With the Premier League 2017-18 season finally completed, it is now crystal clear on who will be playing in the top-flight of English football for another campaign and which three unfortunate sides have been relegated to the Championship. Having only won six games throughout the term, West Brom’s drop to the Championship was official when Southampton beat Swansea City a couple of days before the final league fixture.
Both Stoke City and Swansea City ended the season in the bottom-three as their form during the season was very inconsistent and unconvincing compared to the other teams just above them. Also, the two clubs had conceded quite a large number of goals and simply could not pick up enough points in the home games.
Overall, the clubs in the top half of the table will have already analysed and recognised who are the key assets for the teams at the bottom and they will aggressively aim to take their important prizes away from them. If this was t
Posted: November 07, 2016Categories: Stoke City
7th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
After Stoke City's hugely disappointing start to the 2016/2017 campaign, where they only took home one point from a possible 15, their star summer signing, Joe Allen, would've been wondering whether he'd made the right decision in joining the Potters.
But fast forward to now, and things have completely turned around for both, the player, and the club, as Stoke have amassed an outstanding 13 points from the last 18 available. And Mark Hughes' decision to push Joe Allen into the number 10 role has unquestionably been one of the crucial catalysts behind their impressive upturn in form, with the £13 million signing, from Liverpool, adding some real energy, intensity, fight and technical quality to his team's work in the final third - on both sides of the ball.
27th March 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
After impressing for Tunisian club CS Sfaxien, who were managed by former legend of the iconic 1970s Dutch Total Football side, Ruud Krol, when he first joined in 2012, it didn't take long before Didier Ndong had a number of Ligue 1 clubs chasing his signature.
Come the January transfer window of 2015, courtesy of his excellent midfield displays, Bastia and Saint Etienne expressed their interest, but it would be Lorient who won the race for the Gabonese international. Les Merlus had a clear advantage from the outset, however, for Gabon teammate and former Lorient captain, Bruno Ecuele Manga, had encouraged his countryman to join. As it proved, this was vital in stacking the deck in their favour, with Ndong officially sealing his move on January 3, 2015.
Even though he initially struggled to adapt to life in Brittany and needed time to familiarise himself with Lorient's preferred
Has there ever been a Premier League season as tumultuous and unpredictable as this one? Starting with Chelsea's complete and utter collapse and continuing with surprisingly limp campaigns from both Liverpool and Manchester United, the 2015/16 English Premier League has been anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, 25 weeks into the competition (and with only 13 games to go until the end of the season), the EPL title is still anyone's game.
Leicester City: Your New Frontrunners?
Leicester City, previously part of the Premier League's so-called "middle class," have been one of the major game-changers this season. Spurred forward by a record-breaking scoring run from Jamie Vardy, the Foxes have been hanging around
A year ago, by the time the fifth round of the 2014/15 FA Cup rolled around, only three heavyweight Premier League clubs had survived the eliminations. Those three teams-Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United-had managed to avoid an upset-ridden fourth round that had sent Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Southampton (among others) packing. Arsenal went on to win the tournament, beating Aston Villa in the finals for a second consecutive FA Cup trophy.
This year, things could hardly be more different. Most of the football clubs to qualify for the round of 16 in the 2015/16 FA Cup are big names from the Premier League. The fourth round of the tournament-played this past weekend, in place of regular league competition-saw Arsenal, both Manchester teams, Chelsea, Everton, and Crystal Palace all earning spots in the final 16. Furthermore, most of those
By Edward Stratmann.
It was never going to be easy for Celta Vigo to replace the towering Joaquin Larrivey, who jetted off to the riches of the UAE Pro League to play for Baniyas. For any incumbent, matching the Argentine hitman's 11 La Liga goals last season was always going to be a tall order. But in John Guidetti, the Galician outfit appear to have found the perfect replacement.
While Celta's enigmatic manager, Eduardo Berizzo, a Marcelo Bielsa disciple, has preferred to use the Swedish international off the bench this season, 16 times he's come on as a substitute, 2016 has seen him already hand Guidetti three starts. And the man who scored his debut goal for the club against Barcelona in Celta's astonishing 4-1 win back in August, when coming off the bench, certainly hasn't let his manager down.
Guidetti's repaid Berizzo's faith in the best possible way, for in those three starts the former Manchester City prospect has scored a remarkable five goals to take his
Following the fifth round of the 2015/16 League Cup, the draw for the tournament's semi-finals seemed to set up a natural championship rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp's Anfield squad crushed Southampton 6-1 in the quarterfinals, earning an easy berth in the semis. Manchester City, meanwhile, beat Hull City 4-1 to earn their semi-final spot. At the time, the Sky Blues were also enjoying a position at the top of the Premier League: they seemed like clear frontrunners to win the entire League Cup.
A Surprising Loss
As the first legs of the League Cup semi-finals were played on January 5th and 6th, though, it became clear that the predicted Liverpool-Manchester City final might not be as set in stone as we might have thought.
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,
When Arsenal, Chelsea, and Leicester City all exited the 2015 2016 Capital One Cup in the fourth round of the tournament, you had to wonder whether or not this year might see a complete underdog win the League Cup. However, the remaining frontrunners had a week of smooth sailing in the quarterfinals, with Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, and Stoke City-all Premier League clubs-securing slots in the semifinals of the 2015 Capital One Cup.
Southampton vs. Liverpool
The biggest victory of the round, rather surprisingly, belonged to Liverpool-perhaps providing more proof that Jurgen Klopp's revitalized squad could be domestic league contenders this season. The Reds were playing an away match and were drawn in the only quarterfinal game that included two top-flight teams. Nevertheless, Liverpool
Manchester City and Arsenal-the football clubs that were sitting at the top of the Premier League table headed into this weekend-week 13 of 201516 EPL season proved to be thoroughly unlucky. Both teams lost, with Manchester City falling 1-4 against Liverpool and Arsenal stumbling to a 0-1 loss in an away game at West Bromwich Albion. The Sky Blues and the Gunners now occupy the third and fourth place spots on the table, respectively. It's the lowest Manchester City have dipped all season.
For many of the other most notable soccer clubs in the Premier League, though, week 13 proved to be surprisingly full of luck. Topping the list of fortunate teams are Leicester City, who beat Newcastle United 3-0 to scoot into first