Man Utd fixtures: Next six games after FA Cup win over Fulham
Manchester United are rounding the corner into the final furlong of an exhausting season.
Erik ten Hag’s side have already played 46 matches across all competitions heading into the March international break – which won’t offer much rest to a squad full of players jetting off to join up with their country’s team.
Here’s what the weary limbs of Manchester United’s squad will be put through when club football resumes in April.
Manchester United have enjoyed and endured mixed fortunes since beating Newcastle to the Carabao Cup in February’s Wembley final. While Ten Hag’s side managed to secure a spot in the Europa League quarter-finals, United were also walloped 7-0 by their fiercest rivals.
Alexander Isak’s emergence as a scoring alternative to the goal-shy Callum Wilson has helped steer Newcastle out of a tailspin, setting up an intriguing encounter at St James’ Park between two teams vying for a spot in the top four.
United’s humbling 4-0 loss to Brentford in August was the first chance Ten Hag had to flex his managerial authority. After getting embarrassingly outrun by their west London hosts, the Dutch boss accompanied his squad on a run the following day to make up the 13km discrepancy.
All eyes will be on the United’s odometer as Brentford search for their first Old Trafford victory since the Second World War.
Since suffering a 3-0 reverse at home to Everton within a month of the competition’s inception, Manchester United have lost precisely one more match at Old Trafford against the Toffees in Premier League history.
Former Everton stalwart David Moyes was in United’s dugout on that bleak December evening, losing to an 86th-minute winner from Bryan Oviedo. However, Everton are unbeaten in their last three trips to the Theatre of Dreams and claimed a point on their previous visit to Manchester, earning an unlikely draw with City on New Year’s Eve.
Up against the Europa League experts, United will have to earn the club’s first-ever victory over Sevilla in the Spanish side’s competition of choice to reach the semi-finals.
Jorge Sampaoli’s team are in a desperate bunfight to avoid the club’s first relegation since 2000 but also face expectations of maintaining their dominance in Europe’s second-tier competition; Sevilla have won the Europa League a record six times, defeating Manchester United in the semi-finals of their most recent triumph in 2020.
34 days after leaving the Old Trafford turf in tears, Casemiro will once again be available for a Premier League match. Time will tell how United fare while the Brazilian serves his four-match suspension but there’s little doubt that Casemiro will be swiftly ushered back into the starting lineup at the first available opportunity.
Against a Nottingham Forest side that have proven to be a potent threat on the break, especially at home, Casemiro’s return will surely be warmly received by any one of a Red Devils persuasion.
Only La Liga champions Real Madrid had a better home record than Sevilla last season. Yet, the Andalusian side earned just one win across all competitions in front of their fans before the World Cup.
Since the winter hiatus, Sevilla have rediscovered the strength of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, winning seven of their first eight home games after the restart.
Manchester United have already earned a Europa League victory in Seville this season, easing to a 1-0 win in the round of 16 away to Real Betis after delivering a commanding 4-1 triumph on home soil in the first leg.
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
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Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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