TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

It is back

Premier League
‘What a player!’ - Saka is Arsenal's best player, says Wilshere
YESTERDAY AT 20:45

Ce sont les meilleures équipes

Sie sind die allerbesten Mannschaften

The main event

Die Meister

Die Besten

Les grandes équipes

The champions

Une grande réunion

Eine große sportliche Veranstaltung

The main event

Ils sont les meilleurs

Sie sind die Besten

These are the champions

Die Meister

Die Besten

Les grandes équipes

The champions

If the above is meandering its way down your ear canal on a mission to set in motion some endorphin release then that means one of three things:

  • a) you're listening to one of the greatest songs of all time
  • b) the Champions League is back
  • c) both

Tonight is both, you lucky devils, you. The Champions League is back. And if domestic football is anything to go by, it is going to be chaos. Why? Well, the usual contenders - see Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester City and Liverpool - are all in differing degrees of disarray.

Here is a helpful table to illustrate said degrees:

ClubTotal disarrayBog standard disarrayA suggestion of disarray
Real MadridYes
BarcelonaYes
PSGYes
Bayern MunichYes
JuventusYes
Manchester City Yes
Liverpool Yes

Now, that means that this truncated, bizarre season of football may mean a super club might not actually win the Champions League this year. Glorious. The 2004 winners, Porto, are the last team without vast resources to have won it. Well, perhaps Liverpool in 2005. Anyway, it is a good 15-odd years since the Champions League had a true surprise winner. This could be the year. So who is in the mix to produce a shock? Marseille all the way. André Villas-Boas to grind his way to glory, and become the first manager to compete at the Dakar Rally and win the Champions league.

Also, available on this website is actual analysis of the Champions League.

Here are the fixtures:

  • FC Zenit v Club Brugge
  • Dynamo Kiev v Juventus
  • Stade Rennais v FC Krasnodar
  • Chelsea v Sevilla FC
  • SS Lazio v Borussia Dortmund
  • FC Barcelona v Ferencváros
  • RB Leipzig v Basaksehir
  • Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United

Wayne Rooney’s mates have had a shocker

The Warm-Up is sure Wayne Rooney’s mates are a decent bunch. However, the limited information available in the public domain paints a less than flattering picture of Wayne's pals.

For context on pal 2, Rooney released a statement via his management company saying that he was 'angry and disappointed' that a friend who had been advised to take a Covid-19 test had elected to pop round to Rooney's house.

Said friend would test positive. Rooney would return a negative test but will now isolate for 10 days as per NHS guidelines. It means he will miss three games (Huddersfield Town, Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City). Thankfully Rooney and his family are okay, but that's a factor of luck more than judgment on behalf of his friend.

Withdrawal of futsal funding a big mistake

The coronavirus pandemic has led to some very tough decisions at the FA. One of which was to more or less completely cut funding to the futsal program.

It is a poor decision and one without merit when set alongside the context of the growing popularity of the game within the UK, and it seems devoid of logic considering it was described by England coach Gareth Southgate as a “great game and development tool”.

Such a great development tool, in fact, that Wolves' man of the match in their 1-0 Premier League win against Leeds was futsal alumni Max Kilman.

The former Genesis, Helvecia and England player is in no doubt that the game shaped him – assisting in his rise from non-league Maidenhead United F.C. to the Premier League - telling the Guardian back in 2019 that:

Since I’ve got to Wolves I’ve realised that I’d benefited from my time playing futsal. It helps with what they do really well here. The speed of decision-making, everything is just sharper and quicker. You need to know what you’re going to do next.

The 23 year old produced a mature performance against Leeds that also included an assist and winning 100 per cent of his duels. It was a fine performance, just someone tell Conor Coady.

IN THE CHANNELS

Bruno Fernandes was clearly unaware that he was about to be named Manchester United captain for their Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain.

HEROES AND ZEROS

This one is interactive today and presented without comment, you decide.

COMING UP

The. Champions.

The chaos of Ben Snowball will be here tomorrow.

Premier League
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15/01/2021 AT 14:37