Friday, August 26, 2011
Eduardo Alvarez's Quiniela
Aston Villa v Wolves: Preview
Wigan v QPR
Blackburn v Everton
Chelsea v Norwich
Swansea v Sunderland
Liverpool v Bolton
Newcastle v Fulham
Tottenham v Man City: Preview
West Brom v Stoke
Man Utd v Arsenal: Preview
Premier League Spotlight
Paul Merson's Predictions
Telegraph Sport runs the rule over the English teams' Champions League opponents.
Strike action will disrupt the opening weekend, but this could be a very open season in Italy.
Fabian Johnson, who started for Germany in the final of the Under-21 European Championship just two years ago, switched allegiance to the United States and was among 24 players chosen by Klinsmann on Thursday for exhibitions against Costa Rica and Belgium next month. The midfielder joins right back Timmy Chandler, a German-born defender who made his U.S. debut earlier this year.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Bill Hamid (DC United).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Edgar Castillo (Club America, Mexico), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Zach Loyd (Dallas), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado), Robbie Rogers (Columbus), Brek Shea (Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Teal Bunbury (Kansas City), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles).
Group Stage Draw
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor.
Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, FC Basel, Otelul Galati.
Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb.
Group E: Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk.
Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund.
Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Apoel.
Group H: Barcelona, Milan, FC BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen.
"The fans here are passionate. They remind me a little of Marseille. Arsenal have good fans but they are not as passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates. I remember when we played against Manchester City [last season] and lost 3-0 and the crowd were amazing. That is what I want.
"When you play football you want a good atmosphere and the stadium is unbelievable. When I saw the fans, they had tattoos and were passionate and that's what I want. I'm here to play football, enjoy it and win the title, not for the sun or something like that."
Looking back at photographs of him signing for Valencia in July 2007, shaking the hand of a smiling Juan Soler - the president who brought the club to near-financial ruin - it is a reminder of just how much Mata has experienced in a mere four years in eastern Spain, and how his maturity has shone throughout.
Previously, Russia has provided a home for up-and-coming players from South America and Africa, the fabled stepping-stone into the big leagues of western Europe, and for those on the way down. Occasionally, as when Maniche and Costinha joined the Portuguese influx at Dynamo Moscow, it seems Russian football is about to join the mainstream. The Portuguese experiment at Dynamo didn't work, though, and the recognised players in their late 20s left and life went on much as before.
Every time they say goodbye, La Liga dies a little. Now Juan Mata has signed for Chelsea from Valencia, just as Sergio Aguero signed for Manchester City from Atlético Madrid. For fans of City and Chelsea, the transfers are fantastically exciting, two great additions to two teams aspiring to win the Premier League. For the Spanish league, they are frightening. Despite the injection of around 75 million euros, the transfers are confirmation of a worrisome trend.
Udinese 1 - 2 Arsenal (3-1 agg.)
Kevin McCarra at Stadio Friuli
David Hytner at Stadio Friuli
Richard Williams: Arsenal forwards secure qualification
Nigel Winterburn's Take
Ever since they became global icons, footballers have been the target of criminals and terrorists. In 1963, one of the finest players ever to lace up his boots, Real Madrid's Alfredo Di Stefano, was kidnapped in order to attract publicity for the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) campaign against government corruption in Venezuela. After 56 hours, on August 26, he was released unharmed.
The Primera Division season will finally get under way on Saturday after a second weekend of strike action was averted. Talks between the Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) and Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) finally reached a resolution on Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Move over, Peyton Manning. Stand aside, Alex Rodriguez.
The highest-salaried athlete in professional sports these days may be a Cameroonian soccer player named Samuel Eto'o, who will play his home games for an obscure club in the violence-wracked Caucasus region of Dagestan, Russia.
Udinese vs. Arsenal
Unpublished documents show the striker is at the centre of a legal battle between oligarchs exiled from their homelands.
Now, previously unpublished documents seen by the Guardian appear to lend a greater understanding than ever before of Tevez, the superstar in his gilded cage. They show how he has been traded five times and loaned out three times by businessmen who "owned" him, including Joorabchian, and have made millions for themselves.
River’s relegation can be neatly charted along the Kübler-Ross five-stages of grief lines, moving through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then, finally, acceptance.
American defender George John is close to joining English Premier League club Blackburn from FC Dallas. To avoid the necessity of obtaining a British work permit, John has traveled to Greece - his grandparents' homeland - to collect a passport from another European Union country.
Serie A (should) return this weekend and there have been many changes to the teams within Italian football's top division with new coaches at Roma, Juventus and Inter as well as a whole raft of new players at every club across the league. While there have been some major talents lost - Javier Pastore's move to Paris Saint-Germain chief among them - there are also some excellent players arriving. Here's our pick of the best transfers, with a starting XI picked from those beginning the new season in brand new colours.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Olusola Amore, a spokesman for the country's federal police, told The Associated Press that investigators followed Michael Obi's trail from central Nigeria's Plateau state to Kano, one of the nation's largest cities.
There, officers raided the area where Obi was held, freeing him and arresting his kidnappers, Amore said.
Almost every year, a match-fixing scandal erupts, leading to point deductions, bans and a general feeling that what we see out on the pitch - especially results from March onwards - should not be trusted in its entirety. The Lega Serie A, the top-flight's governing body, is a fractious assortment of owners and directors who should be sued for improper use of the term 'league' by bona fide organisations like the NFL, as the clear goal of most of them is to create an uneven playing field and a financial divide with the others.Most games are played in dilapidated, uncomfortable grounds where access is complicated by a general lack of advance information about something as simple as how to get a ticket - and you do not even need to get off the couch anyway, as the Lega's complete sell-out to television networks means you can access every game on one of the two available platforms.
New Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella paid tribute to him last week - and then left him out of the squad to face Venezuela and Nigeria. He has forced his way back before after being dropped but at the age of 38 can he really come back again?
One of the most remarkable aspects of Zanetti's haul of 145 international caps is that the total could have been even higher. The Inter Milan stalwart was controversially left out of the squad for both of the last two World Cups - despite the fact that Argentina have had such difficulty producing full-backs.
Arsenal confirm Samir Nasri has agreed terms to join Manchester City and will not play in Champions League
Samir Nasri was today on the brink of finally joining Manchester City after Arsenal confirmed they had agreed terms with their Premier League rivals.
Goal.com takes a look at what some of the best Americans playing abroad were able to do over the past week.
Werder Bremen lost their way intermittently last season but now seem back on track judging by their thrilling performance against Freiburg.
Picture-perfect Wesley brings Werder Bremen's start back into focus.
Should reports in the blogosphere be believed, Netherlands will climb to the top of the new FIFA World Ranking when it is released on Wednesday. This changing of the guard comes as current leaders Spain have lost three friendlies since they were crowned world champions last summer, while the Dutch have been undefeated since. Obviously, it is just statistics, but it is an indication of the progress the team has made since the appointment of coach Bert van Marwijk after Euro 2008.
Monday, August 22, 2011
From the slums of Buenos Aires, there's only one escape – football. To play like Maradona or Tevez is the ultimate dream, but off the pitch there's another option: joining one of the violent gangs who control the sport.
An extraordinary report of life among the world's most dangerous fans.
If Arsene Wenger was a field general rather than one of the most distinguished football managers ever to look as though he had reached his wits' end, his situation would be much more ruthlessly appraised.
This would be, it has to be said, in the unlikely event that it had not already been resolved.
As it stands, there is a compelling case that he is suffering from a severe dose of battle fatigue – and that his leadership is in previously unimagined disrepair.
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o's mega-money move from Inter Milan to big-spending Russian Premiership side Anzhi Makhachkala is likely
Reports said that Anzhi will pay Inter 25 million euros ($36m) plus performance-related bonuses for the Cameroon skipper.
According to media rumours, Eto'o will receive around 20.5 million euros a year in wages, making him the world's top-earning footballer.
Manchester United has become the first English club to sign a sponsor for its training uniforms, securing a deal with express delivery and freight firm DHL worth around $66 million.
Newcastle took the spoils in the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light while Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish grabbed his first win in charge of the club at home to Blackburn.
Elsewhere, Chelsea had to come from behind to beat West Brom at Stamford Bridge, Swansea picked up their first Premier League point thanks to a goalless draw with Wigan and Stoke scored an injury-time equaliser to grab a draw at Norwich.
Sunderland 0 - 1 Newcastle
Louise Taylor at the Stadium of Light
Arsenal 0 - 2 Liverpool
David Hytner at the Emirates Stadium
Paul Wilson at the Emirates Stadium
Everton 0 - 1 Queens Park Rangers
Rory Smith at Goodison Park
Bolton 2 - 3 Manchester City
Kevin McCarra at the Reebok Stadium
Five Things We Learned I
Five Things We Learned II
Garth Crook's Team of the Week
Team of the Week
The film, shot in the style of a 1970s porn film, shows young women in a room whose walls are covered with Getafe posters, flags and scarves, drinking a potion that turns them into sex-mad zombies.