EPL Preview for Big 4 (18th and 19th October)

 

Middlesbrough

vs

Chelsea

Chelsea go into the game with a bunch of injuries, but will be boosted by the news that captain John Terry has been declared fit for the match and is likely to play a part. Blues gaffer Luiz Felipe Scolari will still be without Michael Essien who is out with a major injury, Didier Drogba with the knee ligament problem, and Ricardo Carvalho out with knee injury too and Michael Ballack who has been ruled-out for three weeks after undergoing surgery.

Middlesbrough have managed to ensue just nine points from their seven games so far and at present lie in 12th place in The Premiership, but Southgate’s men may be aware that they have a chance of a point against an injury-riddled Chelsea.

Arsenal

vs

Everton

In their last two matches, Arsenal have lost to Premiership new-comers Hull City at the Emirates and then managed to scuff a draw against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, and will be without captain William Gallas (hamstring), Bacary Sagna (knee) and Niklas Bendtner (ankle) for the visit of Everton, while long-term absentees Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo are still missing. However, Wenger is set to include Abou Diaby for the first time this season, and Cesc Fabregas is set to feature, despite breaking his nose on International duty for Spain in midweek.

Everton are without a win since their 3-2 victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on September 14th and David Moyes is without Tim Cahill, who is still unavailable through suspension and will have to wait until the last moment to see if captain Phil Neville recovers from a hamstring injury, while Lars Jacobsen could feature if the defender shakes off his shoulder injury.

Liverpool

vs

Wigan Athletic

In the second of Saturday’s North-West derbies Liverpool, who are without Spanish striker Fernando Torres and Holland winger Ryan Babel, will be hoping to continue their unbeaten record this season.

Steve Bruce’s Latics, who have eight points from their opening seven games, lost at home to Middlesbrough before going into the international break, and may be without the in-form Amr Zaki, with Emile Heskey facing a late fitness-test, but Steve Bruce’s men cannot be underestimated on the road, but face a tough test against Liverpool, who feel that this season they are finally proper Premiership title contenders.

Interesting will be to see how Heskey plays against Liverpool after declaring openly that it would be lovely to go back to his former club. The manager Steve Bruce though thinks that Heskey will be choking his England Career if he does so.

Manchester United

vs

West Bromwich Albion

After a slow start to their Premiership season, Manchester United are presently lying in 8th place in the league, with a game in hand. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be ecstatic with Wayne Rooney’s inspirational form of late, with the England International scoring four goals in the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The Baggies are just one point behind United in the Premier League and have made a firm start to the campaign after promotion from The Championship last season. West Brom go into this clash on the back of two Premier League wins (against Middlesbrough and Fulham) and are comfy in 9th place, but it would be a windfall to get any result from their trip to Old Trafford.

Lets hope Cristiano Ronaldo comes back to his scoring form… Keep checking for Results as soon as they are out..:)

Fifa 09 manager mode

Hi guys…Just got my Fifa 09 PV game copy yesterday and started with the Manager mode striaght away…Had been waiting for it since a long time after i had got a new computer…

I started with my Fav team Arsenal…Game is great to play and much easier to navigate…

Here is a list of some of the young kids in Fifa 09 that are worth the money… (list of wonderkids)

Strikers: —

Arsenal player Carlos Vela – reached a peak rating of 95..

Inter striker Balotelli – reaches a peak rating of 90…

Fiorentina’s Jovetic – reaches 91…

Milan’s Pato – reaches some 92/94 rating

Barca’s Bojan – reaches only 88/89 (i was pretty disappointed to see his low rating..i was expecting Bojan to be the 99 rated player of fifa 09)

Victor Moses: – reaches a peak rating of 91.

These are just a few i have discovered in my first 2 seasons with Arsenal.. will update more later…

Midfielders with peak ratings: –

Fabregas – 93

Jesus Nevas – 96

Ozil – 88

Everton’s Rodnar – 92/93 ( very good defensive midfielder)

Miguel Veloso – 89

Lyon’s pjanic – 91

Lionel Messi – 98

Nasri – 92

Walcott – 84/85( big disappointment again.. the young english star peak rated at a mere mif 80’s…

Ramsey – 87

Wilshere – 87

Ivan Rakitic – 90

 

Defenders with peak ratings: –

Sergio Ramos – 92

Micah Richards – 93

Gael Clichy – 90

Thiago Heleno – 90

E Garay – 88

Kindly note that the players listed above are the ones i have on my team..The list will continue with the number of Seasons i put behind me…

Few startling facts that came to my knowledge after i started the fifa 09 manager mode with arsenal..

Wilshere, Ramsey, Bojan and Walcott peak out only in the mid or high 80’s…

Fifa has the habit of pulling 1 or 2 such surprises..:)

But overall it has been fun… Loving the game already… will post soon and update.. cheers..:)

England stroll past Belarus (World Cup Qualifiers review)

 Wayne Rooney’s exquisite brace helped England to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Belarus, after Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring with a stupendous 30-yard scorcher. England had trouble concealing the makeshift nature of a defense lacking the injured John Terry and Ashley Cole. Despite Fabio Capello’s reputation as down-to-earth person, there is an excitement to England, who have heaped up 14 goals so far in the group. Uncompromising as he so obviously is, his impact as a manager has lain in licensing gifted players to show their dynamism.

They have got the two most difficult games out of the way and managed to come away with maximum points. They may go on to win all the qualifiers now for all we know.

Portugal’s stuttering form continued as a goalless draw at home to 10-man Albania left them in third in group one. The Portuguese have now gone three World Cup qualifiers without a win and lie two points behind joint group leaders Denmark – who have a game in hand – and Hungary. Cristiano Ronaldo and boys will have to pull up their socks if they wish to play any part in the 2010 World cup in South Africa.

Wales came within 18 minutes of a celebrated draw against the might of Germany last night before a Piotr Trochowski’s first goal for his country frustrated their ambitions at the last and handed the home side an ill-deserved 1-0 victory.

Holland maintained their 100% record in World Cup qualifying group nine thanks to a 1-0 win over Norway in Oslo. Mark van Bommel scored the only goal after 64 minutes with a well-struck volley on his return to international football after a long injury lay out.

Alberto Aquilani’s debut goals for his country saw Italy hold off a stern challenge from Montenegro with a 2-1 win that maintained their position as group eight leaders, three points clear of Republic of Ireland, who have a game in hand. The Republic of Ireland clinched a 1-0 win over Cyprus with Robbie Keane scoring the winning goal.

Switzerland ended Greece’s 100% record after a deserved 2-1 victory in a closely-contested group two encounter in Athens. Alexander Frei and Blaise Nkufo scored for the Swiss.

Croatia hammered group six minnows Andorra 4-0 in Zagreb but are still five points behind leaders England. Schalke winger Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring and completed the rout three minutes from time from the spot. Ivica Olic made it 2-0 and Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric added a third in between.

Spain maintained their unbeaten run as they rallied from behind to a 2-1 win against a resilient Belgium in Brussels. The win keeps Spain clear at the top of group five with four successive wins, while it also stretches their unbeaten run to 27 matches. The only sour note was the loss of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to an apparent hamstring injury inside the first 20 minutes.

Russia scored an easy victory over Finland with a 3-0 score line. Andrei Arshavin scored a goal in the death to put the match out of Finland’s reach after an own goal from defender Petri Pasanen and a goal from Sergei Semak.

In the South American World Cup Qualifiers Argetina suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against a vibrant Chile side. Paraguay continued the stupendous form to score a 1-0 win against Peru. Brazil were held to a goalless draw by a determined Colombia at Rio De Janeiro.

World Cup Qualifiers results

England manages to scrape through a somewhat convincing 5-1 victory against Kazakhstan in its 3rd world cup qualifying match playing at home in the Wembley stadium.

Rooney scored 2 goals and set up another to lay the foundation for England’s victory. Heskey and Walcott were also instrumental in carving the victory for England, though they themselves could not get on the score sheet. England struggled in the 1st half to finish the many chances created. Game came alive only after Rio Ferdinand headed England ahead before the hour mark.

In other world cup qualifying matches, Germany defeated Russia 2-1 to go top of the table. Portugal and France continue to struggle after having been held to goalless draws in there qualifying encounters.

Brazil put 4 past Venezuela whereas Argentina defeated Uruguay 2-1. Paraguay beat Columbia 1-0 to take the top of the table in the South American group for the World Cup Qualifiers with 20 points. Brazil and Argentina are joint second with 16 points each followed by Chile at 13 points and Uruguay and Ecuador are on 12.

Next round of qualifiers follows in mid-week. Watch this space for more results on the same…

UEFA cup draw

The draw for the Group stages of the UEFA Cup has been made in Switzerland.

Tottenham’s woes continue as they are grouped with Udinese, Dinamo Zagreb and Spartak Moscow.

Harry Redknap will be cursing himself to be drawn in the same group as the Euro Legends Ac Milan.

Aston Villa will play in the same group as Ajax and Martin Jol’s Hamburg..Whereas Man City will be in the same group as Steve Mclaren’s FC twente

Following are details of all the groups: –

GROUP A: Schalke 04, Paris SG, Man City, Racing Santander, FC Twente

GROUP B: Benfica, Olympiacos, Galatasaray, Hertha Berlin, Metalist Kharkiv

GROUP C: Sevilla, VfB Stuttgart, Sampdoria, Partizan Belgrade, Standard Liege

GROUP D: Tottenham, Spartak Moscow, Udinese, Dinamo Zagreb, NEC Nijmegen

GROUP E: AC Milan, Heerenveen, SC Braga, Portsmouth, VfL Wolfsburg

GROUP F: Hamburg, Ajax, Slavia Prague, Aston Villa, MSK Zilina

GROUP G: Valencia, Club Brugge, Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen, Saint-Etienne

GROUP H: CSKA Moscow, Deportivo La Coruna, Feyenoord, Nancy, Lech Poznan

Overhead goal by Coruch this weekend

The Overhead kick which is also called as the bicycle kick, chalaca, chilena, or scissors kick. It is a move in football which is made by throwing the body up into the air, making a shearing movement with the legs to get one leg high overhead to reach the ball (in original head height), which gets kicked backward over the layer’s head. One of the all time greatest footballer Pele described the kick as “not easy to do”. (Wikipedia)

Legendary footballer Pele's signed Overhead Kick poster

Legendary footballer Pele's signed Overhead Kick Poster

Seeing the stupendous Overhead kick goal by Peter Crouch this weekend, Many might have been surprised, though I wasnt too surprised. Having seen Crouch score in a similar fashion on 2 other ocassions it was very obvious to see him try to score another one similarly and also succeed in scoring the same.

Peter Crouch has always been very ambitious about his Goals. You can see him trying the most impossible goals on the field. These Goals look very nice if converted which is usually like 1 out of 10 times if not less…But when it is not pulled off properly it looks kinda foolish and you may get injured if you have a bad fall while trying the overhead kick.

Just some pics showing some very good overhead kicks and the players who are good at pulling it off..

Crouch scoring with an extremely acrobatic overhead kick against Galatasaray

Crouch scoring with an extremely acrobatic overhead kick against Galatasaray

Croch scoring with an overhead kick agaisnt Bolton during his Liverpool days

Crouch scoring with an overhead kick agaisnt Bolton during his Liverpool days

David Villa of Spain scoring with a stunning Overhead kick against minnows Liechtenstein

David Villa of Spain scoring with a stunning Overhead kick against minnows Liechtenstein

Brazilian Legend Rivaldo - The Master of the falling overhead kick scoring one against Valencia

Brazilian Legend Rivaldo - The Master of the falling overhead kick scoring one against Valencia

Former World Player of th eyear Ronaldinho scoring with a superb overhead kick against Athletico Madrid

Former World Player of the year Ronaldinho scoring with a superb overhead kick against Athletico Madrid

Tim Cahill scores from an unbelievable Overhead Kick to deny Chelsea all 3 points at stamford Bridge last season

Tim Cahill scores from an unbelievable Overhead Kick to deny Chelsea all 3 points at stamford Bridge last season

Ajax's Klass Jan Huntelaar scores from a superb Free kick

Ajax's Klass Jan Huntelaar scoring from a superb bicycle kick

World Player of the year contendor Cristiano Ronaldo attempting an overhead kick

World Player of the year contendor Cristiano Ronaldo attempting an overhead kick

Fifa 09 launched in India

The much awaited Fifa 09 has supposedly been released to great reviews across the globe on the 3rd of October. Gameplay etc have been said to have increased manyfolds and from some of the videos on the net showing skills play and gameplay it just looks like a sure shot winner from EA sports this time raising the bar high and leaving Konami to do the chasing.

Still to get hands on my copy though as the same is not yet available in India especially in Chennai…Checking on a daily basis with Landmark and Crossword stores. I particularly cant wait to get started with the Fifa 09 Manager mode of the game and complete as many years of Managing as possible buying Fifa 09 wonderkids on the way and reaching glory.

Can anyone update on the List of Wonderkids and young football stars in the Manager mode of the fifa 09? Also are there any changes to the Manager mode of the game? Can we expect something better from Fifa 09 Manager mode or is it the same as Fifa 08 Manager mode?

How about the Fifa 09 tournament mode? Is it any different from Fifa 08? Is there any new gameplay mode added in the fifa 09 this time like the career mode in Fifa 08?

Once i get hands on my copy will update a review of the same..Till then Cheers…

Fifa 09 rules…:)