A day on the life of the senior softball games

In an effort to salute the oft-ignored big league softball, we endeavoured to keep track of every best softball bats 2016 on www.softballbatsunlimited.com in a nine-inning, big-league game, and then tell you which of them made it onto “SportsCenter” … and which ones disappeared into oblivion as mere fouls.

But while the home run balls make the news, even a foul ball can create a moment that a fan will never forget. If you’re 11 years old, and you’re at a big league game and somebody fouls a softball into the stands, and you are lucky enough to catch that softball, then, well, that softball is about as valuable to you as the Hope Diamond. At this moment, I realize his best fastpitch softball bats – 2016 Louisville Lxt Plus.

For the purpose of this exercise, we chose the May 26 Red Sox-Oakland A’s game at Fenway Park. Check the box score and you’ll see that the Sox posted a 9-6 victory over the A’s. Derek Lowe was the winning pitcher, and Mark Redman was the loser. The game was played in three hours and 13 minutes.

What the box score won’t tell you is that 94 softballs, freshly rubbed before the game with a substance called Lena Blackburne softball Rubbing Mud to take away the factory gloss, were introduced to the game.

This is their story about best slowpitch softball bats on this website http://www.softballbatsunlimited.com.

An old umpire’s trick

First, a clarification: It’s impossible to tell if exactly 94 softballs were used in our study game. This is because it’s not uncommon for a big league plate umpire to be tossed a game ball by a pitcher whose love for that ball has waned, who is now, perhaps wallowing in a mid-game crisis, seeking something younger, prettier.

But instead of removing the ball from play, the umpire sometimes places it back into his bag and gives the pitcher a new ball, which means the old ball might return later in the game – perhaps to the same pitcher in the same inning. This sleight of hand by the umpire happened during the Sox-A’s game on five occasions, with veteran plate umpire Larry Poncino placing a ball viewed as questionable by a pitcher back into his bag.

“Sometimes, I just give them the same ball back again and they don’t even say anything,” said Poncino. “Or they’ll get the original ball back a couple of pitches later. Sometimes, when that happens, they’ll throw it right back. But a lot of times they just keep it.”

That aside, we’re officially going with 94 softballs for this game. Hey, when we count U.S. presidents, we always count Grover Cleveland twice, as our 22nd and 24th president, while Franklin Roosevelt, who was elected four times, only counts once.

Of the 94 softballs used May 26, only two lived the dream that all softballs have from the day they’re stitched together: being hit for home runs. In the top of the fifth, Oakland’s Eric Chavez crushed softball No. 47, thrown by Derek Lowe, into the center-field bleachers. In the bottom of the sixth, Sox catcher Jason Varitek drilled softball No. 62 over everything in left field.

But even then, softballs’ stories extend. Let’s begin with the fascinating tale of No. 47. After Chavez hit the ball, it was gobbled up by Jared Olanoff of Beacon Hill. This being a partisan Red Sox crowd, he was immediately implored by the bleacher mob to do the right thing and throw the ball back onto the field.

Canterbury get revenge in Southern Cross softball final

Christchurch, NZ – Canterbury get revenge in Southern Cross softball final

The Canterbury Red Sox avenged an earlier defeat to the Junior Black Sox by edging the New Zealand under-19 softball team  1-0 in the Southern Cross Challenge softball tournament final.

Canterbury had their Australian import Ryan Merriman to thank for driving in the winning run in the men’s division final in Christchurch on Sunday.

                                                                                 Dean Kozanic

Canterbury Red Sox pitcher Ethan Johnston held his nerve to nab the final strikeout for a 1-0 win in the Southern Cross Challenge softball final against the Junior Black Sox

Original Story by Tony Smith

The Canterbury Red Sox avenged an earlier defeat to the Junior Black Sox by edging the New Zealand under-19 softball team  1-0 in the Southern Cross Challenge softball tournament final.

Canterbury had their Australian import Ryan Merriman to thank for driving in the winning run in the men’s division final in Christchurch on Sunday.

Merriman, the top batter at the prestigious International Softball Congress tournament in the United States last season, tripled to leftfield  to score Curtis Dove in the bottom of the third inning at Mainland Foundation Ballpark

The New Zealand A softball team celebrate their win over the Queensland Heat in the Southern Cross Challenge women's ...

                                                                      Dean Kozanic

The New Zealand A softball team celebrate their win over the Queensland Heat in the Southern Cross Challenge women’s softball final.

Merriman went two from three with the bat, as did Canterbury’s leadoff man, former Black Sox infielder Tyron Bartorillo.

READ MORE:
* Red Sox beaten by Junior Black Sox

Only one other Canterbury batter, outfielder Callum Muir, managed a safe hit off Junior Black Sox pitcher Daniel Chapman, who took six strikeouts.

Pania Monk hurls down a pitch for New Zealand A in their win against Queensland.

                             Dean Kozanic

Pania Monk hurls down a pitch for New Zealand A in their win against Queensland.

The Junior Black Sox, who beat Canterbury in the playoffs on Sunday after two earlier losses, also had five hits with designated players Jacob Zurcher and Harry Valk supplying three singles, collectively.

Their best scoring chances came in the latter innings. Three runners were left on base in the fifth inning and  Valk and Reilly Makea were left stranded in the sixth.

The Juniors had runners on second and third, but Canterbury relief pitcher Ethan Johnston dug deep to strike out Valk to end the game.

Queensland were unbeaten going into the gold medal game, but New Zealand A got a perfect stat after Ashley Johnston scored in the first inning after consecutive hits by Lisei Leaupepe, Keri Simeon and Lucy McIntyre.

The visitors took a 2-1 lead when lower order batters Stephanie Curtis and Charisma Keil plated after Dorinda Stone’s hit in the top of the third.

But New Zealand A – coached by Canterbury’s Carl Tuinenga and ex-White Sox catcher Alison Boys – won the game with a four-run scoring spree in the sixth after Simeon, Monk, Aaria Tawha, Pallas Potter and Nita Hickey mustered hits.

Potter and Simeon had two hits from three with Simeon, a White Sox reserve for the July world championships, taking out he tournament’s top batter award with a .588 average. Morrison was the top pitcher and Queensland infielder Georgia Blair the most valuable player (MVP).

Bartorillo topped the men’s batting averages and also won the MVP award, with Canterbury’s Ben Watts as top pitcher.

AT A GLANCE 

Finals results from the Southern Cross Challenge softball tournament in Christchurch.

Men: Canterbury Red Sox 1 NZ Junior Black Sox 0.

Final placings: Canterbury 1, Junior Black Sox 2, Canterbury under-23 3, Southern Pride Development 4.

Women:  New Zealand A 5 Queensland Heat 2.

Final placings: New Zealand A 1, Queensland Heat 2, Southern Pride 3, Canterbury Red Hawks 4, Canterbury Development 5.

Awards:

Men: Top batter: Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury Red Sox). Top pitcher: Ben Watts (Red Sox). MVP: Bartorillo.

All Star Team: Kevin Papuni (Canterbury U23), Ben Watts (Red Sox) pitchers; Jarome McKenzie (JBS), Kieran Nation (U23), Curtis Dove (Red Sox), Tyron Bartorillo (Red Sox), Dante Matakatea (JBS), Nopera Stockford (Red Sox), Antony Stuart (Red Sox), Jackson Watt (JBS), Cole James (Southern Pride), Jacob Zurcher (JBS).

Women: Top batter: Keri Moana Simeon (NZA). Top pitcher: Tyla Morrison (NZA), MVP: Georgia Blair (QLD).

Allstar team: Rebecca Chapman (QLD), Tyla Morrison (NZA) pitchers; Samantha Robin (QLD), Keri Simeon (NZA), Georgia Blair (QLD), Rebecca McEachern (QLD), Nita Hickey (NZA), Krystal Werahiko (CB Dev), Lucy McIntyre (NZA), Robyn Hall (Red Hawks), Nerissa McDowell (Red Hawks), Janice Blackman (QLD).

WEINSTEIN, SWARTOUT, ANDREWS, CARLSON, BODIN NAMED MAXPREPS/NFCA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS OF WEEK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Half Hollows Hills West’s  (N.Y) Jillian Weinstein, Westfield’s (Ind.) Ashley Swartout, Cedar Ridge’s (N.C.) Rivers Andrews, Council Grove’s (Kan.) Jordan Carlson and Spring Creek’s (Nev.) Ashley Bodin have been named MaxPreps/NFCA National High School Players of the Week for contests played March 21-27.

East Region – Jillian Weinstein (Half Hollows Hills West – Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Weinstein hit .833 (5-for-6) with a pair of home runs softball and eight RBI to go along with a complete-game win. In the season-opener, she went 4-for-4 with both long balls, all eight RBI and three runs in a 17-4 win against Hauppauge. Against East Islip, the freshman was 2-for-4 with a run scored and went the distance in the circle, scattering nine hits and allowing a run in the 5-1 victory.

North Region – Ashley Swartout (Westfield (Ind.) HS)
Swartout started her sophomore season with a bang, batting (.833) with three long balls, 10 RBI and a 2.667 slugging percentage. In the season opener, she clubbed two homers, doubled, knocked in seven RBI and scored twice against Monrovia. Swartout followed with three more RBI, a double and home run in a 10-0 victory over Crawfordsville. She also walked and finished with a .857 on-base percentage and 3.524 OPS.

South Region – Rivers Andrews (Cedar Ridge HS – Hillsborough, N.C.)
Andrews was nearly perfect in the circle last week, facing just two batters over the minimum in 17 innings of work. The right-hand hurler twirled 10 innings perfect innings in a doubleheader sweep of Chapel Hill. In the opener, she struck out eight of nine batters over three innings. Andrews followed with a seven-inning perfect game, fanning 18 of 21. In addition to those outings, she tossed a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts and no walks in her first start of the week against Cardinal Gibbons. The sophomore recorded four hits at the plate, including a double and three RBI in the opening win versus Chapel Hill.

South Central Region – Jordan Carlson (Council Grove (Kan.) HS)  
In nine at bats, Jordan Carlson hit .778, knocked in 10 and homered twice in Council Grove’s first two games of the season. The junior outfielder was a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI in the season opener against Northern Heights. In game two, she erupted with two home runs, a double, eight RBI and three runs scored in a 17-6 triumph.

West Region – Ashley Bodin (Spring Creek (Nev.) HS)
Bodin was a perfect 10-for-10 at the plate with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBI and 11 runs scored. Helping Spring Creek to a three-game sweep of Dayton, she reached base safely in all 11 plate appearances, homered in each game and slugged 2.100. The junior capped off the weekend with her best performance, 4-for-4 with a double, long ball, five RBI and five runs scored in a 22-5 victory. She went 4-for-4 in the opener and scored three times and also scored three runs in game two. In the circle, Bodin tossed a five-hit complete game shutout, fanning 11 in game two. She also struck out nine in the finale.

MaxPreps.com, the official high school statistical provider of the NFCA, provides all statistics for the NFCA High School Player of the Week award. 
To nominate a player for the award, the coach must enter his or her athlete’s game stats into MaxPreps.com by Sunday evening to be eligible for that week’s award.

The MaxPreps/NFCA High School Players of the Week are announced on NFCA.org every Monday during the spring season, with one representative chosen from each of five separate high school regions. During the fall campaign, just a single player will be selected representing all participating regions.

MaxPreps is a free stat tool that is available to high school coaches across the country and is one of the most recognized and respected high school athletics websites on the internet. Coaches who enter their team’s stats on Max Preps will not only be nominating their players for this award, but they will be getting their team’s information out to thousands of high school sports fans, as well as college coaches across the country.

To obtain a coach’s login, please contact: coachsupport@maxpreps.com or call (800) 329-7324 x1. To enter a team’s stats on the MaxPreps website, please click here.

Previous 2015-16 Max Preps/NFCA Players of the Week
3/21 –    Nicole Danyi | Baldwin (N.Y.) | East

Abby Marlow | New Athens (Ill.) | North

Mia Davidson | Orange (N.C.) | South

Grason Gasser | Bethlehem (Ky.) | South Central

Hailey Heeringa | Valley Christian (Ariz.) | West

3/14 –   Emily Merritt | Herford County (N.C.) | South

Aziah James | Spring (Texas) HS | South Central

Amanda Sink | Legacy (Nev.) HS | West

3/7 –     Hera Varma | Tampa Catholic (Fla.) HS | South

Tylar Vernon | Pangburn (Ark.) HS | South Central

Shaye Bowden | Sunnyslope (Ariz.) HS | West

2/29 –  Sarah Dugan | Oak Grove (La.) HS | South

Jordan Llinas | Cypress Woods (Texas) HS | South Central

Aurora Adams | Santiago (Calif.) HS | West

Fall

10/13 – Jessie Briley | Bishop Neuman (Neb.) HS | South Central

10/6 –   Victoria Haugsness | North Platte (Mo.) HS | South Central

9/28 –   Taylor Parham | Wilber-Clatonia (Neb.) HS | South Central

9/21 –   Savannah Chalfant | Gilmer (Ga.) HS | South

9/14 –   Madison Ingram | Bowling Green (Mo.) HS | South Central

9/7 –     Riley Craig | Mountain Range (Colo.) HS | West

8/31 –   Sieara Price | Eaton (Colo.) HS | West

8/24 –   Callyn Carter | Charlton County (Ga.) HS | South

Source: https://nfca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6828:weinstein-swartout-andrews-carlson-bodin-named-maxpreps-nfca-national-high-school-players-of-week&catid=113&Itemid=149

Carol Bruggeman Named New NFCA Executive Director

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — January 28, 2016 – The NFCA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Carol Bruggeman as the Association’s third full-time Executive Director, effective Feb. 1, after serving the past four months in an interim role following the resignation of longtime Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker.

In her interim role, Bruggeman presided over the Association’s second most attended National Convention in December and the successful first NFCA Coaches Clinic earlier this month. She joined the NFCA, as Associate Executive Director in September 2014, is a longtime NCAA Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue and Louisville, and a well-respected national speaker, clinician, educator and author.

“From the first day on the job as the Interim Executive Director, Carol has performed at a level indicative of a seasoned professional,” NFCA Board of Directors President Rhonda Revelle said. “She guided the NFCA through an outstanding convention, increased sponsorship and membership numbers in a very short and busy time, and conducted an inaugural and hugely successful NFCA Coaches Clinic.”
– See more at: http://www.profastpitch.com/news/?article_id=2480#sthash.Xqcmh5yK.dpuf

Arsenal v West Ham: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

There’s no doubting Arsenal’s ambitions –  last season’s third place and FA Cup success have raised expectations. So, could this be the year that Arsene Wenger’s patiently put-together squad finally fulfils its potential? The Frenchman hopes Petr Cech’s arrival is the final piece in his title-winning jigsaw, 12 years since the Gunners last raised the trophy.

LOOK HE’S INTERGRATED VERY WELL INTO THE TEAM HE’S A GOOD COMMUNICATOR, HE HAS EXPERIENCE, HE HAS CLASS AND HE BROUGHT ALL THAT TO THE TEAM. I THINK HE GAVE US AS WELL STRENTHT AND BELIEF IN THE TEAM THAT WE CAN DO WELL.

West Ham have no excuse for rustiness having kicked off over a month ago in the Europa League, but this week’s exit dampened the excitement which greeted   Slaven Bilic’s arrival. While he was popular as a player at the club, his managerial credentials are not yet proven and – as Sam Allardyce found out, the fans in east London can be demanding.

And Bilic’s West Ham couldn’t have had a tougher start to this on the opening day. It’s more than five years since they took even a point off the Gunners in the Premier League, and you have to go back to April 2007 for their last victory.

Arsenal v West Ham, Arsenal, West Ham, live stream Arsenal v West Ham, Arsenal v West Ham highlights, watch Arsenal v West Ham

Arsenal v West Ham: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

 

Kick-off Sunday 1.30pm

Venue Emirates Stadium

Last season Arsenal 3 West Ham United 0

Live Sky Sports 1

Referee Martin Atkinson

Last season G32, Y127, R7, 4.41 cards per game

Odds H 3-10 A 12-1 D 5-1

Arsenal

Subs from Martínez, Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Gabriel, Arteta, Walcott, Sánchez, Flamini, Chambers, Campbell, Zelalem

Doubtful Sánchez (match fitness)

Injured Rosicky (knee, 22 Aug), Welbeck (knee, 22 Aug), Wilshere (fractured leg, 12 Sep)

Suspended None

Discipline (last season) Y69 R2

Top scorer (last season) Sánchez 16

West Ham United

Subs from Randolph, Spiegel, Collins, Tomkins, Page, Henry, Burke, Cullen, Lanzini, Obiang, Nolan, Amalfitano, Hendrie, Jarvis, Lee, Maïga, Poyet

Doubtful Obiang (hamstring), O’Brien (hamstring), Reid (knock)

Injured Carroll (knee, Oct), Valencia (knee, Oct)

Ineligible Jenkinson (terms of loan)

Suspended None

Discipline (last season) Y67 R2

Top scorer (last season) Sakho 10

Chelsea v Swansea: Match Preview, Live Stream Online

Success. And yet winning the season’s battle is just part of the challenge; the real test is defending that victory. Chelsea aim to be the first team since Manchester United in 2009 to retain the premier league trophy. From their fortress at Stamford bridge, Jose Mourinho must plot his strategy as he anticipates attacks from all sides. In the North, the Manchester sides have added quality and depth, while Liverpool have also bolstered their squad. Neighbours Arsenal are a threat much closer to home, having acquired one of the Blues’ most loyal Generals. This is what Chelsea are up against. For Mourinho, winning his third Premier league title seemed straightforward, the battle to retain it looks a far tougher proposition.

Other teams are going to improve for sure, because they have invested a lot in their squads their squads are obviously much better, so because we are the same, we have to be much better in this moment i don’t think i am the champion, i think i have zero points the same as everyone else and saturday starts that fight for the points. – Jose Mourinho

Like the winners of the previous three titles, Mourinho has essentially persevered with the players who were so successful last year. The only notable additions are Asmir Begovic and Radamal Falcao, the latter may have to shoulder the goalscoring responsibility with Diego Costa out for the first game. A summer long pursuit of Everton’s John Stones suggests where Mourinho believes he has to fortify, yet, the skipper, central to Chelsea’s defence, is up for the challenge of another war of attrition.

I want to win matches i want to win trophies for me that’s what it’s all about if i can pass on experience and have a big part to play this season as well even better we know what’s expected of us and what’s going to be coming so we have to be mentally ready for that and i think we are physically we’re certainly ready and ready to  retain the title. – John Terry

The first challenge hails from the west, Swansea City cross the border with a sense of purpose. Following last season’s highest ever Premier League finish Garry Monk has secured some impressive signings, including Eder and Andre Ayew. On last season’s opening day, the Swans caused an upset – winning at Old Trafford. Can they do the same at the Bridge? For manager Garry Monk, the strategy is to keep pushing ahead into new territory with his strengthened forces.

Andre’s a great signing a great calibre of signing for ourselves but it’s never down to one man to produce everything there’s no point in us looking to beat this target or that target because you forget about the now so focus the players on trying to have a good start of the season try and get points on the board nice and early try to keep some momentum and tey to get to that forty points and then reassess like we did last year and see if we can push on again. – Garry Monk

Swansea march East this weekend knowing that last season Chelsea won this fixture hands down. In fact, the Swans have never taken a point at Stamford Bridge in the premier league. Yet the Welsh side could offer a sterner test this time – and as Chelsea marshal their forces to defend their crown, this is set to be the first of a series of epic encounters. Mourinho and his men know a tough fight lies ahead.

Chelsea v Swansea: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

Kick-off Saturday 5.30pm

Venue Stamford Bridge

Last season Chelsea 4 Swansea City 2

Live Sky Sports 1

Referee Michael Oliver

Last season G28, Y96, R5, 3.79 cards per game

Odds H 3-8 A 11-1 D 4-1

Chelsea

Subs from Begovic, Blackman, Aké, Ramires, Falcao, Cuadrado, Chalobah, Mikel, Traoré, Rémy, Moses, Zouma, Loftus-Cheek, Aina

Doubtful Costa (hamstring)

Injured None

Suspended None

Discipline (last season) Y74 R4

Top scorer (last season) Costa 20

Swansea City

Subs from Nordfeldt, Amat, Britton, Shelvey, Michu, Emnes, Dyer, Tabanou, Routledge, Éder, Tiendalli, Grimes, Rangel, Bartley, Fulton, Barrow

Doubtful Amat (ankle)

Injured None

Suspended None

Discipline (last season) Y51 R5

Top scorer (last season) Ki 8

MU v Tottenham: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

In Manchester, the new season brings new optimism. There’s a feeling around Old Trafford that the glory days could be about to return. The manager’s been spending big again.

Louis Van Gaal has gambled on some big names to get United back where they once were. It’s taken his spending close to two hundred and thirty million – but is it enough? There’ll be clues in their opener against Tottenham.

LAST YEAR WE WERE NOT READY OBVIOUS BECAUSE IT WAS ALSO BECAUSE OF THE NEW MANAGEMENT AND A NEW PHILOSPHY BUT WE ARE BETTER PREPARED TO PLAY THIS MATCH AND I HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE BUT WE HAVE TO WIN. – LOUIS VAN GAAL.

Last season’s fourth place secured Champions League qualification but Van Gaal’s new look United have raised expectations. However their star performer last season, David De Gea, looks poised to  join the Spanish giants Real Madrid and because of the distractions of that potential move, he’s been dropped for this one.

 

WE HAVE OBSERVED AND SEEN HIM IN TRAINING SESSION WE HAVE SEEN HIM IN MATCHES AND IS NOT THE DAVID DE GEA OF LAST YEAR SO I WANT PLAYERS WHO CAN FOCUS ON THE MATCH ONLY FOCUS ON THE MATCH AND HE IS NOT CAPABLE TO DO THAT. – MAURICIO POCHETTINO

MU v Tottenham: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

Mauricio Pochettino is also looking to raise the bar for Tottenham. Last season the Argentinian guided the North Londoners to fifth place, missing out on that final Champions League spot by six points to United.  Not bad for his first season in the hot seat – but Pochettino is confident his side can go one better in his second year.

THIS IS OUR AIM OR OUR CHALLENGE IS TO REDUCE THE GAP WITH THE TOP FOUR I THINK THIS IS WE ALWAYS NEED TO PUT OUR TARGET HIGHER BUT WE KNOW WE NEED TO COMPETE AND IMPROVE OUR GAME AND WE NEED TO DO BETTER THAN THE LAST SEASON. – MAURICIO POCHETTINO

Pochettino has been much quieter this summer than Van Gaal but he’s focussed his attention on strengthening in defence, buying in young talent and instilling his own philosophy on the squad.  Up front, the manager needs Harry Kane to repeat last season’s heroics – 31 goals in all competitions.

I THINK THAT WE NEED TO TRY AND HELP HIM AND OUR SQAUD TO GIVE THE BEST IN THE NEXT SEASON. I THINK HARRY KANE NEEDS TO SHOW NO PRESSURE IS ON HIM. HE ONLY NEEDS TO COMPETE AND DO HIS BEST BECAUSE HE’S A GREAT PLAYER. – MAURICIO POCHETTINO

So big ambitions for both this season – And this weekend Tottenham have reason to hope. They’ve won on two of their last three visits to Old Trafford, although this time they face a new-look United side made in Louis Van Gaal’s image, and it’s one looking to strike the first blow in their title assault.

Kick-off Saturday 12.45pm GMT

Venue Old Trafford

Last season Manchester United 3 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Live BT Sport 1

Referee Jonathan Moss

Last season G30, Y114, R8, 4.33 cards per game

Odds H 4-7 A 5-1 D 3-1

Manchester United

Subs from Lindegaard, Romero, Jones, Evans, Januzaj, Herrera, Valencia, McNair, Hernández, Blackett, Pereira

Doubtful Hernández (match fitness), Lindegaard (groin)

Injured Rojo, Schweinsteiger (both match fitness, 14 Aug), De Gea, Valdés (both personal, unknown)

Suspended Fellaini (first of three)

Discipline (last season) Y66 R5

Top scorer (last season) Rooney 12

Tottenham Hotspur

Subs from McGee, Vorm, Mason, Soldado, Lamela, Yedlin, Trippier, Townsend, Alli, Fazio, Pritchard, Winks, Carroll, Wimmer, Davies, Lennon

Doubtful Lloris (wrist), Soldado (back), Townsend (shoulder)

Injured None

Suspended None

Discipline Y80 R4

Leading scorer Kane 21

ASTON VILLA v MANCHESTER UTD: Match Preview, Stats, Head to Head

League Standing:Home team – 5th

Away team – 7th

Goals For:Home team – 1

Away team – 1

Goals Against:Home team – 0

Away team – 0

Both Aston Villa and Manchester United enjoyed winning starts, each recording 1-nil victories on the opening weekend. But perhaps neither manager would have been completely satisfied, as their teams weren’t entirely convincing – each being a touch fortunate to have taken maximum points.

AT THE MOMENT I THINK EVERY TEAM CAN GET A RESULT BECAUSE I DON’T THINK THE TEAMS HAVE HIT TOP FORM AND THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW PLAYERS THAT HAVEN’T HAD ENOUGH TIME TO GEL TOGETHER SO I THINK IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF ROUNDS YOU CAN GET STRANGE RESULTS. – STILIYAN PETROV .

 

Aston Villa wins – 3Drawn – 11

Man United wins – 32

History is very much against Villa in this fixture though, and since the start of the Premier League, Manchester United have enjoyed more success over the midlands side than anyone else. In total they’ve taken 107 points from their 46 Premier League meetings, with Villa’s last victory coming in December 2009.

Aston Villa wins – 3Drawn – 11

Man United wins – 32

Someone who could play a key role in maintaining that United dominance is Morgan Schneiderlin. The former Southampton midfielder played a full 90 minutes last weekend against Tottenham, with no United player winning more tackles than the Frenchman. He also racked up more successful passes than any of his midfield team mates.

Name – Morgan SchneiderlinGames – 1

Successful passes – 44

Tackles won – 4

Schneiderlin’s presence may have helped to control the midfield, but United were far from their prolific best in the final third. Only one of their five shots against Spurs found the target, meaning 80 percent of their efforts were wayward – leaving United with the joint lowest shooting accuracy after the first week.

Title:Manchester Utd’s shooting accuracy

 

Percentage Info:

Shots on target 20%

Shots off target 80%

West Brom v Man City: Match Preview, Live Stream, TV Schedule

Manuel Pellegrini remains in the hot seat at the Etihad Stadium, though his side finished as runners up. But despite his new contract, expectations are so high at Manchester City that he surely can’t survive another trophy-less campaign. The English record-breaking transfer of Raheem Sterling evidence of City’s ambition and determination.

FOR ME YOU MUST WIN THE TITLE, YOU CAN’T SAY IT’S A GOOD SEASON AND WIN NOTHING BUT AFTER THAT I THINK IT’S ALSO VERY IMPORTANT THE WAY YOU WIN THAT TITLE, MAYBE FOR SOME REASON YOU CAN WIN THE TITLE

West Brom need a stronger start this campaign than last. In January, they were in deep trouble when Tony Pulis took over to steady the ship. Saido Berahino remains at the club, for now. His partnership with new signing Rickie Lambert could be key. As well as City, the Baggies face Chelsea in August. They need their strikers to fire on all cylinders from the off.

West Brom are without a win in eleven Premier League encounters with Manchester City. And in that run, they’ve picked up just a single point. With City’s sights set on the title – the Baggies will be hard pressed to improve on that this weekend.

Team lineups will be available once announced. Please come back!

TV Schedule: Sky Sports 1

Match Appointments
Referee:
Mike Dean Assistants: S Long, M Perry Fourth Official: M Clattenburg

Match Facts
Manchester City have won five of their last six season-openers in the Barclays Premier League (D1).
West Bromwich Albion’s last five season-openers have been played at The Hawthorns, with their only win in this run coming against Liverpool in 2012/13 (D1 L2).
The Citizens have won four of their last five BPL visits to West Brom (D1).
The eventual Barclays Premier League title winning team has started their season on Monday night in each of the past five seasons.