Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Will Liverpool do United a favour? See what our predictions panel thinks

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Liverpool will not be keen on helping Manchester United in their title bid but a victory over Chelsea on Sunday could push the Reds closer to that fourth Champions League spot.

A real dilemma for Liverpool fans, already battered and bruised by a poor season and Thursday’s Europa League semi-final elimination at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

Here is how our predictions panel sees Liverpool v Chelsea and the other fixtures in the coming week as we approach the season’s end. I’ll add in predictions as they land. If you fancy having a go then pop your guesses in the comments. Five points for the correct score, one point for the right result.

Reuters soccer blog panel table: Paul Radford 333, Patrick Johnston 295, Mitch Phillips 292, Neil Maidment 275, Mark Meadows 257, Mike Collett 230, Simon Evans 212, Kevin Fylan 204, Julien Pretot 197, Martyn Herman 175, Asia Sports Desk 161, Sonia Oxley 147, Miles Evans (relegated), Justin Palmer (relegated)

Set your watches for Rooney Recovery Time

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/ROONEYAnyone tempted to suggest Wayne Rooney’s minor groin injury might give him a nice rest before the World Cup would be wise to fire up their copy of the Mathematica GraphMonkey iPad app* and first try to factor in one of the great immeasurables of English football — Rooney Recovery Time.

Rooney Recovery Time is comparable in its unfathomability only to Scotty’s estimates of how long it would take to get warp engines back on line as the Enterprise  hurtled towards a collapsing Lime Dyson sphere*.

Predicting the unpredictable: the Premier League title run-in

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Chelsea and Manchester United seem to want to make the Premier League title run-in as exciting as possible by dropping points in recent weeks. There’s just a point between them with three games left and you can’t get much tighter than that.

Sadly the same can’t be said for our predictions league where leader Paul Radford pretty much has the title wrapped up, but let’s see what this weekend brings.

Derby fever strikes predictions league

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SOCCER-ENGLANDWith predictions league leader Paul Radford fast closing in on the title, attention in the Premier League turns to the Manchester derby and whether Tottenham can build on their memorable victory over city rivals Arsenal against visiting leaders Chelsea.

There is a lot at stake for the two Manchester clubs. A win for United would keep their hopes of catching Chelsea alive, while City need three points to tighten their grip on fourth and a lucrative place in next season’s Champions League.

Is Messi secretly playing our predictions league?

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Such is the dominance of our predictions league leader that many on the Reuters soccer blog terraces are chanting –  ”Are you Messi in disguise?”

The Barcelona forward produced a mesmeric four-goal display against Arsenal just days after predictions league leader Paul Radford racked up four perfect guesses on last weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Not much ‘typically German’ about this Bayern Munich team

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/What did Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson mean when he criticised Bayern Munich players for what he said was their attempt to influence Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli after Rafael Da Silva fouled Franck Ribery?

“They all rushed towards the referee,” Ferguson told British TV, complaining about the second yellow card that got his right back sent off. “Typical Germans.”

Premier League in decline or just a minor blip?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/English clubs have failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003, after Arsenal were undone by a superior Barcelona side driven by the brilliant Lionel Messi and Manchester United suffered an astonishing breakdown against Bayern Munich.

They joined Premier League leaders Chelsea on the sidelines, as well as Liverpool after their exit in the group phase. The question is whether this is a shift in the balance of power or merely a blip.

Champions League Live: Man Utd v Bayern, Bordeaux v Lyon

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We’re following the Champions League quarter-final, second legs live this evening. Join us here for updates and on-the-spot comment from Manchester United v Bayern Munich and Bordeaux v Lyon. Can Bayern hold on to their slim lead at Old Trafford? Will Wayne Rooney be fit? Is there any way back for Bordeaux? And can anyone match the feats of Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s victory over Arsenal last night?

Be a good egg and enter the Easter predictions league

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While the kids are looking for Easter Eggs, the Reuters soccer blog panel will be desperately seeking some points to close the gap on leader Paul Radford.

The competition is open to everyone so if you fancy predicting this weekend’s Premier League scores then put your guesses in the comments.

Is bad luck for United good news for England?

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/ROONEYManchester United announced on Thursday that Wayne Rooney suffered only “minor ligament damage” to his ankle in Tuesday’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

“We’re pleased to report that Wayne has not suffered a fracture,” a United spokesperson said and manager Alex Ferguson will say how many games his in-form striker is likely to miss at his news conference on Friday before Saturday’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Chelsea.

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