Spot of 'magic' will decide big game

Former Liverpool star Gary McAllister shares some tricks of the trade with a group of young players at the Standard Chartered Trophy 2017 Singapore Qualifying Tournament.
Former Liverpool star Gary McAllister shares some tricks of the trade with a group of young players at the Standard Chartered Trophy 2017 Singapore Qualifying Tournament.PHOTO: PLAYMAKER

During his heyday in the 1990s, Gary McAllister was a superb playmaker capable of unlocking even the tightest of defences in the English Premier League (EPL).

The former Liverpool and Leeds midfielder believes that, more than ever, the EPL needs players with "a little bit of magic" to decide big games.

Ahead of tonight's clash between Manchester City and Liverpool, the 52-year-old Scot said yesterday: "Both teams are fighting for every inch of the pitch to reach for the top spots.

"Not only will it be a top-class battle between two top-class teams - but we'll also individual battles all over the pitch.

"Those little head-to-heads will make the difference. It will be that little bit of magic that decides who wins the game."

McAllister was in Singapore yesterday for the Standard Chartered Trophy 2017 Singapore Qualifying Tournament at the Home United Youth Football Academy.

The winners of these qualifiers will represent their country at the Standard Chartered Trophy Finals. The futsal tournament will be staged at Anfield on May 21.

"Liverpool had great results against the top six teams and I hope they keep it that way," said McAllister. "With Man City now being under pressure after going out of the Champions League and them reacting to this, it will be a tough fight."

The qualifying tournament was eventually won by Knockout, who beat SCB Recreation Club 6-5 on penalties in the final.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 19, 2017, with the headline 'Spot of 'magic' will decide big game'. Print Edition | Subscribe