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England play rivals Germany at Wembley Stadium on 10th November

England and Germany will add another chapter to a long history of rivalry when they meet at Wembley Stadium on 10th November in the build up to FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

 Despite Germany, the current World champions, having won 4 World Cups and been crowned European Champions on 3 occasions we should embrace our obsession with 1966 and remember this fixture is about inspiring the next generation. Gareth Southgate’s men will be led by the newly appointed captain and current most prolific goal scorer in World football, Harry Kane. His goal glut during September will undoubtedly fill the dressing room and the Englishmen of Wembley Stadium with confidence that they can triumph against the apparent overwhelming might of the Germans World Champions.

Following Wayne Rooney’s retirement and the diminishing memory of Michael Owen’s hat trick during England’s 5-1 victory 2002, the English fans are seeking a new hero to step in as the national sporting folk icon. With Dele Alli, Raheem Stirling and John Stones all in great form, there is everything to play for on 10th November and a match in which England must be thinking they can win in front of a packed and passionate Wembley crowd, especially as the fixture doesn’t going to penalties.

 

 

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Meet Legends in The Long Room at Engage’s Icon Ashes Preview Dinner

ICON corporate hospitality at Lord's cricket ground

Engage are preparing to welcome clients to The Icon Ashes Preview Dinner, due to take place at Lord’s on Wednesday 1st November.

 

 

Taking place in the inner sanctuary of the pavilion at the ‘Home of Cricket’, the evening, hosted by Sky Sports’ Charles Coleville, will start with a Champagne reception in the Long Room Bar.  From there, guests will move through to the Long Room, where they’ll enjoy a four-course dinner while being regaled with stories and opinions from cricketing greats.

Steeped in the game’s history, its walls lined with legends, the Long Room at Lord’s is the most opulent and iconic cricket venue in the world.  Uniquely, even during Test matches, players have to walk through the room, usually chock-full of MCC members, to get to and from the pitch (an experience once described by Australia’s Justin Langer as “like being bear-hugged by an invisible spirit”).

Alongside portraits of cricket’s heroes, whose achievements at Lord’s were deemed worthy of such an honour, sit other treasures of the game, including a 125-year-old portrait of WG Grace, commissioned by MCC Members, and Denis Compton’s bat from 1947, when he scored a phenomenal 3,816 runs in a first-class season.

The panel of international players will be announced shortly, but you can expect to hear some fascinating and hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from previous Ashes tours, as well as some privileged insight and expert predictions on the coming winter’s tour, all expertly anchored by Charles Coleville.

With almost 30 years’ experience of covering international cricket around the world, Charles will doubtless have a few stories of his own to share, adding to what will doubtless be an incredibly entertaining and enjoyable evening.

Whether you’re entertaining clients or simply treating yourself with friends, the dinner will represent the ultimate immersive and luxury cricketing occasion.

Places are strictly limited and the event is expected to sell-out quickly, so please contact us today to secure your place.

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2018: A once-in-a-lifetime Wimbledon?

                                                                         

As anyone who left it even slightly late to find tickets for this summer’s Wimbledon will have realised, tennis is enjoying a truly golden period.  With four all-time greats still competing at the very top of the game, fans have wised-up to the prosepct of witnessing history unfold and, consequently, matches are selling out earlier and earlier.

If Roger Federer winning his 8th Wimbledon and 19th Grand Slam made 2017 a vintage year, then his quest for yet another title and the return of Serena Williams will further enhance expectations that 2018 could be an all-time classic.

Williams, Grand Slam tennis’ most successful ever player,  missed this year’s grass court showpiece due to the impending arrival of her first child.  She is, however, expected to be back at SW19 next time around, where she’ll be looking for her 8th Wimbledon title and, assuming she doesn’t win any more in the meantime, an incredible 24th Grand Slam.

Though it’s generally agreed that Williams and Federer are the game’s two best ever players, they will both be 36 by next summer and Rafa Nadal (31) and Novak Djokovic (30) could well surpass their achievements in the coming years.

Despite suffering a slump in form this season, if only by his own high standards, Novak can still produce scintillating tennis on any surface and it would be a brave soul indeed who would bet against him winning more Slams.

Rafa’s hold on the French Open is so strong that injuries alone seem capable of limiting his trophy collection to the record-breaking 10 he already has and he can still beat anyone on his day on hard courts and grass.

Regardless, when Rafa’s 15 Grand Slams and Novak’s 12 are added to the mix, you have four players boasting 69 Grand Slam titles between them, with two to play for before Wimbledon again opens its gates.

When any one of the fab four retire, it could be a lifetime before British tennis fans have the chance to see such a stellar line-up of greats on home soil (and we’ve not even mentioned the additional and equally rare attraction of Andy Murray, a two-time champion and home favourite).

If you have ever wanted to see live tennis, surely now is the time.

Enagage have exclusive VIP Show Court packages available for all rounds of Wimbledon 2018.

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Premier League 2017/2018 Fixtures Announced

Premier League

Fixtures for the 2017/2018 Premier League season were announced this morning, allowing us to take our first look ahead to what the new campaign might bring.

With form and history alone being more than enough to whet the appetite, we don’t need to wait to see what happens in next month’s transfer window to identify the key fixtures of the new season’s opening weekends.

Much might change ahead of the first games (12th/13th August), with over £1billion expected to be spent over the summer by Premier League clubs, but with bookmakers and pundits not looking beyond last season’s top six, it’s there that we’ll focus our attention, along with a glance what lies in wait for the newly promoted teams.

Chelsea

There are no top-of-the-table clashes in the first week of the new season and Chelsea will be looking to start with an emphatic three-pointer at home to Burnley in their opening match.

Burnley, who finished in 16th place last time around, will hope to catch the Champions cold after the summer break, when Chelsea minds might be focussed on their crucial next game (away at Tottenham).

A rejuvenated champion side losing at home to Burnley might be a long shot, but stranger things have happened.

Tottenham

Spurs will play at newly-promoted Newcastle in their opening fixture, before hosting Chelsea the following week for the season’s first huge clash.

Tottenham fans are concerned that the team did not make Wembley their own last year and six losses in their last nine outings at the stadium suggest that home advantage will be no such thing.

If the players don’t quickly adapt to the different atmosphere and pitch-size of one of the world’s great stadiums, they won’t be pushing for honours come May.

Manchester City

Despite finishing a full 15 points behind Chelsea last season, Man City are title favourites with every major bookie.

Much of that confidence is based the expectation of some seriously heavy spending next month and with the visionary Bernardo Silva and the hugely promising Brazilian keeper Ederson already on their way, Man City don’t look like they’ll disappoint.

Their early fixtures don’t look too troublesome, starting with a supposedly easy trip to Brighton and followed by two fixtures against mid-table teams, at home against Everton and then away at Bournemouth.

Liverpool

Watford away and Crystal Palace at home could well give Liverpool the ideal opportunity to hit their straps before the key visit of Arsenal in their third game.

As always, transfer rumours abound and, if they are to be believed, both teams will have let the moths out of their wallets to upgrade their firepower, meaning a cracking game should be in the offing.

Arsenal

The Gunners will kick-off at home against the unpredictable Leicester, before travelling to Stoke on the second weekend.  Their Champions League credentials will come under the microscope in week three, however, when they travel to Liverpool.

Despite his earlier comments to the contrary, latest reports suggest Arsene Wenger might have £150million at his disposal this summer, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what stars they will boast come August.

Manchester United

No demons await United in the opening three rounds, with home games against West Ham and Leicester taking place either side of a trip to Swansea, representing, on paper at least, a relatively gentle start to the season.

The club will not tolerate another season so far from the top of the table (24 points by the end of last season), so expect a newly bolstered squad to be playing with real vigour by the time the big matches come around.

Promoted Teams

Brighton and Newcastle are set for a Premier League baptism of fire, hosting Manchester City and Tottenham respectively in their opening matches.

In week two, Newcastle will visit fellow new boys Huddersfield. A long season will await the loser of that fixture, meaning it will surely be the season’s first ‘must win’ game.

Engage will have unrivalled VIP packages available at all Chelsea and Tottenham home games, as well as selected Arsenal fixtures. Click here to book the ultimate match day experience.

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Will the ‘Big Four’ Roar at Wimbledon?

Wimbledon

In January, we tipped 2017 to be a vintage year for men’s tennis, but with the resurgence of the ‘Big Four’, that’s starting to look like a huge understatement. Following the Australian and French Opens, which were split between the game’s two greatest ever players, we look ahead to what could be a once-in-a-lifetime Wimbledon Championships.

With three ‘greatest of all time’ contenders and a home-grown world number one defending his title, the planets are aligning for the most compelling tennis tournament in living memory.

If the drama of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer winning their first Grand Slam events for three and five years respectively was too much to take, you may well require sedatives to survive this year’s Wimbledon.

The bookies have Andy Murray and Federer as the joint-favourites, with fairly long odds being offered on anyone else bar Nadal and Novak Djokovic. So, to keep surprises and your blood pressure to a minimum, we look at the prospects of the four main men.

Andy Murray

Age: 30

Grand Slam Titles: 3

World Ranking: 1

With only three Grand Slam wins under his belt, it might be fair to question why Murray is bracketed with such lofty company. However, eight Grand Slam runner-up medals and two Olympic Golds, combined with the fact that he’s played a full part in ensuring no one outside the Big Four has held the world number one position since 2004, means he’s well worth his place.

Despite a poor early season on clay, Murray will be buoyed by his performances in Paris, where he eventually lost over five sets in his semi-final against Stan Warwrinka.

Back on his favourite surface and with colossal home support, he has every chance of extending his reign as Wimbledon Champion and his stay at the top of the world rankings.

Roger Federer

Age: 35

Grand Slam Titles: 18

World Ranking: 5

Federer on form and on grass is utterly irresistible and he’s probably the only player who will be truly confident of winning if playing well.

Andy Murray’s fans might take solace when looking at the head-to-head stats with his principle threat, as Federer leads by only 14 wins to 11. If that seems surprisingly close, given Federer’s incredible record, the figures for their encounters in major tournaments are far more sobering, reading 5 wins to 1 in Federer’s favour.

Furthermore, despite Federer’s tournament victories becoming less frequent in his 30’s, he has beaten Murray in their last 5 encounters.

If anyone doubted his motivation in his 36th year, his skipping of the French Open to concentrate on Wimbledon sent out a clear message that he’s after his eighth title in SW19.

Having rolled back the years to take his fifth Australian Open title in January, he’s perfectly set for a fitting swansong at the scene of many of his greatest triumphs.

Rafael Nadal

Age: 31

Grand Slam Titles: 15

World Ranking: 2

Here’s an interesting fact: of the four times Nadal has won the French Open final in straight sets, three times he went on to win another Grand Slam that same year (Wimbledon twice and the US Open once) and the other was last week…

After a dominant performance at Roland-Garros that culminated in a three-set trouncing of Stan Wawrinka, it will be a brave soul who bets against history repeating itself once more.

Nadal has admitted that grass is the hardest surface for his troublesome knees, but he will have the added incentive of recapturing the world no. 1 spot for the fourth time in his career.

Andy Murray winning at Queens and Wimbledon last year means anything less than that this summer will see his points tally drop at the top of the rankings, potentially paving the way for Nadal (the rankings system is based on points won over the last 12 months).

Nadal will be well aware that a strong showing, even if not a win, could see him back on top, not that the sport’s greatest ever fighter will be setting his sights on anything less than the trophy.

With his backhand firing like never before, if he stays injury free, he’s in with his best shout for years.

Novak Djokovic

Age: 30

Grand Slam Titles: 12

World Ranking: 4

Djokovic has been suffering a well-publicised dip in form, but writing-off a man with 12 Grand Slam titles, five of them in the last two years, would not be wise. To address the slide, he’ll have eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi in his corner for Wimbledon.  Boring tennis is the only impossible outcome of that pairing.

If they hit it off and Djokovic gets back to the form that in 2016 saw him win five Grand Slam titles in six starts, he could breeze to his thirteenth big one, leaving him just one short of Pete Sampras in third place on the all-time list.

Wimbledon will run from Monday 3rd July to Sunday 16th July and Engage has VIP packages available for every round, including the sensational show courts. Click here to read more.