WHAT happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
It probably goes to extra-time and penalties.
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s two powerhouses collide again at Wembley on Saturday
But this time something has to give. One way or the other, someone has to emerge victorious.
And at some point on Saturday evening, either Liverpool’s bid for the quadruple or Manchester City’s for the treble will be over.
For Jurgen Klopp, this will be a first FA Cup semi-final in his seventh season as Liverpool boss.
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In previous years he has never given the impression that it is a competition which features high on his list of priorities.
Even this season he has effectively fielded his reserve team to get past Shrewsbury, Cardiff, Norwich and Nottingham Forest.
But all of a sudden, this means more.
And anything less than a full strength side against City will only end in tears.
Luckily for Klopp, he had the luxury of being able to rest Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara for Wednesday’s Champions League game against Benfica.
City, meanwhile, will limp down Wembley Way with their players still battered and bruised from their brutal encounter with Atletico Madrid.
And you have to wonder if that battle with the Spanish champions will tip the balance in Liverpool’s favour tomorrow.
Pep Guardiola claimed his team are in “big trouble” for Wembley after Kevin de Bruyne and Kyle Walker hobbled off injured in midweek and Phil Foden was kicked from pillar to post by Felipe.
Even with a squad as deep as the Atlantic, Pep has no-one who can replace the creative genius of De Bruyne.
The Belgian’s absence would be a game-changer in a match of this magnitude.
And given the tortuous journey the supporters must undergo to make it to Wembley tomorrow, they deserve to see both teams at their brilliant best.
The Football Association are doing their utmost to fill the stadium after the geniuses at Network Rail decided to cancel all trains from the North-West over the Easter weekend.
But 100 free coaches is barely going to touch the sides of the travel chaos facing fans who have followed their teams all across Europe yet suddenly can’t get to Euston.
Their only consolation would be a match as good as last Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at the Etihad which left the title race thrillingly balanced on a knife’s edge.
Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s encounter, the losers will still be able to console themselves with the knowledge that they can still win the Premier League and the Champions League this season.
Chances are they will be meeting again in the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.
But the only thing that matters right now is the FA Cup.
Because we are finally going to get an answer to the irresistible force paradox which has baffled scientists throughout history.
TO HULL AND BACK
HULL CITY owner Acun Ilicali has laughed off reports that he is set to sign professional irritant Mesut Ozil on a free transfer from Fenerbahce.
Considering that Ozil never travelled further north than Watford during his eight years, there is absolutely no chance of luring him to Humberside.
Ozil is out in the cold in Istanbul after a predictable fall-out with his Fenerbahce boss.
His agent, Erkut Sogut, has just had his debut novel published about the murky world of football transfers.
So it’s just his most prominent client who has lost the plot, then.
UNAI THE GUY
IT was a very good evening indeed for Unai Emery when Villarreal knocked out Bayern Munich in this week’s Champions League quarter-finals.
Considering that his team contains four Tottenham cast-offs, Francis Coquelin and a midfielder signed from Bournemouth, it was arguably the result of the year.
And if Erik ten Hag can get the Manchester United job on the back of taking Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals three years ago, why isn’t Unai in the Old Trafford running?
THE wheels of justice turn very slowly in Switzerland but Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini will finally have their day in court this summer.
The dodgy duo have been charged with fraud, forgery, misappropriation and mismanagement over a £1.35million payment from Fifa funds to Platini way back in 2011.
And it will be interesting to hear the old shysters trying to talk their way out of this one.
Blatter presided over years of football corruption during his time as Fifa president and Platini was his alleged partner in crime as boss of Uefa.
Seven years after they were kicked out of football, the game is still paying the price for their sins.
So as we all prepare for a winter World Cup in Qatar, let’s hope Blatter and Platini will be watching from a prison cell in Zurich.
DRAGONS WITHOUT FIRE
WELSH FIRE have just announced their squad for cricket’s new Hundred season and it doesn’t contain a single Welshman.
Then again, the Oval Invincibles are anything but unbeatable and there is absolutely nothing authentic about the Manchester Originals.
It’s almost as though the reality of this artificial tournament doesn’t quite live up the hype.
By: Gary Stonehouse
Title: Man City vs Liverpool sees an irresistible force meeting an immovable object… and at Wembley we’ll find out which wins
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18270422/man-city-vs-liverpool-wembley-fa-cup/
Published Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2022 20:09:51 +0000