Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 23, 2025
Barclays Premier League
Dover (1-0-0, 3 points, 6th) vs. Aston Villa (1-0-0, 3 points, 2nd)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, England
Betting Odds: Dover: 4-5 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Aston Villa: 3-1
Past Meetings: 8W 2D 6L
Villa have traditionally played us very tough but we have won our last four meetings. They’ve been in the Premier League every year since 1988 but are coming off their worst performance since that time, barely escaping relegation after a 16th place finish. They were relatively quiet in the transfer market, spending only £8.75 million on five players, with 22 year old striker Christos Ntantamis coming over from Spurs and 29 year old midfielder Alvaro coming in from Levante. Their top players are strikers Antonio and Mohamed Messaoudi along with left midfielder Reece Butcher, who plays inside at AMC quite often as well.
We make three changes from our winning lineup from last week. In by necessity is Rafinha, starting at left midfield for the injured Mads Pedersen. Rafinha is more than capable at this position, as I’ve been training him in that spot for a couple years now. Also coming into the lineup is Neil Cairney for the insolent Jose and Sergio De la Vega is in for the under performing Gianluca Bolis. I thought about benching Paul Moses, who has been pretty poor so far in the first two games but I decide to give him a home matchup to get over his slump. I want a goal from him today! 17 year old Jonathan Langlet is called up from the U18 team as a backup to Rafinha and may get his first senior team game today as a substitute, as Rafinha is tired after playing 90 minutes in our reserves game on Wednesday.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - Renato Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - Rafinha, N. Cairney, B. Raab, S. De la Vega
S - P. Moses, Chiquinho
Bench - R. Lopez, M. Mutesa, E. Harvey, P. Secchi, J. Langlet, M. Lugo, A. Broomes
Villa are in a flat 4-4-2 with Antonio and Messaoudi up front and Antonio Kraljevic in goal. I tell the team I expect a win today - I also pull aside Moses (I expect a performance), Chiquinho (Pick up where you left off) and De la Vega (I have faith in your ability) for personal chats.
2’ - We work a counter attack by sending a long ball up to Paul Moses. He storms down the left side, cuts in and shoots. The ball deflects off a Villa defender and pops right to Chiquinho, who immediately heads the ball past an out of position Kraljevic and we take an early lead! DOVER GOAL 1-0
6’ - One of Villa’s players is hurt and needs attention on the sidelines. Villa throws in and work a give and go in our zone, springing Antonio behind our defence and he places a perfect shot into the far corner, past a diving Ingo Wilke and Villa quickly pull on level terms. Wow! ASTON VILLA GOAL 1-1
38’ - We spend the next 25 minutes absolutely DOMINATING this game but the Villa keeper is in great position to make a number of saves. We finally break through, as Rafinha crosses from the byline and while Kraljevic is able to turn the ball away, it ricochets off Chiquinho and goes right in! That’s his second! DOVER GOAL 2-1
HALFTIME - We have played like world champions since that Villa goal and the stats are incredible: a 66% possession advantage (!!) and a 20-2 (10-1 on target) shot advantage. Simply incredible. But we only lead by one. I’m feeling sorry for Paul Moses - the kid just can’t buy a goal - he had NINE SHOTS in the first half, SIX ON TARGET and all six were stopped by Kraljevic!!! He gets saddled with a 6.3 rating. Man - he needs to pick a corner!! Chiquinho was superb that half - why can’t he play like this all the time?! All the talent in the world…anyway, a great performance but we need to get that third goal to put these guys away.
74’ - The domination continues but we just can’t get a ball past their keeper. Rayane Hamon has a yellow card and just takes a knock so I take him out and bring in Mwemere Mutesa.
We continue to press but Kraljevic is up to the task. Ingo Wilke also makes a huge stop on an injury time breakaway to get us all three points. We dominate but the scoreline flatters Villa.
Dover 2 - 1 Aston Villa
Goals - Chiquinho 2 (8.8)
Assists - Sergio De la Vega (6.9)
Man of the Match - Antonio Kraljevic (Aston Villa GK - 9.4)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.4), Claudio Contreras (7.0), Benedikt Raab (7.3)
Attendance - 23,000 (Sell-Out)
Their keeper rightfully is named man of the match in a sensational performance, as we hold 63% of possession and an outrageous 34-5 (13-3 on target) shot advantage. Paul Moses ended up with 10 shots and 7 on target but Kraljevic made all seven saves. Talk about snakebitten! We were great today.
-- In other match ups, City beats Sheffield Wednesday 2-1, United beat Hull 2-0, Chelsea knock off Arsenal 3-2 and Liverpool beat Reading 3-0.
Dover U18 Update
-- Another huge win, as the kids defeat Reading’s U18’s 7-0. Fernando Estrada scores three more goals to give him 7 in two games and Bakary Kone scores twice. We get singles from Juan Jose Culebras and Andrew Hunter. Estrada also had three assists - my GOD - he’s going to be awesome!
Team of the Week
-- Chiquinho is named to the Barclays Premier League team of the week for his two goal performance. Villa’s Antonio Kraljevic is also named to the team. Paul Moses agrees with that selection!
Champions League Money IN
-- We are awarded £6,174,000 for participating in the upcoming Champions League Group Stage. Our finances are in WONDERFUL shape right now, as we’ve actually posted a net gain on transfers this year due to the Manuel Perez move.
-- Two players are called up for international duty. Salim Loucif (Algeria) and Bakary Kone (Ivory Coast U20) get the call.
Champions League - Group Stage Draw
-- After being a first seed last year, we’re down to a second seed this year, albeit the top rated second seed. That likely helps us a bit. Lets see how the groups look:
Well, this is a really tough draw. Real Madrid has won this event a record 11 times and have won their league three years in a row as well. They are the fourth rated team in the competition. Spartak Moscow is the second best #3 seed but Maribor, a tiny Slovenian team, will be roadkill in this group. They are rated #533 in Europe - talk about an underdog story!!! We should be able to move on but we’ll need to get a result at some point against either Madrid or Moscow.
As for the other groups, I’d say the Group of Death is Group G, with Barcelona (#2), Shakhtar (#20), Juventus (#22) and AS Saint-Etienne (#57) providing great competition.
League Cup Draw
-- We enter the competition in the third round and get one of the three League 1 teams remaining in Carlisle. Pretty easy draw and that will give us a chance to play a lot of backups or even a couple of youngsters if necessary.
-- We venture to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton, who are back in the Premier League after a few years absence.
Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-31-2015 at 09:37 AM.