Dan Walker is joined in the studio by Dion Dublin and Mark Schwarzer to preview a busy weekend featuring both FA Cup quarter-finals and Premier League action.
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And it is absolutely brilliant.
is getting better and better.
The biggest celebration of
No team has won it more than
It is a lovely goal. Tsonga livers.
Jesse Lingard, magnificent strike.
Iheanacho! He is so good at that.
That is a cool, calm finish.
Athletic are into the quarterfinals
of the FA Cup!
It is good, isn't it?
737 clubs entered the FA Cup
at the start of August and now
just eight are left,
each within touching
distance of Wembley.
Dion Dublin and Mark Schwarzer will
assess the chances in the
quarterfinals over the next hour.
And all of this is on the way.
Dion puts an old friend
on the spot at Wigan.
The main objective is promotion. If
we were lucky enough to get to the
semifinal, that might change!
We hear from the man
in the Chelsea engine room.
I got the car I liked.
Jack Butland wants to be
England's main man.
I'm going for the number one spot,
and that is what I focus on
We will speak to Alex
McLeish on second time around with
The Lions are in the play-off hunt -
Clem visits Millwall's pride.
I am really enjoying it, the results
are going our way. It is nice to be
And comedian John Bishop
takes on predictions.
And we will also reflect on
yesterday's extraordinary Jose
Mourinho press Conference for you.
Here's how cup quarterfinal
weekend shapes up.
Swansea and a Harry Kane-less
Spurs are first up.
Full team news from
the Liberty shortly.
Manchester United face
And there's a double-header
on BBC One tomorrow,
including a meeting of the last two
champions of England.
We're going to begin
with the lowest-ranked team left
in the competition -
Wigan, who will look to add a fourth
Premier League scalp
to their collection at the DW
on Sunday lunchtime.
And ahead of Southampton's visit,
we sent Dion to meet an old pal.
This place is pretty special. Not
like when I was a player. This is
the training ground! Look at the
space of the lads have got, look at
the quality. How are you? ! QC,
someone even knows why name! This is
the Hydro area, ice baths, the warm
bath as well. Out of all of the
players I have played, never would I
have thought you'd be a manager or
coach. What turned you?
coach. What turned you?
into! Back in those days, football
clubs were run by the manager, the
assistant, the chief Scout, the club
secretary and the chairman. That was
your club. The difference more than
anything is the responsibility that
the manager carries in relation to
results. For a lad being a general
player, come the end of the day, I'm
not saying they will do, the results
can be what they can be, life goes
on, but in football management
today, they used to say a week is a
long time in football, but a week is
like a year now. It changes that
quickly, and it is not for the
benefit of the game.
The legend is
Mr Peter Reid!
Mr Peter Reid! The facilities here
The club is in a good
way at the moment. The atmosphere,
the manager is the main man at any
football club, and I think they have
all got different styles. His is
work hard, enjoy working hard, try
and win football matches, and the
social side is not bad!
waiting for that!
COMMENTATOR: Here is great, and
Walker is winning. And he has
I was too tired, I
hadn't seen the ball for 80 minutes,
and I was exhausted! I just wanted
to take the moment in, I have family
Have you been approaching FA
Cup games differently?
Cup games differently?
Manchester City we did! We defended
the 18-yard box with our lives!
Being a football fan, I wanted my
teams to play like a football fan
would want, which is trying to pass
and play good football.
So I am here today with the Burns,
big down, and Notts so big Nathan!
Which would you take, promotion or
being winners of the FA Cup?
it is about promotion, that is our
main aim. If we can get through this
round, everything is a bonus from
Yes, promotion has got to
be the main priority.
be the main priority.
questions previously were about if
we could get the semifinal. But you
are testing me now. I think FA Cup
days are that special, but if we
could even dream of that. But the
main objective has to be promotion.
If we were lucky enough to get to
the semifinal, we might change! It
is a lovely thought, I love it. I'm
sure Mark Hughes is saying, wait
until Sunday night!
Lovely to see a manager
understanding the importance of the
Dion, you said you didn't
see him becoming a manager,
but he's done a terrific job
Portsmouth and now Wigan.
He seems to have had quite a sort of
flawless transition from the game to
being a manager. His enthusiasm
around the training ground, not just
in the office, walking round the
training ground, players are
high-fiving him, saying, good
They are not
embarrassed to get close to the
Exactly, or you say hello,
inducing, did anybody see me? But
every player was saying, good
morning. He has built this
togetherness, and he has got this
juggernaut that is going all the
right direction, everybody is
pulling same way. There are no
superstars, he just makes every body
have such high standards. After that
interview, we left the room, and
there is this machine where you
scrape your boots, and there is a
bit of mud around, and he shouted
one of the young players, can you
come and get this sorted, it is
messy over here. His standards are
so high, and it was reflecting on
And that works, when you
are all playing well and having a
good cup run as well. Will Grigg is
getting a lot of attention and
scoring the goals, but actually
their success is built on their
rock-solid defence, isn't it?
think fret any team to have success,
you have to not concede so many
goals, it is difficult to break down
and have the free going forward, and
they clearly have that.
And Will Grigg is has more
than anybody else in the
Well, Southampton will travel
to Lancashire with a new man
in charge after it all went wrong
in the North East last weekend.
COMMENTATOR: And Newcastle are in
front! And Southampton are ripped
apart. It is becoming a day of
misery, soul-searching and plenty of
The performance was poor.
You think you are the man who can
keep Southampton in the Premier
It is borderline disgraceful
Southampton are sacked
manager Pellegrino after just one
win in 17 league games.
of appointed mark uses manager until
the end of the season.
I have been
incorrect by what I have seen in
terms of their application, they
have been first class, so that
encourages me as a manager and a
coach, so I know we have got the
talent here to get the job done. At
the moment we are looking solely to
the end of the season and making
sure that hopefully we are Premier
League club and weaken have won the
That would be impressive!
Pellegrino had a really bad record,
one win in 17 games. You spoke to
him. Did you get the indication that
it is hard for him to get the club
out of this situation?
It was almost
like it was impossible for him to do
His way that he conducted himself
post-match was a true reflection of
how the team performed, flat,
lacking in direction, lack of
understanding of how they wanted to
play football, they had run out of
ideas, that was the impression I got
from him after the game.
about Mark Hughes? An interesting
article this week about the managers
doing this cycle around the Premier
League clubs. He feels he was
bruised by what happened at Stoke,
and now he has to rescue the
He has gone back in. I
know him reasonably well. He will
always want to be managing. He
always backs himself, he always
backs his staff. Now the team have
got to get on board with a new
manager. I wasn't surprised that
telling -- Pellegrino got sacked.
remember you saying in the past, man
management is not his strength. Is
that going to be important at
100%, he has to really
man managed that squad, and list
them. They are down on confidence,
they need direction. Now he will
need all of his staff, I have since
put it this week he was on the
pitch, barking instructions, that is
what he needs more of. Mark Hughes
is a legend in the game, and players
will feed off that, that confidence
from a guy who has pretty much
at their remaining fixtures. This
isn't in chronological order, but
you can see what they have got both
home and away. They know that this
could end badly this season, with a
lot of sides the wrong end of the
The sprinkling of quality that
Southampton have, there is enough of
that to get them out of the
situation they are in, but it is not
just that. It is back to basics,
roll your sleeves up, pull your
socks up, and if you can look people
in the eye before you go out on the
pitch, you have a good chance of
It goes back to what we
were saying about man management in
the last few weeks.
The first of the four
quarterfinals is about to get
under way in South Wales,
and Simon Brotherton can bring us
the team news for Swansea and Spurs.
Swansea are without both Ayew
brothers, one suspended, and one cup
tied. Kyle Bartley is preferred to
Federico Fernandez, and Nathan Dyer
and Tom Carroll come into midfield,
with Tammy Abraham leaving the
attack. And Tottenham are without
Harry Kane, Dele Alli named among
the substitutes. Kieran Trippier and
Ben Davis come in at full-back, with
Sanchez and Vertonghen in the
middle. Sissoko and Doire other
midfielders, with Christian Eriksen
and Lucas Moura at the back. Son
Heung-min is leading the attack. It
is cold and blowy, but we are all
putting up with that today, aren't
That is a perfect description of
what is going on outside our studio
today, and the many people across
the United Kingdom. Let's talk about
Harry Kane then.
It is a nightmare at any stage for a
goalkeeper in the build-up to a big
tournament, to be feeling like that,
I did feel for him as soon
see did it. That picture there, that
just shows that his ankle, you know
when you rock your ankle as a
player, left or right, it doesn't
matter, it will keep happening, and
it will stay weak, unfortunately,
and I think that is the situation he
is in right now. He will now have to
start strapping it up incredibly
tightly so he stops it from rocking
over, and it will get weaker. And
that is unfortunate Harry.
tell you what, if Begovic landed on
your ankle, you would be doing that
I would have jumped over
him and then celebrated!
wouldn't, because you would have
been offside as well! He was injured
and it wasn't even a goal that
And you mentioned the goal
record of Son.
And there was a lot
of talk about leaving the club,
because he hadn't played
particularly well the season before.
It took time for him to adjust to
the game, and to get some
consistency. I was at this game, and
I always like him when he is running
at players. I was felt he had few
opportunities coming up through the
middle, but he proved me wrong. He
was brilliant on the day, he is
clinical, he was a little lucky on
that last one, that second goal
where he mis-hit it a little bit,
but however, when you are in that
type of form, that confidence, it
He's one of those players who just
sits below the radar, with Harry
Kane being the superstar. It
happened at Man United, when Ronaldo
left, Rooney stepped up, so there's
always two or three below the radar
who are good enough to step up.
about Swansea, both of the Ayews are
missing running all of those
victories in the Premier League
they're only eight points off the
That's the thing. I
think the FA Cup has been a really
good distraction for them because it
has allowed them to have a bit of
continuity. They've found form and
they've been able to continue that
form, can you imagine if they
weren't playing this weekend there
was an argument to say that they
would possibly lose that rhythm.
Laying Spurs at home, it's a free
hit, it's the FA Cup, which is and
unbelievable opportunity to
progress, however it is not the be
all and end all if they lose.
The second of tomorrow's ties
sees this man returning
to the stadium where, two years ago,
he and Leicester wrote
one of the unlikeliest stories
in sporting history.
Now a title winner with Chelsea
as well, Caroline De Moraes has been
to meet N'Golo Kante.
Who was there to cover? Of course,
I've never seen anyone
cover as much grass as he does.
cover as much grass as he does.
were at Leicester and now, Chelsea,
do you feel Chelsea is home?
my second year in Chelsea and I feel
like last year was a fairly good
season for us, to win the title Edu
the second season to play the
Champions League, to go again for
the top four, yeah, I'm at home with
my club, I'm a Chelsea player.
want to show you a picture that we
That's me, yeah. It was my
second season in football I think. I
was 11 or 12 years old. And at the
end of the season we used to do a
lot of tournament and we won that
one and we celebrated the trophy.
And the trophy looks so huge and you
look so tiny next to it!
was big! This time I think I was
playing with some people older than
me, so that's why I am smaller than
You're a great example that
you don't need to be physically big
to succeed in the game.
I think now
in football you can see every
physical aspect in all the players,
some small, some big, some strong,
Sam Quek, but the most important is
to understand how to play.
a very different personality, you're
very down to earth - what is the car
that you drive?
I drive a mini. I
arrived in Leicester and it was my
first car in England, people advised
me and I like it.
High-five on the
mini! Yes, N'Golo! Other cars are
Leicester City are the
Premier League champions!
happened at Leicester was a fairy
tale - what do you feel when you go
back to play against Leicester?
Yeah, for sure, Leicester was an
amazing year for everyone. I had the
chance to play this season and I
think I will remember it all my
Blue is the colour of the
Premier League winners again!
won with Leicester and you won with
Chelsea, it was an incredible two
years, this year has not gone to
We will fight until the end to
be in the top four and to be in the
Champions League position. We have
the FA Cup, the FA Cup is a good
competition. Last season we failed
in the final. It is the only title
we can win this season, so you have
to give everything to go in the
semifinal and to win the final.
Such a good footballer, so quiet,
you have had a dressing room with
him, I have a feeling of him sitting
in the corner getting quietly on
with his business, is that right?
Very much so. He is infectious
because he has always got a smile on
his face. Just watching that now I
have ended up with a smile on my
face, because he's such a nice guy,
so humble and an incredible
footballer. The reason he's got a
mini as well, it suits him, it
works, with the sizing! Imagine!
you haven't got enough steps to get
him into a 4x4!
He is far too small
for that! Maybe Chelsea aren't
playing as well as they did last
season, but has he struggled a
symbol for the lack of a regular
partner maybe with the departure of
I think definitely Matic
leaving has affected N'Golo but I
think also the fact that the team
has not jailed overall this season.
It is very difficult for one player
to control everything. Yes, if the
team is well organised then one
player can make a big difference.
But when things are not working and
the team is not Gelling, that one
player is not necessarily going to
have the same impact.
In terms of
what happens this weekend, knocked
out of the Champions League by
Barcelona in midweek, and Leicester,
I think we had them in the first
round of the FA Cup, they have got
some momentum, scoring goals,
playing well, quite a few goals last
time out - they could cause Chelsea
is in serious problems?
could. When Vardy plays well,
Leicester play well That is such a
hard skill, but they're doing things
naturally now. They were not earlier
on in the season.
Not only Vardy
playing well but Mahrez as well, the
two work hand-in-hand. One does not
necessarily play as well without the
other. We saw when Mahrez was out of
the side, Leicester were a different
But they've got goal scorer is
all over the place, Iheanacho and
others who can come off the bench.
All Bryant as well, they've got a
really good chorus players who can
really upset the opposition.
to moaning a bit but the manager has
done a great job. I've got another
stat for you! The last three times
that Chelsea have beaten Leicester
in the FA Cup they've gone on to win
That's an interesting
one! Give me two seconds!
One more quarterfinal to preview,
and that's tonight's
game at Old Trafford,
as Brighton travel to face
Manchester United in a re-run
of the 1983 final.
And once again it's probably time to
apologise to Gordon Smith!
apologise to Gordon Smith!
forward to Robinson... He's inside
the Manchester United penalty area!
And Smith must score! And he hasn't
I think it is their last big
day out before we got to the Premier
League. I know they took it to a
replay and I can remember, I've seen
some quite iconic pitchers of Steve
Foster from that era. That's all I
really know about it. I don't think
many of the squad would know too
much about it. I think things like
that are more for the fans. We've
got to approach it more on a
professional level. We've got to
know that it's going to be really
hard work, and we've got to carry a
bit of luck with us if we're going
to get a result. If we could win
somehow, then a trip to Wembley
would be a real fantastic year, if
we could remain in the Premier
League as well. But it's going to be
a fans at Old Trafford, star-studded
side, earlier in the season we went
up there and we got beat 1-0.
Deflected in off Lewis Dunk!
An FA Cup Final opportunity would
stay with you for years to come.
no-one could take those memories
few, whereas staying in the Premier
League, it's sort of just another
year, but I think for the club it is
more important to stay in the
Plenty more of that
interview on the iPlayer.
This was Glenn Murray's reaction
on social media to his absence
from the England squad!
Dion, tongue in cheek -
but shows just how well he's done
this season to have been
in the frame?
Yeah, he's a goal-scorer. And at his
age, he now knows that he is in the
eyeliner of the England manager, if
he keeps scoring, who knows? I never
thought he had a chance anyway!
Tonight's game holds an even greater
significance for Manchester United
following their Champions League
exit to Sevilla, the fallout
of which was still being felt
in yesterday's Mourinho press
I also told we are not one of the
top teams, we are not one of the
favourites to win, and I told you
that with these words because I
cannot tell you with different words
before I am going to play. Why? I'm
still in the competition. I cannot
be in the competition and go there
and to say we have no chance to win
the Champions League. I couldn't
tell you! It's the same thing, you
cannot expect me to say, this player
and that player, they have to do
better. You cannot expect me to say!
The fans, they read what people
write. They listen what people say.
And the people that write and the
people that say are people with a
lot of ideas. And I used to call
people with a lot of ideas idealists
or idiots. They can be both. In my
dictionary, which is the dictionary
of life, a person with a lot of
ideas can be ideologist Torrie
idealist, I don't know, or can be an
idiot. And the people, they listen
to the ideologists and they also
listen to the idiots, and that's
He did answer a question on his way
out as well! One of his answers
lasted 12 minutes! You worked under
Mourinho, when he does that, you
might say it is a diversion tactic,
out of the players react the next
time you see him?
beforehand that he is upset, he's
angry. There is no doubt whatsoever
after that defeat that he would have
been upset and angry, because he's a
winner, he hates losing matches. And
that was a game that he himself
definitely would not have expected
Did he fail to accept that
it was Sevilla, not the best side in
the Champions League, yes, a good
side but they only had four shots on
I think if you take
everything in context he has come
under so much pressure because of
the fact that the neighbours, Man
City, have been so good, they've
played such great football. But
Manchester United have had a good
season, they're five points clear of
the rest! So, it is only because
Manchester City have been so good
that it looks like Manchester United
are struggling, where they're not.
He did imply that our job in the
media is to read between the lines
of the messages he is trying to get
out sometimes. You mentioned some
players he might want to move on but
he didn't mention Sanchez or Pogba,
are we reading too much into that?
Or was he trying to say that some
players were not playing up to the
standard he would have expected?
They're not at the moment because
I'm not sure if he's got them in the
right position, if he's got the
right blend, I'm not quite sure if
he knows his best team yet. What I
do know is that he is an absolute
winner, he knows how to win games,
he has had a blip. They will still
go on and be successful under his
management. He's got a great squad
of players, I don't think it is a
big issue at all.
Does it really
matter exactly which position is now
It depends who is now
I get that overall, if
they're that good, they should
adjust to any position.
but if you've got Sanchez and Pogba
who basically want to play in the
same position, and those kind of
players don't really have a
position, just go and play, there's
always one or two which you allowed
to have that freedom. And they both
want to do the same thing.
be really interesting to see the fan
reaction to that. Some will say, I
cannot believe the Manchester United
manager would say that, others will
say, I love the passion.
it's brilliant, because it's
And people want to see that, people
want to see that he cares, and
there's no doubt about that.
We'll have highlights
of that tie in a special
hybrid Match of the Day,
which includes all of today's games
in the FA Cup and Premier League.
That's Match of the Day,
tonight at 10.20pm on BBC One
Before that, you can keep
across all the three
o'clock games with Jason,
Alex Bruce and Sue Smith on BBC Two
Final Score, today from
2.30pm on the red button
and from 4.30pm on BBC Two .
And tomorrow, it's a super sunday
on BBC One, as Wigan
take on Southampton, before
Leicester and Chelsea complete our
quarterfinal double header.
"Super Sunday" has a nice ring to it
- someone should use that!
Now to the Monday night football
from this past week,
which saw struggling Stoke take
on the runaway leaders.
COMMENTATOR: Silva made
COMMENTATOR: Silva made that just
looks so easy.
looks so easy. He shoots, and by far
the best chance Stoke have had in
the game. De Bruyne takes the
delivery, and this is a good
recovery by Kyle Walker, and it
nearly goes under the crossbar.
Gabriel Jesus sends it into the box,
Silva this could be two. Of course
it is, second goal of the night for
David Silva. Here they go again,
Sane on the left-hand side, and that
was saved by Butland. And that is
that, so comfortable at the end,
Stoke City 0- two Manchester City.
Sooner or later, if we play this
way, we can be champions.
knows it is a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity, but I'm sure it won't
be handed to us.
opportunity, but I'm sure it won't
be handed to us.
Another win for Manchester City,
leaving the 16 points clear at the
It's Everton next, and victory
in that one will mean mean they can
win the title by beating
Manchester United in the derby
on April 7th.
Different story at the bottom
of the table, where the relegation
battle is set to go right down
to the wire, and after Monday's
game, Shay Given made a house call
to see his former team mate
at Stoke, Jack Butland.
Good to see. It has been a few
months. Reflect back farce on Monday
night, Manchester City, the
Yes, it was a free
hit, go out there and make sure we
made a good show of ourselves. The
confidence was there, the players
were there, belief in the manager
and what he is trying to do as well.
Mark Hughes has got the job at
Southampton. How do you think he
will get an?
From a selfish point of
view, hopefully not too well,
because we need to stay up! Marquess
and you gave me my big break in the
Premier League, and I enjoy working
with him it was sad to see him go
from a personal point of view, and I
wish it well, but not too well,
maybe we can both stay up!
vicious rumour going around in
football that you like a bit of
rugby, you have gone to a couple of
England games. Can Ireland pull off
the grand slam? There was room on
the street that you would even be a
good number eight if you hadn't
I played, but
whether it would've turned out to
successfully as football did, I
don't know. I loved my rugby in
school, but I had to put the egg
away at 1415, and football took off
for me, but I love my rugby and I
still enjoy watching it now.
believe you have played a famous
international rugby player in your
My rugby claim to fame
is beating Billy Vunipola in the
under 15 is at school. We had to
tackle him in twos and threes
because he was a big specimen even
And you got the captains
armband, I don't think there are
over enough goalkeeper captains, has
that made you have to do more
I have always
felt that I have been a leader, and
wearing the armband, meeting the
referees before, and the slight
addition of responsibility that you
might get during the game, and to
speak to the reference things like
that, but I have always felt as a
keeper and me as an individual that
I have always tried to lead by
example, and be someone that others
That is good, because
other keepers who have been
captains, I don't see why you
couldn't be captain long-term. Going
on to you and your form this season,
how do you feel you have been
playing and coming into the
summertime coming with a big
tournament coming on?
There is a big
event this summer! One blemish from
me, I felt that the Leicester game
was a mistake that I will never make
COMMENTATOR: That is not a moment
that Jack Butland will want to see
This weekend you have Everton at
home. Jordan Pickford, and I have
worked with Joe Hart before and
Fraser Forster. Who is Gareth
Southgate going to pick in the
summer? That is the question
everyone wants me to ask, and I'm
The only thing that goes
through my mind is making sure it's
me. I am going for the number one
spot, and that is what I'm focusing
on everyday, being as good as I can
and giving Gareth Southgate either
an easy decision or a hard decision,
which ever way you want to put it. I
know the competition I am up
against, and I enjoy the pressures
that come with the game and the
position, and I'm looking forward to
the battle. Whoever gets it will
deserve it, and I will back whoever
it is, or expect the same in return.
I am really excited for the summer
in general, and hopefully I can be a
part of it.
You can see more of Shay Given on
Match Of The Day to night. He is
taking part in a nonstop penalty
shoot-out next Friday. These other
four goalkeepers. Where does Jack
Butland rank for you?
definitely one of the contenders
without a doubt. All four are
contenders. Joe hasn't played a lot
is late, Jack Butland is consistent
and so is Jordan Pickford. But Nick
Pope stands out. A 2% save rate, ten
clean sheets at unfashionable
Burnley. And that just shows you,
how well Sean Dyche is going at that
club. -- he has an 80% save rate.
how well Sean Dyche is going at that
club. -- he has an 80% save rate.
And you like him?
Yes, he has been
in excellent form. I think he has
been brilliant for Burnley all
season. He is a big reason why they
are where they are in the league.
And I think the only thing that is
against him is his lack of
And this guy?
Pickford, he makes important saves.
I have got no idea, really, with
keepers, because he was putting the
right every time, and Joe Hart as
well, I still think he is a very,
very good keeper. With him not
playing, it has hindered his
chances, but I still think he is
still the best for me, I still think
Joe is the best out of that bunch.
This is the full England squad. Here
are the defenders, and one point
lots of people have made this week,
you look at the standard centre
halves, only 27 caps between them,
and 23 of those are from John
Stones. That is a pretty
inexperienced side. And if you go to
the midfield, you have Lewis Cook
getting called up, and I suppose you
could make both cases. Three months
out, surely you should be more
settled, or is it a good time to
I don't think he can be
settled this far ahead, because so
many changes can happen, and he is
right to give people that are on
form their England debuts in the
squad. He is doing it at the right
time. Gareth Southgate knows what
he's doing. He is putting the miles
in and getting the right players in
the right squad at the right time.
So what we have got to do is lead
him to do his job. He is adding
quality to an England squad which I
think has a lot of quality in it
And one thing that will
definitely be at the Cup is VAR.
There is this whole thing at the
moment, there needs to be mock
imitation with the fans, in the
stadium, on the TV or radio, and if
that is fine tuned, 100%.
It's Butland versus Pickford today,
Stoke versus Everton,
one of four Premier League games,
and a crucial one for the home side.
Vicki Sparks has already
made her way to the Potteries.
Good afternoon, look at that
weather! This is the stage of the
season where they are all big games,
but this is particularly massive.
Yes, Stoke are expecting their
highest league crowd for 38 yes,
over 38,000 fans expected this
afternoon, and big because they have
tough games coming up, Arsenal and
Spurs next, and they still have to
go to Anfield before the end of the
season, so it is a big opportunity
against Everton this afternoon,
primarily because of Everton's
terrible away form, they have only
won one of their last away games.
They are without Gylfi Sigurdsson as
well, although they are hopeful he
might be back before the six to
eight weeks but was initially
predicted, and there is still this
discontent over Sam Allardyce from
many fans, underwhelmed by his
initial appointment and he hasn't
won them over yet, and the away form
is still difficult for them. So a
big opportunity for Stoke, if they
can get a fast start, which is what
Paul Lambert is urging them to do,
and they could have the momentum.
And the weather will be a challenge
here. There are blue lines here
today which is a Premier League
directive in the areas they think it
might snow, which hopefully will
allow the game to go ahead, but it
is very chilly, so if you are coming
along, do wrap up warm.
Vicki, could be a few gloves on
display. Stoke are seven points
clear of West Brom. I did ask the
fellas if they wanted to talk about
them, West Brom, but they both think
they are going down! And also we
have Crystal Palace, and the
Baggies, of course. Palace will be
looking to narrow that gap on
Huddersfield who are just four
points outside the relegation zone
at the moment.
Martin Fisher will be watching this
one at the John Smith's Stadium.
Here he is. There we go! I pressed
the right button in the end. We
mentioned last week that Palace have
already been in the relegation zone
and got themselves out, they are
back in again, and just on a bad run
at a bad time, aren't they?
Absolutely right. Two months ago,
Crystal Palace were 12, and there
was a lot of confidence in the
Eagles camp that they were waving
goodbye to any suggestion of
relegation this season, but since
then, seven games without a win, and
they have lost their last four in a
row. There are mitigating
circumstances, they have had some
difficult games, they have played
Chelsea, Manchester United and
Spurs, and they have also had a
crippling injury list. The good news
for Roy Hodgson is that some of
those players are coming back, and
the fixture list is on the face of
it getting a little easier. Today
Huddersfield are in pretty good
nick, their last four games, they
picked up seven points, and they
have only been in the relegation
zone all season for eight days. That
is remarkable given the fact that
most pundits before a ball had been
kicked this season have Huddersfield
down as the team they expected to
get relegated. They will also be
bucking a trend if they stay up. The
last three teams that have come up
via the play-offs have all suffered
immediate relegation. They are
looking to go seven points clear of
Palace and seven points clear at the
Thank you, Martin. It
is only 70 miles between
Huddersfield and Stoke, and look at
the difference in the weather!
No such worries for Liverpool
or Watford, who meet at tea time,
and it was a typically upbeat
Jurgen Klopp who spoke
to Gabby Logan on The Premier
League Show this week.
It is football, it is a game,
interviewed and enjoy the game,
don't play it. The results are
important, but the most important
thing is to keep the business going,
so that is how it is. What we do
physics pensive, so we need the
money, we earn it from tournaments,
we have to be in the Champions
League, all that stuff, so that is
our life, but the 90 minutes, it is
When you look at other
Premier League managers at the top
four or six, and sometimes they look
very, very intense...
I look very
intense! I killed my teeth over 20
And is there another side
that the public don't see?
the public knows my ugly face
because I have this constantly! One
of the most important skills in this
job is dealing with the pressure. I
know myself in my 50 years, I have
put a lot of pressure on my
shoulders, and I learned to deal
What is your way of
dealing with the pressure?
the public pressure. If you think,
every body looks at your thing, what
does he think about that, what does
he think about this, you don't know
these people, but you are thinking
of what they are thinking about you,
and most people, I am not interested
in their opinion. I responsible for
my family, I would do everything for
them, and then for my club. But as
to what the rest of thinking, I'm
Make sure you watch Gabby's
with Klopp on iPlayer.
Dion was very much appreciating the
trainers with no socks!
And what a quarterfinal that is
going to be.
But it does nothing for
us. Give our team is a chance.
Against each other? I can't call the
game, because both teams on their
day can beat any of the others as
well, so that is a hard one to call.
Over two legs, do you think
Manchester City will be too strong
for Liverpool? Or can you see Jurgen
Klopp getting the better of them?
You would think over two legs that
Manchester City will be too strong,
but it is Champions League. It is
one of those, you flip a coin. It is
an incredible draw overall, if you
look at the teams that are left, it
I want to show you one
more thing as well. Third statistic
of the day. Arsenal have got CSKA
Moscow in the quarterfinals of the
Europa League, and their goalkeeper
back three, they have played
together, those four since 2004 in
the same side. There you go.
the best one yet, Dan! I will use
So, Arsenal are chasing
and their women's team had
the chance on Wednesday night
to claim the first prize
of the domestic season
as they took on Manchester City
in the Continental Cup final.
take on Southampton, before
Leicester and Chelsea complete our
It is the holders against the team
who have won this competition more
than anybody else. Against the
crossbar! From Dominique Janssen!
Lifted in towards Beth Mead...
Miedema! And Arsenal have the
breakthrough! Crossing opportunity,
it's a good one... And so was the
header from Nikita Parris! Claire
Emslie delivers the corner...
There's the header! It is Arsenal
who are the champions of 2018!
Congratulations to Arsenal.
The WSL returns next weekend.
And on Friday evening, Radio 5 Live
has got commentary of England's game
in the Netherlands.
Also playing that night are
Scotland, who take on Costa Rica.
It will be the Alex McLeish's first
game in charge since agreeing
to become national team boss
for the second time.
Rob Maclean sat down for a chat
with Big Eck about his big job.
There will always be a critic out
there and you have to rise above
Alex McLeish says becoming
Scotland manager for a second time
is a tremendous honour. He's been
confirmed in the job 11 years since
he left it for the first time...
Did you think long about taking the
job, because obviously at the moment
it is associated with 20 years of
I knew what I was taking
on. Any team that you take on,
there's always some obstacles. But I
felt that, you know, with the
current young players coming
through, IMA be wrong but I'm hoping
that my experience is correct in
that, in what I've seen.
first choice, the Scottish FA were
publicly chasing Michael O'Neill,
does that bother you?
Not at all.
I've been second choice in club
jobs, maybe third choice at all when
I've been offered the job you always
feel that it was meant to be. It is
up to you to show that you can do
it. And the jobs in the past that
I've had, I think I have a pretty
decent success rate.
There's a lot
of excitement about Manchester
United's Scott McTominay committing
himself to Scotland - was that a
persuasion job to get him to join
Scotland rather than England?
I was pleasantly surprised when I
met Scott and he was leaning towards
McTominay! Really good
I said, I'm not coming down
here to put pressure on you, I
looked in his eyes and I knew he
meant it. He's a young guy, so let's
not say that he's going to takers to
finals. But the games I've seen him
in, he's shown a fantastic maturity,
and Jose Mourinho is ecstatic with
And to have Andy
Robertson doing as well as he is
with Liverpool as well, and the
Celtic players as well?
guys are playing at the highest
level. Celtic playing in the
Champions League, they've proven how
good they are. If you think of the
other teams in Europe, it shows how
much they've grown.
Your first match
is against Costa Rica - those are
dirty words for Scotland fans,
aren't they, when you look back?!
Flag stays down! And the ball goes
in! And another page in the sad tale
of Scottish performances in a World
Cup has been written!
had was normally the reaction of a
Scot after a setback. When you want
to show the world what you really
made of, and we beat Sweden in the
Stuart McCall! Stuart
McCall has scored for Scotland! At
least if they're going to go down,
they're going to go down fighting.
That's typical Scotland.
him well, it's a big decision for
him to go back, do you think it is a
For him, I think he always
wanted to try to get back to that
pinnacle job with his country.
Again, he knows the players so well,
he knows the job, the environment,
the expectation of the fans, I think
it's a good fit.
And we mentioned
Andy Robertson, Scott McTominay,
James Forrest, there is a nucleus of
good players coming through?
McTominay is a massive one, we were
just talking about it fair and
saying what a result it was, it is
great to hear, he has gone where his
heart is, to play for Scotland, he's
a massive player for them in the
And if you're in Scotland,
you can see that game on Tuesday
week live on BBC One in Scotland.
This week Millwall boss Neil Harris
said his side weren't getting
the credit they deserve
for an unbeaten run stretching
back to New Year's Day,
that's put the Lions in the hunt
for successive promotions.
Mark Clemmit needed
no greater excuse.
So, you've got to be careful what
you wish for! No recognition, so
here we are!
Thanks for popping down
and seeing us, do you remember where
Amazing, the buzz
around the place must be incredible?
Yeah, the lads have been good, it is
the buzz, the staff, the fans, on
the match day the place is rocking.
The players are great, they're
driven, they're hungry, but you need
to have a focus and our focus all
season has been about staying out of
the bottom three and doing well. We
talked about it for the first time
last week after the game - let's
talk about the play-offs.
turn! Good striker, well done!
in the old dog yet?!
It's good, I'm
really enjoying it, results are
going our way, team spirit is
amazing, it's nice to be home. It's
a really good feeling. It's a good
test, I'm loving it every day in
training. I think more than
anything, it's about the belief,
helping the lads believe that we can
do something special this year.
Where we are now is amazing but
we've still got to keep pushing.
is always with you in your heart,
you started your career here and
you've always been looking for their
Yeah, definitely, always,
is the same with Everton. But I've
got a close affinity with the fans
here because I understand what it
means to play for Millwall, and
coming back, nothings changed, they
just want the heart and the passion.
The characters that the gaffer has
put together, it is similar to back
in the day.
Is it weird for you
having Tim Cahill back here and that
he used to be your former strike
partner and now you're having to
tell him what to do?!
It is weird
when he calls me gaffer or boss, and
he does it because he is such a good
My relationship with the gaffer
is awesome, yeah, we're friends, all
of that sort of stuff, I'm not ready
yet to cross that line and join the
dark side yet!
players have got a winning
mentality, so when they win, they
want to win the next one.
Saville, two consecutive games,
scoring in the 51st second, I don't
think I've ever heard anything like
No, I think that's part of
how we train, we play with intensity
from the beginning of each game.
Sorry, I've got to interrupt this
interview, it is the 51st second and
George Saville is here - have you
scored another goal?! Can you quite
believe it?! It is weird, isn't it?
Just the way the team is set up at
the moment, just absolutely on it,
right place at the right time...?
Bit of both, I think. The gaffer
sets us up to press high and we
caught them cold.
Well, you've had
another cameo in this Football Focus
feature, thank you very much!
pride and the smile has been on my
face from the first day because I'm
chuffed with the players and we
worked tirelessly to get the boys
right against. And the players come
in every day and try and locate what
we want them to achieve - it's a
good place at the moment.
was there in 2002. Because it home.
He can't stop playing, can he?!
says that for every club he goes to!
He calls it his home!
well! Basically everywhere! Isn't it
great but at that age he's enjoying
his football and they're playing
some good stuff but we very much so.
It's important to have that
experience, Tim is a legend at the
club, he's a very different player
now to what he was like when he left
the club. So that's going to be some
adjustment from the fans, however,
he's a great pro.
I was lucky enough
to play with Tim at Millwall, with
players like Sean Dyche, who was our
captain at centre half, and then
you've got Neil Harris. And he knows
the club backwards. He was on the
bench at the time, he knows the club
acquits, he knows exactly what the
fans want from the club and he knows
how to take it forward. To have him
back from the old school is going to
help him out massively.
Paul the octopus predicted those
games in Germany and sadly no longer
with us! Russia have got a cat to
predict James Justin we've got a
squirrel. One of our production team
was a bit bored this week, so this
is his scroll from the back garden
and it's gone for Brighton to beat
Manchester United. We just put out
cups with some Skrill food in it...
MARK SCHWARZER: This is make or
There he is, proud of
himself! Next one up, this is Wigan
DION DUBLIN: I think he will go
Wigan! I've seen him on the training
And he HAS gone to Wigan!
Loves an underdog! And Leicester
against Chelsea now. He's had a good
look at Chelsea, as many have done,
didn't fancy them... In the end he
is gone further step.
He knows his
stuff! We will get him a job soon!
Nice one, squirrel!
that?! Stop it!
That's all for this week.
Thanks to Mark and Dion.
We're back at midday next Saturday.
A week of Sport Relief events
get under way today.
A week of Sport Relief events
get under way today.
John Bishop is one of those taking
part, and the former Hyde
and Southport player took time out
to take on that other
Liverpool legend - Lawro.
For Sport Relief I'm doing a sketch
with Gareth Southgate. I think in
many respects I victim of the fact
that there wasn't a proper scouting,
because I know, given the chance, I
would have made the difference.
The FA Cup
final against West Ham and that goal
that Steven Gerrard scored I thought
was brilliant, sublime. I remember I
was actually in the West Ham end
when that goal went in and the West
Ham supporters just went, fair
enough, what can you do? The goal
versus Watford, the result, I was
going to say 17-0 but that would be
a bit biased, so I'm just going to
go 110. But seriously, 3-0. Wigan
have got momentum behind them, I
don't know, I
Dan Walker is joined in the studio by Dion Dublin and Mark Schwarzer to preview a busy weekend featuring both FA Cup quarter-finals and Premier League action. Dion visits Wigan, the lowest ranked team left in the competition, to catch up with an old friend and Chelsea's N'Golo Kante talks about going back to Leicester with Chelsea for Sunday's other tie. Plus Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland chats with Shay Given, Alex McLeish discusses taking charge of Scotland for the second time and Mark Clemmit travels to Millwall, who are chasing successive promotions. The programme also hears from Brighton's Glenn Murray and comedian John Bishop tackles predictions.