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English Premier League midseason report

January 12, 2012 Comments off

This year's title race is still wide open at the halfway point. Credit: football-marketing.com

Each team in the English Premier League (EPL) has played 20 games, which is one game past the halfway point of the season.

Manchester City holds the top spot just past the halfway point with 48 points. After starting the season off on a blistering pace they have began to level off, yet they still have a slight three-point lead over main rival Manchester United and surging Tottenham Hotspur.

Right now you could make a case for any of those three teams to win the title. Manchester City was perfect at home in the first half winning all ten games they played at Etihad Stadium. They also lead the EPL with a goal differential of 40, having outscored opponents 31-4 at home.  Looking at that stat, they should be running away with the title but a few hiccups against Sunderland, Chelsea and Liverpool have kept the race tight.

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are lurking in the shadows and ready to pounce if City falters. Each team has 45 points, but they have taken different paths to reach their current standing. United has spent most of the first half in the second position while Tottenham has climbed up the table slowly and surely.

Unlike the Manchester’s, Tottenham is on the rise right now. They have the momentum going into the second half, which could prove to be vital in the fight for the title.

With only one victory separating the top-three, each game from here on out is going to be important. Look for the title race to come down to the last week of the season. Heck, it could even come down to goal differential, which would favor City.

But the battle at the top isn’t the only battle in the EPL. The final Champions League spot is highly contested and the relegation battle is heating up.

Chelsea currently leads a four-team race for fourth place in the table and a chance to qualify for the Champions League.

Arsenal, who sits in fifth, one point behind Chelsea, has made some key signings in the January transfer season. They will be a force to be reckoned with in the second half as they look to solidify their position in the top-four.

Liverpool and Newcastle United had rocky first halves.

Newcastle started off real well, but took a sharp nosedive in December and need to weather the storm if they want to make a run at the top-four. Liverpool has struggled with consistency problems, as they haven’t been able to put a string of good results together.

With only four points separating fourth and seventh it’s going to be tight from here on out.

Now to the battle no team wants to be associated with, the relegation battle.

Blackburn Rovers currently sit last place in the table with only 14 points, but they have plenty of company at the bottom. Only three points or one win separate them from sixteenth place and another year in the league. It will be interesting to see if one of the bottom feeder teams goes out and makes some moves during the transfer season to try and stay out of the bottom.

It’s going to be an intense second half as almost nothing has been decided through the first 20 games.

Who will end up holding up the trophy at the end of the season? Which teams will qualify for the Champions League? Who will suffer the fate of relegation?

These are just a few questions that hopefully cannot be answered until the final week of the season so soccer fans get some fireworks.

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LeBron to visit Liverpool

October 14, 2011 2 comments

Liverpool has a long storied history as one of the top teams in England dating all the way back to 1892 Credit: footballdebate.com

Miami Heat forward, LeBron James, will visit the Liverpool Football Club for the first time Saturday, making it the first time he will see the team in action since becoming a minority owner in April.

Liverpool, a member of England’s top soccer division – the English Premier League – will be playing longtime rival Manchester United. The game is being played at the renowned Anfield stadium, home of Liverpool.

The fixture will be played Saturday at 7:45 a.m. and is featured on ESPN2.

Both teams have started the season on high notes with Manchester United being tied atop the table with inner-city rivals Manchester City and Liverpool sitting comfortably in fifth place.

This will be the first matchup between the two teams since Manchester United won the league title last season, moving them in front of Liverpool as the winningest club in England’s storied history.

This game not only means a lot to people in England but to people all around the world. According to the Guardian Newspaper in London, an estimated 500 million viewers watched Liverpool drop a heated 1-3 match last season against Manchester United.

Lebron James wearing a Liverpool FC jacket Credit: sportsbusinessdaily.com

LeBron, who hasn’t been able to make it to a game yet, might be that one extra person that can support his new team to a victory. He hasn’t seen a match in person mostly because the Premier League season runs during the NBA season. With the NBA lockout continuing, LeBron will be able to make a surprise in-season visit to the club.

Liverpool fans around the world are hoping that the new change in ownership will also bring a change in results. Liverpool used to be a top-flight team in the 70’s and 80’s hasn’t won a league title since 1990.

LeBron is also hoping for a change in scenery after losing once again in the playoffs last season. Maybe a trip to London is just what he needs. LeBron, who signed with the Miami Heat before last season, has yet to win a NBA championship even though he has garnered the title “King James.”

Answer us this: which will happen first, Liverpool winning an English Premier League title or Lebron winning a NBA title?

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