Jamie Carragher

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VIDEO: Carragher gives linesman relief with VR display of Chelsea equalizer

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Jamie Carragher may have not meant to do it, but the longtime Liverpool man successfully argued the case for Video Assistant Referee on Monday.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher used the VAR without the A — virtual reality — to show why the linesman was unlikely to catch a yards-offside Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea’s comeback win over Cardiff City on Sunday.

[ MORE: PL midweek storylines ]

The loss may well cost Cardiff City its place in the Premier League, but the linesman would’ve been forced to stay on the end line for the attempt and — apparently — would’ve understandably had his line of sight blocked by Willian‘s dome.

It’s fascinating stuff. Well done, Sky and Jamie.

And Neil Warnock, you should still be angry. The eye in the sky wouldn’t have lied.

Fellaini: Manchester United knows they erred not giving me a new deal

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Marouane Fellaini knows he’s about to get paid.

The 30-year-old midfielder tried to re-up with Manchester United last season, but couldn’t get a new deal heading into the final year of his contract.

Now, having further established himself as a go-to guy off the bench for Jose Mourinho, he knows his value has risen at Old Trafford and abroad.

[ MORE: Roma-Liverpool recap | Reds react ]

And he’s not about to take a pay cut, admitting he has no problem playing in China if it’s his best option. From Sky Sports:

“The entire staff is doing everything [so] I can stay,” he told Sport Voetbal Magazine. “Last year I went to the coach and I said that I wanted a new contract. I then had a second meeting, but I will not ask it 10 times. Afterwards I became important for the team… and a good player costs at least 50m euros. The club knows that they went wrong there.”

Fellaini said several clubs have interest in his services, but we wonder how much of factor regular playing time is for the Belgian.

Knee injuries have robbed him of significant playing time this season, but Fellaini’s hit the pitch each time he’s made the 18 for a Premier League match. He has four goals in 15 appearances, four of which were starts.

Fellaini also took a shot at Jamie Carragher in the interview, asking why the ex-Liverpool man can dare criticize his playing style given his off-field actions earlier this year.

Jamie Carragher suspended as pundit

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Sky Sports have suspended pundit Jamie Carragher at least until the end of the current season.

The Liverpool legend was filmed spitting at a car of Manchester United fans after Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to their bitter rivals last Saturday.

Carragher has since apologized profusely for his actions after the video was published by the Daily Mirror in the UK.

He was filmed by a Man United fan who was driving alongside him on the highway and chucking banter his way about United’s win. Carragher then leaned out of the window and spat at the car, hitting the 14-year-old daughter of the driver filming the incident.

The former European champion, who spent his entire career at Liverpool, is one of Sky’s lead pundits alongside Gary Neville but Carragher didn’t feature on their broadcast of Stoke versus Manchester City on Monday after video of the incident emerged.

Here is the statement from Sky on Carragher’s future.

“Jamie has taken full responsibility for what has happened and we will ensure he gets the help he needs to guarantee something like this never happens again. Before the start of the next season we will sit down with Jamie to discuss whether he is ready to return to his role.”

Time for new chapter in Liverpool, Chelsea rivalry

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Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) with the Premier League rivals aiming to hunt down runaway leaders Manchester City.

Expect a raucous, fiery atmosphere as these foes lock horns with a changing dynamic to their growing rivalry.

[ VIDEO: PL score predictions, previews ]

Since Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho both landed at English soccer at Liverpool and Chelsea respectively in 2004-05, there’s been an extra edge to games between Liverpool and Chelsea as they often battled for the Premier League and Champions League titles.

Yet in recent years this rivalry has subsided a little, with both clubs enduring roller-coaster seasons with title challenges mixed in with disappointing campaigns and managerial changes.

Now, both teams are challenging in the Champions League (Chelsea are in the last 16, while Liverpool will certainly join them in 10 days time) and both are in a very similar position in the chasing pack behind Man City. With young, exciting squads the future is now looking bright for both teams.

Both also have talented, passionate managers in Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte who are in their second full seasons in the Premier League and both still have similar targets each season: to win major trophies. Heading into Saturday’s clash Chelsea sit in third place with 25 points, while Liverpool are in fifth and three points behind.

The main reason this rivalry has lost some oomph in recent years is because Chelsea have continued to add silverware to their trophy cabinet (the Champions League in 2011-12, plus the Premier League title in 2014-15 and 2016-17) and Liverpool haven’t won anything since the League Cup in 2011-12, while the Champions League triumph under Benitez in 2005 particularly got under Mourinho’s skin after the “ghost goal” from Luis Garcia.

Yet it now feels like both clubs are ready to challenge consistently for the PL title and they’ve moved on from glorious playing eras as legendary figures such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

Will this rivalry reach the heights of Mourinho and Benitez clashing on the sidelines during Champions League semifinals at Anfield, or the former then riling home fans during his second stint at Chelsea as his under-strength side ruined Liverpool’s title hopes back in 2014?

That day on April 27, 2014 (Liverpool fans do not need reminding) reignited this rivalry as a disheveled, unshaven Mourinho — he had been feeling unwell in the lead up to the game and was focusing on a UCL semifinal v Atletico Madrid — ran down the sideline to celebrate the victory, pounding the Chelsea badge on his chest like a madman in his tracksuit. He quickly retreated to the dressing room as vitriol arrived from home supporters who had seen their legendary captain, Gerrard, slip to gift Chelsea a soft goal and deal a hammer blow to Liverpool’s hopes of winning a first league title since 1990.

Getting the train from London to Liverpool, and back, that day, I remember scuffles breaking out between rival fans at Liverpool train station as police intervened. The atmosphere was toxic as this rivalry once again gathered steam. It wasn’t quite the heyday of Benitez vs. Mourinho, but it was getting there. The divide between the London clubs and those in the North West of England in the PL have always had an extra edge with geography and inter-city pride, plus the North-South divide in England, playing a big part.

But since Mourinho left Chelsea (for the second time) this rivalry now has a different feel to it. Last season it was Liverpool trying to play the spoiler for Chelsea’s title bid as they drew at Anfield in January with a wild Diego Costa winning, then failing with a late penalty kick which would’ve grabbed victory for the Blues. The flickers of a fiery rivalry are still very much there.

Sadio Mane vs. Eden Hazard. Mohamed Salah vs. Alvaro Morata. Philippe Coutinho vs. N'Golo Kante. Those are the new heavyweight rivalries in a clash which was one of the main events in the Premier League just over a decade ago. It’s importance is building once again under Klopp and Conte who have so far kept things respectful in their exchanges.

It feels like it is time for a new chapter to be written in this rivalry and Saturday evening under the floodlights at a packed out Anfield seems like the perfect place to do that.


Team news

Liverpool have Joel Matip back in training and he could be available to return in central defense but Emre Can is a major doubt in midfield.

Chelsea’s Victor Moses continues his recovery from a hamstring issue and could be on the bench but Michy Batshuayi will likely remain sidelined.


What they’re saying

Jurgen Klopp on Chelsea: “If we can create a special atmosphere that would help us. Our job is to stay really consistent. Chelsea, what a team, champions of last year, it will be a really tough job. They lost decisive players with Matic and Costa. With Chelsea last year, everything worked. They didn’t need many chances to win a game. It’s difficult to play the same season again, especially when you lose players.”

Antonio Conte on Chelsea not having enough rest before the Liverpool game after playing at Qarabag: “It was a problem to land. I think to get to your house at six o’clock in the morning is not simple to then rest and recover. We’ve only had one day to prepare for a big game and I think this is not right, I must be honest. But we have to do this and today we’ve had a good training session and we’ve tried to prepare for the game against Liverpool very well. I think to only have one day to prepare for a big game, especially to only have one day to rest is not right for all the teams, not only for Chelsea.”


Prediction

I’m expecting big things from this game, and the atmosphere, at Anfield. Both teams are in fine goalscoring form heading and the vast array of attacking talents on display has everything set up for an enthralling battle. With Hazard, Morata and Willian purring for Chelsea, plus Salah, Roberto Firmino and Mane on fire for Liverpool, you can expect one thing: goals. I’m going for a 2-2 draw.

Redknapp recruiting Terry to B’ham: “We’ve made him a good offer”

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It was always going to be Harry Redknapp, wasn’t it? How could all of us have been so blind to not see it coming?

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

Of course it would be Redknapp, world football’s champion wheeler-dealer, who’d try to extend John Terry‘s career by signing this summer. As soon as the 70-year-old (that’s Redknapp, to be clear) was confirmed as Birmingham City manager for next season, we should have seen this coming.

Harry Redknapp wants to sign 36-year-old John Terry to come play for him in the Championship next season. You’re angry at yourself for not having the foresight, too.

[ MORE: Everton spend $68 million for two players, in the same day ]

Anyway, here’s the former Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Jordan national team (that’s not fake) manager on the “good offer” he’s extended to Terry, and his main recruiting pitch — essentially, “I mean, why not, right?” — quotes from the Guardian:

“I’d love to have him at the football club. He’s a fantastic captain and great leader. We’ve made him a good offer and we have done the best we can. It’s up to John now, but we would love him at Birmingham.

“He played for me the other week in Michael Carrick’s testimonial. I had John at the back with Jamie Carragher and I would have them two together all day long. They were fantastic.

“I had a chat with him and said to him: ‘Come in’ — he’s doing his coaching badges — ‘have a year or two,’ and who knows what he wants to do in the future?”

The only people not actively rooting for this to happen wear blue and white every Saturday and live in the West Midlands of England.