Thursday, February 2

Manchester City and Liverpool face test of title credentials: football countdown – live! | premier league


More on the news that Channel 4 will show England men’s matches free-to-air until 2024.

Newcastle entertain Liverpool in an entirely appetizing Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Eddie Howe has revealed that Callum Wilson and kieran tripper are almost ready to return, but not in time for tomorrow’s game.

“We definitely won’t rush them back. We won’t put them at risk but if they’re fit we’ll use them like any other player. I think that’s important. Kieran, we’ve seen on the grass and he’s trained with us for one session. Callum isn’t quite there yet but he’s edging closer and is doing a lot of work with the sports science team.”

Newcastle announced on Friday that defend Fabian Schär has signed a new two-year deal. “I really like him as a player,” Howe said. He’s performed very, very well. He had a long spell out of the team and to come back into the team initially was quite difficult for him, but he’s picked up his rhythm and his form from him.

“I think everyone knows Fab is technically a very, very good footballer. The big thing he’s proved is he can defend very, very effectively within the team structure that we’ve given him.”

Salah and Kerr win FWA awards

Some more news – the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) has named Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah their men’s footballer of the year for the second time, with Chelsea forward Sam Kerr winning the women’s award.

Salah won 48% of the vote, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne in second and West Ham’s Declan Rice in third. Kerr was similarly dominant, picking up 40% of votes, to finish ahead of Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema and City’s Lauren Hemp.

Channel 4 to show England men’s matches live

Some interesting early news, with Channel 4 announcing it has acquired the rights to broadcast the England men’s team’s matches in the Nations League, plus Euro 2024 qualifiers and friendlies. In total, Channel 4 will broadcast 20 live England matches between 2022 to 2024, all on free-to-air TV.

The Nations League campaign features four matches in June – two against Hungary, a trip to Germany, and Italy at Molineux – before the return fixtures with Italy and Germany in September. The Euro qualifiers will kick off in 2023, with the draw being made in October.

Preamble

Hello and welcome to a long weekend of football, with crunch clashes everywhere you turn. For Liverpool and Manchester City, every game is big – but Saturday’s assignments, at the cathedrals of St James’s Park and Elland Road respectively, are likely to turn up the title race tension even further.

Elsewhere, Dean Smith takes Norwich to Villa Park, knowing that defeat could return the Canaries to the Championship if Burnley get a result at Watford. That would also be bad news for Frank Lampard, who desperately needs something from his former employers when Chelsea visits Goodison on Sunday. In the top-four race, Arsenal faced yet another test of their mettle at West Ham, while Spurs looked to end their own stumble against Leicester.

Beyond the Premier League, we could see Real Madrid win La Liga on Saturday, and Celtic all but regain the Scottish title in Sunday’s Old Firm derby. League One comes to a close, the race for promotion spots and playoff berths up and down the pyramid coming down to the wire. Chelsea and Arsenal continue their nip and tuck WSL title fight, and the Women’s Champions League finalists will be set.

We’ll have team news, previews and plenty more besides, so let’s put on our classics and we’ll have a little dance, shall we?


www.theguardian.com

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