Premier League: Our round 23 predictions

After a bit of a hiatus, the FootyFans team is back and writing! And you know what we’re doing; It’s premier league predictions time.

Alf has taken the lead and is on 110 points, Oliver follows on 104, and then there is me on 80. That’s depressing.

On with the tipping!

Wolves vs Leicester

Dan

Two teams that are really fighting to be best of the rest and take that coveted seventh spot meet at the Molineux. Neither team is really setting the world alight with their form, and given that both teams are fairly defensive, this has 0-0 written on it. 0-0 draw

Oliver

Both sides lost their last matches, Leicester to Southampton and Wolves to Manchester City. Wolves, however, had centre-back Willy Boly sent off, and for a side with such a strong starting 11 and a lack of reserves, that’s concerning. 2-1 Leicester

Alf

The Wolves were being beaten by a strong Manchester City side away. Leicester lost to strugglers Southampton at home, despite gaining an advantage in numbers. Both sides met each other in the Carabao Cup with a 0-0 draw. I’ll expect goals on this one, though. 1-1 draw

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Ah, Crystal Palace. Liverpool’s banana skin. With some recently impressive away form, and their good record against Liverpool, I can see Palace getting a point out of this. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Palace have always been a bit of a stumbling block for Liverpool. They’ve also got a good record against top-six sides. While I don’t think they’ll manage to pull a win out, I do think they’ll take a point. 1-1 draw

Alf

Palace’s form in the previous games were like a roller coaster. Liverpool, on the other hand, are stable enough to win their games. An away defeat should be expected for the Eagles fans but the team will learn their lessons from Arsenal. 3-0 Liverpool

Watford vs Burnley

Dan

Both teams have started 2019 strongly, and this one will be tight. In the end, it will go down to which team has the stronger side – and that’s Watford. 2-1 Watford

Oliver

Burnley are actually in pretty good nick. They haven’t lost a league match this year and they’re starting to bump their way up the table. Too bad a very good Watford will stop them in their tracks. 2-0 Watford

Alf

The Clarets are currently being dragged out of the relegation zone but no, everything can change if they’re not careful enough. Watford are safe and sound to stay in the Premier League. Burnley may be able to pull a surprise on Watford but highly unlikely. 3-0 Watford

Newcastle vs Cardiff City

Dan

It took Newcastle a replay to beat Blackburn while Cardiff lost to Gillingham and couldn’t beat Huddersfield. This one is gonna come down to whoever is worse on the day, and I’m gonna say that team is going to be Cardiff. 1-0 Newcastle

Oliver

Both of these sides are just really bad, there’s not much else to say. I can’t see either of them even scoring a goal – wait, what’s that? Oumar Niasse is at Cardiff? They’ve got this one then. 2-0 Cardiff

Alf

If you love to see how relegation favourites play against each other, you shouldn’t miss this one. Cardiff are really poor these days while against Blackburn in the FA Cup replay, they displayed their quality to stay in the PL while Cardiff will, well, play like their usual self. 2-0 Newcastle

Manchester United vs Brighton

Dan

At this rate, Ole will get the United job full time at the end of the season as the red devils rampage up the table. A team will hold them eventually, but that team ain’t Brighton. 3-1 United

Oliver

I won’t even try to justify this. Ole’s flying. Brighton are… well… Brighton. They can put up their little paper defence and United are gonna put their shredder right through it. This could be bigger, mind. 4-0 United

Alf

Under Solskjær, United are improving while Brighton under Hughton are stagnating. Arsenal fans must hope that United will lose this one as their club will drop to 6th if Arsenal lose the London derby later. 3-0 United

Bournemouth vs West Ham

Dan

Bournemouth have been struggling while West Ham have been winning. It’ll be confidence that wins this. 3-2 West Ham

Oliver

Bournemouth are really on a decline. They were sitting up pretty nicely for quite a while, just south of the top six, and now they’re down to twelfth. West Ham are a team on the up and should take a win here. 3-1 West Ham

Alf

I believe that it’ll be an equal contest between Howe and Pelligrini’s men. West Ham, though, will have a bigger chance to win as they beat Arsenal last week, which will, supposedly, give them a mentality boost. 1-1 draw

Southampton vs Everton

Dan

This should be a game that ends up with an Everton win, but the toffees just have no consistency. With Southampton continually improving in the prem at least under Hassenhuttl, Southampton should nick three points. 2-1 Southampton

Oliver

Oh, Everton, the ever-inconsistent mid-table team everyone loves to feel indifferent about. I’m of course hoping that this match swings in their favour, especially since Southampton are missing the suspended Valery. And I think they’ll take a win. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Southampton are winning games while Everton are pretty stale at the moment. I’m sorry, Oliver, but Southampton really can cause problems to your club and yeah, they’re capable of pulling an upset to the away fans. 1-0 Southampton

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Dan

There’s just no consistency from ethier side here. This can really go anyway, and both sides can really be world class on their day. As this can go any way, I’ll bet on the points being shared. 2-2 draw

Oliver

This will be a tight match. Not long ago, I would have picked Arsenal to win, but they’ve been a little off recently. Chelsea just keep Chelseaing along, and I think they’ve got just enough to get the win despite being away from home. 2-1 Chelsea

Alf

If Arsenal want to be back to Top 4, they mustn’t lose this one. While they have had a pretty decent record against Chelsea at home, the away side will want to extend their lead in the table. The home team? If they can’t win this one, at least salvage a point! 1-1 Draw

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City

Dan

Solskjaer’s appointment at United showed just how much a managerial change can effect players. While I doubt Wagner’s will spark a similar run of form for the Terriers, I think they might just be able to give City a game. 1-0 Manchester City

Oliver

We’ve got the last-placed team against the side that should be top. It’ll get big. City might be away from home but I’d still pick them to score a lot of goals, the way they do. Three? Not enough. Four? Maybe a couple more. 6-0 Manchester City

Alf

Huddersfield may be hitting the rock bottom of the PL table but they’re not leaking goals like they did in the past. They started to know how to hit the back of the net too, so as the home side, while very unlikely, they may be able to pull a surprise upset on the champions. 2-0 Manchester City

Fulham vs Tottenham

Dan

Son out, Kane out, Dembele sold, Spurs are a little down on luck right now. And you know what? Despite how trash Fulham have been, I think Caludio Raineri will do a Claudio Raineri and upset Poch & Co. 2-1 Fulham

Oliver

It’s much the same with Fulham and Spurs. Despite their large injury numbers, Spurs should still take a confident win here, especially given Fulham’s dismal defensive record. 4-0 Tottenham

Alf

Kane’s injured. Son’s playing for South Korea. Let’s be honest, this will hurt Tottenham’s chances to score loads of goals. But I still believe that they’ll win the London derby because in reality, they’ll need just one. 1-0 Tottenham

 

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Hello there, folks! It’s me again. Dan’s AFK at the moment (for a certain reason, of course) and I’m here to deliver our predictions of the Round 18 of the Premier League this season. Onto the tipping!


Wolves vs Liverpool 

“Wolves are the home side this time but against Liverpool, who are currently still unbeaten in the Premier League, fingers crossed that they won’t get the three home points. 1-0 Liverpool” (Alf)

” What’s happened with Wolves? They were sitting in mid-table, and now they’re seventh. One would expect them to put up a good fight against Liverpool. That said, the Pool are top of the division, so… 2-1 Liverpool” (Oliver)

Arsenal vs Burnley 

“Arsenal lost to Tottenham in the League Cup but that’s okay. They’ll play at home again, against Burnley who hasn’t been doing well these days. No thrashing like last time but a goal or two will settle things down. 2-0 Arsenal” (Alf)

“Arsenal might have lost last week to Southampton, of all teams, but that was away from home and Burnley are really, really bad. Arsenal should do enough to take the three points. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Huddersfield vs Southampton

“Southampton gained the momentum to survive by beating Arsenal while Huddersfield didn’t show much improvement to prove their worth to stay in the PL. The winner of this game is obvious. 2-0 Southampton.” (Alf)

“After their win last weekend, Southampton will be on somewhat of a high. Will it be enough to get a win away in Huddersfield? No. But they should take something from the match, even if it’s just a point. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Bournemouth vs Brighton

“Well well well. What do we have here? Brighton’s win can leapfrog Bournemouth of their position but no, the Cherries aren’t giving up and you know what happens next. 2-1 Bournemouth” (Alf)

“What’s happened to Bournemouth? They were going so well and it’s all started to go upside down for them. Brighton have done worse over the course of the season but I’d still expect them to win. 2-0 Brighton” (Oliver)

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace 

“City are still unstoppable despite losing to Chelsea and it’s Crystal Palace who struggled against Leicester, so winning big shouldn’t be a problem for them. 3-0 City” (Alf)

“City have been the best team in the league this season, in my opinion, and they’ve been making their dominance known. Crystal Palace are… well. Crystal Palace, and they’ll get well beaten. 4-0 City” (Oliver)

Newcastle vs Fulham 

“Both Ranieri and Benítez are having a hard time in facing criticisms regarding the team. The home side is doing fine but I don’t believe that they’ll win big. At all. 1-0 Newcastle” (Alf)

“Newcastle haven’t been great this season, we all know that. But they’ve been better than the dismally poor Fulham, whose defence are letting in goals left, right and centre. Fulham will lose, and they won’t lose prettily either. 3-0 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Chelsea vs Leicester City

“Sarri versus Puel with Kanté facing his former teammates. Leicester showed that they can score against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup but I doubt that they’ll do the same again successfully. 2-0 Chelsea” (Alf)

“Chelsea won last week, Leicester City lost, Chelsea are at home, this has the makings of a regular top-six win. But Leicester City haven’t played badly this season, especially in defence, and should make Chelsea work for it. 1-0 Chelsea” (Oliver)

West Ham vs Watford 

“It’s London Derby day again. West Ham are on a winning run and Watford are… meh these days. The home side should win but here’s a pro tip: Fabiański may concede. 3-1 West Ham” (Alf)

“Ninth plays tenth in this match. West Ham and Watford are perhaps the most alike teams in the division so far in terms of record, and this match will be very, very close. So close, in fact, that no one wins. 2-2 draw” (Oliver)

Cardiff City vs Manchester United

“Solskjær’s first game as the caretaker manager is the away fixture against, ironically, his former side. It’s going to be tricky for both sides. Will Solksjær prove his worth after a few years departing his previous employers? We’ll see. 1-0 Manchester United.” (Alf)

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match in control of Manchester United sees him return to his old stomping-ground, Cardiff. One would think that without Mourinho, United would do better. But I reckon Cardiff might have a good match. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Everton vs Tottenham 

“Please, Everton. Win this one to shut those Tottenham fanboys’ mouth up. I don’t hate them but they celebrate their win against Arsenal as if England won the World Cup. Still, they’ll always be in our shadows and in reality, Pochettino will be the one laughing all the way exiting the stadium. 2-1 Tottenham” (Alf)

” With rumours swirling around North London about a potential exit for Mauricio Pochettino, it’s understable that his players might feel a little unsettled. Everton can use that to their advantage and sneak a win. 1-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Premier League: Our round 16 predictions

In 8 days, this is the third(!) time I’ve written this post. The fixtures just keep on coming, and we here at FootyFans will be (badly) predicting it the whole way. Well, not all of us – Oliver couldn’t get his predictions in this week.

Oliver is knocking on the door as he leads the pack on 94 points, Alf continues to narrow the gap as he’s on 86, and I’m also starting to pick up more points as I sit on 71.

On with the tipping!

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Dan

Liverpool’s unbeaten streak has to end. It has too. And what better team to end it than one of the most criminally underrated in the league? I’m backing Bournemouth to win here. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

Bournemouth may have lost the last few games but they all hit the back of the net successfully as a consolation. Liverpool just won against the Clarets, although Salah’s not scoring, Firmino and Shaqiri will be there to take the points back home. 3-1 Liverpool

Image result for liverpool

Burnley vs Brighton

Dan

Brighton struggle on the road, while Burnley aren’t too bad at home. Sean Dyche & Co should be able to eek out a 1-0 here. 1-0 Burnley

Alf

Yes, Burnley may have lost against a quality Liverpool travelling party but finally, they’ve scored a goal. Hopefully, this will help to gain the confidence of the forwards. Brighton, though, would not want to leave Turf Moor with nothing. It’s going to be a draw. 2-2 draw

Manchester United vs Fulham

Dan

United continue to just draw with sides, both good and bad. I can see that sort of mediocrity continuing, when you look Mourinho’s struggles and Ranieri’s quality. 1-1 draw

Alf

The Fulham players must be jotting notes when they were watching Arsenal playing against their opponents next game. Honestly, Mourinho should go when if the home side get nothing after the 90 minutes. It should be an easy win, on paper. 4-1 United

Image result for jose mourinho

Arsenal vs Huddersfield

Dan

Undefeated in 20 games in all competitions now, Arsenal continue to show just how much they have improved under Emery, and Huddersfield should be brushed aside fairly easily. 3-0 Arsenal

Alf

I’m a bit disappointed that my team slipped the lead twice when they faced Manchester United to force a draw. To be honest, in the “Herbert Chapman derby”, Arsenal should be able to get the points, but they won’t win big like last season, where they humiliated the visitors 5-0. 2-0 Arsenal

Cardiff vs Southampton

Dan

Southampton have a new manager, so this could potentially go anyway. However, Cardiff have won 3 out of their last home games and are proving a tough challenge, and a challenge that Southampton will not be able to overcome. 2-1 Cardiff

Alf

It’s Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge as the Saints manager. It’s also his first 90 minutes in England and is not going to be a smooth sailing for the former RB Leipzig boss. Cardiff will be working hard to get the win and force the Saints to make mistakes. But that’s okay, who doesn’t? 1-1 draw

West Ham vs Crystal Palace

Dan

With six goals and two wins in their last two matches, I think we are finally seeing the West Ham we thought we’d see at the start of the season. If they can keep that sort of form up against Palace, then it’ll be another easy win. 2-0 West Ham

Alf

Palace lost the M23 derby away against Brighton. West Ham won against Cardiff. The scores for both fixtures were 3-1. Is history going to repeat itself? I think so. 3-1 West Ham

Image result for west ham

Chelsea vs Manchester City

Dan

God damn it Chelsea. Two weeks ago, I was confident that this match was going to be City’s first defeat. But, then you had to go and fall out of form. I hate myself for doing so, but I’ll tip City to win here. 2-1 City

Alf

Chelsea were beaten 2-1 away by the Wolves while City won 1-2 away against Watford. Sarri will demand his men to put up a good fight to against the table toppers. Not going to lie but I really like the away kit of the visitors this season (you won’t see me later, I guess). 3-1 City

Leicester vs Tottenham

Dan

Leicester are another criminally underrated side, and beating them is no easy task. They’ll be able to frustrate Tottenham a lot in this game, and come out with a point. 1-1 draw

Alf

Well, it’s Tottenham and they’re visiting Leicester. Unless the Foxes are planning to stage a comeback like what Arsenal did in the North London derby, I can see the Lillywhites to grab all 3 points back to north London. 3-0 Tottenham

Newcastle vs Wolves

Dan

I have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, Wolves did actually Chelsea. Considering the inconsistent form, and goal scoring issues of both teams, I can see this being a goalless draw, although I don’t think it’ll be boring. 0-0 draw

Alf

Did anyone really expect the Wolves to win against Chelsea? Even I myself was surprised! Newcastle will be an uphill climb for the wolves but they’re hungry enough to catch the magpies off guard for a tasty “chicken dinner”. 3-1 Wolves

Image result for wolves fc

Everton vs Watford

Dan

When you compare the two teams, Everton have proven that slow and steady wins the race, as they sit in the top six while Watford, despite their electric start are in 11th. With their superior quality, Everton will show Watford who’s boss. 2-0 Everton

Alf

The “Marco Silva derby” is finally here. But the Premier League is no place for sentiment. Everton do have an advantage in getting the points but Silva, as the former Toffees coach, knows how they’ll do it. If it’s not a draw, I don’t know what it is.2-2 draw

 

 

Football’s golden oldies – the oldest football players around the world

Earlier this week, the Wellington Phoenix announced their signing of Australian goalkeeper Ante Covic as an injury cover for Filip Kurto. Covic isn’t a bad goalkeeper – he’s represented his country and he’s played in three European countries as well as Australia. However, he’s also forty-three years old, two months older than his own manager Mark Rudan. That puts him at the older end of active players, but he’s not the oldest. Let’s look at who is.

Across Europe

Before we can go up, we have to go down. The Premier League doesn’t currently have any players as old as Covic, but it does have 16 players over the age of 35. Twelve of these players are goalkeepers, with the exceptions being Glenn Murray, Jermain Defoe, Phil Jagielka and Bruno Saltor, the oldest outfield Premier League player at the age of 38. Only one player crosses the line into 39 – Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

Image result for julian speroni

La Liga’s oldest is 38-year-old Juanjo Camacho at Huesca, while Serie A has Stefano Sorrentino, 39. The Bundesliga goes up to 40 with Claudio Pizarro of Werder Bremen. Ligue 1 has two more 40+ players, Gianluigi Buffon, 40, and Montpellier captain Hilton, 41.

But we can go higher.

Across the World

Let’s look at international players. It’s increasingly common for footballers to retire early from international service, for a number of reasons – for young players to come through, to focus on club commitments, etc. And this isn’t so bad if you play for, say, Germany, where there’s a talent pool big enough to bring someone into your shoes.

That’s not really applicable, however, for a smaller country, somewhere without the population or facilities to excel in football – or much else, for that matter – but still loves the game. Somewhere like Andorra, the nation of one of the three active international players over the age of 40.

Juli Sanchez was born in 1978. He’s had a decent career by Andorran standards, playing in his home country as well as Spain and Portugal. He made his debut in Andorra’s first FIFA-recognised match, and he managed to get on the scoresheet in their win over Belarus in 2000, their first-ever. He’s played 70 games now for the tiny Pyrenees nation. In many ways, his career is the story of football in Andorra. And he’s still kicking – he played in Andorra’s most recent match, against Latvia, as a substitute.

Image result for andorra

For our other two international players over 40, we’re going to leave Europe in favour of the Caribbean.

I can’t find much information on Benny Labadie – perhaps it’s a side effect of playing for the U.S. Virgin Islands. In any case, he was born in 1977 and is forty-one years of age. He spent seven years at Skills F.C. in the Saint Croix Soccer League – there are two separate leagues in the Virgin Islands for mainly geographic reasons. He now plays for Rovers in the same league, he’s a goalkeeper, and that’s about all there is to know. Oh, and he started the Virgin Islands’ most recent match, a 3-0 loss to Barbados in November.

But there is one current international player that is older, and we don’t have to go far to find him.

400km southeast of Saint-Croix, we find the nation of Dominica. There’s only seventy thousand people on the island, and as such, quality footballers are had to come by. This explains the case of Euclid Bertrand, who was born in 1974 and is 44 years of age. Bertrand isn’t a bad footballer, having played in sixteen matches for Dominica, including just a month ago against Sint-Maarten. He’s also got five years’ experience up in Canada – not bad for a Dominican given the rest of their squad either play at home or elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Image result for dominica

But we can go higher.

At Club Level

Remember Essam El-Hadary? Of course you do. The Egyptian shot-stopper became the oldest ever player at a FIFA World Cup earlier this year when he played against Saudi Arabia – and saved a penalty – at the age of 45. He’s been left off the internationals part of this article simply because he retired from international football after the World Cup. However, he’s still playing club football, having left Saudi club Al-Taawoun in favour of former club Ismaily back in Egypt. His 46th birthday is in January, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

He’s by no means the only one still kicking at 45 – there’s also Oscar Perez, currently at Pachuca. Also a goalkeeper, Perez has 57 Mexico caps and went to two World Cups – 2002 and 2010. He’s not still playing international football, unfortunately, but he’ll be 46 in March and one can assume he won’t stop playing club football.

Image result for oscar perez

We can go older than both El-Hadary and Perez, though, and we’re going back to Andorra to do it.

Leonel Gancedo’s a pretty experienced footballer. He’s played for River Plate and Osasuna among other clubs. He’s got a Copa Libertadores in his trophy cabinet, along with six other competition wins. He retired at the start of 2009, at the age of 37, and one would assume that that was the end of Leonel Gancedo.

It was not. Encamp in Andorra hired him as player-manager in September this year, and Gancedo’s played fifty-one minutes over the course of three matches. He’s not done well at all, as Encamp are sitting in last place with one point and five goals scored in ten games, but he does get the distinction of being the world’s oldest footballer.

Well, no he actually doesn’t. We’re going across Europe, and across Asia, all the way to Japan.

The story of Kazuyoshi Miura

File:Kazu Miura, Roberto Baggio and Tsuyoshi Kitazawa.jpg

We’ve all heard of Stanley Matthews, haven’t we? The Englishman was one of the greats of the first half of the 20th century in footballing terms. He played a very long career, 1932 to 1965, and played for England for twenty-four years. He spent nineteen years at Stoke City and fourteen at Blackpool. He’s a true legend of the early game.

Kazuyoshi Miura’s not had that same loyalty – he’s played for thirteen clubs in his career, only two of which he’s been at for more than five years – but he has broken Matthews’ record as the oldest-ever professional footballer, which he achieved in March 2017. He’s played in a few countries – Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia and Australia – and he picked up almost ninety Japan caps in his ten years of international football before he retired in 2000 aged 33.

Since 2005 he’s been playing for Yokohama FC (no, not F. Marinos) in the Japanese second-tier. He’s seen twelve managers in that time, and even though his role has been somewhat diminished under new boss Edson Tavares, he’s still going at it at the age of 51. And I, for one, don’t see him stopping.

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

I follow a lot of football clubs as a lover of “the beautiful game”. And as a social media addict, I also happen to use Instagram to take a look at the latest football news and chat with my fellow football fans.

However, if you follow my personal account, you’ll know that I follow no fan pages of my favourite clubs with one exception – a BVB fan page which provides English translations for their posts (I do so to help me to learn German).

Unlike one of my friends, who is a Barcelona fan and follows the fan accounts of all kinds, I’ll never pay attention to the fan pages like what I used to do. Or I’d say, I have a critical view towards them.

The cause of this mindset? The fan pages can be biased and the news they share to us can be wrong. 


I’ll use Barcelona as an example for your easier understanding. We know that Barcelona is one of the most decorated clubs in the world and have a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid. For those who follow football, this shouldn’t be hard to explain, right?

I’m not going to generalise the whole situation on Instagram and not going to lie, a few fan pages did really a good job of being neutral in the middle of the friction. But at the same time, I have observed that a number of them are one-sided. It doesn’t matter if they’re Culés or Madridistas, bragging right is what they’re fighting for.

What some of the Culés do is that they troll Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid (with a “once in a blue moon” chance, Juventus) all day long. Even if Real are playing well, they always happen to get a reason to do it. In return, some Madridistas do the reverse to Messi and Barcelona, calling them “Uefalona” (which isn’t true nowadays).

The lack of respect towards their eternal rivals disgusts me.

I’m not saying that they should love their enemies as they love their own club, like what the Bible said (with reference to Matthew 5:44). I also respect their right to speak out on Instagram. However, when I see this kind of stuff, I tend to ignore them or laugh them off. Occasionally, I’ll leave them a “like”. Then I continue to read the other posts.

As football fans, we’re entitled to our own beliefs. In this case, you don’t have to be impartial or neutral. Yet, it’ll be better if we read more from different kinds of sources to know about the whole picture of the sport.

To be fair, somehow Mourinho is right about the “respect” issue in football. In reality, it is hard for supporters of one club not to be subjective towards their eternal rivals. Despite that, football should forever be a playing field with elements of fair-play, whether it’s on or off the pitch.

Only if we know it the footballing community can be a better place. Just like what we wrote on Instagram:


Speaking of which, as you’ve noticed, we do have our own Instagram account. So why don’t you drop by, take a look at our contents and give them a “like”? A “follow” will be much appreciated!

I swear that this isn’t a post to advertise our presence on Instagram, but oh well…

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

We all love watching men’s football and without a doubt, most of our posts are about 20 men running and fighting for the possession of the ball.

However, in recent days, women’s football started to grab my attention and eventually, I became a fan of the women’s team of Arsenal, just like what I did to their men’s counterpart.

Of course, I’m not supporting Arsenal just because of Vivianne Miedema (and her smile), my favourite player of the squad. The reasons why I’m a fan of the female Gunners? Here you go!

  1. The connection with the men’s team. I love Arsenal as a club. Despite women’s football doesn’t get much attention compared to the men’s counterpart, the Gooners family is quite supportive of their young ladies.
  2. The history. As the most-decorated club in English women’s football, they also won the Women’s Champions League in 2006/07 as the first English club to do so. Ironically, the men’s team failed to do the same – sad!
  3. The quality of the squad. Of course, Arsenal Women aren’t just about Vivianne Miedema, but also other good international players like Jordan Nobbs, Daniëlle van de Donk, Sari van Veenendaal and Lia Wältl.
  4. The fighting mentality. The female Gunners aren’t just models off the pitch. They’re warriors when they don their jerseys, doesn’t matter which colour it is. Just like the boys these days who’ll do everything for the points.
  5. The style of the football they deliver. Joe Montemurro does a great job in managing the team, who reminded me of Emery of the men’s team – ruthless in making changes and a proven motivator in the dressing room.

If you really want to watch regular women’s football, the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL) can be a good start.

Yet, Arsenal aren’t the only side with a decent team. Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are also eager to become the table toppers despite the fact that luck wasn’t on their side. And this is what makes the FAWSL interesting.

In fact, women’s football is underrated these days. A number of international clubs like Bayern Munich, Juventus and most recently, Manchester United have their own women’s team, nonetheless, they’re in the shadows of their men’s counterpart.

Football should be a sport for everyone, regardless of their gender. Let’s promote women’s football and have them gain the recognition it deserves! Come on you Gunners!

Premier League: Our round 14 predictions

Premier League: Our round 14 predictions

Hoo boy, we are at that time of year. The games are coming thick and fast for the premier league sides now, and that means that this post is gonna be everywhere on FootyFans now.

Shockingly, the positions still haven’t changed from last round. I’m last on 61, Alf is on 73, and Oliver is on 85.

On with the tipping!

Cardiff City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Image result for Cardiff vs Wolves

Dan

Tricky one to predict. Wolves haven’t won since early October, while Cardiff are on a run of winning a game then losing a game. Given how out of form Wolves are, and given that they lost to Everton last time out, I’ll go with Cardiff to edge this one. 2-1 Cardiff

Oliver

This game is screaming boring at me. Wolves somehow lost to Huddersfield at home, while Cardiff are just Cardiff. It’s not possible for both teams to lose, but it is possible for neither team to score and that’s what will happen. 0-0 draw

Alf

The Wolves may have lost against Huddersfield and Cardiff may have dropped points against Everton. Both sides will be eager to win but history will prove otherwise – a draw will be the most desirable results for them. 1-1 draw

AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester City

Dan

Bournemouth are no pushovers – rather, they’re quite a good team. This is a tip, but it’s also a prayer, for as a United fan who hates City, please, please let City drop points here. 2-2 draw

Oliver

Bournemouth are starting to drop off a little from their brilliant early-season form, and Manchester City managed a 4-0 win away last week. I wouldn’t expect them to go that high but it’s an easy win for the Citizens. 3-1 City

Alf

The Cherries battled till the end but eventually, missed the chance to edge Arsenal at home. As they arrive at the Etihad, it’ll be no surprise if they leave the stadium without a single point. It’ll be a miracle for Begović if he keeps a clean sheet, if not making multiple saves in a thrashing. 4-0 City

Leicester City vs Watford

Dan

Leicester are undefeated in four, while Watford haven’t won in three. With the home advantage, I can see Leicester taking the points, going above Watford, and making Watford’s win less run extend to four games. 2-1 Leicester

Oliver

A James Maddison-less Leicester City will be considerably less effective against a Watford side one place above them in the table, but despite that, I expect a fairly even match. Both sides are about as good as each other, even if the Foxes are missing their talented youngster. 1-1 draw

Alf

Both sides are looking to solidify their Top 10 spots. Naturally, it’ll be a draw but it’s Leicester’s home hame, so the advantage should help the Foxes to grab all three points. Sorry, Watford supporters! 2-1 Leicester

Crystal Palace vs Burnley

Image result for Crystal Palace vs Burnley

Dan

Two defensive teams in the lower echelons of the table face off, and honestly, this has a 0-0 draw written all over it. 0-0 draw.

Oliver

What’s happened to Burnley? They were so good last season and it’s just fallen to pieces for them. Losing to Crystal Palace would be a cruel blow, but one I feel is likely to happen as Sean Dyche moves ever-closer to the sack. 1-0 Palace

Alf

Palace managed to grab a point against a rather weak Manchester United lineup. Burnley lost to an improving Newcastle side at home. Again, Burnley will have difficulties in containing Zaha and won’t last long in the PL if they continue to play like this. 2-0 Palace

Newcastle vs West Ham

Dan

Fucking Newcastle. No matter what I tip for them, they will always do the opposite. Anyway, with the run of form that they are on, they should beat the Hammers at home. But hey, it’s Newcastle, so they naturally won’t. 2-1 Newcastle

Oliver

You know things are bleak when Newcastle’s being tipped to win against you, and that’s how I feel about West Ham. A 4-0 loss at home is embarrassing even if it’s against Manchester City and nothing’s gonna get better after this match. 2-0 Newcastle

Alf

The Hammers lost to a quality Manchester City traveling party. The Magpies are soaring high under Benítez. A tricky fixture to predict, nonetheless, and it’s perfectly normal to have it ending in a draw. 1-1 draw.

Huddersfield vs Brighton

Dan

Huddersfield won? Last week? Against Wolves? Trust me, I can’t understand it either, but if they can do it away against Wolves, they’ll do it against Brighton too. Are we seeing a revival from the terriers? 2-0 Huddersfield

Oliver

Huddersfield are finally starting to pick up some steam. It’s taken a while, but the Yorkshire club are now in fifteenth and haven’t lost in three. I don’t think they’ll win this, but I can’t see them losing either. 1-1 draw

Alf

Aaron Mooy’s brace means, in reality, nothing to Huddersfield as they have yet to find their confidence to find the back of the net. Against Brighton, who scores almost every time they play, they’ll struggle to defend against them. 1-0 Brighton

Southampton vs Manchester United

Dan

Much like last week, two goal-shy sides go up against each other. This could be another frustrating 0-0, but like against Young Boys, I expect United will somehow salvage three points. 1-0 United

Oliver

I’m going completely against the grain here and giving the win to eighteenth-placed Southampton. Manchester United are not in a good way and they’re coming off a Champions League match, I can see the Saints picking up the three. 1-0 Southampton

Alf

The statistics are favouring and hence, encouraging to Manchester United. Southampton, on the other hand, fell short of one goal against Fulham away. With de Gea having a MOTM performance against Young Boys in the UCL, United fans can wish for an awaited clean sheet. 2-0 United

Chelsea vs Fulham

Dan

While Chelsea’s form may be in a bit of a slide, and Fulham might have won in Raineri’s first match, it’s really hard to see anything but a Chelsea win here. Expect goals from two attacking sides. 3-2 Chelsea

Oliver

One would think Chelsea would run riot in this match, but after the loss to Tottenham, I’m not so sure. That said, Fulham are really, really bad, and whilst Chelsea might not win by as much as they’d hoped to, they’ll still win. Surely. 2-1 Chelsea

Alf

Last time when Chelsea played Fulham, it was behind close doors with Chelsea beat an inexperienced Cottagers side 8-2 in 2017. This time, in the Premier League, I’ll be surprised if the Blues won’t get the home points to keep them alive in the PL title race, against the now-relegation favorites. 3-1 Chelsea

Arsenal vs Tottenham

We have a full length preview for this!

Liverpool vs Everton

Dan

Everton have been criminally underrated all season, and you know what? I think they’ve got it in them to pull off an upset in the Merseyside derby. Go Toffees! 2-1 Everton

Oliver

So I know it’s my job to be “impartial” and “fair”, and this looks ludicrous, but I think it can be justified. Liverpool have just lost to PSG and they’ll be lower on manpower and fitness than usual. Everton on the other hand haven’t played midweek football and their captain wasn’t sent off this week. Merseyside is going blue. 4-0 Everton

Alf

It’s a great PL matchweek with great derbies. Everton didn’t perform well against the Big 6 clubs to date. They’ve faced Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea away, getting 1 point only. It’s the Merseyside derby and with the LFC frontline on fire, it’ll be hard for the visitors not to concede. 3-0 Liverpool

 

 

The North London Derby – An old affair of a new fashion

The North London Derby – An old affair of a new fashion

Arsène Wenger may not have noticed that at Wembley, he played the last North London derby with his beloved Arsenal this February. And the score wasn’t in his favour as Harry Kane scored the winning goal.

Now, in place of Wenger, an energetic, young Spaniard called Unai Emery will be standing on the touchline of the Emirates to gesture to his players and scream at them like a kid when they don’t play well.

Admit it, Arsenal are still the same old club but with a brand-new look. On the other hand, there isn’t much change in the squad (and stadium) for Tottenham. Not to mention that Pochettino is still here.

This is why the North London derby is a rejuvenated duel between both Spanish speaking coaches and their men. Whoever wins doesn’t matter because when they meet each other again, it’ll be a more tense affair than ever.

It’s the dress rehearsal for the Carabao Cup semi-final for both sides.

If the Gunners win the match, not only they can declare that “London is red” but also, laugh at their fierce rivals of “not being able to in a cup final”. On the other hand, Tottenham will want to make history at Holloway. Not just a derby for both sides.

You’re in the right place for our analysis of the match of the century, with the details of the match itself, records last year and most importantly, score predictions by our team.


Details of the match

Teams: Arsenal FC vs Tottenham Hotspur FC

Kick-off time: 2 December 2018, 1730 BST

Ground: Emirates Stadium, London, UK

Kits: Home (red and white by Puma) vs Home (white and blue by Nike)

Referee: Mike Dean

Injury list: Koscielny, Lacazette, Lichtsteiner, Mavropanos, Monreal, Welbeck (Arsenal), Janssen, M. Dembélé (Tottenham)


Form of both clubs

Arsenal (DDDWW)

  1. 1-1 home draw against Liverpool in the Premier League (Lacazette; Milner)
  2. 0-0 home draw against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League
  3. 1-1 home draw against Wolves in the Premier League (Mkhitaryan; Cavaleiro)
  4. 2-1 away win against Bournemouth in the Premier League (King; Lerma OG, Aubameyang)
  5. 3-0 away win against Vorskla in the Europa League (Smith-Rowe, Ramsey PEN, J. Willock)

Tottenham (WWWWW)

  1. 3-2 away win against Wovles in the Premier League (Neves PEN, Jiménez PEN; Lamela, Moura, Kane)
  2. 2-1 home win against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions Legue (Kane x2; de Jong)
  3. 1-0 away win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League (Foyth)
  4. 3-1 home win against Chelsea in the Premier League (Alli, Kane, Son; Giroud)
  5. 1-0 home win against Inter Milan in the Champions League (Eriksen)

Score predictions and analysis: 

  1. “Despite Arsenal have the home advantage, it’s Tottenham they’re playing and the Gunners haven’t been playing well against the Top 6 sides this season. It’ll be of no surprise for me if it ends in a draw or a win for the travelling party. Plus, Leno won’t keep a clean sheet. Let’s not talk about the referee, who’s a supporter of the visitors. 2-1 Tottenham” (Alf)
  2. “This is going to be a hell of a match. Both sides are coming off a win, with Spurs three points and two places higher. Arsenal have begun to falter, but I still see this being an entertaining, and high-scoring, draw. 2-2 draw” (Oliver)
  3. “I just can’t choose. Both teams are looking very fine right now, and I can only see them both getting frustrated when the points are shared. 1-1 draw” (Dan)

As always, “no score should be treated as certain before the final whistle is blown”. Also, here’s a friendly reminder for all of you: gamble wisely if you really want to place bets on football matches, or you’ll be in deep regret later.

Der Klassiker – an underrated derby with loads of quality

Der Klassiker – an underrated derby with loads of quality

If you watch the Bundesliga, you’ll know that Dortmund are enjoying an unbeaten run in both Germany and Europe. On the other hand, Bayern Munich hasn’t been great these days in which they dropped points against Augsburg, Hertha, Gladbach and most recently, Freiburg at home with Niko Kovač rumoured to be out.

For Lucien Favre, he’ll be eager to continue his unbeaten, if not winning, run in his Bundesliga career with the youthful yet trustworthy Black and Yellow team. For Die Roten and those who support Kovač to remain as the coach of Bayern, though, it’ll be a crunching challenge to expect (no pun intended).

You’re at the right place for our analysis of the match of the century, with the investigation of both teams in the last few games, records last year and most importantly, the analysis of the only Bundesliga correspondent of FootyFans (i.e. me).


Details of the match

Teams: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich

Kick-off time: 10 November 2018, 1930 CEST

Ground: Westfalenstadion (Signal Iduna Park), Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Kits: Home (black and yellow by Puma) vs Home (red, white and blue by Adidas)

Injury list: Schmelzer (Dortmund); Tolisso, Thiago Alcântara, Coman, Robben (Bayern Munich)


Form of both clubs

Borussia Dortmund (WDWWL):

  1. 4-0 home win against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League (Witsel, Gurreiro x2, Sancho)
  2. 2-2 home draw against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga (Sancho x2; Kalou x2)
  3. 3-2 home win against Union Berlin in the German Cup (Pulisic, Philipp, Reus; Potler x2)
  4. 1-0 away win against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga (Reus)
  5. 2-0 away defeat against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League (Saúl, Griezmann)

Bayern Munich (WWWDW):

  1. 2-0 away win against AEK Athens in the Champions League (Martínez, Lewandowski)
  2. 2-1 away win against Mainz in the Bundesliga (Böetius; Goretzka, T. Alcântara)
  3. 2-1 away win against SV Rödinghausen (L. Meyer; Wagner, Müller PEN)
  4. 1-1 home draw against Freiburg (Gnabry; Höler)
  5. 2-0 home win against AEK Athens in the Champions League (Lewandowski x2)

Analysis: 

Dortmund may have been beaten by a quality Atlético Madrid side away, but they won at home 4-0. The loss is a good call for Favre’s men, which reminds them not to be caught off guard by the small mistakes while playing in front of the Yellow Wall.

On the other hand, the visitors, Bayern were truly disappointing against AEK Athens. Provided the quality of the squad, they should have scored more than 3 goals, but they didn’t. Lewandowski may have shined, but the rest weren’t impressive enough.

The Dortmund attack this season can be solid enough to penetrate Bayern’s defence with Neuer in goal. However, the Reds understand the importance of the fixture, so they’ll do everything in their power to stop the BVB from scoring.

This is, mostly, likely a close call for both teams (i.e. draw). Nevertheless, bear in mind it’s the national derby and everything could happen. Would the Black and Yellows get a huge win like Barcelona did or the Reds scoring the winning goal at Westfalenstadion? We’ll see it later.


Possible scores: 

Dortmund 3-2 Bayern

Dortmund 3-1 Bayern

Dortmund 2-1 Bayern

Dortmund 2-0 Bayern

Dortmund 1-1 Bayern

Dortmund 1-0 Bayern

Dortmund 0-1 Bayern

Dortmund 0-2 Bayern


As always, “no score should be treated as certain before the final whistle is blown”. Also, here’s a friendly reminder for all of you: gamble wisely if you really want to place bets on football matches, or you’ll be in deep regret later.

Saint-Étienne – A forgotten name probably in France, perhaps rightfully so?

Saint-Étienne – A forgotten name probably in France, perhaps rightfully so?

As someone who isn’t a huge fan of Ligue 1, I first heard the name “Saint-Étienne” when one of my lecturers in my community college is a huge fan of them.

You’ll probably recognise the guy inside the featured image, though. He’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, current Arsenal player who was the top goalscorer of the club during his stay with Les Verts (“the Greens” in French).

It may be a surprising fact to you, but Saint-Étienne used to be one of the best clubs in the country and has 10 Ligue 1 titles with them, more than anyone else. The current holders, Paris Saint-Germain? 7 only.

If you don’t recognise Saint-Étienne as a club, it’s not your fault to blame. In fact, this is why I, honestly, named them “a forgotten name probably in France”. Seriously, things have changed since they last won a big trophy.

I can summarise the situation in one sentence, though.

Saint-Étienne is now more like a lineup striving for a mid-table finish in the domestic league with a rare chance to participate in European football.


It all happened after Les Verts won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2013.

The club from Saint-Étienne sold a number of their young prospects with three of them being household names of the present days. Aubameyang aside, you may be shocked to hear that Payet and Matuidi used to play for them.

This is partially the main reason why they regressed. The other? The board have no ambition to formulate a plan for the team to become great again as PSG started to dominate the league following the influx of Qatari money to the Parisian club.

Staying in Ligue 1 is probably easier than that of pursuing a place in the Champions League, after all, from the perspective of the management, players and fans. 

They did get ahold of quality veterans like current club captain Loïc Perrin, Kévin Monnet-Paquet, Stéphane Ruffier and Romain Hamouma (and loyal supporters).

Yet, it’s never enough for them to aim for a better position of the Ligue 1 table.

In Europe, the Greens did manage to advance to the knockout stages of the Europa League in the 2016/17 season. However, a 4-0 aggregated loss to eventual winners Manchester United proved that they’re not fully prepared for the challenge.

New additions last season, Debuchy and Subotić helped to bolster their defence. Under Jean-Louis Gasset, the Greens are now 5th of the table, but only if they play consistently they’ll get their reward – a place in, at least, the Europa League.


Provided that PSG are now the most powerful side of the Ligue 1 with Lyon and Marseille catching up, it is, without a doubt, that Saint-Étienne will be one of the fading sides of French football if they decide to remain stagnant.

After all, the foundation set by the founders of the club may fall apart if they aren’t careful enough. And I won’t be surprised to hear the news of Les Verts relegating to Ligue 2, provided that “failing to plan is planning to fail”.