Liverpool vs Chelsea – 14 April 2019

As the number of games that Liverpool will play becomes smaller and smaller so does the pressure of delivering a good result rise.  The pressure will be sky high when Chelsea come to town in a clash were the home team can’t allow themselves to drop any more points. Another team who can’t allow themselves any mistakes are Chelsea who is 3rd currently but are closely followed 3 teams who would like to unseat them from that position.

Liverpool is in good form as they have won four in a row but last time they played they only secured the victory very late in a match where they showed signs of weakness. It was a match where the end result doesn’t paint the full picture. This time they will face a team who has a lot of issues but they have been heating up lately. Learn how to watch Liverpool vs Chelsea, a crucial match for both teams.

Chelsea won three in a row and have been playing pretty good football mostly because Hazard has been exceptional. If rumours are true and he is set to leave after the season it’s quite interesting to see what Chelsea will look like after losing a player whose dominated ever since he came to Chelsea. 

When it comes to this match the premise of it promises to make it one of the best this year. Both teams desperately need a victory and both teams are playing good football. Liverpool is the home team which should give them a slight advantage because their fans are one of the best in the world. They will need all the support they can get because when it comes to form, Chelsea is actually in a better form and have played better lately.

Will Liverpool lose the title or not? Hard question but I’d say no, I believe they will win.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ready to host the first official match

The Spurs fans have been eagerly anticipating the announcement of the date of the opening of their new stadium but the proposed move has been further delayed until at least March. Now, it looks like the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is ready and will host the EPL match against Crystal Palace, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

The grand opening date, which had been earlier scheduled for September 2018 was postponed because of continual building delays. The north London side had been hoping to play their first game in their new White Hart Lane stadium but it was not to be. Tottenham, in order to generate more income, submitted a proposal to construct 330 new homes outside the White Hart Lane railway station but the Haringey’s council delay in making a decision affected their plans to move into their new Stadium in September.

Now, the move has hit further delay which will extend their temporary stay at Wembley.  The building contractors say the recent delays is due to building delays and also necessary extra testing needed to pass the new White Hart Lane stadium has fit to be opened.

Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman spoke to the press on behalf of the club: 

“I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience. The response from those who attended the familiarisation event was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional experience for everyone.

We shall now seek clarity in respect of building test schedules and test event dates and provide further information on these in the next two to three weeks.”

In addition, Spurs’ home Premier League fixtures against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester including their UEFA Champions League home match against Borussia Dortmund will all be played at Wembley. Their next FA Cup match could also be played at Wembley if Tottenham qualify for the next round.

Tottenham had moved into Wembley since the 2017/2018 season and the club and their fans will be looking forward to hosting games in their new £800 million stadium.

No additions for Manchester City in January

Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola is not expecting any additions to be made to his squad in the currently open January transfer window. 

Even though he would not mind having new signings to be able to fully rotate the squad because of the tight game fixtures, he has confessed that the players he would have loved to sign are often not available in the January window.

Guardiola said, “No, no. In January, no window. We are not going to spend anything. I am so happy with the squad. People are coming back, so no.” 

Even though the Blues side brought in Aymeric Laporte last January, Guardiola suggested that January is not his preferred window for transfer business. He said, “It’s much better (not to buy in January). When we created the squad at the beginning of the season it was not to go to the January (transfer window) except we have problems.”

This would mean that Riyad Mahrez, brought in from Leicester city is the only addition City has made to their title winning team since last summer.

Pep Guardiola has now spent a more than £530 million on new signings since he took managerial position in 2016. With the club’s huge financial backing, Guardiola has assembled a team of quality footballers, even their bench is an envy among top Europe clubs. Top players players like Ederson, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane, John Stones, Illkay Gundogan among many others make for a mouth-watering prospect.

The huge investment seems to be paying off having won two trophies at the Etihad (excluding the Community Shield) and still in contention in all competitions in the current season.

Pep Guardiola will hope the team’s trophy overhaul continues this season in order to keep justifying the club’s huge spending so far.

Burnley: Sean Dyche might get sacked soon

Sean Dyche, the manager of Burnley, irrespective of his achievements says he is not immune to getting sacked. “My position is not set in stone” he says.

Dyche’s team are fortunate to sit three points adrift of safety in 18th place on the Premier League table with a total of 12 points—which is 20 fewer than they had at the same stage last season. Wednesday’s 5-1 home defeat to Everton ended with negative reactions from the stands and voices questioning Dyche’s future. Although, the voices clamoring for change are few, they have begun to grow louder and louder.

Dyche who happens to be the fourth longest-serving manager across the Premier and football league took charge of the Clarets (Burnley F.C) over six years ago and executed the work properly. Even the Club’s relegation in the year 2015—which didn’t cause the club not to stick with him, doesn’t demean the quality of work he has done.
“I think there is a bit of reality from the outside for the people looking in. Don’t for one minute think I think I’m set in stone here. I’m not. Eventually, people want change. I’ve said it for years here. Eventually, they will want change; for good or bad reasons. Either I go somewhere else if we’ve been very successful, or we haven’t, and I still have to leave”, the 47-year old coach said.

“It’s not something that concerns me. I know the work we put in here and I’m quite pleased. Not with results, but the general work—the amount of work my staff and I put in, and the players. If people do question it, that’s the way it goes. People question results, not workload. I think the fans have been patient. They have been excellent actually. They know the journey of the club. We’ve got probably 12,000 who were here when I got here and have seen it radically change in six or so months”, Dyche said further. He also explained that his team had to perform better irrespective of the odds and they could not afford to rely on any past achievements.

Hazard’s move to Real Madrid still doubtful

Speaking about the speculation whether or not Hazard would be staying in Stamford, Sarri has urged both the player and Chelsea to end the speculations and find a solution to the problem before he exhausts the remaining one year and a half left on his Chelsea contract.

Eden Hazard, while discussing his future recently confessed that a transfer to Real Madrid would be a dream move and a good career choice. He would be willing to wait until the end of the season before making a move though. After the 2 to 1 win in favour of the blues at the Watford stadium on Wednesday, Sarri confessed he doesn’t want that to happen. Since Hazard was so concerned about the future, Sarri insists that they find a solution to the problem at hand. He was quoted as saying: “I think we have to solve the problem. If we want to plan for the future, we have to solve this problem”.

After scoring his hundredth goal for Chelsea, Sarri says he’s not surprised by Hazard’s improved goal scoring abilities; “I was really confident because he is a great player— one of the most important in Chelsea’s history. So I was really confident that he is able to score more.”

Sarri plans to keep Hazard playing for Chelsea and in a more central role. He declares he is comfortable with Hazard’s present position though. “I don’t know if he prefers to play as a winger or as a striker, but if he is able to play like the last match in the centre, it is not a problem for me to put him there”, he said.

Hazard is probably one of Sarri’s best and favourite player. He believes there would be no problem placing Hazard at central since he had once played as a false nine and ended up scoring three goals and creating two assists. Sarri further revealed that the team could someday play with Hazard and one other striker to make them even more solid.

Hazard has been linked for some time to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Liverpool vs Arsenal: No Mind Games From Emery, Klopp Says

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool FC has debunked stories that Arsenal’s head coach is playing mind games ahead of the showdown on Saturday. The Reds are six points clear at the top of the table going into the weekend and are yet to be beaten in the Premier League this season. According to Emery, he believes Liverpool would be able to emulate the 2003 to 2004 Arsenal’s invincibles.

Klopp, when asked if Emery was piling up the pressure on Liverpool in preparation for the match said, “That is not how I know Unai Emery”. He further said, “I don’t think they will have the white flag and say ‘no chance’. It will be a really tough game because they are good. That is all I am interested in and all the rest is a nice little game where people respond to your questions and you make stories of the answers. We are focused on ourselves and that is all”.

Klopp was later asked what it would take for Liverpool to actually beat Arsenal and not play out a 1-1 draw like their previous showdown. He replied saying, “Play much better than we did at Arsenal, for example – that would be a good idea because, especially defending wise, we weren’t as good as we can be, or we were after that. I think it was a period where we didn’t do too well. They are strong, good with the ball and very lively. Their counter-attacks are crazy quick—Aubameyang and Lacazette are an outstanding striker couple up front. It will be difficult”. Klopp has called for an improvement this weekend in the next showdown against Arsenal so as to avoid the Arsenal-Liverpool previous stalemate.

Although Liverpool is six points clear and at the top of the table, Jurgën Klopp says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Sarri: I like to play in the Christmas days

Sarri says he relishes the English Premier League winter fixtures.

The Premier League fixtures are coming thick and fast irrespective of the fact that other leagues such as the Bundesliga and La Liga are taking a winter break.
Chelsea is halfway through a run of four league matches in twelve days and Sarri (who has never managed out of Italy) says it is fantastic and he relishes the Premier League winter fixtures. In his exact words, Sarri says, “I like to play in the Christmas days. I think it is very difficult to play every three days. This season, we had a very unusual pre-season of which I have never experienced its kind. After it, we had three weeks of working, then from the end of August, we started to play every three days. So we have no time for training, we have no time for improving the team, we have no time for improving single players. So I think it’s very difficult to play here, but I also think it’s fantastic.”

Chelsea went all the way to Selhurst Park to go up against Crystal Palace on the first day of the week and Sarri does not deny having doubts because of the Eagles’ recent victory against Manchester City. He said, “They are really very dangerous because in the last three matches at home, they have not conceded a goal to the opponents. They are very dangerous on the counter-attacks, so for us, they are a very dangerous team.”

When asked if he would consider changing his plans for Crystal Palace due to their trend of not conceding goals, he said, “Maybe. For the first time against City, they played 4-5-1. Usually, they play with a 4-4-2. I think we can repeat the 4-5-1 they played against City”.

During the interview, he acknowledged boss Roy Hodgson, who previously worked in Serie A with Inter Milan, saying he was and still is a very good coach: “I remember very well and he was a very good coach. I saw his team during the season and they are improving a lot I think”, Sarri said.

Gambling on Football: Daniel Sturridge faces severe punishment

One thing is very well known in the world of football: if you are a professional player, you do not bet on football. It seems, however, that betting fever does not take account of the trade. Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool’s striker, was caught betting on football and is now waiting for his punishment, which may be a drastic one. It seems like the English international has placed a number of unknown bets on the transfers from the winter of 2017.

This is somewhat similar to “insider trading” cases at the Stock Exchange, as Sturridge held confidential information that was inaccessible to the general public. Sturridge vehemently denied that he was betting on football, but the Football Association’s charges are still standing. The player has time until November 20 to answer the accusations.

The FA accuses Sturridge of transmitting confidential information to a third party, which placed the bets of his behalf. We do not know yet what are the incriminating bets. It is speculated that the time when the bets on transfers were made is when Sturridge signed with West Brom (a surprise move), when everyone was waiting for him to join Newcastle.

As for the punishment that awaits Sturridge, it will surely be a severe one. Similar cases in the past were Joey Barton, suspended 18 months for over 1,000 football bets made, and Martin Demichelis, fined £22,000 for 29 football bets. However, if it turns out that Daniel Sturridge has used confidential information for material gains from betting, the penalty may be much higher.

Nemanja Vidic: I would love to coach Man United

Nemanja Vidic said in a show at beInSports that Jose Mourinho is guilty for a 3-1 defeat in front of Manchester City in the local derby. The Serbian said United’s team is a Mourinho team, not the band we used to know, referring to the peculiarities of the Portuguese coach style.
Vidic added that when Jose Mourinho arrived in Manchester, everyone knew the team would change their style of play.

“It is the kind of football he played at Inter, at Chelsea more or less, and (Real) Madrid maybe it was more open. At the end of the day, that’s Mourinho’s football.”, Vidic said to beInSports. The Serbian also added that “we have to accept that he is the manager who is going to play this kind of football”.

The Serbian did not hide the fact that in the future he would like to be Manchester United manager. Vidic, now 37, has a glorious past at Man Utd: 300 matches and 21 goals, 5 Premier League titles, 3 League Cup trophies, 5 Community Shield Cups, one Champions League title and one FIFA Club World Cup title.

Since taking over Manchester United, Mourinho (the Special One) has failed to reach an ascending trajectory in the post-Ferguson era. Seen by many as the next long-term manager of the Devils, the Portuguese has completely disappointed. In the current season, United is ranked 8th, 12 points behind Man City (#1) and 7 points away from the Champions League spots.

The club’s management has set “The Special One” a clear goal: qualify for next year’s Champions League. As mentioned above, United has to recover 7 points to reach the last place that qualifies automatically into the group stage. The management already has a substitute: Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham’s manager, whom United’s staff hopes to attract if Mourinho fails to meet his goal.

Upcoming matches: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace (in the EPL) and Manchester United vs Young Boys (in the Champions League).

United and Arsenal looking for better form

mourinho upset manunitedThe second round of the EPL proved to be bad for two of the teams that were favourites at the title. Manchester United failed to get even one point with Brighton, while Arsenal failed in two major tests – at home with Man City and with Chelsea, away.

If for Arsenal there are mitigating circumstances, Man United is in a more difficult situation. Asked by SkySports what he thinks about the atmosphere at United, the former Devils player, Lee Sharpe, summed up: “I expect Mourinho to be sacked by Christmas”.

Lee Sharpe added: “The atmosphere is not a good one. Ever since he came, Mourinho is moaning about the players. In Ferguson’s time, all these things were kept away from the press and solved in the coach’s office or in the locker room. Now it’s different and I do not think that’s good for the team”. For the full interview, click here.

Although it has a very valuable squad, United does not seem to find the rhythm. Even worse, Mourinho is facing next a really tough match against Tottenham. Lately, there have been rumours that Pogba is in open conflict with Mourinho, which was denied by the Portuguese. But Danny Mills says neither Alex Ferguson would tolerate Pogba problems. The Frenchman was sold to Juventus in 2012 by Ferguson and then bought back to Manchester by Mourinho. It seems that the problem is not one of the coach vs the player, but rather of the club vs the player.

Anyway, Manchester United will have to regroup and make an honourable figure against Tottenham. Man United vs Tottenham is live on Skysports and also online.

Arsenal plays against West Ham in a match that should bring the first three points to the Gunners. It remains to be seen if they will be able to cross the saddle of the first two stages when they were defeated by two top teams.
Zero points after matches with Chelsea and Man City mean that Arsenal still has to wait until they can really enter in the title fight. Unai Emery “managed” to lose the first two matches of the season, a situation not seen at Arsenal since 1986.
Even so, nobody is still challenging the position of the Spanish coach, but Emery will have a huge task on his shoulders. Arsenal vs. West Ham will play on August 25th, at 15:00 GMT on Emirates. The Gunners are very much in need of the three points, a victory being essential to keeping a good moral.