Tag Archives: David Bentley

Injuries Plaguing World Cup Hopefuls and EPL Top Teams

By Kevin Koczwara
There is no substitute for depth in professional soccer. Skill can overcome some hard-ache, and hard-work can definitely make up for a lack of skill, but nothing can make up for a deep bench in the long grueling seasons of soccer. Many teams in the English Premier league are seeing some of their European aspirations heading to the training room instead of to the field, and some players are seeing their World Cup dreams shattered.

This year is different than most because players are training harder, playing harder, and have played more often in the past year or two than regularly. Why is? Simple, the World Cup is coming up and just about every player dreams of putting on their countries uniform and walking onto the grass of a World Cup Final. But they must show their worth in club matches and in international matches. And the wear and tear is showing.

Let’s look over a few teams and players that have been hit enormously by the injury bug, and let’s see who will definitely be sitting out the World Cup because of an injury.

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Battle for North London

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Arsenal and Tottenham will face-off Saturday at the Emirates Stadium to lay claim to as who is the best club in North London right now. It is a match-up that looks to be a barn burner because the two teams have high octane attacks and sub-par defenses. The game also has implications to set apart the two teams and give themselves room in the top four (Champions League qualification) on the Premier League table.

Both Arsenal and Tootenham have 19 points coming into this weekends match-up and are only set apart by goal differential — Arsenal at a +16, Tottenham at a +9– and Arsenal’s one game in hand. And both need this win to keep pace with table setters Chelsea (who play a Bolton side  they beat 4-0 in a mid-week Carling Cup match), and to avoid being bumped down by a confident Liverpool side who beat Manchester United last week and is playing a stingy Fulham side that looks tired from all the extra competition that the UEFA Cup has brought. And Manchester City and Aston Villa should surely wrap-up at least 1 point this weekend in their competitions keeping them in the hunt for a top four finish and jumping over the loser in North London.

This game is more than just a derby this weekend, it is a match that will make one of these teams a serious contender for Premier League silverware come May.

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