Watch game – Liverpool versus Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel has a bad record against Jürgen Klopp: a manager he was confronted with more than anyone else. In the 14 encounters between the two, Tuchel is only twice ahead, Klopp won nine.
Most of these clashes took place between Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, with Tuchel playing in his first full leadership role in Mainz (also Klopp’s first club) and Klopp in his second with Borussia Dortmund (also Tuchel’s second).
Klopp has ruined Tuchel’s neat move by failing to vacate his position in Liverpool in time for his football student to replace him. And the meeting between Klopp’s Liverpool and Tuchel’s Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the 2015/16 Europa League – one of those evenings in Anfield when the Reds scored three goals in the last 25 minutes to turn the tie – was perhaps the first concrete indication of this a Klopp legacy would be worth the wait; wait too long for Tuchel.
If this was the highest profile game between the two, Thursday’s clash is in a tight second place. With a point between them, a win would make the winner a firm favorite for both of them to qualify for the Champions League next season, and doom the loser to the quagmire of other clubs battling for the top four. Here comes another 0-0.
Team to see – Aston Villa
Dean Smith’s side is very much in this swamp. Villa is six points ahead of West Ham in fourth place with two games in hand (which is a crazy sentence, by the way) and is hoping to welcome Jack Grealish back to help them wade through the tangled swamp of European hopefuls.
With Sheffield United on Wednesday followed by Wolves and Newcastle, the next nine days offer a great opportunity for Villa. Nine points from these three games and Smith’s team must be considered real top four competitors. Anything less than six and they will go out of this fight, with seven of their last ten games against opponents currently above them on the table. It’s now or never.
See Manager – Sam Allardyce
“If we concede eight or nine goals in the next 13 games, we have a chance,” said Allardyce after West Brom drew 0-0 at Burnley. After this Lee Mason made sure of that The Baggies line miraculously stayed free of Seagull sh * t on Saturday, they only need seven.
Such a run remains incredibly unlikely, but Allardyce now appears to have more of a stranglehold on a defense that conceded 26 goals in their first ten responsible games but only one in the last three, with fortune admittedly on their side.
One win and two draws have provided a glimmer of hope that could be erased any moment, but a home win against Everton on Thursday would leave Allardyce’s side just six points behind Newcastle, which would be a very nervous proposition for the toon at the Hawthorns this weekend.
Player to see – Gareth Bale
Because of his exceptional entertainment, his place in an exclusive club of British stars that has enjoyed success abroad, and no doubt because he plays for the ever-menacing Spurs, Bale is one of the few footballers to surpass the Premier League clubs and their rivalries. Regardless of your allegiances, it’s difficult not to be a little pleased. Bale has a couple of game days in the sun.
If Spurs fans hold the majority in the Bale brand, Premier League fans share a 49% stake.
So it was nice to see his great performance against Burnley, which showed what we have been expecting for a long time – Tottenham has it what you can play a very entertaining football for.
Jose Mourinho’s claim that it was silent “Mathematically possible” For Tottenham, it was a resigned declaration of his lack of confidence in a stale team, which has been confirmed by fans and the public, who have also almost completely lost confidence in him as a manager.
But that was before Mourinho gave Bale a chance to prove he still has it and give us a chance to see what impact it could have on the race for the top four. In victories over Fulham on Thursday and Crystal Palace on Sunday, Spurs move tied with West Ham to turn a “mathematically possible” dream into an aerial battle. Virtuoso shows by Bale in these two games will provide further evidence that Mourinho received a Pit Bull award that could make all the difference.
Football League Game Watch – Norwich v Brentford
Five wins straight away and the Canaries are almost there. Daniel Farke’s side are now ten points ahead of Watford in third place and yoyoing in the Premier League is sure to be on the cards.
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– Chris Reeve (@ChrisReevo) February 28, 2021
However, second-placed Brentford – Norwich’s opponent on Wednesday – remains in the middle of the battle for automatic promotion. They are three points ahead of Watford in third and four points ahead of Swansea, who has two games in hand. This is a huge game for The Bees.
Watch the European game – Lille versus Marseille
It’s rare for us to post Ligue 1 games on these sites, but a four-way race for the title is hard to ignore. Only four points separate the top four and PSG’s rivals are leaving it terribly late to do the honorable and fade away.
Front runners Lille are unbeaten in their last eight games, have only lost once since November 8 and conceded only 17 goals in the entire season. A fight for the title is absolutely not what Mauricio Pochettino signed up for, but it is absolutely what lies ahead.
Will Ford is on Twitter