Friday, February 01, 2008

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Tottenham vs. Manchester United

Tottenham v Man Utd

Tottenham's improvement is there for all to see and they have also strengthened by bringing in Alan Hutton - who looks like he will be a really good player - and Jonathan Woodgate.

I think this will be Manchester United's toughest league fixture for a while. Yes, they beat Spurs in the FA Cup last week but that was a much closer game than the 3-1 scoreline suggested.

Prediction: 1-1

All the Predictions

Serie A: Improving Milan set sights on Fiorentina

AC Milan's ascent towards a Champions League qualifying spot reaches a crucial point this weekend when they visit fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Weekend Preview

La Liga: Ronaldinho to reignite Barca title bid?

Barcelona are hoping the return of Ronaldinho for Sunday's league match at home to Osasuna will reinvigorate their fading title hopes and add some much needed spark to their football.

Weekend Preview

England: Premier League Previews

The teams at the top have tough trips as United travel to White Hart Lane and Arsenal make the reverse journey to the City of Manchester Stadium. Elsewhere, Chelsea face a potential bump on the south coast at Fratton Park and Newcastle and Boro square off in the northeast.

Saturday Feb. 2
Birmingham v Derby
Blackburn v Everton
Liverpool v Sunderland
Manchester City v Arsenal
Portsmouth v Chelsea
Reading v Bolton
Tottenham v Manchester United
Wigan v West Ham

Sunday Feb 03
Fulham v Aston Villa
Newcastle v Middlesbrough

Martin Rogers: Transfer Window's Winners and Losers

The January transfer window ended Thursday, producing some brisk business in the soccer world.

As opposed to several previous years, when the January window saw little in the way of meaningful activity, the positive financial outlook for many big teams triggered some key moves that sent cash hurtling around the sport's international marketplace.

The jury is still out on many of the speculative moves that did (or didn't) go through, but that didn’t stop us from identifying the big winners and big losers from the month that was.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

The Bundesliga returns after the traditional winter break with the battle for the league title finely poised. Bayern Munich sit atop the league table on 36 points, but lead rivals Werder Bremen on goal difference only.

Huub Stevens’ Hamburg are four points further back and cannot be discounted as title challengers especially if they hit the kind of form they did at the start of the season. Last seasons top two, Stuttgart and Schalke, will be looking to improve on a rather disappointing first half of the season and ensure Champions League qualification at the very least.

The weekend’s nine matches mirror the opening weekend of the season’s fixtures.
Raphael Honigstein's Preview

USA vs. Mexico: Sanchez selects his first naturalized player

Brazilian-born midfielder Antonio Naelson was picked by Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez for the first time Thursday.

Goalkeepers: Luis Michel (Guadalajara), Moises Munoz (Morelia), Guillermo Ochoa (America)

Defenders: Israel Castro (Pumas), Jonny Magallon (Guadalajara), Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Spain), Fausto Pinto (Pachuca), Oscar Rojas (America), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)

Midfielders: Fernando Arce (Santos Laguna), Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain), Antonio Naelson (Toluca), Pavel Pardo (Stuttgart, Germany), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul)

Forwards: Adolfo Bautista (Jaguares), Juan Carlos Cacho (Pachuca), Giovanni Dos Santos (Barcelona), Antonio de Nigris (Ankaraspor, Turkey), Carlos Vela (Osasuna, Spain)

USA vs. Mexico
February 6, 2008
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
9 pm EST

No EPL Move for Guzan

U.S. National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan was denied a British work permit on Thursday, ending his plans to sign with Aston Villa
Guzan Denied Work Permit, Returning to Chivas USA

Platini in Ronny Challenge

Is that really your best Ron?

Michel Platini has challenged Cristiano Ronaldo to produce his best form on grandest stages
Michel Platini challenges Cristiano Ronaldo
David Edbrooke assesses where Ronaldo's fantastic free-kick stands in all-time top 25
The 25 best free-kicks of all-time

Pompey in Stress?

According to The Times the possibility of his manager moving to Newcastle may have prompted the Portsmouth owner's decision to sell the club, but The Telegraph says Gaydamak is still committed to Pompey.
Redknapp's 'move' tested Gaydamak’s loyalty
Alexandre Gaydamak committed to Portsmouth

African Cup of Nations Update

Which side does George Clinton support??

Senegal's draw against South Africa mean both teams are out while Tunisia and Angola qualify:
Senegal, South Africa go out in 1-1 draw
Tunisia, Angola qualify after tame draw

David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo: Men who graduated from show-ponies to thoroughbreds with their vanity flair

We have been forced over the years to change our mind – or at least amend our opinion – about David Beckham, and now we are in the process of doing the same thing with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ballack Aims High

Michael Ballack believes his team's apparent invincibility at Stamford Bridge will prove decisive in the title race
Ballack gets that title feeling

Bex Out

Well, Yankland is going to get even more time with David Beckham. Lucky Yankland.
Bex flew back to Los Angeles yesterday intent on pulling off another comeback after his omission from Fabio Capello’s first England squad:
David Beckham pledge: I’ll be back
Martin Samuel says Fabio has given public opinion gets the elbow:
Capello delivers clear message
At least with David Beckham off the pitch, the focus will be on the team playing, says Richard Williams:
Coach will not let misty eyes blur long-term vision

Deadline Day Signings

The January transfer window is a fair bit of fuss about nothing. A huge amount of money was spent, but in terms of big moves the best we got was Alves to Boro, Defoe to Pompey and Mascherano staying where he is. Not exactly what you'd call exciting.
Jermain Defoe helps set new transfer record
Gilberto joins Spurs, Stalteri and Gardner leave
Liverpool agree fee to secure Javier Mascherano for themselves
Man City miss out on Portsmouth's Benjani

Thursday, January 31, 2008

FC Barcelona - All Time Best XI

FC Barcelona's history has been littered with star and superstar names and choosing the best eleven players from the last 109 years is no easy task, but has stepped forward and attempted to do just that.

Nicknamed Tarzan, the only player to come close to resembling the powerful central defender from the 1970's is Carles Puyol. Won over the fans with his no nonsense displays at the back and showed his bravery when he played in the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1979 with a broken collar bone. Migueli, whose full name is Miguel Bernardo Bianquetti, is the club's record appearance holder with 664 matches under his belt.

Ronaldo's Free-Kick vs. Portsmouth

Fergie: Best Free-Kick I've Ever Seen
The Kick

Coppa Italia: Inter Qualify Following Five Goal Thriller

Juventus 2 – 3 Inter

A great encounter, and a worthy Derby d'Italia. This could have been won by either side, as Juventus and Inter produced an amazing and exciting display, but the evening belonged to Balotelli, who scored a fine brace to send his side to the semis...

Americans in England: Update

McBride Begins His Comeback in Friendly
Out for five months, the Arlington Heights native made it through 90 minutes without problems

Eddie Lewis needs surgery
Maybe he just wants some time away from Derby...

Simek focused on England career
An interview of the Sheffield Wednesday Yank

Szetela joins Brescia on loan

The midfielder found his playing time at Santander limited

The 3-5-2: Elephant Love USA's Greg Lalas continues to check in from Ghana, where he is covering the African Nations Cup, dedicating his entire weekly column to breaking down the event now that the knockout round beckons.

Form or fame for Fabio?

Ex-Gunners stricker Smudger Smith ponders Capello's options as he picks his first England squad
Capello's conundrum
Beckham to miss out on Fabio's first squad

African Cup of Nations Update

The Cameroon striker hit a goal in each half against Sudan to become leading all-time scorer in African Cup of Nations
Eto’o wins place in history books
Egypt ease through after Zambia draw
Angola eye last eight place
Paul Doyle: It's the fans that make the ACN an intoxicating feast

Spotlight on Newcastle

According to George Caulkin of the Times breaking the cycle of bad decisions and good ones badly executed is proving difficult to achieve at St James' Park
Ashley attempts to restore sanity to Newcastle
While Marina Hyde asks: what is it that Newcastle's dazzling raft of appointments are actually meant to do?
All the vice-president's men won't save Newcastle

Maradona disses Bex while seeking UK job

Beckham 'not great player', says Maradona

Fans aim to takeover Pool


Disgruntled supporters are set to unveil plans to prise the club from owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Sounds great, but it's hard to believe that it come to much. Their first donation is said to be becoming from a Señor R. Benitez.
Liverpool fans launch takeover move
Tom Hicks claim casts shadow over Rick Parry

Wednesday's EPL games

Cristiano Ronaldo is in such prolific goalscoring form that it will take a formidable challenge to wrest the title from Old Trafford:
Ronaldo leads way for relentless United
The German captain midfielder kept alive Avram Grant's hopes of catching the Premier League leaders:
Michael Ballack strike keeps Chelsea in hunt
Derby don't lose, honestly:
Derby make a point in front of new owners
The England defender had the desired effect at his new club, though Everton remain in fourth:
Woodgate helps Tottenham to keep clean sheet
Things just keep geting worse for Rafa and Liverpool:
Rafa Benitez shows strain of Liverpool defeat

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Verbeek - Bradley Staying Put For Now

Heerenveen coach Gertjan Verbeek believes midfielder Michael Bradley will not leave the club in the transfer window.

The Mill(s) ++ +++

Wednesday's Rumours



Flaws in MLS' transfer setup need to be remedied

Frank Dell'Apa give his take on MLS and the true value of transfers to Europe...

Underdogs hold the key for Libertadores success

It may have passed under the radar of many football fanatics, but the Copa Libertadores (South America's version of the UEFA Champions League) begins this week, albeit with a preliminary round of qualifying.

Coppa Italia Preview: Juventus-Inter

What: Coppa Italia quarter-final 2nd leg
Who: Juventus (3rd Serie A, 40 points) vs Inter (1st Serie A, 50 points)
When: Wednesday 30 January 2008, 21:00 CET
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Turin

‘The Animal’: Ibrahimovic Needs To Be Taught A Lesson

Former Juventus and Torino hardman Pasquale Bruno has launched a simply sensational attack on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alessandro Del Piero, saying that the former needs to be taught a lesson, while stating that the latter is not a superstar.

“Any touch on a striker is enough for them to go down and shout and cry as if somebody has fouled them. “Italian strikers today only think about earrings, tattoos, nightclubs and shopping. I have never been able to stand the fakers as they go out there to get others suspended.”

Arsenal 2 - 0 Newcastle: A Very Nice Goal From Flamini

England: Wednesday's Premier League Previews

The Blues take on The Royals, The Rams face The Citizens, The Toffees play The Lillywhites, The Irons meet The Reds and The Red Devils go up against Pompey.
Wednesday's game see ManU look to regain to spot
Ryan Giggs savours mental test

African Cup of Nations Update

Ivory Coast and Nigeria, just, make it through to the next round, as Eto'o gets serious.
Nigeria scrape through as Mali bow out
Eto'o out to make history against Sudan

Grant backs naughty Cole to emerge stronger

Avram Grant maintained yesterday that Ashley Cole is in the right frame
of mind to return to the Chelsea squad after being the subject of salacious headlines
Cashley back in Grant's thoughts
Ashley Cole cheats on wife Cheryl

Mascherano stays, Hutton moves

Liverpool to complete Javier Mascherano deal
Hutton finally agrees on a £10m move to Tottenham

Tuesday's EPL games see Arsenal go top

Kevin Keegan looked increasingly uncomfortable as Newcastle's goal drought continued:
Flamini fires Arsenal rout of sorry Newcastle
Two unheralded heroes allowed Roy Keane's side to clamber out of the relegation zone:
Prica the pride of Sunderland
The former Arsenal striker's second goal for his new club earned them three vital points:
Aliadiere gives Boro some breathing space
The visitors left the happier as this relegation dog-fight turned into a stroll at the Reebok Stadium:
Bolton miss Anelka firepower as Fulham shut up shop

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Brian Pinas is a 5’ 8” midfielder who was born in 1978 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He’s poked in and out of a number of clubs over his career, beginning with the youth team at Feyenoord. After seeing the speedy left-winger in Holland, Newcastle United grabbed Pinas and put him on their books back in 1998, but he grew lonely at the club after his mates Tino Asprilla and Jon Dahl Tomasson left Tyneside. Pinas followed them out the door soon there after. Pinas enjoyed probably his best performances during a spell with Groningen between 2003 and 2005. He last played top-division football in Belgium, for Club Brugges, where he found the competition for playing time, well, stiff. Pinas is currently somewhere in the Dutch Second Division.

There is no doubt that Brian Pinas deserves a spot on Sanford Soccer Net’s All-Name Team, and he’ll be in the midfield as a reserve.

The Rest of The Squad to Date (there will be 25 total):
Marco Buggers - Reserve Striker
Nicky Butt - Starting Holding Midfielder
Dean Windass - Starting Striker
Rod Fanni - Starting Right Back
Berndt Haas - Starting Center Back
Danny Shittu - Starting Center Back
David Seaman - Reserve Goalkeeper

Unpopular Inter Draw Solace From Silence

Inter are so angry they are not talking, but a draw against Udinese is no sign that they are losing their way.

Alan Hansen on the revitalized FA Cup

"I don't think the FA Cup will ever quite get back to the status it had during the 1970s and 1980s, because the rise of the Champions League has altered the football landscape for good. But this season's stories have breathed further life into an already-revitalised competition - and it looks like there's a lot more yet to come."

England: Premier League Mid-Week Previews + Lawro's Predictions

Plenty of important fixtures today and tomorrow as Fulham travel to Bolton, Everton host Tottenham at Goodison Park, Newcastle return to the Emirates for the second time in three days and Manchester United welcome 'Arry and Portsmouth to Old Trafford.


Lawro's Predictions

The Top Ten Manchester United Players During Alex Ferguson's Reign

Sir Alex Ferguson reckons Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are the best players to play for Manchester United since his arrival as manager on November 6th, 1986. Gil Gillespie begs to differ.

Phil Ball in Spain

Was Liverpool vs. Havant & Waterlooville a lot like Osasuna vs. Sevilla? Señor Ball reports...

A tale of two games

The Mill ++ +++ ++++

Tuesday's Rumours




CONCACAF to launch its own Champions League

The 24-team competition will start in August and will replace the CONCACAF Champions Cup, which has determined the region's champion since 1962 and will end after 2008.

Gallardo moves to DC

Christian Gomez's time in a D.C. United shirt might be up, as the four-time MLS Cup champs made a bold move on Monday by signing Argentine National Team midfielder Marcelo Gallardo.
D.C. United Sign Gallardo

21 go camping with Bob

In the second camp of the year, many of the same faces reconvene in preparations of another clash with their arch-rivals.
Bradley Names 21 Players To Pre-Mexico Camp

Two Villians hoping to impress Fabio

According to the Times, the Aston Villa and England Under-21striker has the best of both worlds in mentors Martin O’Neill and Stuart Pearce, while Capello must have concluded that only by throwing Scott Carson back into the fray will he discover who is "England’s No 1".
Gabriel Agbonlahor looking at the wider picture
Scott Carson seeks chance again as nightmare starts to fade

Wenger Vs Fergie, Round One

Arsene Wenger starts the silly mind games early with a jibe at ManU's recent trip to Saudi
Saudi trip will rebound on United, says Wenger
United's big FA Cup showdowns with Arsenal

"Protest marches are not high on our list of priorities"

The new American owners of Derby County have vowed to ensure that they do not alienate supporters or drag the club into debt.
Americans banking on Derby
Derby owners in pledge to fans

Spurs nab Woody as Richards faces decision day

You can see why Arsene Wenger would want to sign Jonathan Woodgate. It'd have been the perfect signing. With his injury record Woodgate would have hardly been avaliable for selection, enabling Wenger to contiue picking his regular players while finally having a retort to all the accusations of being anti-english.
Tottenham win over Jonathan Woodgate
Deal, or no deal? for Micah Richards