Preparing the Peter Drury Easter bingo card for Manchester City against Arsenal

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<p><figcaption class=Will Mikel Arteta’s Gunners lower City’s colours?Photo: Action images/Reuters


Leicester City Women have sacked manager Willie Kirk following an investigation into an alleged relationship with a player. Read Suzanne Wrack’s exclusive book.


With Arsenal set to take on Manchester City at the Etihad in a potential title decider, the stage is set for a certain Brazilian to seize the opportunity. As the clock ticks down for kick-off on Sunday, you can be sure that commentators tasked with covering the match will have spent long evenings diligently working on their painstakingly written ‘ad-libs’, fervently hoping that Arsenal’s number 9 will pull off the winning goal will score. Ideally, a strike would mark a highly unlikely comeback for his team. Suffice it to say that Football Daily has its Peter Drury bingo card ready and phrases like ‘divine intervention’, ‘back from the dead’ and the rather spicy ‘Arsenal looked doomed on their Etihad Calvary, but Jesus has lifted their hopes this brought the title back to life. Easter Sunday!” all provided.

The game is certainly difficult and while it seems unlikely that Jesus would start against his former team, having just come out of a long battle with all kinds of skills (unlike the actual crucifixion by the Romans), he wouldn’t be . the first Brazilian to come off the bench after a long absence and take the points for Arsenal against City this season if everything goes according to the biblical script. In October, Gabriel Martinelli grabbed the winner four minutes from the end of a hugely disappointing match that failed miserably to live up to the pre-match hype, although his shot required a spawny deflection from Nathan Aké to beat Ederson. But away from home, Arsenal’s form against City could hardly be more dismal and they haven’t even managed a draw at the Etihad since Gunnersaurus was knee-high against a Microraptor.

With ten games left of the season and just one point separating the two sides above and below Liverpool in the table, defeat would not be a catastrophe for either side… even if the prevailing wisdom is that this is a would be quite a kick. the swingers for an Arsenal team whose backbone, mental strength and various other shortcomings that fall under the umbrella of their ‘inherent arsenal sense’ continue to be held up, perhaps unfairly, as potential red flags in their quest for a first title in twenty years. Whether they win or lose on Sunday, let’s just say no one will be hugely surprised when they host Luton next Wednesday evening.

Currently suffering a four-game drought for club and country, Erling Haaland looks set to become a key figure for City. The Norwegian cyborg will be hoping to improve on his near-anonymous performance against the Gunners last time out. In this match last season, the 23-year-old gave it all Timotei by unleashing his golden mane shortly after losing his scrunchie, before scoring to cap a virtuoso performance in City’s 4-1 defeat against the visitors. Fans of the city will be hoping their pagan Norse God unleashes his head again on Sunday, especially if rain helps them during Jesus’ Easter parade.


Join Sarah Rendell from 5.45pm GMT for updates from Barcelona’s Women’s Big Cup 4-0 Brann (agg: 6-1) in the second leg of their quarter-final.


“After the [court] judgement, [Manchester United] definitely wanted me to speak to the press. I didn’t want to, but they said it’s important that you speak to the press. So I said, OK, I’ll speak to the press, in the sense that they want me to speak – I’ll say anything. They wanted me to speak, I spoke. It just came out and then I left. And the press tried to make sense of it all and make it all philosophical. You know, it just came out that way; maybe it came from my subconscious and maybe it subconsciously created a meaning, but its best meaning was: you let me speak, I speak and who cares if the words make sense” – Eric Cantona ends almost three decades of speculation about the meaning of those ‘seagulls’ and ‘sardines’ comments with an explanation that Football Daily can quite get behind.


Interesting to read the ‘Paul Bodin moment for modern times’ (yesterday’s Voetbaldagblad). As we Swindon Town fans all know and cherish: the Paul Bodin’s all-time moment came on May 31, 1993 at Wembley, when his penalty took us to a 4-3 win in the play-off final against Leicester and promotion for our only (so far) season in the Premier League. Many happy conversations with Paul in the County Ground directors box on match days. Forever the Paul Bodin moment!” – David J Waldron.

George Kirk’s confusion about Kobbie Mainoo’s playing position (yesterday’s Football Daily letters) supports my own bewilderment. I strongly believe that a team should wear numbers 1-11 when they play. So the sum of the perfect team’s numbers would be 66. Any deviation, or excess, as it cannot be lower, must be rejected. In the recent FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Liverpool, the clubs had a shirt total of 216 against 220 respectively. When I have no explicit reason to support a side in a match, I often go with the team with the lowest shirt total. My backup protocol (in the unlikely event that the shirt totals are equal) is to support the side further north. So in that particular FA Cup match, United had the marginally lower shirt total… And the center spot at Old Trafford is a paltry 0.033° further north than at Anfield. No wonder Erik ten Hag’s Specials came out on top” – Ken Muir.

In response to George’s question, a No. 6 usually means a defensive midfielder (or No. 5 if you’re South American) and a No. 8 is now short for a box-to-box midfielder. Additionally, No. 10 normally means a supporting striker or attacking midfielder sitting next to the main striker, but that is more obvious. And don’t get me started on these false nines, nine-and-a-half, etc.” – Dale Godfrey.

Send letters to Today’s winner of our Prizeless Letter of the Day is…Ken Muir.


The Football Weekly Extra podcast is here for you.


Major Euro news, in which it emerged that traveling fans of Scotland and England have been warned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about … the power of German tin. Yes, the official guidelines published by the FCDO urge supporters to pay attention to what they drink when attending the tournament. “Beer can be stronger than in Britain, so drink responsibly, know your limits and respect local laws,” it said. “If you drink too much, you won’t be allowed into the stadium.” Drinkaware claims that the average strength of lager and beer in the UK is 4.4%, but in Germany it is as high as 5.4%.


Your power rankings for Euro 2024!


Larry Lloyd, two-time European Cup winner with Nottingham Forest, has died aged 75. Lloyd, who also won the First Division title and the UEFA Cup with Liverpool, was a key player in the Forest side that claimed glory in 1979 and 1980. under Brian Clough.

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali, who is already serving a 10-month global ban for gambling offenses while playing in Italy, has now been charged with misconduct by the FA over 50 alleged breaches of gambling rules.

Court documents show Luis Rubiales could face up to two and a half years in prison if convicted of kissing Jenni Hermoso against her will.

Manchester City’s Steph Houghton, owner of 121 England caps and the first female player to grace the cover of Shoot magazine, will retire at the end of the season. “I thank the pioneers who came before me… and I hope I leave the game in a better place than when I started,” she said. There’s no doubt about that.

Euro 2024 is just 11 weeks away, but coaches are keen to ensure UEFA allows 26-man squads – and that includes England’s Gareth Southgate. “We have to make the best decisions [regarding selection] with what we know, and some of that will be medical decisions right now,” he ranted. “We were able to give people time. But at 23 it is certainly more difficult.”

And while Aberdeen are without a manager, chief prosecutor Alan Burrows insists the Scottish Premier League strugglers are right to take their time. “Obviously we said a few weeks ago that we hoped to be able to appoint during the international break,” he cooed. “Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that this will happen… The main focus for us is ensuring the accuracy of the appointment.”


The Dominican Republic have their sights set on much more success after their performance in the W Gold Cup made them the first senior side to represent the country at a major tournament. Eduardo Tansley talks to their players and the Federation President in this extract from the latest edition of our sister mail, as they set their sights on “competing with the big dogs”.


The further Ukraine moves towards the euro, the louder they can shout about their country’s plight – a fact they are well aware of. Jonathan Liew reports.

As the dust settles on the international window, it’s time to digest another round of Southgate speech. And as David Hytner explains, it doesn’t sound particularly encouraging for Marcus Rashford in particular.

Goal machine vs. false 9: Karen Carney picks the Haaland-Havertz subplot before Sunday’s showdown.

It’s business, it’s business time… and Ben McAleer picks which Premier League players are on form.

David Squires honors Craig Goodwin’s flaming magical left foot.

And slightly off the beaten track, here’s DJ Gilles Peterson on why lessons from German football could help save Britain’s nightlife.


Back to Oktoberfest 2013 and Bayern manager Pep Guardiola gets his [5.4%? – Football Daily Ed] stein in Munich. Speaking of which…


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