Archives 2024

It is Arsenal’s first Champions League quarter-final since 2010.

Meanwhile, Manchester City travel to the Spanish capital to face a Real Madrid team in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the third season running. Real progressed when the two sides met in the semi-finals in 2021/22, but City got their revenge in the last four last season on their way to lifting the trophy for the first time.

Jurgen Klopp and David Moyes will hold press conferences ahead of UEFA Europa League matches for Liverpool and West Ham United, with Unai Emery speaking ahead of Aston Villa’s UEFA Europa Conference League encounter on Thursday.

Thursday
Liverpool host Atalanta in the first leg of their quarter-final, and they will be keen to avoid a repeat of their last Anfield meeting with the Italian side – a 2-0 loss during the Champions League group stage in 2020/21.

West Ham travel to Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen and will aim to end the German side’s remarkable 41-match unbeaten run in 2023/24, which has put them on the brink of a first Bundesliga title, as well as a place in the DFB Cup final.

In the Europa Conference League, Villa are at home to Lille for their quarter-final first leg.

Elsewhere, several managers will hold press conferences as they provide updates ahead of the weekend’s Matchweek 33 Premier League fixtures.

Alex Keble previews Arsenal and Manchester City’s quarter-final ties in the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively.

The Champions League returns tonight with Arsenal and Man City kicking off at the same time and on the same side of the draw.

A first all-English semi-final since 2009 is on the cards, but any Premier League fans expecting that outcome should pause to consider the counter-arguments.

Click here to read the independent Commission’s full written reasons.

An independent Commission has given an immediate two-point deduction to Everton FC for a breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs) for the period ending Season 2022/23.

Over a three-day hearing last month, the independent Commission heard evidence and arguments from the club in respect of a range of potential mitigating factors for its admitted breach of £16.6million, including the impact of its two successive PSR charges. Having done so, the Commission determined the appropriate sanction to be a two-point deduction, taking effect immediately.

The independent Commission reaffirmed the principle that any breach of the PSRs is significant and justifies, indeed requires, a sporting sanction.

Click here to read the independent Commission’s full written reasons.

Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The members of the Commission were appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel.

Here’s what to look out for over the next seven days, with clubs in European quarter-final action and March’s monthly awards winners announced on Friday, followed by another huge weekend of Premier League matches, including leaders Arsenal at home to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Monday
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola will hold their press conferences a day before their teams play UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg ties against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively.

Tuesday
Arsenal are at home to Bayern Munich, who have been a thorn in the Gunners’ side in knockout stages of this competition, winning each of their last-16 legs 5-1 back in 2016/17.

“None of them [the title contenders] have got to play each other,” says Owen.

“If you look at the last 10 seasons of the Premier League, I think 80 per cent of the time the team who concede the least goals win the title. Arsenal’s centre-backs like to defend. They remind me of Rio Ferdinand and myself. It would be a great story for Arsenal to win the title after 20 years.”

Wayne Rooney, the Premier League’s all-time third-highest goalscorer, also won five Premier League titles with Man Utd. He hopes Arsenal finish top but can’t shake the feeling that Liverpool will be champions in Jurgen Klopp’s final season as manager.

“There’s still such a long time to go. I know it’s only seven games but a lot will happen,” Rooney says.

“Inside I think Klopp will be fuming [at drawing 2-2 to Man Utd] but he’s shown his calmness and his experience of winning the title before. He’s given a really good message to the players. He’s shown the experience that [Pep] Guardiola’s got as well. We’re yet to see if [Mikel] Arteta’s got that in the last few weeks of the season. That will be important.

“I still think Liverpool will nick it. It’s not my romantic side – I hope they don’t win the title! I’ve just had this feeling for a while now that they’ll snatch the title. If there’s one team I hope win the title it’s Arsenal! Arsenal have been fantastic all season. They’ve learned from last season so that’s why I’m interested to see these last few matches of the season. How they cope. This is when the pressure starts. I hope they deal with it.”

But while Arsenal have the advantage of being top, with a point more than their rivals, and a superior goal difference, one-time Premier League champion Michael Owen points out that Man City have the best chance of winning all their remaining matches.

“None of them [the title contenders] have got to play each other,” says Owen.

“Spurs are going to have a huge say. Man City have the easiest fixtures. From Liverpool’s point of view, Everton, a local derby, will be tough. Spurs they’ve still got to play, Aston Villa away is difficult. Arsenal have got Spurs away, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Man Utd away. Arsenal have got four tricky ones. Man City, apart from Spurs away, I fancy them to swat everyone else out the way.”

The German scored Arsenal’s second goal before setting up Leandro Trossard for the third.

Yet Calvert-Lewin’s work-rate was commendable throughout, and indeed it was by closing down goalkeeper Arijanet Muric that he forced the only goal of the contest in fortuitous circumstances.

He earned his own luck in that respect, scoring for the second consecutive game after failing in his previous 19 Premier League attempts.

It was enough to squeeze past Burnley and end Everton’s run of 13 Premier League fixtures without a win.

Kai Havertz underlined his importance to Arsenal once again as he led the line impressively in their 3-0 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

The German scored Arsenal’s second goal before setting up Leandro Trossard for the third.

That ruthless display against the Seagulls means that Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s record goalscorer and Hall of Fame inductee, has named Havertz in his Team of the Week, along with team-mate Ben White.

Having lifted five Premier League Trophies and won two Player of the Season awards, Nemanja Vidic knows what it takes to be a Premier League champion.

The former Manchester United defender says title wins are built on a team’s solidity in defence, suggesting leaders Arsenal are the favourites to finish this season top.

Arsenal, who overtook Liverpool at the weekend, have conceded the fewest goals of all three title contenders, letting in just 24 compared with Liverpool’s 30 and Manchester City’s 31.

Remarkably, the Gunners have conceded only FOUR goals in 11 matches in 2024.

“Arsenal went to Man City to get a point and last three games they’ve had a clean sheet,” says Vidic. “They’re starting to understand what it takes to be champions. It’s not just going forward. It’s about how you defend.