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Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl 52

This Sunday sees the most hyped sports event on the planet as Super Bowl 52 takes place as the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the most famous prize in US Sport.

Last year’s Super Bowl delivered one of the greatest sporting comebacks in living memory, as Tom Brady and the Patriots overturned a 28-3 deficit late in the third quarter, to take the trophy after overtime. It was the first time ever the Super Bowl was level after 60 minutes.

So how much do you know about the game that brings America to a standstill? Here’s everything you need to know, with our guide to Super Bowl 52.

What time is it on and how can I watch it?

The game will be screened live on BBC One as well as Sky Sports and the big game kicks off at 11.30pm in the UK and Ireland.

Sky’s coverage begins on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Action at 10pm, while their Main Event channel will start its broadcast at 11pm.

The BBC’s coverage starts at 11.15pm.

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Where is the game being played?

The game will take place in of Minneapolis’ 73,000 capacity US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

The stadium has a fixed roof so the often harsh Minnesota weather should have no impact on proceedings.

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Who is expected to win?

The legendary duo of New England coach Bill Belichick and storied quarterback Tom Brady, are bidding for a sixth Super Bowl success and are the expected to do so.

In the betting, the Patriots are currently 4.5 points favourites, while if you want to back them to win outright, they are currently 1/2, with the Eagles available at 5/3.

After overturning the Falcons last season, and orchestrating another comeback last weekend against the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, Brady and co will be expected to follow up last season’s thrilling success.

Brady has been voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) in four Super Bowls, which is a record. He is one of only two players, who holds five Super Bowl rings, the other being Charles Haley (who played on two winning teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers).

Philadelphia had an identical regular season record to the Patriots (13-3) but were dealt a massive blow heading into the playoffs, as quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury.

The much-maligned Nick Foles took over under centre.

Foles, a former Pro Bowler, is in his second stint at the Eagles, had thrown a mere eleven passes all season. However, he caught fire in the NFC Championship Game, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns, as the Eagles romped to a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

He will likely have to repeat those heroics if the Eagles are to triumph.

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Who heads the Super Bowl roll of honour?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowls, more than any other franchise. However, a victory for Brady and the Patriots will mean New England will join the Steelers with six Lombardi Trophies – with all their previous successes coming under the guidance of legendary head coach Belichick.

Philadelphia have appeared in two Super Bowls, most recently in 2005 where they lost to the Patriots, and are seeking their first success on Sunday.

Players to Watch Super Bowl 52. 

Nick Foles, QB , Philadelphia

Has only started 39 Career games. Took over for Carson Wentz suffered a season ending injury in  December against Rams. Spent three seasons with the Eagles, before being traded. Returned to the Eagles as a free agent. Became first QB  in franchise history to throw for at least 300 yards, and at least 3 TDs in a playoff game, against the Minnesota Vikings, in the NFC Championship Game. 

LeGarrette Blount, Running Back, Philadelphia.

No stranger to the big stage as he won Super Bowls with Patriots after 2014, 2016 seasons. Was in sensational form in 2016, when he Led the NFL with  18 rushing TDs.  Strong,direct runner, who can be devastating in the Red Zone. Along with former Miami running back Jay Ajayi, gives the Eagles the edge in the running game. 

Malcolm Jenkins, Strong- Safety, Philadelphia.

The main man in the Eagles secondary. A two-time Pro Bowler, he has the onerous task of trying to slow Tom Brady down. His raised fist salute became one of the images of a protest fuelled season, maybe not the force of old, but if the Eagles are to pull of a surprise win, his fingerprints may well be all over it. 

Tom Brady, QB,  New England. 

This is his 18th season and he is still shooting out the lights, as he led NFL with 4,577 yards passing this season. Four-time Super Bowl MVP and bidding to make history, by becoming the first ever player to hold six Super Bowl . In his previous seven trips to the Super Bowl, Brady has garnered 2,071 yards, 15 touchdowns and also thrown five interceptions. He is five wins from seven in the big show. 

Danny Amendola,  Wide-receiver  New England.

Made a catch for the ages in Super Bowl 51, to keep the Patriots alive. He had two fourth quarter touchdown receptions, to haul the Pat’s off the floor in the AFC Championship Game against Jacksonville Jaguars. Big game player who will revel in the white hot heat, of the Bank Stadium in Minnesota.

Rob Gronkowski, Tight end, New England.

Gronkowski suffered a head injury  during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was placed on concussion protocol, and did not return to the game.  The best Tight end in the league, he was the first Tight end in NFL history, to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. Five-time Pro Bowler is set to recover in time for Sunday nights showdown.

Paths to the final

New England

New England  won the AFC East Division, and had a 13-3 regular season record, the best in the AFC. This ensured home-field advantage for the Play-offs.

In the divisional Round they defeated the Tennessee Titans  35-14 in Boston. 

In the AfC Championship Game they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20.

Philadelphia Eagles.

Their record was identical to the Patriots, and also secured home-field advantage throughout the Play -Offs, as they cruised to the NFC Eastern Division title. 

They defeated last seasons beaten finalists the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 in the Divisional Round. They then overpowered the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, in the AFC Championship Game.

Eddie Ryan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.