Sunday, 22 March 2015

LVG "Like El Clasico"- Part 2

Liverpool host rivals Manchester United today and Louis Van Gaal(LVG) will have his first taste of Anfield in what he termed back in December - this fixture is like El Clasico.
‎Brendan Rodgers’ side are in the in-form team, winning their last five English Premier League(EPL) games. In fact the last time they lost in the EPL was back in December at the hands of the visitors.
In contrast United record reads three defeats in 24 games that at any other club would be more than acceptable form but at Manchester United that's just not good enough. And last week's 3-0 win against Tottenham was what most of the United faithful want to believe is there side having turned the corner.

Match Stats
*Liverpool could match the longest unbeaten run this season of 14 games a feat Chelsea hold. ‎
*United away have lost just once in nine in the EPL with 4 wins and 4 draws.‎
*At Anfiled Liverpool haven't lost in 14 games with 7 wins and 7 draws.
*United hold the record of the most wins than any other at Anfield in EPL history. (though they haven't won there in 8 years)
*Besides the Merseyside Derby (20) this fixture has the most red cards in EPL (15).‎
Prediction
For LVG it's a "Must not lose" yet for Rogers it's a "Must win" and that small but pertinent fact could in the end be the difference on the day. The time for the LVG era to kick on is today at Anfield. What I don't expect though is a draw.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Sunday, 8 March 2015

FA Cup Quarter Final - United vs Gunners

Manchester United host a rejuvenated Gunners outfit that has a quite appalling record at The Theatre Of Dreams. They've played ten, lost nine and drawn one since they last beat United in 2006 and you would have to go back 12 years for the last time they defeated a United team in a cup competition. That said they are well overdue a win there and Louis Van Gaal (LVG) would hope that doesn't happen today.
The Arsenal boss said on Friday he is not one to dwell on history, only the game in front of him, but even though this United side are far from what they used to be, any team with such a record will find it mentally tough to bet against such numbers. Especially because even with such uncharacteristic, some say bordering on boring, United play they still find themselves fourth in the English Premier League (EPL), and win more often than not at home. In the EPL only Chelsea have a better home record this term than LVG's men and they have just dropped 8 points in 14 matches (2 loses; a draw & 11 wins).
Realistically the FA Cup is Wenger & Van Gaal's only chance of silverware this season and yes the Gunners are still hanging in there in the Champions League but after conceding three away goals vs Monaco, it's highly unlikely they'll make it to the next round. In fact three-goal deficits in the competition have never been over turned by a side playing the second leg away. Needless to say its "do or die" for both teams and I do feel the winner tonight, will go all the way and win the FA Cup.
Ashley Young will definitely start for me and I'd be lying if I say I'm a huge fan of him but under LVG he has made a difference whenever called on so, he would be key to United progressing.
For the visitors Alexis Sanchez could prove a thorn in the side of United, as he has been a class act since arriving at the London Club.
All over the world all eyes will be on Old Trafford and one thing you can count on is that it will be another one for the history books, no doubt about that.

The question is though whether the Manchester or the London side will look back fondly while turning the pages.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Proteas dire, not on fire

However badly SA played in crashing to India by 130 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday - and badly is putting it kindly - there was no faulting AB de Villiers' willingness to take the disappointment on the chin.
Article sourced from the Times Live website.
"We were outplayed," De Villiers said in an assessment that was as scattered as it was comprehensive and excoriating. And so it should have been: he was talking about SA's biggest World Cup loss in terms of runs.

"All round, it was a pretty average performance by the bowlers," he said. "India's bowling was quite clever but it was definitely a poor batting performance [by SA].

"I almost don't want to think about it now. I just want to go feel sad in my room for now. But tomorrow we'll talk about it.

"You never want to lose by 130 runs. Your confidence takes a knock. It's up to the senior players to keep the confidence up against West Indies [who SA play in Sydney on Friday].

"We are going to have to chase after the younger players this week to keep their confidence up.

"We played the Indian spinners pretty well, but other than that it's pretty dark. We need to talk about what went wrong.

"We pitched up. We were emotionally ready. We weren't caught off-side in our attitudes. We just didn't play well enough."
De Villiers was particularly hard on himself and David Miller for being run out: "Two run-outs in the top six is absolutely unacceptable. It should have been my night or David's night. Instead, we were both on the sidelines, not having been dismissed by a bowler."

And, just to give SA another reason to forget yesterday, they were fined for a slow over-rate because India's innings ran 27 minutes late.
None of which will make the handful of SA fans in a crowd of 86876 - or, as MS Dhoni said, "Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say there were 20000" - feel any better.

But there is something to be said for the fact that the captain is as bleak as they are. From that unity there might yet come strength.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off

(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

LVG: "Like El Clasico"

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal (LVG) says the United vs Liverpool fixture is much like El Clasico, something LVG had the pleasure of experiencing in Spain.
Under fire Brendan Rodgers Liverpool (LFC) visits Old Trafford tomorrow and some would say it is his most important fixture as boss. A loss at Old Trafford could edge him closer to the expected exit door.
The Manchester United website reports: “It is like that, of course,” van Gaal told reporters at the Aon Training Complex, when asked about this fixture’s similarity to El Clasico.
“Barcelona versus Real Madrid was [in front of] 102,000 in the first time I was working there. The stadium adapted to 102,000 and they were all sitting there. I won my first derby with Barcelona 3-0, so I was very pleased. I hope that I shall win this first derby also.”
United would potentially extend their winning run to 6 in a row should they defeat their old foes and LVG is refusing to dismiss the possibility of catching the English Premier League (EPL) leaders Chelsea. “Mathematically, we can do it,” he explained. “We now have a better possibility but it is not so easy because I think Chelsea won’t lose so much.”
The LFC boss has been under immense pressure, more than at any other point in his tenor at the Merseyside clubs helm, a far cry from his last seasons "achievements".
Prediction
Manchester United will win and I wouldn't be surprised if its by the odd goal or two. Its the worst fixture LFC could've asked for after failing to progress in the Champions League in mid week. Especially as United do seem to be hitting their straps. Their winning run they on does cover some somewhat glaring cracks they do have but they do sit 3rd in the EPL and are not the finished product yet. Come tomorrow they will once again show that they are well on their way to doing just that.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Friday, 21 November 2014

Emirates next for Louis men.

Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Angel Di Maria, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, David De Gea, Radamel Falcao, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj with names like these in your squad both Arsenal & Manchester United would be expected to be slugging it out at the summit but find themselves well off the pace already this season.
You will not see a defender above and that speaks volumes. Together these two have conceded 36 goals thus far and if you consider that leaders Chelsea and  Southampton together haven only conceded 16 it explains why the Gunners and the Reds find themselves  sixth and seventh on the table.
Going forward Wenger side have somewhat been riding the Sanchez wave, I mean the Chilean has now scored 8 in his last 6 for club and country and will definitely trouble any defence United paste together.
Van Gaal will be pleased to know that in form Rooney has the most goals vs Arsenal than any other, that Mata has two assist and four goals in five against them and RVP has scored in 5 of the last six time he has played in this fixture (playing for both outfits).
Prediction
Yes Arsenal are at home, yes United haven't a good away record, yes both teams have injury concerns and won't necessarily be fielding their strongest eleven but I do think other than the threat of Sanchez the Gunners will find it hard to cope with what United have in their arsenal, pardon the pun.

For me United to win by two.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & @jcba_official on IG)


Lewis Hamilton v Nico Rosberg: how the title can be won

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Date: 21-23 November
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Radio 5 live and online
Race starts: Coverage begins at 12:10 GMT on 23 November. Race at 13:00 GMT.
Qualifying starts: 13:00 GMT on 22 November

Following Nico Rosberg's victory in Brazil just 17 points now separate him from championship leader Lewis Hamilton going into the final race of 2014.

In any other Formula 1 season, sixth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 23 November would be enough for Hamilton to clinch his second world title, even if Rosberg won the race.

But with double points available in the last race this season, the situation is more precarious for the British driver:

Title permutations for the final race

Hamilton, 334 points Rosberg, 317 points
How the Briton can win the title: How the German can win the title:
Finish ahead of Rosberg Win the race with Hamilton third or lower
Finish no lower than second if Rosberg wins Finish second with Hamilton sixth or lower
Finish fifth or better if Rosberg doesn't win Finish third with Hamilton seventh or lower
Finish sixth or better if Rosberg is not in the top two Finish fourth with Hamilton ninth or lower
Finish eighth or better if Rosberg misses out on the podium Finish fifth with Hamilton 10th or lower
Finish ninth or better if Rosberg is fifth Should Hamilton not score any points, Rosberg still must finish no lower than fifth to overturn the 17-point deficit

Abu Dhabi scoring

Place Race points
1st 50
2nd 36
3rd 30
4th 24
5th 20
6th 16
7th 12
8th 8
9th 4
10th 2

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off(@jcba)