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Premier League Pulse: Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez steep the Liverpool goal-scoring ship in Mohammed Salah’s absence. Is a new dawn breaking for Manchester United?

24 January, 2024

In this week’s edition of “Premier League Pulse,” we will be delving into two significant stories that are shaping the English football landscape. Liverpool’s Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez played a crucial role in Liverpool’s title chase by stepping up in Mo Salah’s absence to deliver a commanding 4-0 victory over Bournemouth. We’ll be exploring their contribution to the team’s success.

In the meantime, Manchester United’s recent appointment of Omar Berrada as their new CEO, who was poached from rivals Manchester City, indicates a potential new dawn for the club. This shift towards footballing excellence, spearheaded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, may be just what Manchester United needs to thrive in this competitive Premier League era.

As there is no Premier League action this weekend, we’ll instead be focusing on the FA Cup Fourth Round, highlighting some featured games to consider for this week’s tipping.

Liverpool send title warning…No Salah, No Problem!

Liverpool’s dominant 4-0 victory over Bournemouth showcased the depth and adaptability of their attacking options, as Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez delivered standout performances in the absence of Mo Salah. Jota’s intelligence and quick decision-making were evident as he combined scoring with effective playmaking to contribute two goals and an assist. Nunez, returning to form, scored two goals, including his 100th senior career goal, and demonstrated his potential as a vital asset in Liverpool’s attack.

The victory was a reflection of the team’s overall quality and depth, as well as Jurgen Klopp’s tactical acumen in adjusting his strategy to maximise the impact of his available players. Despite a slow start and Bournemouth’s early pressure, Liverpool dominated possession and showcased better passing accuracy, with Jota and Nunez playing central roles in this dominance. Jota’s contribution in goal-scoring and creating chances, along with Nunez’s high efficiency and threat in front of the goal, highlighted their importance to Liverpool’s success.

This performance, particularly in the absence of Salah, sends a strong message about Liverpool’s title credentials. It illustrates their ability to tackle challenges head-on and adapt to different match situations. The synergy and understanding between Jota and Nunez, complemented by the team’s overall tactical flexibility, make Liverpool a potent force in the ongoing Premier League campaign. As they navigate through a packed schedule, the form and contributions of players like Jota and Nunez could be decisive in their quest for glory.

A new CEO and a new dawn for Manchester United?

Omar Berrada’s transition to Manchester United as the new CEO marks a pivotal change in the club’s strategic direction, influenced by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s stake acquisition. This hiring breaks the pattern of internal promotions or less experienced appointments, bringing Berrada’s notable experience from Manchester City, where he was integral in commercial and football operations, including key transfer dealings.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s involvement as a major shareholder brings a new vision focused on footballing success over commercial interests. He seeks to restructure the club, prioritizing on-field achievements, a departure from previous management approaches. Berrada, with his track record at City, is expected to implement a more direct and effective strategy in football operations at United, contrasting with his predecessor Richard Arnold’s approach.

Berrada’s multilingual capabilities and background with Barcelona suggest a global and sophisticated management style, which could enhance United’s competitiveness on the global stage. However, the context of Premier League charges against City for alleged financial breaches during his tenure in sponsorships, though not implicating him personally, adds a layer of complexity to his appointment.

Berrada’s move to Manchester United represents a significant shift towards a football-centric operational model under Ratcliffe’s vision. This change could herald a transformative era for the club, aligning with the competitive demands of the modern Premier League.

 

 

FA Cup Round 4 Fixtures

The Premier League will recommence next week with Round 4 of the FA Cup taking place this weekend. Here’s the full round of fixtures:

Watford v Southampton 

Blackburn Rovers v Wrexham

AFC Bournemouth v Swansea City

West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Bristol City v Nottingham Forest

Leicester City v Birmingham City 

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City

Chelsea v Aston Villa

Ipswich Town v Maidstone United

Liverpool v Norwich City

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Leeds United v Plymouth Argyle

Everton v Luton Town

Newport County v Manchester United

Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion

Fulham v Newcastle United

 

 

Featured Games:

Watford v Southampton

Expect a closely contested match between Watford and Southampton. Both teams have had their ups and downs in the league and will look to make an impact in the FA Cup. This game could be a chance for both sides to gain some much-needed momentum.

 

West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Black Country Derby is always a heated affair. West Brom will host Wolves, with both teams eager to claim bragging rights. Wolves, with their Premier League experience, might have the edge, but in derbies, form often goes out the window.

 

Chelsea v Aston Villa

Chelsea faces Aston Villa in what promises to be an intriguing encounter. Both teams boast quality squads and have shown they can compete at the highest level. This match could be decided by individual brilliance or tactical acumen.

 

Liverpool v Norwich City

Liverpool, even without Mo Salah, have shown remarkable depth and resilience. Facing Norwich, they are clear favorites. However, the magic of the FA Cup often brings surprises, and Norwich will be hoping to cause an upset.

 

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

A repeat of their recent league clash, Spurs face City without Heung Min Son. Spurs have shown they can dig deep in his absence, and with Werner’s addition, they’re not lacking in firepower. City, as always, will be formidable opponents.

 

Newport County v Manchester United

Newport County hosting Manchester United is the quintessential David vs Goliath matchup. United will be heavy favourites, but Newport will relish the opportunity to cause one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history.

 

Tips:

Watford v Southampton: Draw

West Brom v Wolves: Wolves to win

Chelsea v Aston Villa: Chelsea to win

Liverpool v Norwich: Liverpool to win

Tottenham v Man City: Manchester City to win

Newport County v Man United: Manchester United to win

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