- January 17, 2016
There were 11 draws in the third round of the 2015/16 FA Cup, which means that the majority of the match-ups for the fourth round of the tournament won't be completely decided until we get to the third-round replays scheduled for January 19th and 20th. Despite the lack of complete information, though, the Football Association announced the draw for the tournament's fourth round on Monday, January 11th, giving fans a general idea of who their favorite soccer clubs will be competing with at the end of the month.
All 16 fourth round matches are currently scheduled for the weekend of January 30th. Read on for a quick run-through of that weekend's biggest must-watch fixtures!
The Key Matchups
There may be 32 football clubs
- January 12, 2016
Most of the Premier League's top football clubs sailed through the third round of the 2015/16 FA Cup easily over the weekend, with Manchester City, Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, West Ham United, and others all cruising through to the fourth round of the Football Association tournament. Read on for a recap of the winners and losers of the weekend!
As usual, the Premier League's soccer teams got a bye into the third round, which means this is the first time in the 2015/16 FA Cup that we are seeing teams such as Man United, Arsenal, and others. Since so many of the league's top clubs were upset and eliminated in the fourth round of last year's FA Cup-including Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea-most of the Premier
- January 10, 2016
One of the big rumors of the 2015/16 season was that Real Madrid's best players-particularly Cristiano Ronaldo-were not playing their best football because they didn't like or respect manager Rafael Benitez. Especially in the wake of the Vikings' 0-4 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in November, soccer pundits everywhere were speculating that Ronaldo was trying to orchestrate an exit from Real Madrid, in favor of a return to Manchester United.
Similar stories have abounded in other parts of the European soccer world. At Chelsea, for instance, as the reigning Premier League champions dipped further and further into an insurmountable rut, speculation abounded that the club's players were unhappy with the leadership of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager did have a notable row with star player Diego Costa in late November and was reportedly snubbed by several players when he returned to Stamford Bridge to address the team one last time after he was sacked.
- January 07, 2016
A long, competitive, and exhaustingly busy Premier League festive period came to an end on Sunday, January 3rd, finally giving England's top football clubs a deserved break. The Premier League's teams will take the pitch again next week, on January 12th and 13th, but until then, we, at last, have a chance to let the dust settle and survey the current landscape of the league.
The big question in the wake of the busy festive period is whether or not 2016 might finally be Arsenal's year. The Gunners, of course, have been remarkably consistent throughout the entirety of Arsene Wenger's coaching tenure, finishing in the top five every year since 1996. However, not since 2004 have Arsenal
- December 29, 2015
Boxing Day brought several surprises and upsets in the English Premier League, with many of the division's top-ranked teams succumbing to losses. Key among those football clubs were Leicester City and Arsenal, who kept their spots at first and second place on the EPL table, but sacrificed some of their lead margin in defeats against Liverpool and Southampton, respectively. Manchester United also lost, intensifying the conversations that Louis van Gaal's days as the club's manager could be numbered.
A Rough Week
It would be easy to single out Arsenal as the English club that had the worst Boxing Day. Falling 0-4 to Southampton, the Gunners suffered not only the worst loss of the week but also their worst loss of the entire season. Playing an away match,
- December 21, 2015
Chelsea got a bit of a reprieve from their recent streak of mostly dreadful play on December 9th, beating Porto 2-0 in a Champions League match. The win pushed the Blues to the top of Group G and earned them a favorable spot in the UCL round of 16. The football club ultimately finished the group stage with four wins, one draw, and one loss-not so different from the 4-2-0 they managed in the groups last year when they were running away with the Premier League frontrunner title.
In other words, Chelsea FC still have a lot of potential-even if they aren't showcasing it on a week-to-week basis in their Premier League matches. That potential is personified in the form of Willian, the Brazilian winger who scored five goals for the Blues in the Champions League group stage. To put that number in perspective, Willian is tied for fourth among the UCL's top scorers, with the same number of goals as worldwide greats like Luis Suarez and Thomas Muller, as well as Premier League standout
- December 18, 2015
The writing's been on the wall for months, but on Thursday, the other shoe finally dropped. Four days after Chelsea FC lost their ninth game of the 2015 2016 Premier League campaign, and just seven months after they won the English top flight title, Jose Mourinho was sacked from his position as head coach. The exit of Mourinho, widely considered as one of the greatest coaches in modern football, leaves Chelsea without a manager heading into the Premier League's busy holiday season.
A Second Departure
This isn't the first time Jose Mourinho has exited as Chelsea's head coach. Previously, the Portuguese manager coached the Blues from 2004 to 2007, winning two Premier League titles along the way. He resigned in 2007, supposedly by mutual consent-though
- December 17, 2015
In the 16 days that span between Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, January 3rd, the English Premier League will blast through what amounts to four weeks of competitive play. While most of the world is on vacation, in other words, England's top football clubs are heading into one of the busiest periods of the year. The festive season in the Premier League can define many teams' campaigns for the year, meaning the stakes are high for every soccer club hitting the pitch this holiday season. Teams that find their groove in these two-plus weeks can leap their way up the table or barricade their positions at the top. Teams that hit a rough patch during the festive period, meanwhile, often take themselves out of title consideration.
- December 16, 2015
Competitive play won't resume in the 2015 2016 UEFA Champions League until well into the New Year, but already, fans are getting excited for the next stage of Europe's most prestigious club football tournament. On Monday, December 14th, the UEFA announced the draw for the Champions League 2016 round of 16, with the first leg matches to take place on February 16th, 17th, 23rd or 24th and second leg matches scheduled for early to mid-March. Let's take a look at the match-ups!
The Games to Watch
Probably the highest profile draw for the round of 16 is the match-up between Bayern Munich and Juventus. Bayern won five of their six group stage fixtures, only dropping one game (against Arsenal). Juventus, meanwhile, have struggled
- December 13, 2015
According to Spanish publication AS, a number of major European football clubs could soon face international transfer sanctions from FIFA. FC Barcelona, the reigning La Liga victories, will soon finish out a 14-month transfer ban of their own-a sanction handed down from FIFA after the club violated the rules for signing players under the age of 18. Evidently, though, FIFA believes other clubs have broken the same rules and is currently considering sanctions for Chelsea, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and other major European soccer clubs.