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Football Cliche: To pit against

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Each week the languagecaster team will explain a football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the sport. On this week’s show we feature the phrase ‘to pit against’. 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 football cliches here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: To pit against.mp3

This week’s languagecaster football phrase is ‘to pit against‘. The ‘pit‘ in this phrase originally meant the noun ‘pit‘ – a fenced area where cocks or dogs were put to fight each other. In this phrase pit is a verb and it means to put against, or to draw against in a competition. To pit team A against B means that team A will play team B in a competition or tournament. So, last week the FA Cup 3rd round draw was made in England and it pitted Manchester City against Manchester United. It is also used to talk about players: for example, this week’s El Clásico pits Messi against Ronaldo.

To pit against

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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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