Ok, we’re back again with a few tweaks as there have been some unforeseen changes recently for your favorite O30 team. When the new season schedule was released Crown had been placed back up in D1 without being even asked and then was told it was take a season off or play up, nice huh? Never ones to disappoint the vote was unanimous to continue on playing as none of us want or need two months off to get fat and lose our “touch”. We are sour but are not going to dwell. A couple of roster moves to inform you of, first with John out injured, Brian comes in to cover for the season. And secondly, let’s all welcome a new face to the Crown ranks in Brad, he has a strong pedigree but let’s see if he can handle the mandatory two burgers afterwards? On to the recaps.
It was a big matchup on Saturday at Wembley Stadium as Manchester Utd and Tottenham collided in the FA Cup Semi-Final. With the Premier League title already in the hands of Man City this was the final opportunity for both teams to give themselves a shot at a piece of silverware this season so full strength lineups were expected. The question for Utd fans was what would Mourinho consider his best eleven based on some of the criticism that has been put on some of his highest paid stars? But any fears of those big names missing out were put to rest as Alexis, Lukaku and Pogba all made the lineup, along with Cup specialist Lingard:
After the disappointing loss at home to West Brom, a game which handed the title to Man City, Manchester Utd hit the road for a matchup with Bournemouth. Changes were expected from the fallout of that loss, and players would also be playing for a spot in the upcoming FA Cup Semi-Final. The rumors were that a pair of big money signings in Pogba and Sánchez would be dropped but when the lineup was announced it was actually the Chilean and Lukaku who were on the bench. There were seven changes in total made with only Smalling surviving the cut on defense. Here is that starting lineup with Utd looking to bounce back:
The UEFA Champions League held the Semi-Final draw recently after an incredible end to the Quarter-Final stage that saw Roma pulling off a huge upset over Barcelona, and Liverpool disposing of another big favorite in Man City. Oh, and I have not even mentioned a Ronaldo bicycle kick, Buffon seeing red, and Ronaldo once again proving he is one cool customer firing in an unstoppable penalty in extra time to eliminate Juventus. Bayern also progressed but it was far from easy. This put my picks at 2/4 as I did not foresee the Barca collapse or the City flop either. Let’s have a brief look at the next round as we near the end of what has been a thrilling competition so far.
Manchester Utd hosted last placed West Brom on Sunday looking to re-establish their four point lead over their top 4 rivals and delay the Man City coronation a little while longer too. Utd, coming off of an exhilarating comeback victory over their cross town rivals, were naturally big favorites over their almost assuredly relegated counterparts but would have to be wary of a desperate team. Paul Pogba, coming off his recent brace, was once again deployed in a formation that allowed him some more offensive freedom. Here is that starting lineup with Lukaku also looking for a big day against his former club:
There were huge title implications on Saturday when Manchester Utd took on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Utd needed to avoid defeat or else they would have to watch their neighbors celebrate winning the Premier League crown right in front of them. The title is inevitably going to City but stretching the coronation as far as possible and strengthening their grasp on 2nd place was of the upmost importance to José Mourinho as he named an eleven that looked like it would give superstar Paul Pogba more license to get forward. Here is a look at that starting lineup tasked with keeping the City juggernaut at bay:
After a pretty successful regular season with Crown finishing in 1st place, it was time for the Playoff Championship against 2nd placed TNFC. Both meetings in the regular season were close games with a tie and a slim Crown win so a tight game was expected. Crown Player of the Season Simon was interviewed prior to the game by ironically, himself, and had this motivational quote to get his teammates amped up for their first Final in quite some time:
“If we outscore them we will totally win this game”
Following what seemed like a long International Break it was finally time for Premier League action to return this past weekend and amongst the matches was Manchester Utd hosting Swansea at Old Trafford. José Mourinho needed a win to stop City from clinching the title and to keep a lead over their other top 4 rivals. When the starting lineup was announced a few eyebrows were raised as Lindelof started in the place of Bailly but the logic from Mourinho was sound as Lindelof’s passing ability was much more likely to be needed to break down Swansea. The rest of the lineup looked as follows with both Pogba and Alexis looking to put some recent criticism of their play behind them: