Friday, April 17, 2009

England: FA Cup Semi-Final Previews

Arsenal vs. Chelsea
FA Cup semi-final
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Saturday, 18 April
12:15pm EDT
TV: Setanta Sports USA
Injury concerns grow for Wenger

Manchester United vs. Everton
FA Cup semi-final
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Sunday, 19 April
11:00am EDT
TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Rooney inspired by Everton boo-boys

Liverpool's Rafa Benitez branded 'arrogant' by Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson's rapidly deteriorating relationship with Rafael Benitez has hit a new low, with the Manchester United manager accusing his Liverpool rival of 'arrogance’ and lambasting his ‘contempt’ towards Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce.

Liverpool's Charles Itandje in Hillsborough Shame

Charles Itandje, the club's reserve goalkeeper, was reportedly caught by television cameras laughing and fooling around during the service to mark the 20th anniversary of the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Oh, dear...

The Joy of Six: FA Cup Semi-Finals

Man United v Arsenal in 1999 was a humdinger, to be sure, but then so were these other great semi-final matches.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Real Madrid will be looking for a helping hand from Getafe this weekend as their neighbours play host to Barcelona.

Getafe at night. Gotta love the suburbs...

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

This weekend will see the top two teams in the Serie A come face to face for the biggest domestic game of the season.

England: Premier League Preview & Predictions

The Premier League relegation battle takes centre stage this weekend with tension rising ahead of the final six fixtures.

With Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton involved in FA Cup semi-final action and Liverpool left kicking their heels, all the attention will be on the scrap at the foot of the table.

Lawro's Predictions (Includes FA Cup)

Nick Webster's Predictions

The Foot of the Table

10 Wigan 32 -5 41
11 Man City 32 5 38
12 Bolton 32 -10 37
13 Stoke 32 -16 36
14 Portsmouth 31 -14 34
15 Hull 32 -19 34
16 Blackburn 32 -19 34
17 Sunderland 32 -13 32

18 Newcastle 32 -15 30
19 Middlesbrough 32 -22 30
20 West Brom 32 -31 25

Martin Tyler's Column

Martin Tyler's stats offers you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet and this week, lift the lid on a rivalry!

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical, historical, weird and wonderful from the beautiful game.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

With the five top sides all within six points of each other, this weekend’s Bundesliga action could be a pivotal one in terms of the destination of the Championship. One slip could see anyone of them lose priceless ground in the race to be crowned league champions, so it promises to be a fascinating round of matches in Week 28.


High Security Measures Taken For Superclasico

A total of 1,100 police officers will be on duty for Sunday's superclasico between arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate...

Not so funny...

Spanish Inquisition: Redeeming La Liga Football

In early January, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) released its annual report ranking the world’s top ten football leagues as follows:

1. Barclays Premier League (England)
2. Serie A (Italy)
3. Primera Division Argentina
4. La Liga BBVA (Spain)
5. Bundesliga (Germany)
6. Ligue 1 (France)
7. Brasileiro Serie A (Brazil)
8. Primera Division de Mexico
9. Liga Sagres (Portugal)
10. Ukraine Premier League

To the chagrin of La Liga followers, La Primera had dropped to fourth behind England’s Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and even Argentina’s domestic league.

UEFA Cup Wrap

It's down to Ukraine vs. Germany for the UEFA Cup.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev advanced from the quarterfinals for the first time and will meet in the last four, while Hamburg and Werder Bremen progressed despite failing to win their second legs on Thursday.

Richard Jolly at the City of Manchester Stadium

Many are called but few actually choose to try and win the Uefa Cup. It feels as though much of Europe entered it, willingly or otherwise, at some stage of the season, but it is only in the quarter-finals that it seems as though two clubs who have targeted the tournament have finally met. And while the Champions League has the money, the glamour and the quality, its unloved sibling had at least as much drama on Thursday night.

On That Day: Romford Ray's Stunning Strike

"Oh no, he got through! Oh, it's alright it's only Ray Parlour...", former Soccer AM presenter and Chelsea fan Tim Lovejoy said to his Fanzone commentary partner Bradley Walsh as the curly-haired midfielder burst through on goal in the 70th minute of the 2002 FA Cup final in Cardiff.

On That Day: Always look on the Whiteside of life

No silverware will be distributed this Sunday but Manchester United against Everton in the FA Cup at Wembley will evoke strong memories for both sets of fans.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Champions League Semi-finals: Key Players

The Champions League semi-finals have set up some mouth-watering ties between four of the biggest clubs in Europe. Here are the key players who are likely to decide the fate of their teams.

Semi-final dates

Tues Apr 28 Barcelona v Chelsea
Wed Apr 29 Manchester United v Arsenal

Tues May 5 Arsenal v Manchester United
Wed May 6 Chelsea v Barcelona

Sat May 27
Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

Beckham's ill-starred LA adventure is laid bare

Team troubles, Tom Cruise and an unlikely takeover come to light in a new book. Guy Adams reports.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"Not speaking English is a problem. You've always got his interpreter running around the training ground. Sometimes you pass the ball through the middle and he chases it. And the interpreter is running alongside him and he gets in there and heads into the net!"
Harry Redknapp on the problems created by Roman Pavlyuchenko's lack of English.

"I've never been so certain about anything in my life. I want to be a coach. Or a manager, I'm not sure which."
Phil Neville in Radio 5live interview on Easter Sunday.

"If Gerrard is really feeling his groin, he won't want to take any part in the game."
Commentator on Fox Sports during Liverpool v Blackburn.

"And that too would have been special, had it been on target and had it counted."
ITV4 commentator when Ivica Olic was flagged offside after shooting in the Hamburg-Man City game.

"It must be time for a sandwich!"
Villa fans at Old Trafford, after 30 minutes of the first-half, spotting United fans leaving their seats for their half-time refreshments.

"The staff at the car park have found a wallet (slight pause) it's got about about £4,000 cash in it so...yeah....that would be great if you could claim that..."
At Plymouth v Coventry on Easter Saturday.

The Rest

English Angle: Big Game, Huge Goal - Who Doubts Cristiano Ronaldo Now?

Manchester United made history in a tight encounter won off the back of an unbelievable strike from a man many misguided people still believe to be a big-game bottler, and so's Mike Maguire is on the scene to split fact from fiction...

Norman Hubbard: The loyal few fading away

There is no loyalty in football anymore. It is the sort of statement that is aired whenever, as happens with great regularity, a club dispenses of its manager, or when one of football's nomads adds yet another employer to an already extensive CV. Yet it is not entirely true. Virtually every one of Europe's major clubs can produce a recent example of faithfulness and fidelity over an extended period.

Former star Vieri to try his hand at poker

Vieri is a big fan of Texas Hold'em Poker and just came back from Los Angeles, where he participated in two tournaments.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday's Results

Porto 0 - 1 Manchester United


Player Ratings

Rob Smyth: Tinkering Ferguson finds the answer to Porto puzzle

Arsenal 3 - 0 Villarreal


Player Ratings

Paul Hayward: Arsenal youngsters becoming battle-hardened

Semifinals: Manchester United vs. Arsenal: Ferguson and Wenger predict classic

Best of the Week

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fans Remember Hillsborough Dead

Thousands of people are to gather on Merseyside to remember the 96 Liverpool football fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster 20 years ago.

Is this the end for Tommy Smyth, possibly the most hated football commentator in history?

US sport fans will be hearing a lot less of Tommy Smyth, and his many irritating catchphrases, now that ESPN have lost Champions League rights.

Never mind the players, what about the managers?

It's too early to name the player of the year, but Roy Hodgson is the stand-out candidate for the Premier League's manager of the year.

Queens Park Rangers streaker scores own-goal

Fan misses Queens Park Rangers' late winner as he strips off.

Top 10 Champions League matches involving English teams

After Chelsea and Liverpool served up a thrill-a-minute Champions League quarter-final, Telegraph Sport picks the ten other most entertaining matches from the competition involving English teams featuring Manchester United, Arsenal – and Leeds United.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday's Previews

Porto vs. Manchester United
Kick off: Wednesday, April 14, 2:45 EDT,
Estádio do Dragão, Porto, Portugal
Preview I
Preview II
Hulk looks to break duck
Kevin McCarra: United must not let Porto dictate

Arsenal vs. Villarreal
Kick off: Tuesday, April 14, 2:45 EDT, Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: Setanta Sports USA, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360, ESPNClassic at 7pm
Preview I
Preview II

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday Results

Chelsea 4 - 4 Liverpool

Player Ratings

Chelsea fired by Hiddink hairdryer treatment

Defiant Liverpool shine light in dark of sorrow

Don't complain about money when they produce this

Bayern Munich 1 - 1 Barcelona

Player Ratings

Semifinals: Barcelona vs. Chelsea

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Champions League Previews

Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Kick off: Tuesday, April 14, 2:45 EDT, Stamford Bridge, London
, England
Preview I
Preview II
Kevin McCarra: Hiddink breathes new life into seasoned squad
Alan Hansen: Liverpool face near-impossible task

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona
Kick off: Tuesday, April 14, 2:45 EDT, Allianz Arena
, Munich, Germany
TV: Setanta Sports USA, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360, ESPNClassic at 5pm
Preview I
Preview II
Sachin Nakrani: Bayern begin Mission Impossible

Sid Lowe in Spain

David Villa's affection for his former club Sporting Gijón knows no bounds – except when it comes to the business of scoring penalties.

David Villa returns the conquering hero only to play the villain.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Despite their pre-Christmas heroics, inflated egos, infighting and injuries look set to ensure the title of Worst Autumn Champions in Bundesliga History is the only one Hoffenheim will claim this season.

Schadenfreude reigns as Germany turns on the Hoff.

Rob Smyth in Italy

Gian Piero Gasperini's side are making a decent fist of the top flight and a Champions League spot beckons.

Genoa put a new slant on second-season syndrome.

MLS: Steve Davis Column

Sweeping up after the MLS weekend party, here are 10 things I found lying around:

Out of Contract: Players Free to Move This Summer




Spanish Inquisition: The Final Days Of Raul Madrid's Cyrus C. Malek explains why Raul's changing role at Madrid should make him no less a legend...

Back in the day...

The Big Interview: Marcos Senna

As Villarreal prepare for their quarter-final second leg against Arsenal, injured captain Marcos Senna is predicting a big future for their opponents.

Arsenal's young guns will dominate in Europe one day, says Senna.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

On Friday, it was Roberto Carlos's birthday. More important to me, however, was that it's also my good friend Elmar's birthday. He grew up at Lake Constance, on the shoreline that belongs to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. These days, he lives in Munich.

Happier times for Bayern...

Eduardo Alvarez in Spain

Antonio smiles and nods: "Yes, fortunately Betis play on Sunday. I wouldn't be able to watch the match if they played today, I wouldn't miss this for anything". It's the night of Holy Saturday in Sevilla, and Antonio speaks as he gets dressed to take part in a procession, one of hundreds celebrated all over Spain during Easter. It's one of the rare occasions in which Spaniards actually practice their stated Catholicism, and probably the one preferred by most.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Martin Rogers' Weekend Review: End of the Ronaldo affair?

The temptation for Sir Alex Ferguson to start planning for life without Cristiano Ronaldo grows with every passing week.

The Manchester United boss fought tooth and nail to cling to his most-prized asset last summer, rebuffing the repeated overtures of Real Madrid, even when Ronaldo himself admitted a move to Spain held great appeal.

Monday MLS Breakdown: SuperClasico Role Reversal

This edition of the SuperClasico may not have enthralled us, but it may have cemented the changing power relationship in the series.'s Kyle McCarthy explains in the Monday MLS Breakdown.

Dark clouds loom for Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough

The men in charge have become blinded to the huge problems facing their relegation-threatened clubs.

Villarreal lose Marcos Senna for Champions League clash with Arsenal

Senna limped off in the 80th minute of last night's 2-0 home defeat by Málaga with a hamstring problem, leaving the Spanish side reduced to 10 players as the coach, Manuel Pellegrini, had already made three substitutions.

Ives: MLS 2009 rookie class shows potential for greatness

Sitting in sunny Ft. Lauderdale back in January, coaches in attendance at the 2009 MLS Combine started out wondering where all the talent was that they had heard about. However, with each passing day, it was clear that there was plenty of talent to be had, including several players who could step in and make immediate impacts.

On That Day: Hillsborough - A fateful day of change

There has been no more emotive event in British football history than the Hillsborough Disaster of April 15 1989. It was the spring afternoon when a simple game of football became a massed human tragedy. Having failed to learn the lessons of Burnden Park in 1946, Ibrox in 1971, the Bradford Fire of 1985 and, in the same year, the Heysel riot, it was the watershed moment that football had to change or face extinction.

Sergio Ramos Ditches Real Madrid For Bullfighting Event

According to Marca, the 'number four' left the stadium at half-time to attend a local bullfighting event in the outskirts of Madrid. Star matador Alejandro Talavante is known to be good friends with Ramos, and the pair met up at the arena at 18:00.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Review

Real Madrid recorded a fourth straight league victory as they overcame Real Valladolid to remain within six points of leaders Barcelona.


Italy: Serie A Weekend Review + Report + Team of the Week

Inter Milan were held to a 2-2 draw by Palermo, while Lazio won an extraordinary Rome derby.


Three off as Lazio win six-goal thriller over Roma.

Team of the Week

England: Premier League Weekend Review + Best of the Weekend

An Easter weekend of football saw Federico Macheda continue to live out every schoolboy's fantasy, while over on Merseyside Fernando Torres scored a goal of the season contender at Anfield. And Yank Abroad Clint Dempsey grabbed a brace for Fulham in their win over Manchester City.


Best of the Weekend

Richard Jolly at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland 1 - 2 Manchester United

Macheda sticks to his amazing script

The Insider at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 4 - 3 Bolton

Bolton surge may give Liverpool hope