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

Blog Post: Promising_Portugal
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

euro 2020 final tickets

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 info@statussports.co.uk

FA Cup Final

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

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.