Champions League: Liverpool seek early advantage as Spurs, Man City square off

first_img Tags: FC Portoliverpoolmanchester citytoptottenham hotspursuefa champions league Liverpool have never lost to Porto (Agency Photos)Liverpool vs PortoAnfield Stadium, LiverpoolTuesday, 09-04-2019 @10pmReferee: Antonio Mateu (Spain)Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is expected to be fit after suffering a minor knock in Friday’s 3-1 league win at Southampton. Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum could also feature despite a minor back injury, but Adam Lallana is likely to miss out with a muscle issue. Klopp said defender Joe Gomez, who has been sidelined since December, “won’t play unless he has to”.But Porto will be without a number of key players for the encounter. Key man Alex Telles is back in training but it remains to be seen whether he will be passed fit in time – while Fabiano, Jorge and Marius Mouandilmadji are also on the sidelines. Boss Sergio Conceicao has 19 players at his disposal at present, three of those being goalkeepers.Liverpool have never lost a European match against Porto in six previous encounters (W3 D3). Porto have never faced an opponent in the Champions League more often than Liverpool without winning (four games), also failing to win in four matches against Zenit St Petersburg and Juventus.Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has scored 69% of his Champions League goals in the knockout stages of the competition (9/13); of players with at least 10 goals, only Ivica Olic (7/10 – 70%) has a higher such percentage in Champions League history. Should he appear, Mane will make his 20th Champions League appearance, scoring 13 goals in 19 games. Only five players have scored more than 13 goals in their first 20 matches in the competition’s history: Alessandro del Piero (14), Ruud van Nistelrooy (16), Andriy Shevchenko (14), Jari Litmanen (14) and Roberto Soldado (16). Milner has recorded 10 Champions League assists since the beginning of last season, more than any other player. Since 2003-04, only three other Englishman have registered double figures for assists for a single side in the competition: Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) and Steven Gerrard (Liverpool). All of Liverpool’s 12 goals in the Champions League this season have come from inside the box, the only side left in the competition yet to net a goal from outside the penalty area. The nine goals Porto have conceded in the competition have also come from inside the box. Liverpool have progressed from four of their past five quarter-final appearances in the Champions League between 2004-05 and 2017-18 – only in 2008-09 did they fall out at this stage after a 5-7 aggregate defeat by Chelsea.Porto striker Moussa Marega could become the fourth player in Champions League history to score in seven successive matches in the competition, after Edinson Cavani, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo. Porto have failed to win any of their past 12 away knockout games in the Champions League (D4 L8) since a 1-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruna in 2004. Porto won the competition that season under manager Jose Mourinho.Tottenham Hotspurs vs Manchester CityTottenham Hotspur Stadium, LondonTuesday, 09-04-2019 @10pmReferee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)City have won 11 of their last 16 games against SpursCity forward Sergio Aguero, who has missed the last two games with a muscle injury, could feature after returning to training. Aguero has 29 goals this season, including five in the Champions League. Full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy should also be available.Tottenham will be without midfielder Eric Dier (hip), forward Erik Lamela (hamstring) and full-back Serge Aurier (hamstring). Forward Fernando Llorente is back in the squad after he missed out against Crystal Palace last week with concussion.Tottenham have not faced an English team in a European competition since April 1973, when they faced – and were eliminated by – Liverpool in the 1972-73 UEFA Cup semi-final. Manchester City have lost all four of their European matches against English opponents, losing both legs of the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Chelsea and both legs of last season’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. This is the first ever European meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and City in what is the 157th meeting between the teams in all competitions. City have won 11 of their last 16 matches against Spurs (D1 L4), with all those meetings coming in the Premier League. Spurs are competing in only their second Champions League quarter-final, losing previously 0-5 on aggregate to Real Madrid in 2010-11. Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been involved in 17 goals in 17 Champions League appearances (14 goals, 3 assists). City boss Pep Guardiola has won 26 of his 52 Champions League knockout matches, just one behind the all-time record held jointly by Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti (27 wins).Comments last_img read more

This is why the euro is collapsing

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – For those in the United States, the next summer is looking like the best time to take that European vacation you’ve been thinking about. That’s because the euro has already fallen to a 12-year low of $1.06, and should keep falling for at least another year. In fact, it shouldn’t be long until the dollar is worth more.A brief history The last time the dollar was worth more than the euro was all the way back in December 2002, just three years after the common European currency came into existence. But in the years after that, the euro gained strength as the continent imported less and exported more. The euro soared to an all-time high of $1.59. It was enough that, in 2007, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan wondered if the euro would replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency — in other words, the benchmark that everyone uses in case of emergency. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly insisted on being paid in euros rather than dollars. That’s quite a consensus. But it turns out that these reports of the dollar’s death were greatly exaggerated. Since then, the euro has fallen 24 percent against the dollar in less than a year, and made everyone forget its grand ambitions. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly insisted on being paid in euros rather than dollars. Timothy A. Clary/AFPWhat happened? Robert Frost can help us here. Two monetary policies have diverged in, well, not a wood, and Europe has finally taken the path well traveled by. Specifically, to boost Europe’s extraordinary weak economy, the European Central Bank (ECB) is buying bonds with newly printed money, aka quantitative easing, while the Federal Reserve is far enough along that it’s getting ready to raise rates. That means interest rates are falling, sometimes into negative territory, in Europe, and, at least on the short end, rising in the U.S.Think about it like this. Would you rather buy a German 10-year bond that pays 0.25 percent or a U.S. 10-year bond that pays 2.1 percent? Investors, especially big European ones, are answering that by moving their money out of euros and into dollars. And voilà, the euro has fallen from $1.39 last year to $1.06 today.The simpler way to think about this, though, is that the U.S. economy is in a lot better shape than Europe’s. Unemployment is 5.5 percent here and falling fast, while it’s 11.2 percent there and barely falling at all. Now a stronger economy should mean a stronger currency, because it needs higher interest rates to keep inflation in check — which should make it a more attractive place to put money.But, as Europe has found out, the opposite isn’t true. Higher rates don’t make your economy strong if it’s actually weak. And even though that will push your currency up in the short run, it will make it fall even more in the longer one. That’s the mistake the ECB made — twice, actually! — in 2011, when it raised rates to fight some fleeting oil inflation. The result was a double-dip recession that almost tore the common currency union apart, and has only just ended. To make up for that, the ECB has had to do more than it otherwise might have, cutting interest rates into negative territory and buying €60 billion of bonds a month. The euro, in other words, is falling so much more today, because it didn’t fall like it should have yesterday.The U.S., meanwhile, has been printing money like it should have, at least most of the time. It started Quantitative Easing in 2008, expanded it in 2009, restarted it in 2010, and re-restarted it in 2012 with a promise to keep going until unemployment came down. It worked. Now all these starts and stops are why the dollar kept going up and down and up again these past few years, but now that it’s over, it’s only going up. Indeed, the Fed is done buying bonds, and, unlike almost every other central bank, is preparing to raise rates. That’s pushed the dollar up against every currency, but especially the euro now that the ECB is printing them. The Fed is done buying bonds, and, unlike almost every other central bank, is preparing to raise rates. Brendan Smialowski/AFPHow low will the euro go?That depends on how much, if at all, the Fed raises rates, and how long the ECB buys bonds. On the one hand, there’s no sign of any inflation or bubbly behavior that would force the Fed to raise rates. But on the other, the Fed has been pretty clear that it wants to start normalizing policy in June because unemployment is already normal-ish. And on top of that, New York Fed President William Dudley has even said they might have to hike rates in quick succession if long-term rates don’t go up too — which seems pretty likely with Europe’s low bond yields pushing ours down. The ECB has promised to keep buying bonds until at least September 2016, and even longer than that if inflation is still too low. Now Europe’s inflation numbers are already picking up a little bit, but, as The New York Times’ Paul Krugman points out, markets seem to believe it will be a good while longer before Europe’s economy — and by extension, its monetary policy — is anywhere close to normal. Add it all up, and Deutsche Bank expects the euro to keep falling to $0.90 by the end of 2016 and $0.85 by the end of 2017.So now you know when to buy those plane tickets.O’Brien is a reporter for Wonkblog covering economic affairs. He was previously a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Recent exchange rate stability offers relief to businesses Most Mexico policymakers warn against raising rates before US US Fed officials emphasize gradual tightening China’s slowdown, financial mayhem cast long shadow across worldlast_img read more