Archive for December 2013

Newcastle vs Arsenal Preview   Leave a comment

Newcastle United welcome Premier
League leaders Arsenal at St. James’
Park in a fixture which has always
been a visual delight for fans and
neutrals alike.
Newcastle United took Stoke City to
the cleaners during mid-week as the
Magpies ran the score up 5-1 against
the nine-man Potters.
With Arsenal coming to the far North,
the home side will look at this as their
chance to yet again show their ability
to knock off the biggest and best of
the league so far this season and are
eying a place in the top four.
Newcastle XI: Krul; Debuchy,
Williamson, Coloccini, Santon;
Tiote, Sissoko; Ben Arfa, Cabaye,
Gouffran; Remy.
Arsenal XI: Szczesny; Sagna,
Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs;
Whilshere, Arteta; Walcott, Ozil,
Podolski; Giroud.
The last match between the two teams
was played on the final day of the
2012-13 season, with the Gunners
picking up a well deserved (and rather
crucial) 1-0 win to ensure their place
in the UEFA Champions League for a
record 16th season running under
Arsene Wenger. The game at the
Emirates earlier in the same season
was one of the highest scoring
encounters of all-time, with Arsenal
utterly dominant and ending up as 7-3


Posted December 28, 2013 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

Westham vs Arsenal *preview* london derby   1 comment

The Irons have
only won one out of their last five
Premier League games and have
struggled to score goals.
The Hammers were expected to claim
a victory against bottom of the table
Sunderland in their last Premier
League outing, but could only manage
a goalless draw against their fellow
The Gunners also drew their last
outing 0-0 with Chelsea at the
Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
The result took Arsenal to second in
the Premier League, behind league
leaders only on goal difference.
The draw made it four games without a
win for the Gunners in all
competitions, the side from north
London drawing two and losing one of
the top-flight games and losing at
Napoli in the Champions League.
However, with leaders Liverpool
facing a tough trip to Manchester City
in the late kick-off, the Gunners could
regain top spot with a victory against
the Hammers.
Arsene Wenger’s men will also be
encouraged by their record against
the Hammers at Boleyn Ground in
recent years, the Gunners having won
on five of their last six visits to the
East End. Arsenal have also won the
last five games against the Hammers
in all competitions.
West Ham have lost eight and won
none of their last 10 Premier
League games against Arsenal.
Theo Walcott has scored in his last
three Barclays Premier League
appearances against West Ham.
This is Arsenal’s 100th London
derby away from home in the
Premier League and the Gunners
have won 44 out of 99; more
victories on the road than any other
team in capital clashes.

Posted December 24, 2013 by arsenalwonder in arsenal, chelsea, wenger, westham

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African Player of the Year nominees   Leave a comment

Name: Ahmed Musa
Club: CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Date of Birth: October 14, 1992
Country: Nigeria
He was a member of the Nigeria squad
that won the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of
Nations and also featured at the FIFA
Confederations Cup later in Brazil. With
CSKA Moscow, Musa won every title in
Russia – League, League Cup and the
Super Cup during the 2012/2013
season, scoring five times in the
process. He has scored five times for
his club in the ongoing 2013/2014
Name: Asamoah Gyan
Date of Birth: November 22, 1985
Country: Ghana
Club: Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)
As captain of the Black Stars, he was
the top marksman for the team in the
World Cup qualifiers with six goals. He
also scored once as the Stars placed
fourth at the Africa Cup of Nations in
South Africa. Gyan has had a stellar
year emerging top scorer for the
2012-13 UAE Pro-League firing 30
goals and powering Al Ain to the title.
He has also scored eight times in six
appearances in the 2013-14 season.
Name: Didier Drogba
Date of Birth: March 11, 1978
Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Club: Galatasaray (Turkey)
At 35, Drogba has yet to lose his shine,
scoring three goals as the Elephants
reached a third successive World Cup
appearance. The striker has bounced
back from a disappointing spell in China
and has been banging the goals in
Turkey. He scored five in 13
appearances during Galatasaray’s
triumph in the 2012-13 season. In the
current season, Drogba has scored
nine times in all competitions for
Galatasaray including the UEFA
Champions League.
Name: Emmanuel Emenike
Date of Birth: May 10, 1987
Country: Nigeria
Club: Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Emenike is currently Nigeria’s most
reliable face in attack. He was
topscorer (4 goals) at the Africa Cup
of Nations in South Africa where the
Super Eagles emerged champions. He
has recovered from an injury that kept
him out of the FIFA Confederations Cup
in Brazil to put Nigeria within sight of a
place at next year’s World Cup,
scoring thrice in the process. With
Fenerbahce, he has scored three times
in the 2013-14 “Turkish Super Lig”.
Name: John Obi Mikel
Date of Birth: April 22, 1987
Country: Nigeria
Club: Chelsea (England)
Mikel is enjoying probably his best
moment in football. A regular with the
star-studded Chelsea, he played an
influential role in the buildup to the
2013 UEFA Europa League crown. In
September 21 this year, he broke his
goal duck in the English Premier
League with his first goal in 185
matches in a 2-0 win over Fulham. Also,
he netted a cracker against Uruguay at
the FIFA Confederation Cup in Brazil in
July besides claiming a gold medal with
the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of
Nations. He was also instrumental for
Nigeria in the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Name: Jonathan Pitroipa
Date of Birth: April 12, 1986
Country: Burkina Faso
Club: Stade Rennes (France)
Pitroipa was the star of the Burkina
Faso team that reached the final of the
2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South
Africa. His red card against Ghana at
the semis drew so much controversy
before CAF eventually overturned it,
making him eligible for the final. He was
adjudged the Most Valuable Player of
the tournament. He also scored three
times in Burkina Faso run to the World
Cup Playoffs. A regular for Stade
Rennes, he has made 10 appearances
in the current season but yet to score.
Name: Mohamed Aboutreika
Date of Birth: November 7, 1978
Country: Egypt
Club: Ahly (Egypt)
At the twilight of his career,
Aboutreika yet again proved he is
nowhere near the finish line. He scored
six goals for Egypt in the 2014 FIFA
World Cup qualifiers including one on
his centenary appearance with the
Pharaohs against Guinea. With Ahly, he
was the pivot as the Egyptian giants
retained the CAF Champions League
title scoring in both legs in the final. He
scored five times in the campaign as
Ahly cruised to an unprecedented
eighth title despite the absence of a
football competition in Egypt in two
Name: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Date of Birth: June 18, 1989
Country: Gabon
Club: Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Aubameyang was on target three times
for Gabon (a hat-trick against Niger)
during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
qualifiers as Les Panthers failed to
reach the Playoffs. His was however
been in superb form at club level. He
emerged second top scorer in Ligue 1
with 19 goals during 2012-13 season,
and also guiding Saint Etienne to the
Coupe de La Ligue (French League Cup)
. In July, he joined German side
Borussia Dortmund and has scored
eight times in all appearances. He also
won the German Super Cup with
Dortmund after a 4-2 win over Bayern
Name: Vincent Enyeama
Date of Birth: August 29, 1982
Country: Nigeria
Club: Lille (France)
The achievement of Nigeria cannot be
mentioned without the name of
goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. The shot-
stopper is arguably the finest on the
continent after superb showings at the
Africa Cup of Nations, FIFA
Confederations Cup in Brazil and the
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He was
named the safest pair of hands as
Nigeria won the continental crown in
South Africa earlier in the year. He
also made a name himself with Lille in
the French “Ligue 1” having not
conceded since September 15; with an
eye-popping 14 clean sheets from 16
games and 1035 minutes in total.
Name: Yaya Toure
Date of Birth: May 13, 1983
Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Club: Manchester City (England)
Winner of the last two editions of the
African Player of the Toure is still at
his peak. He scored two goals including
a spectacular free-kick against Tunisia
at the group stage. Though the
Elephants failed to go past the
quarters, he has served the pillar of
the Ivorian team in the 2014 World Cup
qualifiers, netting four goals in the
process. At Manchester City, he is a
cult figure and has been the driving
force for the club. For the current
2013-14 season, the midfielder has
found the back of the net five times in
11 games.

Posted December 6, 2013 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized