Sky Sports pundits predict title run-in results.
All this plus Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling’s chances of being voted the PFA Player of the Year and Spurs fans’ reaction to City’s televised game with Cardiff City.
Onwards and upwards…
Let’s kick-off with Sky Sports pundits Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas and Phil Thompson predicting game-by-game results to determine who the Premier League champions will be.
Liverpool-mad Thompson’s verdict won’t surprise Blues that much – and he’s entitled to his opinion – but the more impartial Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas edge the Soccer Saturday regulars to a 2-1 City triumph.
Manchester City’s run-in
• Fulham 0-3 Man City (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Man City 4-0 Cardiff (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Crystal Palace 0-2 Man City (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Man City 3-1 Tottenham (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Man Utd 1-1 Man City (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Burnley 0-1 Man City (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Man City 3-1 Leicester
• Brighton 0-2 Man City
Le Tissier: “I think United will do everything possibly imaginable to stop City winning, even if it does give Liverpool the advantage. I think that for me is the trickiest of City’s run-in and they are most likely to drop points.
“Burnley will be tough but they’ll get the job done. I expect City to win the title and I think there will be one draw for each team from now until the end of the season.”
Le Tiss then predicts Liverpool’s scores…
• Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Southampton 2-2 Liverpool (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Cardiff 0-3 Liverpool (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Liverpool 4-0 Huddersfield (live on Sky Sports Premier League)
• Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool
• Liverpool 2-0 Wolves
He adds: “Liverpool catch Spurs at a good time and I would expect Liverpool to win that one. I think the Saints game is one Liverpool drops points in, and that is not myself being biased. The win against Spurs will give them a massive lift and the way Ralph Hasenhuttl has got them playing is great.
Get with the programme!
“They took Man United all the way at Old Trafford and beat Arsenal and Spurs at home. They raise their game. Chelsea are fizzling out and Liverpool will be too strong in that one.”
Matt Le Tissier’s final table
Pos Team Goal difference Points
1 Man City +74 96
2 Liverpool +65 95
Moving on, and Sport Witness have an interesting feature on Fernandinho.
At 33, the City midfielder’s international career seemed to have come to an end given he has not been selected for almost a year.
However, it seems Brazil still have plans for possibly the best anchor-man in the world just now.
It reads: “Edu Gaspar, the former Arsenal midfielder who’s Brazil’s national team coordinator, has given an interview of over one hour to ESPN Brasil, and had a long explanation of how they’ve been taking care of Fernandinho’s situation.
‘Technically speaking, first, Fernandinho plays very well. Not a little well,’ Edu Gaspar told ESPN Brasil.
‘He has a personal level of another level. Group athlete. An athlete… even though he was out, on the bench, like he was at the World Cup, he’s a guy who pulls, who brings the guys, who says ‘lets go’, who’s integrated, a willing guy, a guy who lends us many things.
‘So, what happened at the World Cup, we do not see being fair to him. So much so that we did not call him, not us, Tite did not call him right after the end of the World Cup, mainly to preserve him. Understanding to be important for him to breathe a little and understand how he was.
“We travelled to Manchester to talk to him. We left Brazil, went to Manchester to talk to Fernandinho. To understand how he was, understanding that he was an important athlete for us.
‘So, we invest our time understanding him to be a super important guy for us. I do not know for how long, even because of age. But for the short term, or medium term, we see Fernando as very important for us.’
Ferna is still recovering from injury, of course, so the national team will have to wait until at least the summer…
City yesterday discovered our game against Cardiff has been brought forward 72 hours to Wednesday 3 April.
The knock-on effect is that Sky will now cover the game and Spurs, who host Crystal Palace the same night, won’t be shown live.
The Daily Express claim the Spurs fans aren’t happy as they write: “Tottenham fans were left furious after discovering their first game in their new stadium will NOT be televised.
“Spurs will host Crystal Palace on April 3 in the first match at the 62,000-capacity ground.
“But Manchester City’s clash with Cardiff has been moved to the same night after they reached the semi-final of the FA Cup and that will be shown by Sky Sports instead.
“Sky announced the televised fixtures months before Tottenham confirmed their move-in date and will be showing the opening ceremony on TV.”
Ironically, Spurs won’t have to wait too long for that first televised game, with the Blues’ Champions League quarter-final first leg set to be beamed live on BT Sport a week later.
Back to Sky Sports’ focus on potential PFA Player of the Year candidates and their verdict on Raheem Sterling.
They report: “Sterling’s performances are even more impressive when you consider what he has had to put up with this season. He was the victim of racist abuse during City’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in December, but his response both on and off the pitch could hardly have been more impressive.
“What do the stats say? With his 15 goals and nine assists, Sterling is joint-top among Premier League players for goal involvements this season. The only other players on the same level are City team-mate Sergio Aguero, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
“Sterling has a combined total of 24 goals and assists
“A deeper look at the numbers underlines his effectiveness even further. Sterling ranks among the top five Premier League players this season for successful dribbles (68), chances created from open play (55) and touches in the opposition box (236).
“He has even become more efficient in possession, with a passing accuracy of 86.1 per cent his highest in four seasons at City.”
Like Sergio yesterday, Raheem surely has to be in the mix?
Finally, ahead of Germany’s game this evening, Leroy Sane has revealed the ‘Pep effect’ to his career in England.
The Mail carry the story: “The winger is in camp with Germany ahead of their friendly against Serbia on Wednesday. Joachim Low’s side are preparing to take on the Netherlands in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.
“Having become a stand-out talent for both club and country, the 23-year-old Sane credits Guardiola with taking his game to another level.
‘He has had a great influence on me,’ Sane said at a press conference on Tuesday.
‘Because of him I improved a lot and got to this level. Also because of my great team-mates.
‘But he always tries to make all of us better every day. That is his main goal. We work always on our weaknesses.’