Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Alyson Rudd and Oliver Kay after a massive Manchester derby. Events at the Etihad throw up a number of questions. Is Jose Mourinho getting the best out of this United squad? How have they spent so much to look so average? And despite a slender lead at the top of the table, is it inevitable that City will retain the title? After another virtuoso display from David Silva, we ask is he the player of this Premier League season so far? Or are Virgil Van Dijk and Eden Hazard more valuable to their clubs and therefore more deserving? Plus there’s some love shown to David Brooks of Bournemouth. And with international duty around the corner, Jadon Sancho produces another super showing as Dortmund defeat Bayern in the Bundesliga. Just how excited should England fans be about this young talent?
City and Sterling guilty of deception?
Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by James Gheerbrant and Paul Hirst ahead of the Manchester derby. While United were securing a famous win in Turin, City were smashing Shakhtar but with the help of a bizarre penalty awarded to Raheem Sterling. With no foul committed, should Sterling have owned up to the referee? And with revelations about City allegedly circumventing financial fair play, what damage is being done to the club’s reputation? Martyn Ziegler calls in after speaking to FIFA president Gianni Infantino about proposed European Super League plans and his insistence that any players to compete in such a league would be banned from international football. Plus after their shock defeat in Belgrade and with some challenging fixtures to come, can Liverpool get through the next few weeks, in their pursuit of domestic and European glory?
Rooney, City and the poppy
Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Alyson Rudd and Alan Smith in the studio to tackle some thorny issues in the football world. England’s friendly with the USA will now be a farewell appearance for record goal scorer Wayne Rooney. The match will be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International, with proceeds going to charity. But does Rooney deserve such a tribute and does Rooney’s appearance deprive other players of vital England experience? James McClean and Nemanja Matic made headlines over the weekend due to the lack of a remembrance poppy on their shirt. What’s the significance and why do players continue to be vilified and abused for that choice? As Manchester City make a mockery of Southampton at the Etihad, can Chelsea and Liverpool keep up with what looks to be a relentless title pace from the champions? And with Raheem Sterling starring again, is he worth his reportedly record-breaking contract offer? Plus find out which Premier League manager is like a 16th century doctor.
Is Pochettino in play this summer?
Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Jonathan Northcroft and James Gheerbrant ahead of another huge weekend of football. How will Liverpool, arguably with their most solid defensive structure since the days of Rafa Benitez, fare against Emery’s speedier, more dynamic Arsenal? And can these teams help us fall in love with the team goal again as opposed to the long-range screamer? Across North London, Mauricio Pochettino has spoken about his worst feeling at Tottenham since becoming manager. With the Real Madrid and Manchester United jobs potentially available in the summer, are we witnessing the end of Pochettino’s love affair with Daniel Levy? Plus with the pitch and the NFL branding playing a prominent role in the Spurs v Man City fixture, did the visuals at Wembley on Monday night damage the Premier League brand? Also on the agenda, the 48 team World Cup could be less than 4 years away. Does increasing the number of teams dilute the quality of the tournament? Or should football be a festival for all? Charlie Scott provides advice ahead of the fantasy football weekend. For free Fantasy Premier League tips from The Sweeper, visit
Vichai got it right on and off the pitch
It’s been a weekend where shocking events off the field have overshadowed football. On Saturday night, after Leicester City’s game with West Ham, Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among those to lose his life when a helicopter carrying him and 4 others crashed outside the King Power Stadium. Under his stewardship, Leicester despite odds of 5,000 to 1, won the Premier League title in 2016, perhaps the most incredible title victory in the history of English football. Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Henry Winter, Alyson Rudd and Oliver Kay for their reaction. In an age where fans feel disenfranchised from their club, Srivaddhanaprabha was an owner who tried to reverse that trend and connected with the community. The panel reflect on an owner that made good decisions on the pitch too, from hiring the ridiculed Ranieri to investing in unknown gems. In the Premier League, Ross Barkley continues to thrive under Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. Did people forget how good he is? And can Ruben Loftus-Cheek thrive in the same way or is he still at the wrong club this season? And after another impressive display for Bournemouth, the stock of Eddie Howe and Callum Wilson continues to rise. How much longer can Gareth Southgate ignore Wilson before calling him up to the England squad?