In more news, the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) has named Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah their men’s footballer of the year for the second time, with Chelsea forward Sam Kerr winning the women’s award.
Salah won 48% of the vote, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne in second and West Ham’s Declan Rice in third. Kerr was also dominant, taking 40% of the vote, finishing ahead of Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema and City’s Lauren Hemp.
Interesting early news: Channel 4 announces it has acquired the rights to broadcast England’s men’s team matches in the Nations League, plus qualifiers and friendlies for the European Championship 2024. In total, Channel 4 will broadcast 20 live between 2022 and 2024 Broadcast England matches, all on free-to-air TV.
The Nations League campaign consists of four games in June – two against Hungary, a trip to Germany and Italy in Molineux – before the return leg with Italy and Germany in September. The European Championship qualifiers will start in 2023 and the draw will take place in October.
Hello and welcome to a long football weekend, with banging clashes everywhere. Every game is big for Liverpool and Manchester City, but Saturday’s assignments, at the cathedrals of St James’s Park and Elland Road respectively, are likely to add to the tension in the title race.
Elsewhere, Dean Smith takes Norwich to Villa Park, knowing a defeat could return the Canaries to the championship if Burnley get a result at Watford. That would also be bad news for Frank Lampard, who urgently needs something from his former employers when Chelsea visit Goodison on Sunday. In the top four race, Arsenal face another test of their mettle at West Ham as Spurs look to end their own stumbling block against Leicester.
Outside of the Premier League, we could see Real Madrid win La Liga on Saturday and Celtic nearly recapture the Scottish title in Sunday’s Old Firm derby. League One draws to a close, the race for promotion spots and playoff berths up and down the pyramid comes down to the wire. Chelsea and Arsenal continue their battle for the WSL title, and the finalists of the Women’s Champions League will be determined.
We’ve got team news, previews and more, so let’s put on our classics and do a little dance, okay?