Welcome to This Week from Premier Skills English, a review of all the action from the Premier League for learners of English from across the globe. In This Week - Festive Football, Jack and Rich talk about all of the Premier League action over Christmas and the New Year; the big headlines and the main talking points. We also ask you to get involved; do you agree with Jack and Rich's choices of best player, best team and best match? Make your prediction for next week's big match and tell us how your club or fantasy football team is doing. We welcome comments from all football fans and especially welcome comments from football fans who are learning English.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to our Monday round-up section on Premier Skills English.
Jack: Hi there. I’m Jack. Every Monday we discuss last weekend’s action, the best players, the best matches, Fantasy Football, and make some predictions for next weekend.
Rich: This week is a bit different. We are not only going to talk about last weekend’s action but all the festive football that has taken place over the Christmas and New Year holidays in the UK.
Jack: That’s from Matchweek 19 to Matchweek 22. Four rounds of Premier League action.
Rich: We want you to practise your English and interact with Premier League fans from around the world in our comments section.
Jack: You can do this on the Premier Skills English website or the Premier Skills-British Council Facebook page - if that’s where you are listening to us.
Rich: If you are listening on iTunes, we’d love to hear what you think. You can let us know in the reviews - we really like hearing from you all.
Jack: Right, let’s get on with our round-up of the festive football fixtures.
Rich: City’s winning streak comes to an end.
Jack: Manchester City’s winning run was ended at 18 when City could only draw at Crystal Palace in Matchweek 21. However, City bounced back with a home win against Watford and are still unbeaten this season and are an amazing 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Rich: United stumble over the holiday period.
Jack: Manchester United could only manage one win out of four in the festive period. They beat Everton in Matchweek 22 but draws against Leicester, Burnley and Southampton sees United fall further back in the title race.
Rich: Arsenal falling behind in race for Champions League.
Jack: Arsenal were another team that only won one of their four festive fixtures but were probably involved in three of the best games over the holidays. Arsenal’s 3-2 win against Palace and 3-3 draw against Liverpool and 2-2 draw against Chelsea were amazing games to watch.
Rich: That Liverpool game was brilliant. I think all this football during the holidays is brilliant but I also understand when some Premier League managers complain about fixture congestion.
Jack: Fixture congestion... That’s an interesting phrase. What does it mean?
Rich: The word congestion generally means to be crowded or blocked. It’s often used to describe traffic.
Jack: That’s right. Roads in UK cities are often congested especially during rush hours in the morning and late afternoon. Lots of traffic jams. I hate them.
Rich: Fixture congestion is similar to this. It happens when a team has to play lots of fixtures or matches in a short space of time.
Jack: Ah yes. During the holidays Premier League teams often play two games in 48 hours and four matches in just over a week.
Rich: It’s a difficult one. Players and managers don’t like fixture congestion but for fans these holiday fixtures are the most popular of the year.
Rich: Right, every Monday, we give out three matchweek awards. Player of the Week, Team of the Week and Match of the Week.
Jack: With all the fixture congestion recently our awards this week are for the whole holiday period.
Rich: That’s matchweek 19, 20, 21 and 22.
Jack: In the comments section, you need to tell us if you agree with our choices …
Rich: Let’s start with this week’s player of the week. Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has been in great form. He’s looking more like the player from two seasons ago.
Jack: You’re right. Another player who has been playing really well recently is Raheem Sterling at Manchester City. He scored in three of City’s festive fixtures and is becoming a really important player for City.
Rich: But our player of the festive fixtures is Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Kane scored two hat-tricks during the holidays which means he scored an amazing 56 goals in 2017.
Jack: It’s been an amazing year for Kane. 56 goals is more than Lionel Messi for Barcelona and Ronaldo for Madrid!
Rich: Our next award is for Team of the holidays. All the teams played four matches and none of the teams won all four. The teams with the best record were Liverpool and Manchester City with three wins and a draw.
Jack: Who shall we choose?
Rich: Err .. because I’m a Liverpool fan of course!
Jack: Alright, I’ll let you have that one. Finally, what was our match of the holiday period. I watched Arsenal against Chelsea. It was a 2-2 draw and a brilliant match with an injury time equaliser for the gunners!
Rich: It was a good game and there were lots of great games during the holidays. Our Match of the holidays was another Arsenal match. This time against Liverpool. It finished 3-3 but this time it was Liverpool who got the late equaliser!
Jack: It was a good game!
Rich: Let us know if you agree with our choices in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Rich: What’s been happening in Fantasy Football this week, Jack?
Jack: With four matchweeks played lots has been happening but one thing that hasn’t changed is the leader in the Premier Skills Fantasy football league.
Rich: At the top is still Gerardo Lopez from Mexico. Can anyone stop Gerardo from winning our fantasy league for the second season in a row?
Jack: What about the Premier Skills team?
Rich: We’ve fallen out of the top 10 in the Premier Skills league so really need your help.
Jack: If you have a fantasy league team take a look at the premier skills team and tell us in the comments section the players we should be buying and selling during the January transfer window.
Jack: Our prediction before the holidays was Arsenal against Liverpool. It finished in a three all draw.
Rich: As a Liverpool fan I went for a Liverpool win and Jack as an Arsenal fan went for an Arsenal win so neither of us got our prediction right.
Jack: Some of our listeners predicted a draw though. Ahmed Adam from Sudan predicted a 2-2 draw and amazingly Elghoul from Algeria predicted a 3-3 draw. A brilliant prediction, Elghoul!
Rich: This week’s prediction is for Matchweek 23 which is the weekend of the 13th and 14th of January. The match is a big one. It’s Liverpool against Manchester City. City are still unbeaten but this is one of their biggest tests of the season - away at Anfield. I think Liverpool’s attacking players will cause City problems and this could be Virgil van dijk's debut for Liverpool after his £75 million move from Southampton. But will Philippe Coutinho be playing? City will also attack and Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are in great form. Can Liverpool stop City? I think they can but I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Jack: I think City will keep on winning. I’m going for a 2-1 City win.
Rich: We’ll see … we want you to make your prediction at the bottom of the page on the website. Are you a good predictor?
Jack : Right, that’s all we have time for. I hope you have enjoyed this festive football round-up.
Rich: Don’t forget to join the discussion at the bottom of this page.
Our Fantasy Premier League Team leader is still Gerardo Lopez a Manchester Utd fan from Mexico. His team Los 11 Impostores leads the league for the third week in a row. Well done, Gerardo! Each Matchweek we will announce our weekly winner on this page. Maybe you could be our winner next week? If you want to play Fantasy Football, you can find out more here and if you want to join the Premier Skills private league, this is the code you need: 83788-212918 8-212918
The Big Match
Arsenal v Liverpool
Rich's prediction this week is the match between Liverpool and Manchester City. Rich (a Liverpool fan) thinks Liverpool will win earn a point from the meeting, but Jack (not a Liverpool fan) thinks City are too strong and will take all three point! Have a listen to what Rich and Jack say and then make your prediction at the bottom of the page.
Last week Rich thought that Liverpool would beat Arsenal but the match ended 3 - 3. Rich has not been doing very well with his predictions, but Ahmed Adam from Sudan and Elghoul from Algeria both predicted the right result and Elghoul even managed to predict the right score. Well done to both of you.
Don't forget to reply to fans of different clubs from different countries. Let's create a community!