It’s a random Wednesday in April and we’ve got the biggest Premier League game of the season on tap. I’m Mike Goodman and this is the Golazo Starting XI Newsletter, and we’ve got it all Manchester City in return for Arsenal coverage you may want today. Plus, in Italy, a huge Coppa Italia match. So let’s get to the action.
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📺 Football over Paramount+
All times US/East.
Wednesday April 26
🇮🇹 Italian Cup: below in return for Juventus3pm, ➡️ Paramount+ and Golazo Network (Tactical Camera)
🇺🇸 US Open Cup: Miami FC vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m. ➡️ Golazo Network
🇺🇸 US Open Cup: Portland Thorns vs. Orange County SC, 10:30 p.m. ➡️ Golazo Network
Thursday April 27
⚽ UWCL: Barcelona in return for Chelsea12:45 pm ➡️ Golazo Network
🇮🇹 Italian Cup: Florence in return for Cremona3 p.m., ➡️ Paramount+
🇦🇷 Argentina: Platense vs. Students, 7 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+ and Golazo Network
All times US/East.
Wednesday April 26
EPL: West Ham vs. Liverpool2:45 pm ➡️ Peacock
EPL: Manchester City vs. Arsenal, 3pm ➡️ Peacock
🇺🇸 Concacaf Champions League: Philadelphia vs. LAFC, 9 p.m. ➡️ FS1
Thursday April 27
EPL: Tottenham vs. Manchester United3:15 pm ➡️ Peacock
Manchester City vs. Arsenal for all marbles
They don’t get much bigger than this in a title fight. Manchester City may be five points behind Arsenal coming into the game, but with two fewer games played, anything other than an Arsenal win makes Pep Guardiola’s team the prohibitive favorite to take the crown at the end of the season. It’s a strange position for Arsenal to be in. Before the season, the Gunners had no title preference, they weren’t even underdogs for the title. Heck, they weren’t even favorites to crack the top four. They came from a fifth place, albeit one that put them in the right direction.
And yet, despite all that, Arsenal have been so good this season and have been at the top of the table for so long that it feels like a disappointment that this game has become a must-win moment for them. They enter the match after three consecutive draws. The first of those results, a 2-2 affair against Liverpool at Anfield, is understandable, but the next two, 2-2 away to West Ham after leading by two goals and 3-3 at home to shelter Southamptonare unforgivable. That is Arsenal’s paradox, they are both way ahead of schedule and also about to squander a rare chance to win the title..
And those opportunities are rare because as you may have noticed, no one here is discussing what this means for Manchester City. Manchester City is the team that always has to win. You don’t have to worry about schedules or timelines, or when their best players reach their peak or planning a rebuild. If you have the resources they have, and spent those resources as well as they do, you just have the expectation of winning every year. And the very existence of a club like City makes the possibility of Arsenal blowing it up so painful. As surprising as this opportunity may be for Arsenal, there’s simply no guarantee it will come again years to come, even as this team continues to build on its achievements.
The possibility of losing to Arsenal in this game would be a lot easier for the club to swallow if there wasn’t always a Manchester City cloud hanging over their bright future. Arsenal look like a team that will be better in the future than they are now. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t their best shot at winning a title that was about to slip through their fingers. Or they can just go out and win.
Be sure to check out the midfield links for all our coverage of the match.
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Coppa Italia semi-final action returns
It’s the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final this week, and we’re blessed with the matchup of two giants on one side of the bracket between Inter Milan and Juventus. The big news is that Romelu Lukaku is available to play after the Italian football powers finally came to his senses and reversed a suspension he had been handed for silencing the public who had racially abused him after scoring a late match equalizing penalty in Turin. Now at home, the question is whether the Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez pairing that Inter have been trying to reunite this season can finally take off? .
- Portius: “Inter this year wanted to reunite the Lukaku-Lautaro duo who brought the final Scudetto under Antonio Conte in 2021, but due to the injury of the Belgian striker, the duo have hardly played together until now. However, recent performances clearly saw an improvement.” that may give some hope to finish the season with the title.”
And now let’s go to some links:
🔗 James Benge makes his bold pre-game predictions, .
🔗 Arsenal Oleksandr Zinchenko is a critical part of his team’s success, .
🔗 Watch how Belgian stars Kevin De Bruyne And Leandro Trossard .
🔗 And we have the for you before the big game.
🔗 Don Garber had some thoughts on Messi, MLS and .
🔗 And don’t miss Morning Footy to get in on the action, with Charlie Davies and Alexis Guerrero in Manchester.
🔗 After Tottenham were absolutely beaten 6-1 by Newcastle, .
🔗 In Soccer We Trust: The crew breaks down the new soccer director of US Soccer.
🔗 House of Champions: Everyone is ready to give a taste of the Premier League showdown.
🔗 Third attacks: Sandra and Lisa bring you the latest news from the world of women’s football.
💵 Best bets
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all times US/Eastern. SportsLine has you covered with this weekend’s best bets.
- Premier League: Manchester City vs. Arsenal, Wednesday, 3pm
💰 THE CHOICE: Arsenal (+410) — Sometimes you have to bet with your heart. And my heart longs for a title race. I don’t want the top two to be in control all season long as City slide to another championship. I want drama and fireworks, and my Arsenal support friends to have mild heart attacks every weekend. Plus +410 is just a really big number for a team that has been second best in the Premier League all season.
- Coppa Italia: Inter vs. Juventus, Wednesday, 3 p.m
💰 THE CHOICE: Inter (-111) — It’s been a strange season for Inter, who are currently in the semi-finals of the Champions League, as well as outside the top four of Serie A, while also having roughly the same projected goal difference as Serie A number one. Naples. A win in the Coppa Italia wouldn’t save their season, but it certainly would Nice consolation prize.