Archives for December 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Explains His Starting XI Rotations

ole gunnar solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who maintains that his team is definitely not concerned with the Premier League title race right now, has provided an explanation on why we’ve seen so many different lineups from him this season.

We’re entering the final days of festive fixtures, where the games come fast and furious, and that means all managers must do some squad rotation in order to keep the guys’ legs fresh and prevent injuries.

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West Ham at Everton Team News: James, Allan, Richarlison, Antonio

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has joined his Liverpool and Manchester United counterparts in downplaying the Premier League title talk. Asked if his side is really in the mix for winning that massive trophy, he responded:

“No. I think realistically, we have to say no. We are really pleased to be where we are, but I think that our target hasn’t changed. There’s a lot of competition in the Premier League and a lot of fantastic teams. We’re happy to be second, but our target is to play in Europe next season. That hasn’t changed.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jurgen Klopp Both Downplay League Title Race Talk

manchester united liverpool

On Wednesday we learned that when Manchester United visit Liverpool in a little over two weeks, there will not be any fans allowed. That January 17 clash at Anfield is looming quite large right now as United, who have played one game fewer than their arch-rivals, can equal Liverpool’s current point total should they beat Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.

Yes, United are second, only three points behind the table-toppers, but there is still a hesitancy to talk about the Red Devils as true title contenders.

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Citrus Bowl Preview: #14 Northwestern Wildcats vs Auburn Tigers


After the #14 Northwestern Wildcats fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten title game, NU coach Pat Fitzgerald gave this memorable soundbite: “we’re going to look at a couple of plays, and my great friend Bill Curry says “the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, you choose.”

Now comes a Citrus Bowl matchup with a 6-4 Auburn team that is starting over with a new head coach. Will NU be more disciplined in bowl practice for this one? Or will they have regret of an opportunity missed at Camping World Stadium?

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#1 Alabama vs #4 Notre Dame: College Football Playoff Semifinal Preview

Notre Dame, and this applies to the Oklahoma Sooners as well, have become the Washington Generals of the top tier. While that can be taken as a pejorative, hey, at least they’re getting into the top tier, which is more than you can for 125 or so other college football programs.

The ACC title game, which ND lost 34-10 (a late, meaningless touchdown window dressed the final score) means it’s now three times in the BCS/College Football Playoff era that the Fighting Irish have played a postseason game where there was so much more at stake than in your typical bowl game.

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Man United at Liverpool to Play be Played Behind Closed Doors

Manchester United and Liverpool FC, the two teams that comprise the El Clasico of England rivalry, are set to meet Jan 17 at Anfield. As we learned today, that match will be played without any fans. The city of Liverpool had been in Tier 2 when it comes to coronavirus restrictions, a designation that meant they could allow up to 2,000 supporters into Anfield.

Now, with the pandemic worsening in the region, they have had to move into Tier 3 level restrictions, and that means no fans can attend matches, for the time being.

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Manchester United Starting XI Prediction vs Aston Villa

sir alex old trafford man united

New Year’s Day brings an end to 2020 (thank goodness!) and also a Premier League fixture between two sides that are very much in form right now. Manchester United are bonafide title contenders, as they sit second, just two points behind table topping Liverpool.

Aston Villa are 5th, six points off the top of the table pace, but they have a game in hand on everybody above them, and two games in hand on third place Leicester City. The Villans have made it clear- they will be a factor this season.

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Notre Dame to ACC? Jim Phillips Could be the Guy to Make it Happen


We’re not saying Notre Dame football will join the ACC on a permanent basis, but if it’s going to happen, then 2021 is the year that the ball could get rolling. Will we ever see Fighting Irish football in a conference? Well, this is the time that the stars are aligning to potentially make that possible.

Jim Phillips completes his stint as Northwestern Athletic Director next year, and he’ll replace the retiring John Swofford as the new Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner. If anybody can get it done, it’s a wheeler-dealer like Phillips. If you saw first hand some of what he’s accomplished at NU, then you can see why he could be the key figure/difference maker in getting the deal done.

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Manchester United Team News vs Aston Villa: De Gea, Lindelof

david de gea

When Manchester United host Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, they will have their No. 1 in goal, despite the very painful incident he endured last night, in the win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

David de Gea, in the 82nd minute of United’s “Fergie Time” style 1-0 victory at home over Wolves, had a nasty collision with the visiting side’s Adama Traore. The clash saw the Spaniard get the win knocked out of him.

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Mikel Arteta Stresses Caution Regarding Bukayo Saka’s Development

Arsenal made it two wins in a row as they got past Brighton 1-0 on Tuesday with Bukayo Saka putting in an impressive display, but Mikel Arteta played down expectations surrounding the Englishman (per Sky Sports.)

The North London club took the momentum of the Boxing Day win over Chelsea and kept it going with a win at the Amex Stadium. The difference in the game was the lone goal, scored by Alexandre Lacazette and set up by Saka.

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Chelsea Hope to Have Hakim Ziyech Back for Man City Clash

Hakim Ziyech left early due to a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s win over Leeds United on Dec. 5 and hasn’t played since. The Blues, who had been on a massive unbeaten streak around that time, have now only won one of their last five Premier League games.

Following a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Monday night, Chelsea are now plodding along in sixth place, with all but one of the teams ahead of them having at least one game in hand on the Blues. Two of the five actually have two matches in hand on Chelsea.

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Liverpool FC Team News, Starting XI Prediction at Newcastle United


Liverpool are still atop the table after a frustrating 1-1 draw against West Brom on Sunday. The Reds have a chance on Wednesday to increase their lead when they face another team in the bottom half of the table, Newcastle United.

Newcastle sits 14th heading into the final game of 2020, and are on a three-match winless streak.

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