Tension building ahead of Liverpool and Roma Champions League showdown at Anfield

Alex Broun 24/04/2018
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Hello – it’s Alex Broun giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this evening.

TOP STORY 

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Fans are already beginning to gather at Anfield ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final between AS Roma and Liverpool.

It’s a historic night for both clubs as Liverpool aim for their first final since the immortal night in Istanbul in 2005 and Roma try to make the decider for the first time since 1984.

The main man tonight is Egyptian super-star Mohamed Salah who knows both clubs well, having been sold by A S Roma to Liverpool in the off season. Salah has scored 41 goals this season as he goes in search of the Golden Shoe and his old team-mates will need to be right on top of him tonight.

FOOTBALL

In other football news controversial English referee Michael Oliver has been selected to referee the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United.

We also examine the key clashes in the second Champions League semi-final tomorrow night between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Bayern are sweating on David Alaba’s fitness while Ronaldo is chasing more records for Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane has warned his team to be wary of an early Bayern onslaught.

Read the latest Los Blancos news on our Real Madrid Live Blog HERE.

Speaking of Spain you can also read the latest news from Barca on our Barcelona Live Blog HERE

CRICKET

The Sunrisers Hyderabad are currently batting against the under peforming Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai but they are without Australian speedster Billy Stanlake who in a real blow has been ruled out for the season. Follow all the action on our live cricket blog HERE.

In other cricket news the latest limited over format – the ECB’s The Hundred – has found a supporter in Joe Root and a tweet from Cricket Australia has enraged thousands of fans on Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday.

REGIONAL

The UAE’s young footballers are getting a taste of competitive football as the Future Champions League enters its seventh season.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez

Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez

The Bundesliga kings, Bayern Munich, host the current Champions League kings Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night. Ahead of the first-leg clash, Alex Rea examines some of the key talking points from ‘European Clasico’.

Read Alex’s thoughts HERE.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT (UAE TIME)

Football: Liverpool v Roma – 22:45

Derby County v Cardiff City – 22:45 (Championship)

Cricket: Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad – 18:30

NBA: Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks – 03:00

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Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe starting to look back to his Brownlow medal-winning best

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For the first time since returning from a leg break last season, Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe looks back to his Brownlow medal-winning best.

The 26-year-old suffered two broken legs in 2016 and after months of rehab, rest and sheer motivation, is showing signs of that commanding form that has seen him widely regarded as the best player in the AFL.

It was always going to be slow progress when attempting to get back to full fitness after injuries on that scale, and after a mixed 2017 campaign, Fyfe now appears to be on a whole different level compared with everyone else after five rounds of the new season.

Although he played 22 matches last campaign, he struggled for match sharpness and has emerged from a full pre-season as the dominant, ball-winning midfield AFL crowds were used to seeing every weekend.

Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield may be the two most prominent players in the competition based on their form last season, but Fyfe has slowly regained his status as the sport’s most influential player.

Against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday, Fyfe produced his third flawless display of the season with a career high 43 disposals to go with 13 clearances, 21 contested possessions and 11 score involvements.

Two weeks ago against the Gold Coast Suns in Perth, he clocked up 38 disposals, 24 contested possessions, seven clearances, seven forward entries, eight tackles and 12 score involvements.

It was his third masterclass in four weeks which prompted Suns coach Stuart Dew to label him utterly unstoppable.

But it’s not just his disposal count that makes him shine, he has an engine on him like a Pagani and is blessed with pace to burn, as well as the ability to dominate aerially and kick efficiently.

His talent is starting to shine again which is sure to boost the confidence around Perth Stadium as Fremantle look to redeem their fortunes following a dour 2017 season in which they failed to make the finals – finishing 14th.

For the Dockers, the goal this time around will surely be to make the eight-team showpiece, but with Richmond, Hawthorn and Sydney Swans looking a class above at times, it may be difficult to get beyond that stage.

Still the league looks fairly open this year with each side tasting defeat – and Fremantle are among nine teams locked on 12 points (three wins, two defeats).

In a 22 game regular season with matches nearly every week – anything can happen.

Securing Fyfe on a bumper six-year contract last summer was a great bit of business by the Fremantle hierarchy, especially with St. Kilda and North Melbourne purring in the long grass for the midfield supremo.

The Fremantle skipper is a born leader and plays footie at a voracious level – and his influence is sure to get the best out of a club who are yet to taste Premiership success.

His family home in secluded Lake Grace may be a far cry from the bustling city of Perth, but Fyfe looks back to his best and if he can continue this form, there’s no doubt he will cement his status as the best player in the league.

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Liverpool ready themselves for another big European night with Roma

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Hello – it is Niall McCague giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this morning.

TOP STORY 

Liverpool v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will appreciate the biggest match of his career to date all the more knowing the roller coaster he has been on to get there.

The England international will lead out Jurgen Klopp’s side against Roma in their Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield this evening evening.

“This is what you play football for, to play in games like this against top European sides,” he said.

“You dream about playing in the Champions League and playing in huge games like this.”

FOOTBALL  

Klopp is unmoved by the ‘underdog semi-final’ tag as Liverpool prepare to face Roma tonight (22:45).

It’s the biggest game of Klopp’s tenure to date, with a possible place in the final in Kiev representing an opportunity for the club to win a sixth European title.

In other football news, Robert Lewandowski insists Real Madrid are not a one-man team as Bayern Munich prepare for a Champions League semi-final showdown against familiar foe Cristiano Ronaldo.

CRICKET 

Kings XI Punjab prevailed in yet another final-over thriller in the IPL as they beat Delhi Daredevils by four runs.

In other IPL news, Mumbai Indians will host Sunrisers Hyderabad this evening (18:30) – with both sides having tasted four defeats in their five matches to date.

In international news, Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan will play for a World XI in the one-off Twenty20 clash with West Indies at Lord’s on May 31.

REGIONAL 

The Emirates Golf Club will welcome the world’s best squash players when they host the PSA World Series Finals between June 5-9.

In cycling, UAE Team Emirates’ Rui Costa has set his sights firmly on a fourth podium finish at the Tour de Romandie which gets underway today in Switzerland.

Elsewhere, in football, Voting for the six vote-based categories of the Arabian Gulf League Awards ended on Sunday. The results of the voting produced three-man shortlists for each of the categories, with the winners being crowned at the end of the season awards ceremony on May 10.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Roma boss Eusebio di Francesco pulled off excellent tactical masterplans to get their sides into the Champions League semi-finals, and now both men will pit their wits against each other with a spot in the final on the line.

Read our three key tactical talking points ahead of tonight’s game HERE!

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Football: Liverpool v Roma – 22:45

Cricket: Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad – 18:30

Cycling: Tour de Romadie – 17:15

Tennis: Barcelona Open – from 13:00

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