Archives for September 2019

Bastian Schweinsteiger Optimistic About Joe Mansueto Era of Chicago Fire

bastian schweinsteiger

We don’t know yet whether Bastian Schweinsteiger will be around for the Joe Mansueto era of the Chicago Fire, but the German is fired up for what’s to come.

Yesterday saw the Fire officially eliminated from MLS Cup playoff contention, and the final game in Bridgeview. Now it’s back to the city and a return to Soldier Field. Although the Fire still have one game left, on the road at Orlando City, it has little to no meaning. Time to have 2020 vision with a new owner and new (sort of) home.

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Unai Emery Evades Query on why He Left Mesut Ozil Out of Squad

Since Unai Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil, the team’s highest paid player, has found himself out of favor. The £350,000-a-week midfielder has often been benched, with a fitness excuse for that decision sometimes being provided.

Other times, Emery has said little to nothing beyond “it’s tactical,” or other words to that effect. Today, however, Emery dropped Ozil entirely, and when pressed on why, didn’t even bother to give an explanation or justification. It’s pretty obvious now that Emery and Arsenal don’t even want to bother pretending anymore. Watch this pregame interview of the Gunners manager below:

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Chelsea FC Team News, Starting XI Prediction at Lille (UCL)

Chelsea FC head to Lille for a UEFA Champions League group stage clash in midweek. Neither side has grabbed any points yet in Group H as both teams lost their European opener. Let’s take a look at the FYIs and numbers, news and notes for this one, starting with the injury-plagued visitors.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has plenty of injury concerns in this one, with Antonio Rudiger, Emerson Palmieri and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remaining long term absentees. Additionally, midfielder N’Golo Kante, certainly one of the team’s most important players, missed out on the weekend versus Brighton.

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Manchester City Team News, Starting XI Prediction vs Dinamo Zagreb (UCL)

Manchester City hosts Dinamo Zagreb tomorrow night in a UCL group stage clash. Both sides have all three points so far in group C competition with City having beaten Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 and Zagreb having vanquished Atalanta 4-0. This will be not only the first ever meeting between the two sides, but the first time that City have ever faced a club from Croatia.

Let’s run through all the requisite team news, stats and information in this one. We start with the hosts, who could be without midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne, after he missed training today. De Bruyne has featured in all of City’s meaningful matches this season so far, but he was subbed off towards the end of the win at Everton on the weekend.

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Tottenham Hotspur Team News, Starting XI Prediction vs Bayern Munich (UCL)

bayern munich

It’s a UEFA Champions League Group stage clash in London tomorrow night as Bayern Munich visit Tottenham Hotspur, last season’s runners- up in the competition.  It’s a clash between two high flying, big time goal scorers in Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski, and the outcome could be determined by which striker receives better service from his teammates with which to make plays.

The two teams have met four times previously, with an aggregate scoreline and form guide that looks like this: Spurs (WLLD) 4-6 Bayern (LWWD). The visitors head to north London with three points in Group B thus far, while the hosts have just one.

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Christian Pulisic Admits Frustration with Getting Benched at Chelsea

Chelsea’s £54 million acquisition from Borussia Dortmund, Christian Pulisic, went an unused substitute in the Blues 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday. This was the fourth time in the past five that he stayed on the bench, and the one game he did play, was only in League Cup competition against lower tier minnows.

Despite a handful of starts at the beginning of the season, Pulisic still has no goals scored in a Chelsea shirt. Why has the Hershey, Pennsylvania native fallen down the depth chart in west London? He loves the city of London, but he’s having some issues adjusting to life in a new country and playing in a new league.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Admits United Rebuild Will Be a Long One

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that it’s going to be a long road back to relevance for his side. He even used the old expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day” to describe the current condition and overall outlook on his club.

Yes, United were certainly an imperial level power in the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, but nowadays they’re a tribute-paying city state. United are off to a rough start this season. You can take your pick of the extremely unimpressive results: West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Southampton, FC Astana, Rochdale.

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Notre Dame Defensive Line Wins the Day for the Fighting Irish

notre dame football

After coming out a bit flat at home versus #18 Virginia in the first half, #10 Notre Dame made some solid halftime adjustments and rode their defensive line to victory. The ND defense got into the Cavaliers’ offensive backfield early and often registering eight sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, four QB hurries, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

While UVA QB Bryce Perkins was 18-22 for 235 yards passing (2 TDs, no INTs) in the first half, Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea found some answers at intermission, and by the early fourth quarter the game result was no longer in doubt.

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#10 Notre Dame Comes Out Flat In First vs #18 Virginia

ian book notre dame

An old saying in college football, to the point of near cliche, is “don’t let (insert team here) beat you twice.” The epigram applies when assessing a game that immediately follows up a season defining kind of clash staged the previous week.

Brian Kelly, coach of the #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish said, in pretty much every media opportunity since the close loss at Georgia last week that we’ll learn who this team is in the game against the #18 Virginia Cavaliers today. Right now, the results aren’t encouraging. We’ll be back with more after the game, but at half they’re trailing UVA 17-14, and behind in yardage 233-160.

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Arsenal FC Starting XI Prediction at Manchester United

granit-xhaka

And so the era of Granit Xhaka captaincy at Arsenal begins Monday night when the Gunners travel to Manchester United. The results are in, via a squad vote, and the midfielder will be the head of the captaincy group. No doubt this is going to polarize opinion within the Arsenal fan base, a supporter group that has been very passionate in public lately.

Manager Unai Emery has said that the wearer of the captain’s arm band won’t necessarily be granted an automatic place in the first team. Minutes must be earned, but for our prediction purposes here, we slotted in Xhaka in the first 11.

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Manchester United Starting XI Prediction vs Arsenal FC

In their league fixture Monday night, at home against Arsenal, Manchester United are slight favorites. However, the big picture outlook for the club is rather bleak. How did we get here? Is manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really that much out of his depth here? Given how the problems go well beyond just him and his roster (specifically ceo Ed Woodard, who is not a football guy, having so much power), is his seat warming?

After barely escaping versus minnows in cup competition the past two weeks, registering only a draw at a dreadful Southampton side and suffering the first ever home Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace already this season, how badly does Solskjaer need a win here?

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Manchester City at Everton Starting XI Predictions, Team News

Manchester City makes the short trip to Everton in a match-up of two sides that have both spent a lot of money in recent transfer windows, yet currently find themselves near the opposite ends of the table. Marco Silva is going to be feeling his seat getting warmer soon if the results don’t start coming.

With a -4 goal differential, they currently sit in 14th place, three points away from the drop zone. As for City, they’re five points off the pace of table toppers Liverpool. Let’s take a look at the team news for this one, starting with the hosts.

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