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November 2, 2019

Manchester City Favored Over Liverpool at Anfield on November 10th

High Press 10 November 2, 2019
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Next Sunday, November 10th, Manchester City will finally play their first match of the season against an elite European team. The FOURMIDABLES travel to Anfield for a massive showdown against table topping Liverpool.

Liverpool haven’t lost a Premier League game at Anfield in 45 appearances. They haven’t lost domestically in almost a year (last January at City). They’re six points clear of City. This season in all competitions, they’ve played and beaten or drawn:

  • Chelsea
  • Arsenal (2x)
  • Leicester City
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham
  • Red Bull Salzburg

Here are the major clubs Manchester City has played:

  • Tottenham

They drew them.

That’s it. They’ve played no one in the EPL. Their Champions League group is the weakest. Even in the Carabao Cup–where they’re adorably rolling out nearly their best line-up–has been a cake walk.

Yet…Manchester City are favored over Liverpool next weekend.

Liverpool vs Manchester City match line

Liverpool +170 Draw +260 Manchester City +150

Where to bet the Premier League in the US

In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For New Jersey, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook NJ or FanDuel Sportsbook.

Christian Pulisic Scores Again for Chelsea (VIDEO)

High Press 10 November 2, 2019

So, this Christian Pulisic kid might be pretty good afterall?

The American is coming on strong lately. He netted his fourth Premier League goal of the season today in helping Chelsea go 2-0 up on Watford.

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Christian Pulisic goal vs Watford

Pulisic perfectly timed his run to receive a laser-perfect pass from Tammy Abraham in the 55th minute.

Abraham has equally been on fire. He scored the opener for Chelsea in the fifth minute.

The four goals equals Pulisic’s all-time domestic total from the Bundesliga. However, it’s taken him only 8 games to reach 4 in the EPL. In his best Bundesliga year, it took him 20 matches.

Those Christian Pulisic goal prop bets don’t seem so outrageous suddenly. Oddsmakers set the line at what at the time seemed a ridiculous 9.5. He could be there by the end of the festive period at this rate.

Liverpool Player Ratings vs Aston Villa (Matchday 11): Reds Pull Out Thrilling Late 2-1 Win

Chops November 2, 2019

Premier League matchday 11 brings a trip to Aston Villa for Liverpool.

Not much rotation today. Fabinho is forced out of the line-up as another yellow card would force him out of the Manchester City match. Jurgen Klopp gives the start to a deserving Adam Lallana. Expect Klopp to roll with that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita midfield in their Champions League match vs Genk on Wednesday.

AND…

WHAT. A. GAME.

Credit to Aston Villa, who played their collective asses off. They led 1-0 until the 87th minute. Then Liverpool gutted out two goals (one by Andy Robertson, one by Sadio Mane) and claimed a 2-1 win. Unbelievable. Except that they keep doing it.


While some may wonder how Liverpool keeps doing it, the reality is they were the better side today by a large margin. The heat map shows significant field coverage compared to AVL. They had a clear possession advantage (not shocking) and turned that possession into actual opportunities. Liverpool had 25 shots on goal (6 on target) to AVL’s 5 and 2. Liverpool just converted those chances at the very (very) end of the game. Plus Firmino’s off-sides was NOT an off-sides. So there’s that too.

Here are the Liverpool vs Aston Villa player ratings.

Liverpool Player Ratings

Manager

Jurgen Klopp (8) – Interestingly, Klopp puts Jordan Henderson at the #6 instead of Lallana. It’s not the best fit for Hendo. He’s been grooming Lallana to be his fill-in DMC. The best explanation is he’s resting Ox for Genk.

That lasted 10 mins though as Klopp shifted Lallana back to the middle. Good adjustment by the boss. Subbed out Salah for Origi and Ox for Gini. The subs should’ve been Mane and Henderson.

Nevermind what the fuck do I know. Mane scores the winner. Good job by Klopp.

Goalkeeper

Alisson (6) – Was given no help on the opener and got big–however, he could’ve gotten body part on it had he reacted better. Has come off his line twice for two heady clearances.

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arndold (9) – TAA becomes the fourth youngest player to reach 100 appearances for Liverpool today. Just a local scouse living his best life.

Wonderful interception in the 26th, completed dribble and shot. He follows it immediately with a well-serviced corner. Playing with real confidence and drive. His dribbled is Messi-esque today. He’s constantly on the attack. His service in to Mane gets the assist for the winner. Looks like the best player on the pitch if not one of the best in the world. For real.

Virgil van Dijk (6) – More sloppy and casual play from the big man. Too many missed markings and turnovers in the first half. Continues in the second half, not connecting basic passes. Does make one heady clearance in the 78th.

Dejan Lovren (7) – Once again, showing better defensively than his CB partner. Does well getting in box for headers, just missing a good connection in the 90th.

Andy Robertson (8.5) – Have a feeling this is going to be a vintage Robbo match with constant marauding and an assist or two. He’s been solid in the first half. His ability to cleanly bring down balls and service them in is second to none.

Beautiful run in and header to level the game. Bravo👏👏👏

Midfielders

Jordan Henderson (3) – Always an ill-fit at the #6. Hendo excels more in an attacking role. He utterly brain-farts a pass back to Alisson in the 8th, almost leading to a big chance  for Villa. Gets moved to the flank though early and immediately looks better. Feeds a great ball into the box that Mane almost converts for the opener.

Totally loses sight of Trézéguet on the set piece opener. Not sure who he was defending there. Or better put: poor defending in general. In second half, fails to connect a basic key pass in the box, killing a counter. Needs to come out for Ox immediately. Stays in the whole game but has to be better than today.

Adam Lallana (5) – If Fabinho were to pick up a yellow card this game, he’d be forced to miss Liverpool’s next domestic match. That match is against Manchester City. So welcome to the bench, Fabinho! And welcome back to the starting XI, Adam Lallana. After starting where Ox would be, gets moved to the center. On the ball more than any Liverpool player though not making the most of it.

Missed a golden opportunity from a Firmino feed in the 73rd. Subbed off late for Keita.

Georginio Wijnaldum (4) – One of those quiet Gini days in the first half. Does little in the second and subbed off for Ox in the 65th minute.

Forwards

Roberto Firmino (6) – Called off-sides on an equalizer and clearly was not, but VAR🤷‍♀️. The best of the forward bunch today by a mile. Tracking back well and creative in distribution.

Sadio Mane (6) – Really poor today so far. His decision-making is awful, constantly missing the right pass (hence his historically low assist totals). Rightly booked for a yellow for simulation in the box. Can’t wait until he earns a penalty in the box later in the match and doesn’t get the call because the refs think he’s diving again. Mane is capable of having some real stinkers though and then coming through with a key goal out of nowhere. Fingers crossed that’s the case today.

Skies a great opportunity in the 72nd minute, so not the case yet. Too slow. Too easily dispossessed.

However…

His ball in to Robertson for the equalizer is wonderful. And he scores the winner. Typing this sentence 30 minutes earlier is very prescient now:

Mane is capable of having some real stinkers though and then coming through with a key goal out of nowhere. Fingers crossed that’s the case today.


Mohamed Salah (3) – Salah feels poised for a big breakthrough game on games. Today should be the day. My DFS line-ups at least reflect that opinion.

His finishing today is POOR. Skies two shots into the stratosphere. Then skies a header into the stands off a brilliant ball in from Robertson. I’m way off on today being a big breakthrough. Exact opposite. Subbed out for Origi in the 65th.

Substitutions

Divock Origi (6) – In for Mo Salah, can he create some magic again? He doesn’t convert but played well, better than Salah.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6) – Comes in for Gini and goes on an immediate rampage. Rifles off a couple of shots in succession that are well defended by Villa.

Naby Keita (NR) – On late for Lallana to make something happen. Not enough time to make an impact.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Trent Alexander-Arnold was a boss today. He’s playing at a new level. Hope everyone else is seeing this. Thank you Squawka for this…

Manchester United Player Ratings vs Bournemouth (Matchday 11)

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Manchester United went on another Premier League trip to AFC Bournemouth looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season. It was raining cats and dogs at the Vitality Stadium, but United did well to form some attacking chances, but lacked the cutting-edge to finish them.

That cost them big time, as Josh King superbly fooled Aaron Wan-Bissaka to score an acrobatic finish just before the half-time break to give his side the lead.

United huffed and puffed in look for something in the second half, but without Mason Greenwood hitting the post late in the game, nothing came. It ended as another loss on the road, totaling to United’s 4th loss in the league this season as Bournemouth go over them in the table.

Manchester United Player Ratings

Manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.5) –  

Solskjaer played the best combination available to him, but needs to realize from defeats like this on how to remove the dysfunctional players. He still doesn’t know how to break down compact defences and is too reliant on counter-attacks. Needs to train the boys better to create chances against stout defences. His substitutions were decent, but brought on the youngsters too late to make an impact.

Goalkeeper

David de Gea (6.0) –  

De Gea looks to have a tough afternoon ahead. Makes a solid save early on to deny the Cherries a swipe at goal. Unable to do anything to save King’s opportunistic goal, but did well to make a few decent saves to keep the game from going out of United’s reach. Makes a fantastic diving attempt off Harry Wilson’s shot in the 74th.

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.0)-

AWB proves his defensive solidity by culling an early Bournemouth storm with some crucial interceptions. Despite his solid tackles and recoveries, Wan-Bissaka made a rare error before half-time in allowing King too much time to score. Looked a bit rattled after that, but still made a few decent tackles before being subbed. 

Harry Maguire (5.5) –

Maguire looks somewhat rocked early on against the Bournemouth pace. While he was unbeatable aerially, Maguire lost track of King to expose his side to concede. Maguire was too anxious to cover for the out-of-positional Young, compromising his effectiveness. Not at all at in his dominant self. 

Victor Lindelof (5.0) –

Lindelof’s maintaining his cool demeanour in the relentless rain. The Swede made some important clearances and kept Callum Wilson relatively quiet, before losing him leading up to the goal. His poor positioning allowed King to score too easily. Clobbered him the 64th to get booked. Struggled against Bournemouth’s pace. 

Ashley Young (5.0) –

Well, they worked out pretty well early on as he made a few impressive interceptions and got his team forward valiantly. Too slow to react to attacking moves and should’ve gone for a tackle to deny the cross for King’s goal. Looked all over the place against Bournemouth’s pace and booked for a sloppy foul after the hour-mark. Really should not be starting!

Midfielders

Fred (6.0) –  

Fred isn’t lacking his bite in the difficult conditions. Pressing Bournemouth to oust their midfield movement. Crept into the box early on, but his right-footed attempt was a horrid one. Picked up a yellow-card after the half-hour mark for scuffling with the Bournemouth players.

Showcased better attacking edge, especially by finding Greenwood in space in the 83rd for United’s best chance. Curled a weak shot right to Ramsdale hands in added time. Needs some composure to his game. 

Scott McTominay (5.5) –  

The United player of the month(for October) is oozing with confidence early on, thriving in a physical midfield battle. But he lacked that driving force today and couldn’t conjure up anything special going forward either. Took a ferocious swipe at goal at the 83rd, only to see it saved.

Andreas Pereira (5.5) –  

The Brazilian looks a bit rattled early on. Scuffed an easy scoring chance in the 3rd minute and blasted one over four minutes later. He’s getting into the right areas, but being too harried with his through-balls results in them always being over-hit. Had one clever swipe parried out awkwardly in the 57th minute. Still lacking that cutting-edge. 

Forwards

Marcus Rashford (5.5) –  

Rashford didn’t come into the game before the 17th minute when he cheekily trotted the ball forward and delivered to Fred to take a shot for a corner.Brilliant formed a swift counter-attack in the 39th, but lacked the final delivery to send James through. Too static today and bullied by Bournemouth’s physicality. 

Daniel James (6.5) – 

James started the game in fiery fashion, getting behind Bournemouth’s defence and playing a glorious pass to Pereira in the 3rd. Cleverly found Fred inside the area minutes later. Every attacking move is going through him. Hurled forward with intent, but his pin-point delivery wasn’t met by anyone. Another energetic showing. 

Anthony Martial (6.0) –

Martial’s link-up prowess is showing early, as he tucked a clever pass to send James through in the 3rd. He breezed past multiple players to get through on goal in the 33rd, but got overcrowded before going down and sparking tensions. Didn’t get enough support and didn’t seem to work hard to get something for himself either. 

Substitutions

Jesse Lingard(5.5) –

Lingard got into all the right positions in the final third, but failed to take a proper swipe at goal or create a chance for his team-mates. Still too frustrating to watch.

Brandon Williams (6.0) –

Came on very late, but was a breath of fresh air for United. Cleverly played a short-corner for Greenwood’s chance. Roared his team forward, make some incisive passes and was pretty impressive. Needs to start ahead of Young.

Mason Greenwood (6.0) –

His first touch saw him hit the bar from close. Unlucky! Failed to see a sight of goal after that. Needs more minutes. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Daniel James was the only bright from today, continuing his encouraging form. Deserved an assist today. But yeah honestly, Nathan Ake deserves the MOTM crown for his incredible defensive performance.

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