EPL Talk Archives for January 2014

3 Reasons Why Newcastle United Are a Disaster So Far This Season

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It wasn't that long ago that Newcastle United was challengingfor an UEFA Champions League spot and Alan Pardew was named Premier League Manager of the Season. At the end of the 2011-12 season only a masterful performance by Yaya Toure followed by a 3-1 defeat at Everton kept Newcastle out of Champions League qualification, and intothe Europa League instead.

How Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge Will Expand If Or When They Move to Twickenham

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One of the more pressing issues facing a number of Premier League clubs, as we edge ever nearer to the end of 2014, is the prospect of either building a new stadium or expanding an existing home following years of risk free wait and see policies.

We have seen the news earlier this month involving Everton Football Club's desire to build a new stadium not too far from their current home Goodison Park as part of the Walton Hall Park Project, whilst Merseyside rivals Liverpool are also in the process of expanding Anfield after years of opposition from local residents.

UEFA Champions League; Sporting vs Chelsea, Man City vs Roma, PSG vs Barca: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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The UEFA Champions League returns with a myriad of interesting fixtures. The biggest of which is Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona, but PSG will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has been ruled out of the game.

Here are the TV listings for today's matches (all times Eastern):

2:45pmManchester Cityvs AS Roma (FoxSports-1 and FOX Sports GO
2:45pm Sporting Lisbon vsChelsea(FoxSports-2 and FOX Sports GO
2:45pm PSG vBarcelona(FoxSportsNet Regionals, Fox Deportes)
2:45pm Shakhtar vs FC Porto (ESPN Deportes, DirecTV-482,WatchESPN,FOXSoccer 2 GO)
2:45pm Schalke 04 vs NK maribor (DirecTV-483,WatchESPN,FOXSoccer 2 GO)
2:45pm APOEL FC vs AFC Ajax (DirecTV-484,WatchESPN,FOXSoccer 2 GO)
2:45pm BATE Borisov vs Athletic Bilbao (DirecTV-485, WatchESPN,FOXSoccer 2 GO)

Starting lineups:

Manchester City:Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko

Subs:Caballero, Sagna, Kolarov, Milner, Lampard, Jovetic, Mangala

AS Roma:Skorupski, Maicon, Manolas, Mapou, Cole, Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan, Florenzi, Totti, Gervinho

================================

Sporting Lisbon: TBA

Chelsea:Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa

Subs:Cech, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Mikel, Salah, Willian, Remy

================================

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

German Agency Declares Vanishing Spray a Health Hazard

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A German inspection agency has come to the conclusion that the now famous vanishing spray used during 2014 World Cup matches contains parabens, a chemical linked with health issues. The agency, Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TueV), issued a statement on the concern saying, "In its present form, the product is not usable in Germany and the European Union.

Big Week For Premier League Clubs In The Champions League

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As the UEFA Champions League enters Matchday Two, three of the four Premier League clubs in the competition are facing tricky fixtures. Even though a draw or defeat would not condemn any of the English sides to the Europa League, anything less than three points would heap unwanted pressure on the club and create nervous times for their supporters.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 2 U.S. TV Information

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This week sees the return of UEFA Champions League action to an ESPN english-language channel as ESPN2 will present live coverage of Atletico Madrid v Juventus on Wednesday, October 1st. Here is a detailed rundown of where to watch all of Matchday #2 action LIVE in the USA (all times US Eastern):

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014:

12:00pm CSKA Moscow vs Bayern Munich (ESPN Deportes, DirecTV-481, espn3)

2:45pm Manchester City vs AS Roma (FoxSports-1)

2:45pm Sporting Lisbon vs Chelsea (FoxSports-2)

2:45pm PSG v Barcelona (FoxSportsNet Regionals, Fox Deportes)

2:45pm Shakhtar vs FC Porto (ESPN Deportes, DirecTV-482, espn3)

2:45pm Schalke 04 vs NK maribor (DirecTV-483, espn3)

2:45pm APOEL FC vs AFC Ajax (DirecTV-484, espn3)

2:45pm BATE Borisov vs Athletic Bilbao (DirecTV-485, espn3)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014:

12:00pm Zenit St.

The Sad Tale Of Steve Zakuani’s Ailing MLS Career

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The question was only asked because there was nothing else to talk about. The press conference lasted all of 50 seconds.

The Portland Timbers had just crushed Guyanese side Alpha United 6-0 in front of one of their smallest home crowds ever since joining MLS in a midweek CONCACAF Champions League respite from the furious MLS playoff race with a team of backups.

What We Learned From Week 5 Of The Serie A

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FC Juventus and AS Roma keep marching unstopped toward the big match of next Sunday at Juventus Stadium – five victories in five games for both team, which on Saturday defeated respectively Atalanta and Verona. The Giallorossi won against one of the surprises packets of this term, the Verona side trained by Andrea Mandorlini, but they were able to break the defensive wall built by Gialloblu only in the second half, and only from the distance.

FIFA Votes to Ban Third-Party Player Ownership

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FIFA has recently announced that it will soon ban third-party player ownerships. While the association made the sensible decision to bar the sketchy involvement of third parties, the ban will not be effective immediately. Following a meeting on the issue, FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated, "We took a firm decision that TPO (third-party ownership) should be banned but it cannot be banned immediately there will be a transitional period.

Louis van Gaal vs David Moyes: Comparing First 6 Games

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Louis van Gaal's tenure at Manchester United is now six Premier League matches old, with the addition of one match in the Capital One Cup. United were placed into the second round of this competition courtesy of the club's seventh placed finish last term, something which the Old Trafford club haven't experienced since 1995.

Reviewing Premier League Refereeing Decisions: Gameweek 6

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The most controversial incident from the weekend came at Old Trafford, where Wayne Rooney was sent off for a high, and late challenge on Stewart Downing. Rooney was clearly trying to stop Downing's progress, clip his ankles and get a 'tactical booking'. He misjudged his plan by a long way. A definite red card but some of the criticism he has received since, is embarrassing.

Analyzing How Arsenal Will Suffer When Trying To Overcome Injury Worries

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Arsenal face a serious crisis after losing two of their senior players in Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta to various injuries against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

The duo join a casualty list that already features Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy as well as long-term absentee Theo Walcott bringing the total number of casualties to six.

Swansea City Progress Report for August-September

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As a Swansea City supporter, consider me unimpressed by the season thus far for the Welsh team. While the Swans are sitting comfortably in fifth position, the team still could be doing much better than they are currently. It's that feeling of "could be doing better" that has undermined the Swans for the past couple of seasons, where they've lacked that killer instinct to make the difference between an above average Premier League side and a more dangerous contender to be feared by even the top English clubs.

Stoke City vs Newcastle United: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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We're only six games into the Premier League season, but it's already panic stations for Newcastle United footballers, fans and manager Alan Pardew. The Geordies sitsecond bottom in the table (only above Burnley on goal difference). A loss today and the pressure will surely mount on owner Mike Ashley to make a decision regarding Pardew's future at the club.

Cardiff Owner Vincent Tan Interested In Buying MLS Club

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Vincent Tan just won't go away.

The enigmatic and controversial Cardiff City owner, who has avoided dullness at all costs since coming to the Welsh club, has been quoted in an interview today saying he'd be interested in buying an MLS club.

Tan responded to rumors that he is looking to get out of Cardiff and looked towards his future in an interview with Sky Sports aboard a yacht in Malaysia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Thinks Pep Guardiola Made ‘Bad Decisions’ During Their Time At Barcelona

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Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is rarelyat a loss for words. The Sweden international hasnever had particularly kind words for Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, since both the player and manager spent time workingtogether while at Barcelona five years ago.

In his 2013 autobiography,I AM ZLATAN,the 32-year-old Malmo-born striker reserved special attention for the current Bayern Munich manager.

Why Filipe Luis Should Become Chelsea’s First Choice Left-Back

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As Stamford Bridge emptied on Wednesday following Chelsea FC's win over Bolton, some players truly stood out from others. Kurt Zouma did well on his Chelsea debut, Oscar scored a superb goal, while Filipe Luis shined the most, showing exactly why Chelsea bought him to replace Ashley Cole.

Last season, Cole was dropped from his position, where he was a mainstay for over six years, and replaced by a right-back by trade, Cesar Azpilicueta.

WIN 2 VIP Tickets to See Manchester United vs Crystal Palace And $3,000

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YOU could win 2 VIP tickets to see Manchester United play Crystal Palace F.C. at the Theatre of Dreams plus 3,000 USD!

NETELLER is Crystal Palace F.C.'s Official Shirt Sponsor and they love the Barclays English Premier League so they are offering you the chance to be at Old Trafford on 8 November, 2014 and see the Red Devils play the Eagles.

Tactical Analysis – Liverpool 1 Everton 1

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The first edition of the Mersey Derby in this year's Premier League campaign saw two teams dealing with different problems. Liverpool, the match's hosts, is trying to figure out how to move without the transcendent talent of Luis Suarez. Meanwhile, Everton is dealing with the same problem they face every year: How does a midlevel team with limited resources compete with the larger teams, especially their in-town rival?

Goals of the Season (World Soccer Talk Review Podcast)

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We saw two goals on Saturday that will be in the running for the best goals of the season come the end of the season. In addition to those two wonder strikes courtesy of Phil Jagielka and Graziano Pelle, we have plenty in store to discuss from a memorable weekend.

As always, let's get to it.

Spain’s ‘Big Three’ Are Separating Themselves From The Rest of La Liga

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It should surprise no one that this season's title challengers in La Liga would come from the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique spent the summer green-lighting moves for some of the world's top footballers in an effort to wrestle the La Liga title back from Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid side.

West Bromwich Albion vs Burnley: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Only six games into the season, we have a Premier League relegation battle between West Bromwich Albion (fourth from bottom) against Burnley (second from bottom) in a clash at The Hawthorns.

West Brom will be buoyed by their shock away win against Tottenham Hotspur last week, while Burnley is searching for its first win of the season after three 0-0 draws in a row.

Manchester United vs West Ham United Player Ratings

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There is a saying that goes, "The best defense is a good offense," and it'd be fair to say that's the strategy of Manchester United at present.

Erasing the memory of the infamous 5-3 defeat to Leicester City was always going to be the goal against West Ham. Playing at in front of the home fans at Old Trafford on Saturday provided the ideal opportunity.

Player Ratings: Chelsea vs Aston Villa

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The Blues returned to winning form with a dominant 3-0 victory atStamford Bridgeon Saturday. Blockbuster signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa stood out once more as the London giants put another stamp on their Premier League titlecampaign.

Here's our player ratings from Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa.

Player Ratings for Liverpool 1-1 Everton

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A show of unusually resolute defending from both Liverpool and Everton meant only two fantastic captains' goals made the scoring. Liverpool looked the more likely to notch in the first half creating 16 chances to Everton's three but it took a free kick not long after the hour mark to open the scoring, and who else but Steven Gerrard to answer his critics with a splendid strike.

Watch Premier League Match Highlights, Saturday Gameweek 6 [VIDEO]

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Today's Premier League action had a little bit of everything —two goals that are contenders for goal of the season, two of the biggest derbies of the season (in Merseyside and North London), controversial refereeing decisions and red cards.

Here are the match highlights from the seven matches played today.

Christopher Samba Handed Two-Match Ban For Offensive Gesture After Being Racially Abused

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FC Dynamo Moscow centre-back Christopher Samba has been handed a two-match ban by the Russian Football Union (RFS) for making an offensive gesture towards Torpedo Moscow supporters who had been racially abusing the former Blackburn and QPR defender during Monday's Russian Premier League encounter.

Manchester United vs. West Ham United Predicted Lineups

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The yearly center-back crisis at Manchester United has arrived. A couple of seasons ago, in spite of having five center backs in Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to deploy Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick in central defense. For that reason, Manchester United has grown accustomed to makeshift back lines.

English Premier League Preview – Chelsea vs Aston Villa

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Preview

All attention returns to the weekend's Premier League action after Capital One Cup matches took place in midweek. Table toppers Chelsea host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they look to consolidate their lead at the top of the log.

The Blues were beaten by a lone goal the last time these two teams met, but with Eden Hazard in good form and Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa now in their ranks, they are now a much stronger opposition.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 6

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, September 27:

Liverpool vs Everton, 7:45am, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Chris Waddle
Manchester United vs West Ham, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Garry Birtles
Chelsea vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Tony Gale
Crystal Palace vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Ray Houghton
Hull vs Manchester City, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Andy Hinchcliffe
Southampton vs QPR, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; TBD & TBD
Sunderland vs Swansea, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; David Stowell & Efan Ekoku
Arsenal vs Spurs, 12:30pm, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Sunday, September 28:

West Brom vs Burnley, 11am, Golf Channeland NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Danny Higginbotham

Monday, September 29:

Stoke vs Newcastle, 3pm, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; TBD & TBD

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 6 is a post from World Soccer Talk.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 6: TV Times and Open Thread

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Saturday's Premier League action features two of the most classic derbies —the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, and the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The derbies are just two of the 10 mouthwatering matches in store on what promises to be an eventful Premier League weekend.

Southampton Capable Of Springing A Surprise And Competing With The Big Guns

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After selling the club captain and second top scorer of last season, Southampton was viewed as a team you should fear for. People within football claimed they wouldn't be surprised if Southampton weren't able to survive this Premiership season but with only one defeat so far this season and recently defeating Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, should Southampton be viewed as a team you should be fearful of?

UEFA Announce Euro 2020 Host Cities

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The thirteen cities that will play host to the Euro 2020 tournament have been officially confirmed by UEFA President Michel Platini.

The announcement came early last Friday morning following a draw to decide which of the many hopeful nations that entered bids would be successful.

Celebrating the 60thanniversary since the first European Championship was held, the historic event will cover the entire continent, with the final to be played at London's iconic Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool vs. Everton – A Merseyside Derby With An Extra Edge

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With both Liverpool and Everton desperate for a win, there is an extra importance to this forthcoming tie. The nervous fans of either camp need a sign that their season is not lost- what better way to show this than to beat your rivals.

Liverpool and Everton are currently sat in 11thand 14thin the table respectively, so both sides come into this crunch match with a similar story-one of elation from last season's adventures, and despair this time around.

Predicted Lineups – Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur

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Derbies are brutal. This isn't breaking news, but derbies are games that are woefully brutal on the supporters leading up to the match, and the games rarely live up to the pre-match hype. It's not a stretch to say that the latest North London Derby won't be the same. Both teams have obvious strengths and frailties, so it should least be an interesting tactical battle.

Analyzing The Differences Between Louis van Gaal And Sir Alex Ferguson

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Surely, Louis van Gaal and Alex Ferguson have many qualities in common. But their approach to soccer is also fundamentally different.

The most obvious similarity is that they are both proven winners. The Dutch began his managerial career at Ajax in Amsterdam, the country's most prestigious and traditional club, and he continued his learning curve at FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich, some of Europe's other heavyweight clubs.

Can Real Salt Lake Steal The Supporters’ Shield From Seattle And LA?

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Real Salt Lake are third in the western standing with 49 points with five games remaining on their schedule; with a win this weekend, Salt Lake can clinch a playoff spot. They seem to have that third place spot locked in and it doesn't seem that FC Dallas will over take the spot, given both the teams schedule down the stretch.

Serie A Matchday Five Preview – Genoa And Sampdoria Derby A Must Watch Match

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If you love Serie A, you will enjoy the weekend of day 5, that will be split into three days. Saturday is time to play for the two most accredited Serie A contenders, Juventus and AS Roma.

The choices of both managers will be conditioned by their players' fitness, as well as the following Champions League games, in program for next Tuesday (Manchester City v.

Why It’s Critical That Everton Shed Their Anfield Complex

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It'sthe Merseyside Derby at Anfield, March 26 2006. Theinfancy ofthe match isbeing played at a typically ferocious pace and as is commonplace for this volatilefixture, Phil Dowd has already dished out some yellow cards to the men donned in red and blue.

In the 17th minute, Liverpool's inspirational skipper Steven Gerrard receives his second booking for areckless tackle on Kevin Kilbane, and the Reds are forced to play the remaining 73 minutes with ten men.

Marco Reus Set To Join Real Madrid Next Summer, Say Reports

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Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus has been the subject of constant transfer speculation. The attacking midfielder's contract with the Bundesliga club is set to expire on June 30, 2016.

But that hasn't stopped a host of European clubs from attempting to pry the 25-year-old from Jurgen Klopp's side.

Top 5 Premier League Bets For Gameweek 6, September 27-29

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There's several big odds-on favourites on this weekend's Premier League betting coupon, with the likes of Chelsea (v Aston Villa), Man City (v Hull) and Man Utd (v West Ham) all expected to be in plenty of accumulators. Easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper has an ROI of over 22% on his Premier League best bets since the start of the 2013/14 season and he's on hand with his five best selections from this weekend's action!

Diego Costa On Track To Become A New Club Legend Like Didier Drogba

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Summer signing Diego Costa has enjoyed a blistering start to his Chelsea career, netting seven goals in five matches and sits on top of the scorers chat.

The 25-year-old came to England with a stellar reputation after last season's exploits with Atletico Madrid, but after an underwhelming performance at the World Cup, there were doubts as to whether he could adapt quickly to the rigors of the Premier league.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Manchester United

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It hasn't really gone to plan for Manchester United has it? Unwanted records are being broken and despite spending a vast sum in the summer transfer window and shipping out a number of players too, the squad still looks unbalanced.

In amongst the gloom though there have been some signs of encouragement.

Graziano Pelle Another Uncovered Gem For Southampton

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With four goals in his first five matches for the Saints, Graziano Pelle has hit the ground running in England after being seemingly plucked from obscurity.

The 29-year-old followed manager Ronald Koeman to Southampton from Feyenoord after signing for £9 million, scoring an impressive 50 goals in 57 appearances for the Dutch club.

Everton’s Start To The Season Has Been Naive, Inept And Utterly Inexcusable

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During his time as Swansea City manager in the second and third tiers of English football, Roberto Martinez will have witnessedmyriad examples ofpoor defending. But you can bet thatin allthe matches he's stood on the sidelines for at the Liberty Stadium,the Catalanwill have sampled few defensive displays as deplorable as the one served up by his Everton side on Tuesday evening in their 3-0 defeat.

Adam Lallana Ready To Make His Mark For Liverpool

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Just over five years ago Adam Lallana was lining up as a Southampton player in League One.

Today he's reflecting on being selected in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup in Brazil and making his Champions League debut for Liverpool.

On September 19, 2009, the midfielder was playing for the Saints in a third-tier fixture against Yeovil Town at St Mary's.

Stoke City’s August-September Progress Report

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Stoke City have had a mixed beginning to the 2014-15 Premier League season and have posted mixed results since the start on the campaign. With one win, two draws and two losses, the Potters are perched in 13th spot on the log.

The highlight of their campaign thus far certainly has to be the 1-0 victory against Manchester City at the Etihad.

Toni Kroos Settles Into ‘Xabi Alonso’ Role And Real Madrid Are Flourishing

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Real Madrid were facing questions from fans and the media after the club stumbledat thestart of the 2014-15 La Liga season.

Carlo Ancelotti's sidehad lost the Spanish Supercopa to city rivals, Atletico Madrid. Shortly thereafter the club dropped a leaguematch to Real Sociedad, a contestwhich saw Real storm out of the starting gatesto take a 2-0 lead, only to concede four goals in succession before falling, 4-2.

AS Roma And CSKA Moscow Facing UEFA Discipline For Champions League Fan Violence

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The fallout from last week's clash between supporters of AS Roma and CSKA Moscow during their Champions LeagueGroup Eencounter in Rome could see both sides fined by UEFA.

UEFA has confirmed that both the Italian and Russian club will fall under investigation for the behavior of their fans at this fixture, with a decision from the governing body coming at the end of next week.

Premier League Tactics Corner – Round 5

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Two of the Premier League's most glamorous teams showed us how to, and how not to break down a defense this weekend.

Schurrle's Movement Unzips Manchester City

Andre Schurrle got to hang out with Thomas Muller a lot this summer and it is starting to show. The German's quickness has been a big part of his game since he signed for the Chelsea, but he is beginning to find that he can use it without the ball at his feet by making runs in the mold of his compatriot.

MLS Coaching Stability And How It Differs From Europe And South America

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It's commonly accepted in modern football that managers will come and go like frequency waves. A run of bad results here, a falling out there, and the man in charge is changed.

I say that because Ben Olsen was re-upped by DC United yesterday on a contract that will keep in him the nation's capital until 2019.

Analysing The MLS Playoff Race In Detail

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There's about a month to go in the MLS season, which will wrap up at the end of October. That means playoff races are reaching their apex, as the field is set for the November tournament that is the best of what the league has to offer.

MLS doesn't have promotion and relegation – and no, it's almost certainly not happening in your lifetime – the playoffs function as the alternative drama to the race against the drop.

Newcastle United’s 2014-15 Blue/Green Third Kit Reviewed

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The brand new Newcastle United third kit was released last week on Friday September 19th, with the club's fortunes on the pitch looking significantly less bright than the newly released strip.

As the supporters' campaigns to force the dismissal of manager Alan Pardew gather pace, club kit partner Puma release a third strip which is a half and half mix of dark blue and neon green.

Liverpool Granted Permission To Redevelop Anfield By City Council

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It was reported last week that Liverpool Football Club had submitted a proposal to the city's council to expand Anfield's capacity.

The redevelopment which is only phase one of the project would focus on the Main Stand and would add an additional 8,500 seats, taking its capacity to nearly 21,000 and the overall capacity of the stadium to 54,000.

Manchester City To Consider Extending Frank Lampard’s Loan Past January

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Speaking ahead of his club's Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he will consider extending midfielder Frank Lampard's six-month loan in January.

The Chelsea legendjoined ManchesterCity in August after initially agreeing to a contract with the new MLS club, New York City FC (NYCFC).

Luis Suarez To Play In Barcelona ‘B’ Friendly Against Indonesia Under-19s

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has confirmed that Luis Suarez will feature in Barcelona B'sfriendly against Indonesia under-19s tomorrow. The Barca bossinformed the Spanish press that the striker willuse the match as a way to build up his fitness.

Suarezwill beeligible to play forBarcelona's senior squad on October 25th, after the completion ofhis four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during this summer's World Cup.

Reviewing The Premier League’s Key Decisions From Week 5

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The most entertaining game of the weekend came at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester came back from 3-1 down to win 5-3 at the expense of Manchester United. There is no escaping that United's defense were all over the place. It was naive at the best of times, but the decision to award Leicester a penalty at 3-1 was extremely poor officiating.

Previewing The Eagerly-Anticipated Film ‘Marvellous’

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I wrote an article last season sparked by foreign ownership and community about a long standing Stoke City cult hero, Neil "Nello" Baldwin. Nello had just been awarded an honorary degree degree by Keele University in recognition of his positive impact on university life over fifty plus years in residence.

FIFA 15 Makes Its Big Next Gen Debut

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As always, soccer fans eagerly anticipate the yearly iterations of the EA FIFA franchise and this year is different. It's only different because this year after so long, fans finally get a next generation version of the popular franchise and many are eager to know what's new under the hood for the PS4 and X Box One.

Ligue 1 Recap Of Round 6

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Everything you need to know about football in France last weekend.

The game of the week-end: Toulouse-Caen

Ligue 1 is not known for its crazy number of goals per games, and the words you hear from players and coaches who discover French football are typically "strong", "defensive", "tight lines".

Composure Will Be Key To Fixing Manchester United’s Defensive Problems

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Manchester United's 5-3 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday was the latest setback in what has been a twelve month long period of difficulty for the twenty time English champions. The appointment and subsequent dismissal of David Moyes after just 10 months was the start of a steady decline with experienced Dutchman Louis van Gaal brought in to return the club to its former glory.

Leicester City’s August-September Progress Report

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Any report read on Leicester City before the season started will have no doubt made note of their so called "nightmare start", and perhaps rightly so. Hosting Everton and Manchester United was broken up with visits to the Emirates, Stamford Bridge and the Britannia. One could have forgiven Leicester for coming out of this period at the foot of the table, and realistically being pointless at this stage wasn't inconceivable.

Crystal Palace’s August-September Progress Report

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Crystal Palace set foot into the 2014/15 season shrouded in doubts and controversy. Half way through last season Palace were rooted at the bottom of the table, but the introduction of Tony Pulis with a new, rigid style of play saw a five-match winning streak in April that secured Premier League football for Palace this season.

Manchester United’s August-September Progress Report

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Manchester United fans have had one performance to hang their hats on. The 4-0 win against QPR buoyed the United faithful who had seen their team go winless in the first three games and get embarrassed in the League Cup. Coming into the game against newly promoted Leicester City, the players and staff seemed full of confidence and a win loomed likely after taking a 3-1 lead.

3 Things We Learned From the Latest USWNT Friendlies

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After a combined score of 12-0 in a two game friendly series with Mexico, the United States Women's National Team seems to be sitting in prime position heading into CONCACAF qualifying. There is little question on the American's ability to perform at the tournament, sitting as heavy favorites to take first, the question centers around which players head coach Jill Ellis will choose to fill her 20 women roster.

Against The Odds (World Soccer Talk Review Podcast)

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There were several shock results in the Premier League this past weekend, and who better to dissect all of the matches than the World Soccer Talk Podcast team?

As always, there's plenty to talk about, so let's get to it.

The pod crew discuss these and many more topics from this the fourthweek of the Premier League season.

La Liga Could Turn Into One-Horse Race, As Messi and Neymar Partnership Heats Up

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It is still very early in the Spanish season, but Barcelona are giving every indication that there is going to be no repeat of last year's up-and-down performances.

For all the questions regarding the La Liga giants' defence, Luis Enrique's men have yet to concede a goal after four La Liga matches.

Mesut Ozil Believes He Has ‘Nothing To Prove’ To His Critics

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Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil believes that he has always been an easy target for criticism, since his early days in Germany.

Speaking tothe German news agencyDPA,the World Cup winner stated that he has 'nothing to prove' in regards to his critics.

Ozil faced some questions during his first season with Arsenal and has recently been the focus of heavy criticism from football pundits following lackluster performances at the beginning of the Gunners' 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

What We Learned From Week 3 Of The Serie A

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AC Milan and Juventus FC clashed in a sold out Giuseppe Meazza stadium, in what has been the first real big match of this term. With two victories in a row, both teams were at the top of the league together with AS Roma, but in this game we understood that Bianconeri are still a level above Rossoneri.

Gary Neville Believes Manchester United Are ‘Soft-Centered’ [VIDEO]

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Former Manchester United captain and current Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville commented on his former club's 5-3 defeat at Leicester City yesterday.

Neville shared his thoughts with fellow Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher, Graeme Souness and host Ed Chamberlain following the conclusion of Sunday's match between Manchester City and league-leading Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

The Highs And Lows Of Being A Fulham Supporter

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Being a Fulham supporter I feel is a unique experience, as I have gone through many incredible moments such as watching the team play in a Europa League Final, but I have seen the other side now, as the club is currently struggling in the Championship after being relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Aston Villa’s August-September Progress Report

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Team strengths:Prior to their 3-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, Aston Villa had only conceded one goal for the season. At the beginning of the term nobody would have thought that the centre-back partnership of Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos would be as successful as it has been. Senderos' career failed to really take off in the way he would have liked and the way many had expected, always struggling to nail down a place in the Arsenal team for a prolonged period of time, some loan spells and transfers later he still hadn't lived up to his potential.

Premier League Clubs Are Benefiting From Influx Of South American Players

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European clubs have been increasingly snatching up South American players over the past few seasons.

This summer, some of the most expensive player transfers involved South American footballers: James Rodriguez to Real Madrid (£63.2m), Luis Suarez to Barcelona (£65m) and Angel Di Maria to Manchester United (£59.

Manchester United’s Reaction To Capitulation At Leicester City Will Determine The Squad’s Mettle

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Let's get this out of the way, Louis van Gaal's new-look squad failed its first test in the pressure cooker that is the Barclays Premier League.

Yes, referee Mark Clattenburg had a 'shocker' and allowed Leicester City back into the match when he dismissed Jamie Vardey's barge of Rafael da Silva, then awarded a penalty to the forward only seconds later.

Bruce Arena Punishment Reinforces His Criticisms

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It is not a surprise that the MLS league office passed on a hefty fine to Bruce Arena this week for his comments on the strange Sacha Kljestan transfer saga. What is a surprise is how it was handled, and the process by which Arena was told of the fine ironically justifies his comments.

As a refresher Arena and the Galaxy cleared roster space and cap room to acquire Sacha Kljestan from Anderlecht during the simmer transfer window, a move that undoubtedly would have made them favorites in the West.

A Soccer Fan’s Guide to Netflix Viewing

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Netflix is the unquestioned leader in movie streaming and, even though other services may have a better selection for your particular tastes, it has become the gold standard and most used service. As a movie connoisseur I can safely say you can find any kind of movie on there; even if the specific one you're seeking is not offered, there is a substitute that can entertain you in its place.

Analysing The New Brigade Of English Premier League Managers

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The Premier League in recent times has become the acid test for managers with the average tenure of a manager in England's top-flight being just over one year according to a survey conducted as recently as May 2013.

Another trend of recent years has been the lack of English managers in the Premier League with many clubs preferring to offer a foreign manager the job for various reasons.

Everton’s August-September Progress Report

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Diego Costa insouciantly rounded Tim Howard and slotted Chelsea's sixth goal of the game at Goodison Park; the moment it became abundantly and indisputably clear Everton had pertinent concerns.

Some worries had emerged a week previous when the Toffees let a two-goal lead slip against Arsenal in the dying embers of an otherwise dominant performance.

Off-field Matters Attract Players To Manchester United

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Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alacantara and Gareth Bale – these are but a few names that turned down a move to Manchester United after the club lifted its 20th English title – 11 points ahead of second place, Manchester City. Stars Angel di Maria, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herreraand Radamel Falcao – all of them joined United in the transfer marked that followed the club's most disastrous season since 1992.

QPR’s August-September Progress Report

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Five games into the new EPL season Queens Park Rangers have performed as most R's supporters deep down feared they would. After another weak pre-season that gave false securities Rangers are officially back into the big time suffering two heavy defeats to superior opposition. Despite this, if they can continue to pick up points against opponents of similar quality they'll be on the right track to stay up this season.

Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 5: TV Times and Open Thread

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Four matches are kicking off today in the Premier League with the big clash featuring Manchester City versus Chelsea. A win for Jose Mourinho's side could push them eight points ahead of City, even at this early stage of the season.

For viewers in theUnited States, the games will be shown on:

Sunday, September 21:

Leicester City vsManchester United, 8:30am, CNBCand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Martin Keown
Spurs vs West Brom, 8:30am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Everton vsCrystal Palace, 11am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Barry Horne
Manchester Cityvs Chelsea, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Jim Beglin

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

4 Things Needed Before We Can Say Manchester United Are Back On Track

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To Manchester United's many fans, it must have been a long-awaited pleasure to watch their team with its many recently imported "Gaalacticos" demolish Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford after a poor start to the season and after a truly miserable last season. The signs were there in their 4:0 win, the signs of future success and restored pride.

West Ham United vs Liverpool Player Ratings

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Another surprise loss for a Liverpool side that is struggling to cope without Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Is a title challenge beyond their expectations now?

On the other hand, West Ham fans will not be blamed for believing that a top 10 finish is well within their reach with the new signings on show all impressing.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 5: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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It's a beautiful Saturday. And we have six Premier League matches in store that will be played across England and Wales today. Expect protests at St James' Park against Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley. Expect a feisty match between Aston Villa and Arsenal, and much more.

For viewers in the United States, the games will be shown on:

Saturday, September 20:

QPR vs Stoke, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Clive Allen
Aston Villa vs Arsenal, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Trevor Francis
Burnley vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Dean Sturridge
Newcastle vs Hull, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andselect movie theaters nationwide; Jonathan Beck & Davie Provan
Swansea vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Brian Little
West Ham vs Liverpool, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Starting lineups:

Queens Park Rangers:Green, Isla, Caulker, Ferdinand, Traore, Barton, Mutch, Fer, Kranjcar, Vargas, Austin

Subs:McCarthy, Phillips, Onuoha, Henry, Dunne, Hoilett, Zamora

Stoke City:Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters; Whelan, Nzonzi; Diouf, Adam, Moses; Crouch

Subs:Sorensen, Huth, Muniesa, Arnautovic, Sidwell, Assaidi, Bojan

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal Preview and Predicted Lineups

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Saturday's match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Villa Park is a matchup of two out of the three undefeated clubs in the Barclays Premier League (the other is of course league-leading Chelsea). While the two clubs both have yet to lose in league play so far this season, they have done so in different ways.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 5

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, September 20:

QPR vs Stoke, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Clive Allen
Aston Villa vs Arsenal, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Trevor Francis
Burnley vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Dean Sturridge
Newcastle vs Hull, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andselect movie theaters nationwide; Jonathan Beck & Davie Provan
Swansea vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Brian Little
West Ham vs Liverpool, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Sunday, September 21:

Leicester City vs Manchester United, 8:30am, CNBCand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Martin Keown
Spurs vs West Brom, 8:30am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Everton vs Crystal Palace, 11am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Barry Horne
Manchester City vs Chelsea, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Jim Beglin

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 5 is a post from World Soccer Talk.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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A surfeit of superb games are on offer this weekend, as clubs across Europe begin to get stuck in totheir respective domestic leagues.

Some are desperate to atone for a stuttering start, others keen to continue a prosperous beginning to their seasons. And withthe league table beginning to take shape in some nations, there are opportunities to make some big statements early on in the campaign.

Southampton’s August-September Progress Report

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Last season, we saw a lot of this from Southampton's attack...

And this...

But once "this," left for Champions League football, Southampton supporters were left asking themselves, now what? Who could possibly fulfill the rolls of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, and who could partner with Jose Fonte at center-back?

5 English Premier League Players That Promised A Lot But Became Flops

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There's little doubt who the star of Chelsea's superb start to the season is. Diego Costa's seven goals in his first ever four games for the Blues helped Mourinho's side to maximum points from their opening four fixtures in the Premier League. A ruthless striker was the missing ingredient from Chelsea's push towards the title last season with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o all failing to consistently find the back of he net.

Yaya Toure’s Form Is Pivotal To Manchester City’s Title Hopes

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[Programming note: Manchester City vs Chelsea will be shown LIVE on Sunday morning starting at 10:45am EST on NBC Sports Network]

Manchester City's lineup is dotted with top players at every position and each individual has an distinctvalue to the club.

Vincent Kompany is the captain and orchestrates the squad from the back.

Searching For Soccer In England, The Home of Football

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Last weekend was a surreal one for me. I spent most of the afternoon in York, as well as the morning in Edinburgh and the evening in Manchester. It was surreal because I was there on a Premier League Saturday, but there was little to no evidence of anything Premier League-related going on in the country that is the home to the world's most popular sports league (and the birthplace of the game).

Liverpool’s August-September Progress Report

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Liverpool Football Club have played in five competitive games so far this season and there is still no definitive answer to how they will cope in a post-Luis Suarez world. Out of the five, only against Tottenham away have they resembled the Liverpool seen in the latter half of last season. Manager Brendan Rodgers has been careful to remind everyone that last season started off slowly as well.

Partizan Apologize For Anti-Semitic Banner; UEFA Open Disciplinary Proceedings

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[Warning: This article contains language and an image containing words which some readers may find offensive.]

Partizan Belgrade have issued an apology for an anti-Semitic banner which was displayed by a section of their home supporters during last night's Europa League Group C opener against Tottenham Hotspur.

Top 5 Premier League Bets for Gameweek 5

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The Premier League continues this week as the trailing pack look to reel in runaway leaders Chelsea while things are beginning to take shape at the other end of the table with several sides still searching for their first win of the campaign. Tom Powell has been scouring the Premier League odds in search of winning bets to back up his haul of three winners from five last weekend.

Chelsea’s August-September Progress Report

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Chelsea FC have started the 2014/15 Barclay's Premier League season in scintillating style, winning all four English Premier League matches so far, including a nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park against Everton. The Blues look a favorite to lift the trophy at the end of the season.

The only downside to the season so far are the occasional defensive lapses that result in poorly conceded goals.

Sunderland’s August-September Progress Report

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Sunderland have enjoyed a mixed start to the Premier League season thus far with Gus Poyet's men sitting in a worrying 15th position in the table despite having earned draws against Louis van Gaal's Manchester United as well as Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks.

Unfortunately these two excellent results have had their respective gloss taken off them due to the fact Sunderland are still without a win this season.

Tottenham Hotspur’s August-September Progress Report

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If I was being my most Tottenham Hotspur and most cynical, the progress report would be short and only need a handful of words: "Tim Sherwood is gone, we made progress by default". But, since I dare not be disingenuous to the World Soccer Talk readership, I'll give a bigger report since there's more to Spurs than throwing the gillet to the corner.

Arsenal’s August-September Progress Report

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Team Strengths: Arsenal's team strengths are ironically their midfield and forward depth (something that the Gunners have had issues with in the past) and passing ability. When all of the Gunners are healthy, the team has Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell, and Yaya Sanogo as options up front.

Anti-Semitic Banner Branded During Europa League Match In Serbia

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[Warning: This article contains language and a picture containing words which some readers may find offensive]

For the second consecutive night, fans attending a UEFAEuropean cup tournament have marred the outcome of a match.

Last night in Rome, during the second half of AS Roma's Champions League match with CSKA Moscow, travelling supporters attacked stewards and threw lit fireworks into the Roma section.

Travel By Train to Watch Premier League Games In Person

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The thrill and pleasure of seeing your favorite Premier League club in person in the United Kingdom should be on every English soccer fan's bucket list. With plenty of airfare deals available to the UK, now is a better time than any to make your dreams a reality.

When planning a trip to the United Kingdom, one of the biggest questions is how to get around from Point A to Point B.

Fulham Sack Felix Magath In Catastrophic Season For Cottagers

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Fulham sacked manager Felix Magath today, with the club sitting at the bottom of the Championship table with just one point to its name for the 2014/15 season.

The sacking has come onthe back of a 5-3 loss away to Nottingham Forest. In the midweek match, the Cottagers came back from being 2-0 down to go ahead 3-2 to ultimately losing the lead again and losing in the eight goal thriller.

The History Of Squad Numbers In Soccer, and How They’ve Evolved

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There are some players that don't look quite right intheir shirt numbers.

Etched into our soccer consciousnesses are intangible, requisite criteria when it comes to the number a player should have emblazoned on the back of his jersey. It's the reflex thatniggles at us when we see Samuel Eto'o donning No.

ESPN Has Plans For Subscription-Based Product Similar to Netflix

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Current ESPN President John Skipper recently stated in an interview that the powerhouse sports network is looking into supplying a subscription-based product for cord cutters. In the interview Skipper acknowledged that more and more people mostly people in their 20's and 30's are choosing to cut out cable and satellite packages, and opt for services much like Netflix to view programming.

Paul Lambert Bringing Roy Keane To Aston Villa Trumps All Other Summer Moves

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The summer window closed amid of a flurry of transfer activity. The loudest move was undoubtedly AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao transferring to Manchester United.

But the summer period was dotted with some other spectacular big-name moves: Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez to Real Madrid, Angel Di Maria to Manchester United and Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

Recount Of The Drama That Unfolded At The US Open Cup Final

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Many know that while I am a huge soccer fan and a fan of my local Philadelphia Union, I am not a fan of MLS at all. While the quality of play leaves a lot to be desired, my main complaint with the league is the way it (for me) sucks the soul out of the game, with all of its complex rules for signing players, parity mechanisms such as player lotteries and drafts, as well as the fact that many games mean really nothing at all since over half the teams make the play-offs and there is no relegation.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Leaves Cardiff City ‘By Mutual Consent’

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Reports began surfacing from Wales on Wednesday afternoon regarding the immediate future of Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It can now be confirmed that the 41-year-old Norwegian boss has left the club 'by mutual consent'.

A statement from chairman Mehmet Dalman on Cardiff City's website reads: "Having spoken with Ole on deciding the best course of action for all parties, I'm sorry to say that we have agreed that it is in the best interest of the club for us to go our separate ways.

Everton Put Wheels In Motion Ahead Of Stadium Move

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The historic Goodison Park has been home to the blue half of Merseyside since 1892 with the ground having hosted more top-flight English football matches than any other, however Everton Football Club yesterday officially outlined plans which will see the club move away from their historic home to a new ground based on the Walton Hall Park site.

Managerial Options Are Limited For Newcastle United Should Alan Pardew Get Sacked

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Unfortunately for Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew it appears he is a'dead man walking'. The 53-year-old is only a few seasons removed from winning both the Premier League Manager of the Season and LMA Manager of the Year awards after guiding the Magpies to a surprise fifth-place finish in the English top flight.

AS Roma’s Champions League Victory Over CSKA Moscow Marred By Crowd Violence

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Earlier this evening, AS Roma returned to the UEFA Champions League following a three-year absence from the European competition. The Giallorossi announced their re-emergence into the tournament by smashingCSKA Moscow by a score of 5-1.

Former Arsenal striker Gervinho scored a brace and assisted another goal as the Italian side notched four unanswered goals in the opening 31 minutes of the contest.

Why Arsenal’s 4-1-4-1 Formation Is Not Working

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has implemented a new 4-1-4-1 formation as of late, with either Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini being deployed as the sole defensive midfielder in the middle of the pitch. The lack of manpower in the space just in front of Arsenal's back four was one of the reasons (there were plenty) Borussia Dortmund dominated the north London team in their opening Champions League group stage match Tuesday night.

Atletico Madrid Striker Mario Mandzukic Facing Two Week Layoff

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Tuesday night in Greece, Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic was elbowed in the face by Olympiacos midfielder Pajtim Kasami. The incident took place in the third minute of Atletico's Champions League group stage match and required the forwardto leave the pitch for several minutes while medics attempted to patch up his bleeding nose.

Bayern Munich vs Man City & Chelsea vs Schalke, UEFA Champions League TV Times and Open Thread

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There are eight more UEFA Champions League matches kicking off today with two German sides taking on two Premier League teams — featuring Bayern Munich against Manchester City, and Chelsea versus Schalke.

Will Germany or England be victors by the end of today?

In the meantime, there are several other matches kicking off.

Barcelona’s Munir El Haddadi Benefiting From Luis Suarez’s Four Month Ban

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Since the Court of Arbitration for Sportdenied Luis Suarez's appeal of hisfour-month ban, Barcelona's new manager Luis Enriquestill hasto wait a little overone month before he can field a first-team squad that boasts the forward combination of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez. The Uruguayan striker will be eligible to make his La Liga debut in the Blaugrana shirt against Real Madrid on October 25.

The Fit and Proper Person Test is a Joke

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Leeds United, one of the great football institutions, have been in the news a lot lately more through off the field need than on.

I was at their game on Saturday against Birmingham City when they brought their usual healthy and loyal following to a 12.15pm kick off.

I'mglad to know that new owner Massimo Cellino would have had to go through the rigorous 'fit and proper' test so we can ensure that nobody takes control of our beloved football institutions without its best interests at heart.

Jerome Champagne To Run For FIFA Presidency Next Year

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Former French diplomat Jerome Champagne has announced his intention of challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency at next year's elections.

Last week, Blatter announced that he would seek a fifth term in office as the head of world football's governing body, citing ‘unfinished business' as the main reason to run for re-election.

Champions League Re-Cap All The Winners And Losers From Day 1

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Champions League football once again made a glorious return and it was last season's victors, Real Madrid, who provided the biggest win of match day 1, defeating Basel 5-1. Elsewhere, Liverpool made a triumphant return to Europe's premier club competition after years dwelling in the abyss, managing to scrape through with a 2-1 victory over Ludogrets, their first match in five or so years.

Newcastle United’s Average Start Puts Alan Pardew Under Severe Pressure

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Another day, another humiliation. Newcastle United's capitulation against Southampton last weekend was the fourth time this calendar year that the Magpies have lost by a four goal margin. Southampton helped themselves to four last season against Newcastle at St Mary's in March whilst Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur helped themselves to goal gluts at St James' Park.

Newcastle United Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez Receiving Treatment For Cancer

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Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has thanked fans via his Twitter account and duringan interview on Argentinian television for their support after revealing that he has been undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.

The 31-year-oldhas been receiving chemotherapy in Argentina for the past month and tweeted his appreciation for all of the fans' support: "Thanks for all the messages.

UEFA Champions League Preview – Bayern Munich vs Manchester City

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This is the latest installment of Bayern Munich and Manchester City duel. For many pundits it's the established against the upcoming or as others say, the serial Champions League finalists up against the group stage enthusiasts.

In a sense Bayern Munich are what Manchester City aspire to be a storied European powerhouse with a rich history and a bright future.

Borrusia Dortmund vs. Arsenal Player Ratings; German Giants Take Win Over Work-In-Progress Arsenal

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In a match which highlighted both Arsenal's squad deficiencies and Borussia Dortmund's pure quality in all positions, the German giants took the spoils in a convincing 2-0 victory with opportunities for even more goals having not been converted.

Borussia Dortmund

Roman Weidenfeller 6
Had very little to do on the evening, looked comfortable in claiming crosses and distributed the ball with ease.

Dortmund vs Arsenal & Liverpool vs Ludogorets; UEFA Champions League TV Times & Open Thread

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It's been months since Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League final. And now the competition starts all over again, in the group stage, to determine which team will eventually become the 2014/15 champion.

For viewers in theUnited States, the games will be shown across several channels.

Erik Lamela: Building a Star at White Hart Lane

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We are just four matches into the Premier League season, so the words sample size must be kept in mind, but Erik Lamela has been a revelation for Maurice Pochettino's men so far. After a lost season last year under the bumbling management of Andre Villa-Boas and Tim Sherwood, in addition to a difficult transition to England and flagging health, the future was not looking bright for Lamela, who was supposed to be the biggest and brightest of the players purchased with the Gareth Bale windfall.

Manchester United Supporters Are Owed An Apology From Rio Ferdinand Following His Latest Confessions

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Excerpts fromQueens Park Rangersdefender Rio Ferdinand's new book titled "#2Sides", serialized in The Sun this week, have been making the rounds in the press.

The former Manchester United captain'sthoughts on his and his teammates' experience of working under David Moyes last season have made headlines onnumerous back pages.

Gabriel Agbonlahor Form Means An England Recall Could Be On The Cards

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When Gabriel Agbonlahor first stepped on the grass of Goodison Park at the age of 19 for his Aston Villa debut against Everton great things were expected from the Birmingham-born striker. His lightning pace and direct runs coupled with his physique and agility made him a nightmare for opposition defences.

Premier League Tactics Corner – Round 4

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Liverpool has not learned the lesson thatJose Mourinho taught it, while Louis van Gaal ended his affair with the three-center back system.

The Stagnant Reds Go Marching In

Staring at screens around the world and sitting in the Kop, Liverpool fans will think back to ‘that' Sunday in late April.

UEFA Champions League Preview: Examining The Top 11 Contenders For The Title

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Europe's club competition is back on our screens this week, as 32 teams go in search of UEFA Champions League glory.

So on the cusp of the showpiece, lets take a closer look at some of the main contenders for the European Cup, their likely starting XI's and the men most likely to make the difference.

What We Learned From Week 2 Of The Serie A

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Twenty eightgoals, many confirmations and one, big surprise this is the second week of Serie A.

Once again the two favourites teams in the Scudetto race, Roma and Juventus, both played on Saturday due to their upcoming Champions League matches. Rudi Garcia decided to leave on the bench a host of attackers against Empoli, whilst Massimiliano Allegri instead faced Udinese with the best team possible.

Tottenham Confirm Club Shares as Potential Sale Lingers

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Tottenham Hotspur have revealed a statement illustrating the amount of shares in the club's portfolio. The north London club announced, "In accordance with Rule 2.10 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Code"), THFC confirms that, as at the close of business on 12 September 2014, it had 213,102,209 ordinary shares of 5 pence each in issue.

‘Revista De La Liga’ Discuss Possible Ronaldo Return To Manchester United [VIDEO]

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The rumors of Cristiano Ronaldo'spossible return to Manchester United refuse to die down in England and Spain.

It has beenwell publicized that the Portuguese forward openly questioned the decision of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sell histeammates specifically, Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso before the start of the season.

Hull City vs West Ham United, TV Times and Open Thread

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Hull City manager Steve Bruce has a perfect opportunity today to put himself more into the "shop window" for his chances of becoming the next manager at Newcastle United. Of course, this is all conjecture, but if Hull City beats West Ham United today and then defeats Newcastle this weekend, Bruce could end up being the favorite to replace Alan Pardew if the manager is sacked.

Heading Back Home: Traveling Through Scotland

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The question that's on everyone's lips is yes or no. Should Scotland decide to be independent from Great Britain in this week's referendum?

The timing of my trip to Scotland couldn't have been better. Blessed with a rare indian summer of blue skies, temperatures in the 70s and no rain, it was the perfect opportunity to visit the Highlands before the country decides whether to break away from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Tom Huddlestone: England’s Untapped Midfield Resource

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With the exception of a fewdie hard soccer fans,most viewerswill not be rushing to the television to watch today's Premier League encounter between Hull City and West Ham.

Under Sam Allardyce, the Hammers have staggeredto the start of the season with two losses in their opening three BPL fixtures.

Soccer Returns From International Break (World Soccer Talk Review Podcast)

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Hallelujah. The international break is over, which means two things: One, Premier League soccer has returned. And two, so too has the World Soccer Talk Podcast, which means that host Nick Webster is back in the saddle once again.

As always, there's plenty to talk about, so let's get to it.

The pod crew discuss these and many more topics from this the fourthweek of the Premier League season.

Gus Johnson Quitting Role As Lead Commentator Is a Victory For Soccer Fans

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Gus Johnson has decided to step down from his role as the lead soccer commentator for FOX Sports, and will return to announcing collegefootball and college basketball, according to a report by SI.com.

The news will come as a victory for soccer fans whorebelled against the decision made by FOX Sports to force an announcer on them with no soccer experience.

Player Ratings Following QPR vs. Manchester United Face Off At Old Trafford

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Under normal circumstance QPR vs Manchester United would be considered a typical David vs Goliath match, a relegation favorite looking for a scalp against a top 4 prospect. Yet, the lead up to this game was far from normal as QPR faced off with Manchester United in an early six pointer.

Three games in and Man U still only had two points and looked like they might not even scratch the top six while Rangers, with 3 points, had their best chance to get a win from United since 1992, when they came away with a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford.

A Tale Of Two Teams In The Capital City: Atletico Madrid And Real Madrid

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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Charles Dickens,A Tale of Two Cities.

For Atletico Madrid, manager Diego Simeone and their supporters the early part of the season has been "the best of times".

Los Colchoneros are the reigning champions of Spain and began the 2014-15 campaign by defeating their local rivals Real Madrid over two legs to win the Spanish Supercopa.

The Eyes Of The World Turn To The Theatre Of Dreams Today

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[Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers will be shown LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 11:00am EST]

It is only the fourth match of the Premier League season, but the eyes of the world will be on the Theatre of Dreamstoday as Manchester United take on Queens Park Rangers. The game marksthe first time this year that manager Louis van Gaal will be able to field a team made up of all six of his summer signings.

Manchester United vs QPR, Gameweek 4: TV Times and Open Thread

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After going on a spending spree during the summer transfer window, Manchester United is ready to show off their wares as they search for their first win of the 2014/15 Premier League season.

For viewers in the United States, the games will be shown on:

Manchester United vs QPR, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra

Before, during or after today's match, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Top 10 Goals of the MLS Season So Far

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As the MLS regular season winds down and the playoffs loom closer on the horizon, let's look back at some of the incredible goals already scored in the league thus far. It's a testament to the league's growth that players of the quality to score goals like these have moved to MLS in recent years, many of them worthy of "best of" lists that include the world's top leagues.

Manchester United Desperately Looking For Home Victory Against QPR

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In his pre-match press conference, manager Louis Van Gaal revealed that wingback Ashley Young and defender Phil Jones are injured for the game against QPR. The Dutchman also indicated that Luke Shaw, Rafael and Ander Herrera are close to full fitness and will likely be involved in Sunday's game. Given the myriad of attacking options up front, we may see a tactical shift in this game.

Chelsea vs. Swansea City Player Ratings; Battle For Top Of The League Ends 4-2

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Heading into today's game at Stamford Bridge, neither team had dropped points thus far in Premier League play. Following the international break and transfer window both teams were looking to stretch their "legs" and earn their place at top of the League table. Despite an early start from Swansea, Chelsea emerged with the coveted 3 points putting them ahead in goals and points.

Manchester City vs. Arsenal Player Ratings Following A 2-2 Draw

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An exciting draw to welcome us back into the Premier League season was much needed after a what seemed like a very long international break. Both teams were looking to prove themselves after some shuffling on both team's line-ups and less than stellar starts for the defending Champions and the hungry Arsenal side.

El Classico Predictions; Both Teams Hungry For Three Points

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For the third time in less than a month, cross-town rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are set to meet at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday evening.

On the outset, it may seem like a derby of little value – after all, the Spanish season is less than a month old. Yet, there is still so much on the line neither side can boast of a bright start in the race towards the La Liga title.

Arsenal vs Manchester City Predicted Lineups

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The Barclays Premier League returns to action this weekend and to kick off the busy weekend in British soccer, Arsenal will host the reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday at 7:45 AM (ET). With both sides having some injury issues, let's take a look at who the managers could select to start the important match.

Chelsea vs. Swansea City Preview; Battle For Top Of The Table

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In a battle of the top two Premier League sides, and the only two to not yet lose a match this season, Swansea City travel to West London to take on Chelsea. Both clubs have looked impressive in their early season fixtures, and each will be looking to take maximum points from this encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool vs. Aston Villa; Prediction Plus Line-Ups

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Liverpool play Aston Villaon Saturday against aVilla side who are absolutely flying at the moment.

This is the first of many games Brendan Rodgers' men will play without star man Daniel Sturridge and it will be very interesting to see how they fair in his absence. The 25 year old picked up the knock on international duty and his club manager has hit back at the English FA, saying "it was an injury that could've been prevented".

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 4: TV Times and Open Thread

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The Premier League action finally returns after two weeks of the international break. Huzzah!

Meanwhile, footballers across Great Britain today will be wearing rainbow laces for a campaign against homophobia. For today's Arsenal-Manchester City match, the local tube station has even created a rainbow-colored crossing.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 4

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, September 13:

Arsenal vs Manchester City, 7:45am, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury and Danny Mills
Chelsea vs Swansea, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Davie Provan
Crystal Palace vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Barry Horne
Southampton vs Newcastle, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Stoke vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; TBD & TBD
Sunderland vs Spurs, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Dean Sturridge
West Brom vs Everton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Trevor Francis
Liverpool vs Aston Villa, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Sunday, September 14:

Manchester United vs QPR, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Monday, September 15:

Hull vs West Ham, 3pm, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; TBD & TBD

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 4 is a post from World Soccer Talk.

Real Madrid Versus Atletico Madrid Will Be ‘Must See Television’

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[Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid will be shown LIVE on BeinSPORT at 2:00pm EST on Saturday]

There aren't many things more exciting in soccer than a"derby" match. Every league in every country boasts a matchup of local or regional teams that just bring out the hate in opposing fans: Manchester United-Liverpool, AC Milan-Internazionale, Rangers-Celtic, Fenerbache-Galatasary and River Plate-Boca Juniors are a few that come to mind.

Manchester United Defender Phil Jones Ruled Out For One Month

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Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal revealed that defender Phil Jones will be out of action for up to one month due to a torn hamstring, an injury he suffered during England's 2-0 win in Switzerland earlier this week. "Phil has a torn hamstring," Van Gaal told the gathering.

The Sweeper: 10 Soccer Stories You May Have Missed

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For Premier League fans, like James Bond in The World is Not Enough, Christmas comes twice a year. First, when August brings a three-week tease of action, and then again when the Prem triumphantly returns replete with new transfers after a torpid international break. Before Saturday's slate, let The Sweeper fill you in on some of this week's scintillating stories.

Top 5 Premier League Bets

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The Premier League returns this week with some huge matches following the break for Euro 2016 qualifiers and Tom Powell has been scouring the Premier League betting and has picked out his top five bets from the weekend's round of fixtures...

* Visit easyodds.com's Premier League betting centreto compare all the best odds from every market plus get expert tips for every fixture.

Prodigal Shea Getting Another Chance At Brum

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A couple of years ago, Brek Shea was percolating through the minds of US soccer fans as
potentially "The American Gareth Bale." At FC Dallas, he was a young, left-footed defender who seemed like a shoe-in to develop into the quality left winger the USMNT had been missing. But ever since Shea moved to Stoke City, Shea's stock has dipped severely.

Brazilian Legend Pelé Unveils New Lighting System To Enhance Community Soccer Pitches

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Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has unveiled a new lighting system which uses kinetic energy from the movement of players on a pitch, as well as solar panels; to illuminate a community soccer field in Morro da Mineira, Rio de Janiero.

The intention of the project is to provide a safe space at night for young people to play soccer.

Hull City Owner Puts Club Up For Sale Due To Name Change Dispute

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Today, Hull City owner Assem Allam kept to his word and announced that he is putting the club up for sale. The Egyptian businessman had previously stated if the Football Association would not allow himto rename the team "Hull Tigers", he would consider selling the 110-year-old Yorkshire club.

Speaking to the media at the KC Stadium this afternoon, Allam said: "Lately there have been a lot of rumors and that is not a good thing, so I decided it was better to have a face-to-face conference and clear the air.

What Should Happen To Manchester City’s Financial Fair Play Fine?

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Following Manchester City's protracted battle with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations it came to light yesterday that following an agreement between clubs and European football's governing body, the money brought in from Manchester City's fine would be distributed amongst clubs involved in UEFA competitions, including those already fairly wealthy clubs within the Premier League.

Copa Libertadores Should Be Noticed By The Non-Hispanic Community In The USA

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When you think of the Copa Libertadores to someone that is Hispanic within the United States, they will tell you immediately that it is the most important club competition in the world, directly followed by the UEFA Champions League.

To someone who is non-Hispanic, but follow the sport, nine times out of 10 they would either, not have heard of it or never had the chance to watch it because they don't have Fox Deportes the main broadcasting channel in the U.

Taking A Look At Brian Clough’s Short-Lived Leeds Tenure

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It has been 10 years to the month since the passing of the greatest manager England never had, Brian Howard Clough OBE.

His time in football was dotted with highs and lows. Clough's achievements with Derby County and Nottingham Forest have gone down in folklore but it's safe to say he had his fair share of trouble too.

Would a Winter Break Benefit the Premier League?

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Former FA and Arsenal F.C. vice-chairman David Dein has called on the Barclays Premier League to implement a winter break halfway through its season. Dein also suggested at the Soccerex Global Convention this week that the Premier League should enforce the break as soon as possible. Debate of a potential winter break from league matches comes with news that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will most likely be held in the winter, because you know, it's usually pretty hot in Qatar during the summer (the average high in the middle eastern country during July is 106 degrees Fahrenheit).

Signing Of Loic Remy Could Prove To Be A Shrewd Move For Chelsea

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When the news broke that Chelsea were sanctioning the departure on loan of their £50m flop Fernando Torres, the rumors had already begun to swirl about who they would look to sign to replace him. In his three seasons at Chelsea, Torres scored 20 goals in 110 league appearances. Löic Remy, a 27-year-old signed from QPR, who spent last year on loan at Newcastle, scored 14 goals in the 2013-2014 season alone.

Cristiano Ronaldo Return To Manchester United Likely Within Two Transfer Windows

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Reports emanating fromEngland and Spain are speculating that Cristiano Ronaldo is approaching an end to his time at Real Madrid. Although the player himself has professed his "happiness" at his current club, Ronaldo has also confessed that a return to Old Trafford is very much in his thoughts.

Just last week, the reigning Ballon d'Or winner told theDaily Mail, "I love Manchester.

Heading Back Home: Traveling Through Wales

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I was born in Wales in 1969 and lived there until 1984, when I moved with my family to the United States. I've returned to Wales several times on vacation, but my journey there during the past few days was my first trip to my homeland in over 8 years. Consequently, I was on a mission to visit the Liberty Stadium, home to Swansea City, the club I've supported since I was eight years old.

How Will The Premier League’s New Signings Fare This Weekend?

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With the international break nearing its conclusion we can now turn our attention back to the Premier League, which resumes this weekend with Arsenal hosting champions Manchester City early on Saturday.

With the transfer deadline seeing numerous high profile moves involving Premier League clubs, this weekend will see several players making their debuts with supporters up and down the country wondering whether or not their new signing will be the difference between success and disappointment.

Here Are This Weekend’s Must See Games

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It's over; the international break is finally over. We get teased by the start of league play only to have to put our excitement on hold for the week while the national teams potentially injure our favorite players. Starting this weekend, however, the club games start again and we have some juicy match-ups.

Manchester United Have The Most Homegrown Players In The Premier League, Says Report

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Despite criticism that the club was abandoning their policy of promoting youth following a summer spending spree of £150 million on new arrivals, Manchester United still have the most homegrown players in the Premier League, according to a new report by Prime Time Sport.

United have seven players classified as homegrown, this coming after the departures of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley on deadline day.

Former EPFL Chief Executive Claims A Professional Club Is Run By ‘Criminals’

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Speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, Emanuel Medeiros claimed that a professional football club in Europe is being run by "criminals"; Medeiros is the former chief executive of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).

"I believe there is a professional club in a professional league in Europe that is being run by criminals.

Tottenham Will Move Out Of White Hart Lane For One Season Due To New Stadium Delay

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Tottenham Hotspur have released a statement on their official website notifying supporters that the team will have to move out of White Hart Lane for a period of one season, due to a delay in the construction of their new stadium.

Plans for the 56,250-capacity stadium, which is to be built next to their current home ground, are being challenged by landowners.

Analysing The Race For The MLS Playoffs

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September is here, and that means that Major League Soccer enters that period when the results seem to matter even more. Some teams have surprised thus far, others have followed form, but with a month and change left, teams that haven't risen to the top will be fighting to make the cut.

Let's group these teams into categories, and see how they all shake out:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Sure things:

DC United – A dismal 2013 behind them, their lead should help them withstand a slightly road-heavy backend of schedule.

Upheaval at Toronto FC And Headaches for Maple Leaf Sports

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I'm not a person who believes in the alleged universe-balancing force of karma, where the badDéj vu brings forth an action that was the result of your own misdemeanour.

But as a native Western New Yorker, it's hard to ignore the situation just around the western shores of Lake Ontario and not mull the existence of such a substance.

CONCACAF President Speaks Out Against FIFA And Racism At Soccerex

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At the Soccerex Global Convention held Tuesday September 9th, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb spoke out against FIFA and racism, calling for a complete overhaul of FIFA's governing bodies. Following several controversies after the announcement of Russia and Qatar being selected as future sites for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively, Webb stated "With all due respect, I don't think FIFA has done a great job communicating its message over the years and its image and public perception is affecting the game.

Who Is The MVP? A Breakdown Of The Most Valuable Player In Each BPL Team

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The team crests for this season's Premier League

Each Premier League club is where it is thanks to contributions from a whole heap of players, but there are some that are greater among equals. That's what this is about: trying to find the most valuable player for each team. It's actually harder than it looks, but thankfully I'm here to give it a shot.

England’s Midfield Still Unbalanced Despite Important Victory In Basel

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In what is likely to be England's most important game of the qualification process, Roy Hodgson's side overcame what has been a week of building pressure to take away a hugely important 2-0 victory over Switzerland in Basel as the Three Lions began life after their disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Louis Van Gaal’s Team Selection Improves As Players Return From Injury

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Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal green-lit the signings of six new players this summer to the tune of over£150 million. But after three league matches, only two of those new arrivals, Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria, have played in a Premier League fixture; and neither one played during the same contest.

Diego Costa Might Be Fit To Play Swansea Saturday Following International Break

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Diego Costa is being looked at by staff doctors heading into Chelsea's game against Swansea City this Saturday. Costa has suffered from various leg injuries over the last year, a large cause for concern for many Chelsea fans after hearing of the Spaniard's signing before arrived at Stamford Bridge.

Queens Park Rangers Facing Possible Relegation For Breach Of Financial Fair Play

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Shaun Harvey, the chief executive of the Football League, has warned Queens Park Rangers that they could be relegated or thrown out of professional football if the club fails to pay a multi-million pound Financial Fair Play (FFP) fine.

QPR are expected to face a fine of somewhere between£40-50m when the club reveals their financial results later this year, covering the season Rangers spent in the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League in April 2013.

FIFA To Suggest Two Winter Kick-Off Dates For 2022 World Cup In Qatar

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During a press conference held on Monday, FIFA suggested two alternative dates for a winter kick-off for the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar. The official dates suggested are November/December 2022 or January/February 2022. The talks to have a World Cup take place in the winter instead of the traditional June-August format comes from the sweltering heat during Qatar's summer months, where the average temperature reaches 120°F in most places with the lows around 86°F.

The Pros To Signing More Players Like Morales Rather Than Beckham

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What if, instead of trying to bring in another David Beckham, Major League Soccer signed more players like Javier Morales? It wasn't a hypothetical, though it was rhetorical. I was among a group of reporters gathered after MLS Cup three years ago when the question was asked by a league official. At the time, Beckham's future was uncertain, and although the league's commercial messiah he would come back for one more year, the post-Beckham world was already taking shape.

AS Roma President Calls Mehdi Benatia ‘Poison’ And Speaks Out Against His ‘Lies’

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AS Roma president James Pallotta has released a statement hitting out at Mehdi Benatia and accused his former defender of lying.

Benatia told the German publicationKickerthat he had intended to stay with Roma this summer, but it was the Italian club's idea to sell the player in order to raise funds.

Theo Walcott Could Make Season Debut Against Spurs on September 27th

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According to reports, Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is targeting his return from injury for the September 27th North London derby against rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The speedy winger/striker last played for the Gunners during a 2-0 third round FA Cup victory over Spurs in January. Walcott injured knee ligaments during the January victory, and famously used his fingers to show the winning score line to the visiting Spurs crowd while being carried off of the pitch.

Andrea Pirlo To Continue Playing International Soccer

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In a summer which has seen the international retirements of Frank Lampard, Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso and Franck Ribery; Italian great Andrea Pirlo has announced that he will continue on with the Italian national team for another year.

The 35-year-old midfielder told Gazzetta TV that he had been considering retirement, but changed his mind following a conversation with Italian coach Antonio Conte.

FIFA President Sep Blatter Confirms 5th Consecutive Presidential Run

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Current FIFA President, Sepp Blatter has announced his bid for re-election, after first being elected as president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association in 1998 Blatter has served four consecutive terms for the past 18 years. Although Blatter hinted that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil would be his last, he recently announced his return to the FIFA presidential candidacy Monday in a pre-recorded interview shown at the SoccerEx conference.

New Rules Needed To Safeguard Players Health On International Duty

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The tug-and-pull situation the world's top soccer players find themselves in is an enviable one for 99% of the sport's players. These players have to balance between playing for their employer club and representing their country at the international level and, depending on the nation's success, the competition for both can be equally as fierce.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Announces Trials For Television ‘Replay’ System

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Speaking at Manchester's Soccerex, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced plans to introduce a TV trial which would allow coaches to challenge referee decisions. The 'replay' system would be similar to the ones used in the NFL, tennisand Major League Baseball.

"They [coaches] have the right in the half, twice or once, to challenge a refereeing decision but only when the game is stopped," Blatter said.

2014 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Schedule

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The stage is set for the United States Women's National Team to start their 2015 World Cup campaign. First up, CONCACAF Qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and Haiti.

CONCACAF drew groups for World Cup Qualifying (also known as CONCACAF Championship) Friday morning, where the Americans learned they will be in Group A.

Franck Ribéry Will Face Suspension If He Refuses To Play For French National Team

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UEFA President, Michel Platini, threatened to punish Franck Ribéry if he refuses to play for the French National team. In an interview with the German Newspaper, Bild, Platini stated that according to the FIFA Statutes Ribéry must answer Didier Dechamps call if chosen to play. "If he does not come, he is suspended for three games with Bayern Munich," said Platini to Marc Schmidt at Bild.

Heading Back Home to the UK: Travels Through England

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Paignton beach in Devon, England

It's been eight long years since I was last in the United Kingdom. That's not by choice, but when you're raising a family, it's tough to take young children with you, so my wife and I have decided to take trips closer to home in the past. This time, however, I got a chance to travel without my immediate family in tow, and I went with my mother instead.

Angel Di Maria Responds To Florentino Perez Claims And Speculates On Ronaldo Exit

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The war of words between Angel Di Maria and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has continued through the media after the Argentina internationalresponded to comments made by his former boss on Spanish radio.

On Friday, Perez stated that the La Liga giants had offered Di Maria an improved contract prior to the World Cup, but the player refused the new offer.

UEFA Champions League Red Zone Channel Coming to FOX Soccer Plus

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FOX Sports has announced a new feature to its UEFA Champions League coverage named Multimatch 90, which will allow soccer fans the ability to watch a "red zone channel" where the best highlights will be shown live or on quick replay. The feature, which will become available for the UEFA Champions League matches beginning this month, will only be available to subscribers of FOX Soccer Plus and/or FOX Soccer 2GO.

Brazil Beat Colombia In Front Of Record Crowd in Miami

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Brazil and Colombia faced off in front of a sold-out, record breaking crowd in Miami's Sun Life stadium as both of the team's desire for revenge after disappointing World Cups in Brazil showed. The crowd of 73,429 broke records both in Sun Life and the state of Florida for the largest soccer crowd and was enthusiastic throughout the game.

Premier League Transfer Records: How Does Each Club Stack Up?

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As more and more money is being pumped into the English Premier League, transfer fees are increasing exponentially from one transfer window to another. During the 2014 summer transfer window that closed on the first of September, a record £835 million was spent by Premier League clubs.

Six of these clubs have broken their club-record transfer fee during this window.

Brazil vs. Colombia Line-Ups; Rematch In Miami

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Brazil and Colombia meet in Miami for a rematch of the World Cup game that took place almost exactly two months ago. After four yellow cards, one broken back and Colombia's World Cup finished the game ended 2-1 with goals from Thiago Silva, David Luiz and James Rodriguez, two of whom traveled to Miami to be with their national teams during the international FIFA break.

The Future Of Kevin Strootman Lies With Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United

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The summer window has been closed for a few days now, but it hasn't stopped the rumor mill from pumping out stories of potential player moves during the January transfer period.

A name that has surfaced in recent days has been that of AS Roma midfielder and Dutch international, Kevin Strootman.

Former USMNT Captain Carlos Bocanegra Announces Retirement Following 2014 Season

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Former United State's Men's National Team Captain and current Chivas defender, Carlos Bocanegra, announced his retirement from soccer following the end of the current 2014 MLS season. Bocanegra has been playing professional soccer for 14 years and earned 110 appearances for the USMNT and scored 14 goals since his first call-up in 2001, as well as captaining the team for six years where he earned the nickname "Captain America".

Don’t Sleep on Southampton

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When a sports team sells off five key players in the offseason, chances are that they will almost certainly regress heading into the new season. This, however, may not be the case with Southampton. Yes, it is extremely difficult to lose nearly half of your starting XI, especially when they are quality players such as Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, and Calum Chambers; however, the Saints did an outstanding job reinvesting money into new players during the transfer window.

The Sweeper: 10 Soccer Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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Exhale. Savor summer's few remaining days. Fire up the grill. Slither down a slip n slide. Lay back in a hammock while cradling a watery beer. It's the September international break, and with options like Finland v Faroe Islands, Denmark v Armenia, and Bolivia v Ecuador, the emphasis is on "break.

Non-League Day: The Best Remedy For International Break Blues

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If you're a regular Premier League match-goer who'll be without your weekly fix of live football this weekend, I come bearing some exciting news.

You don't have to mull around in a sulk all weekend, you don't have to briefly conjure a fleeting interest in a sport that doesn't measure up to the beautiful game, you don't have to count down the hours until the national side's next underwhelming clash.

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez Explains Sale Of Angel Di Maria

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The sale of Angel Di Maria has caused a stir in the capital city of Spain. Shortly after the player's departure, the Spanish newspaper AS took asurvey amongst Real Madrid supporters and 83.5 percent of those polled wanted the Argentina international to stay with the club, following his effortswhich helpedLos Blancossecure their tenth European Cup and a Cope del Rey title last season.

Manchester United Defender Marcos Rojo Has Been Granted His Work Permit

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Manchester United signed Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon on August 19th for a reported fee of £16 million. But the defender has not been able to suit up for the Red Devils since his arrival at the English club due to a lingering issue with his work permit.

Earlier today,United informed the media and fans that the Argentina international has been granteda work permit and is now eligible to make his debut for the club, whichshould be on September 14th versus Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford.

Brad Guzan vs. Nick Rimando; The Battle For Starting Goalkeeper

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The 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic was the first match played by the USMNT after Tim Howard announced his hiatus from international soccer having gained 104 caps for his country. There's no doubt that Howard leaves behind giant gloves to fill as he saved USMNT time and time again in his thirteen years with Team USA.

England Need A Reality Check, Or Another Crop Of Talented Youngsters Will Be Wasted

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It feels a little uneasy when it comes to criticising somebody like Roy Hodgson. The England boss is an amicable, articulateand courteous man after all, one offew true gentlemen that remain in the game.

It'slittle surprise that in various managerial roles he's assumed across the continent he's struck up affinities with supporters, players and the media alike.

England 1-0 Norway: Three Lions Player Ratings

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England's self proclaimed new era got off to a stuttering start, as the Three Lions put in an unconvincing performance against Norway at Wembley.Wayne Rooney spared Roy Hodgson's blushes with a second half penalty, and the hosts eventually ran out 1-0 winners.

Just 40,000 people—the lowest ever for an England game at the new Wembley Stadium—rocked up at the home of football to watch this friendly clash, and with a European Championships qualifying match with Switzerland looming, here's how the England players fared against their Scandinavian opponents.

Manchester United Fans Should Be Excited By Angel Di Maria’s Performance Agains Germany

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Yes, it was a "warm up" match for the reigning world championsprior totheir Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland this weekend. But Argentina's 4-2 victory over Germany gave the South Americans abit of revenge following their heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to the Germans in the final of the World Cup in Brazil a few months ago.

USMNT Player Ratings In 1-0 Against The Czech Republic

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The first friendly after a World Cup is usually a particularly mind-numbing affair, but there were certainly positives for the United States to take out of another win on European soil at the Czech Republic, and one big sound-bite from Jurgen Klinsmann on his 2018 expectations. Here are the player ratings.

3 Ways To Improve Transfer Deadline Day

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The hysteria of transfer Deadline Day has come and gone, and like a fraternity the day after hosting a "Back to Campus" party, a number of teams have to live with the consequences of their rushed decisions. On World Soccer Talk we've covered a number of angles on the pros and cons of the transfer window for the teams, leagues and media companies, however, we haven't touched on the transfer window itself.

Top 5 Premier League 2014 Summer Transfers

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The transfer window has slammed shut with Premier League sides shelling out a record £835million in fees over the summer with all managers busily readying their squads for the long season ahead. Some signings have caused raised eyebrows and others have been viewed less favorably and here, Easyodds.

Ligue 1 Recap Of Rounds 1-4 Of The 2014/15 Season

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Four games have been played in France in this 2014-2015 season. There is no suspense in the title race, as Monaco's ambitious project is going into oblivion after the transfers of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, while no club can compete with PSG's dream team. This season, the interesting part will be the race for second and third place between Monaco, Lille, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne and Marseille.

Cristiano Ronaldo Reiterates His Desire To Return To Manchester United

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Cristiano Ronaldo admits that he is currently "happy" at Real Madrid but reiterated his desire to return to Manchester United in the future.

The Portuguese forward still has four years remaining on his contract with the La Liga giants after signing an extension last September, which saw his annual salary reach a reported £14 million with an additional£2.

Daniel Agger Is The Last Of A Dying Breed

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After eight-and-a-half injury-plagued, yet successful years at Anfield, Liverpool's Danish vice captain Daniel Agger was allowed to leave this summer after finding himself dropping further down the pecking order. However, Agger was not only allowed to leave, he was allowed to leave for practically nothing.

Experiencing a Norwegian Soccer Match: Brann vs Molde

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It'd be difficult to find a more picturesque stadium in Europe. At the foothills of Mount Ulrika in the beautiful city of Bergen, nestled on the western coast of Norway, the "Gateway to the Fjords" is the home of Brann, a top flight Norwegian soccer team.

This past Sunday, I got a chance to experience what a top flight Norwegian football match is like.

Toronto FC Must Work Hard To Rid Themselves Of Their Obscure Identity

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The well-worn life adage "the bigger they are, the harder they fall," is almost always an on-the-money assessment of spectacular collapses.

In Toronto, the football club that many credit with starting MLS supporter culture when they joined the league in 2007 is famous for their staggering incompetence.

Interview With Guillem Balague: Talks Di Maria, La Liga, Premier League and Music

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The go-to man on all things Spanish football has long been Guillem Balague and he took time out from his busy schedule to have a chat with World Soccer Talk.

The journalist, author and pundit provided us with some typically fascinating insight, discussingwhat it's like to be"in the know" during the transfer window, all the latest goings on from La Liga and the Premier League, and his other major passion besides the beautiful game.

USMNT v. Czech Republic Friendly Line-Up Prediction

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In their first match since the 2014 World Cup, the United States Men's National Team faces off again the Czech Republic Wednesday night in Prague. Manager Jurgen Klinsmann has named a relatively young and inexperienced side for the friendly, with 13 World Cup players (including Tim Howard, who is taking time off from the national team) being left out of the roster for the match against the team being captained by Arsenal midfielder Tomáš Rosický.

Winners of the 2014 Summer Transfer Window

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1. Chelsea

Players In

Diego Costa-£32million

Cesc Fabregas-£30million

Filipe Luis-£15.8million

Loic Remy-£10.5million

Mario Pasalic-£3million

Didier Drogba-Free Transfer

Players Out

David Luiz-£50million

Romelu Lukaku-£28million

Demba Ba-£4.

5 Reasons Why Selling Danny Welbeck Makes Zero Sense For Manchester United

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All the headlines were about Manchester United capturing Radamel Falcao,while Arsenal merely "settled" again after missing bigger targets. But in my mind Arsenal has done a shrewd piece of business in acquiring Danny Welbeck for £16 million, while Manchester United's new "galactico" policy could quite possibly backfire in a big way if the Red Devils finish outside the top four this season.

USMNT Who’s Who: September 2014 Camp

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Due to a variety of factors, United States men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has had to dig deep into the ranks of Europe-based US national team players or potential players. Major League Soccer's odd and controversial schedule meant that they don't honor FIFA international breaks for friendly matches, and therefore are unlikely to release key players during such a crucial point in the season.

Louis Van Gaal Chose Manchester United Because It Presented ‘The Biggest Challenge’

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In the days and weeks leading up to the conclusion of the summer transfer period,some members of the media andfootball experts have commented that Louis van Gaal most likely"regretted" taking the job at Manchester United and/or didn't understand the scale of the task in front of him.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, United's new boss insisted that he has no regrets about taking on the job and he chose the twenty-time champions of England because they presented "the biggest challenge".

USMNT Friendly Against The Czech Republic A Stepping Stone For Russia 2018

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U.S. Men's National Team will kick off their campaign to Russia 2018, with a friendly against the Czech Republic tonight.

Manager Jürgen Klinsmann has enlisted the help of a 23-man squad in the team's first post-World Cup game and the start of a four game series of friendlies that will help round out 2014.

Losers Of The 2014 Summer Transfer Window

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1. Real Madrid

Players In

James Rodriguez-£63million

Toni Kroos-£27million

Keylor Navas-£9million

Javier Hernandez-Loan

Players Out

Angel di Maria-£59.7million

Alvaro Morata-£17million

Xabi Alonso-£9million

Nuri Sahin-£6million

Casemiro-Loan

Diego Lopez-Free Transfer

It seems rather difficult to say a team who have just signed James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos are losers in the transfer market but bear with me.

Manchester United’s Identity Has Not Been ‘Broken’ By Big Spending, It Is Being Fixed

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Following the completion of Radamel Falcao's season-long loan switch from AS Monaco which completed Manchester United's sixth signing of the summer, some fans and members of the media have labeled the club's transfer spending spree as a 'galactico' policy.

After news of Danny Welbeck's departure to league-rivals Arsenal, former United assistant manager Mike Phelan said he feels part of the club's identity "has been broken".

Premier League Tactics Corner – Round 3

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In this week's edition of Premier League Tactics Corner, we analyze Diego Costa's movement and pressing, as well as Stoke City's defensive tactics against Manchester City.

Chelsea's Costa

Costa does three things really well. He presses, he uses his speed, and he finishes.

Tactical Analysis Of Liverpool’s Aggressive Tackling And Pressing Mentality

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We can chalk that up with something not associated with a squad that scored 101 goals last season, along with something else that's stuck in the back of the mainstream football brain defense.

Before we get into how the Reds win the ball back, losing someone who is statistically connected to 43 goals had to be addressed.

Grading Arsenal’s Summer Transfers

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Although Arsenal did not have a very busy transfer deadline day yesterday, the Gunners did manage to do most of their business early in the window. In the end, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger strengthened his team compared to last year's squad, spending over $130 million on five first team players and three young academy players (including highly-rated 16-year-old midfielder Ben Sheaf from West Ham).

The Predicament Of Having A Glorified MLS Deadline Day Coverage Or Not

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After two hours of watching Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, and Robbie Mustoe break down Deadline Day on NBCSN, I still can't decide if this would be a good thing for Major League Soccer. The signal-to-noise ratio is ridiculously low, a confluence of tabloid pressures, gullibility, and potential for news (albeit slim) creating a ridiculous din, one that's developed into a cottage industry.

AS Monaco Season Ticket Holders Demand A Refund

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AS Monaco fans and season ticket holders woke up today to find star striker, Radamel Falcao, has been sent on loan to Manchester United only weeks after the sale of Golden Boot Winner James Rodriguez to Real Madrid and they are upset. They took to their self-published website, Planet ASM, in order to give a statement on how they feel about the sales, and demand a refund from the club for the tickets purchased.

The Major Talking Points From Round 3 Of The English Premier League

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Howard deserves criticism for his performance against Chelsea

Asking for improvement from a goalkeeper who has conceded six goals isn't brain surgery. For the last couple of seasons, Tim Howard has been rightly heralded as one of the best goalkeepers in the league. His performances in the World Cup, particularly against Belgium, elevated him to icon status in the USA.

Euro 2016 Qualifiers TV Schedule For U.S Soccer Fans

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Using the Champions League as their template, UEFA have completely revamped the scheduling of qualifying matches for Euro 2016. For starters, the 10 rounds of qualifying matches are referred to as "Matchdays". Each Matchday will consist of three consecutive calendar days of matches that, in the case of the upcoming Matchday 1, will take place from Sunday through to Tuesday.

Jermaine Jones’ MLS Introduction Could Land New England Trophy Success

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When you think of the high-profile American internationals that have come home to Major League Soccer in the last two years, Jermaine Jones doesn't quite fit the model.

Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Ricardo Clark, and Damarcus Beasley all had their beginnings in MLS before plying their trade overseas.

Breakdown Of Chelsea’s Summer Transfer Season

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Chelsea finished third last season behind runners-up Liverpool and Champions Manchester City, in a season during which the Blues often seemed less than capable of beating opponents they should have. Chelsea manager José Mourinho dubbed the squad "a little horse" last season, implying that they were underdogs in the race for the title.

Serie A day 1 – Are AC Milan Back?

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The most important talking point of Serie A's day 1 was the AC Milan comeback. The Rossoneri, leaded by club's legend Filippo Inzaghi at his debut on the bench, won for 3-1 at home against Lazio.

The Rossoneri side deserved the three points, thanks to an amazing performance in front of their public.

Kansas City Claim The National Women’s Soccer League Championship

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Kansas City might be the new home of soccer. Sporting KC were 2013 MLS champs. Now FC Kansas City are 2014 NWSL champions.

It's hard to call them underdogs, but when up against the 16-2-6 Seattle Reign FC, most fans and experts would not have been on the side of the Blues. Even away from home and facing the best team in the league, FCKC was able to capture the final victory of the season.

Patience Necessary For Ancelotti And His New Real Madrid Talents

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Before the final whistle had sounded, the brow-furrowing and hand-wringing and calls for Carlo Ancelotti's head had already begun. Real Madrid, looking less than resplendent in their hot pink away kits, were staring at a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad a team they beat 9-1 on aggregate last year and a team they had not lost to since 2004.

Liverpool Player Ratings Versus Tottenham Hotspur

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Liverpool registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over a sorry Tottenham Hotspur outfit, to breathe life into their season after a poor showing away to Manchester City.

Simon Mignolet 8/10 The Belgian's weaknesses were occasionally on display at White Hart Lane, but Mignolet's presence saved the blushes of the center backs on more than one occasion.

Transfer Window Updates [LIVE]

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We will be updating this post with all the latest transfer news until the window closes, with links to more in-depth news as well.

Be sure to let us know what you think of these transfers in the comments below.

- John Guidetti from Manchester City seems ready for another loan with a number of Serie A teams interested.

What We Learned From The Opening Round Of The Serie A

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The new season of Serie A began with no surprises and a low amount of goals only 19. It is a sign that all defences are still a work in progress.

Both Juventus and Roma, the two favorites teams in the Scudetto race, played on Saturday, and both gained victory. However, they challenged two opponents ranked very differently.

Striker May Be Needed If Juventus Want To Be Legitimate Champions League Contender

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Does Juventus need another attacker? Whether it be a new striker or an additional attacking-minded midfielder, is one needed?

It's early in the Serie A season, but coach Massimiliano Allegri has already shown that he will at the very least, occasionally rely on Antonio Conte's trend of using the 3-5-2 system.

Manchester United Sign Radamel Falcao On Season-Long Loan

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In one of the more dramatic deadline day deals in recent history, Manchester United have signed Radamel Falcao from AS Monaco to a season-long loan for a reported fee of£6 million. The 28-year-old reportedly earns £300,000-a-week, but United will not be expected to cover the full amount.

Newsof a deal between the two European clubs emanated from South America late Sunday night/early Monday morning.