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SOCCER - WINTER 2019

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No one cares about this but me, but apparently Inter Miami is trying to get their practice facilities built in the same park where I had my 10th birthday party. 

I need to buy some merch already.  

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Don't think this was ever posted. FA Cup Third Round draw below, potential giant killings in italics...

Quote

Ties will take place on the weekend of 4-7 January 2019.

Walsall v Sunderland
Millwall v Hull
Gillingham v Cardiff
Brentford v Oxford
Sheffield Wednesday v Luton
Manchester United v Reading
Everton v Lincoln
Tranmere v Tottenham
Preston v Doncaster
Newcastle v Blackburn
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v Grimsby

Derby v Southampton
Accrington Stanley v Ipswich
Bristol City v Huddersfield
Newport v Leicester
Fulham v Oldham

Shrewsbury v Stoke
Blackpool v Arsenal
Manchester City v Rotherham

Bournemouth v Brighton
West Ham v Birmingham
Woking v Watford
Burnley v Barnsley

QPR v Leeds
Sheffield United v Barnet
Norwich v Portsmouth
Fleetwood v Wimbledon
West Brom v Wigan
Middlesbrough v Peterborough

 

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Roy Hodgson is a Liverpool legend. Liverpool top at Christmas again. Let's not bottle it this time, boys. We have Virgil and Alisson this time. 

That Townsend goal, wow. 

And Leicester win at Chelsea. I love all of this. Merry Christmas, indeed. 

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13 hours ago, Oyaji said:

That Townsend goal, wow. 

Outside of FIFA, I have no idea who Townsend is, but that volley was something else. Great stuff and a huge win to boot.

Madrid won the Club World Cup as expected and River Plate got third place.

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Bundesliga pauses around Christmas and a bigger part of January. As of now, Borussia Dortmund leads Bayern by six points.

I have to admit not having seen much outside the occasional highlight reel, but cosistancy will be the key. Bayern got on a bit of a roll lately, but isn't as dominant as they have been during the last years. Dortmund is a young, fresh squad and they found their groove, but iirc many of their harder matchups will be in away matches next year.

Additionally, the rumour mill keeps on spinning as to Red Bull putting some money down during the break, so they can be considered a Dark horse... or rather Bull... for the championship. Which I'd consider terrible. (And that clear bias is the reason why I'll never be a sports journalist. That and lack of talent. Aswell as the abundance of laziness.) 

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For the last ten years (and fifteen of the last seventeen), whichever team has been top of the Championship at Christmas has ended up getting automatic promotion at the end of the season. But I'm not counting any chickens yet.

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I heard an interesting debate the other day about other leagues experimenting with playing matches over the festive period to try and eat into the monopoly the EPL has of the time period. 

I don’t know if it would be successful in any of the other major Euro leagues.

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3 hours ago, ReiseReise said:

Bundesliga pauses around Christmas and a bigger part of January. As of now, Borussia Dortmund leads Bayern by six points.

I have to admit not having seen much outside the occasional highlight reel, but cosistancy will be the key. Bayern got on a bit of a roll lately, but isn't as dominant as they have been during the last years. Dortmund is a young, fresh squad and they found their groove, but iirc many of their harder matchups will be in away matches next year.

Additionally, the rumour mill keeps on spinning as to Red Bull putting some money down during the break, so they can be considered a Dark horse... or rather Bull... for the championship. Which I'd consider terrible. (And that clear bias is the reason why I'll never be a sports journalist. That and lack of talent. Aswell as the abundance of laziness.) 

I want Tyler Adams to show up, destroy the Bundesliga and lead Leipzig to the title. Then I want someone to pony up a ridiculous transfer fee so Metro gets the 30% sell on fee and spends it on a real difference maker. But knowing how shady the Red Bull people are they'd probably redirect the money back to either Leipzig or Salzburg.

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4 hours ago, odessasteps said:

I heard an interesting debate the other day about other leagues experimenting with playing matches over the festive period to try and eat into the monopoly the EPL has of the time period. 

I don’t know if it would be successful in any of the other major Euro leagues.

Serie A has fixtures on Wednesday and Saturday with a big game on Wednesday in Inter vs. Napoli.

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Yeah, I think Italy started last year adjusting their winter break.

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On 12/23/2018 at 8:32 PM, sabremike said:

OLEgend!!!

I've never wanted any manager in the history of football to succeed more than I do Ole. But, then, succeed this season means what? They're an absolute mile behind Liverpool and City and, rightfully so, because they're better teams than United are and United possibly aren't going to finish in the top 4 but if he strings wins together and they score goals and play actual, you know, football (a concept Mourinho didn't seem to grasp) seeing as it's an entertainment business, I'll be happy. I know it was only Cardiff (whatever that means) but it wasn't so much them just winning, it was how they won. They never played like that under fuckface.

I'm not so biased as a Man United fan to believe they have the divine right to win the league every year, they had 20 years of it under Fergie and runs come to an end but I do believe that you have the right to watch entertaining football.

Write off this season, the damage has already been done by that other fucker, start again next season with Ole or whoever as the new manager and go again.

But, then, as much of a critic of Mourinho I was, he's not solely to blame. The whole set-up of the club seemed poisonous from the top down but, for now at least, it's an optimistic step in the right direction

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The beauty of Football is that there's more than one competition. So even if a league campaign is a write off, there's still cups. And cups are glory. If you'd asked a Wigan fan if they'd be willing to give up the FA Cup in exchange for not getting relegated, at the time they'd have said no, because every fan of a relegated team assumes they're coming straight back up. But even with hindsight, a fair few would still say they wouldn't give the Cup win up for anything.

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5 minutes ago, SirFozzie said:

Liverpool might actually win the title this year. Heresy, I know.

We're just giving them a head start. Besides, the Scouse tears will be that much more delicious after they inevitably choke the lead away. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

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I like Klopp a lot and it would be great to see him get some titles in England. I have no real dislike for any UK team and no clear allegiance either, which might make it easier. That being said, there are many many games left to play, and six points can melt away quite quickly. 

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mi248rc6xq401.jpg

I thought Christmas only comes once a year.

Halfway there and I don't want to get ahead of myself but it's been a long time since I had the emotion run through me like I did when the crowd erupted at the announcement of Leicester 2 - 1 Man City. And what a goal by Ricardo too. 

I think back to the tumultuous years starting back to the end of Rafa's tenure through maybe Klopp's first full year at the club and how there was never a unified fanbase. The manager was the shits, the players need replacing, etc. Now we have the manager, owners, recruiting team, attack, defence, midfield and goalkeeper. It feels so good not to have that negativity associated with the club, regardless of what happens from here on out. 

Today's performance (against Rafa no less) was like the confluence of all these wonderful things coming together. Feels good. 

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I want to say BUT WHAT ABOUT TOTTENHAM but I mean, we're the team that drew our way to Leicester winning the title.

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I think City’s wobble just shows it was stupid for people to concede them the title in October and it’s stupid to concede it to anyone else now. There is just too much chaos to predict things months from now. You can’t predict injuries for any particular player, but logic says everyone usually gets them. Would most people think Spurs can stay close to the top without Kane? What happens if presumptive player of the year Virgil Van Dijk gets injured? 

Plus, what will the Champions League grind due to the English teams that continue to advance and how much benefit will it give the teams that lose in the earlier knockout stages? 

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3 hours ago, Death From Above said:

I want to say BUT WHAT ABOUT TOTTENHAM but I mean, we're the team that drew our way to Leicester winning the title.

Yeah, when I wrote all that shit above, I realised I completely forget about Spurs.

In my defence, everyone forgets about Spurs.

As much as I'd want them to win the league over City and Liverpool; lads, it's Spurs.

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In nine of the last ten seasons, whichever team was top of the table on Christmas Day went on to win the league. But the only exception is Liverpool, who lost out when Stevie G tripped over a blade of grass that one time.

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