Friday, January 19, 2007

Who's Older??

OK. One of these guys will turn 23 on January 23 and one of them will turn 34 on February 26. Can you tell which one is 11 years older than the other?

Sanford's Premiership Predictions

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

The Scousers have something to prove here, and I think they’ll do the business. Fortress Anfield will return. The doubts will grow at Chelsea as long as John Terry is on the bench. That you can have unlimited resources and not have adequate defensive cover is shocking. The price will be paid; a loss here for the Blues and they could be fighting with Liverpool and Arsenal for second.


Aston Villa vs. Watford

Martin O’Neill has plenty to worry about as his lads have slipped deep into the bottom half of the table. Deeper still is Watford, but they have a fraction of the talent that O’Neill has at his disposal. Yet they won’t go down with out at fight. Trouble is, that fight lacks goals. I don’t know from where they’ll come.


Fulham vs. Tottenham

Spurs don’t have the spine to get a point. They’re woeful away from home and I believe Chris Coleman has done an astute piece of business by bringing in Montella. The guy has a keen footballing brain and I like him to do well in the Premiership. Throw in Fulham’s healthy home form and I see a victory for the Cottagers.


Middlesboro vs. Bolton

Boro managed three past a pathetic Charlton last time out so how many will the get at the Riverside? I have no confidence in Southgate’s men – they lack any passion, never mind any panache. Quite simply, they are a bore and I can't pick them to get a point they don't deserve. Bolton have the goods to come and get all three.


Newcastle vs. West Ham

This is a tricky one, and I think it’ll be a draw. After their FA Cup roasting, Newcastle will spring back but I like Curbishly to begin to get things steady at West Ham as the second half of the season progresses.


Portsmouth vs. Charlton

A trip to the south coast is not what Alan Pardew needs at the moment. I can’t see anything but Championship football for Charlton in ‘07/08 and this match will be another three points lost heading towards February. ‘Arry’s fine work is well documented but still deserves plaudits. A place in Europe beckons.


Reading vs. Sheffield United

A home win, no doubt. United have impressed of late but Reading are the true promotion heroes of this campaign. They work hard for each other and have the talent to play in the top division, two things that don’t always go hand in hand. See Watford for proof.


Manchester City vs. Blackburn

Go back a few weeks and you would have seen Citeh on the skids and Blackburn bursting upward. Not so today. As they say, a few weeks in football are a long time. I can’t see Blackburn getting anything from this game. They only have one or two players performing as they should and their bad patch will continue.


Wigan vs. Everton

I’m not sure what’s going on at Everton but they can’t find any consistency. Even though Wigan are in freefall, they should still claim a point at the JJB.


Arsenal vs. Manchester United

The second of this weekend’s Super Clashes will probably provide more of the highlights. These two teams do not like each other, and the new blood on both sides will be made aware of that fact from the off. The last time Arsenal had any streak of note, Wayne Rooney took a dive and his side ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run at 49. This time it’s the far less impressive unbeaten streak at the Emirates, but you can be sure Sir Alex would love to get his name in the record books as the first manager to win at Arsenal’s new palatial estate. Henry and Ronaldo are both in form, so expect a pulsating fixture – these battles are never boring. And expect ManU to win. Because these are the types of matches they win.


Portsmouth beat West Ham to Lauren signing

I'm terribly sad to see him go but I suppose it's for the best. And at least he didn't go to West Ham. The thinking is he must not be the same player he was before the injury for Wenger to let him go. We shall see.

Watford accept £8m Villa bid for Young

Real Madrid 1-1 Real Betis

EPL Weekend Preview: Top Four Collide

Italy: Serie A news in brief

Footballer fined for toilet seat fraud

'No one could quite believe a bloke like him, with all that money, would be moronic enough to nick a toilet seat',,1994430,00.html

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Primera Liga Mid-Season Update: The Managers

With just over half the season gone, it is time for an update on our Liga coaching contestants and a chance to re-visit pre-season aspirations and expectations with the benefit of hindsight.

Since the bright optimism in August, some of these individuals have fallen flat on their faces and must battle on to keep their jobs, let alone redeem faith in their ability and support of their tenancy.

Gabriele Marcotti Column

When Real Madrid hired Fabio Capello last summer, it was looking for a "sure thing" -- a big-name coach who would cut through the B.S., tame the Galácticos (or what was left of them) and deliver some kind of silverware. Any kind.

After all, Real Madrid has gone three full seasons without a trophy. And that has not happened for more than 50 years. Whatever else one might think of Capello, he is a winner: Seven league titles in 14 years at four different clubs is a difficult record to match.;_ylt=AsSQ46Csm3yKoD3xZiNEX3cmw7YF?slug=cnnsi-arealmess&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

Lawro's View: Arsenal vs. Manchester United

The BBC expect gives his take on the upcoming clash...

USA youngsters eager to make their mark against Denmark

The Bob Bradley era begins...

Sanchez names first squad as Mexico coach

Friday's rumours,,1994384,00.html

Tony Cascarino Column

Cost of survival has never been so dear...,,27-2554893,00.html

Pearce baffled by 'greed culture' after cars are put before caps,,27-2554901,00.html

McBride Set To Extend Fulham Stay

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sanford's EPL Predictions Results

OK, so not the strongest week. I got five correct and five wrong. Numbers can be deceiving, however. I did think that Newcastle could get something at White Hart Lane and Martins would score. That all happened. I just didn’t think the Magpies would win. In case you didn’t see Obefemi’s cracker, check it out:

You won’t see them hit much harder than that.

And I was pretty damn close with Everton and Reading. I thought the Toffees would have the goods to get a home win, especially with Sly in the house. Close, but no Rambo. And Fulham continue to impress. They are now snaring points on the road and with The Little Airplane on board, the Cottagers could see a continued surge in form. McBride scored his ninth in all competitions last night in the Cup, by the way. Not to shabby for an old guy from Arlington Heights.

This weekend brings two mouth-watering ties. Liverpool host Chelsea on Saturday whilst Arsenal welcome Manchester United on Sunday. The Gunners shattered the idea that Anfield is a fortress over the past two weeks and United will be looking to end Arsenal’s unbeaten record at the Emirates. Anything less than a win for Chelsea will keep the naysayers hovering while a win for ManU will make them tough to catch. Look for my predictions for those doozies manana. -Sanford

The Saviola Situation

Javier Saviola’s life at Barcelona appears to have taken another handbrake turn and is diametrically different from the sidelining he was subject to at the start of the current season.

FA Cup: Magpies Mauled, Spurs & Fulham Through

I've been made a scapegoat, insists Shevchenko

Montella has lift-off at Fulham

The sight of Fulham new boy Vincenzo Montella warming up on the pitch at half-time elicited a swooning response from two rows back.

"We'll be all right now the Italian stallion is coming on," said a female voice in the Craven Cottage crowd.

The Kevin Nolan column

I think that Chelsea captain John Terry was right to come out and say that he would make a stand if the club decided to part company with Jose Mourinho.

He was showing support for his manager - and that is part of a captain's role.

I'm no spy for Abramovich, says seething Shevchenko,,277-2553050,00.html

Overseas TV deal brings billion dollar bonanza for English Premiership

North American soccer revolution hits France

Marina Hyde Column

Given the ugly, dishonest nature of European football, is it any surprise that David Beckham wants to move to LA?

Thursday's rumours,,1993161,00.html

Ariel Ortega - just an ordinary genius

Despite the lurid headlines, the gifted Argentinian forward known as the little Donkey is not mad, merely imperfect.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Roberto Gotta in Italy

What if a side set a new record for consecutive wins and nobody really cared?

That is what is in danger of happening in Italy - despite the efforts of headline writers, TV show hosts and Inter fans - where Roberto Mancini's nerazzurri won 3-1 at Torino on Saturday to secure a record-setting 12th Serie A win in a row.

Real Madrid chief hits out at players, fans and Beckham

Boro and Man City through in FA Cup thrillers

Smith brings Weir to Rangers

Richard Williams Column

Good looks and winning the European Cup with an unfashionable team were not the only things Jose Mourinho and Brian Clough had in common.

Jol anxious to maintain triple assault on trophies,,27-2551149,00.html

Young Guns on fire

Arsenal's reserves stole the headlines with their League Cup demolition of Liverpool and yet more young stars from the club's production line are in action this week.

Full-back Kerrea Gilbert will return to north London with Cardiff to try and get the better of Tottenham in their FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday.

And Birmingham will include two of their three Arsenal loan players at Newcastle - Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson - with Nicklas Bendtner ruled out through injury.

BBC Sport asks the opinion of former Welsh captain and BBC Wales pundit Kevin Ratcliffe and Blues stalwart and former skipper Kevan Broadhurst on the quartet and whether they have what it takes to graduate from the Gunners academy.

Owen Hargreaves column

David Beckham's decision to leave Real Madrid for America caused a bit of shock in some quarters.

However, it was not a surprise to me at all. If you look at Becks and what he has achieved at Manchester United and Real Madrid I think this is a good step for him.

Deisler refuses to run on empty

Pressure, injuries and a fragile mental state conspired to end the career of a German wunderkind prematurely.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Phil Ball in Spain

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

Uli checks out some EPL action while the Bundesliga remains on winter break...

Bayern midfielder Deisler announces retirement

This is quite sad. The next big hope for Germany, Deisler was hit hard by depression and injuries and never lived up to the hype...

MLS, Mexican clubs to compete in SuperLiga

How were these initial invitations determined?

Frank Dell'Apa on Beckham's impact

David Beckham will have about the same initial impact on soccer in the U.S. as Pelé did when he arrived to play for the New York Cosmos in 1975. There will be massive publicity and it will follow Beckham (nearly) everywhere. The MLS then will have to hitch itself onto Beckham's trail and hope this leads toward either the promised land or at least to a higher profile on the sports scene without bankrupting the entire league.

Prem Talking Points: Movers And Shakers

Charlton's Gibbs Out For Season

And will he return to a team in the Championship?

Prem: Best Eleven Of The Week

Serie A Team Of The Week: Round 19

Sid Lowe in Spain

Why Mourinho could be the golden ticket for Madrid's future rulers...should fresh elections for the Real presidency be called, present incumbent Ramón Calderón would secure many votes by landing Jose Mourinho.

James Richardson in Italy

With the title race almost done and dusted, it's the sack race that is capturing the imagination in Italy.

Look to the future because Arsenal have only just begun

Arsène Wenger, a person with a hawkish eye on the future, has the team with the greatest potential in England.

Alan Hansen's column

As a manager who has won back-to-back Premiership titles, Jose Mourinho will not stand for people trying to interfere in the players he buys and sells - and quite rightly so.

Ronaldo joins Beckham on the Bernabéu scrapheap,,27-2548949,00.html

Tuesday's rumours,,1991502,00.html

Top flight clubs aim to complete FA Cup business

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Insider at Stamford Bridge

Jose exit is almost certain...

Richard Jolly at Ewood Park

Gilberto falls for Savage's tricks...

Reyna, Waterreus Set To Join New York Red Bulls

English Premier League match reports

Newcastle stun Spurs, ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal all win...

Spain: Primera Liga reports

Espanyol take the Barcelona derby...

Italian Serie A reports

12 consecutive wins for Inter as they move clear...

Monday's rumours,,1990856,00.html

Everton lucky to escape with a point after Rocky Horror Show in front of watching Stallone,,30269-2547964,00.html

Mourinho takes to his new victim status with relish

Amy Lawrence writes that Jose Mourinho comes out fighting as he wins the Chelsea fans' sympathy vote...