Premier League, FA Cup and EFL: 10 things to watch this weekend | FA Cup


1) Tuchel seeks to take off the rampant city

The plan to beat Manchester City is not complex, as it is the same as the plan to beat any other team: attack well and defend well. Of course, there are subtleties inside that and City’s ability to hold onto possession while creating chances can make both aspects extremely taxing, but Chelsea are better positioned than most to find a way. At some point Thomas Tuchel will likely ask his side to play more widely than they currently do, but at Wembley he will put two defensive midfielders ahead of three center-backs – a tough barrier for any team to cross, let alone ‘a. against players as good as Chelsea. Going forward, however, things are trickier, as although City’s defensive record is better than their defense, Tuchel has yet to find the right creative mix. He will however be encouraged by the recent improvement of Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz. DH

  • Man City v Tottenham, FA Cup Semi-Final (Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Every hour BST)

2) Will Guardiola be left with stars for bigger prizes to come?

City have a chance of winning the quadruple for very simple reasons: they have great players, a great squad and a brilliant manager. They also have the most richly named team in English football history, able to trade quality for quality, while others choose between tired players, injured players and children. Now, however, things get more difficult, because as the trophies get closer, the matches get more difficult. Playing teams in the bottom half of the table, Pep Guardiola could count on the inherent class of whoever turned out to do the job, but now he has to pick the right players for the right opponents, and his two most essential – Phil Foden and Kevin de Bruyne – in need of care. City’s victory at Dortmund will have had a mental and physical impact, so it will be fascinating to see who starts at Wembley. DH

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3) Lessons Learned, Now Rodgers Needs The Covid Trio

In theory, this should be the most intriguing of the weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, constituting each team’s biggest game of the season. Brendan Rodgers, however, faces the more modern dilemma of balancing with a lucrative Champions League qualification, as well as a moral issue regarding the selection of James Maddison, Hamza Choudry and Ayoze Pérez excluded from the West loss. Ham for breaking Covid regulations. “There are things that are more important than football,” Rodgers said last weekend before adding, “It’s gone now and they will join us next week,” suggesting a practical rapprochement. Leicester have never won the Cup and haven’t reached the final in over five decades, so it would be well advised to go there – just like Southampton, which doesn’t have much to play in the league and whose the only cup triumph came 45 years ago. . A packed Wembley would have given this tie a real crackle, but it can still light up a void. TD

Leicester v Southampton, FA Cup semi-final (Sunday, 6.30 p.m.)

Diogo Jota, a sub against Real Madrid, will he start in place of Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino?
Diogo Jota, a sub against Real Madrid, will he start in place of Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino? Photographie: Xinhua / REX / Shutterstock

4) Is it time for Klopp to break up the band?

Not so long ago, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah were celebrated as the world’s greatest strike force. Their goals allowed their team to become European champions, then English champions. But even during this time, their contribution seemed to outweigh their ability, reflecting the excellence of Liverpool’s reconnaissance team in finding them, the genius of Jürgen Klopp in inspiring them to a level previously considered beyond reach, and their mental toughness. Now, however, their production has plummeted, presenting Klopp with a conundrum: Firmino’s low goal scoring is intolerable now that Mané and Salah are contributing less, so he should be replaced by the more prolific Diogo Jota … except that Mané and Salah have past three years. relying on the type of service Firmino can provide. Against Leeds, Klopp can go for the latter, whose pace behind is likely to be more useful than the game of the former. DH

5) Hammers seek to relive the glory days of 1986

West Ham’s successes this season have been bolstered by their very ruthlessly contrary to West Ham. In 15 appearances against sides in the bottom half of the table, they’ve won 10, drawn four and lost only one – at home to Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season. They look well positioned to avenge that loss, due to the six teams under the top two David Moyes’ side currently appear to be the most confident and fluid – many of the West Ham teams of yore would have turned those lead 3-0 against Leicester and Wolves in draws or defeats in the face of late assaults. Even the injuries of Declan Rice and Michail Antonio don’t seem to have knocked them out of their stride and the victory over an improving but still limited Newcastle will spark new hopes of being able to emulate the club’s best result, third in 1986 – a campaign in which John Lyall’s elegant side memorably gutted those 8-1 opponents in the run-in. TD

Newcastle v West Ham, Premier League (samedi 12h30)

6) Burnley could be difficult for United to fall apart

After eight years of incompetence, Manchester United are once again good in football: few teams are good enough to win at Manchester City and PSG, while their second half performance at Tottenham last weekend was up there with everything they’ve produced since Alex. Ferguson stepped aside. But although their top tier is now a high tier, big pots tend to be won by teams with a high lower tier. The mavens have decided United are struggling to break down opponents who defend in depth and numbers, but every team does; the difference between their best and their worst is not about ability but intensity, and until they can find it in games like Burnley at home, they won’t be fighting for the title. DH

7) Fulham enters his living room at the last chance

It’s now or never for Fulham. They were superbly able to drag each other a touching safe distance earlier in the spring, but, when a breakout from the bottom three looked likely, they managed to match their worst run of the season. This means they have to start winning in unlikely places, just like they did at Anfield in what appeared to be a seismic result at the time; Arsenal are in place this weekend and Chelsea the next; at least one of those matches has to score three points and, given that Mikel Arteta’s side were preoccupied as late as Thursday night and are far from the European image at national level, Sunday looks like their best chance . Ademola Lookman could come back from a hamstring injury and deliver the creative spark they missed when they lost disastrously to Wolves last week. The Fulhams are well structured, fairly consistent, and rarely outmatched, but arguably offer little to really stir the blood. An exciting afternoon in the Emirates is needed to raise temperatures in the relegation struggle. N / A

8) Blades fix the relegation abyss

Sheffield United could well be down on Saturday night. Long-heralded relegations still hurt, but also mean the season’s closing weeks lack tension, serving as a long audition for the next campaign. Chris Wilder’s contentious dismissal looked like the Blades gave up on survival and the results have not improved since, although stubborn displays of the loss at Leeds and Chelsea suggest the spirit is set even as the team is weak. But Paul Heckingbottom, Wilder’s acting successor, will need points soon if he is to have any chance of landing the gig permanently. He is believed to have impressed his bosses in recent weeks, but Slavisa Jokanovic appears to be the most popular choice among fans, having won the Championship promotion with Watford and Fulham, with Eddie Howe and Neil Lennon also in the frame. . Often disappointing Wolves could at least give United the chance to fight. TD

Wolves v Sheffield United, Premier League (samedi 20h15)

Paul Heckingbottom wasn't even able to slow Blades' slide to the championship.
Paul Heckingbottom wasn’t even able to slow Blades’ slide to the championship. Photography: Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

9) Calvert-Lewin and Kane share the burden of goal scorers

An injured Everton was painful to watch as they climbed to a goalless draw at Brighton on Monday; Spurs have been through their own suffering, as evidenced by an emotional post-match interview with Son Heung-min to defeat Manchester United. Both teams need to step up their game quickly if they are to apply moderate pressure on Champions League places or stay in the Europa League conversation. This suggests that a nervous game given that defeat is not an option for either team, victory seems imperative. Everton are hoping Dominic Calvert-Lewin will recover from the adductor problem which effectively eliminated his goal threat to the Amex; Tottenham can see, once again, that they depend on Harry Kane to get something out of the fire. England’s first and second-choice center-forward will both face question marks about their future this summer, but whoever comes out on top will have a much better chance of ending the season with at least some satisfaction. . N / A

10) Canaries ready for the fourth ascending flight

Norwich will be promoted from the Championship with four games to lose if they beat Bournemouth at Carrow Road, and the feeling will not be new. Whether it happens this weekend or not, it will be the Canaries’ fourth rise to the top in the last decade. They’ve become the epitome of a yo-yo club although things feel slightly different from last time around, when they went from uncertain beginnings under Daniel Farke to seal a surprise title win in 2018-19. This time around, there is a feeling that Norwich is ready for the Premier League and intends to establish themselves: they are superbly managed, financially healthy, creative in their thinking and boast of one of the best managers. national sportsmen, Stuart Webber. Their relegation last season may have been complete, but it always felt like Norwich had incorporated that in an attempt to come back stronger. Soon they will have the opportunity to show that this time they are here for the long haul. N / A


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