Sunday, December 31, 2017

Man Utd's Young charged with violent conduct

BBC Sport - Football
Man Utd's Young charged with violent conduct
Man Utd's Young charged with violent conduct
Ashley Young is charged with violent conduct by the Football Association after an incident with Dusan Tadic in the 0-0 draw with Southampton on Saturday.
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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Manchester United held at home by stubborn Southampton

BBC Sport - Football
Manchester United held at home by stubborn Southampton
Manchester United held at home by stubborn Southampton
Manchester United's winless run reaches three Premier League games after a goalless draw with Southampton at Old Trafford.
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Friday, December 29, 2017

Can Hazard rediscover his form?

ESPN FC News
Can Hazard rediscover his form?
Amid another goalless drought, is Eden Hazard's form a concern for Chelsea? Plus, are Dejan Lovren's days at Liverpool numbered? And Carlos Carvalhal makes his debut as Swansea boss in Premier League matchday 21. W2W4 &#187
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Southampton want Sturridge & Walcott - gossip

BBC Sport - Football
Southampton want Sturridge & Walcott - gossip
Southampton want Sturridge & Walcott - gossip
Southampton consider moves for Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott, Real Madrid want Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon, plus more.
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Sacked on Christmas Eve, Carlos Carvalhal is now the new Swansea manager

The42
Sacked on Christmas Eve, Carlos Carvalhal is now the new Swansea manager
Sacked on Christmas Eve, Carlos Carvalhal is now the new Swansea manager
Carvalhal is Swansea’s fifth permanent manager in two years.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa

Sport – The Standard
Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa

SUNDAY “Mhofu” Chidzambwa is by far Zimbabwe’s most successful coach, but the one-year performance-based contract he has been handed on his return to the Warriors hints at the persisting doubts […]

The post Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa appeared first on The Standard.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kante beats Mbappe to French Player of the Year award

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Kante beats Mbappe to French Player of the Year award
Kante beats Mbappe to French Player of the Year award
Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante capped a fine 2017 by being named France Football's French Player of the Year. Kante beat Paris Saint-Germain star and fellow France international Kylian Mbappe to the award on Tuesday. The 26-year-old, who succeeded last year's winner Antoine Griezmann, edged Mbappe by five votes, while Real Madrid's Karim Benzema finished third. Kante, who led Leicester City to a remarkable Premier League title success two seasons ago, helped Chelsea to the top-flight crown in 2016-17. Le sommaire du nouveau numéro de France Football avec N'Golo Kanté élu joueur français de l'année https://t.co/42tLe93XzJ — France Football (@francefootball) December 26, 2017 His exploits for Chelsea saw him crowned Premier League Player of the Season, PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. Kante, who finished eighth in the Ballon d'Or behind record-equalling winner Cristiano Ronaldo, also took out Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year award. In 2017-18, Kante has made 17 appearances and scored once as Chelsea sit third in the table, 13 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
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Monday, December 25, 2017

Must-win Motherwell match for Rangers - John

BBC Sport - Football
Must-win Motherwell match for Rangers - John
Must-win Motherwell match for Rangers - John
Declan John says Rangers have no room for error when Motherwell visit Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday.
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Firmino to score first against Swans? Man United to storm back vs. Burnley?

ESPN FC News
Firmino to score first against Swans? Man United to storm back vs. Burnley?
The FC panel is at odds as to whether Jose Mourinho or his squad is at fault following Man United's late collapse at Leicester. Another level weekend for the column as after correctly tipping up Barcelona at 9/4 to win at the Bernabeu, West Ham cost us as they slipped to a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Newcastle. There's plenty of betting action on Boxing Day, including Manchester United's clash with Burnley. Running total: -£83.97 The home banker Manchester United are fancied to get the better of a Burnley side who were outclassed by Spurs at the weekend. To be fair the Clarets have overachieved massively so far...
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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Valencia boss in motorway crash with wild boar

BBC Sport - Football
Valencia boss in motorway crash with wild boar
Valencia boss in motorway crash with wild boar
Valencia boss Marcelino collides with a wild boar on the motorway when driving home for Christmas.
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Allegri: Absolutely no problem with Dybala

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Allegri: Absolutely no problem with Dybala
Allegri: Absolutely no problem with Dybala
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri insists there is no problem with Paulo Dybala after the star forward was again on the bench. Reports of a rift between Dybala and club have developed after Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved this month urged him to "make lots of sacrifices in his private life". The Argentina international started and scored in the Coppa Italia victory over Genoa midweek but started among the substitutes for the third successive Serie A match as the Bianconeri overcame Roma 1-0 on Saturday. Dybala was not granted a single minute by Allegri, but he reiterated his desire to keep the 24-year-old fresh for the entire season. "There is absolutely no problem – the problem would be not having him," Allegri told Premium Sport. "He has done a lot and will do a lot more for Juventus, but right now I'm choosing other players that are just as important as him. The season is long. "We needed more solidity tonight because Roma are a very physical team, that's all. "But Paulo is finding the ideal physical and mental form. He plays in a great team and respects the decisions. It's a moment, but it's absolutely not a problem." clean sheets in a row Hard-earned #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/N5v8Se9By3 — JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 23, 2017 Alessandro Florenzi hit the crossbar and Patrik Schick – who saw a pre-season move to Juve fall through due to a failed medical before joining Roma – was unable to beat Wojciech Szczesny in a one-on-one deep in second-half stoppage time. Despite Roma being seven points adrift of leaders Napoli, who Juve trail by one, Allegri is not writing them off as challengers for the title. "We did not close the game out and in the final moments we suffered, partly because of ourselves and a bit because Roma are a great team," he said. "I have to congratulate the boys, we have rediscovered our mentality. We could've done something more, but winning 1-0 is always nice. "Roma and Napoli are ahead of the others [in the Scudetto race] and they are used to fighting for the title, but I do not exclude Inter and Lazio."
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Friday, December 22, 2017

Saturday's gossip column - Aguero becoming disillusioned under Guardiola

BBC Sport - Football
Saturday's gossip column - Aguero becoming disillusioned under Guardiola
Saturday's gossip column - Aguero becoming disillusioned under Guardiola
Sergio Aguero is disillusioned at Manchester City, Manchester United to bid for Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon, Monaco might not sell Thomas Lemar, plus more.
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21 of our favourite sports books from 2017

The42
21 of our favourite sports books from 2017
21 of our favourite sports books from 2017
From autobiographies of Jackie Tyrrell to books on Bob Paisley, it’s been a good year for lovers of sporting yarns.
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Thursday, December 21, 2017

No action to be taken by FA following review of Manchester derby tunnel bust-up

The42
No action to be taken by FA following review of Manchester derby tunnel bust-up
No action to be taken by FA following review of Manchester derby tunnel bust-up
Players and staff from both teams clashed following Man City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Kaizer Chiefs can’t afford me: Musona

Sport – The Standard
Kaizer Chiefs can’t afford me: Musona

WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona says his former South African club Kaizer Chiefs can’t match the money he is earning in Europe.

The post Kaizer Chiefs can’t afford me: Musona appeared first on The Standard.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

OnScene: ESPN FC's updates from Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

ESPN FC News
OnScene: ESPN FC's updates from Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
Alejandro Moreno explains why Lionel Messi will be the X-factor in El Clasico after a difficult match against Deportivo. ESPN FC is "OnScene" at the world's biggest club football game: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, which kicks off on Dec. 23 at 12 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. ET. Barcelona go into this weekend's Clasico with a six-point lead at the top of the La Liga and an 11 point lead over Madrid, albeit having played a game more... But a Madrid win (after their success at the Club World Cup) would open up the title race again.  Here's all the latest buildup from the ESPN team and our correspondents Sam Marsden (Barcelona)...
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'Becoming a good player so quickly made me miss a lot of the normal life'

The42
'Becoming a good player so quickly made me miss a lot of the normal life'
'Becoming a good player so quickly made me miss a lot of the normal life'
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe says team-mate Neymar played a key role in his integration at the club.
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Monday, December 18, 2017

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha available for Clasico

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Barcelona midfielder Rafinha available for Clasico
Barcelona midfielder Rafinha available for Clasico
Rafinha could return from over eight months out in Saturday's Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The midfielder has undergone knee surgery twice in 2017 after injuring the internal meniscus in his right knee against Granada in April. Rafinha returned to team training this month and Barcelona confirmed on Monday that the 24-year-old has been given the medical all-clear. While unlikely to start against Madrid in Saturday's first LaLiga Clasico of the season, Rafinha could at least earn a place on the bench, with head coach Ernesto Valverde facing other injury concerns. pic.twitter.com/usBxA9TzLJ — Rafinha Alcantara (@Rafinha) December 14, 2017 Barca will be without Paco Alcacer after the forward was injured in Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna. Ousmane Dembele is not expected to be fit enough to be included in the squad as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Captain Andres Iniesta has also only recently recovered from a calf problem, although the 33-year-old managed 56 minutes of the win over Deportivo. Barca head into the match at the Santiago Bernabeu with a six-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, while champions Madrid are nine points behind. [MEDICAL UPDATE] @Rafinha receives medical clearance. Ready to play!   https://t.co/rGrjqYZ9ko #Rafinhaisback pic.twitter.com/bebpHi1E1W — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 18, 2017
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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mourinho: Lukaku's love for former club West Brom behind muted celebration

The42
Mourinho: Lukaku's love for former club West Brom behind muted celebration
Mourinho: Lukaku's love for former club West Brom behind muted celebration
Lukaku scored the opening goal as Man United defeated West Brom 2-1 on Sunday.
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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Of Peter Ndlovu and Liverpool

Sport – The Standard
Of Peter Ndlovu and Liverpool

One of the greatest moments of Peter Ndlovu’s professional football career in England came 22 years ago on March 14 1995, when he became the first foreign player to score […]

The post Of Peter Ndlovu and Liverpool appeared first on The Standard.

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Saturday's gossip column - Ancelotti heading back to Chelsea

BBC Sport - Football
Saturday's gossip column - Ancelotti heading back to Chelsea
Saturday's gossip column - Ancelotti heading back to Chelsea
Ancelotti heading back to Chelsea, Blues want Monaco's Lemar in exchange for Batshuayi, Crystal Palace target Carrillo, plus more.
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Friday, December 15, 2017

Paddy Agnew’s Noted from Italy: Top teams feel the effect of European campaign

News – World Soccer
Paddy Agnew’s Noted from Italy: Top teams feel the effect of European campaign

For the first time 52 years the top four in Serie A all failed to score

Juventus versus Inter Milan; Ivan Perisic flicks the ball forward in the box (Photo: Pierpaolo Piciucco/Action Plus via Getty Images)For the first time 52 years the top four in Serie A all failed to score
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dortmund say they're undecided about next season as 30-year-old coach heavily linked

The42
Dortmund say they're undecided about next season as 30-year-old coach heavily linked
Dortmund say they're undecided about next season as 30-year-old coach heavily linked
Julian Nagelsmann has done a magnificent job at Hoffenheim but appointing him would seem a risk for troubled Dortmund.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Man United's brightest young prospect signs his first professional contract

The42
Man United's brightest young prospect signs his first professional contract
Man United's brightest young prospect signs his first professional contract
Angel Gomes became the youngest player to represent the club since Duncan Edwards on the final day of last season.
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Klopp reveals hamstring scare for Liverpool star Salah

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Klopp reveals hamstring scare for Liverpool star Salah
Klopp reveals hamstring scare for Liverpool star Salah
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will assess Mohamed Salah ahead of Wednesday's Premier League match against West Brom after the Egypt international suffered a hamstring scare in the Merseyside derby. Salah has enjoyed a flying start to life at Anfield and his brilliant opening goal in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Everton was his 19th in all competitions since joining from Roma for a club record £36.9million. The 25-year-old was substituted by Klopp in the 67th minute and looked on from the bench as Wayne Rooney grabbed a point from the penalty spot for Sam Allardyce's visitors. Having started without Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in the starting XI, the decision to remove Salah invited further scrutiny on Klopp, but the former Borussia Dortmund boss insisted he was acting out of necessary precaution. "I took Mo Salah off because he had a hamstring [problem] a little bit," Klopp told reporters. 19 – Mohamed Salah has scored 19 goals in 24 apps for Liverpool this season (all comps), as many as he netted for Roma last term in 41 games. Force. pic.twitter.com/JdZA6G7aTy — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 10, 2017 "Then everyone said, 'How can you take him off?' and stuff like this. I don't go out and say, 'Yeah, but he is close to being injured.' "He is not at the moment, thank God. Hopefully we took him off early enough." Victory over third-bottom West Brom will guarantee a return to the top four for Liverpool ahead of their weekend trip to Bournemouth and Salah is keen to bounce back from eventual derby-day disappointment. "All of us were disappointed after that game but that was the result and we have to carry on," he told Liverpool's official website. "The next game is an important game for us at home, we have to get the three points and look forward."
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lifeline for Stansly Maponga

Sport – The Standard
Lifeline for Stansly Maponga

STANSLY Maponga has been handed another opportunity to resurrect his American National Football League (NFL) career by Denver Broncos after his dream move to the Dallas Cowboys hit a snag.

The post Lifeline for Stansly Maponga appeared first on The Standard.

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'Cristiano has the most profitable ego in the history of football' - Real legend Valdano

The42
'Cristiano has the most profitable ego in the history of football' - Real legend Valdano
'Cristiano has the most profitable ego in the history of football' - Real legend Valdano
The Portugal superstar is not driven by his rivalry with the Barcelona forward, instead by his desire for self-improvement.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal

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Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal
Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal
Manchester United are playing "far more boring football" under Jose Mourinho, according to former manager Louis van Gaal, who insisted his tactical approach at Old Trafford was always attacking. United are 11 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City following their 2-1 derby defeat on Sunday. Mourinho was again criticised for his defensive mindset against Pep Guardiola's City, having been scrutinised for similar tactics in the draw away to Liverpool earlier in the season. Van Gaal – who was replaced by Mourinho in 2016 despite winning the FA Cup – was also criticised for his perceived negative tactics during his time in Manchester but the 66-year-old said United are worse-off with the Portuguese boss at the helm. "If you ask me how did I do at United, I will say it was my best year ever, given the circumstances I was working under," Van Gaal told Fox Sports Netherlands. "We played football that was quite alright. But it's not football that is appreciated in England. "And yet, right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticised while it's far more boring football. "What United produce now is defensive football. I always played attacking football. The proof is that the opposition were always parking the bus. "They don't do that now because Jose Mourinho plays so defensive." United welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford in Premier League action on Wednesday.  
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Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany: Dortmund turn to Stoger as Bosz replacement

News – World Soccer
Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany: Dortmund turn to Stoger as Bosz replacement

Former Cologne boss was the surprise choice to replace Dutchman Bosz

Manager Peter Stoeger is presented as the new head coach of Dortmund during the press conference at Signal Iduna Park on December 10, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo: Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund/Getty Images)Former Cologne boss was the surprise choice to replace Dutchman Bosz
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FA asks Man United-Man City to explain bust-up - sources

ESPN FC News
FA asks Man United-Man City to explain bust-up - sources
The Football Association has written to Manchester United and Manchester City to seek their observations over the tunnel bust-up at the end
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Jose Mourinho clashes with Man City players amid tunnel bust-up - reports

The42
Jose Mourinho clashes with Man City players amid tunnel bust-up - reports
Jose Mourinho clashes with Man City players amid tunnel bust-up - reports
Newspapers reported the Portuguese coach had a verbal altercation with City goalkeeper Ederson.
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League

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Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League
Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League
Bring on the best. That is the message from star forward Harry Kane as Tottenham await their Champions League fate. The draw for the Champions League round of 16 takes place in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday – Spurs progressing to the knockout phase as group winners ahead of holders Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Tottenham could face German champions Bayern Munich or Italian giants Juventus in the last 16, while Sevilla, Porto, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk are also possible opponents for Mauricio Pochettino's men. And England international Kane – who scored six goals during the group stage while he has tallied 12 in the Premier League following his two-goal haul in the 5-1 rout of Stoke City on Saturday – is not afraid of anyone. "When we have been in the group we have been in with Real Madrid and Dortmund and we have done as well as we have, I know people say it a lot that we don't fear anyone, but to go far in the Champions League you are going to have to play the best teams in Europe so we will see who we get," he said. "It will be exciting and then we will go from there and see how far we can go in the competition. "I think the first thought was to try and get through and to finish on the most points out of everyone in the whole of the group stage was pretty impressive and that's the kind of form we have to show in every game."
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Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in Manchester derby defeat

The42
Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in Manchester derby defeat
Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in Manchester derby defeat
Jose Mourinho blamed Manchester United’s defeat to Manchester City on a single penalty decision that did not go his side’s way.
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Chinyengetere, Mapeza reflect on fairytale season

Sport – The Standard
Chinyengetere, Mapeza reflect on fairytale season

All the individual award-winners who have been crowned in the local Premier Soccer League (PSL) for the past 25 years are equally important.

The post Chinyengetere, Mapeza reflect on fairytale season appeared first on The Standard.

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Gossip: Mourinho ready to pay £95m for Lazio midfielder

BBC Sport - Football
Gossip: Mourinho ready to pay £95m for Lazio midfielder
Gossip: Mourinho ready to pay £95m for Lazio midfielder
Jose Mourinho preparing £95m bid for Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Olivier Giroud wants a loan move away from Arsenal, plus more.
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Altidore scores as Toronto beat Seattle to win MLS Cup

BBC Sport - Football
Altidore scores as Toronto beat Seattle to win MLS Cup
Altidore scores as Toronto beat Seattle to win MLS Cup
Jozy Altidore scores as Toronto become the first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup, beating Seattle Sounders.
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Clement content with 'scrappy' Swansea win

ESPN FC News
Clement content with 'scrappy' Swansea win
Paul Clement delights in Swansea City's narrow win over West Brom to help them off the bottom in the Premier League.
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Come and get me! Ryan Giggs voices his interest in Wales top job

The42
Come and get me! Ryan Giggs voices his interest in Wales top job
Come and get me! Ryan Giggs voices his interest in Wales top job
‘I’ve not spoken to anyone at the moment, but I’d definitely be interested,’ he said.
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Brian Glanville: How can Southgate’s future be safe when his England have been so average?

News – World Soccer
Brian Glanville: How can Southgate’s future be safe when his England have been so average?

Belgium have the talent to embarrass the English defence in Russia

Gareth Southgate EnglandContiniuity candidate....Gareth Southgate believes it was important he stepped up for the sake of stability.Belgium have the talent to embarrass the English defence in Russia
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Friday, December 8, 2017

Man Utd offer Shaw to rivals - Saturday's gossip column

BBC Sport - Football
Man Utd offer Shaw to rivals - Saturday's gossip column
Man Utd offer Shaw to rivals - Saturday's gossip column
Manchester United offer Luke Shaw to rivals, Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, Mauricio Pochettino admits Gareth Bale interest, plus more.
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Pochettino accepts Tottenham's title bid 'realistically' over

The42
Pochettino accepts Tottenham's title bid 'realistically' over
Pochettino accepts Tottenham's title bid 'realistically' over
Spurs are 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and boss Mauricio Pochettino does not think they can claw that back.
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Easier for PSG's Neymar to win Ballon d'Or at Real Madrid - Florentino Perez

ESPN FC News
Easier for PSG's Neymar to win Ballon d'Or at Real Madrid - Florentino Perez
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said that Paris Saint Germain's Neymar would have a better chance of winning the Ballon D'Or if
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Who makes the FC 100 Best XI? Ronaldo, Messi, Kane and more

ESPN FC News
Who makes the FC 100 Best XI? Ronaldo, Messi, Kane and more
The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 revealed the best players by position, but who would make the best team if you put them together? We select our XI from the list. GK: Manuel Neuer There's a sentimental temptation to call Gianluigi Buffon the best goalkeeper in the world, and certainly a strong case to be made for David De Gea. But once more Neuer was our choice, despite injuries that have kept him out of the Bayern side for a good portion of this season. The frequent line about Neuer is that he has "redefined" the role...
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Nagelsmann expects Wagner to join Bayern

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Nagelsmann expects Wagner to join Bayern
Nagelsmann expects Wagner to join Bayern
Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann said he expects a deal for Sandro Wagner to return to Bayern Munich to be completed "in the next week or two". Wagner has been linked with a move to boyhood club Bayern, who have previously been unwilling to meet the asking price for the Germany international forward. However, the 30-year-old is set to join former Hoffenheim team-mates Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy at Bayern – the team he left in 2008 – as the Bundesliga champions look to provide support for star Robert Lewandowski. "We don't have to lie about it. I'm expecting this will happen in the next week or two," Nagelsmann revealed following Hoffenheim's 1-1 Europa League draw against Ludogorets on Thursday. Wagner enjoyed a stellar season last term, scoring 11 Bundesliga goals as Hoffenheim qualified for the Champions League. The former Darmstadt forward, who was part of Germany's triumphant Confederations Cup squad, has netted five goals in all competitions in 2017-18.
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Staying put! More good business by St Pat's as midfield duo commit for 2018

The42
Staying put! More good business by St Pat's as midfield duo commit for 2018
Staying put! More good business by St Pat's as midfield duo commit for 2018
Killian Brennan and Owen Garvan have re-signed with the club.
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World Soccer Subscription – Deal of the day

News – World Soccer
World Soccer Subscription – Deal of the day
World Soccer subscription Daily DealThis World Soccer subscription offer is a one day thing. So grab yours today!
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Nigel Adkins becomes Hull boss following Leonid Slutsky departure

ESPN FC News
Nigel Adkins becomes Hull boss following Leonid Slutsky departure
Nigel Adkins had been out of work since leaving Sheffield United in May 2016. Hull have appointed Nigel Adkins as their permanent new head coach on an 18-month deal, the club have confirmed. Former Scunthorpe, Southampton, Reading and Sheffield United boss Adkins, 52, becomes Hull's fifth manager in less than 17 months and replaces Leonid Slutsky, who departed by mutual consent on Sunday.  A statement on the club's official website said: "The Tigers are pleased to announce Nigel Adkins as the Club's new Head Coach." The statement continued: "Adkins, a Championship promotion-winner...
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Shakhtar boss keeps promise and dresses as Zorro after side defy odds to reach knockout stage

The42
Shakhtar boss keeps promise and dresses as Zorro after side defy odds to reach knockout stage
Shakhtar boss keeps promise and dresses as Zorro after side defy odds to reach knockout stage
Paulo Fonseca was true to his word.
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Messi: Higuain is one of the best and must be in Argentina squad

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Messi: Higuain is one of the best and must be in Argentina squad
Lionel Messi has defended Gonzalo Higuain, claiming the Juventus striker is one of the best in the world and deserves to be in the Argentina squad. Higuain was left out of Jorge Sampaoli's squad for Argentina's final two World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador in October. The Juventus striker had also missed Argentina's previous two qualifiers, with the Albiceleste eventually booking their place in Russia with a 3-1 win in Ecuador in which Messi grabbed a hat-trick. Sampaoli has a wealth of attacking options having called up Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero alongside Messi last time out, but the Barcelona star feels Higuain is crucial to the national team. "He is suffering for the national team, but he must be in it," he told TyC Sports. "For me he is one of the best number nines in the world. He demonstrates this every weekend at Juventus but does not play the same with Argentina "The critics make him suffer, we have spoken about it many times. "I believe that this period without the national team did him good. We spoke about it through messages, it was a good thing that he had this period of absence. But he must be in the squad." Higuain has nine goals and three assists in 13 Serie A starts for Juventus, who are in third place in the table in Italy, two points behind leaders Inter.  
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Moyes targeting players with Premier League experience

BBC Sport - Football
Moyes targeting players with Premier League experience
Moyes targeting players with Premier League experience
West Ham boss David Moyes is set to pursue players with Premier League experience when he seeks to boost his squad in January.
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How Cantona transformed Manchester United, the Premier League and a Christmas carol

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How Cantona transformed Manchester United, the Premier League and a Christmas carol
How Cantona transformed Manchester United, the Premier League and a Christmas carol
Manchester United fans love Christmas. No, it has nothing to do with the crazy fixture scheduling, the coming transfer window or the promise of the latest Red Devil stocking fillers. It's because, from November until the new year, Old Trafford regales you with 'The 12 Days of Eric Cantona': a rendition of the popular Christmas carol, in which the inimitable ex-captain is the only gift. "I'm so proud the fans still sing my name, but I fear tomorrow they will stop. I fear it because I love it," Cantona once said, but it's a needless concern. George Best, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Nemanja Vidic and other United greats enjoy special treatment from the Stretford End but none of them inspire the same annual crooning. That is because none of them were Cantona.  When United payed £1.2million to sign him in 1992, Cantona's career was approaching breaking point. In France, controversy had followed him from the youth academy to the national team, culminating in him retiring angrily (and prematurely) after he was banned for throwing the ball at a referee while playing for Nimes. He was given a chance in England with Leeds United and won the final old First Division title in 1991-92, but he was not the driving force behind that triumph. A local Yorkshire newspaper described his contribution as that of "a handy impactful substitute".  185 games  82 goals  6 major honours  One Eric Cantona The King's reign began on this day in 1992... pic.twitter.com/kGxblMFCfi — Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 26, 2017 Alex Ferguson saw differently. He proposed, as the story goes, a deal for Cantona when Leeds managing director Bill Fotherby called United chairman Martin Edwards to enquire about Dennis Iwrin. United had no interest in parting with Irwin and were merely testing the turbulent waters around Cantona. They fully expected to be met with the same sort of rebuttal they gave to Leeds. It came as a shock when manager Howard Wilkinson agreed to let them talk.  Cantona completed his move on November 26, 1992 and made his debut as a half-time substitute against Manchester City at Old Trafford 10 days later. History tells us it was a Fergie masterstroke but, at the time, it reeked of desperation. United were eighth in the table when Cantona arrived and desperate for goals. Main striker Dion Dublin was sidelined and pursuits of the likes of David Hirst had failed. Ferguson had yet to deliver a league title since arriving from Aberdeen in 1986 and United fans were losing patience. With the pressure mounting and best-laid plans going awry, Ferguson gambled on an ill-disciplined, unathletic tearaway. It changed English football forever.  The Frenchman waltzed into The Cliff, United's old training ground, and had team-mates in his thrall with barely a word. In his first season, which happened to be the first of the Premier League era, he cultivated what would become the hallmarks of United for two decades: attacking football, ingenuity, aggression and an utter insistence on winning. As Paul Ince later recalled: "He just had that aura and presence. He took responsibility away from us. It was like he said: 'I'm Eric, and I'm here to win the title for you'." No wonder they called him The King.  46 - Eric Cantona never lost a Premier League game in which he assisted a goal (46 games, a PL record). King. pic.twitter.com/dqUlpPZ1mH — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 12, 2016 Ferguson's brilliance was in unleashing Cantona's inner tempest, which others had sought to harness. It gave him the freedom to dictate a football match, to have it played as he saw fit. He dragged United from the doldrums to a title triumph in his first season and another three league wins and two FA Cups followed in four years, before he stunned the game again when he retired in 1997. The only Premier League that deserted them was in 1994-95, while Cantona was banned for that inexcusable night at Crystal Palace.  A dynasty was established, done so in a style that is still demanded from fans on a weekly basis. A respected UK journalist once said of Jaap Stam, one of United's best modern defenders and pivotal to the treble of 1998-99: "Without Jaap, Sir Alex would still be Alex." Well, without Cantona, he might not even have kept his job. A goal fit for a King! pic.twitter.com/I2yjyfZT5K — Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 26, 2017 Cantona scored winning goals in two FA Cup final, famously netting the winner against Liverpool in 1996. He got United four 1-0 wins in the double run-in in 1996. He scored eight goals in seven Manchester derbies, never finishing on the losing side. Then there are the less decisive but still unforgettable moments of genius, chief among them 'that' chip against Sunderland followed by 'that' celebration – collar up, chest out, daring the crowd not to stand and applaud. He wasn't just the man for the big occasion; he was the occasion.  Yet Cantona is often overlooked when it comes to Premier League 'best-evers'. In a BBC user poll to mark the competition's 25th anniversary in August, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer were named in the attack and there was a place for Cristiano Ronaldo, future tenant of Cantona's number seven shirt. But no Eric. Perhaps many look at the obvious stats and nothing more. Cantona scored 70 goals in the Premier League, one fewer than Brian Deane, his replacement at Leeds. His 56 assists is a tally matched by Peter Crouch and lower than those of Stewart Downing and Gareth Barry. 2.78 - Eric Cantona averaged a goal assist every 2.78 matches, the best rate in Premier League history. Collared. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 10 January 2014 He only played in the competition for four years and has the best assist rate (one per 2.78 matches) in its history but, regardless, focusing on the data is to look at only part of the Cantona picture. His impact was as much in how he did things as the accomplishments themselves. Ferguson described his bearing on day one as a surveying of his kingdom, a man who demanded, in the Scot's words: "'How big are you? Are you big enough for me?'" He was never fully satisfied with the answer. He was a beguiling force of nature, who blew through England's football landscape and left it forever changed. Ken Loach's film 'Looking for Eric' contains the line that best sums him up. Naturally, it's one he says himself: "I am not a man. I am Cantona."   That's why The King will live long at Old Trafford. And it's why United fans will always look forward to Christmas.
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

'Amazing' Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or, says Kovacic

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'Amazing' Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or, says Kovacic
'Amazing' Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or, says Kovacic
Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic believes Cristiano Ronaldo will score "way more" this season as he backed his team-mate to win the Ballon d'Or. Ronaldo has struggled to find the back of the net in LaLiga, netting just twice in 10 games, but the forward has scored eight times in the Champions League. But Kovacic believes it is only a matter of time before the Portuguese superstar recaptures his best form. "Me and the rest of my team-mates, we see Cristiano as always in good shape," the Croatia international said. "He's the best player in the world and he has already scored many goals this season and he will score way more goals for sure. "At the moment the ball is not willing to go in, but as I said before, this is football and sometimes the ball doesn't want to get in the goal, but there's still time left until the end and he will score way more as usual." The floor is lava... @Cristiano @RaphaelVarane#RMCity pic.twitter.com/vpXvrTmmW6 — Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 5, 2017 As usual, the battle for the Ballon d'Or is widely expected to be between Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, with the winner to be announced on Thursday. Ronaldo is set to join the Barcelona superstar on a record five Ballons d'Or and Kovacic said it was deserved after Madrid won LaLiga and the Champions League last season. "I think he should win the Ballon d'Or because his year was amazing. He scored many goals, won everything with the team and he was a key piece of that," he said. "I'm really happy for him. We all are. But the most important thing for us is to win as a team. "The Ballon d'Or is important for us and for Cristiano because it's amazing to be able to win a fifth Ballon d'Or but as I said, for us the most important thing is to be a team and win for the team." Madrid host Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, having already secured passage through from Group H.
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Peter Bosz still searching for right combination with Real next for Dortmund

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Peter Bosz still searching for right combination with Real next for Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke hopes manager Peter Bosz will turn around the club's poor form. DORTMUND, Germany -- The great allure of sports in general is that you never know what will happen next. Very few expected the New England Patriots to come back from a 28-3 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons in the last Super Bowl, nor would people have pointed to Benevento goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli to be the bearer of his club's first-ever Serie A point with a stoppage-time equaliser, as it happened last Sunday. When it comes to UEFA Champions League group stages, shocking outcomes are a...
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Andreas Christensen is a 'potential great' for Chelsea - Michael Emenalo

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Andreas Christensen is a 'potential great' for Chelsea - Michael Emenalo
Chelsea academy graduate Andreas Christensen has the potential to build on his breakthrough and become one of the club's greatest-ever
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Unrepentant Clattenburg says comments 'taken out of context'

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Unrepentant Clattenburg says comments 'taken out of context'
Unrepentant Clattenburg says comments 'taken out of context'
Mark Clattenburg insists his comments regarding going into May 2016's infamous clash between Chelsea and Tottenham with a "gameplan" were "taken out of context", but he does not regret his approach to the match. Clattenburg, who is now head of refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, said on Monday that he had gone into the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge looking to avoid a scenario whereby he would be blamed by Tottenham for them losing the Premier League title. Spurs ultimately let a two-goal lead slip in what was an ill-tempered affair, with Clattenburg handing out a total of 12 yellow cards, though he admitted to NBC on Monday that he could have sent off at least three players. Clattenburg came in for significant criticism in the wake of his comments, but he says he does not regret the way he handled the match. Speaking to Sky Sports News, Clattenburg said: "Many referees decide they don't want to be the centre of attention, but if I'd have sent off three Tottenham players, the whole world would have blamed Mark Clattenburg for costing Tottenham the title. "That's the balance that top-level officials have to try and achieve - what's right for the game and the laws - and that's what a lot of people don't understand. "I can understand, after the abuse I've had, why people don't want to become referees. I've taken abuse for 13 years. When you're a Premier League referee you're not going to keep everybody happy, you're going to upset some teams. "Referees haven't been allowed to speak for years. I want to try and educate and for people to understand. Yes, there's words that have been taken out of context, and I could have used different words in some places. "But I don't regret what I did in that match. I thoroughly enjoyed the match. I came off the pitch knowing that I hadn't influenced the result, and that was the most important thing."  
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