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Chelsea and Newcastle for the Champions League - 25/04/2003

   Newcastle United

Itís three teams fighting for two places and itís not just my own bias when I say most footballing people would prefer my past teams to qualify in place of Liverpool. This season Liverpool havenít been at their best and to put it quite simply, they donít deserve to finish above Newcastle or Chelsea. Liverpool were very lucky against Charlton and a fairer result would have been a draw. However theyíre the form side right now and that can count for a great deal at this time of the season.

Of course the fixture list means that the last kick of the season could decide who qualifies, and itíll be an incredible game at Stamford Bridge when the reds and the blues meet. Chelsea are a better team, they have more quality up front and a superior when it comes to organisation. I think they'll have too much for Liverpool - esepcially with it being a home game. Before this thereís the local derby against Fulham, and itís possible Chelsea could send them down. One things for sure, itís all happening in the Premiership and it just goes to show what a wonderful league we have.

Newcastle have to end their run of four games without a win, and with Sunderland tomorrow, thereíll not be a sweeter place to gain three points. However, a draw of a defeat will hurt more than any other game this season Ė including the recent heavy loss to Man Utd. Itíll be a tremendous atmosphere in the Stadium of Light and with Sunderland already doomed to relegation, theyíll be playing for pride - and there's a tremendous amount of pride up there! Thereís no doubt that Newcastle are a far more impressive team, but sometimes quality can be less important when a derby match is played. Itíll be about passion, and the stronger will to win will count for a lot. But Newcastle have players with quality, and in a game I expect to be tight, Iím expecting a black and white victory.

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