Coming into the highly anticipated 5th round tie, question marks are surrounding not just one but both teams. The one question that gets all the headlines, the managers.
Let’s start with Maurizio Sarri, he’s been speculated to be on the hot seat for some time now. I’m honestly it’s very well deserved as well. The team have struggled throughout the season. Fans are frustrated by the lack of consistency, players don’t seem to enjoy themselves on the field, and Sarri has been critizing his players off the pitch time and time again. Yes, it’s his first season at the club and that should give him a little bit of leeway as to the hot seat. But, at Chelsea not winning isn’t an option. With the transfer budget that’s one of the highest in the world and players like Eden Hazard leading your squad, the amount of leeway you’re allotted is very slim. This week will make or break his job security. With three crucial games in 6 days, we could be talking about if Zidane can turn Chelsea around leading up to their game against Spurs (he is currently being rumored and poised to take over if his conditions are met).
Now come Sunday night we could also be praising the sudden change in form that could lead Chelsea on a run to the Top 4. Now even if they manage to win all three games this week, The Blues could still very well be replacing Sarri come seasons end. The time is now for Sarri to prove he still deserves his job.
Now you flip over to The Red Devils and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who wants to erase the word Caretaker from his current title. That plan took a little bit of a hit after their mid-week clash with French giants PSG. Before this little stumble Solskjaer had failed to win just once since taking over (2-2 Draw against Burnley). Now even if he doesn’t end up taking over permanently, a large contingent of fans would love if he did, he will still have a job come next season. He is scheduled to return to Molde FK in Norway next season. If he manages what seemed to be impossible and win silverware or make the Top 4, we will be having serious discussions with his name in them about who will take over.
Having completed turned this team around he deserves nothing less than to be in the conversation. Two months in charge and he is 10-1-1 and has Manchester United looking like the title contending team everyone thought they would be before the season started.
Will this match be the most important match in England this season? Probably not. It could be one of the most important matches for these two managers as it’ll go a long way to deciding their fates.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 - Man U 3
Eibar 2- Getafe 2
Getafe took a lead into half time with a strike from Jamie Mata 11 mins before half time. The visitors would soon double there lead 7 mins into the second half (goal from Dimitri Foulquier) and looked on their way to securing the 3 points. Which would’ve jumped them into a champions league position over Sevilla. But Eibar who are only 5 points back, had other plans. They would get one back after VAR upheld the handball for a penalty kick. It was promptly slotted home by Charles. We had a game again. Eibar kept on fighting and were finally rewarded with an equalizer 10 minutes from time. Charles with his second from close range. Eibar held on after a few late attempts from Getafe. In the end both teams walk away with a hard fought point. Getafe will fell they let 2 points slip away and Eibar will be glad with the point after falling two behind.
Celia Vigo vs Levante:
Two teams caught in the relegation battle as it stands. That sounds harsher than it really is as only 12 points separate 18th and 6th. So the relegation battle is a lot more interesting in La Liga than in some other leagues. As we will most likely be coming down to the last couple weeks with Huesca being the only confirmed team to be relegated. Both teams are struggling as of late. But while one team is struggling but scoring goals, the other is struggling and not scoring. I’m seeing that the team that has some form in front of goal keeps it up. Celia make it 9 straight against Levante.
Celta 3-Levante 1
Rayo Vallecona vs Athletico Madrid:
Rayo with one win in the last 14 against Athletico and Zero points in this seasons Madrillean Derbies, come in as large underdogs. Athletico will be without Thomas after he picked up a red card against Real Madrid last week. They are also in risk of losing 3 straight for the first time since Simeone took over in 2011. Athletico have this game at the right time to turn around their recent woes before welcoming Juventes and long time rival Cristiano back to Madrid mid week. Athletico bounce back and show why they deserve to be in La Liga title conversations.
Rayo 0-Athletico 2
Real Sociedad vs Leganes:
Battle of Mid-Table teams that are both in really good form. This will be a very entertaining game. Sociedad doesn’t lose to Leganes, Leganes doesn’t win in the Basque Country, and Sociedad hasn’t lost in league play in 2019. What’s all this mean? An entertaining draw.
Sociedad 2-Leganes 2
Barcelona vs Valladolid:
Barcelona currently is the highest scoring team in La Liga and has the fourth best defensive record. Valladolid is the lowest scoring team in La Liga by far. They have a good defense, but that won’t mean a lot in this game. If they give up a goal they will have a hard time trying to steal any points from this game. Keeping Barcelona from finding the back of the net is one of the toughest things in world futbol. I don’t see Valladolid being able to do that.
Barca 3-Valladolid 0
Real Madrid vs Girona:
Real have been on a tear in La Liga and have looked really good as they’ve clawed back into title contention. Girona have looked really bad during that same span. Both things stay true in this one. Real Madrid rolls at home.
Real Madrid 4-Girona 2
Valencia vs Espanyol:
Valencia doesn’t seem to lose at home to Espanyol as the last time the Catalonians have gone to Mestalla and won was 12 years ago. Valencia is struggling to beat teams fromCatalonia this season ( 0-2-2). This game has draw written all over it.
Valencia 1-Espanyol 1
Villareal vs Sevilla:
Villareal have had a very forgettable season, they are hoping they pick up a few points here and there to avoid relegation at this point. The could steal a point in this one as Sevilla as really struggled on the road this season. They’ve lost three in a row and were held scoreless in all three. Villareal celebrate after the game by gaining a point from the top four team in a dull affair.
Villareal 0-Sevilla 0
Real Betis vs Alaves:
Both teams needing points to try and secure an Europa League spot, to do this they both need to break their trends. Betis stuggling everywhere losing 4 of 6. Alaves struggle on the road losing 2/3 and failing to score in those two losses. With both teams being unable to lose, I’m going for a draw in another uninspiring game.
Betis 0-Alaves 0
Huesca vs Athletic Bilbao:
Huesca is on their best run winning two in a row. That’s 1/3 of their points in the past two games. Bilbao are looking to build on their point they took off league leaders Barcelona last weekend. But they will have to do so without Oscar de Marcos Arana who picked up his second yellow in stoppage time of that game. Bilbao build on their momentum from that game and and put lowly Huesca back into the La Liga cellar of which they were starting to make a climb out of,
Huesca 0-Athletic Bilbao 3
Well everyone that’ll do it for my matchday 24 predictions. Thoughts? Questions? Hit me up in the comments or on twitter @soccerwithEric
Thanks for reading everyone!
Watford City FC 1- Queens Park Rangers FC 0
Brighton & Hove Albion FC vs Derby County Football Club:
Brighton have struggled in the league lately but most of those matches have been quick turnarounds. But now with a week off they should be rested and ready to face Frank Lampard’s Derby team. Derby will be looking to pull another upset of a Premier League squad after beating Southampton in round 3. Lampard has his team believing they can win every time out. So one team with confidence another lacking it. I have Derby winning there first match against Brighton, bringing the historical meetings to 1W-2L-3D.
Brighton 1-Derby 2
AFC Wimbledon vs Millwall FC
Two teams that could very well see themselves being relegated in their respective divisions come the end of the season. Both teams have decent defenses. But you can’t win if you don’t score. And that’s something AFC Wimbledon have struggled with all season. I don’t see that changing much in this game even with that recent 4 goal outburst in their upset of West Ham. Millwall should pull this out in a tightly ran affair.
AFC Wimbledon 0- Millwall FC 1
Newport County AFC vs Manchester City FC:
These two teams haven’t met in 57 years. That match was much closer than this one will be or should be. Man City won that game 2-1. They have been struggling on away grounds against lower league sides with 1 win in their last 6 FA Cup ties. With City’s current run of form they should easily walk away with their second in seven matches. I have City in a walkover against the mid-table team from League Two.
Newport 0- City 4
Bristol City vs Wolverhampton Wanders:
Bristol City has pulled one upset so far in the FA Cup. Ok, it was against lowly Huddersfield, but still an upset for the championship side that could very well be playing top flight futbol for the first time since 1980 next season. They are riding high right now winners of 9 straight in all competitions. Even though wolves are by far the stronger side, I like Bristol to keep on winning and pull the upset of a team they will most likely end up playing twice next season (or more). In a back and forth affair Bristol pulls it out with a late winner at home.
Bristol City 3-Wolves 2
Doncaster Rovers vs Crystal Palace:
Doncaster have never reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and have a terrible historical record against top flight clubs. Last win was against QPR in 1985. They are in decent form right now which will give them a fighting chance. Palace are a very hard side to get a grip on how they are going to perform. We have one team that prides their game exclusively on defense (Palace) and one that flys high on the attacking end (Doncaster). Which will give in this game? I think it’ll be the defense. Palace is coming off of a hard fought draw against West Ham could very well have a let down on Sunday. Doncaster reaches their first ever Quarterfinals appearance and the rid themselves of their Top Flight demons.
Doncaster 3-Palace 1
Swansea City vs Brentford
A battle of two mid-table Championship sides. Swansea has won five straight over Brentford. Including 3-2 in December. Brentford head up to Wales and walk away with a 6th straight defeat. In another entertaining match between the sides.
Swansea 4-Brentford 2
Chelsea vs Manchester United:
In the big ticket game of the round we see the turnaround of Man U against the team that has been massively criticized. Untied are coming off a big blow of a defeat mid week against PSG. Will the travel give Chelsea heavy leagues after their travel to Sweden on Thursday? I see Sarri ball getting eaten up by a much improved Red Devil team that’s enjoying futbol.
Chelsea 1-Man U 3
Those are my thoughts and predictions for the 5th rd. What do you all think?
Hey all, wanted to give a shout out to the team here at mikeandmattsports for bringing me in. I look forward to bringing soccer news and analysis to this page and of course you the readers.
So this post is mainly going to be so you all can get to know me. My name is Eric Powers, my loving wife (Jessica) and I have two beautiful little girls (Haliee and Tobin). I started a little late with my love of soccer compared to most. I did not start playing or following the game until I was around 12. I quickly fell in love and it become my first passion. A year or so later I was on my first traveling team (FC United). That season we went on to place second in the state of Arkansas. A couple years later I began playing for the school teams, winning two Scholastic Cups while playing Goalkeeper. I was a two year letterman at my high school while being a three sport athlete.
My senior year would be cut short due to injuries causing me to lose most scholarship opportunities. I went on to play one season at Rockford College in Illinois. There I would spend most of my time as the starting striker. I would go on to have a few opportunities for tryouts at larger schools but I ended up deciding to head back home where I started coaching. I’ve coached for three seasons at different age groups.
Well all thats a little about me. I’m sure we will all get to know each other more in the coming future. If you wish to follow me on Twitter you can do that by adding me @soccerwithEric. You May contact me by email with questions about things at email@example.com
Thank you all for reading. I will have predictions and analysis up in the coming days!