Will The Result In The Champion’s League Have Any Effect On The Two Derby Matches This Weekend?

Posted: April 6, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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Everton v Liverpool

Jürgen Klopp has already prepared his excuse in the event of a poor performance in the Merseyside derby on Saturday morning.

Having explained, to a yawning and fed-up public, how his overpaid stars will still be absolutely shattered and worn out having spent a whole ninety minutes playing a game of football, he went on to further inform us that two whole days is not enough time to recover from this unnatural amount of exertion.

Everton will clearly have the advantage because they will have had a complete week in which to prepare for this game and it is at Goodison Park when all said and done. How much more of an advantage could they have?

Well, maybe Mo Salah and Emre Can will miss the game through injury so that would also help their cause.

Poor old Liverpool! Having to play midweek games in the Champion’s League and put in winning performances as they did against Manchester City is a real disadvantage for them. So why they don’t just lose is beyond us. Throw a match and have done with it, that’s our advice!

They wouldn’t have the additional games and could concentrate on finishing higher in the league, or even winning it. But wait, wouldn’t that bring qualification for the Champion’s League all over again? It’s very confusing this competition called the Premier League.

Why do all these teams spend the whole season trying to win it only to complain about the amount of games they have to play when they are successful and finish in the top six? The answer is simple; don’t finish in the top six!

What will Sean Dyche do next season if his Burnley side are unlucky enough to qualify for the Europa League? His squad of players is nowhere near the size of those belonging to the top six so, if any team were likely to tire through extra games, it is his. Will he complain about it? Probably. It is a manager’s complaint and never one heard from the players!

Sean Dyche – How will he cope if Burnley qualify for the Europa League?

Anyway, we digress. Liverpool, despite having a team full of players who will obviously be sleepwalking their way through the game, should still be good enough to beat Everton and we fully expect them to do so. Poor Big Sam.

Manchester City v Manchester United

Having been hammered, yet again, at Anfield Manchester City will return to Premier League action knowing that they can lift the title by beating United at The Etihad on Saturday. Will they do so? That is the $64,000 question.

Jürgen Klopp seems to be the only manager to have his tactics for playing against City worked out to a tee. His high pressing game means that his team tends to tire in the second half but if they are three goals up by then it doesn’t really matter a great deal. He has proven, more than once, that City can’t defend very well, a fact we have been pointing out for quite a while in our informative and educational articles!

They have become so used to having the ball and can keep it so well that the opponents have little opportunity to attack and so the defensive stats are very misleading and make a very average defence appear to be quite good.

United suffer from the same problem. In their case, however, it is their goalkeeper who is making a very average defence seem quite good.

So what is needed on Saturday is for the two teams to go for all-out attack and the score should end up 4-4 or 5-5. Now that would be a game worth paying for!

What will actually happen is that José Mourinho will decide that he doesn’t want to be the manager against whom City win the title and will, therefore, park the bus. If he comes away with a 0-0 he will be quite happy and if he can scrape a win he will be slightly happier.

José puts not losing above trying to win in certain games and this is one of those games.

Pep Guardiola will try and win the game because he doesn’t know any other way of playing, a fact he proved against Liverpool in the Champion’s League when, losing 3-0 and needing to score an away goal, a change to the way of playing was required but not forthcoming. He continued to let his team bang their collective heads against the Liverpool wall and came away with nothing.

Unfortunately, City will probably win this game because José Mourinho, despite having watched the midweek game, will never admit that he learned anything from it and will continue with his stubborn, hard-to-beat formation.

And finally…..

PA-35828213

Ray Wilkins – In his earlier Chelsea years

RIP Ray Wilkins. We saw him described as a Manchester United legend by some well-meaning Twitter member. He wasn’t a legend at Old Trafford but he was very well thought of and was certainly a gentleman whenever he appeared in the media. He was a talented midfielder whose career spanned three decades and was, from what we can gather, universally liked.

His polite and incisive comments on TV will be missed, as will he.

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