Connect with us

Uncategorized

Three tactical battles as Chelsea & Liverpool prepare for FA Cup Final

Published

on


Three key battles as Chelsea and Liverpool are set for FA Cup Final clash

For those of you that are Star Wars fans, you will undoubtedly know the famous scene where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader finally square off inside the Death Star years after Kenobi nearly ended Vader’s reign as a Sith Lord before it truly began. That same tense clash between master and former student is set to play out at Wembley when Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea comes to grips with Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Though not as close as it has been originally reported over the years, according to Tuchel himself in an interview last year, the pair of former 1.FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund managers have followed similar paths and “speak the same footballing language” while being cut from a very similar cloth. Unlike Obi-Wan and Anakin, they may not have ever been inseparable, but their footballing destines have remained connected over the years and that has now come to a head with major honors at stake.

The FA Cup Final set to transpire tomorrow will already set a historic marker, with either manager lifting the trophy and becoming the first German to ever achieve that honor.

Both sides under their German tacticians are primed and ready to continue winning traditions as well, after Chelsea lifted the Champions League trophy last season while Liverpool outpaced Manchester City to the Premier League title two seasons ago.

With Klopp nominated as a finalest for Manager of the Year in the Premier League, after he has guided Liverpool to a chance of surpassing Pep Guardiola’s outfit with just two matches remaining in the league, Tuchel once again will have a lot to prove if he is to be viewed as a manager on par with the two leading managerial lights in England.

As both clubs can boast talent in every position, fine margins are likely to separate one from the other come the end of 90-minutes. And in that light, here are three key tactical battles where FA Cup silverware could be won or lost.

 

Luis Díaz vs Reece James

Three key battles as Chelsea and Liverpool are set for FA Cup Final clash

SEVILLE, SPAIN – APRIL 13: Luis Diaz of Porto runs with the ball under pressure from Reece James of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Chelsea FC and FC Porto at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on April 13, 2021 in Seville, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

In a mouth-watering battle that could truly make or break the fortunes of both Chelsea and Liverpool tomorrow in the FA Cup final, Reds frontman Luis Díaz has set the world alight at Anfield since his arrival from Portuguese giants FC Porto in the winter transfer window and is set to clash with England international Reece James; one of the best right-backs in Europe this season.

Both players possess pace to burn and a work rate that often sets the tone for team-wide performances, while the pair also are considerable attacking outlets on the same side of the pitch. Díaz has been one of the most influential players for Liverpool despite not being at the club for long, and James remains a chief influence in all phases of play for Chelsea. Whoever comes out on top of this titanic clash could have massive implications for the result overall tomorrow.

Mason Mount vs Thiago

Matches are so often won and lost in midfield. The heart of the engine room in football has produced countless legendary players and memorable performances that defined moments, years, and even eras. Whether or not Mason Mount and Thiago coming to grips in the center of the park will prove another example of a key clash with major implications remains to be seen, but what is guaranteed is both players will have a key role to play on the day.

As an academy graduate and Chelsea through and through, Mount is embarking on a career that many can only dream about and is now arguably the first name on the teamsheet for the Blues and tops both the goals and assists charts under Tuchel this season. As for Thiago, his quality has been undeniable since his Barcelona days and was equally on full display during his stint in Bavaria with Bayern Munich. He studdered in patches after coming to Liverpool but has been absolutely massive for Klopp this season on the back of many man-of-the-match performances for the Reds. Both players are capable of controlling the pulse of a match while also pulling strings that others cannot. A tasty midfield battle awaits these two.

Virgil van Dijk vs Romelu Lukaku

The Netherlands and Belgium; two nations in the lowlands that have been intertwined for centuries have also grown to become hotbeds of footballing talent for decades. Two of the biggest talents to ever emerge from those countries come into direct contact once again when Romelu Lukaku squares off against Virgil van Dijk in an epic battle between one of the best goalscorers for club and country in recent seasons against one of the top center-backs in the world.

Lukaku has not enjoyed his second stint at Chelsea in the way that many Blues fans would have hoped after he failed to settle to life under Thomas Tuchel since his arrival from Inter in the summer, but the all-time leading scorer for Belgium has hit a purple patch in front of goal of late, scoring three in his last two outings in the league and he could play a vital role for Tuchel’s men, Van Dijk dependent. The towering Dutch center-back remains a beacon of leadership, poise, and achievement under Klopp since he arrived from Southampton, and those key attributes will once again be tested as he has to clash with a potentially revitalized Lukaku supported by the influential Mason Mount. In a match where goals may not flow like running water, this is as big a duel as any other.






Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Uncategorized

Conte gets his wish as Tottenham on verge of landing free agent attacker

Published

on

By


Conte gets his wish as Tottenham on verge of landing free agent attacker

 

Tottenham Hotspur are set to beat out the competition in the race for Inter Milan star Ivan Perisic, according to reports.

The future of explosive wide-man Perisic has of course taken its place front and centre in the headlines across Europe for several weeks now.

This comes with the Croatian international’s contract at the San Siro set to expire, and Inter having made little progress in their efforts to tie Perisic down to fresh terms.

Fresh off a campaign which saw him rack up a none-too-shabby eight goals and seven assists in Serie A, it has therefore come as little surprise to see a whole host of the continent’s top clubs make their interest in the veteran attacker clear.

But, as alluded to above, on Friday, one such outfit appear to have jumped firmly to the front of the queue, ahead of what is understood to be an imminent Premier League switch.

The club in question? Tottenham Hotspur.

As per a report from The Independent, Perisic is ‘close’ to committing to terms on a two-year deal with Antonio Conte’s troops, having been namechecked by the Italian as a prime target ahead of next season.

The Lilywhites, in the process, look set to beat out competition from all of Chelsea, Juventus and current club Inter for the 33-year-old’s signature.

Conte staying put

Word of Perisic’s imminent arrival in north London of course rounds out what has proven a stellar day to date for all associated with Spurs.

This comes with the capital outfit having seen their prospects for the 2022/23 campaign boosted in a major way by word of Antonio Conte committing to the club’s project through the summer and beyond.

 

Tottenham and Chelsea dealt blow as centre-back target ‘expected to stay’ this summer

Tottenham slap £25m price tag on out-of-favour midfielder

 


Tottenham betting odds, next game:





Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Franck Kessie bids farewell to AC Milan ahead of Barcelona switch

Published

on

By


Franck Kessie bids farewell to AC Milan ahead of imminent Barcelona switch

 

AC Milan star Franck Kessie has taken to social media on Friday, to bid an emotional farewell to all associated with the club.

It has of course long been common knowledge that all-action midfielder Kessie’s time at the San Siro is primed to come to a close at the end of the month.

This comes with the Ivorian international having opted against putting pen to paper on a new contract in Milan, to instead take his talents to Spain.

Kessie’s next landing spot? La Liga heavyweights Barcelona.

As confirmed by a host of reliable sources, the 25-year-old earlier this year committed to a pre-contract agreement with the Blaugrana, set to tie him to the Catalan capital through the summer of 2026.

And now, as alluded to above, Kessie has for the first time made public his intention to bid AC Milan farewell.

In a post on his official Instagram account, the ex-Atalanta talent sent a personal message to all associated with the Rossoneri, first taking the time to celebrate the club’s first Scudetto triumph in over a decade:

“After five years, I couldn’t hope to end this great experience in a better way!”

“[It is] a unique emotion – we are champions of Italy!”

And, from here, Kessie went on to reveal his pride at having donned the colours of such a historic club, concluding that:

”[I am] proud to have worn this glorious jersey and to have shared this journey with fantastic companions! Thanks for everything! Thank you all!”

 

Ousmane Dembele’s agent provides fresh update on Barcelona winger’s future

Watch: Man United fans use Barcelona friendly to call Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford

 






Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

Published

on

By


Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

 

Supporters of Premier League outfit Arsenal have taken to social media in numbers on Friday evening, to send a message to the club over an alleged summer transfer target.

The player in question? Serge Gnabry.

For those not aware, recent days have seen wide-man Gnabry tipped for a shock return to the Emirates.

The German international of course spent four years on Arsenal’s books early in his career, ultimately failing to make the grade before sealing a return to his home country.

Gnabry, though, has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most highly-regarded wingers in Europe, with his haul of 17 goals across all competitions this past season a testament to as much.

Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 08: Serge Gnabry in action during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and VfB Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on May 08, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Martin Hangen ATPImages/Getty Images)

Amid suggestions that Bayern Munich would be open to parting with the 26-year-old this summer, in a bid to avoid losing him for free in a year’s time, a whole host of clubs have therefore been tipped as potential landing spots ahead of the transfer window swinging open.

And one such club understood to be expressing a particularly keen interest in Gnabry comes in the form of the aforementioned Arsenal.

With Nicolas Pepe inching towards the exit door in north London, Mikel Arteta and co. are said to have identified the Bayern star as a potentially game-changing replacement.

And, as alluded to above, if the latest activity across social media on Friday evening is anything to go by, then it appears as though the Gunners faithful are very much in favour of a Gnabry-shaped reunion over the coming weeks.

On the back of reports spreading that the German is set to be available for a fee of around €40 million this summer, Arsenal’s supporters have flooded to Twitter, to send a crystal clear demand to the powers that be at the Emirates:

 

Arsenal eyeing four new signings as Gakpo & Nunez linked

Arsenal set sights on 2nd Man City star ahead of summer

 


Arsenal betting odds, next game:





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending