English Premier League Heads Into Action Before International Break

Mar 18, 2022, 2:39 PM

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa in action with Craig Dawson and Lukasz Fabi...

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa in action with Craig Dawson and Lukasz Fabianski of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at London Stadium on March 13, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With English Premier League and the FA Cup in full swing this weekend, we are seeing a split schedule between both competitions. This is also the last weekend of EPL action before the international break.

So, let’s crack on with what the EPL has to offer.

Aston Villa v. Arsenal

Because the clocks have not changed in the U.K. yet, it is the early kick-off on Saturday for this fixture, but it is a 6:30 a.m. start (instead of the usual 5:30 a.m.) on USA/Universo.

Anytime we get to see Villa Park, I am always going to tune in. One of the last truly old-fashioned stadiums, and it is still beautiful. Steven Gerrard’s men sit in 9th, and since his arrival to the club, Villa has been on a general upward rise. Whilst they are far from the finished article, they have made some good additions to the squad and are now one of the better attacking teams in the league.

The arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona has certainly added much-needed creativity, with his four goals and three assists. These goals have helped them to help overcome their poor start to the season, which saw them change managers. Now they have a mixture of experience in Coutinho, the future, in Jacob Ramsey who is full of youthful exuberance. Ramsey’s six goals and an assist have not hurt his arrival on the big stage.

One player to watch out for, if he starts, is one of my favorite Villa players, Ollie Watkins, the center forward who has adapted to the EPL very well. Coming up from the lower leagues, you can see his desire and mindset of always trying to impress as if he is trying to prove he belongs (he does) at the top level of the English game. His seven goals and an assist this season might not be pulling up any trees statistically, but his ability to play across the front three areas, along with the selfless work he does, demonstrates his value.

Arsenal has been in fine form, and are, as of now, in my list of favorites to get a top-four finish. Arteta has not been short of criticism in the past, but let’s give credit where it is due. They have been solid as of late. They have tightened up at the back, and the wide attacking areas are going to something that is the envy of the league. Gabriel Martinelli’s five goals and three assists and Bukayo Saka’s eight goals and five assists are probably and potentially one of the best attacks in Europe. There is more to come as well from these two, with speed, direct running, and then trickery, making them difficult to overcome. Arsenal is a patient team, they love to build from the back and will move the ball around the back and are comfortable doing it, when they attack, they can do it using their ball carriers and creators in Martin Ødegaard or Emile Smith-Rowe and then bringing in Saka and Martinelli into play, either wide or in behind on the counterattack. Arsenal is a defensive midfielder and a center forward away from being a true and consistent top-four contender.

Prediction: It is a really intriguing match, with both teams particularly good going forward. They are both energetic and full of excellent creation. Villa is a defender or two away from moving to the level that Arsenal are at right now, but I genuinely think both teams are headed in the right direction.

They will entertain in the early kickoff. Probably the best soccer you will see in the EPL this weekend. I just fancy the Gunners to bounce back from their midweek loss to Liverpool and get all three points.

This will do it for this week, although make sure you tune in for Sunday’s London derby between Tottenham Hotspur Vs West Ham United on Telemundo/USA at 10:30 a.m.

There will then be a break for the international games. These international matches will include some friendlies and some World Cup qualifying fixtures. We will be back the first weekend of April, as we truly hit the business end of the season.

Until then, be well.


Matt Crooks Real Salt Lake RSL...

Brian Preece

Real Salt Lake Escapes With Draw Against West Leading LAFC

It wasn't without some intense moments, but Real Salt Lake stole a road point from LAFC in the 1-1 draw at BMO Stadium. 

15 hours ago

Brayan Vera RSL...

Brian Preece

Brayan Vera Scores Real Salt Lake Equalizer Late In First Half

A free kick and an LAFC deflection allowed Brayan Vera to score Real Salt Lake's first goal of the match, knotting things at one in the 33rd minute.

16 hours ago


Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Star Chicho Arango To Serve Four-Game Suspension

RSL forward Chicho Arango will serve a four-game suspension for violating the MLS Anti-Harassment Policy, the club announced on Monday.

3 days ago

Chicho Arango Real Salt Lake RSL LA Galaxy...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Faces Two Crucial MLS Matchups Prior To Leagues Cup

The 2024 Leagues Cup is around the corner but Real Salt Lake has to keep its focus on the MLS season with two big matchups on tap.

4 days ago

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL Seattle Sounders FC...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Road Unbeaten Streak Comes To An End In Portland

Real Salt Lake had its road unbeaten streak snapped in Providence Park as they fell to the Portland Timbers FC, 3-0.

5 days ago


Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Looks To Keep Good Road Form Against Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake travels north for a matchup against the Portland Timbers FC. Real looks to stay undefeated in July against a west rival.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

English Premier League Heads Into Action Before International Break