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high press episode 22 – weekly football prediction

High Press Episode 22:

Episode 22 of High Press previews the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and takes a look at some of the leading candidates to succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager.
Host Alison Bender is joined by Shaun Custis, Sam Cunningham and Riath Al-Samarrai to talk Gary O’Neil, Eddie Howe and look at this weekend’s four ties.

Gary O’Neil has worked wonders at Wolves

There’s plenty of praise for O’Neil to start the episode.
Al-Samarrai says, “It’s easy to forget with how well they have played at times this season, but what he inherited there was incredibly difficult.”
Both Custis and Cunningham sympathised with the situation O’Neil was in, though the former also made a point about the potential at the club and their loyal, committed fanbase.

Cunningham adds, “Other teams just aren’t outrunning them now. He’s getting them working hard… I think he likes to have quite a lot of control over style of play, and he’s amazing at preparing to face certain opponents.”Custis praises how O’Neil dealt with some decisions that went against Wolves, with the former Bournemouth manager often making his point without ‘ranting and raving’.

Bender directs the conversation towards the prospect of O’Neil succeeding Southgate.
Al-Samarrai is quick to manage expectations.

Next England manager?

“I think particularly around English managers, we can get very excited very quickly… I look at somebody like Graham Potter, you go around Stamford Bridge and canvas opinion on him, and it’s going to be very different to when we were looking at him at Brighton.”

Custis responds, “Maybe before we start thinking about O’Neil as the next England manager, he needs to learn some of the cuter tricks that other managers do.”
While Cunningham believes O’Neil’s coaching style could suit international football, Custis is much less convinced.

For Pochettino, O’Neil, Klopp and Howe, the FA Cup is still important!

With attention turning to the FA Cup, Custis says, “The FA Cup is more important this year for lots of clubs. Pochettino, he’s virtually got to win it. For Eddie Howe, this is the most important competition of the year.”

Al-Samarrai looks at the competition’s significance, even for the biggest clubs.
“When it comes to the sharp end of the competition – the quarters, semis and final – it matters to everyone.”

Chelsea v Leicester

He also says that winning the FA Cup could be what saves Pochettino’s job, even though Chelsea have ‘spent a fortune’ and played some dreadful football.
After agreement from the panel that there is upset potential for Chelsea against Leicester this weekend, Custis questions whether the FA Cup is as important to O’Neil as it is to Pochettino with Wolves on the brink of a rare semi-final appearance.

Man City v Newcastle

Custis accepts it’s a ‘tall order’ for Newcastle away to Manchester City, but believes the Magpies ‘should win it’ if they can upset the European champions.
Looking at the ‘glamour tie’ of Manchester United and Liverpool, Al-Samarrai believes winning the competition would be ‘enormous’ for Erik ten Hag. Custis, though, recalls how Louis van Gaal was sacked on the same day he won the FA Cup.

What’re you predicting for this weekend’s quarter finals? Let us know!

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