Thursday, 26 September 2019
World Cup warm-ups by beating Wales twice to claim the number 1 ranking in the World
Rugby rankings. They have an impressive group of players and will be desperate to go
further than the quarter-finals which is their best ever result at a Rugby World Cup.
In their opening game, Ireland beat second seed Scotland 27-3 in a dominant performance.
Because of this result, Ireland should top their group barring any upset in their upcoming
games. Next up, Ireland will play against hosts Japan before going on to play Russia and
finally Samoa before the group stages end. Since these games are so close together, Ireland
will need to rotate the squad and keep players fresh, otherwise, they could be looking at an
Japan started their campaign off strong with a win against Russia with winger Kotaro
Matsushima helping himself to three tries. Russia are yet to win a match so far in this World
Cup after losing to both Japan and Samoa, therefore, Ireland will fancy their chances against
the Russians and could decide to rest some players.
If Ireland make it to the knockout stages, they will have to play either one of New Zealand or
South Africa in the quarter-finals. If Ireland top Group A, they’ll play the runner up in Group B
and since New Zealand beat South Africa, this will likely be South Africa. Both of these
teams will require a monumental performance to take any result away, but Joe Schmidt will
fancy his chances against the two southern hemisphere sides.
After the quarter-finals, Ireland could face any one of Australia, Wales or England in the
semi-finals depending on results. If they then beat one of those teams, they would make the
world cup final and could play anyone, but it’ll definitely be an incredibly tough match. If
Ireland are to win the world cup however, they must beat the best teams and a tough
quarter-final opponent will be one small step in achieving that goal
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Thursday, 12 September 2019
After winning four from four, Liverpool are in a pretty good place as a club. They aren’t performing to their elite standard, and the loss of Alisson Becker has had a big impact on their defensive style. However, they have a game against Newcastle United coming up that should pose an interesting challenge. Steve Bruce’s Toon have already been to Spurs and win – could they be the team to break a very, very long unbeaten record at Anfield for the Reds?
The Reds look set to continue their usual midfield and attacking combination. The only question is who will partner Virgil van Dijk. The increasingly consistent form of Joel Matip, though, should see him come back into the starting line-up. This is interesting, though, as for some time it was expected that it would be Joe Gomez, not Matip, who would play the leading partnership role alongside van Dijk.
However, the attack and the full-backs more or less choose themselves. In midfield, we should see Georginio Wijnaldum – fresh from a fantastic pair of performances for the Netherlands – continue alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Newcastle United News
The Toon will likely be going with a contain formation, with the chance of them playing a 5-4-1 again – as they did at Spus – somewhat likely. In midfield, the combative duo of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden should likely continue, while up front they’ll have the aggressive Joelinton. Last time out, Liverpool struggled a little against the combative nature of Ashley Barnes up front; Joelinton will likely try and play a similar role here.
Liverpool win. The Merseyside outfit are in good form and while they are conceding goals and chances, they are scoring plenty. We should see them keep the ball a bit better here, which, given Newcastle are likely to sit in and try to soak-up pressure, could mean that Liverpool simply grind them down.