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High Press 10

High Press 10 covers general global soccer stories and news. He / she finds the quality of soccer in Bend It Like Beckham to be on par with u8 rec.

MLS Matchday 13 Odds

High Press 10 May 21, 2019

MLS Matchday 13 odds are released.

This week doesn’t match many top table teams against each other. It’s more about seeing if trends are sustainable. For example:

  • How much better is the West than the East? LAFC (1st in West) hosting Montreal Impact (3rd in East despite a -4 goal differential) will showcase the potential chasm in quality.
  • Is Philadelphia Union for real? They’ll have another chance to prove it as they host a struggling Portland Timbers.
  • As discussed on our High Press Pod last week, is the improved play of New York Red Bulls and NYCFC a mirage, or a sign that the ship has been righted?
  • And same goes for road warriors Atlanta United. They fly across country again (seriously, MLS schedulers?) to face an improved Real Salt Lake squad. Will they be weary from all of the travel, or show resilience by gutting out some points?

MLS Matchweek 13 Odds

As always, home team is listed first. If you need a refresher, visit how to bet MLS or how to bet soccer.

All listed odds from May 21 on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ.

Wednesday, May 22


New York Red Bulls -200Draw +330Vancouver +550
Friday, May 24Draw +320Portland Timbers +350
Orlando City -120Draw +290LA Galaxy +280
Real Salt Lake +185Draw +250Atlanta United +140
LAFC -350Draw +480Montreal Impact +800
Saturday, May 25
Draw +440
Chicago Fire +130Draw +250NYCFC +195
Vancouver +130Draw +250FC Dallas +200
New England +115Draw +250DC United +230
FC Cincinnati +165Draw +240New York Red Bulls +160
Philadelphia -160Draw +310Portland Timbers +410
Minnesota United +115Draw +260Houston Dynamo+220
Colorado Rapids +145Draw +240Columbus Crew +185
Sunday, May 26
Toronto FC -170Draw +330San Jose Earthquakes +430
Sporting KC -125Draw +290Seattle Sounders +300

Visit FanDuel Sportsbook NJ as games near for updated odds and, for NJ residents, to place your wagers.

Odds and Ends

  • Orlando City is slumping. LA Galaxy are a better team. Yet Orlando is the odds on favorite (-120). Lots to like about Galaxy at +280.
  • Vancouver plays away against New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, then flies cross-continent for a home game on Saturday against FC Dallas. Vancouver is favored (+130). Take a good hard look at FC Dallas at +200 there. Dallas is the better team and not as road-weary.
  • New England is putrid with the worst goal differential in MLS. The Bruce Arena hire can’t turn them around that quickly, can it? Oddsmakers seem to think so, as New England is favored (+115) over DC United (+230). You have to like United at +230 or the draw at +250 there.
  • Finally, while Sporting KC is better than their bottom-dweller standing currently suggests, they shouldn’t be odds-on favorites against a much better Seattle team. Seattle at +300 would be hard to pass up.

Pep Guardiola Dodges Financial Fair Play Question After Manchester City Achieve the Treble (VIDEO)

High Press 10 May 19, 2019

Manchester City won the domestic treble yesterday by annihilating Watford 6-0.

The win was to-be-expected. A line of questioning directed at City manager
Pep Guardiola afterwards was not.

Manchester City FFP violation allegations not going away

In his post-game press conference, Guardiola was asked if his predecessor, Roberto Mancini, received additional money from City’s ownership group (violating FFP regulations). The question indirectly implies that maybe Pep is doing the same (which Pep amazingly acknowledged in his response).

Pep then became infuriated — and didn’t really answer the question:

“Did I receive money for another situation, right now, today? Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question, the day we won the treble, did I receive money? Are you accusing me of receiving money?”
– Pep Guardiola

Read the full transcript.

This was a classic “how dare you ask me that!” response from someone who is cagey enough to not say something that could get him in treble trouble down the line. 

Manchester City’s FFP violations (and potential UEFA Champions League ban) was already becoming one of this year’s primary off-season storylines. Pep’s poor handling of how he answer these questions–and the headlines and attention that his reaction generates–will only make it worse for City and their fans. 

2019 FA Cup Finals: Manchester City vs. Watford Odds, Game Time, Where to Watch (UPDATE)

High Press 10 May 16, 2019

Updated: 05/16/19 10:45am ET

The 2019 FA Cup Final is set.

Having already won the Carabao Cup and Premier League crown, FFP violating, assault-victim mocking Manchester City are in position for a treble if they can win the FA Cup on Saturday. They’ll play Watford, who bested Wolverhampton 3-2 in the semis.

FA Cup Finals Time and Where to Watch

  • May 18: Manchester City vs Watford, 12pm ET

Games will be available on ESPN/ESPN+ in the United States.

FA Cup Finals Odds

When odds were first posted in April, City was favored at -340 (Watford at +850) on FanDuel NJ Sportsbook

Not surprisingly, given their 14 straight wins to close out the Premier League campaign (as well as importance of winning this cup as they lost in the Champions League quarterfinals for the second year in a row), City’s odds of winning have increased over the past 6 weeks.

That change in odds is also due to Watford closing the season poorly, only winning once in their final five games. The ended the season 11th in the Premier League table.

FA Cup Final Odds
Manchester City -550Draw +550Watford +1200

As always, home team is listed first. If you need a refresher, visit how to bet soccer.

Manchester City Players Mock Hillsborough Victims and Sean Cox After Winning Premier League Title?

High Press 10 May 15, 2019


After winning the Premier League title on the final matchday of the season, Manchester City players celebrated by…mocking Liverpool and its fans who suffered tragedies?

From Goal.com‘s Twitter feed:

The chant is a shot at Liverpool’s “Allez allez allez.” It’s a signature song for the Reds with increasing popularity the past few years (if you’ve never watched a Jamie Webster BOSS Night performance of it, do yourself a favor, stop reading this, check it out and comeback in five minutes).

City players change lyrics as shot at Reds and tragedy victims

The Liverpool Echo transcribed a portion of the lyrics:

‘All the way to Kiev, to end up in defeat, crying in the stands and battered on the streets, Kompany injured Salah, victims of it all, Sterling won the double, the Scousers won **** all….’

The Echo notes:

Many believe ‘battered on the streets’ is a sick reference to the attack on Sean Cox prior to the Champions League semi-final against Roma at Anfield last April.

As Bleacher Report uh, reported, the remainder of City’s “Evil Weird Al” alteration may also be a shot at a group of Liverpool fans who were attacked at a restaurant in Kiev before the UCL finals against Real Madrid. Or, more likely, about the Hillsborough 96.

A City spokesperson offered a somewhat feeble response to the mocking allegations:

How Liverpool responded to their Premier League defeat vs City’s reaction

Even if City is granted an unearned benefit-of-the-doubt and the chants weren’t about Cox and Hillsborough, it’s still not a good reflection on the organization. While unruly fans are expected and shouldn’t be held as a represenation of the organization as a whole–the players are another story. Further, if the players act like this, then it signals to the fans that it’s open season to say whatever they want.

There is a stark contrast to how Manchester City players reacted their win vs how Liverpool’s squad treated their success and failure last week. While City took a Khaleesi scorched earth approach, Anfield and the Reds went full-on “fahoo fores dahoo dores” last week in two touching displays of solidarity.

Consider the juxtaposition of City’s players post-victory vs Liverpool’s at Anfield:

That’s a real team with real shared history and attachment to their community–all of which of course was topped off by Mo Salah’s daughter scoring a goal:

While City’s players were chanting about assaults, Liverpool’s players were quoted saying:

“Congratulations to City, they deserved it by one point. City were just a tiny bit better than us.” 

– Virgil van Dijk after final matchday

And:

“We have just fallen short to a world-class team. To go 14 games without dropping a point is unbelievable. Fair play to City. The way they have gone about their business this season has been a joy to watch.”

– Andy Robertson after final matchday

Ok, maybe Robbo’s “fair play to City” was a jab. At least it was a creative one.

With City’s billion dollar roster and flexible views on financial fair play regulations (not to mention their misleading of UEFA officials about FFP violations), one Liverpool fan summed it up well:

Even in a best-case scenario where City’s “Allez allez allez” rendition has nothing to do with people who died or were assaulted, it’s still a bad look from a squad with every inherent financial advantage in global soccer.

Ultimately, City’s class on the pitch is only matched by it’s lack of class off of it.

2019-20 Premier League Title Odds: Manchester City Favorites to Threepeat

High Press 10 May 13, 2019

FanDuel Sportsbook NJ and DraftKings Sportsbook have release 2019-20 Premier League odds.

No surprises, as back-to-back champs Manchester City, who will not be playing in the Champions League Final next month, are odds-on favorites at -170. They’re followed by Champions League finalist Liverpool (+240) and the team who beat City to eventually reach the finals, Tottenham (+1400).

Recently promoted Sheffield United and Norwich City are among those priced +25000.

2019-20 Premier League Title Odds

There’s some different pricing on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ and DraftKings Sportsbook (who also have Top 4 futures).

We’ll start with FanDuel.

Typically we offer “value play” advice but the reality is (barring unprecedented spending by Spurs) City or Liverpool will win the Premier League next year. If you’re not picking one of the two, you’re not following closely enough.

Manchester City -170Liverpool +240Spurs +1400Chelsea +2000Manchester United +2000
Arsenal +2900Wolves +9000Leicester +14000Everton +17000Watford +21000
West Ham +21000Bournemouth +25000Newcastle +25000Sheffield +25000Norwich +25000
Burnley +25000Brighton +25000Crystal Palace +25000Southampton +25000TBD

Here are the DraftKings Sportsbook odds, with their top 4 finish pricing in parenthesis. Interestingly, they’re more bullish on Manchester United than FanDuel / they should be. Because they have top 4 pricing, there are some potential values in there. Take a look at mid-table teams who finished strong and may actually spend this summer, like Wolves, Everton, Leicester City, and Newcastle United.

City -150 (-3335)Liverpool +300 (-750) Manchester United +1000 (-125) Spurs +1400 (-150)Chelsea +2000 (+100)
Arsenal +2500 (+120)Wolves +15000 (+1600) Everton +20000 (+2000) Leicester +25000 (+2500)
West Ham +50000 (+6600)
Watford +100000 (+10000) Crystal Palace +100000 (+10000) Southampton
+100000 (+10000)
Bournemouth +150000 (+15000) Brighton
+150000 (+15000)
Newcastle
+150000 (+15000)
Burnley +200000 (+25000)Norwich +200000 (+30000)Sheffield +2500000 (+50000)

TBD

As always, read this betting on soccer or Premier League betting refresher for how this all works.

Premier League Golden Boot Winners: Salah, Mane and Aubameyang End with 22

High Press 10 May 12, 2019

The 2018-19 Premier League season ended with three deserving Golden Boot winners.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Sadio Mane (thanks to a final day brace) ended with 22 goals, a tally Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tied on Sunday as well. 

Chelsea’s soon-to-be-departing-for-Real-Madrid (sorry, truth) Eden Hazard led all Premier League players with 31 accounted for scores (16 goals, 15 assists). Mo Salah followed him with 30 (but yeah, what an off-year he had).

Raheem Sterling, who finished second in the PFA Player of the Year voting and earned a PFA starting XI spot over Salah, was five goals and three total scores accounted for behind the Egyptian King. 🤷‍♀️

Final Golden Boot Tallies 

Here are the top 8 goal scorers this year:

  1. Mohamed Salah: 22 goals, 8 assists
  2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 22 goals, 5 assists
  3. Sadio Mane: 22 goals, 1 assist
  4. Sergio Aguero: 21 goals, 8 assists
  5. Jamie Vardy: 18 goals, 4 assists
  6. Raheem Sterling: 17 goals, 10 assists
  7. Harry Kane: 17 goals, 4 assists
  8. Eden Hazard: 16 goals, 15 assists

Manchester City Claim Back-to-Back Premier League Titles with Second Highest Point Total Ever

High Press 10 May 12, 2019

Manchester City are 2018-19 Premier League champions.

City entered their final match of the season as heavy favorites against 17th place Brighton Hove & Albion. FanDuel Sportsbook NJ had them priced at -650 to win (Brighton was +1300, Draw +700). They were -750 at the start of the match to be outright champions to Liverpool’s +550. It would take a miracle on par with last week’s Champions League clashes for Liverpool to hoist their first ever Premier League trophy.

That miracle almost happened. City went down 1-0 on a Glenn Murray header in the 27th minute. Then…

City went on to cruise to a 4-1 win. They won 14 in a row to capture the title. That’s the second best run in EPL history.

As we detailed on our Liverpool vs Wolves player ratings, the title odds on sportsbook like FanDuel NJ and DraftKings NJ swung wildly all day:

Liverpool Mane goal City +340Liverpool -390
Brighton goal City -115Liverpool +110
City Aguero goal (83 seconds later)City -450Liverpool +300
City Laporte goalCity -1350Liverpool +900
City Mahrez goalCity -4000Liverpool +1600
City Gundogan goalOdds off the board

Despite only losing one the entire Premier League campaign, Reds fans will have to wait another year. At least there’s the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final to look forward to on June 1st.

How City got here

City end the campaign with a 32-2-4 record and a 72-point goal differential. Last year they finished with 100 points and a goal differential of 79.

City led the Premier League in xG, xGA and xPts.

A few key matches propelled City to the title:

  • The first and most obvious was their January 3rd win over Liverpool. City started the day 7 points behind Liverpool. Ultimately, the 11 millimeters the ball didn’t travel on Sadio Mane’s attempt won City the Premier League.
  • While both teams secured key victories in the closing minutes of games, City’s previous match against Leicester was among the most important crucial. Suffice to say, Vincent Kompany has never hit a more perfect strike from that distance and likely never will again.
  • Let’s not forget the Anfield 0-0 draw on October 7th last year. A billion people tuned in to watch both sides not really try to win. Had Jurgen Klopp not opted for such a conservative game plan, Liverpool might be hoisting the trophy instead of City.

This was a race for the ages and one that won’t soon be forgotten. These were without question the two best teams in the world this year.

Europa League Championship Odds: Chelsea vs Arsenal

High Press 10 May 10, 2019

The Premier League makes it 4-for-4 in European cup finals this year.

After Liverpool and Tottenham had stunning comebacks to advance to the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final, Chelsea and Arsenal stared at their Premier League counterparts and said, “Hold my ultra light beer.”

Chelsea defeated (saying in angriest German accent) Eintracht Frankfurt on a 2-2 aggregate and 4-3 penalties. Arsenal cruised past Valencia on a 7-3 aggregate.

Europa League Final Odds

The Europa League final takes place on May 29th at 7am ET. The game is held at Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.

Odds as of May 09 on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ are:

Chelsea +125Draw +240Arsenal +210

Liverpool Now Favorites to Win UEFA Champions League (UPDATE)

High Press 10 May 7, 2019

After their thrilling comeback win over Barcelona, Liverpool are now odds on favorites to win the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.

Liverpool began the day at +1800. They’ll end the day around -270.

Odds fluctuate during match

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook NJ — futures odds were locked once Liverpool went up 1-0.

When Liverpool brought the aggregate to 2-3, futures markets shifted to Barcelona +130, Liverpool +210 (Ajax was +300, Spurs +800).

At 3-3 aggregate, Liverpool became favorites at -125 to Barcelona’s +280.

Liverpool find themselves favorites

After Tottenham’s equally miraculous win over Ajax, FanDuel Sportsbook NJ have the finals priced at:

Liverpool – 210Tottenham+145

2019 UEFA Champions League Final: Odds, When Is It, Where to Watch It (UPDATED)

High Press 10 May 7, 2019

Finally, the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final is (nearly) upon us.

Those semifinals were off the charts. Wow. Just wow.

Look for predictions and further analysis in the coming weeks.

2019 UEFA Champions League Final Odds

Heading into Leg 2 games, futures markets on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ and DraftKings Sportsbook favored Barcelona to win it all. Barcelona was -240. Liverpool were long at +1800.

Then Liverpool secured their miraculous 4-3 aggregate win over Barcelona, and now find themselves favorites. And Spurs had a more bonkers last minute win over Ajax.

Early public money seems to be favoring Spurs, as they are inching closer to Liverpool.

Liverpool -210Tottenham +145
Ajax (eliminated)Barcelona (eliminated)

(Odds as of May 09, 5:30pm EST)

The odds more or less line-up with FiveThirtyEight probabilities.

When is the Champions League final?

The final will take place on Saturday, June 01 at 3pm EST at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

Where can I watch the final?

In the US, the final will be broadcast on TNT and B/R Live.

Atlanta United Feels Mostly Back to Normal

High Press 10 May 6, 2019

Atlanta United defeated Sporting KC 3-0 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday in a game that felt like a return to normalcy for the defending MLS Cup champs.

Let us count the ways.

1. They were fun to watch

Part of the reason Atlanta so quickly embraced UTD was they played an exciting brand of soccer.

This year…not so much.

Even in their better performances and wins, they never consistently hit the “exhilarating” pace that defined them during their first two years.

Away at KC, they were counter-attacking and pressing, generating shots and playing with confidence.

They looked like Atlanta United.

2. Martinez got the goals and attention, but wasn’t the best player

Josef Martinez is an amazing player who broke the MLS seasonal goal record last year. He won MVP.

Miguel Almiron was the MLS’ best player. His record-setting transfer and instant impact on Newcastle United underscores that point.

This year, Ezequiel Barco is looking like the Almiron-engine that will drive United.

On that note, Pity Martinez looks like the 2018-version of Barco: a talented fly in the ointment who may be a year away from making the impact we all expected.

3. However…Atlanta got kinda lucky

More on this later, but Frank de Boerhas eschewed his worst impulses and let his squad open it up lately.

However, the game against KC isn’t necessarily a sustainable model. Atlanta took a high number of shots outside the 18. Barco converted his. Josef Martinez’s second shot was just inside the box but it was not a high percentage shot. He just struck it incredibly well.

Regardless, Atlanta passed the eye test on Sunday. It looks like a squad that found their footing and went back to the basics that have made them successful in the past.

USWNT Names 2019 World Cup Roster: 11 First Timers, Plus Updated Odds

High Press 10 May 3, 2019

The 2019 Women’s World Cup is less than 40 days away. It’s time to get real.

With that in mind, USWNT team coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will rep the team in France. While there were a couple of debatable surprises, for the most part the roster fleshed out as expected.

Copy+Paste from the US Soccer press release:

USWNT 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster by position and club

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars) 


DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC) 


MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage) 

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)

* First Women’s World Cup / ** Second Women’s World Cup / *** Third Women’s World Cup / **** Fourth Women’s World Cup

Who were the surprises?

The pundits bring up midfielder Morgan Brian and defender Ali Krieger as shock selections given their limited first team caps the past two years. Neither featured in the friendlies this year either.

However, there were rumblings leading up to the announcement that both would make the squad. Both have been on previous World Cup teams (this marks Krieger’s third, Brian’s second). They provide some veteran stability. They make a good locker-room presence. Along with Carli Lloyd, they’ll be solid players to rotate in during the group stage in particular to give the core starting XI a breather against Chile and / or Thailand.

Updated 2019 Women’s World Cup Odds

Nothing much is changing. At DraftKings Sportsbook NJ, the USMNT still are favorites (though should they be?) at +275. They’re followed up France (+350), Germany (+600), and England (+700).

High Press Pod Episode 4: Champions League Semifinal Leg 1 Recap Plus Liverpool Commiserating

High Press 10 May 2, 2019

The latest High Press Pod is up.

Contributing writer Tyler Everett joins Chops to discuss:

  • Tottenham vs Ajax
  • Barcelona vs Liverpool
  • Wtf was Jurgen Klopp thinking
  • No, seriously, wtf was he thinking
  • Do Liverpool or Tottenham stand a chance at advancing

Then, Gluten-Free Charles joins to commiserate in misery over the Liverpool game. Not for the faint of heart.

Listen to “High Press Pod Episode 4 (May 02, 2019): Champions League Semi Recap and Liverpool Commiserating” on Spreaker.

Neymar Attacks Fan (VIDEO)

High Press 10 April 30, 2019

Neymar “attacked” a fan after Paris Saint-Germain‘s Coupe de France loss (via penalty kicks) to Rennes last weekend.

It’s the latest in a string of unflattering incidents for the Brazilian star.

As the video shows, a Rennes fan was video’ing PSG players as they left the stadium after the loss. The fan insulted Neymar. Neymar pushed the phone down and appears to have struck the fan in the face (reportedly leaving him bloodied). PSG teammate Dani Alves spoke out about the incident, saying Neymar “has to show more control” when these situations happen.

Escalating blurred line between fans and players

While Alves is right, these situations are complicated.

Put yourself in Neymar’s shoes. You just had a very public failure. You take constant criticism (granted, mostly for actions that you bring on to yourself). In the face of that public failure, someone ridicules you to your face.

Now, Neymar shouldn’t have struck the fan. He made the situation worse. He brought more negative attention to himself. He resorted to violence. He’ll face punishment.

But fans don’t have the right to belittle other human beings to their face either. Imagine you’re walking out of a business meeting where you flubbed your presentation, or out of school after flunking a test, and someone you don’t know gets in your face and calls you a loser or worse. Responsibility and restraint goes both ways.

There’s a fine line between supporting your team and being a classless ass. The fan reportedly had been insulting a number of PSG players. None of those players reacted as bad as Neymar. They showed restraint.

The fan is not without blame though too. Celebrate that your team won, not that somebody else lost.

2019 UEFA Champions League Semifinals Content Recap

High Press 10 April 30, 2019

All right, it’s time for the 2019 UEFA Champions League Semifinals.

Tottenham hosts Ajax at 3pm on Tuesday. Barcelona hosts Liverpool at 3pm on Wednesday.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the match-ups and content to date.

Updated Champions League Semifinals Odds

Below are this week’s Leg 1 match odds. As always, home team is listed first. If you need a refresher, visit how to bet soccer or Champions League betting.

All listed odds from FanDuel Sportsbook NJ.

Tottenham +130Draw +230Ajax +210
Barcelona -120Draw +200Liverpool +300

Tottenham opened at +120 / Ajax +220, so the public money is coming slightly on the boys from Amsterdam, who at one point were 200-to-1.

Interestingly, Barcelona has gone from -135 to -120–so the public is leaning them, right? Welp, Liverpool has gone from +340 to +300 for Leg 1. That adjustment is closer to what we think is a truer line of around +250 for Liverpool on Wednesday.

Champions League Semifinal Content Round-Up

Some game day analysis coming on Tuesday and Wednesday. For now, catch up on our key information and analysis:

PFA: Is There Any Data that Shows Paul Pogba Deserves a Spot Over Eden Hazard? And Virgil van Dijk Wins Player of the Year

High Press 10 April 29, 2019

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) announced their Premier League Team of the Year last week and Player of the Year on Sunday.

No surprises on the Player of the Year: Liverpool center-back Virgil van Dijk won the award. He was the odds-on favorite to do so for over a month. VVD became the first defensive player to win the honor since the 2004-05 season when Chelsea‘s John Terry was recognized as England’s best footballer.

Underscoring VVD’s year, here’s a stat: NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER HAS DRIBBLED PAST HIM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE THIS CAMPAIGN.

Also, this:

While the Player of the Year was absent of any drama, that wasn’t the case for the Team of the Year.

Is there any data, at all, that shows that Paul Pogba was more deserving than Edez Hazard?

No.

By basically every statistic, Eden Hazard is a demonstrably better soccer player than Paul Pogba this year.

Let’s just say…Pogba’s stats don’t line up well with the above.

GoalsAssistsKey Passes/
Game
Dribbles/
Game
Dispossessed/ Game Tackles / Game
Hazard16132.63.72.30.4
Pogba1391.61.72.51.3

There are very few areas we can find that Pogba out-performed Hazard this year. While Hazard gets a slight knock defensively (he rarely wins tackles, however he’s also dribbled past less often than Pogba, .3 to .8 times per game, respectively), he far outshines Pogba offensively.

Hazard should’ve been on the team of the year.

As should’ve Mo Salah. But that’s another story for another time.

Liverpool Spank Huddersfield 5-0, Player Ratings and Are They Atop the Table for Good?

High Press 10 April 26, 2019

No shockers today, but for Liverpool fans, it was good to see the Reds confidently take care of business.

Liverpool spanked already relegated Huddersfield Town 5-0 at Anfield. The game was over after 15 seconds when a careless turnover by Huddersfield led to a quick Naby Keita goal [insert Shane Long rolling his eyes and saying, “hold my Guinness.”]

The goal was the fastest ever in Liverpool’s club history. The win moves Liverpool back atop the table, two points ahead of Manchester City who travel to Burnley on Sunday.

Before whipping through the player ratings though it’s worth asking–do Liverpool have a better shot at staying atop the table then oddsmakers and experts are giving them?

A look at Transfermarkt’s recent form table shows that after Liverpool and City, two of the other top five teams in form are…Burnley and Leicester.

Burnley is at home. Should they really be +1600 on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ? Is Leicester really a 20-to-1 shot to win or 8-to-1 to draw? Don’t be surprised if Liverpool finds themselves permanently atop the table within the next week. It’s not out of the question.

Also of note, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane both netting braces, they move into #1 & #2 in the Golden Boot race. Salah has 21, Mane has 20, Aguero and Aubameyang have 19. What an off year for Salah. Terrible.

On to the rankings…

Manager

Jurgen Klopp (9) – Good rotating, giving Firmino a rest before the UEFA Champions League seminfinals. He also likely tipped his hand that he plans to start James Milner at Camp Nou by giving the old-timer a breather. Klopp found time to give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a very welcome return to the pitch. Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Gomez also got time. Klopp continues to have his squad peaking at the right moment.

Goalkeeper

Alisson (8) – Made one good save on a Juninho Bacuna shot but otherwise saw no other shots on target. Gets an 8 for logging his Premier League leading 20th clean sheet.

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold (8) – Continues his fine form, with his perfect lob pass to Salah logging another assist for the 20 year-old. He now has 9 for the season.

Virgil van Dijk (7) – Not really given much of a challenge, which is fine considering he’ll have plenty to do come Wednesday.

Dejan Lovren (7) – Lovren gets plenty of grief, but he’s more than capable of holding his own against Huddersfield.

Andy Robertson (8.5) Guess who’s back? Back again. Robbo’s back. Tell a friend. Booming up the flank and firing crosses, Robbo recorded two assists, giving him 11 for the season. The only people with more this Premier League campaign are Eden Hazard, Ryan Fraser, and Christian Eriksen. Robertson is a left-back btw.

Midfielders

Naby Keita (9) – You score the fastest goal in Liverpool history and play an overall solid match offensively and defensively, you’re getting a 9. That’s three goals in April after exactly zero from August – March.

Jordan Henderson (8) – Assisted Mane’s second header goal and continued his creative passing form.

Georginio Wijnaldum (6.5) – Was fine. Others out-shined him. Subbed for Shaqiri in the 73rd.

Forwards

Daniel Sturridge (5) – Provided a reminder as to why he doesn’t start, although was more of a threat in the second half. Subbed in the 73rd for Ox.

Sadio Mane (8) – Two headed goals gives Mane 20 for the season. His heading is underrated. Or improved. Whatever the case, he’s good at them. Almost got a hat trick of headers off a Shaqiri cross but his the post.

Mohamed Salah (9) – Recorded his 20th and 21st goals, leading the Premier League again. Also recorded the fastest assist in Liverpool history for the Keita goal. Just a terrible season, really.

So damn cheeky.

Substitutions

Xherdan Shaqiri (7) – Whatever the eff is keeping him from getting more regular run, he looked good today. Almost scored.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7) – OX! OX! OX! ALMOST scored off a Salah pass. Would’ve been an incredible way to say “hello” again to Anfield. Looked good.

Joe Gomez (NR) – Still getting eased back in with late game substitutions.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Should go to Salah but when you score the fastest goal in Liverpool history and play an overall solid 90 minutes, you earn MoM honors. Congrats to Keita.

High Press Pod Ep 3: Premier League Title Chase and MLS News Extravaganza

High Press 10 April 26, 2019

Latest High Press Pod is live for streaming and download.

The first six minutes site-runner Chops discusses the Premier League title race between Manchester City and Liverpool.

At 7 minutes, contributing writer Harrison Hamm joins to discuss the Luciano Acosta transfer rumors.

Finally at 20:30 contributing writer Peter Nolan joins to cover a host of topics, ranging from MLS expansion to 30 teams, MLS club training compensation, Chris Armas – Thierry Henry coaching rumors, the Kaku suspension and general New York Red Bulls and NYCFC updates.

Audio comes in a little hot the first six minutes and smooths out after that.

Listen to “High Press Pod Episode 3 (04/25/19)” on Spreaker.

Did Manchester City Just Win the Premier League Title by Defeating Manchester United 2-0?

High Press 10 April 24, 2019

The first 45 minutes were competitive.

The final 45 minutes were not.

Manchester City defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a game that likely decided the Premier League title race.

Bernardo Silva put City ahead 1-0 in the 54th minute thanks to some poor defending by Luke Shaw and worse positioning by David de Gea. Leroy Sane, who came on as a substitute for Fernandinho , iced the game in the 66th.

These two teams are light-years apart on talent. This will be a busy summer transfer period for United if they want to get back to elite levels again. They need help all over the pitch, particularly on the backline. United have given up 50 goals in a domestic season for the first time in 40 years.

Manchester City odds to win Premier League

Over on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ, City are now priced at -390 to Liverpool’s +240. This was City’s supposed hardest remaining game (if you’ve watched Man U lately though, maybe not so much).

City next play a scrappy Burnley team away on Sunday. Despite being home and in decent form, Burnley is a +1500 underdog to City’s -750 (draw is +700) on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ.

The following week City play Leicester City at the Etihad. They’re -950 to win. Leicester is a whopping +2000 (draw is +800).

While this epic title race is not over yet–the fat lady is warming up her vocal chords. FiveThirtyEight has boosted their probability from 59% to 73%.

Thanks to Arsenal’s dismal 1-3 defeat to Wolves, the loss doesn’t change United’s UCL prospects at all. They’re on the outside looking in, but could give themselves a small shot by defeating Chelsea this weekend.

Shane Long Scores Fastest Ever Premier League Goal for Southampton vs Watford (VIDEO)

High Press 10 April 23, 2019

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history today.

It took him just 7 seconds to find the back of the net against Watford. Long scored by deflecting a sloppy clearance from Watford defender Craig Cathcart and capitalizing on a 1vs1 against goalkeeper Greg Foster.

Long’s goal beat the previous record of 9.82 seconds held by Ledley King of Tottenham back in 2000.

As for the rest of the game, Andre Gray leveled Watford 1-1 in the 90th minute. So yes, the first goal and the last goal were scored 90 minutes apart.

Shane Long scoring this season

The 32 year-old Irishman has made 21 Premier League appearances for Southampton this season, scoring three times, all in much slower fashion than 7 seconds.

Hes’ been with the Saints since 2014-15. His best year with them was the ’15-16 season when he found the back of the net 10 times.

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