As the saying goes, ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall’ and nothing could be truer in regards to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team. An emphatic end to the Premier League Title race last season saw The Citizens break all kinds of crazy records. Their vehement run started back in the 17/18 season and followed through to the 18/19 season. Some of these incredible feats include:
- The largest ever European group stage win with a 7–0 victory over Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League in the Round of 16 2nd Leg (12 March 2019)
- Largest Premier League points total (100)
- Most Premier League goals scored (106)
- Most wins achieved in a single Premier League season (32)
- Largest winning margin in the Premier League (19 pts)
City’s incredible run of total domestic dominance was amplified in the 18/19 season when they won the domestic quadruple, meaning they have won the last five trophies on offer in England being, two Community Shields, a League Cup and the FA Cup. Although this season has been a rude awakening for the Premier league champions. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool squad seem unphased by their unrewarded efforts last year in the Premier League, and have instead used that disappointment to fuel their performances. A rampant run has left them unbeaten in the Premier League this season after 27 games, a whopping 22 points above City who sit baffled in 2nd. Even though no one could’ve seen this coming, Man City have had a big drop in form from last season. This being said, The Champions League is a different kettle of fish and with there being questions over Guardiola’s ability to win the competition, could the pressure prove too much over the two legs?
Manchester City are 1 of 12 English football clubs to have won a European title . For this reason, they hired one of the most elite managers in world football, Pep Guardiola. Guardiola’s last success in the UCL came way back in 2011 and despite his domestic triumphs in the Bundesliga, the Premier League and La Liga, a Champions League victory seems to be a struggle for the Portuguese ever since he left Barcelona. Facing giants such as Real Madrid so early (although they are not the force they once were since losing their star man Ronaldo) will surely have Pep scratching his head. Zinedine Zidane is the only manager to have succeeded winning three consecutive Champions Leagues, all with Real Madrid in the years 2016-2018. Be that as it may, since then they have struggled themselves with an ageing team consisting of world class players who once were. The likes of Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Bale and Luka Modric would have easily walked into any other team in the world in their prime, but with them all on the wrong side of 30, fitness levels of the squad is in question.
This could be the perfect time for Manchester City to face Real Madrid for a number of reasons. In the last two weeks, The Sky Blues were hit with the news that they would receive a 2 year ban from all UEFA European competition for serious FFP (Financial Fair Play) violations. Huge stars like Sterling, Aguero, De Bruyne and many others in the team may question whether staying at city is the best decision for their careers, especially with players like de Bruyne reaching 30 soon.
There’s also been talks about Guardiola’s future as he is known to never stay more than 3-4 years at a club. All factors combined, Manchester City as a club could be more amped up than ever for this year’s Champions League as they may not see another till 2023 if the ban is upheld. So with City’s extra motivation and Madrid’s current problems, we could be in for a very interesting fixture.
By Chris A
Exploring Portugal’s chances in Euro 2020
When you think of the Portuguese national team, it’s hard not to think of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 35 year old has had an exceptional career, putting him in talks for one of the best footballers to ever grace the pitch. Unfortunately, his Portugal side had left much to be desired in the past international competitions until recent events, starting off with the EURO 2016 competition.
One large criticism of the Portuguese national team in past years is their lack of balance throughout the side, having to play a pragmatic style of football to cover up their defensive deficiencies. This style took away from their key attackers such as Nani, Ronaldo and Quaresma. Many pundits have sympathised with CR7 for his nation’s inability to win a national trophy. In decades prior, we have seen some serious players rock the dark red colours of the Portugal jersey such as Deco, Figo, Pepe, Nani, Quaresma and Ronaldo of course. Yet the nation had not seen an international achievement since a silver runners up medal in the 2004 European championships. This was a shocking return for such a talented footballing nation and things had to change, as they did in the Euros of 2016. An under-looked Portuguese team had a rocky road to the final, having to come back on 3 occasions against a determined Hungary to draw 3-3 and with the majority of knockout games decided by the fine margins of a goal or in extra time. Added to this, their main talisman Ronaldo was injured just 25 minutes into the final, yet they still managed to claim victory. Since this triumph, the Portugal team has grown stronger still, winning the Nations League in 2018 which saw them dispose of an adept and experienced Netherlands side which consisted of players enduring standout seasons such as Van Dijk, De ligt, De Jong etc.
Seleção fans may have something to look forward to in this Euro 2020 competition after seeing their team strengthen in the last decade or so. Despite CR7 being 35 years old, Portugal are still a more than capable team with a plethora of attacking ability. Bruno Fernandes who recently completed a £65million move to Man Utd in the latter stages of the winter transfer window is a player whose growth has been an eyeful for football fans. He will be such a key player for the Portugal side this European championship more so than in the Nations League.
In the 17/18 season (the season before the nations league took place), Bruno Fernandes statistics were impressive. 16 goals and 20 assists for Sporting CP from the box to box midfielder role was and is a great feat. He then went on to achieve 32 goals and 18 assists the following season, showing glimpses of the goal scoring midfielder we saw in the likes of Lampard. He currently has 15 goals and assists each at the halfway mark of this season, which shows the consistency and class that Fernandes retains. With Ronaldo aging, Bruno Fernandes will be a key component in the Portugal team as they will look to him to chip in with goals and assists in the upcoming Euro championships in a bid to take some of the responsibility off of the 35 year old.
While Bernardo Silva’s statistics may not be as impressive, stats don’t tell the full story with this tenacious player. His game brings a ferocious press and key decision making in the final third. His versatility and experience is enough to also ease some of the burden of carrying the team off of Ronaldo. There are many more honourable mentions within this side such as goalkeeper Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Felix, Nelson Semedo, Joao Cancelo and more who are playing within top teams in Europe’s top 5 leagues. The balance of competent attackers and defenders could see the side flourish now more than ever
Portugal have been growing stronger as a team due to the numerous individual talent across the field. Therefore it can be said that they are more equipped now than ever before to retain their European champions title. Nevertheless, teams around them have strengthened too and with recent World Cup winners France and Germany in their group, any slip ups could make it a struggle for Portugal to even make it out their group of death.
By Chris A
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions have put on an attacking display in the last 18 months, scoring 37 goals in the European qualifiers which saw some impressive results. Big scorelines such as a 7-0 win over Montenegro and a 6-0 win over Bulgaria saw England cruise through the majority of the qualifying matches. With the rise of creative outlets such as Jadon Sancho and Trent Alexander-Arnold, the quality and quantity of competent youngsters in Southgate’s arsenal for the Euro 2020 competition are mind-blowing. The pair of them have a staggering 25 goal contributions in 19 games, and 10 assists for Dortmund and Liverpool respectively. This could prove an unstoppable attacking force on the right hand side for the upcoming European Championships. Nonetheless, recent events in the Premier League could lead to a crisis for Southgate as he sees a handful of his best attackers either injured or suffering a run of poor form.
Harry Kane is the Three Lions captain and 6th ever highest top goal scorer. He also won the World Cup golden boot in the summer of 2018 but is currently out with a hamstring injury which sees him out for two more months until April. With the Premier league season finishing in May and the European championships starting in June, Harry Kane’s fitness will be a big worry for Southgate and many other Three Lions fans as we approach Euro 2020.
To add to their woes, Marcus Rashford who has been the teams top scoring player from the wide positions, is currently out with a back injury, restricting him to the injury table for another 3-4 weeks. The 22 year old who broke his own personal best of 10 goals in a 38 game season, was on route to a season for the history books donning 14 goals and 4 assists in only 22 games. 18 goal contributions at the halfway mark of the Premier League season from the youngster would have given England an astounding outlet on the left hand side for the upcoming Euro 2020 competition, amplifying their chances of bettering the stage they reached in the World Cup not too long ago. Southgate could be left scratching his head with his former number one striker, Jamie Vardy (who is currently in the golden boot position in the Premier League) in retirement from international football. Matters worsen as Callum Wilson and Tammy Abraham both exhibit poor form and unless they are able to display the ability that they are known to have, the onus could be on Rashford and Kane to shake off their injury rust and lead the Three lions from the front once more.
Since the World Cup, Southgate’s young England squad appear to be going from strength to strength, putting on top performances in the Euro 2020 qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League tournament. However, this does not guarantee a strong Euro 2020 competition as bumps materialise is Southgates road to European glory. With formidable opponents such as the World Cup Winning France side and Nations League runners up Netherlands (who eliminated the England Squad on their course to the finals), it seems like the Three Lions would have much benefitted by having a fully fit squad.
By Chris A
Why is this year’s Euros so special? The Euros 2020s are being held in 12 different cities between 12 June to 12 July 2020. Portugal are the current champions of Euro 2016.
There are 20 teams that have qualified for this year’s Euro 2020, 17 of the teams are returning once again after competing in Euro 2016. The countries qualified this year include Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, France, Turkey, England, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark and Wales.
The 12 stadiums include: Wembley Stadium – London, England. Allianz Arena – Munich, Germany. Stadio Olimpico – Rome, Italy. Olympic Stadium – Baku, Azerbaijan. Krestovsky Stadium – Saint. Petersburg, Russia. Arena Nationala – Bucharest, Romania. Johan Cruyff Arena – Amsterdam, Holland. Aviva Stadium – Dublin, Ireland. San Mames – Bilbao, Spain. Puskás Arena – Budapest, Hungary. Hampden Park – Glasgow, Scotland. Parken Stadium – Copenhagen, Denmark.
Expect this will be an exciting tournament, if you want to witness some of the greatest players in the world at Euro 2020, please inquire now for tickets email@example.com
FA Cup 2020 finals! Wembley Stadium holds space for a total number of 90,000 people that can be easily seated in the stadium. The tickets allocated for Emirates FA Cup 2018 final are set according to the last year’s FA Cup season.
Overall, 28,000 FA Cup tickets are being allotted separately to each set of enthusiasts of the match. Approximately 14,000 tickets will be distributed among the families of the players of the competing football clubs that will also include volunteers participating on behalf of County FAs, affiliated leagues of FA, different charities and clubs. The rest of the tickets left will be split between the two football clubs that will compete in the finals.
The FA Cup ticket prices of the finals are reportedly priced for adults at £45, £70, £115 and £145 from which £25 can be saved in Category 1 and 2, and £10 in Category 3 and 4.
Michael Oliver has been confirmed as the referee for the final, while Neil Swarbrick will be on the video assistant referee (VAR) system that will be used for the very first time in the FA Cup 2018 final. This news has been confirmed by the Football Association
Maria Sharapova, a Russian professional tennis player and five times grand slam winner, lost in three sets to Caroline Garcia in the first round of Stuttgart Open.
Maria, who made her comeback from a 15-month ban, due to doping in a tournament held last April, won the first set very smoothly but the 31-year-old professional player couldn’t resist the determined Caroline Garcia from dragging herself back into the game through a simple tie-break.
Garcia kicked off the match with a strong fightback to prevail 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 in only 2 hours and 44 minutes winning her very first victory over the former world No 1 at her fifth attempt, dating back to an iconic match at Roland Garros when Gracia was a 17-year old in 2011.
The game was clashed by a double fault from Sharapova at 4-4 which handed Garcia a crucial break in the decider and the world number seven clinched the contest on her serve in the next game.
“I was a little more aggressive today and I returned a bit better. Finally, I can say that after seven years I have beaten her. It’s an important win,” Garcia added.
Nonetheless, Garcia won the middle set on her fourth opportunity in the tie-break holding her nerve in the decider. The French topper recovered from an early break down to not only level the match, but score a thrilling victory in a pressured final service game in the perfect timing.
Gear up for the Wimbledon tickets for the next round up of Garcia against a Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk who beat Antonia Lottner 6-4, 6-1. The 15-year-old Kostyuk qualified for the main draw by overcoming France’s Alizé Cornet on Monday. We trust the tournament will be worth our Wimbledon ticket prices.
A die-hard Everton fan with serious health conditions joined his idols on the pitch while they competed with Newcastle United on Monday.
Jack McLinden, a fourteen-year-old fan of Everton, not only became a part of the stadium in the Premier League 2018 but served along as a ‘distant’ mascot with the aid of a robot.
This fan of Everton had prearranged a robot named AV1, designed by a Norwegian firm, which has restricted mobility and is bound to a wheelchair. The robot helped the child to perform his mascot duties through its built-in speakers, microphone, and a digital camera.
Phil Jagielka, the captain of Everton team, connected the Norwegian robot AV1 to the iPad of Jack McLinden at his home that allowed the kid to have a real experience by hearing and watching the match through the telepresence robot.
Jack McLinden could not attend the match held at Goodison Park at all due to his need for oxygen 24 hours a day even though the kid lives only two miles away.
McLinden’s mother Michelle Wignall could not thank the company enough that worked with WellChild, a UK charity saying that it was a completely new experience for her son.
Further details about the Premier League 2018:
Being the 26th season of the Premier League, the season is scheduled to end on the 13th of May 2018.
The Premier League tickets can be bought from their official websites, as well as the ticket offices over the phone. The demand for the tickets are very high, at the moment. Most of the football clubs have their own Premier League ticket prices categorized according to the importance of the matches. This makes the tickets relatively cheaper if the match is a bit unimportant while keeping them high if the match is a major one.
It was earlier on the 21st of March 2018 that Football Association announced the date of FA cup semi-final match between Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur.
The match is slated to be played on Saturday, 21st April and will start sharp at 5.15 G.M.T at Wembley Stadium.
Due to this schedule, Spur’s previously scheduled match at Brighton and Hove Albion is to be rescheduled. But both the games are expected to be played in the mid of the same week.
This marks as the second year of FA Cup in which Spurs will make their appearance in the semifinals consecutively. Unfortunately, the team lost to Chelsea by 4 – 2 in the last year’s semifinals but this time around they are all geared up to put forward an excellent show and the fans cannot contain their excitement.
Spurs made their last four with a win at Swansea and Manchester United, with a record of 12 times win, had a victory against Brighton.
With so much excitement in people, everyone wants to enjoy the show live but due to the shortage of FA cup tickets available people have planned to watch the live streaming instead.
Both the participating teams have lifted the trophy previously as well. Spurs last won the FA Cup back in 1991, and the team of Manchester United has been lucky enough to get success in getting the trophy just two seasons back.
Since Manchester United was drawn in their semi-final, Tottenham Hotspur will be in the visitors’ dressing room at the stadium of Wembley.
Currently on the table, Manchester United are in the 2nd position while Tottenham Hotspur is in fourth position.
The match will be streamed live on BBC sports website for those who cannot manage to get the FA Cup tickets. The live streaming will also include in play clips and highlights.
Serena Williams’ return to tennis after giving birth to her daughter has prompted a seeding debate. The 23 times Grand Slam winner who went on maternity leaves for 13 months played unranked and unseeded against Naomi Osaka, at the Indian Wells Champion.
What has sparked debate is that the most established tennis star that was ranked the world’s number one player a year ago, before her leave, is currently ranked 491 and can be eliminated in the earliest levels of the tournament.
With Wimbledon 2018, just around the corner, this is indeed a great concern. Serena will be playing this year’s Wimbledon tennis. Get your Wimbledon tickets here.
Williams has won the Miami Open 8 times earlier, but she can still not be seeded merely because she is unranked due to her leaves. The WTA does not do special seedings anymore which means that women who go on leave due to pregnancy are treated equally as those who miss due to long-term injury.
WTA chief Simon said that WTA is very supportive of those players who come back from pregnancy leaves and he expected a re-examination of their seeding rules.
However, Mandy Manella who rejoined tennis after her childbirth last month said that this is not a ‘punishment’ to Williams and no changes should be made to the seeding rule.
The 32-year-old player, who went on 99 days leave for the delivery of her baby, said that “For entertainment reasons, it’s very important to have Serena Williams in the draw, but I don’t think it’s important to have her in the seeding positions at the moment.”
Mandy believes that it’s a tricky situation because if Serena got seeded now, “she would take away the spot of another girl who had fought all year to have a seeding.”
The US Open Tennis Championships is a hard court tennis tournament and is a modified version of the U.S. National Championship. Ever since 1987, this tournament has been, sequentially, the fourth and concluding tennis major incorporating the Grand Slam every year. This tournament is held on an annual basis.
The tournament comprises of five event championships: Singles for men and women, doubles for men and women and mixed doubles. It also includes tournaments for junior, senior and wheelchair players. Since 1978, the tournament has been played at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center –Corona Park, New York City. This is the only Grand Slam in which tiebreakers are employed in each set of a match. Regarding other Grand Slams, if a game reaches the last set and there is a tie at 6-6, the match will go on until a player wins by two games.
This year, 2017, was the 137th edition of the tennis’ U.S. Open and was also the final Grand Slam event of this year. For this year, it started on the last Monday of August and it lasted for two weeks. This year, USTA tried out two experimental rules. Firstly, it commenced a shot clock to fight slow play and to warn players- if they go over the allotted time for medical time outs. Secondly, coaching was permitted from the court’s side.
Yes. Autumn international rugby matches are going to return yet again in November 2017. Prepare yourself to see the four home union – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – will fight against the southern hemisphere’s best teams. Autumn international Rugby tournament is celebrated like Christmas among the fans. Last years biggest winners are preparing to repeat the history whereas those who lost are busy in strengthening themselves for the revenge.
Will luck favour England again?
2016 was tremendously lucky for England as Eddie Jone’s boys managed to win four games all together that includes a great triumph over Australia and a victory against Argentina with a team of only 14 men – that makes them totally unbeaten through out the year and making them invincible. The last time when the team performed like this was in 2003 when they won Webb Ellis Cup.
Australia, however, cannot not be underestimated in any way possible. Even though 2016 went a little disappointing for them yet they are set to take against England at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 18th November’17. This will be the second of three autumn internationals to be played by England in 2017. England and Australia have contested a total of 48 rugby test matches since their first meeting in 1909. England have won 22 of those matches, whilst Australia have won 25 matches. There has also been one drawn match between the two sides.
Will Micheal Hooper’s squad be able to take revenge against the squad of Eddie Jones or will the history repeat itself? – A question making thousands of fans restless!
When all you need is Rugby
England is all geared up and ready for the Autumn International Fixtures, hosting the Old Mutual Wealth Series 2017 matches at Twickenham. On the rise from a solid 2016 performance, England looks to bring some glory to the home field in three riveting matches against the Australians, Argentinians, and Samoans. 2017 Rugby ticketing packages can be found for single day and multiple day trips, depending on the fixture, but they are going quick. The games line up with England against Argentina, Australia, and the Samoans on Saturday 11, 18, and 25. Make sure you pick up your Rugby tickets before they are all gone!
Where the Green Meets the Grit
Knowing that the line-ups for the 2019 World Cup are in the air, Eddie Jones, coach for the England Rugby Union, is urging his team to push and conquer the competition via extreme physical fitness. Exemplifying Olympic athletes Roger Bannister and Usain Bolt, Jones hopes to inspire the England team to drive themselves and commit hard to physical excellence. By committing to pristine physical condition, Jones believes the England Rugby Team can dominate the Autumn International Fixtures!
Finding a Champion
Looking ahead at the World Cup, Coach Jones has been dispatching his staff far and wide in search of the best athletes in the world to really round out his training squad. Among these 37 men is the dominating Manu Tuilagi! Signed yesterday, August 5th, Manu Tuilagi is believed to be the centre point of Eddie Jones’s new physical dominance plan, and come November we will find out just how physical this England team has become.