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7 Days in 7 Points


So, apparently Liverpool are going to win the league…


England’s credentials will only be truly known after the four upcoming friendlies
Winning ten games on the trot is impressive, regardless of the opposition. Roy Hodgson and his players won their Euro 2016 qualifying group at a canter, conceding only 3 goals and scoring 31. However, despite this solid run of form, the proper tests will come during the next three friendly fixtures – Spain, France and Germany. These are the real competition, and if England can get perhaps a couple of wins, or at least avoid being embarrassed, then expectations will begin to rise ahead of the tournament. Come on England!

Ireland will, once again, be forced to do things the hard way
After the euphoria of beating Germany, Ireland were given a taste of harsh reality after losing 2-1 in Poland, a result which means they will once again be faced with the prospect of attempting to reach a tournament via the play-offs. Though it isn’t yet certain who Ireland will face, it is known that talismanic defender John O’Shea and veteran forward Jonathan Walters will both miss the first leg through suspension, making Ireland’s task even more difficult. Let’s hope they manage to draw Hungary rather than Croatia.

International fixtures = injuries
Here’s just a few of the names that have picked up injuries during the international break; Pogba, Schweinsteiger, Benzema, Götze, Aguero, D Silva, Morata, Ivanovic, Matic, Coentrao, David Luiz. These are some big players, on big wages, with very big roles at their respective clubs. It’s easy to see why managers get upset during international qualification time!

Krul’s injury is a devastating blow to Newcastle
For the past couple of weeks it has been clear that Newcastle are going to struggle this season, but things have suddenly got a whole lot worse. Goalkeeper Tim Krul, arguably Newcastle’s best player over the last two or three seasons, has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after picking up a serious injury on international duty (where else?). And, to top it off, the Magpies’ second-choice stopper Karl Darlow is also struggling to shake off a problem, meaning there is every chance third-choice Rob Elliot, best known for spells at Charlton and Accrington, is going to play a major part in attempting to secure Newcastle’s Premier League status.

Can the FA afford to refuse Chelsea and Spurs permission to play their home games at Wembley?
No, is the relatively simple answer to that question. Both Tottenham and Chelsea have indicated that they would like to relocate to Wembley during their respective stadium redevelopments. Spurs would likely move there for two years, while Chelsea could stay for as many as three; a situation that could net the FA around £55m. Should the move happen then it could free up England to play international fixtures at different grounds around the country, a move that would likely please fans in the north. As both a Spurs and England fan, I’d be more than happy to see this happen.

Allardyce can keep Sunderland up
If there’s one thing Sam Allardyce is good at, then it’s keeping teams in the Premier League. He’s also pretty handy at getting teams to finish mid-table, but Sunderland shouldn’t be aiming at such lofty ambitions quite yet. Dick Advocaat never really looked like he was fully committed to the job – he never smiled, didn’t really have a rapport with the fans, and often looked brazenly disinterested. Big Sam, however, oozes passion wherever he goes, and that’s what Sunderland need. They have some decent players, they just need someone to fire them up. I believe this to be an astute appointment, and it could very well ensure the Black Cats are a Premier League team next term.

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