Football

Championship Play-Offs
Football

Championship Play-Offs 2018 – Semi-Final First-Legs

Both Wolves and Cardiff City have now booked their places in next season’s Premier League. That leaves four teams fighting for the final spot – it’s time for the Championship Play-Offs. Friday, 19.45 – Derby County (6th) vs Fulham (3rd) Last season, it was Fulham who scraped their way into 6th place. This season, it’s Derby. After a very strong start to the season, Gary Rowett’s experienced team lost their way in early 2018. That’s all in the past now,

Premier League Round 33
Football

Premier League Round 33 – Heroes of the Weekend

A look at the heroes, and villain, of Premier League Round 33. Hero – Wilfried Zaha Where would Crystal Palace be without Zaha? Relegated for sure. What the likes of Southampton or Stoke would give to have a matchwinner of his quality. In Premier League Round 33, Roy Hodgson’s team desperately needed a win at home to Brighton. Step forward their star man, Zaha. Although the Ivorian is best known for his skill and trickery, his 2 goals here were

Premier League Round 32
Football

Premier League Round 32 – Heroes of the Weekend

A look at the heroes, and villain, of Premier League Round 32. Hero – Paul Pogba When they found themselves 2-0 down to City in the Manchester Derby, United needed a hero. In the end, that hero turned out to be Pogba, the man who, according to Pep Guardiola, was offered to City back in January. Freed from his defensive responsibilities, the Frenchman showed his attacking quality with 2 clever finishes to make it 2-2. When it comes to that

Derby Day
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Derby Day Premier League Double

Derby Day Title Delight for Pep? Derby Day can bring unbridled joy for the blue half of Manchester if results go their way.  They can clinch the title with a win over their city rivals Utd.  This with still 6 games of the Premier League season to go. They are chasing numerous records in the league so are likely to want to keep wanting to go at every game full tilt.  However winning the league title against your city rivals

England vs Italy
Football

Notes on England vs Italy

England vs Italy was certainly more of a test for Gareth Southgate’s side than the last match against the Netherlands. They were pushed, pressed and occasionally exposed by the Azzurri. Sadly, England didn’t make it to 6 cleansheets in a row at Wembley, but the draw was no disaster. Learning and improvement are the aims of the game ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Goalkeepers Jack Butland didn’t put a foot, or a glove, wrong all night. His kicking was

Netherlands vs England
Football

Notes on Netherlands vs England

As international friendlies go, Netherlands vs England wasn’t awful. The Three Lions didn’t exactly cruise to victory but there were reasons for manager Gareth Southgate to feel positive ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Goalkeepers Jordan Pickford got the nod against the Netherlands and passed his test with flying colours. The Everton man is known for his excellent distribution and he showed it with some impressive kicks under pressure. With the exception of one cross, he looked calm

Champions League quarter-final draw
Football

The Champions League quarter-final draw – Who Plays Who?

A look at the the Champions League quarter-final draw. Match 1 – Barcelona vs Roma Barcelona will be delighted to avoid the Big Four – Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City. Roma won’t be pushovers, however. They finished top of a tough group featuring Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, and then despatched a talented Shakhtar Donetsk team. There’s strength throughout their side, from Alisson in goal to Edin Džeko up front, via the maverick midfielder Radja Nainggolan. However, if Lionel

FA Cup Quarter finals
Football

FA Cup Quarter finals – Heroes of the Weekend

A look at the heroes of the weekend’s FA Cup Quarter finals. Swansea City 0-3 Tottenham Hero – Érik Lamela Who needs Harry Kane? Without their star striker, Spurs still cruised to a comfortable away win in the FA Cup Quarter finals. Tottenham’s attackers were dominant and dynamic. Lucas Moura was full of trickery, Christian Eriksen scored two goals, but Lamela’s performance was arguably the biggest positive for Mauricio Pochettino. Every time he got the ball, Lamela burst forward with

FA Cup Quarter finals
Football

FA Cup Quarter finals – Let the Battles Begin!

The time for draws and replays is over. We’re into the FA Cup Quarter finals now. Saturday Swansea City vs Tottenham Carlos Carvalhal knows his priority at Swansea – Premier League survival. That’s why he’s got a league team and a cup team. In the FA Cup Quarter finals, expect to see Tammy Abraham, Nathan Dyer and ex-Tottenham player Tom Carroll. They were good enough to overcome Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday in replays but overcoming Spurs will be a

Southampton
Football

Southampton – Can They Still Stay Up?

After Saturday’s heavy defeat to Newcastle, Southampton sacked boss Mauricio Pellegrino. With a record of just 0.93 points per game, the Argentinian’s departure was welcomed by Saints fans. What was not welcomed, however, was the timing of the decision. With only 8 games remaining, is it too little too late? Southampton are the ninth Premier League club to change their manager this season. Fellow relegation strugglers Swansea, Stoke, West Brom and West Ham all saw the warning signs and acted

Premier League Round 30
Football

Premier League Round 30 – Heroes of the Weekend

A look at the heroes and villains of Premier League Round 30. Hero – Marcus Rashford With 4 goals in 26 games this season, Rashford had fallen behind Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial in the Manchester United pecking order. To make matters worse, Alexis Sánchez then arrived from Arsenal, which meant 4 attackers battling for just 2 starting spots. But with the World Cup on the horizon, Rashford is fighting back. He started against rivals Liverpool, and boy did he

Manchester United vs Liverpool
Football

Manchester United vs Liverpool – Premier League Match of the Weekend

This weekend’s Premier League action kicks off in style with Manchester United vs Liverpool. Who will come out on top in this fight for second place? Let’s just hope that it’s a better game than the dour 0-0 draw in October. Form Manchester United have won 3 of their last 4 league matches, but it’s been far from convincing at times. José Mourinho’s biggest issue is fitting his superstars into the same, cohesive team. It’s a real work-in-progress right now.

Man Utd
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Man Utd v Liverpool – Sky Sports 12.30pm

Man Utd to park bus under Mourinho? Man Utd v Liverpool is one of the fiercest rivalries in World football never mind the Premier League. I cannot foresee a situation whereby an Old Trafford crowd will allow Jose Mourinho to deploy the same tactics as he did at Anfield.  This culminated in them having 1 shot on target in 90 minutes and only 37% possession of the football.  It was only due to the brilliance of David De Gea that

Premier League Round 29
Football

Premier League Round 29 – Heroes of the Weekend

It tried its best but the ‘Beast From the East’ couldn’t stop English top-flight football. Here’s a look at the heroes, and villain, of Premier League Round 29. Hero – Son Heung-min After a slow start to 2018, Son is finding his best form again. The jury is still out on the South Korean in Tottenham’s biggest games, but he certainly stole the show against Huddersfield in Premier League Round 29. Son’s pace was just too much for the Terriers’

Spurs
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Spurs v Juventus – Champions League

Spurs to wobble at Wembley? Spurs will be looking to complete the task they started in Turin at Wembley on Wednesday evening. The home team will be hoping to start the match a lot better than they did in Turin when they were 2 goals down after only 9 minutes.  It shows the strength and character of this Spurs team that they were able to claw there way back into the game and indeed were unlucky not win the match.

Manchester City vs Chelsea
Football

Manchester City vs Chelsea – Premier League Match of the Weekend

Will Premier League football survive ‘The Beast from the East’ this weekend? We’ll have to wait and see, but if it does, the Super Sunday fixture will be Manchester City vs Chelsea. After thrashing Arsenal twice in a week, can City take another big step towards the title? Form Pep Guardiola’s winning machine shows no signs of letting up. City won the Carabao Cup last week and they’re days away from winning the Premier League too. The Champions League is

Liverpool v Newcastle
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Liverpool v Newcastle – Sky Sports 03/03 5.30pm

Liverpool v Newcastle – Rafa’s Return Liverpool v Newcastle is a Premier League game that is revered in Sky folklore. Who can forget Martin Tyler’s fantastic commentary on that momentous evening in April 1996 when Kevin Keegan’s entertainers lost the league at Anfield? I as a Toon Army fanatic certainly cannot. Now Rafa Benitez brings his team to Anfield 22 years later in the midst of a relegation battle.  They should have come here on the back of 2 consecutive

Arsenal vs Manchester City
Football

Arsenal vs Manchester City – Premier League Match of the Midweek

Just four days after they met in the Carabao Cup Final, it’s Arsenal vs Manchester City in the Premier League. At Wembley on Sunday, Pep Guardiola picked up his first trophy in English football as City cruised to a 3-0 victory. At the Emirates on Thursday, Arsène Wenger has work to do to prove that he is still the right man to lead this mercurial Arsenal team. Form Arsenal’s league form is actually quite predictable – excellent at home, and

Manchester United vs Chelsea
Football

Manchester United vs Chelsea – Premier League Match of the Weekend

Another Premier League weekend, another fascinating Top Four fixture. This time, it’s Manchester United vs Chelsea. Managers José Mourinho and Antonio Conte aren’t the best of friends and they’re not the only ones with a point to prove on Sunday. Will United stars Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matić come back to haunt their old club? Form Manchester United and Chelsea both drew their Champions League matches this week, but Chelsea will be the happier side. The Blues put in a

Champions League Round of 16
Football

Champions League Round of 16 – The English Teams Part II

The Champions League Round of 16 first legs continue this week, with the last two English clubs in action. Can Chelsea and Manchester United carry on the bright start made by Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool? Tuesday – Chelsea vs Barcelona With the possible exception of Tottenham, Chelsea got the worst English draw in the Champions League Round of 16. Barcelona are not a team that you want to face. They’re 7 points clear at the top of La Liga

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