Friday, December 12, 2008
Nick Webster's Predictions
This weekend a global audience of hundreds of millions will watch one of sport's fiercest rivalries.
At the 98,000-capacity Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona welcome rivals Real Madrid as two of world football's giants meet in La Liga for the first time this season.
Barca lead Real by nine points and the visitors have ex-Spurs boss Juande Ramos at the helm for his first league game since replacing the sacked Bernd Schuster.BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson examines the history of the game dubbed 'El Clasico'.
This time last year it was hard not to get excited about a magnificent mop-haired midfielder who was the hub of a Manchester City team challenging for the Champions League places. Michael Johnson, then 19, had a retro haircut and a playing style to match, an elegant, upright approach that had many City fans comparing him with Colin Bell.
The Argentine championship is set for a dramatic finale on Sunday as four teams go into the final round of games with a chance of winning the Apertura title. Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo and upstarts Tigre are level on 36 points from 18 games while Lanus are two points behind.
There was a time when Liverpool's No. 7 shirt ranked among the most prized in football, when, for a decade and a half, it was in the possession of first Kevin Keegan and then Kenny Dalglish. Now, however, an observer could be forgiven for thinking it denotes the greatest underachiever at Anfield.
For five years, it belonged to the unlamented Harry Kewell before Robbie Keane inherited his jersey and, perhaps, his mantle.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster writes out his own P45.
"If I'd scored two goals in the old days it would have been straight to the pub for sausage and chips and a pint. Now it's a bottle of water and some wine gums - it's not quite the same."
Liam Dickinson on the downside of his double for Blackpool against Charlton.
"If you gave those all the time, you'd be giving them constantly."
Pompey's Peter Crouch wins the 'No ****, Sherlock' award for his comment on the free-kick that led to West Brom's goal.
ALL THE FUN
I wonder who's Number 1?
All 16 teams are ranked in order of their likelihood for success.
The Premier League's elite quartet ensured it was business as usual in the Champions League as they made their way into the last 16 and the knockout phase - but the passage was not always smooth.
Barry Norman Hutchinson, 49, pleaded guilty to racist or obscene chanting under the Football Offences Act 1991 during the Magpies' 0-0 derby draw at Middlesbrough on November 29. His 23-year-old son, Andrew Barry Hutchinson, denies the same charge. Hutchinson Sr was fined £270 with £45 costs, but escaped a banning order which would have prevented him attending games anywhere in the country. Middlesbrough and the FA expressed concern that their hard-line policies had not been supported.
January's transfer window approaches as Kaka and co decide their futures...
10. Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy- Everton)
A £5 million move has been suggested and the Galaxy striker has already been contacted by Everton, with a view to a loan; he is sorely needed with Aiyegbeni Yakubu out for the season.
Rooney was involved in a series of clashes with at least three Aalborg players throughout the match and appeared to bring down his studs on Kasper Risgard when his opponent was on the floor.
Defending champion Manchester United, Bayern Munich, FC Porto and Juventus finished at the top of their Champions League groups on Wednesday, making them seeded teams for the knockout round ahead of next week's draw. Man United drew with Aalborg 2-2 in Group E, Bayern beat Lyon 3-2 in Group F, Porto defeated Arsenal 2-0 in Group G, and Juventus was held to a 0-0 draw by BATE Borisov in Group H.
Teams Advancing to the Final 16 (in order of finish)
Group E: Manchester United, Villarreal
Group F: Bayern Munich, Olympic Lyon
Group G: Porto, Arsenal
Group H: Juventus, Real Madrid
Back in 1999, U.S. soccer put together the first U-17 national residency squad. It was an experiment, if you will, a European-style training center, set up in Bradenton, Fla. The mission? Resurrect the slumping game here.
Progress for the U.S. national teams, at times slowly, has followed.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Pictures have been released of the Spurs fans accused of chanting racist and homophobic abuse at Pompey's Sol Campbell.
Despite the abuse officers didn't arrest the fans at the time as they feared it may spark a riot.
With Liverpool and Chelsea having safely negotiated their passage to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, Wednesday's action turns to Arsenal and Manchester United's bids to top their respective groups.
New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst has signed a contract to play for FC Nordsjaelland of Denmark's SAS Ligaen starting in January 2009, and was presented today a press conference in Farum.
An absorbing rivalry is born in a pulsating top-of-the-table showdown between the Bundesliga champions and the newly promoted upstarts.
To Bayern the spoils, to Hoffenheim the plaudits in a David v Goliath classic.
Sheffield Wednesday defender Frank Simek finally returned to action on Saturday, helping his club earn a late draw against Southampton.
DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers
Vs. Hamilton (79 minutes) Edu (DNP-Unused substitute)
Rangers ran wild on Hamilton Saturday, scoring 7 times after shockingly going down 1-0 within the first two minutes. While Kris Boyd netted a hat trick for Rangers and they utterly embarrassed the visitors, the Glasgow outfit still sits four points behind leaders Celtic. Beasley was involved in a lot of the action on Saturday and played the majority of the match which was encouraging after a spell without much time on the pitch. Although the winger failed to score or create an assist, he did make some inspiring runs on the day and nearly fed a helper to Kenny Miller but the striker sent his shot wide of the net.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Dundee United.
Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
Away to Caen, 1-1, 90 minutes
Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes teammates put in yet another solid defensive display, extending their unbeaten run to 15 games. Bocanegra came within inches of scoring within the first three minutes of the match, hammering a right-footed shot off the Caen bar. However, Caen went into the break in the lead courtesy of a 45th minute Benjamin Nivet goal. Moussa Sow pulled one back for Rennes in the 77th minute, and the high-flying side held onto third position in French Ligue 1.
Next up: vs. Nantes, Saturday, December 13
Out of 55 names included on the list for the uefa.com team of the year award, Spain's victory at Euro 2008 has seen more than half their squad put forward for nomination.
Right backs: Aleksandr Anyukov (Zenit St. Petersburg), José Boswingwa (Chelsea), Maicon (Inter), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal).
Left Backs: Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Yuri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow).
Here is a look at the 10 MLS players expected to draw the most interest from European clubs when the transfer window opens on New Year's Day:
Chelsea scraped through to the second round of the Champions League alongside AS Roma and Panathinaikos after beating CFR Cluj 2-1 on Tuesday. Cluj had no hope of a place in the next round but looked likely to deny Chelsea the victory it needed to be sure of advancing until last season's runner-up brought on star striker Didier Drogba as a late substitute.
Teams Advancing to the Final 16 (in order of finish)
Group A: Roma, Chelsea
Group B: Panathinaikos, Inter Milan
Group C: Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon
Group D: Liverpool, Atletico Madrid
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Real Madrid: 11 coaches in 10 years
Guus Hiddink - 1998 - 1999
John Toshack - 1999
Vicente Del Bosque - 1999 - 2003
Carlos Queiroz - 2003 - 2004
Jose Antonio Camacho - 2004
Mariano Garcia Remon - 2004
Vanderlei Luxemburgo - 2004 - '05
Juan Ramon Lopez Caro - 2005 - '06
Fabio Capello - 2006 - '07
Bernd Schuster - 2007 - '08
Juande Ramos - 2008 - present
Madrid's coach reckons a battling home defeat to Sevilla leaves no hope for the visit to Camp Nou.
Time for Real Madrid fans to follow Schuster and accept the inevitable
The final three spots in the second round of the Champions League will be filled after this week's final round of group matches, with Chelsea unexpectedly among those still trying to qualify. With 13 clubs already through to the next round, a haul of just one point from two matches has left Chelsea vying with AS Roma and Bordeaux for one of Group A's top two spots.
Chelsea and Roma face tough fight
The Argentine has proved his value yet again, upstaging a brash Sampdoria striker as Grifone maintained their winning momentum.
Milito cuts Cassano down to size with Genoa derby winner
My 13 year-old son's into some Canadian band called 'Sum 41'. I'd not heard of them myself but then again music did stop for me in 1982 when Captain Beefheart decided to call it a day. Anyway, my son asked me the other day, 'Dad. What does ''It's so easy when you're always in the Nile'' mean?'
Monday, December 08, 2008
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech talks exclusively about how fatherhood and the fractured skull he suffered on the pitch made him look at his life in a new way, and how he owes his love of sport to growing up under the Communist system in Czechoslovakia.
The much hyped game of the season certainly lived up to its billing with a great game at the Allianz Arena. The Bavarians triumphed 2-1 but were made to work for the three points by Hoffenheim.
Bayern Munich 2-1 1899 Hoffenheim
Inter have little trouble with Lazio
Genoa win the Derby, Milan and Juventus keep pace
Henry nets three as Barcelona cruise past Valencia
More woe for Real Madrid as Sevilla win in seven-goal thriller
|Deportivo La Coruña||14||24|
Everton 2 - 3 Aston Villa
Young's last-gasp strike stuns Everton
West Brom 1 - 1 Portsmouth
Crouch nets equalizer to keep Baggies bottom
|West Ham United||15||18|
|West Bromwich Albion||16||12|