Spurs star Kane in doubt for Man United clash – Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed star Harry Kane is no certainty to face Manchester United on Saturday after missing the EFL Cup midweek.

Liverpool Slump: Stop Comparing Jurgen Klopp With Brendan Rodgers

The Reds are stuck in a rut but a major change in approach is unlikely to get them out of it, meaning the players will have to take responsibility.

'It Would Have Been Easy To Sack Wenger' - Arsenal Owner Kroenke

The Gunners boss signed a fresh two-year deal at the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season amid calls from supporters for him to leave the club.

Koeman: Failure To Sign Giroud Caused Everton Sacking

The inability to sign a high-class forward to replace Romelu Lukaku has been cited by Dutchman for his departure from Goodison Park.

Super Mario Balotelli Is Back To His Best

The 27-year-old's resurgence is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore for Azzurri boss Gian Piero Ventura ahead of next month's World Cup play-off.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Remember when Real Madrid played Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey Final?

Dream Team FC
Remember when Real Madrid played Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey Final?

Imagine how awkward this was at training.

Real Madrid are no strangers to a cup final, but how about playing one against your own team-mates?

That’s exactly what happened in the 1980 Copa Del Rey final.

SIGN UP NOW – It’s time to pick your fantasy football team for the new season *Rubs eyes*

For the first and last time in the history of Spanish football, a youth team played their parent club in a domestic cup final.

Real Madrid were pitted against their reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla.

Unfortunately, there was to be no fairy-tale ending for Castilla.

The inexperienced side were beaten 6-1 on the day, but just getting to the final is an underdog story to rival Leicester City.

But just how exactly did this happen?

Let’s find out…

My money is on Madrid The loophole

Before 1991, reserve teams in Spain were treated completely independently from their senior team.

They were never allowed to compete in the same divisions as their counterparts.

Despite this, they were still able to feature in the same cup competitions, including the Copa Del Rey.

“Pint after this, mate?”

Generally, youth teams would fail miserably in the cup, most times never making it past the first round.

If a draw placed a senior team against its reserve squad, the draw would be redone to ensure a different opponent.

Why are you swapping shirts? FFS

The only way that a youth team could ever face their parent club would be if both sides reached the final, something that would never happen… right? Wrong.

Route to the final

Eighteen youth teams entered the 1979-80 Copa Del Rey, with Castilla going all the way.

The team’s average age was just 20, with no player over the age of 23 on the roster.

Half and half scarves everywhere

The young side was led by an equally young manager.

34-year-old Juanjo Garcia Santos was the coach and, unsurprisingly, guiding Castilla to the final was the crowning glory of his brief managerial career.

The big day

Kitted out in a changed strip of purple, Castilla, perhaps understandably so, let the occasion and nerves get to them.

The teams at kickoff

After initially keeping Madrid at arms length, Castilla found themselves losing 2-0 by half-time.

Shortly after the break, the minnows were 4-0 down as Madrid began to bully their younger brother.

Killjoys Real Madrid

Castilla’s Ricardo Alvarez pulled back a consolation goal with ten minutes remaining, making the score 4-1, before Madrid scored two more to put the game to bed.

Once Madrid were awarded the trophy, both sides then celebrated the victory on the pitch together.

Imagine celebrating against your own team… Better! Sharing = caring Famous faces

The final featured several household names.

England’s Laurie Cunningham was starting on the wing for that day.

The 1980 final win was Cunningham’s first of two Copa Del Rey titles, with the next coming two years later.

Cunningham in action against rivals BarcelonaGetty - Contributor

The former West Brom star also won a La Liga title during his spell with Los Blancos.

Another name which jumps out from the winning side is Vincente Del Bosque, of World Cup winning management fame.

Del Bosque got himself on the score-sheet on the day, netting Madrid’s fourth.

Some big names

Jose Antonio Camacho also featured, he would go onto manage Madrid over two spells, as well as Benfica.

The aftermath 

Despite the defeat, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Castilla!

Since Madrid had qualified for the European Cup, Castilla, as Copa Del Rey runners up, took their place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup (remember that?)

Castilla’s European adventure was, however, over before it really began.

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The first round saw them face Trevor Brooking’s West Ham.

Despite winning 3-1 in the first leg in Madrid, Castilla were knocked out after West Ham beat them 5-1 after extra time at Upton Park.

Brooking and West Ham were too much for CastillaGetty Images - Getty

The return leg was played behind closed doors after West Ham fans caused crowd trouble during the first tie in Madrid.

Some things never change.

Castilla still remain the only reserve team to ever take part in an official UEFA senior competition.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hannah Hegarty could be Dublin's next star dual player

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Hannah Hegarty could be Dublin's next star dual player
Hannah Hegarty could be Dublin's next star dual player
It tells you something about the calibre of individual Hannah Hegarty is that she was captain of both Dublin’s Minor Camogie and ladies football teams in 2015.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Neymar not upset at critics of his World Cup rolling

Sportsnet.ca
Neymar not upset at critics of his World Cup rolling
Neymar not upset at critics of his World Cup rolling

SAO PAULO — Neymar said he isn’t upset with critics who have made fun of his apparent theatrics during the World Cup in Russia.

At an auction Thursday organized by Neymar Jr. institute, the striker appeared in public for the first time since Brazil was eliminated by Belgium in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Earlier Thursday, the Brazilian posted a video on Instagram like many others poking fun at his exaggerated reactions after being fouled during the World Cup.

"I was joking (in the social media video). Since everybody is hoping on the bandwagon, I take it as a joke. I am not upset," the Paris Saint-Germain striker told Fox Sports before the auction.

In the short video, Neymar is surrounded by children who fall after he gives them a sign. "It was just a moment I was with the kids and I decided to do it," the striker said.

Fans, players and former soccer stars criticized the Brazilian for his overacting on the pitch in Russia, including a tearful moment at the end of the 2-0 win against Costa Rica and a lot of rolling after being fouled by adversaries.

His advocates, however, say the 26-year-old needs to be more protected by referees against constant and aggressive fouling from adversaries, and that his reactions are not as important.

Neymar also said "the grief is over" after Brazil’s World Cup elimination.

"We have to choose to be happy. We have reasons to be sad, but I choose to be happy," he said.

The Brazilian also praised his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe, who won the World Cup with France at age 19.

"He is a phenomenon, a great player. We knew that from our day-to-day with him. I am very happy he played such a great World Cup," Neymar said. "I speak to Mbappe almost every day. I congratulated him for the title. It will be great to welcome him back as a World Cup champion."

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sydney FC won't rush into marquee signing - chief executive Danny Townsend

ESPN FC News
Sydney FC won't rush into marquee signing - chief executive Danny Townsend
Steve Corica has an extra $1.3million in the kitty after pocketing a transfer fee for Adrian Mierzejewski. Sprinting great Usain Bolt appears close to securing a trial stint with the Central Coast Mariners. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola takes time to meet Melbourne City players and fans in Australia. Sydney FC won't rush into signing replacements for Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski, with chief executive Danny Townsend aiming to reel in a big fish as European transfer actions heats up. The Sky Blues are searching far and wide as they attempt to cover the loss of Bobo, who earlier this year broke the record for most goals in an A-League season, and Mierzejewski, who claimed the Johnny Warren medal in his only season with the club. They unsuccessfully courted Spanish striker Fernando Torres, while...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fortnite Season 6: Absolutely everything about Season 6 – new maps, weapons, tips, mobile and much more

Dream Team FC
Fortnite Season 6: Absolutely everything about Season 6 – new maps, weapons, tips, mobile and much more

Despite the fact that season five has barely started, we want to know everything that’s going to be happening in season six of Fortnite.

That’s what brought you here, right?

The good news is that we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about season six – from rumours to gameplay improvements -related stuff and big announcements.

Treat this as your own personal Fortnite season six ‘hub’ – we’ll be updating it daily, so you’ll always be in the know.

Let’s kick off with what we know so far.

When is Season 6 landing?

After Season 5…..

No seriously.

Season 5 comes to an end a year after the battle royale mode was originally launched on the 25th September.

We are hoping Epic Games will be planning something extra special for the next season as an ode to the overwhelming success they have had this year.

What can we learn from season 5?

The map has had a huge overhaul with new areas to explore including Lazy Links, a wacky gold course and Paradise Palms located in a huge desert biome.

New vehicles and skins are also available, to find out more about how this will affect Fortnite’s Season Six click here.

What is Fortnite?

In September 2017, a new standalone mode called Battle Royale was launched – which brought the game into direct competition with PUBG – another battle royal-style shooter.

Then on March 12th 2018, Epic released the IOS version of Fortnite.

Each game sees 100 players plonked on to a map with no weapons or armour – you need to scavenge and explore to find these.

Similar to PUBG there is a ‘closing in’ mechanic – which sees the game area get smaller and smaller.

Venture outside the safe zone (a ‘storm’ in Fortnite’s case) and you’ll lose health rapidly, before being eliminated.

Fortnite can be played solo or with friends on mobile, Xbox, Switch, PS4 and PC.

Word to the uninitiated – if you’re playing solo, do not try to team up – you’ll get killed.

How much does Fortnite cost?

It’s free – unless you’re mad about cosmetics (which some people clearly are).

Skins can be obtained through the battle pass or you can buy V-bucks and spend them in the store

What games systems is Fortnite currently on?

It’s on Xbox, PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch and IOS.

When is the game coming to Android?

With 1000’s of people already playing Fortnite on IOS, there is a huge demand for the game to come over to Android.

Epic games are currently working to release the game in China where the majority of people use Androids.

The release date is rumoured to be 24th July so keep your eyes peeled.

Season 5 map

The addition of golf kart’s to the map was perhaps the biggest gameplay development this season.

Allowing you to travel faster and race your friends on the new track that rivals Monaco’s.

Portals are also dotted around the map which allow you to re-drop from the sky, giving you more time to loot and still get away from the storm.

There are no other maps (yet), which will frustrate some, but developers Epic continue to add to their existing map with locations such as Paradise Palms and Lazy Links.

The map has changed drastically this season with a whole new biome and different attractions scattered around

Where’s the worst place to land on Fortnite?

It all depends on your ability. Tilted Towers can be the best place if you’re experienced or worst place if you’re a noob.

It’s usually teeming with loot and powerful weapons – but most decent players will swarm on it pretty sharpish.

If you’re new to the game, head for Snobby Shores or Lonely Lodge – they’re a bit further out so they’ll be less competition for decent loot.

Best weapons for mobile players?

On Fortnite the colour of the weapon indicates how good it is.

With the new update, the best way for smartphone players to win is to take the sneaky approach.

The silenced SMG has had a big upgrade in terms of damage and accuracy so make sure to rock one of these when sneaking up on people.

Pair the tactical shotgun with the silenced SMG and you have a winner.

If you come across a sniper it may be worth practising as it will give you a real advantage over other players.

The best weapons are found in loot crates – so keep an eye out for these.

Fancy a gold scar? Look out for supply drops

How to build as a mobile player?

Defensively.

It’s always best to build a small fort three stories high in the zone.

This way you can have a clear view of all the battles going on around you and will let you pick off opponents with your assault rifle or sniper.

If you want to get better at building you have to practice.

Hop into a game, head to wailing woods, collect some wood and just build up and down.

Practice switching between weapons and different types of materials, then when you get into a battle you will likely win!

One by ones are the ultimate form of defence

Why bother getting Fortnite on my phone?

It’s easy to pick up and play for an hour or on your lunch break or on the train, anywhere with an internet connection – plus, it’s free.

Fortnite is all about action – and the fun construction element really helps add a new dimension to battles.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Australia striker Tim Cahill retires from international football

Sportsnet.ca
Australia striker Tim Cahill retires from international football
Australia striker Tim Cahill retires from international football

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia striker Tim Cahill has announced his retirement from international football aged 38 and after his fourth World Cup.

Cahill announced his decision in a tweet Tuesday saying "today’s the day I’m officially hanging up my boots on my international career with the Socceroos. No words can describe what it has meant to represent my country."

The former Everton star became the first Australian to play at four consecutive World Cups when he came off the bench in Australia’s 2-0 defeat to Peru in the group stages in Russia.

Cahill retires as Australia’s leading goalscorer with 50 goals from 107 appearances.

He tweeted a "massive thank you to everyone for the support throughout all my years wearing the Australian badge."

"I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to represent my country over 100 times. Every single cap has been an honour."

Cahill made his international debut against South Africa in 2004 and has featured in some of Australia’s most famous wins in the past 14 years, joining a small and elite group by scoring at three World Cups.

"My teammates from back in 2004 all the way through to now have pushed me to continue to improve and we have all shared in the highs and lows together," Cahill said. "I’ve had a terrific relationship with all the Socceroos staff including many different managers, coaches and behind the scenes staff.

"The medical staff have done an amazing job in enabling me to keep playing and manger by body throughout these 15 years."

Monday, July 16, 2018

FIFA 19 demo: Release date, download, teams, best players, hint, tips and much more

Dream Team FC
FIFA 19 demo: Release date, download, teams, best players, hint, tips and much more

FIFA 19’s demo teams have been revealed.

There will nine teams playable in the demo – which is set to land at some point in September.

These are as follows:

Bayern Munich Juventus PSG Man City Man United Borussia Dortmund Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Tottenham Hotspur

Amazingly, Dortmund were only just added to the roster after the German team dumped PES and switched allegiances to EA.

It’s not known yet what stadiums will feature, but we’re almost certain there won’t be nine of them.

The demo will likely offer offline play with up to two players – and may include a playable section of The Journey, although no details have been confirmed.

There are also a host of new gameplay features and tweaks set to arrive to this year’s game.

Here are the most important.

Neymar was a big part of the FIFA 19 trailer Sweet spot

If you tap Circle or B just as your foot hits the ball, you massively increase the chance of striking it into the top corner.

It’s all about timing, so get it wrong and you’ll be punished with a scuffed shot.

Tactics

Game plans have been introduced this year – which are set up before a match.

Here, you can set what tactics your team has depending on certain situations – such as if they’re 1-0 up or losing a match.

Once you have made the plans, simply assign to a D-pad press and you’re good to go.

Unlike last year, when it was hard to see if a tactical option had been executed, there’s now a clear toggle for on-the-fly instructions.

We’ve seen this before

You’re also now able to adjust your team’s width and depth, as well as instruct your full backs what kind of runs to make in attack or your centre back to cover certain areas of the pitch.

There’s greater control over your team’s defensive style, too – with new settings: “pressure after possession loss,” “constant pressure,” “drop back,” “balanced,” and “pressure on heavy touch.”

Sounds great!

Revised mini-map

A simple but welcome change.

One team will now have triangle icons, the other will have circles – so it’s easier to see who’s who.

Graphics look to have been tweaked and improved Champions League

EA has got everything from the Champions League logo including the commentary team, Derek Rae and Lee Dixon.

It’ll also have its own mode and the ability to create custom tournaments. Amazing.

Europa League

This was slightly overshadowed by the Champions League announcement, but yes the Europa League will also be in FIFA 19.

Expect the full broadcast package, too.

General gameplay 

Passing has been re-worked to feel more natural, while a active touch system allows better first touches from different parts of the body.

It also opens up the possibility of a feint attack – where, as the ball approaches, you can shift your weight one way, before going the other.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be on the cover of FIFA 19

Stepovers, too, are reportedly easier to pull off and look more convincing – making it harder for your opponent to defend against.

Finally, 50/50 battles over a loose ball will now take into account more variables than last year – such as reaction time.

NOW CHECK OUT THE FIFA 19 TRAILER BELOW.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Serena Williams’ husband speaks of pride after Wimbledon run

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Serena Williams’ husband speaks of pride after Wimbledon run
Williams was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s final.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

7 weird and wonderful moments you half-remember from World Cup third-place play-offs

Dream Team FC
7 weird and wonderful moments you half-remember from World Cup third-place play-offs

World Cup third-place play-offs are unique games of football.

Two disappointed semi-finalists face off for a relatively meaningless consolation prize in a fixture that’s half-friendly, half-World Cup final.

We went back and reviewed the last seven third-place play-offs and picked out some moments you vaguely remember…

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1 Bastian Schweinsteiger’s exhibition

Jurgen is down with the kidsReuters

In 2006, a 21-year-old Schweinsteiger informed all his compatriots that he was to be the midfield general for the following decade.

It was Germany v Portugal and for 22 second-half minutes, Basti decided to just kick the ball as hard as he could whenever he was in possession.

He scored twice from distance and forced Petit into a shinned own goal by smashing the ball across the face of goal from a free-kick.

It was also Oliver Kahn and Luis Figo’s last international games — the latter providing a glorious assist for Nuno Gomes in the 88th minute but it finished 3-1 to the Germans.

2 Davor Suker’s golden touch

It takes a brave man to meg Jaap StamAP:Associated Press

Croatia are immensely proud of their efforts in 1998, and rightfully so.

Their magnificent kit billowing around Suker as he unleashed a volley of powerful shots at whatever poor, unfortunate goalkeeper stood in his way is an enduring image of the tournament.

Croatia’s No9 scored his sixth goal of the campaign to win the Golden Boot as Netherlands narrowly missed out on the podium.

Bolo Zenden scored an unnecessarily good goal for the Dutch consolation — dribbling 30 yards off the wing before walloping the ball past Drazen Ladic from outside the box.

3 Brazil break an unwanted 74-year record

Booooooo!AP:Associated Press

After having their reputation blended up and guzzled down by Germany in the semis, Brazil had plenty of pride to play for in the third-place play-off in 2014.

Which makes the selection of Jo even more bizarre.

Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands were in no mood for mercy.

Neither was the referee, who awarded the Dutch an early penalty despite the fact a) Arjen Robben performed a trademark dive and b) the contact occurred two yards outside the box.

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Robin van Persie converted and when Daley Blind made it 2-0 after 16 minutes, a traumatising deja vu looked possible.

It ended 3-0 and the home fans booed their side off the field — a first for a third-place play-off.

4 Henrik Larsson’s glorious dreadlocks

One of about eight men in all of history capable of pulling off this look

Bulgaria were ‘doing a Brazil’ when David Luiz was just a schoolboy.

Hristo Stoichkov and his band of merry men were 4-0 down at half-time against Sweden in 1994, thanks in part to Larsson and his distinctive barnet.

The Swedes took it easy after the restart with no goals being scored in the second half, somewhat sparing Bulgaria’s blushes.

5 Hakan Sukur’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment

Getting on with things2002 AP

10.8 seconds.

That’s how long it took Turkey’s Hakan Sukur to open the scoring in 2002 — quite the effort considering South Korea kicked off.

The game was a thriller from start to finish with both teams (rare visitors to the late stages) giving it everything.

CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets have this brilliant offer when you sign up and bet a fiver

After half an hour the score was 3-1 to Turkey — Song Chong-Gug’s injury-time goal made it 3-2 but Turkey held on for the bronze medal.

FUN FACT: Sukur’s post-football political allegiances means he is no longer welcome in his home country, under threat of death.

6 A sad goodbye and one-World Cup wonder

What a month…AFP - Getty

You’ve heard of one-season wonders but how about a one-World Cup wonder?

Salvatore Schillaci scored seven international goals in his career and six of them came at the 1990 World Cup.

The Italian forward scored his sixth of the tournament in the third-place play-off against England to clinch the Golden Boot.

Italy won 2-1 as a rare Peter Shilton mistake gifted the hosts a goal — it was the legendary goalkeeper’s last game for England and his 125th cap.

7 The tale of the two Jabulani whisperers

He’s coming for you, Miroslav Klose…Action Images - Reuters

In 2010, everyone was losing their minds about the World Cup ball.

Adidas’ Jabulani was supposedly bending around corners like a bullet in the Matrix or that terrible Angelina Jolie film.

Thomas Muller and Diego Forlan tamed the beast, finishing the tournament with the Golden Boot and Golden Ball respectively.

Both scored in the third-place play-off between Germany and Uruguay, which ended 3-2 to Muller and co.

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Forlan struck the bar with a devilish free-kick, the last touch of the game, denying us all what would have been an entertaining extra-time.

Long live the third-place play-offs!

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST WEIRD AND WONDERFUL NEWS FROM THE 2018 WORLD CUP

Friday, July 13, 2018

Juventus' Joao Cancelo keen to win Champions League, secure Portugal spot

ESPN FC News
Juventus' Joao Cancelo keen to win Champions League, secure Portugal spot
New Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti says Italian football will be highly enriched with Cristiano Ronaldo joining Juventus. ESPN FC's Stewart Robson and Craig Burley explain just how monumental Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus is for world football. Speaking in March 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he loved watching Juventus play as a child ahead of his transfer from Real Madrid to the Italian side. Stewart Robson tells us how Cristiano Ronaldo will fare at Juventus and if his goal-scoring prowess at Real Madrid will continue in Turin. Juventus defender Joao Cancelo said he is focused on winning the Champions League and securing a place in the Portugal national team after his move last month from Valencia. Cancelo, 24, made the €40.4 million switch on June 27 after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan. "My objective here is to win titles, starting with the league and Coppa Italia," Cancelo said at a news conference. "I would define the Champions League as an objective too, but not an obligation, as there are several...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

World Cup 2018: Photographer Becomes Part Of Croatia World Cup Goal Celebration

Latest Football News, Football Info, Sports News Updates - NDTVSports.com
World Cup 2018: Photographer Becomes Part Of Croatia World Cup Goal Celebration
Quick as a flash, he picked up his camera and took some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats' joy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Chelsea transfer news: Jorginho hosts goodbye dinner with Napoli team-mates as Blues prepare to announce double swoop with Maurizio Sarri

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Chelsea transfer news: Jorginho hosts goodbye dinner with Napoli team-mates as Blues prepare to announce double swoop with Maurizio Sarri

CHELSEA are closing in on a double swoop for Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri, according to reports.

Former Napoli boss Sarri, 59, is set to replace Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge after lengthy negotiations.

Maurizio Sarri knows Jorginho well from their time together at NapoliGetty Images - Getty

And Sky Italy claims his first act as Blues chief will be to complete a move for Italy international Jorginho, who starred for him last season.

The Brazil-born playmaker, 26, hosted a goodbye meal with his team-mates last night and reportedly ended up in tears as he bid farewell.

Manchester City have been chasing Jorginho all summer but look set to lose out at Sarri uses his influence.

The Blues have been locked in discussions over the Italian tactician’s release clause despite Carlo Ancelotti already being brought in as his replacement.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LIVE All the latest action, news, goals and gossip from the World Cup
Jorginho was a No1 target for Manchester City but Pep Guardiola could miss outGetty Images - Getty Stamford Bridge chiefs are working on a double swoopGetty - Contributor

But Sky Italy claims by including Jorginho into the deal, the Blues are hopeful of getting both their men for £57million.

In a blow to their plans, Stamford Bridge chiefs are concerned Real  Madrid will swoop for Eden Hazard after Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus for £99m.

Real president Florentino Perez is desperate to make a marquee signing on the back of Ron’s exit and the World Cup.

And with Paris Saint-Germain determined not to let either Brazil superstar Neymar, 26, or France ace Mbappe, 19, go this summer, Real are set to make Hazard their prime target.

Antonio Conte has been taking Chelsea training as normal despite increasing doubts over his futureGetty - Contributor

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

FIFA 18: EA Sports just gave Jordan Pickford an enormous upgrade… but it’s still not good enough

Dream Team FC
FIFA 18: EA Sports just gave Jordan Pickford an enormous upgrade… but it’s still not good enough

Jordan Pickford was immense against Sweden the other day – pulling off a handful of incredible saves.

Rightly so, EA Sports handed the keeper an upgrade – only it’s perhaps not as good as he deserved.

Don’t get us wrong, though, it’s still pretty substantial. I mean, take a look at these stats.

Pickford has seen huge leaps in diving, handling, kicking, reflexes , speed and positioning.

Handling has had one of the largest boosts – climbing from 79 to 85.

But it’s positioning that steals the show – up from 74 to 83. Rightly so, given that during the Sweden match, Pickford seemed to be in the right place at the right time every time the Swedes attacked.

Jordan has been class for England throughout the competitionAlamy Live News

Still, at justy 82 rated, some would feel Pickford’s overall is too low, especially given the fact that higher rated keepers, such as Manuel Neuer (92) and (97 top card) both struggled for form at the World Cup.

Should the Englishman pull off another incredible performance against Croatia on Wednesday, EA Sports will have no choice but to give him another substantial boost.

THESE ARE THE CHEAPEST PLACES TO BUY FIFA 19 – PICK IT UP HERE:

FIFA 19 at GAME – from £54.99 – pre-order now FIFA 19 at Amazon – from £54.99 – pre-order now

Monday, July 9, 2018

France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness

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France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness
France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness
For a dominant midfielder aiming to make their mark in the latter stages of an international tournament, Zinedine Zidane indisputably remains the benchmark in the modern era. France are two wins away from emulating their celebrated class of 1998, who prevailed 3-0 in the World Cup final against Brazil on home soil thanks largely to a first-half brace from Zidane. The ex-Juventus and Real Madrid great was only just getting started. At Euro 2000, he strode regally across a quarter-final against Spain – dispatching a precision free-kick to kick-off a 2-1 win. It was the era of golden goal extra time and Zidane displayed nerves of steel to down Portugal from the penalty spot in the semi-final. David Trezeguet brought a similarly abrupt conclusion versus Italy in the final to make it back-to-back titles for Les Blues. By the time the 2006 World Cup rolled around, Zidane had announced the tournament would be his last. His headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the final remains an indelible piece of red-blooded punctuation before Italy gained revenge, but the 34-year-old's form up until that point was untouchably majestic. Is it over the line?! It is! How cool was that from Zidane?   on Facebook now! https://t.co/uzMtTkvxsV pic.twitter.com/1Bbbm0ap7L — FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) May 4, 2018 A shimmy inside Carles Puyol and an arrowed finish completed a 3-1 last-16 win over Spain and another penalty meant more semi-final woe for Portugal. In between those Iberian triumphs there was a celebrated masterclass against Brazil – all improbable audacity and razor-sharp effectiveness. The simple and the sublime, never better demonstrated by the glided free-kick to present Thierry Henry with a routine winner. If anyone representing France or Belgium can approach those standards in St Petersburg on Tuesday, World Cup glory will be significantly closer for their nation. Two men in particular will have studied Zidane's footprints.   The heir apparent "Maybe we are talking about Paul Pogba a bit too much, but if he can keep up his current development he can become one of the best players ever," Zidane told L'Equipe in 2014. The caveat remains telling. It is hard to make a case for Pogba's development remaining on the upward trajectory it hit during those years of Scudetto hoarding at Juventus. Euro 2016 presented the opportunity for the parallels to become irresistible but Pogba and France fell short. Portugal exorcised their years of Zidane-inflicted misery with a shock final win at the Stade de France, the scene of Les Bleus' finest hour 18 years earlier. Pogba was ineffective on the night and Didier Deschamps' struggles to fully harness the plentiful gifts of his midfield powerhouse echo at club level. The world's most expensive player when he returned to Manchester United in 2016, Pogba's performances at Old Trafford create the levels of polarisation you might expect to lead to an ill-advised referendum in modern Britain. Direction 1/2@equipedefrance #heretocreate #fiersdetrebleus #WorldCup2018 pic.twitter.com/68IijUMxD9 — Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 7, 2018 Almost without exception, the best United displays of Jose Mourinho's tenure have had Pogba's prints all over them, yet relations with the Portuguese were forebodingly strained last season as the 25-year-old was dropped for key matches. Zidane would never have suffered such a fate in his prime years but the association and thirst for succession remain. Former United captain Rio Ferdinand spoke of Pogba emulating his hero and compatriot before Russia 2018. In a France side that still feels tantalisingly shy of the sum of its parts under Deschamps, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are grabbing the headlines but Pogba was a picture of brutal efficiency in the quarter-final win over Uruguay – winning 14 duels during the 90 minutes. Mourinho probably nodded on in rueful approval. Pogba may be building towards something special. However, there is a man set to line up in Belgium red a step ahead in that regard.   The closest approximation As their World Cup dream died in Kazan, the display produced by one of their tormentors might have persuaded Brazil fans it was 2006 all over again. Kevin De Bruyne's first-half strike of pure power and precision eventually proved the difference between the sides but throughout the contest there was something of Zidane's gleeful romp in Frankfurt 12 years earlier running through the Manchester City man's display. De Bruyne's bristling intensity means first impressions do not immediately recall Zidane's languid dominance of the field. But his mastery of the open spaces, both as he tirelessly devours the turf or threads the most wonderful array of destructive passes, allayed with deft ingenuity at close quarters make him the nearest approximation of Zizou in football today. Kevin De Bruyne's goal: A short play. #BRABEL 0-2#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/lvsWvloNrm — FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) July 6, 2018 There is even a short, flaring temper in evidence occasionally and, thus far, it has tended to yield more productive results than headbutting an opponent in the chest. De Bruyne shaking off an ugly challenge from Dele Alli to tear at a backpedalling Tottenham before ramming home a vicious shot off Lloris' arm last December was a fine example of channelled fury and the 27-year-old's innate feel for the decisive moments in big matches. "Kevin is one of the best players I've ever seen in my life in terms of how he can make absolutely [everything happen]," said Pep Guardiola last year, a man who wearily chased Zidane's shadow during that Euro 2000 encounter between France and Spain. The greats generally grasp such moments and there lies the challenge for Pogba and De Bruyne at Krestovsky Stadium.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Jordan Hamilton salvages point for Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City

ESPN FC News
Jordan Hamilton salvages point for Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City Toronto FC 2 2 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » GameCast Lineups and Stats Jordan Hamilton's left-footed goal in the 69th minute helped visiting Toronto FC salvage a 2-2 tie against Sporting Kansas City at Kansas City, Kan., and halt a three-match MLS losing streak. Defending MLS champion Toronto FC had last earned a point on June 13 after a 4-4 tie with D.C. United. Since then, it was handed defeats by New York City FC, the New York Red Bulls and Minnesota United. Sporting Kansas City erased a 1-0 halftime deficit in earning a point after consecutive road defeats at Real...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sweden’s Ibrahimovic, England’s Beckham set stakes for World Cup clash

Sportsnet.ca
Sweden’s Ibrahimovic, England’s Beckham set stakes for World Cup clash
Sweden’s Ibrahimovic, England’s Beckham set stakes for World Cup clash

It’s been quite some time since David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic made their presence felt at the World Cup, but that’s not stopping them from finding a way to do so off the pitch.

With both their respective countries — England and Sweden — set to meet in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, Los Angeles Galaxy star Ibrahimovic offered up a wager to his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate via Instagram on Friday.

If England wins, the former Swedish captain promised to buy Beckham dinner anywhere in the world, while if Sweden pulls off the upset, the former England captain must buy Ibrahimovic anything he desires from IKEA.

Beckham responded to the post just an hour later, saying he would personally take Ibrahimovic to IKEA, but changed the stakes for an England win, challenging Zlatan to instead watch an England game at Wembley wearing the Three Lions shirt and eat fish and chips at halftime.

The Swedish legend has since accepted the new terms on Twitter.

Ibrahimovic has won virtually every major European trophy possible at the club level, and finished his international career as the all-time scoring leader for Sweden with 62 goals in 116 appearances. Despite that, one of his fondest memories will surely be a friendly game against England in November of 2012, when he scored all four of Sweden’s goals in a 4-2 victory that included this absolute stunner.

Beckham’s memories against the Scandinavian nation aren’t nearly as positive, having captained his side to two draws in two group fixtures at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup. History won’t be on England’s side heading into Saturday’s fixture either, having won just two of their previous 15 encounters against Sweden.

However, having won their first World Cup shootout in history, it’s easy to see why Beckham thinks England can help him one-up Ibrahimovic.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Bob Ryan resigns as Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium operations manager

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Bob Ryan resigns as Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium operations manager
Bob Ryan resigns as Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium operations manager
Páirc Uí Chaoimh's stadium operations manager has announced his resignation.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee

Football – Inquirer Sports
FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee
FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee

MOSCOW — FIFA’s patience with Diego Maradona’s World Cup antics finally ran out on Wednesday. Soccer’s world body said it “strongly rebukes” comments by the Argentina great criticizing American referee Mark Geiger’s handling of England’s win against Colombia in the World Cup round of 16. It was yet another controversial moment involving Maradona —an official […]

The post FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Tough grandad Ken behind Jesse Lingard

Sport – The Standard
Tough grandad Ken behind Jesse Lingard

IT may have been Harry Kane who captured England’s pride and joy with his hat-trick, but it was the smallest man on the pitch who won the heart of a […]

The post Tough grandad Ken behind Jesse Lingard appeared first on The Standard.