Friday, October 14, 2011
Lazio vs. Roma: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Preview
Alan Hansen: Crunch time for Liverpool
Newcastle vs. Tottenham: Preview
Chelsea vs. Everton: Kevin Keegan's Preview
Arsenal vs. Sunderland: Preview
Premier League Spotlight
Liverpool v Manchester United: Basketball star and Anfield stakeholder Lebron James jets in for clash
James, who bought a stake in the Merseyside club last April, will attend Saturday’s fixture with Manchester United alongside owners John W. Henry and Tom Werner.
Ferguson takes his team to Anfield tomorrow and has requested United fans stop singing taunting songs about the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at in Sheffield at which 96 Liverpool supporters died.
You Are A Scouser
(to the tune of 'You Are My Sunshine')
You are a scouser,
An ugly* scouser,
You're only happy, on giro day.
When your dad's out stealing,
Your mum's drug-dealing,
But please don't take.. my hubcaps... away
[*= the word 'ugly' often replaced with 'thieving' or 'lonely')
Why do the World Cup rights bids matter so much for soccer here? The winners will be committed to helping build the audience for the sport through 2022, which is no small thing. ESPN, which paid $100 million for the English-language rights for World Cups '10 and '14, made the 2010 World Cup one of the company's top priorities last year. It promoted the event heavily, received positive reviews for its coverage and reaped the rewards: The U.S.-Ghana second round game, for example, drew a total U.S. audience of 19.4 million, more than all but two games of the '09 World Series and all but Game 7 of the '10 NBA Finals. Audiences should be even bigger for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, not least because many of the games will be taking place during prime time on U.S. television.
Lionel Messi could become the standalone second highest scorer in Barcelona's history on Saturday night as the Spanish champions take on struggling Racing Santander - Messi needs just one goal to pass Ladislao Kubala's 194-goal record in all competitions. César still stands in his way but, while the 24-year-old continues to press his claims as a Barcelona great, he still has some way to go to overhaul the legacy that Kubala left when he played his last game for the club on August 30, 1961.
Paul Hayward: Rooney banished to the role of England's accidental tourist
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The scene is Anfield, and the clocks on a seething Merseyside have just ticked over to 12.45pm. Wayne Rooney struggles to quell a surge of defiance, all the more primal for the vitriol cascading from the Kop.
Lovely Margarita, Marseille's very own meter maid, is not a happy woman. The widow of Robert Louis-Dreyfus - or RLD as he was known by French football journalists - has inherited his billionaire fortune, the dubious honour of also seeing her name acronym-ed in print, and his football club. In the wake of OM's title triumph and her husband's death, she vowed to continue to plough money into the club. The woeful start to the current season, though, has led the Russian-born blonde to not only threaten to clamp down on spending, but even perhaps allow the club to be towed off by another owner.
Several female supporters of Polish football team Hutnik Krakow have stripped off and posed for a calendar in order to raise money for the struggling club.
Klinsmann estimates about one-third of his 2014 World Cup roster will come from the Olympic team. He projects forwards Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury; midfielder Danny Williams; defender Timmy Chandler; and goalkeeper Bill Hamid as making the London roster.
Daniel Levy faced down the Croat's transfer demands in the summer but his contract talks give rise to new problems.
Paul Merson has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after crashing his Mercedes into a lorry on the M40 near Warwick in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Very sad. I guess he's off the wagon...
Republic of Ireland have landed the ideal Euro 2012 play-off draw as they take on Estonia, while Portugal face Bosnia, Czech Republic play Montenegro and Turkey take on Croatia in a rerun of the Euro 2008 quarter-final.
Games to be played November 11 and 15
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Bosnia must find emotional strength after letting Euro 2012 qualification slip away in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with France.
Despite the failure to reach Euro 2012 there were enough positive signs in the defeat to Spain for Scotland to stick with their manager.
The sending-off of Armenia's goalkeeper after the ball struck Simon Cox's arm has brought unfair comparisons with Thierry Henry's infamous double handball two years ago.
Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young left the pitch during South Korea's 2-1 World Cup qualification win over United Arab Emirates looking a little confused. It could have been the clash of heads that required ten stitches or he could have been wondering why, as he is currently the number one striker in Asia, he is unable to get any playing time for the London club.
The Argentina international has already given his version of events to City, with the forward seemingly suggesting he refused to repeat his warm up, rather than refuse to enter the field of play at the Allianz Arena.
ESPNsoccernet has now learned Tevez will be given an opportunity to react to City's findings from their inquiry. Conflicting opinions are believed to have been offered by the various players who sat alongside Tevez on the substitutes' bench.
Californication certainly deserves additional punishment...
Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner is caught on tape offering 'gifts’ of £25,000 to Caribbean delegates
Telegraph Sport has seen the remarkable footage in which Warner, the controversial former vice-president of Fifa, appears to be recorded telling other members of the Caribbean Football Union members they must decide whether to accept the “gifts” of $40,000 (£25,000) each, and urging them to vote for Bin Hammam rather than Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential elections.
Jurgen Klinsmann is finding wins and goals hard to come by in his first few months as coach of the U.S. soccer team. "It's going to take time," goalkeeper Tim Howard said after Tuesday night's 1-0 exhibition loss to Ecuador dropped the Americans to 1-3-1 since the former German star and coach replaced Bob Bradley in late July. "People are going to ask questions, and that's natural. But it's still in the infant stages."
Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts
Martin Rogers: USA impotent under Klinsmann
Turkey, Group A
Finished: 2nd, 13 points behind Germany
Turkey's 1-0 win over Azerbaijan saw them pip Belgium into second spot in Group A after the Belgians lost 3-1 away to Germany. The Germans finished with a 100 per cent record with 30 points from their 10 games.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
On 29 July, when the committee finally reported, its members had, according to one of the committee's key MPs, Damian Collins, been "appalled" by what they had discovered.
For six years, between 2005 and 2011, with Ken Bates the chairman throughout, nobody in football knew who owned Leeds United, one of football's biggest and most famed clubs.
It's the same teams, three months apart, coming up with a totally different spectacle.
Back in July the Copa America in Argentina was always enthralling, but its fascination was frequently the grim, attritional kind, with defences holding the upper hand.
Now in October, the first round of South America's marathon World Cup qualification campaign produced four open games - at times absurdly so - and 15 goals.
Much of this can be explained by the differing demands of tournament and league football.
South Africa has a literacy rate of 88%, well above Niger's 28.7%, Sierra Leone's 38% or Egypt's 66.4% but still, they failed to read the rules and were baffled when they were told they had missed out on the tournament. South Africa started off confused, then irate, then despairing and then just plain spoilt brat loser-ish when they decided to appeal to CAF.
England have joined reigning champions Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and co-hosts Poland and Ukraine in qualification for Euro 2012 but five automatic places are yet to be decided.
The Key Fixtures
We take a group-by-group look at who can still qualify, and how they can get to the finals. Head to head record comes before goal difference in this qualifying campaign.
West Ham United and Leyton Orient have confirmed that they will bid to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium after the original deal to house the former in the venue collapsed due to legal challenges.
Rather, I mention this reading because of my friend. He is not a professional writer but has already published four books with a fifth in the making. (Gosh, he's got too much time on his hands, doesn't he?) In one way or another, the books all deal with the same football club. My friend is a Schalke fan.
Actually, that's why we're having the reading in the first place.
It's billed as a "literary derby". My friend will read stuff from his growing collection of Schalke-related tomes, while I consider selecting mid-90s pieces that appeared in the first Borussia Dortmund fanzine to go with more recent articles I have done about Dortmund's famous terrace, the South Stand, and the winger Reinhard Libuda, one of the men who played for both clubs.
It says a lot about the lack of drama during Italy's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign that the most memorable picture from the whole set of matches shows someone wearing a tracksuit and carrying an iPad. Mario Balotelli listened to music while walking around the pitch before the away game at the Faroe Islands, then sat on the bench and left his device locked away somewhere else, only to be accused of concentrating more on his apps than the game while his team-mates were unconvincingly making their way past the hosts thanks to an early goal from Antonio Cassano.