Friday, 7 August 2009

Season 2009/10 predictions: The Championship

Picture: Stevec77
THE CHAMPIONSHIP is going to be a real battle for the automatic and play-offs spots this year, with the relegations from the Premiership of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, along with the sides who were up there last season, the Readings, Sheffield Uniteds and Preston North Ends of the world, as well as the sides like Derby County and Ipswich Town, keen to improve with keen young managers Clough Junior and Roy Keane respectively. Wow! And all that without mentioning sides promoted like Leicester City and Peterborough United, who look likely to challenge for mid-table spots and Scunthorpe, who will have no intention of giving up their hard-fought-for status in football's second tier.

The season starts tonight with Middlesbrough playing Sheffield United at 8pm. It looks like these predictions are just on time, before the first of many mouth-watering clashes in The Championship. Enjoy the season!


Barnsley finished last season in 20th place in The Championship and have not done much to strengthen the squad. It could be a miserable time at Oakwell this season. Prediction:24th


The Tangerines finished 16th in The Championship last season and will face an even tougher task this season, with strong teams moving into the division. The signings of strikers Jason Euell and Billy Clarke, from Southampton and Ipswich Town respectively, and midfielders Charlie Adam from Glasgow Rangers and Ishmel Demontagnac, from Walsall, should see Blackpool create enough chances for a mid-table place. Prediction:15th

Bristol City

Bristol City finished a comfortable 10th last season in The Championship and with several good players arriving and leaving at the club, they can be hopeful of another good finish next season and could be challenging at the top. Prediction: 11th

Cardiff City

Cardiff had a disastrous end to the season last time around, losing their play-off place on the last day of the season after an end-of-season loss of form. Their squad has had a couple of major changes, including the sale of defender Roger Johnson to Birmingham City for £5million, and they have splashed some of that cash on striker Michael Chopra from Sunderland for £4million. Chopra will be a big threat at this level and will help Cardiff to a play-off spot. Prediction: 4th

Coventry City

It could be a tricky season for The Sky Blues. Having finished 17th in The Championship last season, not a lot has been done to strengthen the side and relegation is a real possibility. Prediction: 22nd

Crystal Palace

Palace finished last season in 15th place in The Chamopionship and have not set the world alight on the transfer market this summer, but new signing Stern John should net some goals for them. Expect a similar finish to last season. Prediction: 19th

Derby County

Derby finished in 18th place last season, but have strengthened the side over the summer with the signings of goalkeeper Saul Deeney from Burton Albion and left-midfielder Dean Moxey. Nigel Clough’s side should have no trouble finishing in mid-table. Prediction: 12th

Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster will do well to improve on last season’s 14th-place finish, and may struggle more this year. The signings of midfielders Quinton Fortune and John Oster could be vital after the departure of midfielder Richie Wellens. Prediction: 20th

Ipswich Town

Roy Keane guided Ipswich to 9th place last season and will be aiming for a play-off spot this year. Keane has strengthened his side, including the signing of striker Tamas Priskin from Watford, but there are stronger sides still in the division. Prediction: 7th

Leicester City

The Foxes had a fantastic season last time around, gaining promotion as champions of League One. Signings over the summer, including midfielder Richie Wellens from Doncaster for £1.2million, should see Leicester consolidate a place back in The Championship. Prediction: 10th


Boro fans endured a miserable time in The Premiership last season and were relegated in 19th place, but they should be capable of making a strong challenge at the top of the table, particularly after signing winger Mark Yeates from Colchester United and striker Leroy Lita from Reading. Prediction: 2nd

Newcastle United

Newcastle are another side which had a disastrous season, as they were relegated from The Premiership in 18th place. With the departures of players to higher clubs on free transfers and with the uncertainty of who will be in charge this season still looming, as well as uncertainty behind the scenes, it is asking a lot for The Magpies to bounce straight back. Prediction: 8th

Nottingham Forest

Forest finished a lowly 19th last season, but have done some serious spending over the summer to bring in Chris Gunter from Tottenham Hotspur and Paul McKenna from Preston North End, among others. They should challenge at the top of the table this season. Prediction: 3rd

Peterborough United

Peterborough were promoted to The Championship after a second successive promotion, under the management of Darren Ferguson. Posh have kept hold of many of their key players and should succeed in consolidating a mid-table place. Prediction: 13th

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth just stayed up last season, finishing in 21st place, but will be one of the prime candidates for relegation, having not strengthened their squad enough and with the strength of sides that have been promoted. Prediction: 23rd

Preston North End

PNE secured a play-off place on the last day of last season, before having their Premiership dreams ended by Sheffield United in the semi-finals. They will be expected to challenge for the play-offs again this season, despite the sale of Paul McKenna to Nottingham Forest. Prediction: 6th

Queens Park Rangers

QPR finished last season in 11th place. During pre-season, they have been scoring goals, but have also had a leaky defence. Again, because of the strength of sides entering the division in comparison with QPR, they could see themselves finish lower this year. Prrediction: 16th


Reading almost gained automatic promotion last season, but had to make do with the play-offs, before being beaten by Burnley. They have a side capable of making the play-offs again, if it can cope with the departures of goalscorer Kevin Doyle and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who both left for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Prediction: 5th

Scunthorpe United

Scunthorpe will be the promoted side which struggles the most, having made it to The Championship via the League One play-offs. Expect The Iron to be in a relegation battle this season. Prediction: 21st

Sheffield United

The Blades finished in 3rd place and had their play-off dreams ended by Burnley. With so many players coming and going over the summer, the blades could find it difficult to make a play-off spot again. Prediction: 9th

Sheffield Wednesday

Wednesday finished their season in 12th last time around and have not had many major changes to their squad. Expect them to finish around the same area of the table again this time. Prediction: 14th

Swansea City

Swansea could find it it difficult to improve on last season’s impressive 8th-place finish, after the sale of Jason Scotland. Prediction: 18th


Watford finished in 13th place last season, but will struggle more this season, having not improved their squad very much. If new arrival, striker Danny Graham, scores the goals for them, they will avoid a relegation battle. Prediction: 17th

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom were relegated from The Premiership in 20th place last season, but will be looking to bounce straight back and they look capable of doing that, having signed goalscorers Reuben Reid and Simon Cox. Prediction: 1st

1. West Bromwich Albion
2. Middlesbrough
3. Nottingham Forest
4. Cardiff City
5. Reading
6. Preston North End
7. Ipswich Town
8. Newcastle United
9. Sheffield United
10. Leicester City
11. Bristol City
12. Derby County
13. Peterborough United
14. Sheffield Wednesday
15. Blackpool
16. Queens Park Rangers
17. Watford
18. Swansea City
19. Crystal Palace
20. Doncaster Rovers
21. Scunthorpe United
22. Coventry City
23. Plymouth Argyle
24. Barnsley

Season 2009/10 predictions: League One

Picture: Stevec77
LEAGUE One is looking at its strongest in a while, because of the number of former-Premiership sides, increased by the relegations of Norwich City, Southampton and Charlton Athletic, from the Championship last season.

It will be a close season, in which fans of many of those former-Premiership sides will be demanding nothing less than bouncing straight back, but it is easier said than done, shown by Leeds United's failed attempts since being relegated in 2007.

There are also some strong sides coming into the division from League Two, looking to make their marks, including a return of Brentford, who finished as champions. They are joined by Exeter City, Wycombe Wanderers and, winners of the League Two play-offs, Gillingham.

An exciting season looms as the sides kick-off tomorrow.


The Bees were promoted as champions of League Two last season and Andy Scott has equipped his side well for life in League One. Transfers including a trio of Dagenham and Redbridge’s best players from last season, Ben Strevens, Danny Foster and Sam Saunders have arrived at Griffin Park, along with goalkeeper Nikki Bull from Aldershot and midfielder Myles Weston from Notts County. With their new signings in addition to last season’s squad, Brentford could find themselves challenging at the top of the table. Prediction: 2nd

Brighton And Hove Albion

Brighton finished in 16th place in League One last season and will be aiming to build on that this season. Albion will be an attacking threat, having signed striker Liam Dickinson from Derby County, and midfielders Mark Wright and Alan Navarro from Milton Keynes Dons, and should be capable for a top-half finish. Prediction: 9th

Bristol Rovers

Rovers finished in 11th place in League One last season and with quite a settled squad, there is no reason why they should not be expecting a similar finish this time around, but with the signings of other clubs, Rovers squad is not strong enough to claim a play-off spot. Prediction: 10th

Carlisle United

Carlisle avoided relegation by a point last season and, with the departure of striker Danny Graham, goals may be hard to come by and another season of struggle looks likely for Greg Abbott’s side. Prediction: 24th

Charlton Athletic

Charlton endured a miserable season last time around, finishing bottom of The Championship. Their fans will be longing for end to the miserable time they have had since relegation from The Premiership. Their squad, with the additions of defenders Christian Daily, Frazer Richardson and Miguel Angel Llera should be strong enough to stay up, but this could be a season of stopping the rot for The Addicks and steadying the ship in mid-table. Prediction: 15th

Colchester United

Paul Lambert’s side finished 12th in League One last season and will want to build on that, but they may miss winger Mark Yeates after his sale to Middlesbrough. Colchester will do well to reach as high as 12th again this season, but the loan of striker Kevin Lisbie from Ipswich could give them the goals they need to stave off relegation. Prediction: 16th

Exeter City

Exeter were promoted in second place in League Two last season and will be looking to build on the success they have achieved since coming back into the league. The signings of Scott Golbourne at left-back and Joe Burnell, if he can stay fit (because he is notoriously injury-prone) should see The Grecians finish comfortably in mid-table. Prediction: 11th


The Gills were promoted via the League Two play-offs last season and will find League One a challenging step up. They have not strengthened their squad enough to challenge at the top of the table, and depend a lot on Simeon Jackson. If he hits the same vein of form as last season and stays free of injury, they should stay up. Prediction:20th

Hartlepool United

Hartlepool finished last season just above the relegation zone and may find that they have not done enough to strengthen their side for this year’s campaign, which could see them struggle again. Prediction:21st

Huddersfield Town

The Terriors started showing potential under the guidance of Lee Clark last season, finishing 9th in League One. His side will be pushing for a play-off spot this year, aided by the pace of Theo Robinson, an arrival from Watford, in attack. Prediction:4th

Leeds United

The departure of Fabian Delph to Aston Villa could be crucial in Leeds’ season, but it means they should have money to spend to strengthen their squad. Whether Jermaine Beckford stays or not will also be crucial to Leeds’ season and their will be a lot of pressure on them again to achieve automatic promotion again. It would not be surprising if they fell into the play-offs again. Prediction:5th

Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient cruised to a 6-1 win over Newcastle United in pre-season, which should give O’s players a lot of confidence for the start of the season. Scott McGleish will also be a threat for them at the front. Prediction: 14th


Millwall will lost out in the play-off semi-finals last season, but they should be strong again this year. With a similar squad to last season, expect Millwall to make another play-off bid, if not the automatic places. Prediction: 3rd

Milton Keynes Dons

Milton Keynes have been at the top of League One for the last couple of season and will be expected to mount another challenge at the top of the table. If Jermaine Easter focuses on his football, he will score goals and David McCracken, who left Wycombe Wanderers in the summer, will be a key part of Milton Keynes’ defence this year. Prediction: 6th

Norwich City

Norwich were relegated to League One last season, having finished 22nd in League One, but it will not be long before the Canaries return to the second tier of league football, having signed a host of decent players, in wing-man Simon Whaley from Preston North End, striker Grant Holt from Shrewsbury and Exeter’s Matthew Gill. Expect Norwich to do well this season. Prediction: 1st

Oldham Athletic

Oldham achieved a 10th-placed finished last time around and should improve that this season, thanks to the signings of potential goalscorers, Pawel Abbott and Keigan Parker. Joint signings from Huddersfield Town, Andy Holdsworth and Jon Worthington will also help Oldham to a top-half finish. Prediction: 7th

Southend United

Southend finished in 8th place last season , but the lack of improvements to their side will mean they may not be able to improve on this and can expect a similar finish this season. Prediction: 8th

Stockport County

Stockport finished last season in 18th place, but would have ended the season in 14th place in League One, had it not been for a 10-point deduction for going into administration. County will struggle this year with instability at the club and will miss players who have left, including Tommy Rowe. Prediction: 22nd

Swindon Town

After a 15th-place finish last season, Swindon have brought in some decent signings over the summer, but may miss striker Simon Cox, who has signed for West Bromwich Albion for £1.5million. Swindon may miss his goals at the front, but should have ample money to replace him. They will need to replace him soon, if they are to have a greater impact on League One this season. Prediction: 17th

Tranmere Rovers

Rovers missed out on the final League One play-off spot on the final day last season and fans will be optimistic of challenging again. But it is questionable how well new manager John Barnes will do in charge of Tranmere. He is a big name, but big names do not always come with success and Barnes. It is a risk appointment for Tranmere.Prediction: 23rd


The Saddlers had a comfortable mid-table finish last time around and have signed defenders Jamie Vincent from Swindon Town, Peter Till from Grimsby and Matt Richards from Wycombe Wanderers, but they have not strengthened much at the front. Their side will not be strong enough ton challenge at the top this year, looking at the strength of some of the sides predicted above them. Prediction:13th

Wycombe Wanderers

Wycombe were promoted to League One automatically last season, albeit by the odd goal. The club went through a transition which led to Steve Hayes being the sole owner of the club this summer, which meant Peter Taylor may have lost out on some key transfer targets to rival clubs. No solution has been brought in for the Chairboys’ goalscoring problems, but, like last season, they should have a solid defence, with experienced defender Michael Duberry arriving at the club. Prediction:12th

Yeovil Town

Yeovil finished last season in 17th place in League One last season. They have brought in striker Dean Bowditch and experienced and well-rated midfielder Scott Murray, but this may not add enough quality to the side for a higher finish this time. Prediction: 18th

1. Norwich City
2. Brentford
3. Millwall
4. Huddersfield Town
5. Leeds United
6. Milton Keynes
7. Oldham Athletic
8. Southend United
9. Brighton And Hove Albion
10. Bristol Rovers
11. Exeter City
12. Wycombe Wanderers
13. Walsall
14. Leyton Orient
15. Charlton Athletic
16. Colchester United
17. Swindon Town
18. Yeovil Town
19. Southampton
20. Gillingham
21.Hartlepool United
22. Stockport County
23. Tranmere Rovers
24. Carlisle United

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Season 2009/10 predictions: League Two

Picture: Stevec77
UNDOUBTEDLY League Two is one of toughest divisions to predict. Bradford City and Shrewsbury Town were the fancied side’s last season, but both failed to gain promotion and it was Exeter City who were the surprise package of the season, clinching second place. They joined champions Brentford and third-placed Wycombe Wanderers in League One, as well as Gillingham, the play-off winners.

At the other end of the table, it was a farcical state of affairs at the bottom with three sides on points deductions and Luton were inevitably relegated. Chester City were not deducted points, but had a miserable season and joined the Hatters on the way into the non-league.

With Charlton Athletic, Southampton and Norwich City entering via the Championship trap-door too, this season presents some mouth-watering matches in League One.

Accrington Stanley

Accrington’s pre-season results will not have given their fans much optimism, two draws and four defeats, including a 5-0 hammering at Radcliffe Borough, but this was followed by an encouraging 2-2 draw with Burnley. They will not be helped either by the suspension of four players for match-fixing. Their first priority will be survival in League Two again, starting with a tough opener against promotion-favourites Rotherham, but it could prove beyond them. Prediction: 23rd

Aldershot Town

The Shots had a good start to their first season back in the Football League last time around thanks to an excellent record at the Rec, which propelled them into the promotion spots at one point, but a loss of form compounded by injuries to key players towards the end of the season saw them slip to 15th. If the Shots remain injury-free, their squad should be good enough for a mid-table finish. Prediction: 15th


Barnet are another side which will not be likely to set the world alight in League Two, but they should still be safe and, with the signing of Micah Hyde adding some creativity in the middle of the park, they should avoid relagation again this time around. Prediction: 18th


Bournemouth were hit with a 17-point deduction last season for going into administration and ensured their survival in League Two. The Cherries should be expecting to make a challenge for a play-off place this season. Prediction: 5th

Bradford City

The Bantams were among the favourites for promotion last season, but failed to deceive. Inconsistency marred their campaign last season and they were not helped by injuries to key men Peter Thorne and Omar Daley. Bradford could be play-off challengers if they can string a run of wins together, but will they accomplish that with a similar squad to last season and creative wide-man Omar Daley injured until Christmas? Prediction: 10th

Burton Albion

A betting man may fancy a flutter on Burton to do well this season. Albion have signed players experienced enough to handle League Two football, bringing in veteran centre-back Guy Branston from Blue Square Premier side Kettering Town and striker Richard Walker from Bristol Rovers. This bolstering with experienced league players could help last season’s Blue Square champions carry their momentum into League Two. Prediction: 4th


Bury lost out on automatic promotion by a goal last season and then lost on penalties in the play-offs. This failure will only make Alan Knill and his side more determined to succeed this time around. They have a similar squad to last season and have kept leading goalscorer Andy Bishop over the summer. There is no reason why Bury should not be looking at the play-offs at least, this season. Prediction: 2nd

Cheltenham Town

Cheltenham will be looking to bounce straight back into League One this season. The signings of forwards Barry Hayles and Julian Alsop will be a threat to League Two defences, but they will have to defend a lot better than the 91 goals they shipped last season if they are to make the play-offs. Prediction: 13th


Chesterfield fell just short of the play-offs last season and, with a similar squad, they should be looking to mount a similar challenge this time around. They also still have Jack Lester, who is a potent threat to League Two defences, but the strength of the side’s around them could oust them out of the play-offs again. Prediction: 9th

Crewe Alexandra

Crewe are another side relegated from League One last season with a terrible defensive record, conceding 82 goals in the process. An exodus of players over the summer has left Crewe weakened and Gudjon Thordarson’s side will find it difficult to make any promotion challenge this year. Prediction: 16th

Dagenham and Redbridge

The Daggers had an excellent chance to reach the play-offs last season, but lost out to Shrewsbury on the final day. The summer has seen the departure of key players, Ben Strevens, Danny Foster and Sam Saunders, all to Brentford. Manager John Still has recruited strong centre-back Will Antwi from Wycombe Wanderers, but, without the attacking threat of last season, his side could find themselves as part of the basement battle. Prediction: 22nd


Darlington would have been in the play-offs last season, had it not been for a 10-point deduction for entering administration. Leading goalscorer Pawel Abbott has since left for Oldham. Dean Windass has joined as player-assistant manager and will score some goals for Darlo, but they will not have the same fire-power to make the play-offs this year. Prediction: 14th

Grimsby Town

Grimsby only escaped relegation last season because of a points deduction from Luton Town. With Mike Newell at the helm and improvements to their squad, Grimsby should be looking at a higher finish this year, but still do not have a squad to compete with the play-off contenders. Prediction: 17th

Hereford United

Hereford have had a complete makeover this pre-season with some of the most comings and goings in League Two. Leon Constantine stands out as one of their star signings and, if he can produce his goalscoring potential, Hereford will be in the top half, but a lot will depend on whether the squad gels quickly enough. Prediction: 8th

Lincoln City

The Imps finished mid-table last season, under the management of Peter Jackon. With players leaving during the summer and no big signings, Lincoln could struggle to maintain last season’s 12th-placed finish. Prediction: 21st

Macclesfied Town

Macclesfield are another side who have had a dramatic makeover this summer. With more players going out than coming in, the squad looks very thin and Town look to be one of the most-likely relegation candidates this year. Prediction: 24th

Northampton Town

Northampton fans will be keen to see their side bounce straight back to League One, but it could be a frustrating season for them. The departure of defender Chris Doig has left them weakened in defence. Striker Leon Constantine has left for Hereford, while experienced Steve Guinan has replaced him, moving in the opposite direction. The Cobblers will not have to worry about relegation, but they won’t set the division alight either. Prediction: 12th

Notts County

The Magpies have had an exciting pre-season, which has seen ex-England manager Sven Goran Eriksson join them as Director of Football. On the playing side, Ian McParland’s side can be expected to score plenty of goals this season, following the signings of strikers Karl Hawley, Lee Hughes and Luke Rodgers, and midfielder Ben Davies, who played a key role at Shrewsbury last season. A promotion place could be in store for the Nottinghamshire side. Prediction: 3rd

Port Vale

Inconsistency was why The Valiants finished so far down the table last season and with not many changes to their squad, they could face a similar season in 09/10. Vale need some more firepower in their side if they are going to challenge at the top of the division. Prediction: 19th


Rochdale lost out in the play-offs last season and should be expecting to make a similar promotion attempt again this year. With almost the same squad as last year and goalscorer Adam Le Fondre at the front, Rochdale should make the play-offs again. Prediction: 5th

Rotherham United

Rotherham made a mockery of a 17-point deduction for entering administration last year, by finishing 14th and producing form which would have seen them in the play-offs. Despite the departure of striker Reuben Reid, Rotherham still had a stable defence last season, which is why they are this year’s favourites to be champions of League Two. Prediction: 1st

Shrewsbury Town

The Shrews made the play-offs last season before losing to Gillingham in the final. The departures of striker Grant Holt and midfielder Ben Davies will make it a challenge to make the play-offs again for Paul Simpson’s side. Prediction: 11th

Torquay United

Torquay were promoted to League Two from the Blue Square Premier play-offs last season and it will be a challenging season for Paul Buckle’s side. They could be the surprise package, but they are expected to finish towards the bottom of League Two. Prediction: 20th

Predicted final league table

1. Rotherham United
2. Bury
3. Notts County
4. Burton Albion
5. Rochdale
6. Bournemouth
7. Morecambe
8. Hereford United
9. Chesterfield
10. Bradford City
11. Shrewsbury Town
12. Northampton Town
13. Cheltenham Town
14. Darlington
15. Aldershot Town
16. Crewe Alexandra
17. Grimsby Town
18. Barnet
19. Port Vale
20. Torquay United
21. Lincoln City
22. Dagenham and Redbridge
23. Accrington Stanley
24. Macclesfield Town

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Season 2009/10 predictions: Introduction

(Picture: Stevec77)

WELCOME to the first post in JSaunders sport's series of predictions of the 2009/10 football season to feature this week.

The Football League season is only a week away and it's that time of year again when every football fan is making their predictions for the coming season.

Not to miss out on the predicting action, JSaunders sport will ascending the football league ladder, casting predictions on what the league tables will look like come next May, starting with League Two.

Check back soon for the first instalment.

This blog is back

I stopped writing on this blog for a while during a particularly-challenging part of my Journalism course at the University of Central Lancashire, from which I have now graduated.

Now that I have the time and will to do so, this blog will be being updated again on a regular basis.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Shearer is a 'Tony Adams' appointment

I haven't much time on my hands, so as I watch Newcastle go down two-nil to Chelsea on Match Of The Day 2, I just have time to express my opinion on the appointment of Alan Shearer.

It is another 'Tony Adams' appointment. Like Adams, he has no mangerial credentials and is just a big name. In my opinion, he is one of the worst pundits to have been to Match Of The Day. When he said that Spain won Euro 2008 with no luck on their side was rubbish. Spain had won a game in the last minute, Russia hit the goal-frame twice before Spain beat them and won a match on penalties.

The only way Shearer will keep Newcastle up is if he spreads confidence through the team, but having lost the first match I cannot see it happening. It would not surprise me if Newcastle do not win another game this season. I will be surprised if the Magpies are not playing Championship football next season.

And while I am putting my neck on the line, Manchester United will still win the title. Liverpool have not had a chance for a while.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Sad day for sport

It's been a tragic day for sport as 22 people died in a stadium stampede in Ivory Coast.

The news comes amid recent talking point, the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15.

No doubt, there are many who can relate to today's disaster and it will spark more stories like Tony Edwards' in today's newspapers.

I found out today that I will be going to the Chelsea versus Liverpool Champions' League second leg a day prior to the anniversary.

It has not yet been decided how a moment of respect will be marked in that game and this is questioned by The Times Online, and I agree with the piece that there should be a silence, not one minute of applause. A silence is more dignified, and as the piece states, matches the sombre mood of the occasion.

A minute's applause was only brought in to prevent a moment of respect being interrupted by mindless morons, something which one Liverpool fans' forum poster Huyton Red, speaks out against vociferously.

Some Liverpool musicians and a choir of players, including Kenny Dalglish, John Aldridge and Phil Thompson will be releasing a single to remember those who died.

However the 96 Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster are remembered before the Champions' League quarter-final second leg, my first Champions' League match is likely to be one of the most emotion-filled games I ever attend.

While on the subject of stadium accidents, just a couple of hours ago a tennis fan had to be stretchered out of the arena and to hospital after falling down the stairs during the Miami Open match between Robert Kendrick and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I hope that fan makes a swift return to health.

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