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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021
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Fantasyland: Taught Marcelo Bielsa everything he knows

After getting a right good schooling last night, the league leaders can now put all their focus into chasing the Championship.

Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

WELL,THE PREMIER League’s finest have finally escaped that annoying little distraction called Europe.

Manchester City were not entirely sure whether they wanted in or out, and so they expended an awful lot of energy chasing a lost cause.

United on the other hand, those wily old campaigners, were never in any doubt.

Their Thursday schedule is nice and blank again from here on in so presumably it’s all round to Scholesy’s gaff for a weekly game of killer darts.

From the very moment they were eliminated from the big cup they wore their Europa League badge like a cone of shame.

Bilbao delivered United their just reward for refusing to give the competition any respect.

Anyway, back to matters domestic. This will be a long drawn out game-week played over five days, so when finalising your team today or tomorrow morning you are ever-so-slightly rolling the dice on a player’s fitness.

Not least with that pesky FA Cup rearing it’s ugly head over the weekend.

Two to pick this week

Javier Hernandez: While United crashed out with a whimper, Hernandez was kept wrapped up nice and warm read for the trip to Molinieux. he seems to quite enjoy playing Wolves and has been showing small glimpses of his best form of late. Terry Conner’s side are in trouble, and they are in for a backlash on Sunday afternoon.

Gareth Bale: Stoke will be putting plenty of emphasis on their FA Cup trip to Anfield, three days later they meet Spurs at the lane. It is rare to face two such difficult away trips so close together and Tony Pulis side will be running out of steam.

Few men have more steam than Bale. Even if Harry Redknapp once again refuses to play him on the wing, he will benefit from Spurs playing in full swing. On Saturday their home cup tie is against Bolton so we’re expecting two big wins to put Spurs back on track.

Two players to avoid this week

James McClean: Coincidentally, the players I’ve picked to avoid will be playing eachother in a lunchtime FA Cup tie tomorrow. By the time they turn attention back to the league the legs will still be feeling the strain.

McClean’s form has somewhat levelled out since making his international debut and after a tough day at Goodison he may even be rested for a midweek trip to Blackburn, who have built up some serious momentum.

Leighton Baines: Can’t argue too much with Baines’ form, he isn’t so much a form player as a consistent threat. However the Toffees will follow up their cup heroics with a trip to the Emirates and we seen last week how meekly they can approach an evening away fixture.

Predictions

Fulham 2 – 1 Swansea

Wigan 1 – 2 West Brom

Wolves 0 – 2 Man Utd

Aston Villa 2 – 1 Bolton

Blackburn 2 – 2 Sunderland

Man City 1 – 2 Chelsea

Spurs 3 – 0 Stoke

Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal

QPR 0 – 2 Liverpool

How my team got on last week

43 points only. Over half of them came courtesy of Wayne Rooney and Ashley Williams.

Who is top of TheScore.ie mini-league?

My reports of Deceptively Slow’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. This kid has staying power, outpointing Crilly’s Fella’s by 11 points this week to go 26 points clear.

By far the top scoring team was Dinamo Turmakeady with 90. His closest challenger was on 73, but with Stevie 3G as captain and Luis Suarez vice-captain, his Liverpool contingent racked up a whopping 63 points on their own.

Kudos.

It’s Friday, so here’s all your Airtricity League Premier Division team news…

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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