Matchweek 21

Heeeyyyyoooo sup! I tried telling all ya’ll that the soccer/football/futbol/sokker never stops from August to May…. then June to July… then August to May and rinse and repeat forever and ever. After our Christmas spread of games, we transition right into the weekend with more matches. Let’s see how we fared this midweek:

Matchweek Results: 3-3-4
All-Time Results: 146-128-34

That all-time record includes a 60% non-loss rate and it has never been negative in the 308 matches I’ve picked #WeirdBrag. Heading into the new year I’m pretty proud of that record and how this blog is going, with hundreds of visitors a month. Tell your friends, your friends’ friends and your friends’ friends’ friends about what’s good!

This next week or so is a wild cluster of matches in the Premier League with 7 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday, 5 on Monday, 5 on Tuesday and 1 on Wednesday and Thursday. That means most teams will be playing twice in three or four days, a very tough end to an extreme stretch of matches. I’ll do my best to post one before the second string of matches which start on the 2nd.

Let’s jump right into the matches for this weekend…

Saturday
10:00am

Brighton @ Newcastle United (+110) – Both teams only have 1 win in their last 5 matches, but Newcastle showed that they are a tough team to get a result against when they tested Manchester City and held them to a 1-0 win. Though they lost, they showed that at home they aren’t an opposition to be overlooked. I hate passing up the (+0.5) odds but Brighton just don’t have it figured out right now.

Burnley (+0.5) @ Huddersfield Yoooo Burnley are playing out of their mind. Just when everyone gets high on them, they lose big to Tottenham at home only to turn it around and give Trashchester United (Man U) a draw at Old Trafford. Sean ‘Futbol Guy’ Dyche has his Burnley squad playing rock solid footy and I don’t see that changing. They’re tied for 4th lowest goals scored, but also have the 4th best goals against tally going for them. Only 5 points away from the top 4, Burnley will have to get crucial results as they play City twice and Liverpool and United once each in their 6 matches after this.
giphy1

Stoke City @ Chelsea (-2) – Chelsea have won 25 of the last possible 27 points against Stoke at home and Stoke have been the 2nd worst away team in the league this year. I know, I know I haven’t been good on spread of 2 or more all season but I’m going to keep sticking to my gut and take the Blues in this one at home.

Leicester City @ Liverpool (-1.5) – These two teams historically have high-scoring matchups with an average of 4.7 gpg in their last 3 clashes. Take that as what you will, but I focus on spreads here and my instinct is to take the points here. But Liverpool have the best goals against record at home this season (3, the only team under 5) and I learned my lesson with picking Swansea this past week.

Swansea City @ Watford (-0.5) – Swans are trash. Watford started off hot, but only have 1 win in their last 5. Swansea have 1 win in 10 matches away from home and have scored 5 goals. Don’t sleep on Watford. That is all.

Everton @ Bournemouth (Pick -135) – Bournemouth find themselves in trouble in 18th place, but a huge comeback draw (is it still a comeback if you blew a lead earlier in the game?) has them in good spirits. Everton only have 1 win away from home and it may be a must-win/draw for the Cherries.

12:30pm
Southampton @ Manchester United (-1.5) – I may switch my Michael Scott ‘Snip Snap Snip Snap’ Award for the team who is either really good or bad from Tottenham to Man U. One minute they’re world class and the next minute they have a loss against Bristol City in the Cup, and draws to Leicester while a man up and at home to Burnley. But they have the 2nd best goal differential at home and Southampton are winless in their last 7 and Southampton have been sub-par away from home including a 5-2 loss at Tottenham the other day. I just hope this isn’t the 1-0 ‘Mourinho Masterclass’ match that we see from United so often. giphy3

Sunday
7:00am

Manchester City (-1.5) @ Crystal Palace You guys know the rule! Don’t bet against Manchester City, as they are currently on the 2nd longest win streak in European football history (18). Even crazier, they have won all 10 matches away from home with a crazy +25 goal differential which is 9 better than the next best. Palace was letting Arsenal run wild in their final third all Thursday night, which will not bode well for them against the best team in the world right now.

11:30am  

Arsenal (-0.5) @ West Brom Arsenal have been atrocious away from London this season, with a 3-3-4 record and a -3 goal differential. West Brom meanwhile have been even worse at home somehow, with only 1 win this season (with 6 draws though). To be honest I know I give @jordankulla a lot of crap, but Arsenal have just been odd this season. They give up weird goals and don’t seem to be on the same page offensively some matches, but they are just cut from a much better cloth than West Brom. It is also Arsene Wenger’s 811th match, the most ever of any Premier League manager, expect the Gunners to come out swinging for their manager.

I plan on getting a blog out on New Year’s Eve for the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday slate of matches in the league. Also keep an eye out for a possible podcast in 2018 from the Can I Kick It crew (*eyes emoji*). Thanks for making this year an awesome inaugural year for the blog, and hopefully there’s many more! Until next time…

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo   @canikickitblog

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Nico

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