Saturday, December 15, 2007

Even more on Sunday's big games

Finishing touch gives Ronaldo the edge
Clichy relishing chance to put one over his former master
Sir Alex Ferguson gives his backing to Rafael Benitez
Grant turns on charm

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thomas 'Der Hammer' Hitzlsperger

The Stuttgart midfielder talks interest rates, Croatia and lions over a nice glass of wine...
Servus, Thomas!

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Liverpool v Man Utd (1330)

Team fixtures graphic

Liverpool will win this one - they know they have to if they are going to make any challenge for the title. They lost to United twice last year but Liverpool created a whole host of chances in the matches and were a little bit unfortunate, I feel.

Why people get excited about these games, though, I will never know. They are never good games to watch - they are absolutely awful!

Prediction: 1-0


Arsenal Vs Chelsea

With Chelsea tallisman Drogba missing, you have to think the game's outcome will depend upon Arsenal's sicklist. Van Persie looked sharp midweek, and obviously Wenger would love to see the return of Hleb and Flamini, but if Fabregas makes it Arsenal would be best able to take advantage. The past few games have really highlighted how important he is. He scores goals, isn't afraid to put his foot it, but above passes the ball early. This helps retain possession, opens up defenses and gives his team mates more time on the ball.
Arsenal will not 'fall' from top, says Van Persie
‘Puppet’ Avram Grant happy to pull own strings
William Gallas prepares to lead from the front

Liverpool Vs Manchester United

Things are slowly hotting up for the big match ups on Sunday. Both teams are on good form, so you have to think much will depend on Rafa's team selection. Everybody and his dog, after seeing Tuesday's performance, would just go with the same 11, but you never know will Benitez.
Queiroz fears Reds menace intensified by 'eagle' Torres
Rafael Benitez revels in position of strength
Gary McAllister's take
Ray Wilkins' take

Fabio to be crowned

Most people seem happy about the appointment of Capello except Paul Ince, France's Domenech [but he's never happy about anything], and it turns out Mamma Capello:
Evelina Tortul worries about Fabio Capello
Italians applaud selection and say ‘you won’t find dirt here’
Cascarino view: Hands should not be tied over choice of lieutenants

Spain: La Liga Weekend Previews

Barcelona's trip to Valencia is the highlight the weekend...PREVIEWS

Saturday 15 December
20:00 Espanyol - Levante
22:00 Valencia - Barcelona
Sunday 16 December
17:00 Valladolid - Sevilla
17:00 Real Betis - Almeria
17:00 Getafe - Villarreal
17:00 Deportivo - Zaragoza
17:00 Mallorca - Athletic
17:00 Murcia - Racing
19:00 Recreativo - Atletico Madrid
21:00 Real Madrid - Osasuna

EPL: FastEddy and Previews of all the Matches

There are some other solid matches other than the those on Super Sunday this weekend. Tottenham travel to Pompey to face Harry's powerful squad and Manchester City host a resurgent Bolton. Everton's trip to Upton Park also merits a look... PREVIEWS

And in case you're the betting sort: FastEddy's Lines

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Khan punished for one rant too many

There are plenty of people in Germany who think Oliver Khan is great because every so often he'll rant and rave about the failings of other. In truth he's just a self-centred hypocritical dickhead. As is too often the case with Bayern, only their trainer, Ottmar Hitzfeld, comes out with any credit.
Kahn fined for pooping Bayern's party and criticising team-mates

Grant the entertainer yet to convince

Avram Grant maintains that Chelsea are playing more attractive football than under his predecessor, Jose Mourinho, but the rest of the world needs some convincing.
Grant sets sights on Arsenal with an aesthetic point to prove

Big week for Rafa

The Liverpool manager can look forward to Manchester United visiting Anfield and crisis talks with the club's owners.
Benitez faces showdowns on two fronts

Green error gifts victory to Everton

West Ham 1 Everton 2: David Moyes's side book a Carling Cup semi-final place after a blunder from the West Ham keeper
Robert Green slips up to continue run of errors from England pretenders

Capello set to sign

So, the FA have gone for the Italian junkie Fabio Capello. It has to be said, this looks like a pretty good choice. The job is arguably impossible, what with the media, the unhelpful clubs and a general lack of real talent, but Capello has the authority and proven record to bring about improvement. Steve McClaren he ain't. There are tons of articles, so I've tried to pick out the better ones. According to the Telegraph he reads philosophy, watches Fellini, listens to Bach and admires the paintings of Giorgio De Chirico, so there'll be plenty of things to talk about on the team bus to games.

‘Deal me in’ says Fabio Capello as FA gets its No 1 man
Fabio Capello: I took drugs
Marina Hyde on the language barrier
Gabriele Marcotti:From Spain to Lake Lugano and London
Don Howe:England's midfield confusion will end

Possible Champions League match ups

Following the conclusion of the Champions League group stages, offers a sneak preview into next Friday's draw for the first knock-out round.
Champions League Draw: Who Could Play Whom!

Champions League Review

Barca's Michael Flatley

The Scots blow it, again.
Poor Rangers fail to tame Lyons
Darcheville blames himself for Rangers' exit
ManU's youth team makes good showing, but fan trouble is repeated.
Ferguson draws fringe benefits from youngsters' outing
Five Manchester United fans stabbed in Rome
Wenger maybe regreting the weaker team he put out against Slavia Prague
Giants lurk as Arsenal settle for second
Fenerbahce survive scare to make it through, but PSV fall short
Fenerbahce Through After CSKA Win
Inter Cruz Past Disappointing PSV
Meanwhile, the big fella is back for Barca.
Eto'o On The Mark As Barça Ease Past Stuttgart

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Phil Ball in Spain

Atlético are the side for entertainment

Gerrard becomes latest player to be burgled

OK, so that's Pepe Reina, Jerzy Dudek, Daniel Agger, Peter Crouch, Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Andy van der Meyde, Dirk Kuyt and now Stevie G. that have been hit in Liverpool over the past year. My question: who's buying the rights to the movie?

Gerrard's house hit while he's winning at Olympique Marseille

Sissoko wants to leave Anfield

More good news for Reds fans?
Mohamed Sissoko set for Liverpool talks

Bully needed

According to Martin Samuel Capello needs to show England’s elite players how to win football matches again. No shit Martin...
Bully for England ... and an end to being beaten up in the playground

Fabregas told to cool his jets

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Cesc Fabregas will not be rushed back to action and that no date has been set for his return.
Arsenal await return of 'impatient' Fabregas

Curbishley craves calm

After a year in the job, the West Ham boss has his sights on a 'solid season' after the club's recent travails.
One year on, Curbishley has Hammers on even keel

It wont be mellow with Capello

As Ferguson and Wenger back the Italian art buff's credentials it is revealed Gianfranco Zola may join the new coaching set-up. But according to LA boss Ruud Gullit it'll be no walk in the park.
Fabio Capello jets in eager to land England deal worth £5m a year
You don't fool around with Fabio Capello
10 things you need to know about Capello
10 things you didn't know about Capello

Blockhead Blokhin

The Ukraine manager may have taken his country to a World Cup quarter-final, but his racist outburst overshadows all achievements.
Few will mourn Blokhin's resignation

Today's Champion's League match-ups

PSV fret as their top striker struggles to make their crunch game against Inter, Rangers and Lyons prepare to slug it out in Glasgow, while Wayne Rooney is made captain.
Wayne Rooney pesters way to United captaincy
Koevermans a doubt for PSV Eindhoven crunch
Walter Smith’s men will summon up muscle to make point

Olympiacos and Schalke make it through

The coaches of Olympiacos and Schalke were ecstatic after their teams secured qualification for the knock-out stages of the Champions League. Meanwhile Avram Grant really has changed things at Chelsea as the goals flowed non-stop against Valencia.
Lemonis Relishes Olympiacos' Historic Moment
Imperious Schalke Delight Slomka
Grant content to preserve unbeaten run as Cañizares denies wasteful Chelsea

Mad Jens is back

The Arsenal goalkeeper has played four times for Germany this season and only three times for his club, but he will start tonight against Steaua Bucharest as Arsène Wenger rests his regulars before Sunday’s derby with Chelsea.
Jens Lehmann’s redemption begins as Arsene Wenger has an eye on the weekend

Reds roll on

Liverpool trounce Marseilles 4-0 to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League and alleviate the pressure on Rafael Benitez.
Liverpool's French polish revives Benitez
Smudger on Gerrard and Torres

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

England Preparing for Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello is expected to be announced as the England head coach within days after Brian Barwick, the Football Association chief executive, installed him as first choice for the job. The Times can reveal that preliminary contact has been made through intermediaries and, with José Mourinho out of the running, the pair are expected to meet this week.

This is an excellent choice. Quite simply, Capello is one of the top gaffers in the world. Of course, Sven was one of the top gaffers in the world when England got him. But I think The Fabio has the intensity that Sven (and McClaren) lack, and that could be the difference. -Ed.

Liverpool, Real Madrid face crunch Champions League ties

Liverpool and Real Madrid, with an astonishing 13 European titles between them, face the humiliating prospect of being dumped out of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Group A

Porto 5 2 2 1 6 7 8
Marseille 5 2 1 2 6 5 7
Liverpool 5 2 1 2 14 5 7
Besiktas 5 2 0 3 4 13 6

Adriano Wins Worst Player Award

Troubled Inter striker Adriano has retained the Bidone d’Oro – ‘Golden Bin’ – award for Serie A’s worst player over the last year.

The top 10:

1. Adriano (Inter) 19.98%
2. Nelson Dida (Milan) 10.86%
3. Ronaldo (Milan) 8.48%
4. Ricardo Oliveira (Real Zaragoza) 6.58%
5. Tiago Mendes (Juventus) 5.99%
6. Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria) 5.89%
7. Luis Jimenez (Inter) 5.52%
8. Diego Tristan (Livorno) 4.68%
9. Francesco Coco (Retired) 4.51%
10. Alberto Gilardino (Milan) 3.16%

Red Bulls to hire ex-Fire coach Osorio

"Despite the Fire's best efforts to keep Juan in Chicago, he determined that he needed to leave Chicago for family and personal reasons," Fire President John Guppy said. "While we certainly respect his decision, the timing of the departure was unexpected and is unfortunate."

Osorio does his best imitation of this man...

Americans Abroad: Bradley Hattrick

Michael Bradley's hat-trick helped fourth-placed Heerenveen remain on the heels of Holland's big three clubs with a win at the expense of FC Groningen.

I'm looking forward to this kid moving to a larger club -- hopefully sooner rather than later. -Ed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sheva really puts it on the line

If only he could control the ball this well with his feet

With Didier Drogba unlikely to feature for Chelsea until next February, Andrei Shevchenko is determined to take full advantage of another opportunity to prove his suitability to English football.
Shevchenko: I'll play my best for Chelsea

Big week for The Reds

According to Alan Hanson 'you could argue that we are going into the biggest week in the history of Liverpool Football Club', which is just plain stupid, but here's the rest of what he has to say...
Liverpool's season rests on next two games

Calderón comedy capers

Atlético fans are used to being entertained by their players - but against Getafe referee Carlos Clos Gómez stole the show by dishing out a La Liga record 18 cards. Señor Lowe reports.
A night of pure slapstick at the Calderón

Marino's magic men

Udinese's coach has fashioned a side full of barnstorming, attacking intent. Signor Bandini reports.
Marino brews up brilliant menace

Germany's Jose is a big fat loser

Ernst Middendorp reckoned he was a better manager than Jose Mourinho, but bad results and 'apocalyptic' levels of incompetence proved to be his downfall. Herr Honigstein reports.
Arminia send the Westphalian Napoleon into exile

La Liga and Serie A Reviews

Not too much of note this weekend so we'll keep it simple...



England: Premier League Review

Middlesbrough 2 - 1 Arsenal: Unbeaten streak ends at the Riverside
Wenger: 'It's going to be tight'

Blackburn 0 - 1 West Ham: Ashton wins it for Hammers

Reading 3 - 1 Liverpool: Rafa gets it all wrong

Manchester United 4 - 1 Derby County:
Giggs gets his 100th league goal

Complete Weekend Review