Saturday, May 1, 2010

Title Sunday

Photo/REUTERS

Photo/REUTERS 

Today is no ordinary Sunday. After nearly 10 months of football, the destiny of the English Premier League will most likely be decided today.

Chelsea, the current leaders, travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the early afternoon kick-off and then an hour after that Manchester United will face off against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

If Chelsea lose to Liverpool and Manchester United beat Sunderland, the league title will most likely head to Manchester for United’s record fourth in a row and also record 19th league title. The interesting sub-plot is the dilemma Liverpool FC finds itself.

The Reds are United’s longest rivals and as much as a win against Chelsea would drastically help their already thin hopes for fourth place, it would also hand United the title and with that help United beat Liverpool’s own record of league titles, which on paper makes United the best team ever in English football.

That is something Liverpool fans and the club have dreaded for years and that they may hand their rivals a gift wrapped league title must tear the hearts of real Liverpool fans.

Steven Gerrard has just returned to form as Burnley discovered last Sunday and Rafa Benitez has finally discovered Aquilani is a darn good footballer and that he belongs on the pitch not on the bench alongside him.

Even with no Fernando Torres for Liverpool, I think the reds have enough to shake Chelsea up and once the Blues are shaken anything is possible.

Even Ancelotti knows the seven goals against Stoke will count for nothing if Chelsea lose against Liverpool, but if they draw then those seven goals are his insurance that he will still win the title in his first season in England.

On their part, United still have to beat Sunderland or the league is over today and Chelsea win it. With recently crowned PFA Player of the Year Wayne Rooney still out with a groin injury, Berbatov and Nani must, once again, lead the charge and deliver the goods to keep United in the hunt.

Sunderland are no easy fixture. United struggled against them in the reverse fixture earlier in the year and, with Sunderland snug in mid table, the Black Cats have nothing to lose.

Also factor in that the higher you finish the more money the club gets and Sunderland become even more dangerous opponents.

I think its an afternoon that is set up beautifully so prepare yourself and do not forget your best nerves when you sit down to watch the Liverpool Chelsea tie or the United one later particularly if the early tie turns out red instead of blue.

Away from the title race, to the small matter of the Champions League final. Its official: A Kenyan will hopefully feature in the Champions league final, the biggest stage in club football. Barcelona were awful and Inter were smart.

They had a two- goal lead and had no business pretending to attack. Lionel Messi and Xavi did show the genius and cutting edge they displayed against Arsenal and Real Madrid and for all the nearly 500 passes Barca put together, I can only recall two of them that troubled Inter and one of them was the goal the other was Bojan’s incredible miss from near point blank range.

I think we will have a great final with Bayern and Inter. Both are teams no one gave a chance of winning this trophy when it started.

Robben, Schweinsteiger and Olic are in imperious form and Inter can also attack and do so very well. It’s a toss-up and that is also a beautiful set up.

KFF are officially nothing in Kenyan football. Now that leaves the other twin brother called FKL.

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