By Tony Alvarez
The last fixture of the season in the English Football leagues takes place at Wembley on Sunday as the league 2 play off final is contested between Crewe and Cheltenham.
Both sides are vying to make the step up and be playing in League One next year, there is also many players hoping this fixture can put them in the shop window for a move onto bigger and better things.
Archive for May, 2012
By Tony Alvarez
The Football League Play-offs take centre stage once again this weekend as four teams battle it out for the ultimate aim of the season and clinch promotion.
While we will look more into that game tomorrow, today’s feature concentrates on the all-Yorkshire affair as the Terriers and the Blades aim to get into the Championship.
Having gone into the play-offs as the top two sides of the quartet, both progressed from their semi-finals in tense fashion to make it to Wembley.
Huddersfield fought off a comeback from Milton Keynes Dons, while Sheffield United took 175 minutes to break down the fierce resilience of Stevenage before Chris Porter’s late second leg header put them one win away from joining local rivals Sheffield Wednesday in promotion back to the second tier this season. View full article »
Both teams emerged as the top two during the domestic season, and then came through tough tests in the semi-finals to reach the showpiece event at Twickenham.
Quins needed a late try from Joe Marler to edge out the Northampton Saints at the Stoop, while Leicester gained revenge over Saracens for their defeat at rugby HQ 12 months ago to reach their eighth consecutive final.
For Connor O’Shea’s side, while the trip across the road will not be of great distance, this match will represent a giant leap for a side that have fully overcome the trauma that ‘Bloodgate’ caused and stand just one win away from their first ever Premiership title. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez & Laurie Fitzgerald
Many thanks once again for your continued support throughout what has been another incredible season of football, both domestically and in Europe.
We have aimed to try and cover all corners of English football, with our consistent coverage of Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two allowing us to get feedback and reaction from all different types of football fans.
We’ve also dedicated a weekly feature on rugby union as we try to look at what’s important to fans across all types of sport, so all of your responses, likes and feedback (whether positive or negative!) are always welcome as try to improve the site by the day.
With the domestic season now winding down and the footballing community preparing for a summer of relaxing or playing for their country on the other side of the continent, we will be doing a weekly feature on Euro 2012 throughout June and July before we get back to the start of the new season and writing daily features.
However, before that we will be covering three of the biggest matches left in the sporting calendar; the Aviva Premiership Final, plus the Play-Off Finals in League One and League Two.
So many thanks once again, and have a great summer!
By Tony Alvarez
Tonight sees the biggest game in European club Football where one side are just one match away from being crowned the Champions of Europe.
The final is to be contested by FC Bayern Munich of Germany who overcame Jose Mourinho‘s Real Madrid in a tough semi final that went all the way to penalties and English side Chelsea, who overcame all sorts of problems and beat reigning Champions Barcelona against all expectations and odds.
The game unusually will be played at Bayern Munich’s home ground the Allianz Arena. Although the crowd will be split as per any other Champions League final Bayern will have the advantage of having played on the pitch week in week out all season.
Tomorrow, the richest game in world football takes place as Blackpool and West Ham United prepare to battle it out for an instant return back to the biggest league on the planet.
A packed Wembley stadium will host the 2012 Championship play-off final, and while the Hammers start off as favourites to get back into the Premier League, the Seasiders‘ attacking intent means there is every chance of a tangerine party.
Both teams had rather different passages to the final; West Ham eased past Cardiff 5-0 on aggregate, while Blackpool had to resist a stirring Birmingham fightback to edge the Blues 3-2 over two hard-fought legs and earn a crack at reaching the big time again.
Now they are just 90 minutes away, and going into the match there is certainly a contrast between the levels of pressure that each manager will face. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
Yesterday new England manager Roy Hodgson announced his first England squad, which is an important one as its also the squad that will represent England in this Summers European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine.
Shortly after his squad was announced at 1pm yesterday his decisions were met with much criticism from the general public as well as some of his decisions being questioned by Football pundits.
This Saturday, Twickenham will become centre stage for the biggest match in the European rugby season as the home of English rugby prepares for an all-Irish affair in the 2012 Heineken Cup final.
Both Ulster and Leinster have battled through the cream of the continent to reach the season’s showpiece event, and now stand just a win away from achieving the ultimate crown in club rugby within the Northern Hemisphere.
Leinster go into the match as favourites as they bid to become the first team since Leicester a decade ago to succesfully defend the trophy, and are also seeking their third Heineken triumph in just four years.
However, Ulster have continually defied the odds in this year’s tournament, having overcome an incredibly tough pool and then conquering at one of the toughest venues in the game to gain the opportunity of securing the province’s second European crown.
This year will also mark the first time that the final has been an all-Irish affair, and both will be fiercely determined to ensure that they leave rugby HQ with the spoils. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
Following Tottenham finishing fourth a position which would normally put them in the qualifying rounds of the Uefa Champions League, many fans who are not supporters of the North London side or Roberto Di Matteo‘s Chelsea have been caught in two minds about who they want to win the Champions League.
Of course Chelsea finished the season in a disappointing 6th place but all will be forgotten if they can win in Munich on Saturday and be crowned European Champions for the first time.
Sergio Aguero’s 95th-minute strike secured the most thrilling of Premier League titles for Manchester City as Roberto Mancini’s side earned the club’s first title in 44 years in truly dramatic fashion.
That 3-2 win over Queen’s Park Rangers served as heartbreak for their Manchester rivals United, as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men had the title given to them and dashed from them all within a matter of minutes.
It was also a fitting end to a Premier League campaign that has thrown up endless twists and turns, and this in a week when the 2011/12 season was voted the greatest in the league’s history, with each club having their own intriguing story.
City will look upon their triumph as potentially the beginning of a new and successful era, with the incredible financial backing of Sheikh Mansour now reaping the rewards.
United will try and use this moment to inspire their younger players such as Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck to drive them on and continuing the consistent success that’s been in place over the past 20 years. View full article »