Each week we explain a soccer phrase or cliché on our weekly languagecaster podcast. You can find many more examples by going to our football clichés here. Click on the link below to learn about the word or phrase, while you can also read the transcript. You can also find many more examples by going to our huge football glossary here.

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So much at stake

This week’s English for football phrase is ‘there is so much at stake‘. At stake means to be at issue, to be at risk, or to be the important topic. When there is so much at stake, the result or outcome is very important and will have an effect on the future. This phrase is used in football to describe a match which is particularly important. For example, perhaps a win will mean a team avoids relegation, or a point means the team can progress to the Champions League and the money that that competition brings. On Wednesday, there was so much at stake when Manchester City played Tottenham. The winner would be in the Champions League next year. So much at stake.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and if you have any suggestions or questions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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  • What is the meaning of “collect” and “recover” here?

    31 mins: Werner collects from Mount inside the penalty, spins and fires high and wide. Well, he rather scooped it, to be honest, under pressure from Balbuena.

    United clear the set piece and Elanga is played through on goal with a long ball, but the youngster’s touch is awful and the keeper collects.

    Havertz recovers the ball close to the byline and directs it back towards Gnabry in the middle.

    • If a player collects the ball it means that they receive the ball from their team mates. Usually we will see the phrase ‘collect a pass’ or ‘collect a ball’. In the second example the keeper collects the ball suggests that the keeper has grabbed the ball and has it under their control.

      To recover the ball means to win back the ball – a player loses the ball but then gets it back.

Football GlossaryEpisode 54