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Thread: Will LFC win the battle to finish in the top 4?

  1. #541  
    steviewonder87 is online now Academy prospect
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    Not entirely. They've been pretty average since the turn of the year and the noises from Conte for weeks have suggested all is not quite right in their camp.

    Not saying I predicted they'd lose to Watford and Bournemouth, and certainly not both by 3 goals, but the defeats themselves were not completely out of the blue.
    I'd say they were mightily unexpected. Losing to Bournemouth 3-0 at home? I doubt anyone on the planet predicted that. And then to almost repeat the feat to Watford, after equalising late on, when personally I expected some kind of reaction to the Bournemouth game. I might have predicted a bit of a wobble or some dodgy results (like Utd's yesterday) but nothing that extreme.

    Anywho let's hope they make it 3 in a row tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    I'd say they were mightily unexpected. Losing to Bournemouth 3-0 at home? I doubt anyone on the planet predicted that. And then to almost repeat the feat to Watford, after equalising late on, when personally I expected some kind of reaction to the Bournemouth game. I might have predicted a bit of a wobble or some dodgy results (like Utd's yesterday) but nothing that extreme.

    Anywho let's hope they make it 3 in a row tonight.
    As I said, the specific results were unexpected - but I'd been thinking for weeks that Spurs were going to pass them before the end of the season, so I was expecting Chelsea to fall off the pace a bit at some time with 'unexpected' results.
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  3. #543  
    TheSoundLady is online now Optimistic Poster of the Season 2013-14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulHistory View Post
    Yep wasn't particularly happy with the start of the season

    I thought potentially that Everton did have a better defence than us

    But like I said in klopp's topic he's done amazing in the league and turned it around

    So yes I was wrong with my prediction but that's football
    Honestly, it was pretty predictable that we'd turn it round and fight for the top 4, I mean, look at who our manager is and our amazing attacking talents.

    People who wrote us off early in the season had an absolute shocker. Will they learn from their overreactions? Hell no. Never do.

    Having said that, it's very honourable that you are one of the few that holds your hands up and says you got it wrong.

    But it's more important to learn - next time you're writing us off, remember the times you wrote us off prematurely, and maybe relax a bit and give us more of a chance.
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  4. #544  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    As I said, the specific results were unexpected - but I'd been thinking for weeks that Spurs were going to pass them before the end of the season, so I was expecting Chelsea to fall off the pace a bit at some time with 'unexpected' results.
    I was more expecting them to drop points in their next 2 games (against both Mancs away) and fall off the pace that way, but I'm happy they decided to get the job done a little earlier.
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  5. #545  
    MacFoley'1975 is online now First team regular
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    After last nights game

    1. Manchester City - W23 - D3 - L1 - GF79 - GA20 - GD59 - PTS 72
    2. Manchester United - W17 - D5 - L5 - GF51 - GA19 - GD32 - PTS 56
    3. LIVERPOOL - W15 - D9 - L3 - GF61 - GA31 - GD30 - PTS 54
    4. Chelsea - W15 - D5 - L6 - GF49 - GA23 - GD26 - PTS 53
    5. Spurs - W15 - D7 - L5 - GF52 - GA24 - GD28 - PTS 52
    6. Arsenal - W13 - D6 - L7 - GF51 - GA35 - GD16- PTS 45
    The Normal One (Emlyn is in the house) - Est 1975
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  6. #546  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacFoley'1975 View Post
    After last nights game

    1. Manchester City - W23 - D3 - L1 - GF79 - GA20 - GD59 - PTS 72
    2. Manchester United - W17 - D5 - L5 - GF51 - GA19 - GD32 - PTS 56
    3. LIVERPOOL - W15 - D9 - L3 - GF61 - GA31 - GD30 - PTS 54
    4. Chelsea - W15 - D5 - L6 - GF49 - GA23 - GD26 - PTS 53
    5. Spurs - W15 - D7 - L5 - GF52 - GA24 - GD28 - PTS 52
    6. Arsenal - W13 - D6 - L7 - GF51 - GA35 - GD16- PTS 45
    2nd to 5th is ridiculously tight, even GD wise there's very little in it. One slip up and the whole picture changes.
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  7. #547  
    MacFoley'1975 is online now First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    2nd to 5th is ridiculously tight, even GD wise there's very little in it. One slip up and the whole picture changes.
    4 points in it.

    Going to the wire isn't it?
    The Normal One (Emlyn is in the house) - Est 1975
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    WinterPoolStark is online now Academy prospect
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    City have done so well theyíve actually become irrelevant this season.

    The race for top four and the battle against relegation will be where itís at, this season. Itís all so tight
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterPoolStark View Post
    City have done so well theyíve actually become irrelevant this season.

    The race for top four and the battle against relegation will be where itís at, this season. Itís all so tight
    Who care about top 4, when we are winning the champions league anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anil_Y2j View Post
    Who care about top 4, when we are winning the champions league anyway.
    I have a funny feeling, Anil lal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anil_Y2j View Post
    Who care about top 4, when we are winning the champions league anyway.
    Hopefully!

    Top four will be really tight though. 4 teams well in it. That dodgy pen spurs got vs us could be all the difference. that would have had us joint 2nd and 5 ahead of spurs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FSG-VanBasten View Post
    Hopefully!

    Top four will be really tight though. 4 teams well in it. That dodgy pen spurs got vs us could be all the difference. that would have had us joint 2nd and 5 ahead of spurs.
    Pretty much so.

    There are 4 teams fighting it out for 3 places as City look to have wrapped up the title by April when they face United at the Etihad. It's going to be sore for United having the embarrassment of giving the 'noisey neighbours a guard of honour. City need to win 6 out of 11 provided nobody drops points.

    I would have said a Chelsea win at Old Trafford would be a good thing prior to last night. However my mood has changed with Chelsea winning. A draw would be a perfect result. If we win, and they draw we're level on points on 2nd. A win for us at Old Trafford puts us 3 points clear in 2nd. That has to be the aim.
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    I wonder what effect the return of European competition will have on domestic form of the contenders.

    Chelsea look to me to be the team most in danger of an early exit, considering opposition and recent form - but could that work to their advantage?

    City can afford to change focus, but none of the rest of us can take even one eye off the league...unless we're willing to go **** or bust in Europe. Except Arsenal, for whom there may be no other choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    I wonder what effect the return of European competition will have on domestic form of the contenders.

    Chelsea look to me to be the team most in danger of an early exit, considering opposition and recent form - but could that work to their advantage?

    City can afford to change focus, but none of the rest of us can take even one eye off the league...unless we're willing to go **** or bust in Europe. Except Arsenal, for whom there may be no other choice.
    Well everyone is in the knockouts so shouldn't really affect anyone particularly worse than anyone else at this point. And QF's are not for about 7 weeks, landscape could be very different by then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    I wonder what effect the return of European competition will have on domestic form of the contenders.

    Chelsea look to me to be the team most in danger of an early exit, considering opposition and recent form - but could that work to their advantage?

    City can afford to change focus, but none of the rest of us can take even one eye off the league...unless we're willing to go **** or bust in Europe. Except Arsenal, for whom there may be no other choice.
    Chelsea are a weird one- on one hand going out should help them, but then maybe they’d get even more demoralised if they went out? They’re just so unpredictable tbh.

    For some reason I can see Spurs probably being the more negatively effected by doing well in Europe- not sure why tbh, it’s just a feeling, maybe because they’re playing Juve. I think if they do well this round, their heads might get drawn to that as a focus, limited squad too. There’s a level of expectation for us imo, to go through, so if we do, then it won’t be head in the clouds stuff that may happen with Spurs.

    Utd will probably just roll on either way.
    'Okey doke, we'll leave it there so'
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    Well everyone is in the knockouts so shouldn't really affect anyone particularly worse than anyone else at this point. And QF's are not for about 7 weeks, landscape could be very different by then.
    Just because we're all in it doesn't mean we'll all be equally affected - it just means we all have to deal with it. Which some will no doubt do better than others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    Just because we're all in it doesn't mean we'll all be equally affected - it just means we all have to deal with it. Which some will no doubt do better than others.
    Well all have to deal with it then, what I meant was there isn't a side battling for top 4 who has no Europe to contend with, which we've had for a few of the past seasons, most notably with the eventual champions; Chelsea last year undoubtedly benefited from it for example, Leicester the year before, further back we definitely benefited from it in 13/14 and almost won the title. Everyone is in the same boat. And even if Chelsea or whoever else go out at this stage, it will only come into play 7 weeks down the line anyway, they could already be out of contention by then who knows.

    But I guess if I had to say who would be most affected by being in Europe I'd probably say us; Utd bolstered their options with Sanchez, Spurs got Moura (and Alderweireld to come back, although not sure what's going on there), Chelsea got Giroud - all can play in the CL and league. Whereas we've arguably weakened since our last CL game. But I think injuries (or lack of) to key players will be more important for the race for top 4 than a few extra CL games, I don't think it's going to have a huge impact on the final standings. I'd be interested to see each team's league results after a mid-week CL game this season though, perhaps it has more of an effect than I think.

    Also personally I think the group stages are where it has the biggest effect tbh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    Well all have to deal with it then, what I meant was there isn't a side battling for top 4 who has no Europe to contend with, which we've had for a few of the past seasons, most notably with the eventual champions; Chelsea last year undoubtedly benefited from it for example, Leicester the year before, further back we definitely benefited from it in 13/14 and almost won the title. Everyone is in the same boat. And even if Chelsea or whoever else go out at this stage, it will only come into play 7 weeks down the line anyway, they could already be out of contention by then who knows.

    But I guess if I had to say who would be most affected by being in Europe I'd probably say us; Utd bolstered their options with Sanchez, Spurs got Moura (and Alderweireld to come back, although not sure what's going on there), Chelsea got Giroud - all can play in the CL and league. Whereas we've arguably weakened since our last CL game. But I think injuries (or lack of) to key players will be more important for the race for top 4 than a few extra CL games, I don't think it's going to have a huge impact on the final standings. I'd be interested to see each team's league results after a mid-week CL game this season though, perhaps it has more of an effect than I think.

    Also personally I think the group stages are where it has the biggest effect tbh.
    I don't think that's really the point though mate.

    The point is that now Chelsea and Spurs have to play double headers against Barca and Juve AND not let it affect their league form. As we have to vs Porto, and United etc. It's not yet about whether or not you have to do it again in 7 weeks, or even the immediate psychological effects of going through or going out.

    The domestic cups can be a bit of a distraction, but ultimately if you're having to prioritise between them and the league it's a fairly easy call. The CL, especially the knockouts, are a totally different kettle of fish - you want your best team, or as close as possible.

    You might be right about us being most vulnerable - we've already spoken enough about the dangers of injury/fatigue to our front 3 - but in terms of our squad changes, they are: Coutinho, Sturridge and Grujic out; Virgil and Ings in, Lallana now available, and Clyne named although not yet available. About the same isn't it? Or, at least, as arguably stronger as it is arguably weaker?
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  19. #559  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    I don't think that's really the point though mate.

    The point is that now Chelsea and Spurs have to play double headers against Barca and Juve AND not let it affect their league form. As we have to vs Porto, and United etc. It's not yet about whether or not you have to do it again in 7 weeks, or even the immediate psychological effects of going through or going out.


    The domestic cups can be a bit of a distraction, but ultimately if you're having to prioritise between them and the league it's a fairly easy call. The CL, especially the knockouts, are a totally different kettle of fish - you want your best team, or as close as possible.

    You might be right about us being most vulnerable - we've already spoken enough about the dangers of injury/fatigue to our front 3 - but in terms of our squad changes, they are: Coutinho, Sturridge and Grujic out; Virgil and Ings in, Lallana now available, and Clyne named although not yet available. About the same isn't it? Or, at least, as arguably stronger as it is arguably weaker?
    Was responding to what you said here?

    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    I wonder what effect the return of European competition will have on domestic form of the contenders.

    Chelsea look to me to be the team most in danger of an early exit, considering opposition and recent form - but could that work to their advantage?

    City can afford to change focus, but none of the rest of us can take even one eye off the league...unless we're willing to go **** or bust in Europe. Except Arsenal, for whom there may be no other choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    Well all have to deal with it then, what I meant was there isn't a side battling for top 4 who has no Europe to contend with, which we've had for a few of the past seasons, most notably with the eventual champions; Chelsea last year undoubtedly benefited from it for example, Leicester the year before, further back we definitely benefited from it in 13/14 and almost won the title. Everyone is in the same boat. And even if Chelsea or whoever else go out at this stage, it will only come into play 7 weeks down the line anyway, they could already be out of contention by then who knows.

    But I guess if I had to say who would be most affected by being in Europe I'd probably say us; Utd bolstered their options with Sanchez, Spurs got Moura (and Alderweireld to come back, although not sure what's going on there), Chelsea got Giroud - all can play in the CL and league. Whereas we've arguably weakened since our last CL game. But I think injuries (or lack of) to key players will be more important for the race for top 4 than a few extra CL games, I don't think it's going to have a huge impact on the final standings. I'd be interested to see each team's league results after a mid-week CL game this season though, perhaps it has more of an effect than I think.

    Also personally I think the group stages are where it has the biggest effect tbh.
    You inspired me to have a look.

    Looking at results in games immediately before and after CL games this season the records are:
    United 7-2-3 23 points from 12 games
    Liverpool 5-5-2 20 points
    Chelsea 7-2-3 23 points
    Spurs 7-3-2 24 points

    So really not a huge variation from the season average with us all still at just about 2 ppg - albeit we've done a bit worse. Which perhaps suggests you're right that it doesn't make a huge difference, but...those 3 defeats were United's only losses until they played Spurs a couple of weeks back, likewise our 2 losses, and Chelsea had only lost 4 until very recently. It would seem there is some connection between CL games and league defeats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    Was responding to what you said here?
    Ha, I forgot I said that

    I think that is getting ahead of it though, and I shouldn't have said it - these games against Barca, and the games against the Mancs in between, are more than enough of a challenge to be getting on with.
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    The silver lining of our early FA cup exit is that we have no game this weekend which luckily coincides with our CL game tomorrow against Porto. Whereas Utd and Chelsea play in the FA cup, then midweek CL and then meet at the Old Toilet - by which stage we will be second in the league having beat Gollum and co.
    everything in moderation, including moderation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ***Stuzzza*** View Post
    You inspired me to have a look.

    Looking at results in games immediately before and after CL games this season the records are:
    United 7-2-3 23 points from 12 games
    Liverpool 5-5-2 20 points
    Chelsea 7-2-3 23 points
    Spurs 7-3-2 24 points

    So really not a huge variation from the season average with us all still at just about 2 ppg - albeit we've done a bit worse. Which perhaps suggests you're right that it doesn't make a huge difference, but...those 3 defeats were United's only losses until they played Spurs a couple of weeks back, likewise our 2 losses, and Chelsea had only lost 4 until very recently. It would seem there is some connection between CL games and league defeats.
    Maybe, but when you look at who those defeats came against, ours being City and Spurs away, Utd's 3 defeats there include Chelsea away and City, Chelsea also have a defeat to City in there (with a few dodgy losses here and there granted, although the Burnley game at the start of the season can surely be discounted from this argument), you could very easily make the case that they would have gone that way regardless of CL. Having said that I agree it must have some effect, just not sure it's all that great.

    Regarding our squad strength, especially if Clyne can get back into contention, you could say our defence has improved (also with Karius looking more like a GK who could have come 2nd in that Bundesliga vote on merit right now, as opposed to a perennially dodgy Migs), but attacking wise we've taken a rather big hit. We've lost a world top 10 player (IMO) and we've got a semi-match fit Lallana and a barely featured Ings, could the improvements at the back make up for it? I'd have to come back to that at the end of the season, but as it stands I'd have to say no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysteron View Post
    Mac - present for you - dunno if it helps with your tracking of games

    This is how the last 14 weeks play out at the moment - obviously the last 5 have not been assigned tv time yet
    and there is the last phases of the cup competition that may play havoc with the dates.... Though the schedule is right

    Game Week Man City Arsenal Man Utd Spurs Chelsea Liverpool
    Week 25 WBA (H) Swansea (A) Spurs (A) Man Utd (H) Bournemouth (H) Huddersfield (A)
    Week 26 Burnley (A) Everton (H) Huddersfield (H) Liverpool (A) Watford (A) Spurs (H)
    Week 27 Leicester (H) Spurs (A) Newcastle (A) Arsenal (H) WBA (H) Southampton (A)
    Week 28 Arsenal (A) Man City (H) Chelsea (H) Palace (A) Man Utd (A) West Ham (H)
    Week 29 Chelsea (H) Brighton (A) Palace (A) Huddersfield (H) Man City (A) Newcastle (H)
    Week 30 Stoke (A) Watford (H) Liverpool (H) Bournemouth (A) Palace (H) Man Utd (A)
    Week 31 Brighton (H) Leicester (A) West Ham (A) Newcastle (H) Burnley (A) Watford (H)
    Week 32 Everton (A) Stoke (H) Swansea (H) Chelsea (A) Spurs (H) Palace (A)
    Week 33 Man Utd (H) Southampton (H) Man City (A) Stoke (A) West Ham (H) Everton (A)
    Week 34 Spurs (A) Newcastle (A) WBA (H) Man City (H) Southampton (A) Bournemouth (H)
    Week 35 Swansea (H) West Ham (H) Bournemouth (A) Brighton (A) Huddersfield (H) WBA (A)
    Week 36 West Ham (A) Man Utd (A) Arsenal (H) Watford (H) Swansea (A) Stoke (H)
    Week 37 Huddersfield (H) Burnley (H) Brighton (A) WBA (A) Liverpool (H) Chelsea (A)
    Week 38 Southampton (A) Huddersfield (A) Watford (H) Leicester (H) Newcastle (A) Brighton (H)

    Just a reminder that the week 28 games have changed slightly

    Man City and Arsenal still play each other - but not in the league

    They play the League Cup Final at Wembley

    This league match has to be rescheduled
    Last edited by Mysteron; 13-2-18 at 19:30.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviewonder87 View Post
    Regarding our squad strength, especially if Clyne can get back into contention, you could say our defence has improved (also with Karius looking more like a GK who could have come 2nd in that Bundesliga vote on merit right now, as opposed to a perennially dodgy Migs), but attacking wise we've taken a rather big hit. We've lost a world top 10 player (IMO) and we've got a semi-match fit Lallana and a barely featured Ings, could the improvements at the back make up for it? I'd have to come back to that at the end of the season, but as it stands I'd have to say no.
    Overall, I'd say the loss of Coutinho/addition of Van Dijk makes the squad as a whole slightly weaker BUT the first XI stronger. We didn't have the proper personnel mix to use all of the "fab 4" together (Coutinho in midfield didn't work nearly as well as when he was on the left wing) but using 3 of the 4 made it easier to keep them all fresh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bri_Bates View Post
    Overall, I'd say the loss of Coutinho/addition of Van Dijk makes the squad as a whole slightly weaker BUT the first XI stronger. We didn't have the proper personnel mix to use all of the "fab 4" together (Coutinho in midfield didn't work nearly as well as when he was on the left wing) but using 3 of the 4 made it easier to keep them all fresh.
    I agree with that except I think it's made the squad (attacking wise) substantially weaker rather than just slightly.

    Also, especially on current form, Coutinho would be a far preferable option to Mane as a first team option on the left.
    Last edited by steviewonder87; 13-2-18 at 19:36.
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    It will be 4 teams fighting for the remaining 3 spots and Arsenal will be looking to do a "Utd" in Europa League this year.

    If we can improve our form against the top sides (left Chelsea and Utd) this season, I reckon we should do it.
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    ...
    Last edited by GrottonRed; 14-2-18 at 13:09.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysteron View Post
    Just a reminder that the week 28 games have changed slightly

    Man City and Arsenal still play each other - but not in the league

    They play the League Cup Final at Wembley

    This league match has to be rescheduled
    Think that league match is now 1st March Ron between Arsenal and City.
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    Its crazy

    4 points between 2nd and 5th with a further 11 games to go, the margins for error are tight for all involved
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