three of those matches, they are on a four game unbeaten run at home.

 This match is an important one for: CHRISTIAN BENTEKE

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Liverpool have beaten Aston Villa in five of our last six Premier League meetings at Villa Park. As an Aston Villa player, our current number 9, Christian Benteke scored 5 goals in six games against Liverpool in all competitions. With the option of a – dare I say it? – fit Daniel Sturridge, an in-form Roberto Firmino, as well as Divock Origi in the strike force department, Benteke; who has not scored in his last five appearances, could find himself on the bench. Benteke has something to prove against his former club though, given the key opportunities he missed to score, during our fourth round replay match loss to West Ham and subsequent exit from the FA Cup tournament on Tuesday night.

INJURY WOES

Jordan Ayew is currently serving his three match suspension for the red card he received in ridiculous fashion against West Ham two weeks ago. Aston Villa’s team selection is further marred by the injuries to Libor Kazak’s ankle, Adama Traore’s foot and Jordan Amavi’s knee.

Joe Allen is out with a shoulder injury on the Liverpool injured list, while Skrtel and Lovren are still not match fit.

FANTASY LEAGUE CHOICES

On the Fantasy Premier League front, defender, Joleon Lescott scored 15 points at Carrow Road last weekend, and Villa’s recent form, has been thanks to their goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

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Roberto Firmino is currently the only Liverpool player that can realistically be considered for Fantasy Premier League selection, scoring 13 points last weekend against Sunderland and 18 points two weeks before that against Norwich City.

MANAGERIAL COMMENTARY

Remi Garde on his team’s recent performance;

If we are playing the same game against Liverpool (as against Norwich), we will have no chance to have points. My job is to say ‘well done lads for the victory and three points but the football we played won’t be enough to take points from the Liverpool game.

Jurgen Klopp on Benteke;

I saw really good signs against West Ham. Having this number of opportunities is a good sign. But it’s not too easy. I talked to him, a few times, gave him some advice as a human being, as a coach. He’s really trying to come back in an easy moment.

NATZ’S PREDICTION*

Our lack of attacking options in our starting eleven on the whole has caused me great anxiety recently, but with Sturridge and Coutinho returning to the fold, I am hopeful for a much needed win. I do not expect an easy Sunday afternoon out though as Aston Villa have gained much needed – although somewhat delayed – momentum, which cannot and definitely should not, be underestimated. My prediction however, is absolutely filled with the standard Scouser hope in my heart

*Aston Villa 1 – 2 Liverpool

             ⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫

                              👣👣👣

Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter for all things relative to LFC & me😘

Capital One Cup semi-final second leg – Tuesday, 26 January 2016

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Liverpool (56% possession FT) 0 – 1 Stoke City (44% possession FT)

Stadium: Anfield
Attendance: 43,091
Referee: J Moss
Opposition manager: Mark Hughes
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 4 Touré, 17 Sakho, 18 Moreno, 38 Flanagan, 7 Milner, 14 Henderson (captain), 20 Lallana, 21 Lucas, 23 Can, 11 Firmino
Substitutes used: Benteke on for Henderson at 58’, Allen on for Touré at 85’, Ibe on for Flannagan at 105’

Match report: Penalty shoot-out

I. Our 5 goals at Norwich felt like it had all been a dream whilst watching this game as we appeared almost hesitant in attack, with none of the players seeming willing to take a chance. Our attempts at goal were sparse, with only Can and Henderson attempting long range shots (the attempts I love to hate) which did nothing to test Jack Butland during the first half. Arnautovic’s goal (his 10th goal this season) at 45’+1 was blatantly offside but put Stoke level in the tie (Aggregate 1-1). The start of the second half saw Firmino hit the posts, however, aside from a short-lived surge of energy, the opposition appeared the more determined team. After an additional 30 minutes the match ended with a win on paper for Stoke (LIV 0 – 1 STK) – their first victory at Anfield since 1959. Before Tuesday, Liverpool had never lost a League Cup semi-final leg at Anfield and Stoke had played Liverpool 7 times in the League Cup, losing 6 and drawing 1.

II. Joe Allen seems to be on his way to becoming our super sub, after clinching the equaliser against Arsenal at 90’ a few weeks ago when he came on for Can then in the 82nd minute. This time around he stepped up to take what would be the decisive penalty after Marco Muniesa’s attempt was saved by Mignolet. I reckon Joe Allen had better not entertain any plans to shave off that beard as we may very well see him live up to the ‘Welsh Pirlo’ moniker under the tutelage of Klopp. The return of Flanagan reminded us what we had been missing with his strong tackling, positioning and almost scoring the winner in the last 15 minutes of normal time.

III. Liverpool had their first penalty shootout 42 years ago – a 6-5 win against Leeds in the 1974 Charity shield and have now been involved in 17 of these nail biting, nerve-wracking match deciders. They continued their incredible penalty shootout record, with their 6-5 penalty shootout win (their 14th!) against Stoke. Mignolet saved the penalties of Crouch and Muniesa which allowed Joe Allen to take the decisive penalty and win it for Liverpool.

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Opposition Goal: Marko Arnautovic 45’+1
PENALTIES TAKEN:
STK Jon Walters 0 – 1
LIV Adam Lallana 1 – 1
STK Peter Crouch (saved) 1 – 1, LIV Emre Can (missed) 1 – 1
STK Glen Whelan 1 – 2
LIV Christian Benteke 2 – 2
STK Ibrahim Afellay 2 – 3
LIV Roberto Firmino 3 – 3
STK Xherdan Shaqiri 3 – 4
LIV James Milner 4 – 4
STK Marco van Ginkel 4 – 5
LIV Lucas Leiva 5 – 5, STK Marc Maniesa (saved) 5 – 5
Joe Allen 6 – 5 to win shootout

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Man of the Match: Mamadou Sakho

 

⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫

👣👣👣

Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter
for all things relative to LFC & me😘