In the first segment, Russ is joined by Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe to recap: The Eagles’ draft picks (2:00) Lefkoe’s views on the Sixers/Celtics series (14:00) In the second segment, Kyle and Russ discuss: Kyle’s inability to complete household tasks (20:00) The disgraceful schedule for Sixers/Celtics (27:00) Toronto/Cleveland getting priority for primetime (30:00) Home court […]
In the first segment, Russ is joined by Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe to recap:
The Eagles’ draft picks (2:00)
Lefkoe’s views on the Sixers/Celtics series (14:00)
In the second segment, Kyle and Russ discuss:
Kyle’s inability to complete household tasks (20:00)
The disgraceful schedule for Sixers/Celtics (27:00)
Toronto/Cleveland getting priority for primetime (30:00)
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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.)
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:
Jürgen Klopp on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: “It looks like this (his season is over) unfortunately. It doesn’t look good. I’m a very positive person and I hope it only ‘feels’ bad. We lost a fantastic player tonight, so my mood is not flying.”
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.
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 saidit 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.”
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.”
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…
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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 […]
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.”
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.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my childhood dream comes true.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! pic.twitter.com/u3qdyHDGXt
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.
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.
Ederson 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.
Barcelona have sent scouts to watch four of Ajax‘s young prospects as the La Liga leaders look to strengthen their squad this summer, per Diario Gol (h/t Callum Vurley for the Daily Star).
Justin Kluivert, Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek are reportedly being watched by Barca’s recruitment team, continuing a longstanding tradition of players leaving the Dutch club’s elite academy for the Camp Nou.
The two teams have enjoyed a close relationship ever since Johan Cruyff moved to Barcelona in the 1970s, with a subsequent spell as manager of both sides cementing a link that was renewed down the years by Louis van Gaal. It is because of Cruyff that the two broadly share a playing style and approach to academy production.
And the relationship could continue as Barca aim to update an ageing squad. Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique are all 30 or over, highlighting the urgency with which the club must recruit the next generation of talent. It is only natural they should start at Ajax.
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Kluivert, son of former Barcelona and Ajax player Patrick, is highly rated in his home country and is reportedly also of interest to Manchester United, who considered signing the striker in January, per Duncan Castles for Yahoo Sport. The 18-year-old has featured in 22 Eredivisie games so far this season, scoring six goals.
All four of the players have been regulars in the Ajax team this season. De Ligt, 18, and Van de Beek, 20, have both started 25 of a possible 26 league games, while De Jong, 20, has started 16 times.
Ajax are 10 points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven and haven’t lifted the title since 2013-14, reflecting a regeneration project that is still in the works. Fourteen of the 25 Ajax players to have played for the club in 2017-18 are 21 or under.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are top of La Liga by eight points, making this the ideal time to begin searching for the next generation of talent.