Friday, September 07, 2007
A preview of all the top action is here.
England are fourth in Group E and their hopes of reaching next year's finals in Austria and Switzerland hang on Saturday's match with Israel at Wembley and Wednesday's visit of Russia.
Portugal vs. Poland
Italy vs. France
England vs. Israel
Banned for accusing evil Italians of once bribing the referee in a match against his French Under-21 team, Raymond Domenech will watch Saturday's vital Italy-France Euro 2008 qualifier from the San Siro stands. A Uefa snoop will sit with him to make sure he doesn't take a feather out of Jose Mourinho's woolly hat and devise some surreptitious way of sending messages to his staff - but his absence may make no difference to France.
It's a good job Michael Owen is used to the weight of an entire nation's expectations on his shoulders as this next week sees him complete back-to-back qualifying games for the first time in two years.
Marcela Mora y Araujo reports that the former Argentina manager takes charge of Chile for the first time tonight, and it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland have been on a good run of late.
They have not lost in their last eight games and, even though that has included San Marino twice, it is still a good stat.
This is part of a double-header and it may seem funny to say this but it would be better if they beat their next opponents the Czech Republic.
Germany are clear in the group while the Czechs are in danger of going away from the Republic.
Unless Steve Staunton's side can avoid defeat against the Czechs then they are unlikely to qualify.
I don't think it will be possible for them to win both as there is no great depth to the current squad.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Roberto Donadoni has recently declared that he does not feel the heat ahead of Saturday's must-win clash with France in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. However, should things go badly, it may cross his mind that two of his predecessors left the post after a match against France...
Euro 2008 Qualifiers – Group A Standings
Nation / Played / Won / Drawn / Lost / Goals For / Goals Against / Points
1. Poland 9 6 1 2 15 7 19
2. Finland 9 5 2 2 11 6 17
3. Portugal 8 4 3 1 16 6 15
4. Serbia 8 4 2 2 12 7 14
5. Belgium 9 3 1 5 8 12 10
6. Armenia 8 2 2 4 4 8 8
7. Kazakhstan 9 1 3 5 6 13 6
8. Azerbaijan 8 1 2 5 4 17 5
Once upon a time there was a Brazilian starlet who lived in Milan and was called L’Imperatore by his legion of adoring fans.
He was a powerfully built man-child who was more physically and technically gifted than almost all of his peers, his dynamic goals and Herculean strength being the envy of opposing players and fans alike.
It remains to be seen just what will develop with regards to the supposed interest of American billionaire Stan Kroenke and whether Dein, a close personal friend of Wenger, returns to the club down the line having recently linked up with Alisher Usmanov at the head of 'Red and White Holdings'.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The Everton man was dubbed a "cheeky boy" by Vogts, after missing a flight home from a tournament in Hong Kong in 2002 having indulged in an old-fashioned bender. Scotland and McFadden have flirted with international oblivion since then, but both are now flourishing and appear integral to each other's future.
In the final exclusive extracts, Sir Bobby Charlton talks about Denis Law’s Scottishness and a different side to George Best."We went about our football in contrasting ways, Denis sending sparks and flames up around him, George going on his amazing runs with trickery and courage that just welled out of him, me with my liking for the bold pass and the big, swirling shot. We had one abiding thing in common – we loved to score goals."
With Major League Soccer heating up as teams jockey for playoff position and the new season getting underway in Europe, there is no better time to choose what's hot and what's not in the world game.
As David Beckham will testify, fortunes in soccer can change in an instant and yesterday's hero can quickly become tomorrow's zero.
And the Guardian's Raphael Honigstein says, "Chelsea's failure to name a full squad for the Champions League is a sad indictment of the club's incompetence and the Premier League."
Club vs. Country: McClaren ready to face wrath of Benítez with Gerrard gamble while Inter and France fight over Vieira
France captain Patrick Vieira looks likely to play in the Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy on Saturday but his club Inter Milan are less sure of his fitness.
The midfielder has missed the start of the Serie A season because of a hamstring strain but is desperate to play on his home ground in the Group B match, which is a repeat of the World Cup final.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Apparently Manchester United and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has taken after his older/fatter/better/Brazilian namesake in more than just his penchant for scoring big goals in big matches. It seems that he's been making sure that he doesn't lose match fitness by organizing after-hours 5 aside matches for himself and his Portuguese speaking teammates Anderson and Nani.
Ronaldo Orgy With 5 Hookers
"I Turned Ronaldo on with my Tesco Knickers"
"You're better than Diego," bellowed one delirious fan from the stands after seeing Lavezzi thread a perfectly weighted through-ball into the path of sub Roberto Sosa for Napoli's fifth.
Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion and the world's top-ranked team, has announced a roster that includes Ronaldinho, FIFA player of the year in 2004 and 2005, and Kaka, a strong contender for this year's award.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, England), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Jay DeMerit (Watford, England), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege, Belgium), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock, Germany), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Jonathan Spector (West Ham, England)
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen, Netherlands), Bobby Convey (Reading, England), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Benny Feilhaber (Derby, England), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado)
Forwards: Davy Arnaud (Kansas City), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich, Germany)
Monday, September 03, 2007
Goal.com USA's Matthew Braine takes a look at how the bevy of Americans playing in the English Premier League fared this past weekend.
Fulham boss, Lawrie Sanchez compared the team's win to a last-minute effort by an action hero saying, "It's like a James Bond film where you think, why doesn't the villain kill him and then eventually he comes back to bite them."
The Beckham Rule has been working out well for everyone but David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy. So, while the Galaxy have been sinking to new lows on the field and meeting with Juergen Klinsmann off the field, most other MLS teams have been doing quite well recently. Beckham has spiked the Galaxy's road attendance, leading teams such as the New York Red Bulls to factor potentially massive crowds into their new stadium construction. Here are some compelling MLS story lines away from the Beckham sideshow.
After nearly two months of transfer speculation and negotiations, Danny Szetela has passed up offers from Roma and Newcastle (among others) to play for Spanish First Division side Racing de Santander.
NAPOLI 5 (Zalayeta 16, Domizzi 41, Lavezzi 65, Zalayeta 71, Sosa 81)
Lavezzi defied his chubby physique by showing great pace to chase down a long ball, powered through Mesto's challenge and centred for Zalayeta to tap-in. Zalayeta rescued an overhit corner, Blasi hooked the ball over his head and Domizzi volleyed in from six yards. Lavezzi scored a brilliant third, after receiving a pass on the left of the box he checked inside a defender onto his right foot before lashing past Chimenti. Chimenti gifted Napoli a fourth when he failed to hold a Lavezzi centre leaving Zalayeta with a tap-in. The outstanding Lavezzi made the fifth for substitute Sosa although Chimenti was again at fault.
Unbelievable. This is the first time since, yes you guessed it, the days of Maradona that Napoli have scored five goals. 22 year old Lavezzi looks a real talent.
Attendance : 15,000
Assists : Lavezzi, Blasi, Gargano, n/a, Lavezzi
|Villa take down Chelsea, Liverpool fire six past Derby, City lose to Rovers, Fulham somehow manage a draw with Spurs as Deuce has a solid match, Michael Owen scores a goal and more!!|
English Premier League Table
|September 2, 2007||Games Played||Points|