It was supposed to be an all English final in this season’s Europa League, an all Manchester one at that, which had Channel 5 and ITV 27 rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of more football (advertising money). Suddenly Thursday nights on Channel 5 were the place to be. That was until both Manchester sides went out of the competition on the same night, but why were Athletic able to beat Manchester United so convincingly? The main reason for this result would be that Athletic Bilbao have been built into a well oiled pressing machine by their manager Marcelo Bielsa, which unsettles their opponents and doesn’t give them time to play, or time Read more..
Fulham’s players have been in training for a week, in preparation for their massive Europa League first qualifying round tie against NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands. Much of the pre match talk of NSI fielding a reserve team seems unfounded, as their starting line up suggests that they aren’t willing to take any chances against the minnows of the English Premier League. The Cottagers meanwhile have approached the game in a fairly nonchalant manner, including the likes of Damien Duff, Bobby Zamora, Aaron Hughes, and Andy Johnson in their starting XI. Currently halfway through the 2011 Faroe Islands Premier League season, NSI Runavik should be the more prepared of the two teams, as they Read more..