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It’s Man City’s FA Cup, others are just playing in it – The Warm-Up

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FRIDAY’S BIG STORIES

City’s Cup to lose

Southampton and Chelsea were the latest teams on Thursday night to advance further in a competition Manchester City are going to win. Wait, which competition is that exactly?

On a 15-game winning run in all competitions, it is difficult to look elsewhere right now, and there is an air of inevitably to the season, especially when Ilkay Gundogan is your most prolific player while your actual first-choice striker continues his slow road to recovery.

Ilkay Gündogan has been prolific for City

Image credit: Getty Images

Thankfully the FA Cup draw has made it a tad unpredictable.

City at least have to travel to Everton, likewise Manchester United to Leicester, so perhaps Warm-Up is jumping the gun given Chelsea host Sheffield United in the quarter-finals and er, Bournemouth welcome Southampton.

But that said, City can start probably planning that socially-distanced bus tour for June, and it’s up to them whether they’re carrying one, two, three or four trophies with them.

Pep wants a slice

Bayern Munich. Champions of the world. Rarely in doubt despite the narrow 1-0 win over Tigres, Europe asserted their dominance in this competition by winning again. That’s 13 wins for UEFA sides, four for CONMEBOL. Zero elsewhere. They’ll be dancing on the streets of Nyon.

Who knows when exactly Bayern Munich managed to get former boss Pep Guardiola to talk about their achievement and his own achievements with Barcelona, but you imagine his actual current club wouldn’t half mind seeing this becoming a future achievement – and soon.

Makes you realise the quadruple talk has been relatively quiet this season given it followed them round a bit too much in previous seasons. Time to ramp it up?

Guardiola’s response back in 2016 to a questions about the quadruple was, “What the f***?” – but to be fair, he was asked in SEPTEMBER, one month into the season…

Nae Ney

No Neymar for the first leg. Maybe no Neymar for the second leg. And so not only are Paris Saint-Germain seriously hampered ahead of their last-16 meeting with Barcelona in the Champions League, but we’ll also be denied the theatre of watching his hands-covering-mouth conversations with Lionel Messi.

No on-pitch tapping up, with Angel Di Maria’s own injury ruling him out of the first leg at the Nou Camp too.

No Neymar at the Nou Camp

Image credit: Getty Images

Maybe come the second leg in Paris we’ll see the carpet rolled out for Messi as the most attractive (and probably expensive) of soon-to-be free agents heads for the French capital.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi to walk out at the Parc des Princes with the pre-contract agreement and a Montblanc pen to sign it (just googled ‘what is the most expensive pen’)? We wouldn’t put it past him.

IN OTHER NEWS

The saga continues, with Gareth Bale reportedly risking the wrath of Jose Mourinho after his “good session today” Instagram post was sent out the day he sat out for Spurs’ 5-4 defeat at Everton in the FA Cup. Just what is going on there?

IN THE CHANNELS

Okay. He’s taking his time. What the, wow that’s a big run-up, oh and then he, wait, what, go on then. Oh… mate.

RETRO CORNER

All the angles. Ten years can qualify as retro, why not, but acknowledging this goal is 10 years old is another matter entirely. Wayne Rooney. Old Trafford overhead. You beauty.

COMING UP

The weekend, so maybe you’ll do that big walk the other way round to mix it up? But plan it accordingly as there’s a mountain of sport on. The Australian Open. The cricket. The Six Nations. The football aplenty, with Leicester v Liverpool kicking off proceedings in the Premier League at Saturday lunchtime, plus Manchester City v Tottenham on Saturday evening and Arsenal v Leeds the pick of the Sunday games. And don’t forget the Alpine Skiing World Championships! Lovely.

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