Manchester City Quadruple may be Difficult but Treble is On

Man City has staked claim for quadruple in this season. Champions League victory can be little tough due to quality opposition. Treble is definitely on for Manchester City though. Sky Blues have reached to FA Cup final. They are trading blows with Premier League leaders Liverpool. They have already won EFL League Cup, also known as Carabao Cup. Pep Guardiola’s team is looking steady for three trophies in the 2018-19 season.

Manchester City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in the semi final of the FA Cup on 6th April 2019 at Wembley Stadium, London. Gabriel Jesus was the only scorer of the match. Watford came from behind to win other semi final 3-2 in extra time against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sky Blues and Watford F.C. will meet in 2019 FA Cup Final on 18th May 2019 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Five time champions Man City are favourites to bag FA Cup title over Watford who have never won this trophy before. Manchester City had last won FA Cup in 2011, while they made last appearance in final in 2013. Watford FC made their only final appearance in 1984.

Gabriel Jesus heads Manchester City to the 2019 FA Cup Final
Gabriel Jesus heads Manchester City to the 2019 FA Cup Final

Sky Blues and Liverpool are switching top position in the Premier League 2018-19 season. Liverpool are currently leading with 82 points from 33 matches. Manchester City are second with 80 points from 32 games. Man City have won Premiership on three occasions. Liverpool are 18-time first division champions in English football history. But they have never won Premier League from its start in 1992. Defending champions Manchester City are favourites though as they have won their all three EPL trophies in this decade.

Champions League seems the weak link for Man City though. They have lost first leg of the UCL quarter final by 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur. Pep Guardiola’s side is capable of making a comeback from loosing situation. A strong performance in second leg at City of Manchester Stadium will improve chances of winning the UEFA Champions League trophy for Manchester City. Good point is that low scoring first leg means less work in the second leg for Sky Blues.

FA Cup – Final
Manchester City Vs Watford – 18th May 2019 – Wembley Stadium, London

UEFA Champion League – 3rd Quarter Final – Second Leg
Manchester City Vs Tottenham Hotspur – 17th April 2019 – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

Archer will get World Cup audition against Pakistan- Morgan

Morgan claims England will have no reluctance in altering its winning formula ahead of the CWC2019. Sports fanatics can book Cricket World Cup tickets online to enjoy stunning performances.

Archer will get World Cup audition against Pakistan- Morgan
Archer will get World Cup audition against Pakistan- Morgan

The competition favorites are undefeated in their last ten two-sided ODI series and are the number one ranked side in ODI, but the appearance of Barbados-born Jofra Archer has difficult selection matters with just over two months to go till the initial match of this summer’s CWC2019.

Archer, who capable to play for England former this month after the England and Wales Cricket Board tranquil its placement rules, has detonated onto the world scene with odd performances in limited-overs competitions, and Morgan declined to shut the door on the 23-year-old’s Cricket World Cup hopes.

Archer will get World Cup audition against Pakistan- Morgan
Archer will get World Cup audition against Pakistan- Morgan

“It’s not about a winning method,” said England limited-overs skipper Morgan, who was on hand to welcome followers to the first Wonderful Saturday throughout the CWC2019 Trophy Tour, determined by Nissan, as the trophy took midpoint stage in Manchester’s Exchange Square.

“That is behindhand us almost and we need to endure using the sureness we have made to drive things onward and if it is about counting someone that’s going to add value then we will do it.

“The publicity about Jofra playing around the sphere and doing well and enticing a lot of care is defensible as he has put in performances that permit looking at.

“Trevor Bayliss supposed after the West Indies series we will aspect at him against Pakistan who England plays in five ODIs in May and that’s what we will do.

“We don’t have to name our Cricket World Cup2019 team until the end of the Pakistan series so we will have a look and see how he serves.”

As competition hosts, all the weight will be on England this summer, especially after an enormously unsatisfactory Cricket World Cup campaign in 2015 where Morgan’s squad failed to make it out of the group phase.

The last 4 years, though, have seen Morgan architect a brilliant reversal in fortunes, with an extensive front-foot panache coming to the fore and the Middlesex batsman is content to carry the hopes and thoughts of a nation on his shoulders.

“You can’t ignore it but we’ve prepared for going into the Cricket World Cup as favorites,” added Morgan.

“It’s something which sits absolutely fine with us. The reason it is there is because of the success we’ve had in the past but that’s all in the past now and our focus needs to be on what’s to come and the things we need to do.”

He is whatever but, as England put the finishing traces to their battle plan for the opener against South Africa at The Oval on 30 May 2019.

“There are no anxieties, I think it’s more excitement,” he said.

 “I think, sedentary here right now, we’re armed really well. We still have one match in Dublin against Ireland and our matches at home against Pakistan in the build-up to the Cricket World Cup so there’s sufficient of cricket to be played but all the emphasis is going to be on the rivalry.”

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Alan Shearer tells Man City the legend of the Premier League his favourite to win CL

Premier League legend Alan Shearer is backing Lionel Messi to return Barcelona to the glory of the Champions League this season. Spain’s Barca will face Manchester United in the quarter-finals after beating Lyon 5-1 in the last 16 games.

Alan Shearer tells Man City the legend of the Premier League his favourite to win CL
Alan Shearer tells Man City the legend of the Premier League his favourite to win CL

United made a remarkable performance in Paris last month against PSG and Shearer insists that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team “cannot be written off”. But the former England striker expects Barcelona to progress in the competition and win the trophy for the sixth time in its history.

“You cannot erase Manchester United after the way they fought to beat Paris Saint-Germain,” Shearer told the Sun. “But I think Barcelona will have too much for both games, mainly because of this guy, Lionel Messi.” I think it will be Messi who will make the difference against United and that’s why I think Barca will continue maybe to win. United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserve this attack on Barca for what they did in Paris. But I just think it will be a step too far for them.

“And I think it will be the same for Ajax against Juventus because of Cristiano Ronaldo.” You can already imagine a Juve final against Barca, with two of the greatest footballers we’ve seen, who will face each other again. “But Shearer does not see City achieving this feat, adding,” The quad is still on, which in itself is just staggering, but I still do not think they’ll get away with it. “I see them winning the Premier League and FA Cup.

“But even if they beat the Spurs, I think there is too much quality in the Champions League, especially in Barcelona, with this man, Lionel Messi.” Guardiola said it would be “almost impossible” for Manchester City to win all four competitions that term. “Surviving is a miracle. It’s good to be there, “Guardiola said after City qualified for the FA Cup final.”Nobody did it [won the quad], so why can we do it?” It’s almost impossible to realize everything – that’s the truth. ”

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No Usman Khawaja in Warne’s Aussies World Cup Squad

If it were up to Shane Warne, Usman Khawaja wouldn’t be selected in Australia’s 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Khawaja is the leading run-scorer in one-day internationals in 2019, with 769 runs in 13 matches, at an average of 59.15. But despite that, Warne, tweeting out his selection of 15, left out the left-handed top-order batsman.

No Usman Khawaja in Warne's Aussies World Cup Squad
No Usman Khawaja in Warne’s Aussies World Cup Squad

Khawaja, who was elicited for Aussies’ home series against India in January after a break of nearly two years, has capitalized on the chance with six fifty-plus scores in his last 10 matches, with two hundred. His enormous form now improves to the selectors’ annoyance as they try to slot the recurring Warner and Steve Smith back into the team.

Khawaja, however, announced happy about his present run of form, saying that his emphasis was on the three residual games in the Pakistan series. “It’s World Cup an extensive way away.

Warne instead picked D’Arcy Short, who has played just four ODIs and hasn’t played one since November 2018. Short was picked to open alongside David Warner. Aaron Finch, the ODI captain, was shifted down to No.3, with Steve Smith at two-drop. No more ODI’s for Australia till the CWC19. Remember the conditions in England will be nothing like the recent tours to India and the UAE. Tough job for the selectors as players are going to miss out even though they have formed.

Peter Handscomb, another in-form player, was also left out, as was Josh Hazlewood. Shaun Marsh made the squad but found no spot in the XI.

Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey made up Warne’s middle order, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa completing the XI.

Before announcing his pick, Warne stated that the conditions in England and Wales must be kept in mind while considering any squad.

Cricket Australia is expected to announce its World Cup squad by 23 April, but with over 20 players in contention for the 15 spots, competition is tight.

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Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool: Porto wanted the draw of the Champions League

Liverpool vs Porto

Liverpool is back in the Champions League on Tuesday night at Anfield.

The Reds advanced to the last 8, where they were drawn against Porto.

Liverpool came back to first place in the Premier League this weekend after a 3-1 away win in Southampton.

Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool: Porto wanted the draw of the Champions League
Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool: Porto wanted the draw of the Champions League

Man City is two points behind the Reds, although they have one game less.

Porto is second in the Portuguese first round behind Benfica for the goal difference.

Porto was well prepared for the trip to Merseyside with a 2-0 home victory against Boavista on Friday.

Pepijn Lijnders: Porto wanted Liverpool

Before Tuesday’s game, Pepijn Lijnders, coach of the first Liverpool team, spoke with The Times.

According to Lijnders, he thinks that Porto wanted to play against Jurgen Klopp’s charges in the quarter-finals:

There was only one club in the last eight that wanted us and it was Porto.

All the others in the last eight have wanted to avoid us, but Porto will love the chance to play against us. I know it because of their mentality.

Sergio is a motivational coach and he will use it. Motivating is not the right word. It’s revenge. They want to arrange something.

Porto’s attitude is: always more, always better. They like those who hate to lose. Many clubs are in the game because of football, but Porto is in the game for silverware. This is their reason.

Liverpool met Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League last season.

On this occasion, Liverpool humiliated Porto by winning 5-0 away in the Iberian Peninsula. Porto drew 0-0 at Anfield.

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Rashid key to England’s CWC hopes – Mahmood

England fast bowler Sajid Mahmood believes Adil Rashid is central to England’s hopes at the CWC 2019. Those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Cricket World Cup Final Tickets.

Rashid key to England’s World Cup hopes-Mahmood
Rashid key to England’s World Cup hopes-Mahmood

Leg-spinner Rashid, a peripheral figure in England’s Test team, has taken 125 ODI wickets since the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand – the most of any bowler in the world.

This massive number of scalps, along with a remarkable ability to take wickets at key times in the middle overs, has helped drive England to an unbeaten run of ten consecutive bilateral ODI series without defeat.

Mahmood, who was speaking at the first Super Saturday of the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, in Manchester, believes the Yorkshire man holds the key to home hopes.

“I think the crucial man who, if he does well we’ve got a good chance, is going to be Adil Rashid,” said Mahmood, who was on hand to welcome fans as the trophy took center stage in Manchester’s Exchange Square.

“He’s a massive wicket-taker who breaks up good partnerships but, saying that you’ve also got Liam Plunkett who does a similar sort of thing, taking wickets in the middle period and then you’ve got Mark Wood and Chris Woakes who take wickets up front.”

Rashid key to England’s World Cup hopes-Mahmood
Rashid key to England’s World Cup hopes-Mahmood

There has been a flow in praise for Rashid from all corners in recent times including England captain Eoin Morgan, along with a host of former players, but Mahmood was also adamant the team has an attack suited to all conditions and with all bases covered.

“I think English team has got a strong all-round team,” he added.

“The batting expresses for itself, it has done for the past two to three years but bowling-wise, they’ve had a couple of injuries with Woakes being injured a few times but Adil and Mo Moeen Ali have been pretty consistent the last two or three years.

“There’s a lot of talk about Jofra Archer coming in, but I’m not sure he’ll play much seeing as he’s not had much experience and it’s such a big tournament.

“England has got people like Plunkett to still come in and Mark Wood did well away in the winter.

“They’ve got pace, they’ve got people who can hit a decent area and move the ball a bit and they’ve got a good spin attack so I definitely think they’ve got a well-rounded bowling attack.”

Mahmood took part in the 2007 World Cup where England failed to progress from the Super 8s through to the semi-finals, but the former Lancashire man thinks Morgan’s bowling attack, along with home advantage, will ensure a better result in 2019.

“I definitely think England have enough to bowl teams out,” said Mahmood.

“I think they’ve shown that over the last few years and the biggest thing is they’ve got home fans and home advantage so they should know how the pitches are going to play and use that to their advantage.

“There’s going to be a lot of countries coming in who are not going to have as much experience with the pitches as our players have.”

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Too big to turn down – Chris Woakes picks winning CWC over Ashes

Given a choice between winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 or the Ashes, Chris Woakes, the England pacer, said he’d grab the opportunity to do the former.

Too big turn down’- Woakes picks wining CWC over Ashes
Too big to turn down – Chris Woakes picks winning CWC over Ashes

England has won every Ashes series at home since 2005. Woakes himself was part of the side that won the 2013 series. However, the 30-year-old believes the chance to lift the World Cup trophy at home doesn’t come around too often – and when it does, they have to make it count.

“If it was a matter of life or death and I had to choose one, it would probably be the World Cup,” Woakes told The Daily Mail. “Just because World Cups at home don’t come around too often and we’re not often in a position like this as a team.

“I’ve only played one home Test against Australia, in my debut series in 2013, but we won the Ashes that summer. To potentially lift the World Cup at Lord’s, the home of cricket — that doesn’t come around very often. The opportunity to do that is too big to turn down.”

Woakes determination to lift the World Cup has been boosted by the misfortune he faced at the last ICC tournament the England men’s side were part of. In the Champions Trophy 2017 opener, he had sustained a side strain within two overs of their clash against Bangladesh. England was then eliminated against Pakistan, the eventual champions, in the semi-finals.

There is a determination to avoid that eventuality this time. “If you need any more motivation for a home World Cup, that’s mine, having missed out on the Champions Trophy,” he said. “We’d marked that tournament as a stepping stone in our development and had a chance to win it on home soil.

“For me to bow out in the second over was really frustrating. I’d done some really hard yards to make sure I was part of that team. With a home CWC and the form we’ve shown over the past couple of years, you’re desperate to be a part of that.”

England begins its World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval on 30 May.

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Sadio Mane speaks out on next Champions League clash against Porto

Sadio Mane urged his Liverpool teammates to expect a tough match against Porto and not rely on good memories from last year. The Reds beat Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League last year. They must now face the Portuguese in the quarter-finals of the competition. Last year, Mane’s hat-trick earned Jurgen Klopp’s men a 5-0 win before qualifying for the final in Kiev, Ukraine.

Sadio Mane speaks out on next Champions League clash against Porto
Sadio Mane speaks out on next Champions League clash against Porto

The 26-year-old, however, expects Porto to be as motivated as ever to take revenge on the Anfield club. “We have good memories of having beaten [Porto] from a distance,” Mane told UEFA. “It was last year. They will be more motivated. It’s normal. “One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to trust what happened last year. “Last year is over, so we’ll try to forget it. They will really want to win. They have a goal, just like us. Let the best team win.

“It was a great moment and one of my best football nights, playing in the Champions League is an exceptional feeling, playing a role and having the opportunity to score a hat trick meant a lot to me and II was really happy for the team, because we ended up winning the game, the third was my favourite, of course, we played as a team and we were strong at all levels, both in attack and in Liverpool will face Porto on April 9 in the first leg before the return leg on April 17.

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Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi

Ish Sodhi, the NZ leg-spinner, says he is “very excited” to be a part of the Black Caps’ team for  Cricket World Cup 2019, and wants to grow as an “all-round cricketer” ahead of the CWC.

Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi
Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi

Sodhi has grabbed 39 ODI wickets in 30 matches, is the only specialist wrist-spinner in the 15-man squad. This will be his first arrival at the flagship event.

“I am very, happy to be part of that team,” he told Cricket Next on Saturday, 6. “Everyone dreams of representing their country in the CWC. When I was 15-16 years old, I told myself that ‘2019 is a good CWC for you to target’.

“Luckily, I was named in the team the other day. It’s great to have some support of not only the skipper but the coaching staff as well. They have shown a lot of confidence in me and, confidently, I can repay that.”

Sodhi depends on more on the turn than pace. But he is now at a stage where he is trying to find the perfect mix of both.

“I have always been an old-style bowler in a way that I have supposed on turning the ball as much as I can,” he said. “You generally have to bowl a little bit slower to achieve that. But the best thing I can do now is to achieve the correct balance between spinning the ball and trying to bowl fast when needed.”

Sodhi is now a part of the RR team at the IPL 2019 but is yet to feature in the tournament. However, he has taken that in his pace and is utilizing the time in his hands to work under the alert eyes of Sairaj Bahutule, Rajasthan’s coach.

“I met Sairaj Bahutule and kept a good relationship with him throughout the IPL last season and then after that as well,” Sodhi.

Who picked up 5 wickets for RR last season, said “I am also interacting with Stuart MacGill and he has been bizarre for me, not just as a leg-spin coach, but as a mentor as well because a lot of leg-spin is in the attention. Working with MacGill in the last six months has been enormous for my soreness. I am really willing I have him as my friend and mentor.

“My preparation starts now really. I am preparing myself to be an all-round cricketer. The amount of time I am not playing for the Royals, I’ll use to try and improve my batting because there is a lot of time to do that and continue working on my fielding. I’ll also keep making minor adjustments to my bowling to suit different conditions.”

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Man United and Tottenham can reach the semi-finals of the Champions League: Danny Murphy

Danny Murphy gives an overview of the quarterfinals of the Champions League

Man United and Tottenham can reach the semi-finals of the Champions League:Danny Murphy
Man United and Tottenham can reach the semi-finals of the Champions League: Danny Murphy

In his weekly Mail on Sunday column, Danny Murphy focused on the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The four Premier League teams remain in the competition. But for how much longer?

One of the players, Tottenham or Man City, will rank in the last 8 as they were drawn.

Man United is struggling to reach the semi-finals against FC Barcelona.

Liverpool dodged a ball in association with Porto, while Ajax faces Juventus.

Man United vs Barcelona

Man United are outsiders at KO Barcelona.

The Catalans are at the top of the league while United beats three defeats in four games.

However, Murphy believes that two defeats against the Wolves and another defeat against Arsenal are just successes:

“The fans of Manchester United are realistic enough to know they would fall in love after the perfect start to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s life at Old Trafford.”

Others argued that these defeats are not a failure Instead, Man United was overexploited in the first few weeks of OGS ‘mandate.

Looking at Barcelona’s tie, Murphy suggests that the Red Devils have little to lose:

“This quarter-final against Barcelona is a free kick.

I do not think United will be passive and fans will forgive defeat as long as they get closer and competitive.”

Tottenham vs Man City

Can the Spurs beat Man City in the quarter-finals?

When these clubs met earlier in the Premier League, City beat the Spurs 1 to 0 in London.

However, Murphy points out that the move from Tottenham Stadium is a reason for Spurs fans to be positive:

“This could be a much closer bond than most neutrals expect, but the Spurs cannot afford to be too gung-ho.

It’s a balanced exercise for manager Mauricio Pochettino. They will be aware of the current welfare factor in North London and will try to use it to their advantage. But it is equally important that they show the required patience. Then they will have a chance.”

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