All Access Soccer



Make sure you set the alarm for bright and early Saturday morning as Matchday 27 of the English Premier League kicks off with a doozy from North London and, depending on lineups, the first investment of the weekend. After the Championship Sunday debacle I grabbed a winner in the Super Bowl and finished up the month of January with only one loss on my soccer plays, so be sure to keep an eye out just after 6:30am when the investment will be posted and then catch the game, as well as the rest of the slate, live across the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday (all times eastern)
7:30am – Arsenal @ Tottenham – Wembley Stadium, NBC Sports Network
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both in the starting eleven for the first time, Arsenal showed there is in fact life after Alexis Sanchez as the winter window additions chipped in a goal and three assists to help the Gunners roll past Everton 5-1. They will get the weekend action started when they make the short trip across the capitol to Wembley Stadium for a showdown with Tottenham in the North London Derby, with Spurs rescuing a point when they converted from the penalty spot with the last kick off the game to cap a frantic three goal final ten minutes in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
While local bragging rights are always on the line when these two get together, the second matchup this season will have much more at stake as fifth place Tottenham will need all three points, which they have managed to find only twice in their last eleven meetings with Arsenal (L5 D4), to continue their chase for a spot in the top four while Arsenal, one place below Spurs and five points off the pace, will at the very least have to avoid walking away empty handed, which they have done in all but two of their last eight trips across town (L4 D2), or it is likely to be two years in a row without Champions League football.
Sunday (all times eastern)
9:15am – Manchester United @ Newcastle United – St. James’ Park, NBC Sports Network
Manchester United bounced back from the one off performance they put forth in the mid-week defeat to Tottenham and, after a somewhat nervy first half, got two second half goals, including Alexis Sanchez’ first wearing the iconic number seven shirt for the Red Devils, to cap a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town. With their stranglehold on the second spot in the table once again restored, they will travel to St. James’ Park for a meeting with relegation candidates Newcastle United, who stayed just above the drop zone when they survived a late onslaught from Crystal Palace to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
Newcastle United now have only one loss from their last six however, four of those results were draws which has kept them firmly entrenched in the logjam that is the bottom third of the table, one point clear of relegation. They will have to start stringing together some wins if they have any hopes of avoiding the drop but that is unlikely to begin Sunday morning, with United dropping only two of the last thirty meetings with the Magpies across all competitions (W21 D7), only one of their last seven trips away from Old Trafford (W5 D1), and just one of their last thirteen trips to St. James’ Park (W9 D3).
Monday (all times eastern)
3pm – West Bromwich Albion @ Chelsea – Stamford Bridge, NBC Sports Network
The misery only grew for West Bromwich Albion as they remained bottom of the table and moved now four points from safety when they were unable to climb out of a two-goal hole and fell to Southampton in their relegation showdown 3-2. Running out of time to save their season, they will wrap up the weekend when they travel to Stamford Bridge for a date with Chelsea, who lost for the second time in less than a week when, down to ten men shortly before the break, they were runover by Watford 4-1 to slide down to fourth place in the table, only a point ahead of Tottenham.
Although West Brom are yet to win in their eleven top flight visits to Stamford Bridge (L9 D2) and have only one win from their last ten meetings with Chelsea overall (L6 D3), the Baggies could be catching the defending champs at just the right time as they appear to be in a state of disarray with only two wins from their ten matches across all competitions since the New Year and rumors continuing to swirl about the future of manager Antonio Conte less than a year after he lifted the title, with his job only safe if he can guide the Blues to a top four finish, which right now is far from certain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *