Liverpool vs. Stoke City: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

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Liverpool vs. Stoke City: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Liverpool and A.S. Roma at Anfield on April 24, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool and Stoke City have very different priorities heading into the final weeks of the 2017-18 season.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have just about wrapped up a top-four finish in the Premier League and are unlikely to be fully focussed on Saturday’s home clash against the Potters given they have the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Roma just four days later.

Stoke, meanwhile, are fighting for their lives in the relegation battle and must win at Anfield given they are four points from safety.

Saturday’s clash on Merseyside should then be an intriguing contest. Read on for a preview of the contest, along with scheduling and viewing information.

Date: Saturday, April 28

Time: 12:30 p.m. BST, 7:30 a.m. ET

TV Info: Live on Sky Sports Premier League (UK), NBCSN (U.S.)

Live Stream: Sky Go, NBC Sports App

Preview

Liverpool were devastating as they routed Roma 5-2 in their semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

Per Squawka, Mo Salah netted twice to continue his incredible 2017-18 season as the Reds put one foot in the final:

Were Stoke to come up against a Liverpool side in that kind of form on Saturday they would be blown away.

However, it seems likely Klopp will rest some of his key players so they are ready for the return leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Given the circumstances, it also seems unlikely Liverpool will be as motivated to perform as they were against Roma.

The Anfield outfit have little left to play for in the English top flight this season, while Stoke can only afford a victory.

The problem for Paul Lambert’s side, though, is they are winless in 11 Premier League games.

They need to remember how to win, and fast.

It is not guaranteed that Klopp will rest his key front men for the Stoke clash, although he will have no option to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was stretchered off against Roma, per football broadcaster Melissa Reddy:

Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have the ability to seal the three points with early goals should they start, after which they could then be substituted.

But there is also the chance that one of them could pick up an injury.

Liverpool’s top-four spot is not guaranteed, but it is also not in any immediate danger.

It will be a balancing act for Klopp to decide what team he puts out, as even a second string XI could likely claim all three points against an out-of-form Stoke.

But the Potters are in a brutal relegation scrap and that means they will pose Liverpool some danger, as West Bromwich Albion did last time out in claiming a 2-2 draw against the Reds.

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April 26, 2018 at 11:00PM

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Antoine Griezmann Cancels Alexandre Lacazette Goal In Europa League Semi-Final Stalemate

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 The aggression spilled onto the pitch at times

Arsenal Paid the price for their lack of clinical finishing as Atletico Madrid snatched a dramatic draw at Emirates on Thursday in Europa League semi final.

Sime Vrsaljko was shown two yellow cards within the first ten minutes but Gunners paid price for a sloppy mistake in defence.

Antoine Griezmann, slipping silently through Arsenal’s defence after 83 minutes, provided the brutal, excruciating reminder.

Atletico Madrid, down to ten men and without their coach Diego Simeone after he was sent off, did a number on Arsenal.

He scored the equaliser, evading the sliding challenges of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi to score a crucial away goal.

It was a belting finish, lifted into the roof of David Ospina’s net seven minutes from the end of this fiery first leg.

They are still level on aggregate, but everybody at the Emirates knows they need the miracle of Madrid now.

It is a shame because Arsenal worked so hard to establish a 61st minute lead given to them by Alexandre Lacazette.

This being Arsenal, against stellar European opposition, they could not hold on to it.

Lacazette separated these two warring clubs when he headed Arsenal’s goal beyond Jan Oblak after 61 angsty minutes.

The goal lifted the Emirates, with the fans running up and down stairwells celebrating Lacazette’s strike.

 Alexandre Lacazette thought he had won the game for the Gunners with a fine header

For a time, they wondered whether it would ever come. Atletico were a man down after 10 minutes, one short for the rest of this first leg after right back Sime Vrsaljko was sent off.

Everybody’s gameplan went out of the window after that. That nutjob Simeone, with steam coming out of his ears on the touchline, followed Vrsaljko down the tunnel three minutes later

Simeone had given French referee Clement Turpin a mouthful, giving him a gutful from the sidelines for a full three minutes after Vrsaljko’s dismissal.

After that, Atletico and their players disgraced themselves. They tried to turn this into a masterclass in the dark arts and for a long time, Arsenal could not do a thing about it.

What followed next was a steady stream of first half chances for Arsenal. Lacazette hit the outside of the post, steering the effort on to the woodwork when he connected with Danny Welbeck’s cross.

Oblak, Atletico’s highly-rated keeper, saved point blank from the Arsenal forward the Nacho Monreal swung in a cross from the left.

He got there in the end, scoring just after the hour. Arsenal were up for this, determined to establish a first leg lead in Wenger’s final European home game.

When Simeone was sent off after 13 minutes – when Turpin failed to give a free kick when Hector Bellerin was running around rattling cages – Atletico were all over the shop.

Oblak had to save with his legs again and Laurent Koscielny failed to connect properly at the far post when Aaron Ramsey flicked a corner on.

Thing is, the more frustrated Arsenal became, the more Atletico grew into it.

Griezmann finally made a meaningful contribution, forcing a decent save out of David Ospina just after half an hour.

 Griezmann made sure he had the final say in North London

Wembley deal ‘could take eight to 12 weeks’, says Fulham owner Khan

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Wembley deal ‘could take eight to 12 weeks’, says Fulham owner Khan

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Shahid Khan bought NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011

Fulham owner Shahid Khan says he hopes a deal to buy Wembley Stadium from the Football Association will be completed in eight to 12 weeks.

Khan, who also owns NFL side Jacksonville Jaguars, has made an offerthought to be worth £900m.

It is understood he would pay £600m for the stadium and the FA will continue to run the £300m-valued Club Wembley hospitality business.

“This offer makes a lot of sense for us,” he told BBC Sport.

“When I say us, I’m talking about the Jaguars, NFL, Wembley, and I think it also makes a lot of sense for the FA and the English football team.

“I’m pretty confident – that’s why we’re putting our name, our reputation on the line to get it done.”

Khan said England games would remain at Wembley and he would retain the stadium’s name.

BBC Sport understands selling Wembley would allow the FA to make a major investment into football at grassroots level.

Pakistan-born Khan has a current net worth of $7.2bn (£5.2bn) and is the 217th richest person in the world, according to the 2018 Forbes rich list.

He said he understands fans’ concerns over his offer for the 90,000-seat stadium, which is the largest in the United Kingdom.

“I think they have to understand the value and the attraction for myself,” Khan added.

“We’ll leave the tradition and the stadium itself. Even though this is a new stadium, it does need upgrades.

“Under this arrangement the FA retains the right, the revenue, and that is really the most positive part of Wembley for the FA. So they will be retaining it and obviously we want it to be there.”

The 67-year-old added that the deal would make lead to “more meaningful discussions” over a permanent NFL franchise in London.

“NFL has been playing in London since 2007,” he said. “Until now, NFL doesn’t have a stadium solution or have a home. And it can’t work with a Premier League club, because of the schedule. It does work very well with Wembley, so I think it makes it closer.”

According to the FA’s latest financial results, it still owes £113m to public bodies such as Sport England, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, plus the London Development Agency, which helped pay to build the stadium, which cost £757m and opened in 2007.

In January, the FA said it would finish paying for the ground by the end of 2024.

In a statement, Sport England said it had invested £120m of National Lottery money into the development of Wembley and it looked forward to “hearing more detail about how such a deal would work and whether it would benefit grassroots sport”.

‘It could be a positive move’ – reaction to Khan offer

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman: “This process is at an early stage and it’s ultimately a decision for the FA. But Wembley is the historic home of English football and holds a very special place in the hearts of fans up and down the country and I’m sure the FA will want to strongly consider the views of these supporters before deciding what to do next.”

Labour Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan: “The FA should not rush into any deal to sell and any deal must guarantee that England continue to play at Wembley as well as around the country; that major tournaments, cup finals and play-offs for multiple sports are still held at Wembley; and that ticket prices for England games are frozen for 10 years. The FA needs to guarantee that profits of the sale will be put into grassroots football to ensure that future generations will benefit.”

Hodgson would be ‘disappointed’ if England stopped playing at Wembley

Crystal Palace boss and former England manager and Roy Hodgson:“I am a massive supporter of Wembley as the national stadium and England playing there but I also have great faith in the FA that they won’t be making decisions lightly. If they think that is a good deal, a deal that will bring in money that they can spend in a better way, then I would be behind that.”

Former England captain and BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter: “If the money goes towards grassroots football, most importantly on pitches, artificial and otherwise, for youngsters to play then it could be a positive move.”

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal, who guided Sheffield Wednesday to the 2016 Championship play-off final:“I think they are monuments and we can’t sell them in my opinion. If you sell Wembley you can sell Big Ben and Buckingham Palace? We can’t sell monuments, it is culture, and you can’t sell culture.”

Chairman of Matchroom Sports and former Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn: “Unless there’s a very good reason why it shouldn’t be sold, frankly the laws of commerce take over. It’s he who has most will win. I would be saddened but I would be realistic enough to say it’s life in the current system.”

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April 26, 2018 at 12:15PM

Barcelona star Andres Iniesta would have won Ballon d’Or if he were called Andresinho, claims Sergio Ramos — The Sun

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SERGIO RAMOS has claimed Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta would have won two Ballon d’Or awards — if he was called Andresinho. Spanish legend Iniesta, 33, is expected to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season after 16 seasons with the La Liga giants. Andres Iniesta would have won two Ballon d’Or awards if he…

via Barcelona star Andres Iniesta would have won Ballon d’Or if he were called Andresinho, claims Sergio Ramos — The Sun

Despite being at the forefront of many of Barca’s 16 trophy wins in his time at the club, he has never been named the best player in the world.

Iniesta finished runner-up to Lionel Messi and third in 2012, but Real Madrid defender and Spain team-mate Ramos believes a different name would have seen him win.

Speaking after Real’s 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Ramos said: “If Andres was called Andresinho, he would have two Ballons d’Or.”

Iniesta’s haul includes eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns, as well as helping Spain to two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.

Andres Iniesta came second in 2010 and third in 2013 for the Balon d’Or

Sergio Ramos hinted that if Andres Iniesta was  aBrazilian he would have won the award

Some fans were baffled when Iniesta missed out to Barca team-mate Messi in 2010 despite scoring the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup final.

France Football, the magazine which conducts the award ceremony, even went as far as to apologise to Iniesta for never recognising him with the top gong.


REUNION Arsenal and Man City ‘trying to persuade Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta to join them instead of going to China’


Editor Pascal Ferre said: Forgive us, Andres.

“For us, he wasn’t just a player, he was the player.

“Of all the absences on the list of Ballon d’Or winners, his is particularly painful.

“We can only hope he has an special campaign at the World Cup in Russia and repair this democratic anomaly.”

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard speak out after Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid snub

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Gareth Bale was an unused substitute at the Allianz Arena (Picture: Getty)

Frank Lampard believes Gareth Bale could be on his way out of Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.

Bale was only handed 45 minutes across the two legs of Madrid’s Champions Leaguequarter-final with Juventus and was left frustrated once again on Wednesday evening.

The Welshman was an unused substitute as Zinedine Zidane’s side won the first leg of their semi-final 2-1 against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Wembley sold: What does it mean for England, Tottenham, Chelsea and the NFL? — The Sun

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WEMBLEY is set for an incredible £1billion sale to Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan. SunSport answers all your questions on what it means for England, Tottenham, Chelsea and the NFL… Wembley is set to be sold for £1bn to Fulham owner Shahid KhanGettyWhen could the sale be done? The FA Board only received details…

via Wembley sold: What does it mean for England, Tottenham, Chelsea and the NFL? — The Sun

When could the sale be done?

The FA Board only received details of Shahid Khan’s offer this morning and the process will take weeks and possibly months. In the short-term, nothing will alter.

Will things change swiftly?

The FA Cup Final next month will still be played at Wembley, as will England’s World Cup warm-up game with Nigeria on June 2.

The FA have already scheduled the November 15 friendly with the USA for the National Stadium but have yet to confirm the venue for the September friendly with Switzerland or the home games against Spain and Croatia in the new Nations league that starts in September.

What does it mean?

Wembley chief executive Martin Glenn believes the proposed deal is a game-changer for English football, releasing funding for grass roots development that would otherwise be inconceivable.

The endowment fund for future grass roots projects will bring £500m into the development of the game at all levels, allowing better facilities, more coaches and opening up more opportunities for girls and women to play.

Are we going to get “McDonald’s Wembley”?

The FA have demanded that Khan agrees the ground remains known as “Wembley Stadium”, at least for now.

That suggests naming rights are not immediately on the agenda, although it keeps alive the possibility of “Wembley Stadium, sponsored by Panasonic” or whomever.

Will the FA Cup Final be moved away from Wembley?

Absolutely not. Khan is keen to ensure the marquee events held at the ground will continue to be staged there.

That includes the FA Cup Final and presumably the EFL Cup Final and play-off finals, as well as the majority of England home games.

But it could see the semi-finals reverting to “neutral grounds” like Old Trafford, the Emirates or Villa Park in the future, preserving Wembley for the Final.

One factor against that is that only Wembley can house 90,000 supporters.

Does this mean an NFL franchise in London?

It certainly looks that way, especially as the FA are preparing to send the England team “on the road” round the country for the autumn games if fixtures clash with Jaguars home games in the NFL schedule.

Khan will presumably have already have consulted with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about his plans but any relocation of the franchise would still need to be approved by a vote of the 32 NFL team owners.

Taking a franchise out of the USA for the first time will be a big and controversial call, although it would open up the entire European market given the easy transport links to London.

But aren’t the NFL moving to Tottenham?

The NFL have certainly funded part of the cost of the new Spurs stadium at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy signed a 10-year deal to play two NFL matches per season at the new stadium last year, separate NFL-sized dressing rooms are being built in the East Stand of the 62,000-capacity ground and the grass pitch will be rolled out to allow NFL matches (and concerts) to take place on the artificial turf below.

From Twin Towers to the Arch for £757m

Dec1996
Wembley selected as preferred site by Sport England for new national stadium.

Nov 1998
Project handed £120m lottery funding by Sport England.

Sept 2002
Old stadium demolished as government stumps up £20m in return for more control. WSNL secures £433m in bank loans for a project with revised cost of £757m.

Oct 2002
Construction finally begins on new Wembley Stadium.

March 2007
Work is finally completed at total cost around £1billion – over twice the £458m price quoted. Multiplex make £150m losses, later suing engineering consultants.

May 2007
Football returns to Wembley after almost seven years. Didier Drogba’s extra-time winner gives Chelsea 1-0 victory over Manchester United in FA Cup final.

Whether this means more games in London in addition to Jacksonville’s home matches is less clear but Levy will have signed a deal with cast-iron financial guarantees.

What about Chelsea – aren’t they going to move to Wembley?

Wembley was certainly the most likely option for the Blues as they embark on the £1billion-plus revamp of Stamford Bridge, although that is now now expected to start until at least the 2019-20 season, if not a year later.

Chelsea need to find a home for four seasons but the demands of the NFL fixtures from September through to the end of December – and beyond if the Jags secured home advantage for the play-offs – would appear to scupper that possibility, adding problems for Roman Abramovich and his board to overcome.

Arsenal and Manchester United fans react to shock Louis van Gaal announcement — Metro

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Louis van Gaal claims he has an offer he cannot refuse and is in line for a return to management (Picture: Getty)Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal claims he has been offered a chance to return to management and it’s one he cannot refuse. The Dutchman was sacked by United shortly after he masterminded…

via Arsenal and Manchester United fans react to shock Louis van Gaal announcement — Metro

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal claims he has been offered a chance to return to management and it’s one he cannot refuse.

The Dutchman was sacked by United shortly after he masterminded the club’s first FA Cup success in 12 years, paving the way for Jose Mourinho’s appointment.

Van Gaal has since been critical of the way in which he was treated and of his former protege’s Mourinho’s methods, particularly with regards to the way in which Bastian Schweinsteiger was exiled.

Christian Benteke sweating on Belgium World Cup call-up — Vickspiration

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Christian Benteke says he will be hurt if he is overlooked for Belgium’s World Cup squad Christian Benteke admits his indifferent form for Crystal Palace could cost him a place at the World Cup. The Belgium international has just three games left to impress Roberto Martinez before he picks his squad for the tournament in […]

via Christian Benteke sweating on Belgium World Cup call-up — Vickspiration

Christian Benteke admits his indifferent form for Crystal Palace could cost him a place at the World Cup.

The Belgium international has just three games left to impress Roberto Martinez before he picks his squad for the tournament in Russia this summer.

The striker has scored just twice in 28 appearances for his club this season and is yet to play for this national side this campaign.

“In the past I have had just one opportunity on the match and I scored,” Benteke said.

“This year, I feel more involved in the game, I make more effort but I’m not rewarded. I do not say it’s the fault of others, I’m clumsy, lack of lucidity, lack of success too. But I will work.”

Benteke was overlooked for Belgium's match against Saudi Arabia
Benteke was overlooked for Belgium’s match against Saudi Arabia

Benteke was left out of the squad for the recent friendly against Saudi Arabia and he admits it would hurt if he did not regain his place for the World Cup.

“I knew it was 50-50, I’m no longer a kid, I also knew the reason – it’s my statistics and not the overall quality of my matches,” he added.

“The positive was that it allowed me to stay at my club and to be able to work on knowing why I was not taken in. And to address it.

Benteke last scored in January against West Ham
Benteke last scored in January against West Ham

“If I had to miss [the World Cup], it would hurt me but I would recover. For my family, my cousins, it would be different. It is also their dream.

“It’s not an individual sport where I’m alone. The more time goes, the more pressure I will feel, because they want it to work again for me, for me to be there.

“They’d see me on TV, with the others, with the team but I’m more motivated than ever.”

The first of those remaining chances to impress Martinez comes on Saturday when Palace play Leicester at Selhurst Park.

That game is followed by a trip to Stoke a week later on Sky Sports before the season finale against bottom club West Brom on May 13.

Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid TV channel, live stream, kick-off time, date and odds — Metro

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Arsene Wenger has one last shot at glory (Picture: Getty Images)Arsene Wenger takes charge of his last home European game in charge of Arsenal on Thursday night as the Gunners host Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Europa League. It is the Frenchman’s last chance to win a European trophy with Arsenal before he…

Arsene Wenger takes charge of his last home European game in charge of Arsenalon Thursday night as the Gunners host Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Europa League.

It is the Frenchman’s last chance to win a European trophy with Arsenal before he steps down from his role as manager in the summer.

His side face a stern test, though, against an Atletico side who sit second in La Liga, two points clear of their city rivals Real Madrid.

It is only the first leg on Thursday night but it is hugely important, here is everything… Read the full story

via Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid TV channel, live stream, kick-off time, date and odds — Metro

Does anybody want to Coach Arsenal? — INKLING LEAGUE

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25 April Arsenal could be running out of candidates to take over from Arsene Wenger, if the Times are to be believed. The North London side will be without the Frenchman next season, as he announced his retirement last week. Yet one of the prime names to take over, Jogi Low, is likely out because […]

via Does anybody want to Coach Arsenal? — INKLING LEAGUE

West Ham vs Man City: Live stream, TV channel, team news and kick-off time for Premier League clash — The Sun

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WEST HAM need to beat this season’s champions to continue their push for Premier League survival. The Hammers will be looking to get things back on track after a devastating 4-1 defeat to Arsenal last weekend. But Pep Guardiola’s side still have a job to do, despite already securing the silverware. The Blues are chasing […]

What time is kick-off?

THIS match will take place on Sunday, April 29.

It will kick-off at 2:15pm.

The London Stadium will host the showdown.

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Which TV channel is it on and can I live stream it?

THIS match will be available to watch on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Ultra HD.

Sky Sports subscribers can also stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app.

Alternatively, you can keep up to date with all of the action on the SunSport live blog.

What is the team news?

Pep Guardiola confirmed earlier this week that City talisman Sergio Aguero will be out for the rest of the season.

The Argentina international, who has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season, has undergone a minor knee operation.

He will now be facing a race against time to get fully fit for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

John Stones, who has not featured for City since the start of March, is set to continue his stint on the sidelines.

But Guardiola hinted earlier this week that he should be back in the squad before the end of the season.

The Hammers could welcome back James Collins, who has been out of action after damaging his thigh.

Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Winston Reid and Sam Byram will all miss out through injury.

via West Ham vs Man City: Live stream, TV channel, team news and kick-off time for Premier League clash — The Sun

Inter will surely win -Materazzi

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Inter legend Marco Materazzi talked to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of the nerazzurri Serie A tie against Juventus.

Juventus are desperate to get the three points and maintain distances with Napoli, whilst Inter need points to qualify for the Champions League.

“I think Inter will win”, Materazzi says.

“They can’t let this chance go. Inter must qualify for the Champions League and a win would create so much troubles to Juventus. Interisti would celebrate twice. Juve are dangerous, especially when they are angry. But San Siro is Inter’s home and Juve can’t win there. Failing to win against Juve, however, would create trouble to Inter.”

“Inter have quality but it takes time to reach the level of Napoli and Juve. With restrictions of Fiancial Fair play they can make no mistake in the transfer window. De Vrij is a bargain for example. He is a leader as well as a defender capable of scoring 6-7 goals per season.”

VAR: Will the Video Assistant Referee be used at the World Cup 2018, and what decisions will it make?

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FOR more than two years the Video Assistant Referee has been trialled in leagues around the world.

In Germany, Australia and Italy the system is now commonly used in its current form – but has been met with strong criticism for the way it is affecting the game.

VAR

The system has been met by a mixed response in the Bundesliga and A-League

 

Some see it as removing emotion and spontaneity from the game, whilst others are concerned about the amount of time decisions are taking to be reached.

Despite trials in the English cup competitions this season, the Premier League won’t be using VAR next season – but what about in Russia?

 

var1

Legendary ref Pierluigi Collina is backing technology at the World Cup

 

Will the video assistant referee be used at the World Cup 2018?

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino is firmly behind the system and confirmed in March that VAR will be used at the World Cup.

It was used in the Club World Cup in December 2016, before another trial in the 2017 Confederations Cup – and has now been unanimously cleared for use despite numerous hiccups.

Infantino has been met with criticism for introducing the system despite its teething problems, but hit back at those unwilling to embrace change.

He said: “We need to live with the times. We wanted to give the referees tools so they can make better decisions, and in the World Cup some very important decisions are made.”

“It’s not possible that in 2018 everyone in their living room knows a few seconds after the play whether a referee has made a mistake and the referee doesn’t.”

var2

There was confusion in Meinz as a penalty was awarded after the half-time whistle had gone

What decisions will it make?

JUST like in domestic games, referees will have the same powers to consult the VAR on ‘clear and obvious errors’.

This is where much of the controversy over the system has been levelled, as many of the decisions we’ve seen overturned – such as the James Tarkowski penalty against Italy – have been borderline calls.

They will also be able to review “serious missed incidents” involving goals, penalty awards, red cards and mistaken identity.

With 36 refs from all around the world taking part in this summers final, the worry is that many will have not used the system before, which will be remotely based at a Moscow hub.

var3

Italy were awarded a penalty against England on review – but was it ‘clear and obvious’?

The Sun UK.

 

Eden Hazard identifies one advantage Chelsea have in the FA Cup final compared to last year — Metro

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Eden Hazard during the FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton (Getty)Eden Hazard believes the addition of Olivier Giroud could see Chelsea win the FA Cup final following defeat last year. The Blues are through to next month’s final after they beat Southampton 2-0 on Sunday. Giroud, who joined from Arsenal in January, scored the opening…

Eden Hazard believes the addition of Olivier Giroud could see Chelsea win the FA Cupfinal following defeat last year.

The Blues are through to next month’s final after they beat Southampton 2-0 on Sunday.

Giroud, who joined from Arsenal in January, scored the opening goal before his replacement Alvaro Morata secured the win late on.

 

via Eden Hazard identifies one advantage Chelsea have in the FA Cup final compared to last year — Metro

Everton plot £60m Aubameyang swoop; Chelsea in for Gremio’s Arthur — REPORTSOCCER

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Allardyce wants Aubameyang for Everton There’s a new boss at Goodison Park, and his first move is to find a replacement for departed frontman Romelu Lukaku. Sam Allardyce has taken the reins over at Everton, and, according to the Mirror, his first move will be to make a bold £60 million move to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over from […]

Allardyce wants Aubameyang for Everton

There’s a new boss at Goodison Park, and his first move is to find a replacement for departed frontman Romelu Lukaku. Sam Allardyce has taken the reins over at Everton, and, according to the Mirror, his first move will be to make a bold £60 million move to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over from Borussia Dortmund next summer.

Lukaku took his 25 goals from 2016-17 to Manchester United during the latest window, and so far, the combination of Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin hasn’t managed to make up for the loss of the Belgium international.

33

A woeful start to the campaign saw manager Ronald Koeman sacked, and now Allardyce, whose Toffees sit mid-table after some recent positive results, is already looking to next season and a goals influx in the form of Aubameyang.

The Gabon international already has 19 goals in all competitions for Dortmund, but Everton won’t have it easy, as Liverpool and Chelsea are also rumoured to be interestedin making Aubameyang’s Premier League dream come true.

Tap-ins

– The Daily Mail says a recurrence of a leg injury for Schalke’s Leon Goretzka has caused Manchester United to back off a mooted January move for the Germany international.

– Germany international striker Sandro Wagner is closing in on a return to his boyhood club Bayern Munich, according to Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann.

– Midfielder Juan David Cabezas will remain with the Houston Dynamo after the club secured his full transfer from Deportivo Cali on Thursday, the team has announced.

By http://www.espnfcasia.com

via Everton plot £60m Aubameyang swoop; Chelsea in for Gremio’s Arthur — REPORTSOCCER

Rumours rated: Aubameyang to Arsenal, Belotti to replace Griezmann — REPORTSOCCER

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With the transfer window open, David Amoyal sorts through the speculation and rates how likely the rumoured moves are to take place. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to Arsenal: 45 percent The Gabonese forward was recently dropped from Borussia Dortmund’s squad for the third time in the past 14 months for disciplinary reasons. Aubameyang appears to be on […]

With the transfer window open, David Amoyal sorts through the speculation and rates how likely the rumoured moves are to take place.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to Arsenal: 45 percent

The Gabonese forward was recently dropped from Borussia Dortmund’s squad for the third time in the past 14 months for disciplinary reasons. Aubameyang appears to be on his way out, and at this point, he has two options: move to China after accepting a rich offer from either Guangzhou Evergrande or Beijing Guoan, or head to Arsenal to help replace Alexis Sanchez. At the moment, the Gunners are fairly confident that they can sign Aubameyang regardless of whether Olivier Giroud is included in the deal.

Andrea Belotti to Atletico Madrid in summer: 35 percent

Last summer’s transfer ban blocked the Torino striker’s move to Diego Simeone’s squad. But despite Diego Costa’s arrival, Los Colchoneros have not stopped monitoring Belotti, a player they still view as an ideal replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who is expected to leave in the summer. While Torino were able to stand firm in their request for the full €100 million exit clause to keep Belotti last year, now they’ll likely have to lower their demands since Belotti has struggled with injuries this season and won’t have an opportunity to showcase his talents at the World Cup.

Suso to Liverpool: 10 percent

While the Reds are on the lookout for Philippe Coutinho’s potential replacement, bringing back former player Suso during the January window will be next to impossible. For one, the Spanish winger’s €40m exit clause is valid only in the summer, and in a recent post on social media, Suso reaffirmed his desire to stay with Milan after recently signing a contract extension.

Alisson to Liverpool: In January 10 percent, in summer 30 percent

Both Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool could use an immediate upgrade to their goalkeeper, but Alisson is expected to finish the season in Italy after Roma qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Real Madrid are also expected to join the race in the summer after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s recent injuries; considering the number of suitors, Roma will demand at least €40m, the fee Man City spent to acquire Ederson, Alisson’s backup on the Brazilian national team, from Benfica last summer.

Emre Can to Juventus in summer: 80 percent

While Liverpool made numerous attempts to extend the German international’s expiring contract, they are now resigned to the fact that they’ll lose him. Juventus have tried to accelerate his arrival in Turin to this month, but they are confident they’ll at least avoid another Axel Witsel scenario after agreeing to terms with Can on a five-year deal with an annual salary of €5 million after taxes, to be completed on July 1.

Massimiliano Allegri to Chelsea in summer: 15 percent

With Antonio Conte appearing likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, there has been a lot of speculation that Allegri would continue the club’s long tradition of Italians at the helm. But after locking Allegri into an extension last summer, Juventus are determined to continue with Allegri in charge. The club’s management sided with him after his dispute with Leonardo Bonucci last season, and they’re working closely with Allegri on potential transfer moves for next summer.

Moise Kean to Leeds: 15 percent

Could the first millennial to score in a Serie A match take his talents to Elland Road in 2018? While Leeds are willing to raise the 18-year-old striker’s current wages, he is unlikely to leave Hellas Verona before the season ends. In fact, Juventus, the club that owns Kean’s rights, are very pleased with his progress under manager Fabio Pecchia and would prefer he continue to acclimate himself to Italy’s top league rather than trying an experience abroad.

Radja Nainggolan to Guangzhou Evergrande: 15 percent

The Belgium international’s recent suspension for breaking team rules has restarted the rumor mill on his future. While Fabio Cannavaro’s club is interested in acquiring Nainggolan and Monchi might not have many more opportunities to cash in significantly on a player set to turn 30, both the club and the player want to continue their relationship despite Nainggolan’s recent suspension.

Rafinha to Inter: 60 percent

After landing Lisandro Lopez from Benfica on loan, the Nerazzurri are now focused on improving Luciano Spalletti’s midfield. In addition to Ramires, Inter are also working on signing versatile Brazilian Rafinha. On Tuesday, Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio travelled to Spain to try to close the deal, and there’s optimism of a positive resolution since Rafinha has already agreed personal terms and the remaining hurdle is the fee for the option to buy with Barcelona.

Manolo Gabbiadini to Bologna: 10 percent in January, 45 percent in summer

After a strong start at Southampton, the Italian striker has struggled in his second season in the Premier League and could soon be on his way back to Serie A. Gabbiadini’s former club are in fact interested, and while they’ve explored the possibility of signing him before the January window closes, they will likely have to wait for the summer for a reunion, especially after Bologna striker Simone Verdi turned down a transfer to Napoli.

By ESPN

 

Read More at:    Rumours rated: Aubameyang to Arsenal, Belotti to replace Griezmann — REPORTSOCCER

Olivier Giroud sends tribute message to Arsene Wenger over Arsenal exit — Metro

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‘I improved so much alongside you.’

Olivier Giroud has paid tribute to Arsene Wenger.. (Getty Images)

Olivier Giroud has sent a tribute message to Arsene Wenger following the 68-year-old’s decision to step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

The Frenchman has called time on his 22-year reign, even though he still had a year remaining on his contract, and will leave at the end of the campaign.

Giroud was signed by Wenger from Montpellier for £9.6 million in 2012 and helped the club win three FA Cups during his six years at the club.

Giroud left Arsenal to join Chelsea in the January transfer window, and the France striker has thanked Wenger for improving him as a player.

Giroud insists Wenger improved him as a player. (Getty Images)

‘Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my childhood dream comes true,’ Giroud posted on Twitter.

‘A huge respect for your resilience and your full commitment to the Arsenal over these 22 years.

‘I improved so much alongside you on and off the pitch thanks to your support and your trust over the years!’

 

via Olivier Giroud sends tribute message to Arsene Wenger over Arsenal exit — Metro

Mohamed Salah equals Shearer, Ronaldo & Suarez’s Premier League goal record- Metro Sport

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The Egyptian’s stellar season in front of goal continued away to West Brom (Picture: Getty) Mohamed Salah has equalled the Premier League record for most goals in a single Premier League campaign thanks to his 72nd-minute goal against West Brom on Saturday. The Egyptian has been in incredible form this season, scoring 41 goals in all competitions, and has now notched his 31st goal of the Premier League campaign to tie the record for a 38-game season.

Mohamed Salah is Awarded with the EA SPORTS Player of the Month for March

Salah is the only player to win three Player of the Month awards in a single season (Getty)

Alan Shearer (1995-96), Luis Suarez (2013-14) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) all shared the record and now Salah has joined them – though they may not be tied for much longer. Salah is the only player to win three Player of the Month awards in a single season (Getty) Salah is not only targeting one final goal to claim the record outright, but he also wants to break the record for a 42-game season. Shearer (1994-95) and Andy Cole (1993-94) both netted an astonishing 34 times with Blackburn and Newcastle respectively.

 

Piers Morgan reveals Arsenal should rename the Emirates to the ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium’ in the future

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apierPIERS MORGAN has sensationally claimed he would be happy for the Emirates to be renamed the ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium’ in the future.

The 53-year-old has spearheaded the #WengerOut brigade in recent years, and has finally got his wish after Wenger announced earlier this morning he would leave his role at the end of the season.

Morgan has long campaigned for the 68-year-old to leave the Emirates, as Arsenal have have consistently fallen behind their rivals, and haven’t won the Premier League in 14 years.

The Gunners currently sit in sixth place in the top-flight – just two points above Burnley – and are in danger of missing out on Champions League football yet again.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Arsenal supporter Morgan spoke of how although he’s not his biggest fan, he will be singing his name against West Ham on Sunday.

He said: “I’ve led the Wenger Out campaign on social media, but I don’t feel gleeful.

Morgan, 53, has been heavily critical of Wenger in recent years as Arsenal continue to fall behind their rivals
Arsene Wenger has been in charge of the North London side since 1996, where hehas won three Premier League titles.

“I’m not gloating about it today – I just wish he’d done it years ago. He lost me when he sold Robin van Persie to Man United. That did it for me.

“Last year was Wenger’s worst ever year, this year is even worse. It’s time to go, I’ve known that for the last eight years.


IVAN TO BREAK FREE Arsenal could appoint new manager TONIGHT as Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis calls emergency press conference


“It’s a good day for Arsenal, but it’s also a sad day for Arsenal. I’ll be singing ‘one Arsene Wenger’ on Sunday – he’s done the right thing.

“I would honestly be very happy to call the Emirates Stadium the ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium’ in the future.”

Morgan was quick to take to Twitter after learning of the news earlier today, simply commenting “Wenger out” as footballers and pundits praised the excellence of the Frenchman.

Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has emerged as a favourite to replace the ex-Monaco boss in the summer.

Twitter Reacts to Arsene Wenger Departure Announcement

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Twitter Reacts to Arsene Wenger Departure Announcement

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Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

 

Arsenal dropped a bombshell on Twitter on Friday morning.

An article headlined “Merci, Arsene” hinted as to its contents and it confirmed that manager Arsene Wenger will step down at the end of the 2017-18 season after nearly 22 years in charge at the club:

Comments from the Frenchman included gratitude to the club and a message for Gunners fans: “To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”

The 68-year-old will leave his post with a year still remaining on his contract, and, as a result, the announcement came as a shock to many:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Joshua Robinson shed some light on how Wenger came to the decision:

He will depart the Emirates Stadium as a three-time Premier League champion and seven-time FA Cup winner.

Wenger also still has the chance to bow out on a high by claiming his first-ever European trophy, as Arsenal are still in the UEFA Europa League and face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.

Despite Wenger’s Arsenal having struggled in the second half of his tenure—they last won the Premier League in 2004—the reaction to the announcement was largely positive.

Many, including Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News and the Guardian‘s Sachin Nakrani, acknowledged the huge impact he had on the English game from his appointment in 1996:

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville outlined his experience of playing against Wenger’s best teams:

Others expressed their admiration for a man who has been part of the Premier League furniture for over two decades:

Duncan Alexander of Opta provided some statistical context for Wenger’s time at Arsenal:

As noted by BBC Sport’s Simon Stone, there is recent precedent for a departure of this magnitude given it was only five years ago that Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day at Manchester United:

Unsurprisingly, suggestions of all kinds flooded in for who should fill Wenger’s shoes in the Arsenal dugout:

Wenger has five Premier League games left to oversee as Arsenal manager, the first of which is a home clash against West Ham United on Sunday.

His relationship with many Gunners fans has soured in recent years as Arsenal have slipped down the domestic and European pecking order.

But he will surely receive a rapturous and grateful farewell from the Emirates faithful as he calls time on a remarkable tenure in north London.

Breaking Sports News

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April 20, 2018 at 03:14AM

I Am Very Happy At Manchester City – Ederson

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By Folami David

PepEderson has said he had “almost a perfect year” after Manchester City clinched the Premier League title.

Ederson made his debut for Brazil in October, while the 24-year-old has been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award.

City have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League and the former Benfica player is one clean sheet behind Manchester United’s David De Gea in the race for the Golden Glove.

“I am very happy,” he told the club’s official website. “Everything happened very quickly. My two first years at Benfica, I was able to play, and now being a regular for City in the Premier League is a dream for me.

“And to win the title, be shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year and be able to be part of the team that conceded the least number of goals this season … I can assure you with that this has been almost a perfect year.

“I am extremely happy at the club. My family is also very happy and is growing as well. We are over the moon.”

City went out of the Champions League to Liverpool, but Ederson feels they will learn from that disappointment.

“I believe going out of the Champions League can be a good lesson for the next season,” he said.

By Folami David

FA Cup win ‘won’t change our life’ – Spurs boss Pochettino

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FA Cup win ‘won’t change our life’ – Spurs boss Pochettino

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Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Tottenham in May 2014
FA Cup semi-final, Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday, 21 April. Kick-off: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One and BBC Radio 5 live, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Tottenham do not “need” to win the FA Cup and it would not move them “to a different level”, says manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs face Manchester United in the semi-final at Wembley at 17:15 BST on Saturday.

Pochettino said it would be “fantastic” to win a trophy, but that only Premier League or Champions League success would be regarded as taking a step up.

“Is it going to change our life? I don’t believe,” said the Argentine.

“It would be fantastic to finish the season with a trophy. I don’t think it’s about need or not need.”

Tottenham have not won the FA Cup since beating Nottingham Forest in the 1991 final, while the club’s last top-flight title came in 1961.

“If we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level,” added Pochettino.

“Until that, win the FA Cup or the League Cup – it will be fantastic for our fans but is not going to move the club to a different level.

“I want to play to win the Premier League and Champions League – it is my vision. I want to play to win the Premier League. I want to win the Champions League.

“If you are going to change the vision or put the club in a different level you must compete to win the Premier League and then to compete and then win the Champions League.”

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April 19, 2018 at 08:09AM

Jose Mourinho Backs Paul Pogba Amid Criticism After Man Utd Beat Bournemouth

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Jose Mourinho Backs Paul Pogba Amid Criticism After Man Utd Beat Bournemouth

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Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended Paul Pogba amid criticism from Red Devils legend Paul Scholes, who branded the Frenchman’s poor performance in the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday as “disrespectful.”

Speaking after United’s return to winning ways against Bournemouth on Wednesday, Mourinho responded to Scholes’ criticism and said he did not believe Pogba’s supposed lack of effort against the Baggies showed disrespect towards him, per PA Sport (via Sky Sports): “I don’t agree. I agree that it wasn’t a good performance at all [against West Brom]; with that I agree.”

He also praised the midfielder’s performance in the 2-0 victory against the Cherries, with Pogba having played a key role in the second goal, scored by Romelu Lukaku, which effectively wrapped the game up: “Top performance. Top performance. Obviously the performance against City was special, coming with two goals. But this performance was a very similar level. So top performance. He can do it.”

Chris Smalling opened the scoring against Bournemouth before Lukaku came off the bench to ensure United earned all three points and took a firmer grip on the Premier League’s second place.

Mourinho made seven changes from the West Brom clash for the visit to the Vitality Stadium.

Pique wants Barcelona to sign Marcos Alonso from Chelsea

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 marco.jpgPique tells Barcelona chiefs to sign Marco Alonso – Real Madrid have also been linked to the Chelsea star – Alonso has been in consistent form for Conte’s side Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has told the club to sign Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso in the summer, Don Balon reports. The 27-year-old has been instrumental for Chelsea following his move from Serie A side Fiorentina in 2016. The Spain international was part of Antonio Conte’s side that won the Premier League title last term and has impressed this season despite Chelsea’s poor title defence.

 Don Balon claimed Pique has urged Barca’s transfer chiefs to complete a deal for the Chelsea defender this summer. The Spanish media outlet also added that Real Madrid have also been linked to land the Stamford Bridge left-back and Pique is desperate for Barca to beat their arch-rivals to Alonso. With current left-back, Jordi Alba the number one choice for Ernesto Valverde, Pique feels Alonso would provide competition for places at the Nou Camp. Alonso will be back in action for Chelsea when the Blues travel to Turf Moore to play Burnley who defeated the Blues at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. Conte’s men still stand an outside chance of securing Champions League football for next season if Liverpool and Tottenham drop points. Roman Abramovic’s team will play Southampton in the semi finals of the FA Cup and could either meet Manchester United or Tottenham in the finals.

Report: Saquon Barkley’s agents don’t want him to go to Cleveland

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saq                  Posted by Michael David Smith   Getty Images

The Browns don’t exactly have a great track record of developing the players they choose in the NFL draft, and the people around one of this year’s top prospects would prefer for him not to be next.

That’s the word from a Sports Illustrated profile of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, which says that although Barkley is ready to compete wherever he goes, his agents would much rather see Barkley go second overall to the Giants than first overall to the Browns.

“His Roc Nation handlers, however, don’t want him to be taken No. 1,” Ben Baskin writes in SI. “They don’t want him in Cleveland. They want him to go second to the Giants and play in the media capital of the world. That’s where you can become the Face of the League. His manager even implored him to pull an Eli Manning and demand that the Browns not draft him. Barkley never considered the option.”

Given that the Browns have both the first and the fourth overall pick, there’s a decent chance they’ll end up taking Barkley. They’re fortunate that he’s not planning to follow his manager’s advice.