Next six games after Leeds draw
Defeat at the Emirates was supposed to have derailed Manchester United’s quickly developing title bid as Arsenal stretched their advantage at the summit.
But Sean Dyche’s magical little beard has since brought fresh life to the Red Devils’ charge. Victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means they’re just eight points adrift of the Gunners having played a game more.
Things are set to get trickier for Erik ten Hag in the coming weeks, however. After fighting back frm 2-0 down against Leeds in the Premier League on Wednesday night, United’s next six games will span four different competitions.
Here’s a look at who’ll they’ll be taking on.
A rare double header.
The Premier League opted to reschedule United’s game against Leeds, which was postponed back in September due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, for Wednesday night, just days before the two sides meet at Elland Road.
Leeds’ search for a new manager will continue this week, but it’s unlikely they’ll have their new manager in the dugout in time for Sunday’s game.
The Red Devils were dealt the short straw as they were paired with La Liga leaders Barcelona in the Europa League play-off round.
It’s the standout tie, and United have their work cut out if they’re to advance into the round of 16. They’ll travel to Catalonia for the first leg.
United return to Premier League action at Old Trafford against Leicester.
The Foxes had somewhat recovered from their dismal start, but they endured a winless run of five games after returning from the World Cup.
James Maddison’s return immediately lifted spirits, however, and they won their first league game since November at the weekend as they beat Aston Villa 4-2.
It’ll likely be all to play for in the second leg as two European behemoths clash. The scheduling of this tie is far from ideal with United having the chance to claim silverware on the Sunday that follows this clash at Old Trafford.
A comfortable two-legged triumph over Nottingham Forest saw Ten Hag’s side ease into the Carabao Cup final where they’ll take on Newcastle.
Both sides are looking to claim silverware which will ignite their respective projects. United last tasted victory in this competition in 2017, while Newcastle haven’t lifted a major piece of silverware since 1955.
It’s a hugely significant final for many reasons.
The fourth and final competition that United’s next six games span is the FA Cup. The Red Devils have beaten Everton and Reading on their journey so far, and another home tie awaits in the fifth round as they take on West Ham.
The Hammers have shown signs of life in recent weeks and they set up this tie by beating Brentford in the fourth round.
The winner of this one advances into the quarter-finals.
Europa League final 2023 tickets: Prices for Budapest decider & where to buy
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!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
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.
Alex Morgan late game strike gives San Diego Wave opening day win
Every England player to make their debut under Gareth Southgate
Andy Robertson hits back at Spain’s sportsmanship in loss to Scotland
Best site to watch football live (Free and premium)
Best app to buy sports tickets 2022
10 Footballers who went to university during their careers
EPL1 week ago
Graham Potter provides N’Golo Kante injury return plan
EPL1 week ago
Sir Jim Ratcliffe won’t pay ‘stupid’ price to buy Man Utd
Football1 week ago
De Jong responds to new Man United transfer link after El Clasico win
EPL1 week ago
Man Utd vs Fulham: Confirmed lineups
EPL1 week ago
Chelsea star pays visit to Barcalona’s locker room after El Clasico win