Twedex Wins Sports Industry Award

The Twedex Group were delighted to pick up a Silver Award for ‘Best Sports Event Organisers’ at the Sports Industry Awards (Asia) presented by TikTok and hosted at W Dubai – The Palm on Wednesday 26th May.

With lots of very impressive events taking place in the region over the last 18 months we are incredibly proud to have been recognised as one of the leading providers in the industry.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, director Andrew Cook says the award shows the dedication and hard work which has taken place throughout the business over the last year and thanked the schools and venues for their support during a difficult period with Covid restrictions.

“We are really thankful that we’ve been recognised with this award. We aim to provide young people with sports events that they can use as inspiration in their school and sporting life and it’s nice to have been rewarded in this way.

“Covid restrictions have put the brakes on competitive school sport this academic year and we are hopeful that we are now looking forward to a return to normality after the summer holidays.

“Our team at Twedex have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that when the world is safe enough to organise international events we are ready to go again.

Below is a summary of the events which led to the recent award:

1. U11 & U13 World School Games (Dubai – January & February 2019 – 36 schools from 14 countries)
2. BSME Games (4 x events during 2019 – all in GCC – 64 schools from around the GCC)
3. World Schools Netball Cup (Loughborough – June 2019 – 40 schools from 8 countries)
4. World School Basketball Championships (New York University Abu Dhabi – December 2019 – 20 schools from around the GCC)
5. World Schools Football Cup (Barcelona – October 2019 – 38 schools from 8 countries)

With relationships built over a number of years it has been strange not seeing the students and staff over the last 12 months but we have been really impressed by the ways schools have adapted to the new circumstances they’ve found themselves in.

“We have been supported immensely by the schools and venues we work with on a regular basis and we’ve tried to keep in touch with everyone over the last year to ensure that we are supporting each other as much as possible in difficult circumstances.

“Hopefully with the continued success of the vaccine rollout across the world we will be welcoming young sports people to our events in the near future.”

If you’d like any more information on The Twedex Group please click here to contact us today.

#InsideTheIndustry – School Sport

Next up in our #InsideTheIndustry series we caught up with Health & Wellbeing teacher and junior football extraordinaire Mr Kowbel.

With schools closed or partially closed for a number of months over the last year, teachers have had to be creative in order to make sure their students are being challenged as well as possible when doing school work at home.


1. How has lockdown affected the way you’ve been able to teach over the last 12 months?

It’s been a real challenge to provide anything like the ‘normal’ physical PE experience as guidelines around changing facilities, use of equipment and social distancing has hit us hard.

We’ve not been able to follow Sport Scotland guidelines and have had to wait on guidance from Education Scotland which has led to frustration from learners and parents.

Our approach has very much been about focusing on the cognitive skills and physical qualities such as decision making, teamwork and communication.

The online home learning approach has been new for all of us and undoubtedly tough for learners but it has presented some positive aspects which we can incorporate into our practice in post Covid times.

 

2. As a PE teacher you’re used to being active throughout the year, how have you coped with being unable to get out of the playing fields/in the sports hall for large parts of the last year?

We’ve been extremely lucky with favourable weather and the response our learners have given to the challenges…there’s been very few moans and groans and they’ve embraced the situation!

We’ve kept activity games based and as I say the approach has been more about being active than skills development.

We utilised the short windows in between lockdowns to assess learners practical performance in the senior phase so have been really fortunate in that sense but there’s no getting away from the fact that experiential learning has been limited.

3. How difficult is it to run a PE lesson via Microsoft Teams?

Our Dance classes have actually been really successful! The staff and learners have worked so well together to keep learning on track. PE has been more problematic and we’ve tried to keep learners engaged with fitness advice and challenges with supporting mental well being the priority for this.  

The major challenge has been the diverse range of access to IT and quality of internet provision…despite the best efforts of schools and other agencies many learners have found accessing learning a significant struggle.

4. Have you and your colleagues had to be creative in the ways to get your students active during home learning?

Absolutely, as I say Dance has worked well but we’ve tried to keep things fun and positive. When the snow came we set challenges around this and it was good to see some of the learners out sledging when I took my own children to the golf course hills!

5. With school and club football suspended for long periods, how much have you missed being able to get out on the training pitch and matchdays in school/junior football this year?

It’s left a significant void!! The more relaxed environment is a huge part of building relationships beyond the classroom and in my view extra curricular opportunities are a fundamental part of school building a positive ethos and helping learners to transition from primary school, make new friends and build school pride.

Being unable to organise trips and tours is also disappointing as over the years the benefits and experiences they offer to learners is life shaping and life changing. Hopefully light is beginning to shine at the end of this long tunnel!

#InsideTheIndustry – Sports Management

Next up in our #InsideTheIndustry mini-series is a look into the world of sports management with Michael from Consilium Sports Group.

Based in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, Michael’s primary responsibilities lie within the Football Operations team working with players and personalities across the football world.

Like many sections of the sports industry over the last 12 months, sports management has been forced to adapt to a new way of working. With stadiums empty and meetings taking place online instead of in person, Michael has had to be flexible in his approach to work.

How have the last 12 months affected your working life?

I’ve been in a fortunate position that I actually got a new job during the pandemic, joining Consilium Sports Group in November. It’s been a strange start getting to grips with all that comes with a new job mostly virtually, but I’m thankful for being one of the luckier people during these times.

With so much uncertainty in the football world, has it been a challenging time to work in professional football?

Yes, it has but football has been one of the more privileged industries in terms of being able to return and continue in some form during the pandemic. A lot of clubs had to trim costs to survive and many of the players and staff felt that directly with wage cuts. The fans being unable to attend also hits income generation and in turn results in a knock on effect throughout the industry.

Whilst the top end of football has continued without much of a blip, the lower leagues and women’s game in Scotland were postponed for a prolonged period recently. We have a number of players who were affected by this including a strain on the players mental and physical wellbeing. There are a lot of knock on effects as mentioned, such as some players may have needed to showcase themselves this season for a new contract or a move but are now facing an uncertain future due to them not playing.

What have you been doing to manage working from home – has it been difficult to adapt?

It hasn’t been easy and I am sure everyone up and down the country has felt the same. I live in a flat with my girlfriend and have both been working from the same table in the living room, so that can certainly be a challenge.

I picked up a second hand bike back in April and found a lot of joy just getting out on that for an hour or heading out for a run, if the dodgy knee allows. I like to try get out for a lunch break or straight after work to break up the day a little bit, so I don’t find myself just moving from bed to table to sofa to bed. I also found it helped when we moved the table to a different place in the living room every 2 weeks or so, just to give it a different outlook. Although, sat next to the window you can end up a little distracted being neighbourhood watch!

With transfers affected by Covid, has the role of a football agency changed over the last year?

Covid has certainly slowed the transfer market down and money, especially in Scotland, is being spent a bit more carefully. I would say our role is still similar to before as we aim to represent the client in the best way we can.

We are there to provide support, advice and mentoring which does include contracts and transfers but we also pride ourselves on being more than that. We have increased our concierge support services including financial advisory, helped to develop long term plans with our athletes including after sport opportunities and also had our staff complete mental health wellbeing courses to be equipped in ways that may be of help to our talent, especially during these times.

We have also had to think of a new way to communicate with our talent and have started recording a talking newsletter that is distributed out to everyone as a way to keep everyone up to date and feel included.

It’s important to us that we are there for every part of our talent’s journey and not just when the contract renewal or transfer is being discussed. The pandemic has shown this to be even more important and the health and wellbeing of our talent is our number one priority.

With no fans at matches and a much tighter number of staff allowed in the stadiums – has it been difficult to miss out on attending games on a Saturday?

I have really missed going to the football. From a work perspective, we would usually be out watching our talent playing and it’s also a good time to catch up with them after a match to see how they are doing both professionally and personally. It also makes recruitment slightly more difficult due to being unable to watch any new talent in person.

From a personal point of view, getting along to games was also a time to see friends and family so that has been a big miss from a social aspect. Whilst there is an abundance of games on the TV at the moment, nothing beats a live stadium atmosphere.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, what are you most looking forward to in your work life?

Getting back to some form of normality will be great. I never thought I would miss an office environment as much as I have, but I have taken for granted the positives of the general day to day interaction and banter you get in an office.

I’m also really looking forward to just meeting everyone in person. Starting a new job and doing a lot of the introduction meetings over Zoom has been rather strange so it will be good to meet more of my colleagues and also the talent as most of them have only ever seen me in a square on a screen. The hardest part of that will probably be having to change out of my pyjama bottoms, but I am very much looking forward to it.

Consilium Sports Group is a Sports & Entertainment Management Agency based in Edinburgh. You can click here to visit their website.

#InsideTheIndustry – Sports Media

Next up in our #InsideTheIndustry series, which takes a look at the impacts of Covid-19 on various parts of the sports sector, we caught up with Lauren, Head of Content at Gulf Youth Sport.

Gulf Youth Sport is a wide-ranging media platform in the Middle East dedicated to all things youth sport, from PE programmes within schools to elite sports academies in the UAE and across the Gulf. Lauren is the brains behind many of the articles and features on GYS, keeping on top of everything newsworthy in the world of youth sport.

Lauren has been based in her homeland of Australia for most of the pandemic due to travel-related restrictions, meaning she has been forced to keep up to date remotely across a number of timezones! She very kindly took time out of her busy schedule to let us know how Covid has affected her work…

How have the last 12 months affected Gulf Youth Sport and its activities?

The temporary halt of all competition and training changed the way we covered sport in the Middle East. Instead of being on the ground at events, the GYS platform focused on publicising positive sporting stories and finding the committed young athletes and teachers who were continuing to keep up their fitness despite the circumstances.

We covered virtual tournaments, ran campaigns to support sports academies and presented daily workouts to help the community keep active. But the highlight has been covering the reopening of sporting academies and return to PE in schools across recent months.

With so much uncertainty in the sports world, has it been a challenging time to work in sports media?

Initially the thought of no competitive sport to cover for an extended period caused uncertainty. However, there are always times when sports news is slower including over the Christmas break or when the football season ends and you need to find creative ways to develop content.

The past year has shown how adaptable the industry can be given the sports sections of newspapers, magazines and websites have continually been updated despite the decrease in sport. In saying that, nothing beats the thrill of broadcasting from a live match or writing about a competitive league!

What have you been doing to manage working from home – has it been difficult to adapt to online meetings and media sessions?

It’s hard to even remember a time when online meetings and interviews weren’t just normal practice so I think I’ve become quite accustomed to working this way.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to chat to some people that are normally hard to catch because they’re busy doing so many things during normal times. To manage working from home, I’ve tried to replicate the office as best I can and work in a quiet space to help me focus.

With schools and academies all over the Middle East looking for creative ways to keep their players active, how important has it been for GYS to give them a platform over the last year?

It has potentially been the most important time at GYS to really showcase schools and academies that had their operations shut down. We thought it was vital to show academies were still present and were ready to reopen with all the necessary precautions when given the all clear.

We did this most prominently through our Support Your Sports Academy campaign which publicised academies struggles and allowed parents and young athletes to show their support.

How important is it to have a community within GYS which allow parents, coaches and players to share best practice?

The GYS community has certainly been a haven of positivity throughout this time, showing support and encouragement for all the efforts teachers, coaches and academies have been putting in to keep kids active.

It’s been a great forum for leaders of schools and sporting organisations to demonstrate ways they are adapting to new rules allowing them to operate safely and students have been able to see opportunities to become involved in virtual challenges.

GYS is home to large numbers of young aspiring media people, how pleased are you that the GYS media programme has continued to allow young people to gain experience in sports media in such difficult circumstances?

Having launched the GYS Sports Media Course during tough lockdowns last year it’s been fantastic to have an avenue where students can still connect with sport while not being able to play. Students have shown incredible skill covering sport, as well as initiative to find creative ways to complete the course, even when there’s been no live sport to attend.

Often this has meant siblings and parents stepping in to be the focus of videos, pictures and articles! As we continue to offer the course, I’m pleased that more students will have the opportunity to cover sport, particularly given they’ll be back competing or analysing sport from the sidelines in no time. 

Gulf Youth Sport is an online platform dedicated to raising the profile of youth sport in the Middle East. GYS aim to celebrate rising stars and encourage increased participation and enjoyment levels in sport and exercise.

You can keep up to date with Gulf Youth Sport by visiting their website here.

#InsideTheIndustry – Sports Events & Tourism

The last year has been strange for us all. Schools have been closed, sports events postponed and played behind closed doors, travel halted and life as we know it changed significantly.

The sports industry, like many others across a wide ranging array of sectors, has been impacted hugely by Covid-19. Over the course of a mini-series of #InsideTheIndustry articles we aim to take a look at how the day to day routines of working within the world of sport have been affected in the last 12 months.

Kicking us off is Rory, Operations & Customer Journey Executive at The Twedex Group based in Edinburgh. Rory’s day to day includes planning and managing sports tours and events in the UK and Europe, with schools and sports clubs leaning on his expertise to plan enjoyable and rewarding sporting experience for their youngsters.

How have the last 12 months affected the sports events industry in general?

The pandemic has had a monumental impact on the sports events industry, with it coming to a complete standstill in March last year. Working directly within the industry we remained hopeful of running our events in the late summer of 2020 and none of us would have predicted that we were going to still be in the same position almost a year down the line.

Particularly for young children who have had an extremely disruptive time in terms of education, the return of domestic grassroots sport last summer was a real boost for kids mental and physical wellbeing and I can imagine it has been tough for them to have had this taken away from them a few months later.

Fingers crossed grassroots sport can come back alongside education, as young people are crying out for a bit of structure and normality of day-to-day life.

Professional/elite sport has been given some flexibility as opposed to other industries since summer last year, which I feel has been important for many people (me included) to help distance yourself from the issues around the globe even though you are restricted to your own sofa.

Besides the obvious exclusion of supporters in stadiums, the top European football leagues, golf, tennis etc have been relatively unaffected financially with the majority of revenue being generated through TV and sponsorship deals. However, the further you are from the top of these respective sports, the more impact the pandemic has had.

Scottish football clubs in the SPFL are struggling to make ends meet until supporters are allowed back into stadiums so fingers crossed the vaccine rollout continues to excel and supporters can get back into stadiums asap at all levels for financial but also atmospheric and social reasons.

With so much uncertainty in the sports world, has it been a challenging time to work in sports events?

Personally, it has been a difficult period with so much uncertainty in terms of a timeline of when things will return to normal. It was extremely frustrating back in March when everything came to a halt as all the work that had gone into specific events went to waste.

It is natural to fear the worst and consider alternative career paths, but I feel that I’m fortunate to work within a close-knit team where we have worked through the challenges as a group and we believe that the hunger for schools and clubs to get back playing sport will help get us back on track as a business.

What have you been doing to manage working from home – has it been difficult to adapt to online meetings etc?

It’s not been too difficult to adapt as we have needed to work remotely prior to the pandemic. Saying that, I am very much looking forward to getting back into the office for general social interaction with colleagues on a day-to-day basis as opposed to an hour’s chat on Zoom once a week.

It has been difficult to measure productivity with there being a lot less work to do, although I do believe that a majority office-based role with flexibility to work from home is the way forward and I think we will see a major shift towards flexible working across all industries when the dust finally settles.

How important is it to give players and coaches something to look forward to when things return to normality?

It has been a hugely disruptive 12 months educationally. Grassroots sport offers a massive release for young people, so the sooner they can get back playing safely the better.

Teams have endured so much disappointment on several occasions with tours and tournaments taken away from them, which is why I have everything crossed that we will be able to provide some positivity at the end of this extremely frustrating period by delivering our tours and events.

Tours and tournaments will probably look and feel quite different when they return later this year – how important is it to ensure everything is done to make them as safe and enjoyable as possible?

If we are able to ensure that tours and events are conducted in as safe a manner as possible I believe the enjoyment will come naturally for everyone involved. Although these are likely to be only domestic for the rest of the year, to be able to return to a setting with teammates, friends and family after such a difficult period will be such a relief as everyone will be able to see that we are slowly returning to normal life.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, what are you most looking forward to in your work life?

I am looking forward to delivering successful events and tours as to play a part in providing something positive for young people is something I will take great satisfaction in. On a personal note I am very much looking forward to getting back into a structured lifestyle, returning to the office full time and working with new and existing schools and sports teams.

The Twedex Group comprises several unique companies, each specialising in a different area of the sports industry. With offices in the UK, Spain, and the UAE, our products and services are varied but our approach remains consistent – passion, honesty, reliability and unfaltering quality in everything we do.

For more information please send us an email by clicking here.

Benefits of Event-Based Sports Tourism

Hosting the world’s major sporting events come with a large price tag attached. Some countries are willing to expend millions of pounds each year to hold a tennis or golf Grand Slam or Grand Prix race, while others pump billions into the hosting of an Olympics or World Cup.

Cities rely on some of that money being recuperated when people from all across the region and world descend on a city, first to watch the sporting event, but with spare time allowing them to explore what a city has to offer.

For that reason the sport tourism industry has an estimated value of £610 billion according to a study by Eurosport.

The competitive (and expensive) exercise of bidding for these major events begins the thinking process for fans who start dreaming of a holiday destination based on sport.

The Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cups of any sport are major examples of events where fans go into ballots for their preferred matches and events, long before they’ve left their house.

But before any fans have booked their tickets, hotels are already filling up with athletes, coaches and families of players An estimated 10,000 athletes alone need to be housed during the summer Olympics, but this is one of the few events where a Village is built specifically for them.

Aside from the sporting event, the allure of a particular stadium can be enough for some. Cricket fans travel from far and wide for the chance to watch a Test match at Lord’s , while others will travel the same route only to divert at the last moment and head down the road to Old Trafford.

This is in addition to the many who are content to not even see an event, but just to walk around a stadium and bask in the glory of an empty ground steeped in sporting history. Stadiums like Camp Nou receive around 32 million tourists a year, including those attending matches.

But big events put the city on the global stage sparking future tourism occurring long past the events finish date. During each major event images of the country are beamed around the world. This means even the casual sports observer might be drawn to a country–as one is to the French countryside while watching the Tour De France. In addition sporting lovers that have attended are likely to return with glowing reports of where they’ve visited.

Paris is in the ideal position to benefit from tourism when it hosts the 2024 Olympics. As a city used to hosting major sporting events, much of the infrastructure is in place like the Stade De France built for the 1988 World Cup. With less expenditure, money spent from sport tourists is more likely to go directly into the local economy.

Fond memories alongside the ability to say ‘I was there’ during the world’s greatest sporting events will continue to be a driver as the event tourism industry builds up again.

But it’s not just the Olympics that draw spectators from around the globe. Tourism based on sport participation continues to grow and just as many people are looking forward to travelling with their team or school again.

Events like the popular World School Games Event Series bring more than 200 schools and their supporters together across the year at tournaments in the UAE, UK and Spain.

Again these events make a beneficial impact on the economy as many participants are making a trip to a new country and ready to explore beyond their hotel and visit the attractions on offer.

When stadium capacity is increased for major events, this paves the way for young athletes to return to large-scale competition and have their family and school mates cheering them on.

Travel Habits Post Covid-19

There is no doubt that the tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 crisis. With travel restrictions implemented by governments across the globe, the world we have grown to know – with frequent and increasingly affordable inter-continental air travel – has suddenly become far more isolated.

Airlines and travel companies have been hitting the headlines since the outbreak began in March, with travellers who had experienced cancellations and curtailments seeking their rights to refunds and rearrangements, while travellers with plans later in the year were seeking clarification around their bookings.

With almost an entire summer season passing us by, with uncertainty around the safety of travel and quarantine measures changing by the day, travel companies are trying to respond to the fluid situation while keeping customers informed and looking to plan in some way for 2021.

On the whole there is very likely to be a reluctance by some holidaymakers to travel abroad as freely as many will have done in the past. With this in mind, domestic travel and ‘staycations’ are likely to be the default option for many looking to get away from home without the added risk of their trip being cut short or quarantine restrictions being put in place when they return.

Many Americans are regularly tourists in their own country, with a vast and varying array of city and beach destinations in the U.S. it is easy to understand why so many opt to stay within their own borders – could we see a rise in this sort of tourism in Europe? If the early evidence of travellers taking city breaks or flocking to the coasts of their home countries over the last few week and months is anything to go by then it could well be the case.

If this trend is to continue in to 2021 travel companies will be forced to readjust their services accordingly. This will be easier to do for flexible businesses with a strong foundation within the travel industry, it will be less easy for airlines and operators who depend heavily on overseas travel.

With hotel operators and coach companies severely affected during the lockdown, with non-essential travel advised against and many hotels and AirBnB operators hibernating their entire operations for many months, they could be lifted by a post-lockdown bounce with travellers opting to explore their home country in ways that may never have crossed their minds previously.

With the scale of the pandemic meaning almost every industry and walk of life has been affected in some way since the outbreak earlier this year, many travellers have been more understanding than they may normally have been on the back of cancelled or altered travel plans. It is important that businesses within the industry don’t abuse this good will by taking any longer than they absolutely need to in dealing with any cancellations.

As we look ahead to 2021, it is important to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects of travel in the next 12-18 months. With many travellers prevented from making the most of their holidays this year, there is likely to be an appetite for travel in some shape or form when it is safe and reliable again – it is imperative that travel operators are willing and able to offer suitable destinations and services when normality returns.

The ‘New Normal’ for School Sport

After the longest summer holidays ever, schools are gradually returning to some form of the ‘new normal’ across the world on the back of an incredibly turbulent six months for students, parents and teachers.

The phased return to school is differing from country to country as the holidays come to an end, but what is for sure throughout the globe is that schools and teachers are going to have to adapt the way they deliver classes – none more so than in physical education.

From changing rooms to playing cricket, there are many aspects of normal PE life which are going to be different when students return to the playing fields and gym halls of schools in the UK, Europe and beyond.

One thing that unites everyone in the education sector is the hope of returning to as close to normality as possible in a safe manner in this new Covid era. What this will look like exactly over the next few months is not yet certain, but all anyone can do is follow the guidance given to them to ensure a smooth transition back to school sport.

In the Middle East schools have been getting creative to allow their school fixtures to continue remotely, with ‘Virtual Fixtures’ being scheduled and run via the popular online video conferencing platform Zoom while students were unable to attend matches in person.

Lots of physical activities have been carried out, with fitness and endurance tests recorded by students and compared to their peers online in order to keep youngsters active whilst at home.

In Scotland, Active Schools have compiled a list of ‘At Home’ challenges for young people to take part in to keep them physically active whilst not a school. Outside the box thinking is likely to become very important for teachers and parents/guardians in order to ensure young people are exercising at home and in school while limitations remain in place.

The return of professional sport has given fans everywhere a much-needed boost after a period in lockdown with only re-runs of old events and Sky Sports ‘Premier League Years’ on repeat to satisfy demand for live action.

Germany’s Bundesliga was the first of Europe’s mainstream leagues to return on the football pitch, while cricket, darts, tennis and snooker have all returned behind closed doors in the weeks and months which followed.

County cricket and the World Championship Snooker final have seen the return of limited fans in recent weeks, while some youth sports clubs have been given the green light to return to training sessions – all of which encourages a feeling of cautious optimism that we are moving towards some form of normality.

As schools begin to return this week teachers will be asked to adapt to the ‘new normal’, with the chance that more individual sports such as fitness, athletics and racquet sports are favoured over traditional team games in order to allow students to maintain distance and limit contact between classmates.

There is a real importance in following the protocols put in place by government, local councils and governing bodies in sport to ensure the progress being made towards normality is not stopped in its tracks – the last thing anyone wants is to return to widespread lockdown.

With each passing day we are gradually moving closer to a return to normality, and with sport’s many health and wellbeing benefits it is in the interests of us all that we get back to kicking, running, jumping and throwing when it is safe to do so.

Everyone at Twedex would like to wish teachers and students the best of luck as they return to school over the coming weeks in these unprecedented times.

Champions League Preview: Wednesday 19th February


Atalanta vs Valencia

Atalanta host Valencia this evening in what looks set to be a very interesting draw. It is a match which both teams are likely to be happy with as they have avoided the competition’s bigger names, meaning they find themselves in a good position for qualifying for the next round which will provide the opportunity to test themselves against Europe’s elite.

Atalanta and Valencia are very evenly matched, though it could be argued the Spanish team is slightly higher in terms of quality with players such as Dani Parejo, Cheryshev, Guedes and Gameiro.

As with all knockout ties, the first leg will be very important for both teams, with Valencia hoping to score an all-important an away goal to give them some breathing space ahead of the return leg at the Mestalla.

Atalanta arrive at the match in good form, having not lost in the last five games; whilst Valencia have lost two and drawn one of their last three domestic matches. With a huge chance for both teams to progress to the quarter-finals, it’s a much which may encourage substance before style but one which is set to be an interesting contest.


Tottenham Hotspur vs RB Leipzig

Tonight’s match-up between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig is the first ever meeting between the two teams. The game comes at a time when Spurs have been playing some good football under Jose Mourinho, with a string of seven games without defeat, including two draws and five wins.

A recent 2-0 win over English giants Manchester City will give the north Londoners an important boost of morale and confidence going into the Champions League.

Mourinho’s squad will not be able to count on Moussa Sissoko or Harry Kane for the tie, with both players ruled out through injury.

The weekend’s Premier League action saw Spurs’ South Korean striker, Heung-Min Son, suffer an injury which means he will be out of the match and perhaps the rest of the season as he undergoes surgery after fracturing his arm against Aston Villa.

With only one win in their last five matches, RB Leipzig’s form going into the match is not as they would have liked and with no wins in their last four away matches in the league and cup competitions a win tonight would be seen as somewhat of an upset. Despite their poor recent form RB Leipzig is still in the hunt for the Bundesliga title alongside Bayern Munich.

Timo Werner´s form this season cannot be forgotten about, with 20 goals and six assists in the Bundesliga, as well as three goals in the Champions League.

With so much at stake at this point in the season the match is set to be full of pace and hopefully goals at a packed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London.

Champions League Preview: Tuesday 18th February


Liverpool vs Atlético Madrid

Liverpool host La Liga giants Atlético Madrid at Anfield this evening in the first leg of their Last 16 tie, with the Premier League champions elect looking to continue the defence of their Champions League crown.

The main feature of this meeting is the different situations in which both teams arrive. Liverpool lead Manchester City by 25 points in the Premier League and their league nightmare almost 30-years seems to be coming to an end.

Atlético Madrid on the other hand are fourth in La Liga and they are looking to secure their place in the Champions League for the 2020/21 season with a strong finish to their domestic season.

In a huge blow for the Spanish side, important players such as Joao Felix, Trippier, Morata, and Gimenez are injured and unavailable to play tonight. Despite this, it must be taken into account that the Wanda Metropolitano is a difficult place to play, with Simeone’s teams always demonstrating confidence and a style of play which is difficult to break down.

In their group matches at the Wanda Metropolitano Atleti achieved 7 points out of a possible 9, with a draw against Juventus the only occasion where they dropped points. After being eliminated from the Copa del Rey, Atlético Madrid now find themselves at a turning point of their season.

The team is now focusing on the only two fronts it has available: finish in Champions League qualification positions at the end of the season and lifting the Champions League trophy for the very first time in their history.

Atlético’s recent record against Liverpool includes two wins, a draw and a loss in the last four games between the two teams. This is the game with perhaps more friction and tension of this week’s Champions League knockout stages. Amazing players on each side with great ambition will make this a very interesting and enjoyable match to watch.


Borussia Dortmund vs PSG

Two European giants go head to head at Signal Iduna Park this evening, but this match is mainly characterized by the fact that neither of these teams have done particularly well in the European elite tournament in the last few years.

During the past few seasons, both sides’ European dreams have been drowned by unexpected disappointments. As a matter of fact, the French side has lost in the Last 16 in each of the last three seasons, whilst Dortmund was also beaten at this stage during the 2018/19 season against Pochettino´s Tottenham Hotspur and have not reached the quarter-finals since the 2016/2017 season.

The game promises to be really intense, as Dortmund’s talented youngsters such as Sancho, Haaland, Hakimi, and Brandt have proven to be very efficient in the final third of the pitch – Dortmund have scored 18 goals in their last 4 Bundesliga matches.

Nonetheless, PSG has the best defensive record in this season´s Champions League, having conceded only twice, both goals against Real Madrid.

The trending Norwegian star, Erling Haaland, who has scored 9 goals in his 6 first matches with Dortmund, is one of the most important weapons in the German side for the match and has already proven to have the necessary skills to play in the Champions League with 8 goals in this season’s competition.

Thomas Tuchel will see some familiar faces as he plays against his former club in one of the most amazing football atmospheres in European football at Signal Iduna Park, in a match that promises good football, lots of pace and vivid support from both sides fans.