Friday, February 22, 2008

Lawro's EPL and Carling Cup Predictions

Man City v Everton (2000 GMT)

Premier League predictions

Everton played in the Uefa Cup on Thursday while Man City will be refreshed after a 15-day break since their last fixture.

Their last game, of course, was the 2-1 win at Old Trafford against rivals Man Utd and City will take a lot of confidence from that result.

I think this will be a tight game with little between the two teams.

I'm not sure it will be much of a spectacular, certainly no fireworks and laser show.

Verdict: 1-0

All the Previews

Mclean's golden touch inspires Posh promotion push

Peterborough United's answer to Wayne Rooney is spearheading the deadliest attacking trio in English football this season.

Italy: Serie A Preview

Inter travel to Sampdoria still reeling from some inner conflict, but Fiorentina's trip to the Stadio Olimpico to face Roma is the top fixture of the weekend...

Uefa Cup Wrap

Bayern destroy Aberdeen, Spurs draw to advance, Everton cruise, Fiorentina advance but Atletico Madrid do not...


Carling Cup Final: Chelsea vs. Tottenham

It's the first opportunity for silverware in the 2007-2008 campaign and it'll be an all London affair...

Ramos vs. Grant:
A look at the two gaffers

Possible teams:

Chelsea: Petr Cech; Juliano Belletti, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole; Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard; Joe Cole, Didier Drogba

Tottenham Hotspur: Paul Robinson or Radek Cerny; Alan Hutton, Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Pascal Chimbonda; Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Steed Malbranque; Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov

Referee: Mark Halsey


England: EPL Previews

Newcastle have not won in the five weeks since King Kev returned to St. James' Park. It won't get any easier as Manchester United come to town tomorrow. Leaders Arsenal are at Birmingham, Everton travel to Manchester City, it's a London derby between Fulham and West Ham, and Liverpool host Boro.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Spurs meet for the League Cup -- see separate post above for that preview.
EPL Previews
Preview Two

23 February 2008
Birmingham v Arsenal
Fulham v West Ham
Liverpool v M'brough
Newcastle v Man United
Portsmouth v Sunderland
Tottenham v Chelsea
Athletic v Derby

Kev in happier times???

24 February 2008

Reading v A Villa
Blackburn v Bolton

25 February 2008
Man City v Everton

Brazil soccer fans wary of Kaka church donation

The Brazilian superstar has given his FIFA Player of the Year trophy to some dodgy cult, er, church in Brazil...

Kaka remains popular in Brazil, with a huge following among teenage girls. He has also won the admiration of anxious parents for advocating and professedly practicing sexual abstinence before marriage. Brazilian magazines have carried interviews with Kaka talking about his dedication to the church, stretching back to his childhood and his plans to become a preacher after retiring from soccer.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Getafe hope to trip up Real Madrid again while Barca hope for an easy go of it at Camp Nou versus bottom feeders Levante...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Philly's football-philes looking for their field of dreams

Meet Philadelphia soccer fans The Sons of Ben, supporters with two bitter rivalries - but no team to support.

Tottenham vs. Slavia Prague: Ramos says Uefa Cup more important than Chelsea final

Tottenham Hotspur may only be a few days from their first major cup final in nine years, but their manager, Juande Ramos, clarified his personal priorities today by insisting success in the Uefa Cup would outstrip anything his team might achieve in a domestic showpiece.

Gascoigne Arrested

More trouble for Gazza...

Paul Gascoigne: a troubled life

Americans on the Continent

Oguchi Onyewu's Standard Liege retakes top spot in the Jupiler League while Michael Bradley's goal-scoring streak comes to an end.

Greg Berhalter, 1860 Munich (2. Bundesliga)
vs. 1899 Hoffenheim, H, 0-1 loss (50 minutes, 1 red card)
Berhalter was sent off in the 50th minute for what only can be described as a silly decision. Already cautioned, Berhalter followed through with a terrible tackle on the wing only five minutes after the break. It was an uncharacteristically bad decision from the veteran center back. Berhalter was rated as a 5 by kicker. 1860 are sixth in the table. Up next: FC Koln (2. Bundesliga) 2/22.

Richard Williams: Milan Rely on the Past

Young Brazilian Alexandre Pato added spice at the Emirates but the night belonged to experience.

United ask Uefa to investigate after Ronaldo is dazzled by laser

The incident took place during the warm-up and Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that United informed Uefa before kick-off.

Champions League Reports

Celtic 2 - 3 Barcelona
Barcelona dominated in Parkhead, but had to come from behind twice in order to defeat a Celtic side that were clinical in front of goal in the first half of this absorbing tie.

Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Manchester United
Carlos Tévez snatched a draw – and an important away goal – for Manchester United at the Stade Gerland, firing home in the 87th minute.

Arsenal 0 - 0 AC Milan
Adebayor's missed chance

Fenerbahce 3 - 2 Sevilla
Five-goal thriller

The Insider at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal 0 - 0 AC Milan

Arsenal's youngsters miss their chance

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Toure Family Fortunes

Arsenal's Kolo and Barcelona's Yaya have made their father Moury Toure a very proud man – and there’s more to come.

“Football has become this family’s drug,” smiles Mory Toure. It would also be their blessing. Kolo would bring rice home when he received his bonuses at the ASEC academy and maintained what his father calls “his solidarity with his brothers and sisters, who were always together, and that helped us as parents.”

Inter Milan: Fallout from Anfield loss as Mancini attacked and Ibra responds

Mancini is verbally attacked by Inter fans at the Liverpool airport.

A journalist shouted at Ibrahimovic, “What happened [tonight]?”, to which the Swede angrily replied, “Why don’t you go and ask Materazzi what happened?”

Police launch investigation into racist Grant death threats

Avram Grant's been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic death threats...

Champions League Wednesday Previews

Celtic - Barcelona
What: Champions League – Last 16, 1st Leg
Who: Celtic (2nd, Group D) – Barcelona (1st , Group E)
When: Wednesday, February 20, 20:45 GMT
Where: Parkhead, Glasgow

Fenerbahçe - Sevilla
What: Champions League, Round of 16, 1st Leg
Who: FC Sevilla (6th, Primera Liga) vs Fenerbahçe SK (2nd, Süper Lig)
When: Wednesday, 20th February, 2045 CET
Where: Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadyumu, Istanbul, Turkey

Arsenal - AC Milan
What: Champions League Round Of 16, First Leg
Who: Arsenal (63 pts, 1st) vs. AC Milan (38 pts, 5th)
When: Wednesday February 20, 2008, 20:45 CET
Where: Emirates Stadium, London
Preview Two

Lyon - Manchester United
What: Champions League – last 16
Who: Lyon (2nd, Group ) – Man. United (1st , Group)
When: Wednesday, February 20, 20:45 GMT
Where: Stade Gerland, Lyon, France
Preview Two

Champions League Reports

Olympiakos 0-0 Chelsea
A largely undistinguished goalless draw in Piraeus has left Chelsea with the advantage ahead of the second-leg at their Stamford Bridge fortress. The best chance of the game fell to Chelsea's Salomon Kalou in stoppage-time, but it went begging, as had everything else beforehand in a game dominated by defences.

Roma 2-1 Real Madrid
Roma recovered from going a goal behind to earn a narrow 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16 first leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Liverpool 2 - 0 Inter Milan
Materazzi sent off as Liverpool claim precious win.

Schalke 1 - 0 Porto
A third minute strike from Kevin Kuranyi was enough for Schalke to defeat a sluggish Porto outfit at the Veltins Arena.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sid Lowe in Spain

A hugely debatable penalty 10 minutes from time gave Barcelona a lucky win over Zaragoza - and moved them just five points behind Real Madrid.

A scandal and a robbery, yes, but Barça aren't complaining.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Weekend results in Serie A have surely ended this year's Scudetto race. Now Massimo Moratti wants Champions League glory.

With Italy conquered, Inter set their sights on European domination.

Brilliant Benzema standing on the verge of greatness

When Manchester United travel to Stade Gerland, they will have to find a way to suppress the most complete young striker in the world today.

Quotes of the Week + Top Chants

"There is no way Watford will get back into this match."
Paul Merson reporting with Watford 2-0 down to Charlton. Five minutes later they were level.

"What's it like to have no Cox?"
Swindon fans to Northampton after the Robins beat the Cobblers to the signing of Simon Cox.

All the Fun

FA Cup Draw: Barnsley Host Chelsea

The games will be played on the weekend of 8 and 9 March

Sheffield United or Middlesbrough v Cardiff City

Manchester United v Portsmouth
Bristol Rovers v West Brom

Barnsley v Chelsea

Phil Ball in Spain

'You have to be hungry'. That's what Alfredo Di Stéfano said to a Spanish journalist when asked, on his return to Real Madrid to manage the team, which factor separated the great players from the merely good ones. But Di Stéfano, who this last weekend was honoured by Michel Platini with the UEFA President's Prize, did not mean 'hungry' in the figurative sense that a manager would mean it today. He meant 'literally hungry'.

Americans in England: 10 Matches to Watch USA's Matthew Braine provides us with a few dates to mark down on the calendar for the top games involving American players between now and the end of the season.

Champions League Tuesday Previews

Roma - Real Madrid
What: Champions League First Knockout Round – 1st Leg
Who: Roma (2nd - Serie A) v Real Madrid (1st - La Liga)
When: Tuesday, 19th February, 2008 - 20:45 (CET)
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Roma

Schalke - Porto
What: Champions League 1st knock-out round
Who: Schalke (5th Bundesliga) v Porto (1st Bwin Liga)
When: Tuesday 19th February 2008, 20:45 (CET)
Where: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen


Liverpool – Inter Milan
What: Champions League, Round of 16
Who: Liverpool (5th, Premier League) v. Internazionale (1st, Serie A)
When: Tuesday, 19th February, 20:45 (CET)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool


Olympiakos - Chelsea
What: Champions League, First Knock-Out Round (Matchday 7)
Who: Olympiakos (1st, Ethniki Kategoria, 47/60 pts) v Chelsea (3rd, EPL, 55/78 pts)
When: Tuesday 19th February, 2008, Kick-Off: 20.45 CET
Where: Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Athens


Gunners' skipper escapes FA action over Nani clash

An FA spokesman said: 'Having viewed the footage, the referee was not satisfied that it showed evidence of violent conduct and therefore no further action will be taken.'

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blatter takes on Spain

Sepp Blatter says Fifa will exclude Spain from international events if its government keeps interfering in football affairs
Blatter threatens to bar Spain over interference

Romans at each others throats

The problems at Roma are growing ahead of the Champions League clash with Real Madrid after Christian Panucci and Alberto Aquilani were involved in a furious training ground incident
Panucci & Aquilani In Furious Training Ground Spat

It's going to get Messi

Celtic will be approaching this week's match against Barcelona with a view to stopping the Catalan giants from playing football, says Scott Brown
Brown Tells Messi To Expect More 'Anti-Football'

Fabio talks down Italian chances

England national team manager Fabio Capello is not overly confident of the Italian teams' chances in this week's first legs in the Champions League last sixteen
It Will Be Tough For Italian Teams - Capello

James on form

Nothing may have pleased the England manager quite as much as the sight of David James excelling in goal for Portsmouth
Redknapp hails evergeen cup hero James

Frankie Vialli

It's interview Monday on SSN. Frank Lampard and Gianluca Vialli sit down for a chat with Gabriele Marcotti and Guillem Balague
'We're judged as people, not players'

Kaka Interview

The Brazilian talisman tells Dominic Fifield he expects Emirates trip to kick-start Milan's indifferent season
Kaka backs old hands to hold young Arsenal in style trial

Kalou's wise words

The Ivorian striker could play a crucial role in Chelsea’s chase for trophies, which continues in Greece on Tuesday
Salomon Kalou's words of wisdom

Toni keeps Bayern top

Toni maintained his remarkable form since moving to Germany from Fiorentina, scoring three goals to keep Bayern three points ahead of Bremen
Toni hat-trick sees Bayern to classy win

Bad boys back in business

Two bad boys were on form this weekend in Italy. Former coke-sniffer Adrian Mutu scored a stunner to take Fiorentina up to fourth, as Cassano's excellent performance enabled Samp to beat Genoa
Mutu puts Fiorentina back up to fourth

Barca close gap

Barca left it late, with Dinho netting a dodgy penalty, to move three points closer to Real. The Madrid team had earlier slipped up at Betis.
Disputed Ronaldinho goal cuts down Real's title lead
Atletico lose out at home to Athletic Bilbao

The Mill

Monday's rumours

The next US soccer star?

With all the praise and attention that have come Jozy Altidore's way in the past year, from TV commercials to video game covers to historic goals, Quavas Kirk knows it's important to bring his former teammate back to reality
Altidore hailed as America's soccer prodigy

Blatter 'wrong' according to Miami boss

Dolphins boss Joe Bailey says Sepp Blatter is wrong, and the 'international round' is a brilliant idea
'We want 39th step in Miami'

Marcel Desailly opens up

Desailly on Capello, Blatter, Wenger and much much more...
Marcel Desailly interview

Game 39 under more attack

As the FA finally join the debate, the Premier League's claim that all 20 clubs remain "rock solid" behind the controversial plan to play 10 extra games a season abroad was undermined yesterday by the Reading chairman John Madejski, who admitted the proposal is now "in tatters".
John Madejski: Premier League plan in tatters
Premier League manages to make Blatter look good

The knifes come out for Rafa

Rafael Benítez is safe for now, but his position as Liverpool manager will be reviewed at the end of the season.At least he's only playing the Italian champion's next...
Owners put Benítez's job on line
Rafael Benitez's future is Inter dependent
Kop legend Smith blasts Reds boss Benitez
Hanson:Liverpool woe down to rotation and bad buys

One man Wayne

Wayne Rooney's lone striker exploits Arsenal's shortcomings, leaving Fabio Capello with a dilemma
Wayne Rooney’s one-man show suits Fabio Capello

ManU whet AC's appetite

Whilst Man U's destruction of Arsenal has got AC looking forward to their clash with the London club, a few injuries are taking their toll
Man United have AC Milan licking their lips
Kalac injury adds to Milan's goalkeeping headaches

Fergie's Nani annoys Wenger

Arsenal’s feathers were ruffled at Old Trafford by the sight of Nani playing keepy-uppy in the final minutes of the game
Arsene Wenger ‘humiliated’ by Nani juggling act
Gilberto issues Nani warning