EPL Talk Archives for January 2016

Costa lifts Chelsea as Norwich crash again [VIDEO]

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Chelsea moved into the top half of the Premier League for the first time since August as Diego Costa sealed a 2-1 win at struggling Norwich on Tuesday.

Guus Hiddink's side, who remain unbeaten in domestic action under their interim manager, climbed to eighth place thanks to first-half goals from Kenedy and Costa.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City predicted lineups and team news

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Liverpool will be looking for revenge when they play Manchester City on Wednesday (3pm ET on NBCSN) at Anfield after losing the Capital One Cup final to the Citizens on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's men fell behind early in the second half via Fernandinho's goal but Philippe Coutinho equalized seven minutes from time to send the game into extra-time.

Ian Darke renews contract with ESPN through 2020

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Ian Darke, arguablythe country's most popularsoccer commentator, has signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN to continue as the company's lead play-by-play announcer. The news comes as a blow to FOX Sports who reportedly were interested in hiring him to commentate the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 28

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NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage of 18 matches in five days continues today at 2 p.m. ET with Premier League Live, followed by first-place Leicester City v. West Bromwich Albion at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage continues tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 2, when Liverpool host fourth-place Manchester City at 3 p.

Deila urges Celtic to write themselves into history of the club

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila has urged his players to write themselves into the history of the club by winning their fifth league title in a row.

The Hoops have only achieved the feat twice before in their 128-year history with the last coming in the 1970s under the club's European Cup winning manager Jock Stein who eventually led the club to a record nine titles in a row.

Don’t rush Manchester United gem Marcus Rashford, warns Van Gaal

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Marcus Rashford's astonishing start in senior football has given Manchester United a significant lift at a key stage of a trying season, ahead of Watford's visit on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old striker has impressed in United's junior sides this season, scoring three times at Under-19 level and also finding the net regularly for the Under-21 team.

NGSN acquires Coppa Italia streaming rights in USA

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In time for the second legs of the semi-finals of the 2015/16 Coppa Italia, NGSN has acquired the legal streaming rights to the Italian cup competition in the US market.

With NGSN, you can watch all of the Coppa Italia games live and on-demand. Plus, the service is currently offering a free 30-day trial.

Spurs are Premier League title favorites says Ranieri

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Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has moved to take the pressure off his shock Premier League leaders by tipping Tottenham as title favorites.

Ranieri's side are two points clear of second placed Tottenham and host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday with Mauricio Pochettino's men facing West Ham on Wednesday.

Kickoff times announced for Copa America Centenario games

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CONCACAF has announced the kickoff times for all of the Copa America Centenario games that will be played on US soil this summer.

The good news for soccer fans is that none of the games clash with the Euro 2016 competition, so fans will be able to watch the best teams in Europe play on TV in the morning and afternoons, and then have a chance to watch soccer in-person in the evenings to see the stars from North and South America.

Wenger brands Arsenal criticism ‘excessive’

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Tuesday labelled criticism of his team's faltering Premier League title challenge "excessive" and "too emotional".

Sunday's 3-2 defeat at injury-ravaged Manchester United left Arsenal five points below league leaders Leicester City, compromising the London club's chances of ending their 12-year wait for the title.

A closer look at the medical conditions that Darren Fletcher and Andy Cole suffer from

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Modern day soccer players are widely seen as the epitome of health. Rigorous training regimes, strict dietary programs and advances in sports medicine ensure that these athletes have the best possible physique.

Nevertheless, even the body of a professional soccer player is not immune to illness.

Wenger challenges Arsenal to rebound from setback at Old Trafford

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Arsene Wenger challenged Arsenal to respond in this week's crucial fixtures after watching his team waste a glorious opportunity to close the gap at the top of the Premier League in Sunday's 3-2 loss at Manchester United.

Arsenal, seeking their first league title in 12 years, were bidding to stay within two points of surprise leaders Leicester City ahead of a home fixture against Swansea on Wednesday and a crucial visit to Tottenham looming on Saturday.

Examining the genius of Pep Guardiola and his greatest tactical legacy

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It is difficult to remember a time before Barcelona was an all-conquering force, and Pep Guardiola was hailed as a messiah amongst managers. The Catalan team has changed soccer as we know it both in terms of the way that they play, and the way that opponents need to play to stop them. Teams have been built from the ground up specifically with the idea of stopping Barcelona (Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid), academies have been set-up specifically to imitate La Masia (Manchester City), and their tactical formations have caught the eye of countless teams (Luis Enrique's Roma, Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City and early Liverpool teams, just to name a few).

Norwich vs. Chelsea predicted lineups and team news

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Chelsea will aim to continue their good run of form when they play relegation threatened Norwich at Carrow Road on Tuesday (2:45pm ET kickoff on Premier League Extra Time on US TV).

The Blues triumphed at Southampton last Saturday where a late winner from Branislav Ivanovic sealed the victory for Guus Hiddink's men, their second consecutive league win for the first time this season.

Ranieri rolls dice again as Leicester face West Brom

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Leicester City face the next test in their extraordinary Premier League title challenge with manager Claudio Ranieri prepared to take more risks in search of victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Ranieri's boldness was rewarded on Saturday as his substitutions paid off with a late 1-0 win against Norwich City.

Arsenal’s lack of leadership is a key weakness in the Gunners right now

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Arsenal's title hopes took a hit on Sunday following the north London club's 3-2 defeat away to Manchester United. During a recent stretch in which the Gunners have misfired in front of goal, it was the Arsenal defense that stumbled at Old Trafford. The massive match against Manchester United was only the third game during Premier League play this season that Arsenal conceded three or more goals.

Tottenham boss Pochettino serene as title realities bite

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said that the balm of victory would help his hobbling players prepare for Wednesday's Premier League clash with London rivals West Ham United.

Harry Kane wore a face mask to protect a broken nose against Swansea City on Sunday and Dele Alli injured his foot in the warm-up, but both players finished the match with smiles on their faces as Spurs came from behind to win 2-1.

Morata strike sees Juve clear with win over hapless Inter

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Alvaro Morata came off the bench to earn then score a late penalty as champions Juventus went four points clear at the top of Serie A on Sunday with a 2-0 win over hapless Inter Milan.

Days after rescuing their Champions League hopes with a 2-2 home draw with Bayern Munich, Juventus welcomed Roberto Mancini's visitors looking to steal a march on title challengers Napoli.

Barcelona records nothing without titles, says Luis Enrique

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Barcelona boss Luis Enrique insists he will only be satisfied once his side have delivered another La Liga title after equaling a Spanish record by stretching their unbeaten run to 34 games.

Barca were forced to come from behind against Sevilla on Sunday as a brilliant Lionel Messi free-kick and Gerard Pique's winner overcame Vitolo's early strike for the visitors.

League Cup triumph vindicates Pellegrini from Man City’s FA Cup disrespect

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said his side's League Cup final triumph over Liverpool vindicated his decision to field a weakened team in their recent FA Cup defeat by Chelsea.

Pellegrini came in for criticism for selecting a youthful team almost completely devoid of recognizable names for City's trip to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fifth round, which saw Chelsea win 5-1.

Infantino’s wants FIFA reforms to turn pain to joy

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Gianni Infantino insisted Sunday that FIFA's reform package would close the door on a chapter of pain at world football's governing body and usher in an era of joy.

The package will limit Infantino's powers compared to those formerly enjoyed by the disgraced Sepp Blatter, and there will be a 12-year term limit for all top officials and their earnings will be fully disclosed.

EPL GW 27 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley is joined by Laurence McKenna and Nipun Chopra to discuss the first cup final of the season. Will victory in the League Cup change Manchester City's course, and how much solace can Jurgen Klopp take from his first English cup final?

Then, the three hosts talk about the eight-match slate in the Premier League, one that saw Leicester City and Tottenham continue their winning ways while Arsenal stumbled at Old Trafford.

Man United 3-2 Arsenal: Van Gaal hails Rashford’s ‘special talent’

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Louis van Gaal hailed Marcus Rashford as a "special talent" after the teenager marked his Premier League debut for Manchester United with a dazzling double in their 3-2 win over Arsenal on Sunday.

Rashford had already scored twice on his first ever United start in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland on Thursday, and he continued his astonishing rise to prominence by tormenting the Arsenal defense at Old Trafford.

Aubameyang seals Dortmund’s late fightback win [VIDEO]

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted again as Borussia Dortmund scored three goals in the final ten minutes for a dramatic 3-1 comeback win over ten-man Hoffenheim on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

Hoffenheim captain Sebastian Rudy gave his side a deserved first-half lead in Dortmund before being sent off and the hosts were just ten minutes from their first home defeat of the season.

Caballero saves earn Manchester City League Cup glory against Liverpool

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Willy Caballero proved an unlikely hero with three penalty saves as Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 in a Wembley Stadium shootout on Sunday to win the English League Cup.

The game finished 1-1 following extra time, Philippe Coutinho equalising for Liverpool in the 83rd minute after Fernandinho had put City ahead early in the second half, and Caballero took centre-stage in the shootout.

Hiddink fumes at FA over Chelsea’s Cup date

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Guus Hiddink has attacked the decision to schedule Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Everton three days after the club's Champions League showdown against Paris Saint Germain.

Blues' interim manager Hiddink fears the demands being placed on his players are too high and believes it is time medical professionals had an influence on the fixture list.

Wayne Rooney out of England friendlies — Van Gaal

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Wayne Rooney will miss England's friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands next month due to his knee injury, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal told a British Sunday newspaper.

England captain and record goalscorer Rooney, 30, damaged knee ligaments during United's 2-1 defeat at Sunderland earlier this month.

USA’s Christian Pulisic living the German league dream at Dortmund

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He won't turn 18 until September, but Christian Pulisic is living the German league dream having been propelled from youth team football to a starting place with Borussia Dortmund.

The 17-year-old capped a lightning rise through Dortmund's ranks this season by starting on the left wing in their 1-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen last Sunday.

Where to find Man City vs. Liverpool Capital One Cup final on TV and live streaming

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Manchester City and Liverpool kick off on Sunday in the first chance for a team to win silverware this season.

Both teams come into the team under different circumstances. With Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini leaving this summer, this could be his one and only chance for his players to win a final trophy for him.

Claudio Ranieri happy for Leicester to settle for points not plaudits

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Claudio Ranieri says he is happy to settle for points rather than plaudits after Leicester City maintained their remarkable title challenge with an ugly 1-0 win over lowly Norwich City on Saturday.

Ranieri's side moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to Leonardo Ulloa's 89th-minute strike at the King Power Stadium.

Van Gaal puts Rashford’s Man United league debut on hold after Europa heroics

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Louis van Gaal has upset plenty of Manchester United fans already this season and may do so again by resisting calls for teenager Marcus Rashford to start against title-chasing Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Rashford had a dream senior debut on Thursday when, thrust in after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up, the striker responded by scoring twice in a 5-1 win over Danish side FC Midtjylland as United overcame a first leg deficit for a 6-3 aggregate success in their last 32 Europa League tie.

Southampton 1-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic’s late winner caps Blues fightback [VIDEO]

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Branislav Ivanovic's late header capped a stirring Chelsea fightback as the visitors scored twice in the last 15 minutes to win 2-1 at Southampton on Saturday.

Cesc Fabregas cancelled out Shane Long's first half opener in the 75th minute before Ivanovic completed the comeback in the 89th minute to extend interim manager Guus Hiddink's unbeaten domestic run to 13 games since he took charge in December.

New FIFA boss Infantino faces major challenges

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FIFA's new president Gianni Infantino on Saturday faced the mountainous task of reforming and uniting world football, with a pile of crises from the scandal-ridden Sepp Blatter era needing urgent action.

Infantino, an executive at European football confederation UEFA, promised an end to the dark days at FIFA following his convincing election win.

Bayern Munich throw down gauntlet to Dortmund after win against Wolfsburg

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Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich threw down the gauntlet to Borussia Dortmund ahead of next week's crunch Bundesliga showdown by going 11 points clear with a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.

With second-placed Dortmund hosting second-from-bottom Hoffenheim on Sunday, Bayern took the chance to extend their lead just four days after their Champions League draw at Juventus.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool predicted lineups and team news

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The first trophy of the season is up for grabs when Manchester City play Liverpool in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday (live on beIN SPORTS and fuboTV at 11:30am ET on US TV).

The Citizens are going for a second League Cup trophy in three years while Liverpool are looking to add to the eight League Cup titles in theirrecord books.

Real Madrid would be top if everyone was like me, rages Ronaldo

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Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the Spanish giants would be top of La Liga rather than nine points behind Barcelona if his team-mates matched his standards.

Ronaldo had a day to forget in front of goal as Real waved goodbye to any lasting hope of mounting a title challenge in a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday with even coach Zinedine Zidane admitting their challenge was over.

Manchester United vs. Arsenal predicted lineups and team news

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The main attraction in this weekend's Premier League fixtures involves traditional heavyweights Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday (live Sunday at 9am ET on NBCSN in the USA).

The Red Devils will be looking for revenge after the Gunners thrashed them 3-0 in the first clash of the season in early October, which ended a run of eight league games without a win against United for Arsene Wenger's men.

Manchester United home jersey for 2016/17 season leaked online [PHOTOS]

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New photographs of Manchester United's jersey that they'll be wearing in the 2016/17 season have been leaked online.

The latest photographs give us the best look at what the Red Devils will be wearing next season. The shirt sponsor and kit manufacturer stays the same, but the design of the shirt is different than the current jersey.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 27

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NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage of 18 matches in five days is highlighted by two matches between top-tier Premier League teams, when fifth-place Manchester United host third-place Arsenal this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 9:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO, and Liverpool host fourth-place Manchester City on Wednesday, Mar.

Hernanes committed to cause as Juve prepare for Inter in Serie A

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Brazilian midfielder Hernanes has surrendered hope of a free-scoring role but said he is committed to the cause as Juventus look to stretch their Serie A lead against his former club Inter Milan on Sunday.

Hernanes hit five goals in 26 appearances for Inter in his final full season before moving to Turin for 11m euros ($12.

Wolfsburg aim to stop Lewandowski making more history

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Wolfsburg are desperate to stop history repeating itself when they host Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday following Robert Lewandowski's historic five-gaul haul in the reverse fixture.

The Poland striker came off the bench and sent Bundesliga records tumbling with his nine-minute blitz single-handedly propelling Bayern to a 5-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg at Munich's Allianz Arena last September.

Lyon-PSG clash highlights gulf in French Ligue 1

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Paris Saint-Germain can provide further proof of the growing gulf in class between the champions elect and the rest of Ligue 1 when they travel to last year's runners-up Lyon on Sunday.

A fourth straight French league crown is well within sight for PSG, who could conceivably wrap up the championship next weekend, while Lyon's turbulent campaign has rendered last year's title challenge a distant memory.

Mexico jersey for Copa America Centenario leaked [PHOTOS]

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Just days after an image of the US Men's National Team jersey for the 2016 Copa America Centenario has been leaked on the Internet, a photograph of Mexico's home jersey for the same tournament is now online.

According to FootyHeadlines, "Based on the same template as the Adidas Belgium Euro 2016 home kit, the new Mexico 2016 home jersey is green with a subtle stripes panel on the front and sleeves.

Hiddink tells Chelsea to avoid manager ‘cover-up’

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Chelsea caretaker boss Guus Hiddink said Friday the Premier League champions should name their new full-time manager as soon as they have made an appointment.

Italy coach Antonio Conte has emerged as the leading candidate to take charge of the London club next season by which time's Hiddink's stint as interim manager is due to have come to an end.

Arsene Wenger backs Oxlade-Chamberlain to be fit for Euros

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Arsene Wenger hopes to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in a few weeks rather than six or seven but the Arsenal manager remains confident the England winger will be fit in time for Euro 2016.

The 22-year-old suffered a knee injury after a strong challenge by Javier Mascherano during Arsenal's Champions League defeat by holders Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday and eventually went off early in the second half.

Manchester United draw Liverpool in Europa League

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Eternal rivals Manchester United and Liverpool were drawn together in the Europa League last 16 in Nyon on Friday.

It is the first time the two most successful teams in English history have been drawn together in European competition.

United have won the English title 20 times and the Champions League three times, compared to 18 and five for Liverpool.

Gianni Infantino wins FIFA presidency

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Gianni Infantino was elected FIFA's new president on Friday, taking over from the disgraced Sepp Blatter and with the mission to rebuild world football's scandal tainted governing body.

Infantino, general secretary of European confederation UEFA, won in the second round of voting by 207 FIFA member associations at a congress in Zurich.

Liverpool vs. Man City League Cup Final preview: Success is critical for Klopp

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Although the merits of cup competitions in English soccer have been discussed in great detail this week, those Liverpool supporters making the trip to Wembley for the League Cup final won't have to have their pilgrimage vindicated.

The Reds will face Manchester City under the iconic arch on Sunday, seeking to win a trophy for the first time in four seasons, their first under the tutelage of new manager Jurgen Klopp and this competition for a record ninth occasion.

Madrid derby win a must for Cristiano Ronaldo in Barcelona chase

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Cristiano Ronaldo insists Real Madrid can still catch La Liga leaders Barcelona if they can overcome their hoodoo against local rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Real trail Atletico by a point and are nine adrift of Barca with just 13 games remaining, but can move up to second place should they beat Diego Simeone's men for the first time in six league games.

FIFA approves reforms ahead of new president vote

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FIFA members on Friday approved major reforms aiming to end corruption scandals ahead of voting for a new president who faces a mountainous task boosting the image of football's governing body.

The measures were adopted by 179 members, while 22 voted against and six abstained at a congress seeking to turn the page on Sepp Blatter's tainted rule.

Dream debut for Marcus Rashford as Man United advance in Europa League [VIDEO]

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Marcus Rashford, a teenage product of Manchester United's academy, enjoyed a dream debut by scoring twice in a 5-1 victory over Denmark's FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford on Thursday that took the Premier League side into the last 16 of the Europa League.

The 18-year-old was only thrust into the starting side when Anthony Martial was injured during the warm-up.

Liverpool and Tottenham sweep into Europa League last 16

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Manchester United came from behind to beat Midtjylland 5-1 with a brace from debut striker Marcus Rashford while Tottenham beat Fiorentina 3-0 and Liverpool squeezed past Augsburg to make the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday.

United had been trailing 2-1 from the first leg, and went 3-1 down on aggregate to the Danish champions before an own-goal, 18-year-old Rashford's brace, an emphatic Ander Herrera penalty and a late Memphis Depay strike saw United qualify 6-3 on aggregate.

Euro 2016: Most likely upsets

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Euro2016 is ahead of us, and, as always people keep talking about the favorites, about the best players. You will hear a lot of people claiming that it is obvious that the Germans will win the competition, or that England, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy will make it to the semi-finals. In this article we will take a look at the teams that might cause and upset and surprise everyone.

Mertesacker no longer guaranteed a starting spot in Arsenal’s lineup

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Former Germany international Per Mertesacker has been a mainstay in Arsenal's starting XI ever since his arrival to north London in 2011. The towering center back has averaged 48 total appearances over the last three seasons and played his 200th total match in red and white during Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at home to Barcelona on Tuesday.

CONCACAF adopts reforms; Agrees no block FIFA endorsement

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CONCACAF approved major reforms on Wednesday, part of the body's effort to move past a series of devastating scandals, as it confirmed it will not vote as a block in FIFA's presidential election.

The confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, which has been at the center of the crisis within world football, said its new governance measures would help curb graft.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on TV this weekend

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The first major piece of silverware in the English soccer season will be distributed this weekend in the League Cup final, as two of the Premier League's most entertaining outfits square off in what should be a fascinating tussle at Wembley Stadium.

That game is one of a selection of intriguing fixtures set to be staged on Saturday and Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo happy to remain at Real Madrid for remainder of his career

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Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo insists he could see out the remainder of his career at Real Madrid due to his love for the Spanish capital.

The Portuguese has been consistently linked with a move back to Manchester United or to Paris Saint-Germain despite becoming Madrid's all-time record goalscorer with 347 goals in just seven years at the club.

Messi sends autographed jerseys to his little Afghan fan

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Argentine football star Lionel Messi has sent not one, but two jerseys to the five-year-old Afghan boy who became an Internet sensation last month when he was pictured wearing a plastic bag with "Messi" scrawled on it in marker pen.

Murtaza Ahmadi traveled with his family from eastern Ghazni province to Kabul to receive the gifts sent by Messi through UNICEF, where he is a goodwill ambassador.

Celtic manager looking for complete performance against Hamilton

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila is targeting a repeat performance of their record 8-1 win over Hamilton Academical when the two sides clash at New Douglas Park on Friday evening.

The home thrashing of Martin Canning's side last month was the biggest-ever win in the short history of the Scottish Premiership as the Glasgow giants humbled Hamilton.

Superb Manchester City have quarter-finals in sight after beating Kiev

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Manchester City may be toiling domestically at the moment but they produced a superb European away performance to beat Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in Ukraine in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Wednesday.

Manuel Pellegrini's side did enough to win the game in the first half with Sergio Aguero and David Silva both scoring to underline their importance to City.

League Cup Final and EPL GW 27 preview; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer to look back on the week in UEFA Champions League, one in which Manchester City moved closer to their first quarterfinal appearance while Arsenal felt the full force of defending champions Barcelona. Richard and Kartik also preview Thursday's Europa League action, where Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham will play for spots in the tournament's Round of 16.

Why does David Beckham want Jose Mourinho back in Premier League?

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This week, former Manchester United great David Beckham told reporters that he wants to see Jose Mourinho managing a Premier League team as soon as possible. Beckham's comments come amid speculation that the former Chelsea boss is hoping to replace Louis Van Gaal as Manchester United's manager. Most and if not all online betting sites currently have Mourinho as the favorite to replace Van Gaal.

Euro 2016: Most likely group winners

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The Euro2016 will feature 24 teams that are divided into 6 groups- A through F. Until this year 16 teams participated in the European Championships, and 16 teams will progress to the knock-out stage, including the first and second team from each group and the four best ranked third teams. We will take a look at the groups and the teams that are most likely to come on top of each group.

Why Pep Guardiola should have chosen Manchester United

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Exactly what Pep Guardiola wants to achieve in the rest of his football career, only he knows. But surely he has missed a trick by choosing to manage Manchester City over their local rivals United.

Considered by many football betting pundits and football figures to be the world's best coach, the 45-year-old has already accomplished more than most of his peers can ever dream of – two Champions League titles, La Liga three times, the Bundesliga twice (soon to be three, surely), two Copa del Reys, the German Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup on three occasions.

FIFA candidate Sheikh Salman ‘knew about player beatings,’ says source

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A former Bahrain international has claimed in a German documentary that FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman is lying about his knowledge of players being tortured in the Middle Eastern state.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa is the front-runner to replace disgraced Sepp Blatter as president of world football's governing body in Friday's vote in Zurich.

Individual tickets now on sale for Copa America Centenario

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Tickets are now on sale for this summer's Copa America Centenario, which will be played across the United States in New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Orlando, Phoenix, Seattle, Pasadena, Foxborough, Santa Clara, Houston and Chicago.

If you want to buy individual tickets to any of the games, they're not available until March 4.

Pressure still on Louis Van Gaal in Midtjylland return

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The gloom that has been descending on Manchester United lifted a little when they beat Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Monday, but manager Louis van Gaal remains a man facing problems.

United's manager has no margin for error as he attempts to maintain his team's chances of a European trophy when they face Midtjylland at Old Trafford on Thursday.

USA’s black home jersey for 2016 leaked online [PHOTO]

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An alleged photograph of the US Men's National Team home jersey for 2016 has been leaked on the Internet.

Designed and manufactured by Nike, the home jersey for the USA team in 2016 will be black instead of the typical white jersey. It's a special shirt design that the USMNT will wear at the Copa America Centenario.

Liverpool look for Euro boost before League Cup final

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted he will not be viewing Thursday's Europa League clash with Augsburg as an unwelcome distraction despite the game coming less than 72 hours before the League Cup final.

Klopp has the chance to lift a first piece of silverware as Anfield boss when the Reds face Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday, but he is keen for European progress as well.

Daniel Sturridge hits back at Liverpool taunts

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has said suggestions he doesn't want to play for the Merseyside club are "astonishing and disappointing".

Sturridge's commitment to the Anfield club has been called into question during two years where his career has been blighted by injuries, with some even suggesting his religious beliefs were influencing his lack of availability.

FIFA reduces Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini bans to six years

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A FIFA appeal committee on Wednesday reduced bans against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini to six years but maintained they were still guilty of ethics breaches.

The appeal result was announced as UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and Asian football leader Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa stepped up their rivalry to take over as head of football's scandal-tainted world body in a vote on Friday.

Where to watch the FIFA Presidential Election on US TV and live streaming

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This Friday, the members of FIFA will elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter. Impressively, both ESPN and FOX Sports are planning wall-to-wall coverage regarding the important development in soccer's governing body.

Here are all of the details you need:

TV

FOX Sports 1 —Live coverage begins at 3am ET / midnight PT on Friday morning.

Harry Kane out of Fiorentina Europa League clash

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Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane will miss the Europa League tie against Fiorentina at White Hart Lane on Thursday, manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed.

Pochettino said both England forward Kane and Mousa Dembele would miss the last 32 second leg match against the Italian side, which takes place with the tie all square at 1-1.

China could win World Cup in 10 years, says Sven-Goran Eriksson

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's dream of his country winning the World Cup could come true in a decade, former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said, according to reports.

"Now, in 2016, it seems that every player wants to come to China for the same reasons," Eriksson, now the manager of Shanghai SIPG, said in Australia ahead of an Asian Champions League match against Melbourne Victory.

Top 10 Premier League TV markets in the United States

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NBC Sports Group has revealed the top 10 U.S. markets with the highest combined ratings across NBC, NBCSN and USA Network for Premier League matches this season (through Feb. 14):

Here's the list:

1. Washington, DC
2. Hartford & New Haven
3.

Petr Cech says Arsenal ‘still alive’ after Barcelona loss

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said Wednesday his team still had a chance to reach the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 2-0 loss to reigning titleholders Barcelona.

"We are still alive," the 33-year-old Czech Republic keeper said on his website following Tuesday's loss at the Emirates.

Copa America and Euro 2016 schedules combined into one

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For soccer fans, this summer promises to be one of the best ones ever with a fantastic lineup of Copa America Centenario matches involving some of the greatest players in the world playing on US soil, while many of the other world-class footballers will grace our TV sets as they compete in the Euro 2016 tournament.

CAS to rule on FIFA voting secrecy amid delay demands

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FIFA contender Prince Ali bin al Hussein wants the international sports tribunal to delay the world football leadership election on Friday if transparent voting booths are not used, his lawyers said.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said it would rule by Thursday, the eve of the vote, whether to order FIFA to change the organization of the vote.

Pellegrini confident Manchester City will end recent slump in Kiev

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Manuel Pellegrini insisted his Manchester City players are fully focused as they look to end a run of three successive defeats in their Champions League last 16, first leg tie at Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday.

Pellegrini named a side with five teenage full debutants for the 5-1 FA Cup thrashing by Chelsea on Sunday, with the game in Ukraine in mind.

How to watch the BBC, ITV and other TV channels from around the world

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No matter where you live across the USA (or anywhere in the world), you can watch the BBC, ITV and other UK networks by signing up for a free 7-day trial to Unblockus, which is a smart DNS service that allows you to change your computer settings so the BBC and ITV websites think you're visiting from the UK.

Milan can battle for Champions League, says boss Mihajlovic

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AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic insists the fallen Serie A giants can fight for a place in next season's Champions League after a battling 1-1 draw with Napoli that dented their opponents' title hopes.

Napoli welcomed Milan to the San Paolo on Monday looking to capitalize on Juventus's stalemate at Bologna on Friday with a win that would have sent them a point clear of Juve at the top.

Euro 2016: Betting preview

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2016 is the year when we have a European Championship in soccer. This year's tournament is going to be held in France, the opening match will be played on June 10 and the final on July 10. This year, for the first time we will have 24, instead of 16 nations competing for the title- Champion of Europe.

Why Neymar could join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City

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The 2015/16 Premier League season is not even over and everyone is looking ahead to the next campaign, especially with a certain Pep Guardiola heading over to England.

The former Barcelona manager will leave his role at Bayern Munich at the end of the season and head over to the Etihad Stadium to take over as Manchester City's new manager.

Jose Mourinho says Manchester United top job is ‘a one million dollar question’

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Sacked Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Wednesday he is "happy not to have a job" at the moment and kept coy about taking the helm at Manchester United, saying that was "a one million-dollar question".

Mourinho spoke before students at a suburban secondary school in Singapore in conjunction with a scholarship foundation set up by Valencia Football Club owner Peter Lim, who is from the city-state.

Juventus 2-2 Bayern Munich: Sturaro rescues Juve in dramatic draw [VIDEO]

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Super-sub Stefano Sturaro came off the bench to hit a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich as outclassed Juventus rescued their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday.

Bayern dominated throughout a one-sided encounter at a packed Juventus Stadium and took a 43rd minute lead through Thomas Mueller.

Arsenal 0-2 Barca: Messi magic leaves Gunners spellbound [VIDEO]

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Lionel Messi left Arsenal spellbound as the Barcelona striker's clinical double sealed a 2-0 last 16, first leg victory that put the Champions League holders firmly on course for the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Barca coach Luis Enrique joked this week that all he needed to do was shout 'Abracadabra' for Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez to deliver the kind of magic display that would bewilder the Gunners.

Two-thirds of fans have no faith in FIFA

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With FIFA scheduled to vote for a new president to replace disgraced Sepp Blatter on Friday, two-thirds of fans do not trust soccer's governing body, claims anti-corruption group Transparency International.

The Berlin-based body on Tuesday announced the results of a new poll of 25,000 fans in 28 countries which shows deep distrust of FIFA.

Police foil bid to blackmail Bayern Munich

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A former German bank robber has been charged with blackmail for allegedly trying to extort millions in cash and diamonds from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich with bomb threats, police said Tuesday.

The German league leaders received two letters on February 9 and 15 containing vague threats, involving bombs and drones, and reported demands for one million euros ($1.

Watch the ‘Missed Warnings’ documentary about Bradford City fire disaster [VIDEO]

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On May 11, 1985, a fire erupted during a game at Bradford City's stadium in Yorkshire, England.

What started out as a small blaze quickly erupted into an inferno, trapping innocent people and burning many of them alive. It was one of the darkest days in football. In all, 265 people were injured.

David Beckham pleads for Louis Van Gaal patience

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David Beckham has come to the defense of under-pressure Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, saying the Dutchman needs time to turn the club's fortunes around.

United's 3-0 FA Cup win over third-tier Shrewsbury on Monday gave Van Gaal some breathing space but the club still need to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit at home to Danish side FC Midtjylland Thursday if they are to progress in the Europa League.

Prince Ali seeks FIFA vote suspension

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FIFA presidential contender Prince Ali bin al Hussein has called on the international sport tribunal to suspend Friday's world football election over the voting arrangements.

The Jordanian prince, one of five hopefuls, wants transparent voting booths used at the congress to find a replacement for Sepp Blatter.

Sepp Blatter biography to be released in weeks, says publisher

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An authorized biography of Sepp Blatter written by the shamed FIFA president's former spokesman will be released next month, the publisher said Tuesday, four days before an election to choose Blatter's successor.

"It is really a journey through Sepp Blatter's life," said Alain Diezig of publisher Werd&Weber.

Luis Enrique ready to dazzle Arsenal with Barcelona’s magic trio

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has warned Arsenal they will be left spell-bound when he unleashes his bewitching forwards in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Enrique's side head to the Emirates Stadium for the last 16 first leg on a 32-match unbeaten run in all competitions and with their front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar having scored 91 goals between them this season.

Manchester City can rule Europe says Joe Hart

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Joe Hart insists Manchester City can win the Champions League this season despite their injury woes and recent poor form.

Manuel Pellegrini's side travel to face Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their last 16 tie in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday.

But City goalkeeper Hart and his team-mates boarded the flight with morale low after three successive defeats in all competitions.

Manchester United stroll against Shrewsbury spares Louis van Gaal more misery

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Manchester United cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win at Shrewsbury on Monday that at least temporarily eased the mounting pressure on Louis van Gaal.

Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard netted the goals as United wrapped up a businesslike victory against their third tier hosts to secure a last eight date with West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Alarm bells over cost of FIFA vote promises

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Scandal-tainted FIFA is heading for a $100 million-plus deficit for 2015 and rival candidates for the leadership of football's world body have warned of catastrophe if some campaign promises are carried out.

FIFA has $1.5 billion in cash in the bank and its riches are a key battle for the five rivals who will take part in Friday's vote for a replacement for Sepp Blatter.

Rejuvenated Juventus look ready to match the might of Guardiola’s Bayern Munich

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After a few seasons of wrestling with the best way to approach the UEFA Champions League, Juventus cracked the European soccer puzzle last term.

Massimiliano Allegri built on the superb work done by Antonio Conte in his first campaign in charge, winning the league title and the domestic cup.

Bayern Munich set to spend big to keep Robert Lewandowski

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Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller are closing in on the Bundesliga's record goal-haul for a partnership with the Bavarians reportedly set to spend big to keep the duo together.

Mueller netted twice and Lewandowski scored their third in Saturday's 3-1 comeback win at home to Darmstadt for the runaway league leaders.

USSF continuing Blazer-era closed-shop due to soccer media giving them a ‘free ride’

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A narrative has emerged from the recent FIFA scandal that while corruption is rife around the sport, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and Major League Soccer (MLS) are somehow immune to this disease. Never mind that a large portion of the alleged crimes related to the FIFA scandal happened on American soil and involved multiple figures close to the USSF.

Japan Olympic teams to train in nuclear clean-up zone

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Japan's Olympic soccer teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games at a complex currently being used as a base for thousands of workers cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) said Monday that the Japanese men's and women's teams would hold their training camps at J-Village, once the country's centre of excellence until it was taken over by plant operators following the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Turkish referee ‘shown red card’ in stormy top-flight clash

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Turkish football faced new questions over the credibility of the game Monday after an anarchic clash between Galatasaray and Trabzonspor ended with just seven footballers from the Black Sea side on the pitch and one of its players showing the referee the red card.

The Sunday night Super Lig clash between Galatasaray of Istanbul and Trabzonspor of Trabzon one of the most venomous rivalries in the Turkish game was marked by a litany of penalties, ill discipline and poor refereeing.

Argentina and Chile face rematch after Copa America draw

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Lionel Messi and Argentina were given a chance for revenge after being drawn against reigning Copa America champions Chile in the group stage for this summer's special centenary edition of the tournament.

Argentina suffered an agonizing defeat to Chile in the climax of last June's tournament in Santiago as their major championship drought continued.

USA should seize Copa America opportunity to be a force to be reckoned with

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The 2016 Copa America Centenario offers the US Men's National Team a unique opportunity to test itself before the Hex begins later this fall. Since they did not qualify for the Confederations Cup in Russia, this is likely their best chance to be World Cup ready by testing themselves against the best teams in the Americas.

FA Cup review and EPL title predictions; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley and Laurence McKenna look back on fifth round action in the FA Cup, with Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Everton posting impressive victories en route to the quarterfinals. Richard and Laurence also discuss Rooney to China, Mourinho to Manchester, as well as mid-week Champions League matches for Arsenal and Manchester City.

Copa America Centenario schedule

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The schedule has been finalized for this summer's Copa America Centenario, which honors 100 years of the Copa America tournament. The competition will feature many of the greatest teams in the world including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia as well as North American countries Mexico and the United States of America.

Defiant Pellegrini denies Manchester City disrespected FA Cup

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Manuel Pellegrini refused to apologise for his controversial decision to field a team of youngsters after Manchester City were dumped out of the FA Cup with a 5-1 thrashing at Chelsea.

Pellegrini stood accused of disrespecting the famous old competition as he selected six teenagers, with five making their full debuts, and then watched them suffer City's heaviest defeat since their Abu Dhabi-based owners bought the club in 2008.

Chelsea and West Ham through as Spurs exit FA Cup

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London sides Chelsea and West Ham both reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday as city rivals Tottenham Hotspur were knocked out by fellow capital club Crystal Palace.

Martin Kelly was Palace's unlikely hero at White Hart Lane as his first goal for the south London side and first for anyone since he scored 1,545 days previously for Liverpool at Chelsea in November 2011 on the stroke of half-time proved the difference.

Protest by Leverkusen coach halts play as Aubameyang seals Dortmund win [VIDEO]

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 21st league goal in Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday after the referee made Bundesliga history by briefly stopping play when the home coach refused to go to the stands.

Confusion reigned for nine second-half minutes at Leverkusen's BayArena when Bayer coach Roger Schmidt refused match official Felix Zwayer's order to leave the sidelines which led to the game being halted.

Real Madrid rue Cristiano Ronaldo missed penalty in Malaga draw [VIDEO]

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Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Real Madrid's hopes of catching La Liga leaders Barcelona were all but ended with a 1-1 draw at Malaga on Sunday.

Gary Neville's upturn in fortunes as Valencia boss continued with a third win in a week, 2-1 at Granada.

Madrid remain nine points behind Barca with 13 games to go after Raul Albentosa cancelled out Ronaldo's opener 24 minutes from time.

Leicester and Spurs prove possession stats are meaningless in the Premier League

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This season has been one to make the Premier League weep with joy. Three establishment teams (Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool) are having or have had dramatic troubles and it's looking increasingly likely that the other pre-season title favorite, Manchester City, will have to make do with just a UEFA Champions League place.

FA Cup 6th Round Draw features Everton vs. Chelsea among must-see matches

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The draw for the 2015/16 quarterfinals of the FA Cup have been made, and there are some cracking ties in store.

After Chelsea's 5-1 demolition of Manchester City in the FA Cup 5th Round, we now knowsix of the eight teams that have made into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The remaining question marks are Shrewsbury orManchester United (who play tomorrow), while Arsenal and Hull City have to go to a replay.

Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal to be ruthless against Barcelona

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Arsene Wenger accepted his Arsenal side must be more ruthless against Barcelona than they were against Hull when the Champions League holders arrive at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Wenger's team were left frustrated as they were held to a scoreless draw by second-tier side Hull City in the fifth round of the FA Cup ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against the Catalans.

Injuries no excuse for Carrick ahead of Manchester United’s crunch FA Cup tie

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Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has rejected suggestions the club's lengthy injury list can be used as an excuse for failure in their FA Cup fifth round visit to third-tier Shrewsbury Town on Monday.

Beleaguered manager Louis van Gaal has frequently blamed the club's injury woes for an unsatisfactory campaign which has seen his own future at Old Trafford brought sharply into question.

Copa America Centenario draw; Where to watch it on US TV and live streaming

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If you find out where to watch the draw for the Copa America Centenario on US TV and live streaming, here's all of the information you need.

The Copa America Centenario, a once-in-a-lifetime soccer event, which honors 100 years of the Copa America tournament, will feature some of the world's best teams and players competing from June 3-26, 2016, across the United States.

Totti slams Roma and Spalletti over lack of ‘respect’

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Italian football icon Francesco Totti has demanded more "respect" from Roma and hit out at coach Luciano Spalletti for talking behind his back in the media.

Injury woes this season have kept 39-year-old Totti, who is in his 23rd year with the Serie A club, on the bench a situation that has left him "feeling bad".

‘Not the time for deals’ on FIFA presidency, says Infantino

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Gianni Infantino, among the favorites to take the helm of FIFA, said in an interview published Sunday there would be no deals among the candidates ahead of this week's vote for a new president.

"This is not the time for deals," the 45-year-old UEFA executive told the Le Matin Dimanche weekly.

Moyes calls on Manchester United to back Van Gaal

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Former Manchester United manager David Moyes says the Old Trafford hierarchy should keep faith with his embattled successor Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal is under severe pressure after United's disappointing season hit a new low with a dismal 2-1 defeat at Danish minnows FC Midtjylland in the Europa League last 32 first leg on Thursday.

Arsenal face FA Cup replay headache that could impact title chase

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FA Cup holders Arsenal were left with an unwanted replay after a goalless draw against Hull in their last-16 clash at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Arsenal, bidding to become the first side since the 19th Century to win the FA Cup three years in a row, dominated the game but could not find a way past Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, who made several fine saves.

Leigh Griffiths double sends Celtic six clear at top

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Leigh Griffiths grabbed a double as Celtic extended their lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points with a 3-0 defeat of Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Parkhead on Saturday.

Celtic had to wait until the 53rd minute to open the scoring thanks to a deflected Gary Mackay-Steven strike, and Griffiths added two more to take his tally for the season to 32 goals.

Luis Suarez and Neymar open up nine-point Barca lead

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Barcelona moved nine points clear at the top of La Liga thanks to first-half goals from Luis Suarez and Neymar despite an unconvincing display in a 2-1 win at Las Palmas on Saturday.

Suarez opened the scoring early on with his 41st goal of the season, but Willian Jose deservedly leveled for the hosts inside 10 minutes.

Burnley bolster bid to reach Premier League after vital win

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Burnley bolstered their bid to win automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Championship strugglers Rotherham on Saturday.

With leaders Hull holding Arsenal to a draw in the FA Cup and Middlesbrough not in action this weekend, Sean Dyche's team moved into second place courtesy of Sam Vokes' first-half penalty and Scott Arfield's late strike at Turf Moor.

West Brom’s Chris Brunt pelted with coins by own fans [VIDEO]

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West Bromwich Albion defender Chris Brunt was pelted with coins by his own club's fans after their surprise FA Cup fifth round defeat at Reading on Saturday.

Brunt had gone over to applaud Albion's traveling fans following their 3-1 loss to the second tier side, but the mood turned sour and he went down clutching his face as coins rained down from angry supporters.

Massimo Moratti sister drops Mourinho to Manchester United hint

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A 'happy' Jose Mourinho will become Manchester United's next manager, according to reports in Italy Saturday citing a sister of former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti.

Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea two months ago, has been increasingly linked to Louis Van Gaal's job at United as the Dutchman continues to struggle at Old Trafford.

Chelsea vs. Manchester City predicted lineups and team news

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Cheslea host Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round tie on Sunday knowing this is probably their best chance of winning any silverware this season (live on US TV on FOX Sports 2 from Sunday 11am ET).

The Blues have not been at their best this season by their standards but they still have a decent chance of finishing the campaign on a high if they manage success in the FA Cup or the Champions League.

Thomas Mueller’s golazo rescues Bayern Munich against Darmstadt [VIDEO]

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Thomas Mueller netted twice on Saturday as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Darmstadt 3-1 in their last match before their Champions League clash at Juventus.

With second-placed Borussia Dortmund playing on Sunday, Bayern took their chance to go 11 points clear in Germany's top flight but Mueller had to dig them out of trouble at the Allianz Arena before Robert Lewandowski added their third goal.

What Orlando City can expect from new signing Antonio Nocerino

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Antonio Nocerino has become the newest European import to join Major League Soccer as the former AC Milan midfielder joined Orlando Citythis week. While Nocerino has spent the last two seasons shuttled between various teams in England and Italy, his experience and quality will provide Orlando City with a player that can link defense and attack; or score much needed goals from midfield.

Mario Balotelli could be the next star heading to the Chinese Super League

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Mario Balotelli may be the latest big name footballer to move to the Chinese Super League, as Liverpool look to offload the out of form striker to the Far East.

Currently, on loan at AC Milan, Balotelli has failed to crack the starting XI of the Italian team when fit. Recently, the striker was heavily criticized by manager Sinisa Mihajlovic after a poor two minute outing against Genoa.

3 reasons for Aston Villa supporters to be optimistic if they’re relegated

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With no FA Cup thisweekend and coming off the back of a 6 nil drubbing against Liverpool in the Premier League, Aston Villa's shockingly bad season continues to roll on and relegation seems inevitable.

Eightpoints separate them from the rest of the trailing pack and points are urgently needed if the Villa are to perform the greatest escape.

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini buys another green company, this time based in Minnesota

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Pope Francis, President Obama and Mathieu Flamini. Believe it or not, these four have something significant in common. The actor, the Pope, and the president all are prominent advocates of climate change and you can now add Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini to the list.

It was revealed last November that Flamini co-founded a company nearly eight years ago that could potentially be worth billions of dollars.

Hiddink confident Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea

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Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink said Friday that Eden Hazard was happy to stay at Stamford Bridge but has told him he must improve following his disappointing season so far.

The Belgian playmaker has not come close to the high standards he set last term, amid speculation he is being courted by Paris Saint-Germain.

Wenger might have quit if Arsenal had lost 2014 FA Cup final to Hull

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Arsene Wenger said Friday that his time as Arsenal manager could have come to an end if the Gunners had lost the 2014 FA Cup final to Hull.

Arsenal, who face the same opponents in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, found themselves 2-0 down inside eight minutes as Hull took a shock lead at Wembley two years ago.

British MP says Qatar has made ‘progress’ on workers’ conditions

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The head of a British parliamentary delegation on a fact-finding visit to Qatar said Friday the World Cup 2022 hosts had made "progress" on the controversial issue of workers' welfare.

Conservative Phillip Lee, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for Qatar, said Doha has listened to its critics over its treatment of migrant workers.

Napoli ‘alive and kicking’ ahead of Milan clash

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said the title-chasers are "alive and kicking" as they look to stop Juventus opening up a four-point lead with a win against AC Milan this weekend (live in the USA on beIN SPORTS Monday at 3pm ET).

Napoli, bidding for their first Serie A title in 26 years, slipped to second place at one point behind Juve after the latter's 1-0 victory in Turin last week.

No sour grapes in Augsburg as Jurgen Klopp has fun with translator [VIDEO]

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Liverpool's German coach Jurgen Klopp had fun with an English translator after his side's goalless Europa League draw at Augsburg on his first trip to Germany with the Reds.

Having previously said Liverpool have a good chance of winning what he describes as "the little Champions League", Klopp was frustrated as his side failed to take their chances in the round of 32, first leg in Bavaria on Thursday.

Louis Van Gaal must quit, says Manchester United fans group and newspaper

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A leading supporters' organization said Manchester United had hit a "new low" as the local newspaper took the unusual step of calling for manager Louis van Gaal to be sacked following Thursday's Europa League defeat by unheralded Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Some United fans who made the trip to Herning, where match tickets cost as much as £71 (91 Euros, $101), were heard to turn on their own side with abusive chants as United suffered a miserable 2-1 loss.

Top favorites to win the 2016 Premier League title

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With only a handful of matches left in the game calendar, the English Premier League title race is getting hotter than ever. There's nothing decided at this point of the season, as several teams still engaged in a fierce battle for the coveted title. But who is the favorite to take the crown? According to online betting website MyBookie.

Bayern Munich eye club record at home to Darmstadt

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Bayern Munich could make club history on Saturday as a clean sheet against Darmstadt in the Bundesliga would see Pep Guardiola's side go a record six home games without conceding a goal.

Arsenal were the last club to score against Bayern at Munich's Allianz Arena back in November when Olivier Giroud scored the Gunners' consolation in a 5-1 loss.

We must focus on ourselves not Aberdeen, says Celtic’s Stuart Armstrong

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Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong says the Hoops have to concentrate on their own performances as they prepare to host Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Parkhead on Saturday.

Nearest rivals Aberdeen, who fell to a surprise 3-1 loss to Inverness on Monday, have a chance to draw level with the Glasgow giants at the top of the Scottish Premiership if they can defeat Partick Thistle at Firhill on Friday.

On-fire Barcelona eye commanding La Liga lead

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Barcelona can open up a nine-point gap at the top of La Liga ahead of their return to Champions League action against Arsenal next week when they travel to Las Palmas on Saturday.

The European champions extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 31 games with a seventh consecutive La Liga win thanks to a brilliant Lionel Messi double and Luis Suarez's 40th goal of the season in a 3-1 victory at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday.

Wenger targets FA Cup boost before Barcelona showdown

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A daunting Champions League showdown with Barcelona quickly follows Arsenal's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Hull City, but Arsene Wenger is unlikely to make too many changes to his preferred line-up on Saturday.

Wenger's side are the Cup holders after successfully retaining the famous old trophy last season by thrashing Aston Villa 4-0 in the final.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on TV this weekend

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Although the Premier League has been a fine watch this season, the FA Cup always provides soccer fans in with England an exciting change of pace.

The weekend provides two kind of clashes which make the competition so special too. The first is a tussle between two of the Premier League's established elite sides, each seeking to salvage something from a disappointing season.

Pellegrini may select 7 U-21 players for Manchester City FA Cup match vs. Chelsea

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Managers threatening to play a weakened team in the FA Cup has become a familiar sound in recent seasons and Manuel Pellegrini joined the chorus ahead of Manchester City's fifth-round tie away to Chelsea on Sunday.

At both ends of the Premier League, the financial incentive to either qualify for the Champions League or avoid relegation has led to many managers drawing on their extended squads for FA Cup ties.

Arsenal’s options for club captain in the 2016/17 season

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Midfielder Mikel Arteta has been Arsenal's club captain since Thomas Vermaelen departed north London for Barcelona in the summer of 2014. While it was understandable why manager Arsene Wenger chose to implement Arteta as his captain, the former Everton star wasn't exactly the overwhelming selection by many Gunner supporters (including yours truly).

Spurs hold Fiorentina, while Dortmund and Sevilla record wins

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Premier League title contenders Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, came away from their trip to Italy to face Fiorentina with an excellent 1-1 draw that puts them in a strong position ahead of next week's return.

Mauricio Pochettino sent out a strong side, albeit one missing first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and with Harry Kane on the bench.

Bayern Munich’s injury list is ‘no accident,’ claims expert

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Pep Guardiola's horrendous injury list at Bayern Munich is "no accident or misfortune", but down to the wrong training structure at the German giants, says one of Germany's leading sports scientists.

Bayern face Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League in Turin next Tuesday with Guardiola's squad so decimated by injury that he did not have a single fit center-back for Sunday's 3-1 league win at Augsburg.

Louis Van Gaal bemoans Manchester United’s luck after Europa League loss

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Louis van Gaal refused to take the blame for Manchester United's latest humiliation as the embattled boss claimed bad luck was the reason for Thursday's humiliating 2-1 defeat against Danish side FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.

Van Gaal's side were expected to coast to victory in the last 32, first leg, but they failed to build on Memphis Depay's first-half goal as strikes from Pione Sisto and Paul Onuachu rocked crisis-torn United.

Samuel Eto’o blocks ex’s ‘Revenge Porn’ book

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Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o on Thursday succeeded in having a tell-all book written by his former girlfriend banned by the High Court of Paris, but the editor confirmed they have appealed the decision.

Nathalie Koah's 'Revenge Porn Football, sex, money: the testimony of Samuel Eto'o's ex', tells the story of a woman who considers herself "humiliated and betrayed".

Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of 2/12 to 2/14

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Of the soccer games shown live on US cable and satellite channels last weekend, seven of the top 10 most-watched games were televised on NBCSN. Six of them were Premier League matches, while the seventh was the Olympic qualifying game between the United States and Mexico women's teams.

It was an exceedingly good Sunday morning for NBCSN's coverage of the Premier League as a combined audience of 1.

Bologna key to keeping Napoli at bay, says Allegri

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes Friday's away trip to Bologna will be crucial to keeping title rivals Napoli at bay as the champions begin preparations for the imminent, bigger challenge of Bayern Munich.

Juventus, the four-time consecutive champions, sit top of Serie A with a one-point lead on Napoli after a 1-0 win over Maurizio Sarri's title-chasers in Turin.

Manchester United’s ‘Class of ‘92’ are overhyped and overrated

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Ah, 1992, what a year. George Bush and Boris Yeltsin declared a formal end to the Cold War; the Yugoslav Federation broke up; Los Angeles burned amid the Rodney King riots; the Czechoslovak Parliament much like Charles and Di's marriage councillor approved separation, and Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs lead England’s Europa League charge

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Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Sevilla and a host of continental big guns as well as English clubs Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool swing into Europa League action in the last-32 knock out phase on Thursday.

In fact one clash has already begun on Tuesday as Turkey's Fenerbahce took a 2-0 advantage over rusty Lokomotiv Moscow, who were playing their first match since the Russian winter break began.

Bayern’s Guardiola short at the back as Juventus loom

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Pep Guardiola acknowledges Bayern Munich have a height problem ahead of their key Champions League clash at Juventus as an injury crisis has left them short at the back.

While striker Robert Lewandowski is head and shoulders above his rivals, scoring twice in Sunday's 3-1 win at Augsburg, injuries meant Bayern fielded a back four with an average height of under five foot nine inches (1.

England’s 4th Champions League spot is in jeopardy: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley and Nipun Chopra look back at the return of Champions League, with Chelsea putting in one of their best performances of the season during a close loss at Paris Saint-Germain. The hosts also talk about Wayne Rooney's injury, Eden Hazard's nod toward PSG, as well as a busy Thursday for Premier League teams in Europa League.

Zidane keeps cool as Real Madrid march on against Roma in first leg [VIDEO]

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Zinedine Zidane won't admit it yet, but 10-time winners Real Madrid remain on course for a sixth consecutive Champions League semi-final appearance after a clinical 2-0 win at Roma in the first leg of their last 16 tie on Wednesday.

World Cup winner Zidane won the competition as a player with Real in 2002 and as assistant to former Carlo Ancelotti when the 'Galacticos' claimed their record 10th European Cup or 'Decima' in 2014.

Julian Draxler double sees Wolfsburg home against Gent [VIDEO]

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Julian Draxler netted twice as Wolfsburg sealed a 3-2 win at Gent on Wednesday to leave the Germans on course for the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old scored either side of the break in the last 16, first-leg clash, with Max Kruse also on target, but two late goals from Gent gave the Belgian champions some hope for the return leg on March 8 in Wolfsburg.

Messi passes 300 Liga goals as Barcelona extend lead

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Lionel Messi moved past 300 La Liga goals as Barcelona moved six points clear at the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday.

The five-time World Player of the Year struck either side of Carlos Castro's well-worked equalizer in a three-goal burst in five first-half minutes.

Why Spurs need to ‘go for’ Europa League and FA Cup as well as Premier League title

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Tottenham's incredible season is now met with an incredible dilemma. Even the most optimistic Spurs supporter, or staffer, could not have seen Spurs being two points off the top of the Premier League in February, right as another major glut of fixtures awaits. With this fixture congestion, the fear of a late season swoon, and the real prospect of a title staring Mauricio Pochettino and his men in the face, should Spurs dumpthe Europa League, the FA Cup, or even both?

Bolivian minnows stun Sao Paulo in Libertadores shock

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Sao Paulo suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Bolivian underdogs The Strongest on a night of mixed fortunes for Brazil in South America's most prestigious club competition the Copa Libertadores.

A well-worked 62nd minute strike by Uruguayan Matias Alonso settled a fractious encounter at Sao Paulo's Pacaembu Stadium as the Bolivian minnows clinched their first away win in the Libertadores since 1982.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp relishing return to Germany

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Jurgen Klopp returns to Germany for the first time as Liverpool coach on Thursday hunting a Europa League win at Augsburg in his quest to quench the Reds' thirst for silverware.

Fans have clamored for tickets for the round-of-32, first-leg clash at the WWK Arena in deepest Bavaria to see Liverpool, who are unbeaten in their six European games under Klopp and buoyed by Sunday's thrashing of Aston Villa.

Schedule of Europa League games on US TV and live streaming

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UEFA's Round of 32 for the Europa League has kicked off as new teams enter this stage of the tournament including heavyweights Manchester United, Porto, Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiacos and others.

Fenerbahce's 2-0 victory against Locomotiv Moscow on Tuesday kicked off the latest stage of Europa League matches on Tuesday.

Copa Libertadores games now available in English on FOX Soccer 2GO

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Soccer fans in the United States who want to watch the Copa Libertadores but don't subscribe to FOX Deportes can finally watch the tournament from the comfort of their homes, offices or on the go with FOX Soccer 2GO.Plus, for the first-time ever, FOX's legal streaming service will offer the 2016 tournament in English, making the highly attractive club competition more appealing to soccer fans across the country.

FIFA sanctions Beckenbauer over World Cup bidding probe

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FIFA's ethics committee on Wednesday sanctioned German football legend Franz Beckenbauer with a warning and a light fine for failing to cooperate with a probe into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The investigation into the controversial decisions to award the two tournaments to Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) culminated in the now famous 2014 report authored by former US prosecutor Michael Garcia, which FIFA has so far not released, citing procedural reasons.

Lokomotiv’s Tarasov defiant on pro-Vladimir Putin shirt

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Lokomotiv midfielder Dmitry Tarasov said he revealed a T-shirt praising Vladimir Putin after a match with Turkey's Fenerbahce as a gesture of support for the Russian president but did not intend to upset anyone, local media reported Wednesday.

"He's my president, I respect him and decided to show that I'm with him everywhere," the R-Sport agency quoted Tarasov as saying.

Man Utd’s Wayne Rooney out for 2 months with knee injury, says report

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Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's Europa League game at FC Midtjylland on Thursday and will be out of action for two months after suffering knee ligament damage.

England striker Rooney, the United captain, was not in manager Louis van Gaal's 18-man squad which travelled to Denmark on Wednesday for the last-32 tie.

Travel soccer is an alternate reality of soccer culture in the USA

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This past month has been a whirlwind for me. My 11-year-old daughter is on a travel soccer team, and now has also been selected to play for her middle school team. The additional responsibility means that her already congested soccer schedule has more than doubled, which makes life even crazier for me, taking her to practices, games and tournaments.

Leicester’s N’golo Kante turning into one of the transfers of the season

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Leicester City's rise to the top of the Premier League table is nothing short of incredible. Heading into the current campaign, the Foxes were picked to be relegated to the second tier of British soccer by many pundits. The shocking turnaround from relegation prediction to title contenders is something that the Premier League has never seen before.

Blanc praises match-winner Cavani but Chelsea retain hope

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc heaped praise on Edinson Cavani after the Uruguayan played the role of super-sub to give his side a 2-1 win against Chelsea in their Champions League last 16, first leg.

Cavani replaced Lucas in the 74th minute of Tuesday's game at the Parc des Princes and four minutes later beat Thibaut Courtois with a first-time finish from an Angel Di Maria assist to ensure the French champions will take a lead to London for the second leg next month.

Cavani comes off bench to give PSG edge against Chelsea

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The much-maligned Edinson Cavani came off the bench to score the winner as Paris Saint-Germain edged Chelsea 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Cavani beat the excellent Thibaut Courtois in the 78th minute at the Parc des Princes, just four minutes after coming on as a substitute, to give the French champions the advantage ahead of the second leg on March 9.

Last-gasp Jonas goal gives Benfica edge over Zenit

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In-form striker Jonas headed a dramatic injury-time winner for Benfica as the Portuguese champions beat 10-man Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel twice went close for the visitors in the second half, while Benfica's Nico Gaitan was denied by a fine stop from Yuri Lodygin before Jonas nodded in late on after Domenico Criscito was sent off for the visitors.

Aston Villa need massive upheaval to prevent being a Championship team for decades

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While English soccerwas still bathing in Danny Welbeck's fairy-tale return for Arsenal, the West Midlands were in shock and utter despair, not least because of Aston Villa's0-6 annihilation by Liverpool, but also because of an inexplicably rudderlessperformance.

Nearly four decades ago, the Villa Park that now is characterized by deafening boos and countless critics used to be home to the glories of a proud English football club.

PSG’s Ezequiel Lavezzi signs for Hebei China Fortune

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Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has signed with Hebei China Fortune, his new club said Wednesday, making the 30-year-old the latest European-based footballer drawn east by jaw-dropping sums.

Hebei described him as "the next Maradona" on a verified social media account.

Confidence key for Keita as Roma await Zidane’s Real Madrid

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The prospect of spoiling Zinedine Zidane's Champions League coaching debut with Real Madrid may be formidable, but Roma midfielder Seydou Keita believes his side can upset the 10-time record champions in their last 16, first leg clash.

"How we line up against them is down to the coach, but for me, we have to believe in ourselves and go on the pitch convinced," said the Malian ahead of Wednesday's tie in Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Roma won’t focus on Cristiano Ronaldo, says Spalletti

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Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said he won't sacrifice players in a bid to shut down the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo when they host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

And the Italian insisted the belief and ambition of his players, and not the past history of either club, will be key they look to upset the formbook at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

China’s Shenhua terminate Tim Cahill’s contract

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Australia's top goalscorer Tim Cahill has had his contract terminated by Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, he said Tuesday, a year after he joined.

The 36-year-old veteran and former Everton star agreed to extend his stay just months ago, but said on Instagram: "I'm very sorry to announce that I have reached an agreement with Shanghai Shenhua to terminate my contract.

Looking back at Derby County, the worst team in Premier League history

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As Aston Villa slumped to a 6-0 home defeat against Liverpool on Sunday, their hope of avoiding relegation plunged. While Sunderland are recovering under Sam Allardyce, Villa are rooted at the bottom of the Premier League. While this Villa side will quite probably go down as a poor Premier League team, it will be no match for the Derby County team of the 2007-2008 season.

Bayern Munich face challenge of how to cope with central defense injuries

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During Bayern Munich's 3-1 victory over Augsburg, you may have noticed staff and players of the three-time defending Bundesliga champion wearing a T-shirt.

The message on the shirt was to support defender Holger Badstuber as he broke an ankle in practice and is expected to be out for three months.

Watch the Champions League with a free 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO

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With the UEFA Champions League kicking off again, you can watch any of the games for free with a 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO, the legal streaming service that you can watch on your computer, phone or tablet from the comfort of your office, home or on the go.

FOX Soccer 2GO is offering a 7-day free trial to new subscribers of its live and on-demand streaming service.

Complete forward Harry Kane can make the difference for Tottenham in the title race

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It's pretty apt that the unanticipated ascension of Tottenham Hotspur has been facilitated by the equally unexpected rise of Harry Kane.

This isn't Spurs as we've known them, after all. The side from north London have long held a reputation for being flimsy, flattering to deceive and ultimately coming up short.

Arsenal’s success against top opponents may be deciding factor in title race

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Emirates stadium went absolutely crazy following Danny Welbeck's header deep into extra time against league-leading Leicester City on Sunday afternoon. Welbeck, who came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute, had missed nearly 10 months of action due to a serious knee injury prior to the weekend. The England international was on the pitch for only 12 minutes before turning the Premier League title race completely on its head.

Pochettino has Tottenham daring to dream of title glory

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When Mauricio Pochettino first set foot in White Hart Lane, the future Tottenham manager was struck by the simple message emblazoned all around the middle tier of the stadium.

'To Dare is to Do', translated from the latin 'Audere Est Facere', has been Tottenham's motto since long before Pochettino arrived in north London, but it serves as the perfect summary of the team's mission statement under the highly driven Argentine.

Kompany tells Manchester City not to give up on title dream

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has reminded his team-mates not to give up on their dream of winning the Premier League because they have come from behind to lift the trophy in the past.

City are now six points behind leaders Leicester with 12 matches remaining after a damaging 2-1 home defeat against title rivals Tottenham on Sunday.

Liverpool prise Joel Matip away from Schalke

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Liverpool have won their struggle to sign giant Cameroon central defender Joel Matip from Schalke 04 on a free transfer at the end of the season, the Bundesliga outfit confirmed on Monday.

The 24-year-old has made 239 appearances for Schalke since his debut at 18 in November 2009, but sporting director Horst Heldt admitted the club had lost their battle to persuade Matip to stay in Gelsenkirchen.

Teen sentenced for the death of Deportivo de la Coruna fan

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A Spanish teenager has been sentenced to six years in a juvenile detention center for his role in the death of a Deportivo de la Coruna fan last season.

In late November 2014,a 41-year-old Deportivo supporterwas killed during violence between radicalfans outside of the Vicente Calderon stadium prior to the contest between Deportivo and Atletico Madrid.

Schedule of Champions League games on US TV and live streaming

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The first UEFA Champions League matches in 2016 kick off today with two matches in store, as well as two tomorrow, featuring many of the most talented teams in Europe.

If you live in the United States, all of the games will be shown live on television and live streaming. Here's the schedule so you can watch the matches live or set your DVRs to tape them (or, better yet, sign up for a free trial to FOX Soccer 2GO to watch the games on your computer, smartphone or tablet).

Manchester United to name Old Trafford stand after Bobby Charlton

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Manchester United are to name Old Trafford's South Stand, which contains the only original part of the 1910 stadium infrastructure, after club legend Bobby Charlton.

Charlton joined United as an apprentice in 1953 and made his debut in October 1956. He went on to make 758 appearances for the Club, scoring a club record 249 goals.

Chelsea with momentum ahead of trip to Paris

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Two months have passed since the draw for the Champions League last 16 was made and much has changed in that time as Paris Saint-Germain prepare to meet Chelsea in one of the headline ties on Tuesday.

When the sides were paired together for the third successive season in December's draw at UEFA's Swiss headquarters, PSG appeared the undisputed favorites.

Arsenal fightback against Leicester gives Wenger title belief

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confessed that he had glimpsed the grim apparition of Premier League title failures past during his side's nerve-jangling 2-1 victory over leaders Leicester City.

At half-time of Sunday's table-topping showdown at the Emirates Stadium, Leicester led 1-0 through Jamie Vardy's penalty and Arsenal were staring down the barrel of an eight-point deficit to the summit.

Predictions of remaining Premier League title race results and final table

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It is fun to play out the remainder of the season in this epic title race following Arsenal's come-from-behind 2-1 victory against leaders Leicester City on Sunday, which tightened the Premier League race. While projections are our best guess as of now, this has been a crazy Premier League season and given the tendency of teams near the bottom of the table to rise up at various points, most of these predictions are not as straightforward as one might assume.

Mihajlovic spearheads AC Milan’s resurgence in form

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Has a sleeping giant awoken? It looks that maybe the case at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as AC Milan continued their strong play under coach Sinisa Mihajlovic with Sunday's 2-1 win over Genoa.

After beginning the season losing four of their opening seven, the Rossoneri have played well, losing only twice in their last 18 matches.

Babacar steers Fiorentina to dramatic Inter win

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Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar bundled home a late winner in a dramatic finish to seal a 2-1 win over Inter Milan that reignited La Viola's hopes of European football next season.

Babacar was a late replacement for Josip Ilicic, who had helped set up Borja Valero's 60th minute leveler following Marcelo Brozovic's 26th minute opener for Roberto Mancini's visitors.

Suarez and Messi penalty trick lights up Barca rout of Celta

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Barcelona maintained their grip on the Spanish title thanks to a wonderful Luis Suarez hat-trick, including an audacious penalty move with Lionel Messi, to see off a spirited Celta Vigo 6-1 on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid remain three points behind as they were 1-0 winners at Getafe thanks to Fernando Torres's first minute goal.

Manchester United leading race to sign Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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Manchester United are front runners in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The English club are reportedly ready to sign the player this summer for £70 million from the Bundesliga side.

Last week, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told share holders that the club has cash reserves of £121.

EPL GW26 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley and co-hosts Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer review gameweek 26 of the Premier League season. Did Danny Simpson deserve his yellow cards? Did Mark Clattenburg gift Spurs a goal in Manchester? The panel discusses all the controversies that leave Leicester City two points clear with 12 matches to go.

Lewandowski hits two for Bayern Munich to pass Aubameyang as league leader

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Robert Lewandowski netted twice on Sunday to overtake Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the Bundesliga's top scorer as leaders Bayern Munich won 3-1 at Augsburg.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola lost yet another defender on the eve of the Bavarian derby when Holger Badstuber fractured his ankle in training.

Celtic back on track, says manager Ronny Deila

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila believes his side are back on track after they defeated Ross County 2-0 to move three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

The Hoops suffered a slump at the beginning of the month as their dreams of a domestic treble were ended by a 3-1 League Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County.

Sturridge leads Liverpool in 6-0 rout of Aston Villa

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Liverpool ran riot in a 6-0 hammering of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday as the Premier League's bottom club went into meltdown.

Daniel Sturridge made a dream return to the visitors' starting line-up after injury with a 16th-minute opener that set Liverpool on course for a crushing victory.

Welbeck and Eriksen give Arsenal and Spurs title edge

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Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen were the toast of north London after scoring potentially pivotal late winning goals in the Premier League title race on Sunday.

Welbeck headed in a heart-stopping 95th-minute winner to give Arsenal a last-gasp 2-1 win over leaders Leicester City, while Eriksen struck in the 83rd minute to earn Tottenham a 2-1 victory at Manchester City on his 24th birthday.

Van Gaal turns Manchester United’s eyes to Europa League

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Louis van Gaal admitted that Champions League qualification will be "very difficult" after a shock 2-1 defeat at second-bottom Sunderland increased the pressure on the Manchester United manager.

A late own goal from goalkeeper David de Gea at the Stadium of Light on Saturday condemned United to a first loss in the league on Wearside for 19 years.

Chelsea boss Hiddink pleads for Friday night Euro relief

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink pleaded with the Premier League to introduce Friday night football in an effort to maximize his side's chances of Champions League success.

Hiddink's team face Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital on Tuesday in a tough last-16, first-leg match-up having played on Saturday evening when they romped to a 5-1 win over Newcastle United.

First Pep, then Klopp: Augsburg relish ‘dream’ games

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Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg insist they are relishing their forthcoming dream home ties against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

Guardiola will bring Bundesliga leaders Bayern to Augsburg's WWK Arena for a league clash on Sunday before Klopp's Liverpool are the visitors next Thursday in the Round of 32, first-leg clash in the Europa League.

Manchester City vs. Spurs predicted lineups and team news

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Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from the 3-1 home defeat to Leicester City last weekend when they play Tottenham in the final Premier League match of round 26.

The Citizens have not been very consistent recently with three wins, two draws and a defeat in their last six games which has seen them drop to fourth place on the table, six points behind league leaders Leicester City.

Arsenal vs. Leicester City predicted lineups and team news

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The biggest game of the weekend will see Leicester City travel to the Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal on Sunday (7am ET kickoff in the United States on NBCSN).

The Foxes shocked the Premier League when they trounced Manchester City 3-1 last weekend away from home to establish themselves as the leading contenders for the title.

Why it’s Tottenham that are the most under pressure on Super Sunday

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It's a rarity that England's top four will all play each other on the same day. It's even rarer to have it happen this late in the season. Though it shouldn't be entirely a surprise in this the wackiest of Premier League campaigns, this Sunday's collision of 1st and 3rd then 2nd and 4th in the table will do quite a bit to decide the destination of the title.

Arsenal and Leicester City fans must unite and protest ticket prices

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On Sunday, one of the most pivotal matches of the Premier League season will occur when Leicester City, currently in first place, travels to play Arsenal, in their usual position of fourth place, in a contest that will have major implications on the Foxes and Gunners title chances.

Fans of Leicester City plan on boycotting the first five minutes of the match before entering the stadium due to the high prices at the Emirates and have encouraged supporters of the Gunners join them.

Analyzing Chelsea’s defensive cover to replace injured Kurt Zouma

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Photo credit: AFP.

Kurt Zouma suffered an unsettling injury during Chelsea's Premier League match against Manchester United in last week's fixture at Stamford Bridge. His fall wasso awkward and his pain so obvious that United's Juan Mata immediately called for a stoppage of play, franticallysignaling tothe benchthat hisopponent neededtreatment.

Sunderland vs. Manchester United predicted lineups and team news

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Sunderland welcome Manchester United to the Stadium of Light on Saturday as they continue to seek for points that will push them out of the bottom three.

Sam Allardyce's men are four points away from safety after picking up a point in the 2-2 draw away at Liverpool last week which saw them remain 19thon the table.

Chelsea vs. Newcastle United predicted lineups and team news

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The threat of relegation may be gone but Chelsea continue to dwell in the bottom half of the table coming into this fixture.

The Blues have picked up only two league wins and six draws since Guus Hiddink took over which is not good enough for a club with top four aspirations.

Indeed, they are now a massive 17 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City which must mean that their top four hopes are all but gone for this season.

Biggest soccer bet wins in history

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The betting industry has done nothing but grow and many fear that it's the sole industry responsible for fixed matches that have plagued soccer for decades. We can safely conclude that sports betting has never been bigger. With all the new ways of placing bets through mobile applications and online betting sites, betting has even become a secure income source for successful soccer bettors.

Messi named La Liga player of month for first time in career

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In a stellar 12-year career, Lionel Messi has won the world player of the year award five times and broken endless goalscoring records, but he had never been named player of the month in Spain, until now.

The 28-year-old Argentine forward received the award for La Liga's player of the month for January on Friday, the first time he has won a prize inaugurated in 2013.

Real Madrid will not rush back Gareth Bale, says Zidane

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday Gareth Bale will only return to competitive action when he is 100 percent fit as the Welshman continues his recovery from a calf injury.

Bale has been out since suffering the injury in a 5-1 win against Sporting Gijon in mid-January and has still not returned to full training.

Diego Costa joins Chelsea’s ‘Zorro’ team after broken nose

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Diego Costa will wear a mask to play Newcastle United this weekend after breaking his nose in training.

The Spain striker, who clashed heads with Fikayo Tomori, a Chelsea under-21 player who had been invited to train with the first team, will be the second masked player in the side if he passes a fitness test.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 26

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NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this weekend features a Super Sunday of action, highlighted by matches between the league's top four clubs this Sunday, Feb. 14. Coverage begins with first-place Leicester City visiting third-place Arsenal at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO, with fourth-place Manchester City hosting second-place Tottenham at 11:15 a.

Carlo Ancelotti wants to sign James Rodriguez and Benzema at Bayern Munich

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Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti doesn'tofficially take over as Bayern Munich coach until July 1st.

However,the Italian tactician has already told officials at the Bundesliga club to start negotiations to bring his former players Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez to the Allianz Arena next season.

Under-fire Gary Neville faces must-win Valencia-Espanyol clash

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Valencia coach Gary Neville has pleaded with the club's disgruntled fans to turn up and support his struggling side when they face Espanyol at the Mestalla on Saturday.

Valencia have not won in the league since November and there are growing fears they could be dragged into a relegation battle.

Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez thumbs nose at England’s elite

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Photo credit: AFP

The baton passed from Eden Hazard to Riyad Mahrez in the second minute of Leicester City's 2-1 victory over Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in December.

As Hazard ambled over to close Mahrez down on the Leicester right, the Algerian nonchalantly popped the ball between his legs before advancing and taking a shot at goal, leaving the Chelsea number 10 in his wake.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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The title races in England and Italy have been enthralling to watch this campaign, and as we move towards climax of the season in each country, the excitement only looks likely to increase.

In England, the league leaders have gone from surprise packages to outright favorites and they'll be heading to the home of a title rival seeking to fortify their strong position.

Celtic will respond to Aberdeen challenge, says Deila

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila is confident his players will respond in the right fashion as they face up to a tough Scottish Premiership title challenge from Aberdeen.

The Hoops only top the table on goal difference, albeit with a game in hand, after slipping to a 2-1 defeat by the Dons at Pittodrie on their last league outing.

Stilitano talks International Champions Cup TV rights, MLS involvement and player availability

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The 2016 edition of the International Champions Cup, a soccer tournament featuring many of the world's greatest teams, will return to North America and Europe this summer and will feature 12 games, said Charlie Stilitano, co-founder and chairman of Relevent Sports, in an interview with World Soccer Talk Radio.

In-form Aubameyang sets sights on hapless Hanover

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Photo credit: AFP

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will hope to add to his phenomenal tally of 30 goals in all competitions already this season when Borussia Dortmund host Hanover in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The Gabon striker is enjoying a superb campaign and has scored more goals on his own than struggling Hanover have managed all season.

Arsenal tickets on sale for MLS All-Star Game in San Jose and Chivas in Los Angeles

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If you're looking for tickets for either or both of Arsenal's friendlies in the United States this summer, here are all of the details you need.

First, Arsenal plays in the MLS All-Star Game on July 28 at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. That's followed by a friendly against Chivas Guadalajara at the Stubhub Center on July 31 in Los Angeles.

NBC’s EPL leads the way with most-watched soccer games on US TV last weekend

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NBC's live coverage of the Premier League game between Chelsea and Manchester United led the way last weekend in the most-viewed soccer game on US television.

An average of 779,000 watched the game, which was televised live on the NBCSN from 11am to 1pm ET on Sunday, February 7.

Altogether, it was a great weekend for soccer viewing on US television with Southampton against West Ham as well as Leverkusen versus Bayern Munich being highlights in addition to a few popular Liga MX games.

Match fixing in UK football, the history and future

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It's a miracle how little football in the UK has been affected from match making scandals compared to other countries like Italy for example. So, there may be two possibilities for this, either football fixing in the UK is hard to detect or there is none. Nevertheless, there have been several incidents throughout the history relating to match fixing in the UK.

Leicester won’t be fazed by title spotlight, says Jamie Vardy

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Jamie Vardy is adamant Leicester City remain unfazed by the mounting pressure of the Premier League title race as the shock leaders prepare for a summit meeting with Arsenal on Sunday.

For the first time this season, Claudio Ranieri's side find themselves the bookmakers' favorites to be crowned champions after their fairytale rise reached a new high with last weekend's stunning 3-1 win at title rivals Manchester City.

Charlie Stilitano interview; World Soccer Talk Radio (2.10.16)

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The latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio features an interview with Charlie Stilitano, the Chairman and Co-founder of Relevent Sports, which organizes the International Champions Cup.

During the interview, Charlie previews what we can expect this summer from the ICC in North America, China and Australia, how the rise of soccer in China differs from the US, whether clubs are looking to penetrate China more than the United States, as well as his personal friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson and other luminaries from inside world soccer.

Dybala and Higuain duel to light up Juve-Napoli clash

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Photo credit: AFP

They both hold dual nationality but Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala can expect thousands of fellow Argentinians to be glued to their sets Saturday when Juventus host Napoli in a top-of-the-table clash in Italy's Serie A.

With 24 goals in as many league games Higuain is blazing a record-setting trail towards Serie A's 'Capocannoniere' (top scorer) award as Napoli target a first league title in 26 years.

Striker Bojan Krkic signs new Stoke contract

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Stoke City's Spanish striker Bojan Krkic has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

Bojan, capped once by Spain, signed from Barcelona in July 2014 and made an encouraging start to life at the Britannia Stadium, only to be struck down by a serious knee injury in January last year.

John Terry a potential target for Qatar clubs, says Zola

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John Terry is a "big name" player who would attract interest from several club sides in Qatar, his former Chelsea teammate Gianfranco Zola said on Thursday.

The Italian was speaking publicly for the first time since his current side Al-Arabi was linked to the Chelsea captain following Terry's announcement last month that he would leave the English champions at the end of the season.

Arsenal to play in 2016 MLS All-Star Game in San Jose

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Arsenal will be the opponents in this year's MLS All-Star Game scheduled to be played in San Jose on Thursday, July 28pm at 9pm ET.

In addition to the Gunners playing the match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, the team will play another friendly, this time in Los Angeles against Chivas on Sunday, July 31 at the Stubhub Center.

‘We want our Charlton back’: Supporters embark on fight to save club’s future

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Another Saturday, another defeat. Charlton's loss at home to fellow strugglers Bristol City last weekend was another slap in the face for the long suffering Addicks faithful. The club, south of the River Thames in London, sit bottom of the Championship table and are four points adrift of safety. League One football seems a sad inevitability.

Laurent Blanc extends PSG contract until 2018

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Paris St-Germain said Thursday that coach Laurent Blanc has extended his contract until 2018, giving him a free rein for the tough Champions League campaign ahead.

Blanc's current deal runs out at the end of the season and the club's wealthy Qatari owners moved to tie in the 50-year-old to a new contract without waiting to see how the side do in looming decisive Champions League clashes.

Manchester United set revenue target of $719 million in 2016

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Manchester United expect to make more than £500 million ($719.5 million, 35.4 million euros) in the 2016 financial year, the club announced on Thursday, despite continued underperformance on the pitch.

Second-quarter revenues rose by 26.6 percent to a record £133.8 million, with commercial revenues up 42.

Lewandowski brace fires Bayern into DFB-Pokal semis [VIDEO]

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Robert Lewandowski netted twice to seal Bayern Munich's 3-0 win at ten-man minnows VfL Bochum on Wednesday to reach the German Cup semi-finals.

Bayern have drawn Werder Bremen at home, while Hertha Berlin will host Borussia Dortmund, in the semi-finals to be played on April 19-20.

EPL GW 26 preview; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley andNipun Chopra forgo the mid-week FA Cup replays to focus on what could be the defining weekend of the Premier League season, with the league's top four teams paired off in two Sunday showdowns. In the day's early game,first place Leicester City visit one of the two teams that have beaten them in league play this season, Arsenal, while the weekend's final match seessecond place Tottenham Hotspur travel to Manchester City to face the fourth place Citizens.

Chelsea and PSG owners eye Beckham MLS Miami buy-in, says report

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, Paris Saint Germain's Qatari owners and a Chinese group are among investors looking at purchasing a majority stake in David Beckham's Major League Soccer team, the Miami Herald reported.

Citing an unnamed source close to the negotiations, the newspaper said Beckham has been around the world in the past six months seeking partners to invest $300 million (267.

Qatar says six more workers hurt building World Cup venues

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Qatar's World Cup organizers said on Wednesday that six laborers building stadiums for the 2022 tournament suffered work-related injuries last year but there were no fatalities.

Qatar has been widely condemned for its treatment of almost two million foreign workers.

Critics have estimated that several thousand workers could die in the run-up to the World Cup because of labour conditions in Qatar on direct or indirect tournament projects.

Antoine Griezmann squashes transfer speculation, commits future to Atletico Madrid

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Antoine Griezmann has been one of the standout players in Europe this season scoring 19 goals in all competitions for Atletico Madrid.

His outstanding performances have once again led to the former Real Sociedadforward being linked with a move away from the Vicente Calderon next season just two years after his arrival in the Spanish capital.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside dies aged 63

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Long-serving Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has died aged 63 after a short battle with cancer, the English second-tier club announced on Wednesday.

Gartside joined the Bolton board in 1988 and had served as chairman since 1999, overseeing the club's 11-year stint in the Premier League between 2001 and 2012, which included four successive top-eight finishes.

FA Cup betting preview

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The magic for which the FA Cup is famous around the world is that small town teams get a chance to prove themselves against the big boys, and often reach the latter stages of the competition. When it comes to winning the cup though, small clubs often fail in their ambitions and are an easy prey to the Premier League's elite.

US judge denies bail request from FIFA fraud suspect

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A US judge on Wednesday refused to release a FIFA corruption scandal suspect on bail, saying the man's proposal to post $5 million was not enough.

Judge Robert Levy scheduled a new hearing February 23 for the suspect, Eduardo Li, the former president of the Costa Rican Football Federation.

Liverpool owners scrap ticket hike, apologize to fans

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Liverpool's owners on Wednesday apologized and scrapped controversial plans to hike Anfield ticket prices after 10,000 fans walked out of the ground in protest at the weekend.

Principal owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner acted after legions of angry Reds fans stormed out of the ground in the 77th minute of Saturday's home game against Sunderland.

Torn ass muscle keeps Leverkusen’s Javier Hernandez out

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Photo credit: AFP

Bayer Leverkusen will be without Mexican striker Javier Hernandez for this weekend's Bundesliga match at Darmstadt with a torn buttock muscle, his club announced on Wednesday.

'Chicharito' suffered the injury in Leverkusen's 3-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen in the quarter-finals of the German Cup on Tuesday and clutched his leg when he went off in the 57th minute.

Arsenal will receive big boost when Santi Cazorla returns from injury

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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil are Arsenal's big guns (I'd also probably add Petr Cech as well), there is no denying that. The dynamic offensive duo are major talents and have been brilliant during the current campaign. Alexis has netted 10 total goals on the season, despite missing a chunk of games due to a knee injury and Özil is within shouting distance of breaking former Gunner Thierry Henry's Premier League season assist record.

Manchester United hiring Jose Mourinho over Ryan Giggs will be a massive blunder

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The beginning of a remarkable demise for Manchester United was the 0-3 defeat against Arsenal in October. As you'd expect, especially in England, the manager is the one taking all the flak, and on this occasion, rightly so. To be frank, Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United were never made for each other.

Schelotto quits Palermo over UEFA credentials gaffe, says club

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Palermo coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been forced to quit the Serie A club after UEFA ruled he did not have the required coaching credentials, the Sicilian outfit announced Wednesday.

Former Argentina international Schelotto was drafted in to replace sacked Davide Ballardini the club's second coach this season in the New Year.

Sunderland’s Adam Johnson admits child sex charge

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Sunderland's England international winger Adam Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming at his under-age sex trial on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old player, capped 12 times by England, continues to deny two other charges of sexual activity with a girl aged under 16.

Germany’s Hoewedes extends Schalke deal until 2020

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Germany international and Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes has shown some faith in the Royal Blues by signing a three-year contract extension until 2020, it was announced on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old, who along with Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm was one of only three Germany players involved in each minute of the seven games in winning the 2014 World Cup, has played for Schalke since 2001.

‘No truth’ in Chelsea rumors for Juve’s Allegri

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has again distanced himself from the Chelsea manager's job amid claims he will replace interim boss Guus Hiddink at the end of the season.

Allegri, who steered the Turin giants to the Champions League final last year, has a contract until June 2017 but is reported to be the Blues' number one choice to replace former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Excuses won’t help Bundesliga in TV ratings battle between FOX and NBC

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If ever there was a broadcast to sum up how the Bundesliga TV ratings are doing in the United States, this past Saturday was it. Startingat the same kickoff time of 12:30pm ET, FOX had Bayer Leverkusen (starring Chicharito) against Bayern Munich (Germany's number one team). On NBC, another terrestrial network, the game was Southampton versusWest Ham United.

Soft drink company in talks with Barcelona to replace Qatar Airways as shirt sponsor

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According to reports from Spain, Pepsi is in "advanced talks" with Barcelona officials and could usurp Qatar Airways as the Catalan club's officials shirt sponsor next season.

The American multinational food, snack and beverage companyinitiated talks with the reigning Spanish and European champions over the past few days, and last week representatives from Barcelona were at Super Bowl 50 to hold face to face negotiations with corporate officials from PepsiCo Inc.

Ways to become a pro at soccer betting

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A lot of people take betting lightly and make decisions based on sheer luck. However, this ignorance can cause them to lose all their money. The most imperative thing to understand is that betting is not a child's game. There are professional gamblers out there for whom this is business, and they prefer doing extensive research before applying any strategy.

Last-gasp Ogbonna helps West Ham stun Liverpool in FA Cup

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Angelo Ogbonna headed home in stoppage time of extra time as West Ham United stunned a youthful Liverpool team 2-1 in Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay at Upton Park.

Philippe Coutinho's clever free-kick had cancelled out Michail Antonio's volleyed opener for West Ham and the game was seconds from a penalty shootout when Dimitri Payet curled a free-kick into the visitors' box from the right and Ogbonna rose at the back post to head in the winner.

Aubameyang nets 30th goal as Dortmund reach DFB-Pokal semis

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed his 30th goal of the season on Tuesday to help fire Borussia Dortmund into the German Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 victory at VfB Stuttgart.

Gabon striker Aubameyang and Germany winger Marco Reus, who have provided 45 of Dortmund's goals in all competitions this season, netted before Henrik Mkhitaryan claimed their late third.

Sun will shine for Liverpool youngsters, says Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp predicted brighter days ahead for his Liverpool youngsters after they fell to an Angelo Ogbonna buzzer beater against West Ham United in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday.

A team featuring two players aged 20, a 21-year-old, two 22-year-olds and 18-year-old midfielder Pedro Chirivella stood toe-to-toe with West Ham at Upton Park until Italian centre-back Ogbonna headed home in injury time of extra time to give the hosts a 2-1 win.

Grading each MLS club on their work completed in the off-season

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With opening day of the 2016 MLS season less than a month away, clubs across the league are putting the finishing touches on an offseason that has at different points been eventful, confounding, and fascinating.

It's been an interesting few months for MLS. There has been an exodus of top players – mostly, with the startling exception of Matt Miazga — to Mexico, and an exodus of the lowest earners in the league, mostly to the lower levels of American soccer.

European Clubs against 40-team World Cup

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The European Club Association (ECA) insisted Tuesday that extending the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams would put too much burden on clubs and inflict physical overload on players.

"We are satisfied with the balance of interest and any change would need very careful review," insisted ECA vice-president Umberto Gandini.

NBC catches Leicester fever in new video to promote Sunday’s game vs. Arsenal

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NBC Sports has released a promotional video to build up the momentum ahead of Sunday's Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City.

The Foxes take on the Gunners in a game that will be televised live across the United States on NBCSN beginning at 7am ET (pre-match coverage begins at 6am ET).

Bundesliga nets 318,000 viewers on FOX Deportes for Leverkusen-Bayern Munich

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Saturday's broadcast of Bayer Leverkusen versus Bayern Munich was watched by an average viewing audience of 318,000 people on FOX Deportes, according to data from Sports TV Ratings.

FOX Deportes televised the game live on Saturday, February 6th from 12:30pm to 2:30pm ET. The Spanish-language network is in 22 million homes across the United States, which represents 19% of the total households.

5 best US soccer stars playing in Europe

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We recently discussed how American soccerplayers have featured less and less in top European leagues over the course of the last several seasons as MLS has become a stronger force financially. Since MLS has now seen the value in having core US Men's National Team (USMNT) footballersplaying in North America for marketing purposes, they have been willing to spend the type of money they have for years on foreign stars on domestic talent.

Why MLS would be a wise move for Chelsea captain John Terry

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John Terry, 35, says he may be finished with Chelseaat the end of the season after revealing the club isnot planning on extending his contract. The big question surrounding the player is where next? He has been linked with clubs in China and the Middle East. But the obvious move for the defender is MLS.

Leicester’s fairytale title bid is piece of cake for relaxed Claudio Ranieri

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As Claudio Ranieri returned to Leicester's Belvoir Drive training base on Monday to start plotting the latest chapter in his club's fairytale challenge for the Premier League title, it was hard to believe that just seven months ago the Italian's arrival at the plush facility was greeted with widespread ridicule.

Premier League fans plot mass walkout, says report

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Football fans in England are considering a mass walkout in protest at rising Premier League ticket prices, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

An estimated 10,000 Liverpool supporters left Anfield in the 77th minute of Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sunderland in protest over plans to introduce a most expensive match ticket of £77 ($112, 99 euros).

Premier League unveils new logo for 2016/17 season onwards

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The English Premier League unveiled its new, sponsor-free "visual identity" on Tuesday, which will take effect from the 2016-17 season onwards.

The money-spinning English top flight is ending its 12-year association with Barclays bank in favor of becoming a 'clean brand' and will from now on be known simply as 'the Premier League'.

Allegri urged to fill Mourinho’s Chelsea shoes

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Massimiliano Allegri has been urged to "walk to Chelsea" and take up the "fantastic offer" that has been tabled for the Juventus coach by the Premier league giants.

Both Allegri and his predecessor at Juventus, Italy coach Antonio Conte, have been linked with the Chelsea manager's job currently being filled on a caretaker basis by Dutchman Guus Hiddink following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma ruled out for six months

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Chelsea and France defender Kurt Zouma will have surgery this week on a knee injury set to rule him out for the rest of the season and Euro 2016, the Premier League club revealed on Monday.

Zouma injured his anterior cruciate ligament in Chelsea's 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

What it was like experiencing Leicester’s win against Man City from the away end

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Many sporting moments have made millions stop and say "whoa." It might not have been the Super Bowl, the World Cup Final or the Olympic 100 meter final, but the 61stminute of the Manchester City-Leicester City matchmade millions around the world gasp.

That was the exact scenario I experienced at the weekend.

Robben welcomes Ribery’s return to Bayern Munich training

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Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich need Franck Ribery back to full fitness after the French winger returned to training on Monday following a two-month break for his latest injury.

The 32-year-old Ribery endured a miserable 2015 and tore a thigh muscle in mid-December in just his second game back after nine months out with an ankle injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo committed to seeing out Real Madrid contract

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Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is staying at Real Madrid for at least another two years, the forward said on Monday.

The 31-year-old three-time Ballon d'Or winner was picking up an award as top scorer in Spain for last season from Spanish daily Marca when he made the comments.

Teenage striker Antonio Sanabria lighting up La Liga

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Antonio Sanabria, now 19, played just two times for Roma in 2014/15. Twice used as a substitute by former Roma coach Rudi Garcia, Sanabria clocked a meager 33 minutes of time. Sent on loan to Spain's Sporting Gijon ahead of this season, Sanabria has emerged as the premier teenage goal scorer in Europe's top five leagues.

Tim Cahill says greed is behind Chinese Super League’s record spending

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Greed is behind the proliferation of big-name players heading to the cashed-up Chinese Super League and it will not help the country's national team, China-based Australian star Tim Cahill said.

The Chinese record transfer fee has been smashed four times in the current transfer window, with Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira the third big signing in just over a week after Jiangsu Suning paid 50 million euros (US$56 million) for him to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Leicester are title favorites now, says Wenger

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Arsene Wenger admits Leicester are now favorites to win the Premier League title but insists his Arsenal side's challenge is back on course.

The Gunners' 2-0 win at Bournemouth was their first in five league games and moved Wenger's side up to third place, five points adrift of Leicester before next weekend's meeting between the two teams.

Liverpool may review ticket prices after protest

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Liverpool's owners will consider a review of controversial ticket price hikes after being shocked by a walkout protest by 10,000 fans, media said Monday.

The Fenway Sports Group held emergency talks after Saturday's protest and again Sunday, British newspapers reported. Fans have meanwhile threatened more walkouts in looming key games against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Diego Costa and Chelsea keep heat on Van Gaal after 1-1 draw with United

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Diego Costa pounced in stoppage time as Chelsea nipped Manchester United's mini-revival in the bud with a 1-1 draw in the Premier League on Sunday.

Jesse Lingard's smartly taken 61st-minute strike at a rainy Stamford Bridge had set United on course for a third straight win, which would have lifted them to within four points of the Champions League places.

Luka Modric saved Real Madrid blushes, says Zidane

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane encouraged Croatian playmaker Luka Modric to shoot more often as his first league goal of the season salvaged a 2-1 win at Granada on Sunday.

Youssef El Arabi had deservedly cancelled out Karim Benzema's first-half opener for Real before Modric's fantastic strike into the top corner five minutes from time kept Real just four points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

EPL GW 25 review show; World Soccer Talk podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, Richard Farley andKartik Krishnaiyer review the 25th round in the Premier League, one that saw Leicester City consolidate their place at the top of the league with an impressive victory at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Richard and Kartik also discuss the specter of Mourinho at Chelsea and Manchester United, the fan protest at Anfield, as well as update listeners in Spain, Germany and the evolving race in the Football Championship.

FOX and Bundesliga dealt blow as Leverkusen-Munich ratings fail to beat EPL on NBC

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The overnight TV ratings for Saturday's dueling broadcasts between Leverkusen-Bayern Munich on FOX and Southampton-West Ham on NBC are in, and the Bundesliga/FOX duo have been dealt a crushing blow as their game failed to beat NBC's coverage of the Premier League.NBC delivered an overnight rating of 0.

John Terry keen to prolong Chelsea stay

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Chelsea captain John Terry reiterated his desire to extend his contract with the Premier League champions on Sunday, a week after announcing he would leave at the season's end.

Diego Costa struck in injury time to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Terry after the game again making clear his wish to stay at Chelsea.

Revamped LA Galaxy will be MLS powerhouse in 2016

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The last piece of the LA Galaxy's offseason overhaul fell into place on Wednesday, when the team announced the signing of Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong from AC Milan.

De Jong is, most likely, the final move of an offseason in which the Galaxy added and subtracted some twenty players – and the final move of a triumphant two weeks in which LA announced the signings of de Jong, Ashley Cole, and Jelle Van Damme.

Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain get Arsenal back to winning ways at Bournemouth

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Arsenal returned to third place in the Premier League after Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's goals ended a four-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Arsenal arrived at Dean Court with their title challenge under threat after a poor run in January capped by a failure to score in their previous three league matches.

Higuain hits 24th goal as Napoli and Juventus pull away in Serie A race

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Gonzalo Higuain hit his 24th goal in as many Serie A games as triumphant Napoli and Juventus moved closer towards a scudetto duel after slip-ups by title rivals Inter Milan and Fiorentina.

Higuain and Napoli have been transformed since Maurizio Sarri took over from Rafael Benitez last summer but it took a second-half penalty for the Argentinian to keep Napoli top of the pile in a cagey 1-0 win over 10-man Carpi.

Barcelona equal 28-game unbeaten record with Levante win

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Barcelona equaled a club record of 28 games unbeaten to move three points clear at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday.

The European champions were far from their best in coach Luis Enrique's 100th game in charge, but David Navarro's first-half own goal and Luis Suarez's strike in stoppage time was enough to secure a 10th consecutive win in all competitions.

Leicester move 5 points ahead in league after convincing win against Man City

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Photo credit: AFP

Leicester City's fairytale season scaled new heights on Saturday as they opened up a five-point lead at the Premier League summit by winning 3-1 at title rivals Manchester City.

Centre-back Robert Huth scored twice, either side of a brilliant Riyad Mahrez goal, as Leicester recorded the finest win of their sensational 12-month rise from bottom to top of the English top flight.

Lavezzi out of PSG squad as £7 million China move beckons

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Photo credit: AFP

Paris Saint Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi will not be in the squad for the trip to Marseille on Sunday as he continues to be chased by Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

Shenhua seem determined to join in the recent spending spree in China, and they may offer Argentina international Lavezzi a deal worth 10 million euros ($11 million) a year.

Spurs surge into second after downing Watford at White Hart Lane

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Tottenham Hotspur strengthened their Premier League title challenge as Kieran Trippier's goal moved Mauricio Pochettino's side up to second place following a 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday.

The north London club took full advantage of Manchester City's 3-1 loss to Leicester City earlier in the day to move above Manuel Pellegrini's side and to within five points of leaders Leicester.

Arsenal fans hoping Tomas Rosicky hasn’t played last match for club

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Before Alexis Sanchez graced the Emirates pitch, Tomas Rosicky was Arsenal's Energizer Bunny. No, the Czech Republic international is not as prolific in front of goal as his Chilean teammate, but the "little mozart" brought creativity, energy and intensity to the Arsenal squad over the last 10 years.

Jamie Vardy extends Leicester contract to 2019

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Leicester City capped a memorable day on Saturday by announcing that star striker Jamie Vardy has extended his contract by one year until June 2019.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be fighting to achieve something special with this club," Vardy said in comments published on the club website.

Chelsea vs. Manchester United predicted lineups and team news

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Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday with the Blues still looking for the points to climb into the top half of the table after an away draw to Watford in midweek.

Guus Hiddink's side are still unbeaten since Jose Mourinho left the club last December but three wins and five draws from the last eight league games is hardly inspiring for a club of Chelsea's stature.

Review of FOX’s Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich TV coverage

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There's been no doubt that FOX Sports has done an excellent job with their Bundesliga coverage for the 2015/16 season. With a strong set of studio talent led by Ian Joy, the opinions of Eric Wynalda, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Jovan Kirovski seem better suited for the Bundesliga, a league that they undoubtedly enjoy and know a lot about.

Man United boss Van Gaal haunted by Chelsea managers past and present

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Manchester United's tentative resurgence will be tested this Sunday when Louis van Gaal pits his side against a Chelsea team slowly finding their feet under his countryman Guus Hiddink.

It is only two weeks since United were booed off at Old Trafford after a 1-0 home defeat by Southampton, but consecutive wins 3-1 at Derby County in the FA Cup and 3-0 at home to Stoke City in the league have convinced Van Gaal that his side can still win the title.

Plenty left in 31-year-old ‘beast’ Cristiano Ronaldo, says Zidane

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has insisted three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo still has plenty more years at the top of the game thanks to his superb physical condition.

Ronaldo turned 31 on Friday and has been questioned for his failure to deliver his best performances in the big games this season despite scoring a remarkable 30 goals in 28 games.

Klopp quashes Daniel Sturridge Liverpool exit talk

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Jurgen Klopp has slammed claims that injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge is looking to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

Sturridge has been sidelined since early December with a hamstring problem and has made just six appearances this season and playing in only 19 games last term.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 25

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Weekend coverage begins this Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7 a.m. ET with Premier League Live on NBCSN followed by second-place Manchester City v. first-place Leicester City on NBCSN and NBC UNIVERSO.

Coverage continues at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday with Tottenham v. Watford on NBCSN and NBC UNIVERSO, and Liverpool v.

Brazilian judge throws out Neymar tax charges

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A Brazilian judge has thrown out tax fraud charges against Brazil and Barcelona star striker Neymar, his father and two senior FC Barcelona figures.

The magistrate, Mateus Castelo Branco Firmino da Silva, said the charges brought Tuesday "should be rejected."

The ruling late Thursday in Santos gave some respite to the Brazilian superstar.

Ian Ayre warns Liverpool fans ‘be careful what [you] wish for’ over walkout threat

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Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has warned Reds fans to "be careful what they wish for" after a supporters group called for an Anfield walkout in protest at rising ticket prices.

Supporters' groups are planning to make their unprecedented protest in the 77th minute of Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland after Liverpool this week announced a new pricing structure for the 2016-17 season, which will see the most expensive match day ticket in the redeveloped Main Stand rise from £59 ($86, 76 euros) to £77.

Pep Guardiola unfazed by juggling Bayern Munich and Man City tasks

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Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has dismissed concerns about his ability to remain focused on the job at hand with the German champions after committing his future to Premier League side Manchester City as of next season.

"I'm like a woman, capable of doing multiple things at once," Guardiola told reporters on Friday, in his first appearance since signing a three-year deal to take over from Manuel Pellegrini at City next term.

Pellegrini in spotlight as Manchester City brace for Leicester showdown

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Manchester City's home supporters will have their first opportunity to begin a drawn out farewell to Manual Pellegrini when their team face Leicester in a contest that will play a major role in deciding the Premier League title race.

Until Monday's announcement that City boss Pellegrini will be replaced by Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, it appeared this game would be all about first place in the table and the displays of City's Sergio Aguero and Leicester's Jamie Vardy, two of the division's most in-form stars.

Valencia’s Gary Neville on brink of sack

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Gary Neville could take charge of Valencia for the final time should he fail to deliver a league win at the ninth attempt when his side travel to fellow strugglers Real Betis on Sunday.

Neville's terrible run of five points from eight La Liga games since taking charge in December was compounded as Valencia suffered their heaviest defeat in 23 years with a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Wednesday.

Ronaldo vs. Cristiano Ronaldo: A battle of soccer stars

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Two players, one name, but who is best? Ronaldo and Cristiano Ronaldo might share the same name, but we thought we’d sit down and calculate which one is the king. Calculate? Yes, we are comparing hard facts here, let’s see who will emerge victorious from a battle of numbers.

On the one hand, Ronaldo's professional soccer career spanned 18 years and during that time he played for a variety of clubs, including the mighty Real Madrid.

USA vs. Canada preview: USMNT hoping to close out January camp on a high

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The year 2016 got off to a good start for the USMNT with a 3-2 victory over Iceland. A last minute winner from Steve Birnbaum capped off an entertaining game. Now the US must turn their focus to the next game as they look to close the January Camp on a high note against Canada.

Sunday's win over Iceland was not the best performance from the US, but after the way 2015 played out most fans and coach Jurgen Klinsmann will take the win.

Manchester City vs. Leicester predicted lineups and team news

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The first match of this weekend's Premier League action sees title contenders Leicester City travel to Manchester City knowing that a win at the Etihad will see them go at least five points clear at the top of the table.

The Foxes have been the most consistent side all season and they have continued to prove their naysayers wrong with each passing game.

Bayern face Leverkusen after turbulent Bundesliga week

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Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich head to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday looking for three points to steady the ship again after a turbulent week.

Bayern head to the Rhineland in rude health with an eight-point lead in the table, but there have been plenty of tensions off the field in the last five days.

Chinese Super League overtake EPL in transfer window spending

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Chinese club Jiangsu Suning's 50 million euro ($56 million) signing of Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira from Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk on Friday saw the Chinese Super League overtake the English Premier League in spending during the winter transfer window, the transfermarkt website said.

Alex Teixeira joins Chinese Super League club in £38 million move

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Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira became China's third record signing in just over a week on Friday when Jiangsu Suning snapped him up for 50 million euros ($56 million) following earlier interest from English giants Liverpool.

China's latest monster move came only three days after Guangzhou Evergrande paid 42 million euros for Atletico Madrid's Jackson Martinez, and nine days after Jiangsu's 28-million-euro purchase of Ramires from Chelsea.

Tomas Rosicky injury could end Arsenal career

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Tomas Rosicky's latest injury setback, a torn thigh tendon, leaves him in a race against time if he is to play for Arsenal again with his Gunners contract due to expire in June.

The 35-year-old missed the first half of the current campaign with a knee injury and coach Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday the Czech midfielder would now be out a further three months.

Kia Joorabchian’s growing involvement with MLS demands further scrutiny

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LastWednesday, the LA Galaxy announced the signing of defensive midfielder Nigel De Jong who started the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final for the Netherlands and won the 2012 Premier League title with Manchester City. De Jong is yet another prestige signing for MLS' signature club but raises questions about how he got to MLS and why he is signing.

Neuer insists it’s business as usual at Bayern Munich despite distractions

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Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer insists it's business as usual at Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich despite a turbulent week off the pitch for the Bavarian giants.

On the pitch, Bayern are in rude health with an eight-point lead in the German league table and have only lost twice all season ahead of Saturday's away match at fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Liverpool fans plan Anfield walkout over ticket prices

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Liverpool fans have been urged to walk out of Anfield during Saturday's match against Sunderland in protest at their club's new ticket prices.

The Spion Kop 1906 supporters group has asked fans to show their unhappiness in the 77th minute of the Premier League fixture.

Liverpool this week announced a new pricing structure for the 2016-17 season, which will see the most expensive match day ticket in the redeveloped Main Stand rise from £59 ($86, 76 euros) to £77.

Arlo White interview; World Soccer Talk Radio (2.4.16)

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The latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio features an interview with NBC Sports' lead announcer for the Premier League. Arlo White.

During the interview, Arlo White previews Southampton versus West Ham United, and discusses whether the Hammers can climb into the top four, as well as how the NBC crew watch the NBC coverage before games from the Premier League stadiums.

Perspective needed on FOX’s record-breaking Bundesliga number for Stuttgart-Hamburg

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Congratulations to the Bundesliga and FOX Sports on the record-breaking audience of 468,000 who watched Stuttgart against Hamburg on the over-the-air FOX network last Saturday.

The 468,000 number is the biggest audience ever on US television for a live Bundesliga match. With it being the first of 8 live Bundesliga matches that FOX will be showing this season, the game won't hold the record for long.

Atletico Madrid keen on Diego Costa return from Chelsea

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Atletico Madrid have made the return of Chelsea striker Diego Costa to the Vicente Calderon as their primary transfer target for next season, club president Enrique Cerezo admitted on Thursday.

Atletico have money to spend after selling Colombian international Jackson Martinez to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande for 42 million euros ($46 million) on Wednesday.

US Soccer Federation sues World Cup-winning US Women’s National Team

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Fearing a possible walkout on the Rio Olympics by its Women's World Cup championship side, the US Soccer Federation has filed a lawsuit against its women's players union.

The move, made late Wednesday in US District Court at Chicago, asked the court to confirm the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that has been in place since 2013 and is set to expire at the end of this year.

Games against Manchester City and Arsenal will shape Leicester City’s destiny

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Whether it's World Soccer Talk, NBC Sports or the most watched news bulletin in the UK, people just cannot stop talking about Leicester City.

Leicester fans have been living in dreamland since April 18 after the club beat Swansea and that slim possibility of safety became clearer. Not to be swayed by the departure of Nigel Pearson, the arrival of Claudio Ranieri ensured that the dream continued.

Is the Nocerino dispute the death knell for one of MLS’ most controversial rules?

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MLS' Discovery Rule is attracting plenty of attention because of the dispute between Orlando City and DC United over the dealings with Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino. DC United has a discovery claim on the player and were attempting to negotiate with him until it emerged that Orlando City had offered him a contract worth about 22% more annually.

Arsenal are relying too heavily on Olivier Giroud

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It is fairly safe to say that Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud is not exactly the most well-liked player in the Barclays Premier League. Some of the Frenchman's criticism is justified (he does miss his fair chances in front of goal), some is not (Giroud has been labeled a "donkey" by many); however, when looking into the statistics, the striker certainly holds his own against other players in his position that cost three times the reported £9.

Shock at player brawls in Argentine friendlies

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Mass on-pitch brawls between players in supposedly "friendly" matches between top Argentine football teams have driven the government to vow to end soccer violence.

Long used to match-day violence involving hooligan gangs, Argentine fans saw ugly rucks erupt on the pitch itself at two recent high-profile friendlies.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on TV this weekend

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This season's Premier League has been one of the most entertaining in recent memory and the coming weekend is set to be decisive in determining who finishes top of the pile at the end of the campaign.

Two of the sides in amongst the hunt for glory meet in what'll be a hugely significant clash early on Saturday.

FIFA election candidates avoid soccer’s real problems

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The battle for the FIFA presidency has turned into a grueling round-the-globe marathon for the five candidates but observers say they are avoiding the real problems facing the scandal-infected world football body.

With Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino leading the pack, many will descend on an African congress in Rwanda on Friday and quickly move on to Miami for a meeting of north and central American soccer nations.

Cut Diego Costa some slack, says Chelsea boss Hiddink

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Guus Hiddink accused Watford of trying to provoke Diego Costa after the Chelsea striker was involved in a series of clashes during a feisty 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.

Costa appeared fortunate to avoid a red card after he pushed over Watford defender Sebastian Prodl and then shoved Juan Carlos Paredes later in the first half.

Beaten Celtic still good enough to keep title, says manager Deila

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila is adamant his side are good enough to retain their Scottish Premiership title despite Aberdeen cutting their lead at the top of the table to three points following a 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie on Wednesday.

A wonder strike from Jonny Hayes, who was playing with 18 stitches in his hand after being attacked by a dog, and a debut goal from Simon Church gave Aberdeen hope of a first top flight title in 31 years.

Count your lucky stars you’re watching the Premier League in the US, not UK

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The majesty of Jamie Vardy's goal for Leicester against Liverpool on Tuesday night will live long in the memory ofsoccerfans who witnessed it. If you were fortunate to watch it live, it's was incredulous. If you watched it on delay, it was still sublime. But if you lived in the United Kingdom, it wasn't on TV.

Gary Neville won’t quit Valencia despite 7-0 Barca thrashing

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Valencia boss Gary Neville admitted his side's 7-0 Copa del Rey semi-final mauling at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday was one of his worst nights in football but he refused to quit.

Luis Suarez scored four and Lionel Messi added a hat-trick as Barca rendered next week's second-leg meaningless with what Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch described as one of the worst results in the club's history.

Ross Barkley inspires Everton to victory over Newcastle; Match highlights

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Everton defeated Newcastle 3-0 for their first home win in the Premier League since November on Wednesday as the struggling Magpies were left inside the relegation zone.

Aaron Lennon was on target after 23 minutes while Ross Barkley tucked away two late penalties although Everton should have won more comfortably, being denied by the woodwork three times in six second-half minutes.

EPL GW 24 review and GW 25 preview; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this mid-week edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, hosts Kartik Krishnaiyer and Nipun Chopra review the 24th round in the Premier League, once that saw Arsenal continue to lose ground at the top of the table while Leicester City, the league's cinderella story, continue to establish their title credentials.

Vardy forces English giants to wake up to Leicester City threat

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As Jamie Vardy's breathtaking shot plunged into the Liverpool net on Tuesday, the thought dawned on Leicester City's Premier League rivals that their title challenge might just be for real.

Leicester were top at Christmas, but a run of three games without a win prised them from the summit, seemingly fulfilling the prophecy that the Foxes would not stay the course over the season's second half.

Bayern boss denies Arturo Vidal alcohol problems, defends Guardiola

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Bayern Munich director of sport Mathias Sammer has threatened legal action over reports Arturo Vidal has an alcohol problem and defended Pep Guardiola's decision to coach Manchester City next season.

The worst kept secret in football was confirmed on Monday when the 45-year-old Guardiola announced he will replace Manuel Pellegrini at City in a deal reportedly worth more than £15 million ($21.

Leicester ‘revitalized’ ahead of clashes against Manchester City and Arsenal

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Claudio Ranieri believes Jamie Vardy and his Leicester team-mates have been revitalized just in time for their crunch Premier League clashes with Manchester City and Arsenal.

Ranieri's shock table-toppers travel to City on Saturday before facing Arsenal with their confidence sky-high after underlining their title credentials with an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

Alex Ferguson throws weight behind Gianni Infantino bid

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Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson on Wednesday became the latest high-profile football figure to declare his support for Gianni Infantino's FIFA presidential bid.

"In my role as ambassador to UEFA over the last few years I've got to know Gianni very well," Ferguson, 74, said in a video message posted on Infantino's campaign website.

Jackson Martinez joins Evergrande in record $46 million Chinese deal

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Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande smashed China's transfer fee record Wednesday when they announced a deal to secure Atletico Madrid's unsettled Colombian striker Jackson Martinez for 42 million euros ($46 million).

Martinez, 29, is the latest Europe-based player to move to the cashed-up Chinese Super League and was described as a "goal poacher" and "fox in the box" in a Chinese-language statement on the club's website.

Wenger on the attack after Arsenal misfire against Southampton

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Arsene Wenger shrugged off criticism that he should have signed a world-class goalscorer in the January transfer window despite acknowledging that Arsenal's finishing has been rather poor in recent weeks.

The Arsenal manager cut a frustrated figure at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday as the Gunners created plenty of chances in a 0-0 draw with Southampton, but ultimately were denied on numerous occasions by the sheer brilliance of Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Brazil charges Barca star Neymar with tax evasion

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Brazilian authorities charged Barcelona and Brazil star striker Neymar on Tuesday with tax evasion and falsifying documents over a seven-year period.

The federal prosecutor's office alleged that the striker committed the crimes between 2006, when he was just a promising youngster at Brazilian football club Santos, and 2013, when he signed for Barcelona.

Where to find 6 Nations rugby tournament on US TV and streaming

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If you're a rugby fan and you want the watch the 6Nations Championship live on US television or streaming, here's all of the information you need to enjoy one of the premier rugby competitions.

With England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy competing, there promises to be severalclassic games appearing on your TV set, computer or tablet, but where can you find the games?

Court backs ex-FIFA official over calling Qatar ‘a cancer’ on world soccer

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Ex-FIFA official Theo Zwanziger, who described Qatar last year as "a cancer" on world football, was told in court on Tuesday that his comments were covered by freedom of speech.

The 70-year-old trained lawyer appeared in Duesseldorf's regional court after the Qatar Football Association (QFA) filed a civil lawsuit for damages over his comments concerning the Arab state's hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

FOX Sports acquires English-language US TV rights to Mexico games through 2018

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FOX Sports has acquired the English-language TV rights to 25 upcoming Mexico national team 'home' games from 2016 through 2018, according to a report in The New York Times.

FOX, who replaces previous rights holder ESPN,acquired the rights from Univision Deportes for an undisclosed sum. The matches will include 'home' friendlies and World Cup qualifiers.

NWSL can help stop so many young players from retiring

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It happens every season: the exodus of mid-level players from NWSL, citing a need to spend time with their families or get on with their post-soccer careers. You know, because they strung together a life while they played soccer but it's not going to pay the bills forever, so it's time for a real world job that pays a livable wage.

Harry Kane double sees Spurs leapfrog Arsenal into third place

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Tottenham kept their Premier League title challenge on track as Harry Kane's double inspired a 3-0 win over struggling Norwich on Tuesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are only five points behind leaders Leicester after climbing above bitter rivals Arsenal into third place thanks to a dominant display at Carrow Road.

Jamie Vardy wonder-strike fires Leicester title bid; Video

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A wonder-goal from England striker Jamie Vardy helped prolong Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title challenge as they defeated Liverpool 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

Vardy scored both of the Foxes' goals, taking his tally to 18, and the first was a stunning strike from the right-hand corner of the penalty area that capped another astonishing night for his team.

Allegri wants more as Juventus target club record in Serie A

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his impressive crop of young stars can achieve even more as they target a club record of 13 successive league wins with the visit of Genoa on Wednesday.

The four-time consecutive champions have put their miserable start to the season behind them and closed to within two points of leaders Napoli following a 4-0 rout of Chievo in Verona on Sunday.

An in-depth look at the Paris Saint-Germain academy

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It seems the Parc des Princes cannot stop producing bad eggs.

Earlier this month, highly-rated young defender Marquinhos became the latest in a string of Paris Saint-Germain youth prospects to complain about their playing time. In context, the act is hardly outrageous. Manager Laurent Blanc opted, in a low-priority cup game, to field fellow youth prospect Presnel Kimpembe in place of David Luiz or Thiago Silva.

Alex Iwobi impressing with the Arsenal first team

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Arsenal young guns Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Dan Crowley and Gedion Zelalem receive a lot of attention when people discuss the next big prospect to go through the youth ranks and into the first team of the north London side. However, 19-year-old midfielder Alex Iwobi is beginning to turn heads as well.

Who’ll win the Premier League? Assessing the top 4’s chances

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English soccerfans are fortunate to be witnessing one of those incredibleseasons set on fire with its unpredictability and surreal results aplenty.

The quality of the soccerwhen compared with the spending has been highly questionable with none of the title-challenging teams matching the quality of soccerthat one would expect.

February could make or break Leicester City’s title hopes

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Leicester have bobbled and tried to seize control of the Premier League's top spotfor much of the season but their rivals for the title are still hot on their back. Manchester City and Arsenal are just a win away from disposing them of first place and Tottenham Hotspur are five points adrift.

However after this comes Manchester United who not an immediate threat to Leicester as they are 10 points behind, and this is when Leicester's campaign gets interesting.

Under-fire Gary Neville faces daunting Barcelona in Copa del Rey semi

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European champions Barcelona continue their quest for a second consecutive treble when Gary Neville's off-form Valencia visit the Camp Nou in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

Valencia's run to the last four of the Cup has been the only positive of a difficult start for the England coach in his first managerial role.

Premier League January spending hits five-year high

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English Premier League clubs' gross spending on transfers in the January transfer window reached a five-year high of £175 million ($250.1 million, 230.1 million euros), financial consultants Deloitte said on Tuesday.

The figure represented the biggest collective mid-season outlay by English top-flight teams since 2011 (£225 million), when Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a then British-record £50 million and used the proceeds to buy Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

Guardiola swoop key to Manchester City’s global domination bid

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A dream four years in the making was finally realized when Pep Guardiola was announced as Manchester City's next manager, a development the club's billionaire owners hope will transform world soccer on and off the field.

On it, the respected 44-year-old, currently seeing out his final season with Bayern Munich, will be handed the simple target of winning the Champions League within the three-year contract he has agreed, and which will pay him a reported 20 million euros ($21 million) a season.

‘Devastated’ Tomas Rosicky could be out for over a month with new injury

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky is devastated by the latest injury setback which could see him ruled out for over a month.

Rosicky suffered a thigh problem just moments after coming off the bench for his first appearance of the season as a substitute in Saturday's FA Cup fourth round win over Burnley.

Guardiola signing is Manchester City’s statement of intent against Chelsea and United

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Manchester City finally announced the news that has been long anticipated Pep Guardiola will be the club's new manager on a three-year deal beginning next season. Guardiola will finish this season with Bayern Munich while Manuel Pellegrini will see out the season with Manchester City. The Blues remain alive in four competitions including the League Cup where Pellegrini's side will face Liverpool in the final.

How to watch all Premier League matches online from anywhere in the world

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With so many people choosing to consume media online rather than through a cable subscription, it's easy to see why sites like Netflix are so hugely popular. It's pretty easy to watch great movies or shows online these days, but what's not so easy is getting high quality sports streams.

The Premier League is broadcast in 220 territories around the world, with only 16% of global viewers actually in the UK.

Gary Cahill could join Chelsea’s defensive exodus

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill admits he could follow John Terry out of Stamford Bridge if he doesn't force his way back into the starting line-up on a regular basis.

Terry surprisingly revealed on Sunday that he is set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season after being told by the club's hierarchy that he won't be offered a new deal when his current contract expires.

Top 10 Premier League transfer window deals

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AFP Sport lists the 10 biggest incoming Premier League transfers of the January transfer window after the deadline passed on Monday (* denotes fee approximate and as reported by British media):

Giannelli Imbula

Porto (POR) to Stoke City; £18.3 million ($26.4 million, 24.

Premier League and Bundesliga to compete head-to-head Saturday on NBC and FOX

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Two of the 5 over-the-air TV networks in the United States will be broadcasting European soccer games at the same time on Saturday when NBC features Southampton versusWest Ham United, while FOX shows Bayer Leverkusen against Bayern Munich.

Originally, FOX's high-profile game between Leverkusen and Bayern Munich was scheduled unopposed from Premier League competition on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho and stars endorse Infantino’s FIFA bid

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Photo credit: AFP.

A stellar cast of soccer figures including Jose Mourinho and Luis Figo appeared in support of Gianni Infantino's FIFA presidential bid at an event at London's Wembley Stadium on Monday.

UEFA general secretary Infantino, who is bidding to succeed the disgraced Sepp Blatter in the February 26 election in Zurich, was accompanied by a host of glittering names from the game as he outlined his plans for the first 90 days of his presidency.

‘Disrespectful’ Roberto Mancini hit with fine and ban

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Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has been handed a fine and a one-match ban by Serie A officials following a series of incidents at Sunday's 3-0 derby defeat to AC Milan.

Mancini was sent from the touchlines in the second half after arguing with the fourth official when the referee failed to award a penalty after Milan 'keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma clashed with striker Eder.

Pep Guardiola ready for ‘risk’ with Manchester City

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Manchester City pulled off a spectacular coup Monday in naming Pep Guardiola as their manager for next season but the Spanish supercoach said he is taking a "risk".

Guardiola, who leaves Bayern Munich at the end of the season, takes over from Chilean Manuel Pellegrini on a three year deal reportedly worth more than 15 million pounds ($21.

German Denis bids farewell to Atalanta in emotional send-off

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In four in and half years of service to Atalanta, German Denis became a modern club legend. After 152 matches and 55 goals for the Orobici, Denis signed off as the club's all-time leading foreign goal scorer.

As he set to bid arrivederci to the club on Saturday night, Denis provided Atalanta supporters with one last moment to remember him by, as he slotted home an 82nd minute equalizer against Sassuolo, before leaving to a standing ovation.

Iheanacho ready to work for Manchester City place

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Kelechi Iheanacho concedes that he may have to bide his time for a regular place in the Manchester City line-up, ahead of Tuesday's Premier League visit to struggling Sunderland.

The 19-year-old Nigerian scored a slick hat-trick in City's 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory at Aston Villa on Saturday, taking his tally in all competitions this season to eight goals from just five starts.

Panini launches ‘FIFA 365,’ a new sticker collection that’s ideal for fans of club soccer

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After Panini's huge success with their 2014 FIFA World Cup sticker collection, Panini has returned with a brand-new collection. But despite the name 'FIFA 365,' which sounds like it'd be a collection focused on national teams, 'FIFA 365' instead focuses on the best club teams and their players from around the world.

Chinese soccer clubs spend big as President Xi dreams of glory

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Chinese soccer clubs are splashing their cash in Europe, as wealthy owners embrace President Xi Jinping's vision of the sleeping Asian giant becoming a new heavyweight in the sport.

As January's European transfer window began to swing shut on Monday, clubs in the top two tiers of Chinese soccer had spent more than 200 million euros ($216 million) collectively on players, according to website transfermarkt, which tracks commercial developments in the sport.

Neymar and Barcelona in court over murky transfer

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Barcelona star Neymar and president Josep Maria Bartomeu will be called to give evidence this week in the murky case over the deal which brought the Brazilian to the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013.

Bartomeu is due to attend Spain's national court on Monday with Neymar to follow on Tuesday.

Manchester United boss Van Gaal braced for fan gauntlet against Stoke

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Louis van Gaal will risk the wrath of Manchester United's fans again on Tuesday when his side resume their push for a top-four Premier League finish against Stoke City.

Having talked up United's title chances following their 1-0 win at Liverpool, the manager saw his team fall to an abject 1-0 home defeat against Southampton on their last league outing, after which they were booed off by angry fans.

Messi seeks to meet Afghan boy in plastic jersey

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi is hoping to arrange a meeting with an Afghan boy who shot to fame after pictures of him dressed in a striped plastic bag jersey went viral, Kabul's football federation said Monday.

Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi idolises the Argentine soccer star but a jersey of his favourite player is beyond the means of his poor family in the volatile province of Ghazni near Kabul.

Chelsea give captain John Terry hope of new deal

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Chelsea captain John Terry may yet be offered a new deal despite announcing his departure from the club, a spokesman for the Premier League champions said.

Terry, 35, said on Sunday that he will leave Chelsea when his current deal expires at the end of the season because the club have not offered him a new contract.

Manchester City announce that Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini this summer

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Manchester City has announced that Pep Guardiola will join the club this summer as manager to replace Manuel Pellegrini.

In a statement from the Club, Manchester City announced:

"Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalized negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 16/17 EPL season onwards.

FA Cup review, GW24 preview; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the World Soccer Talk podcast, hosts Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer discuss what we learned about the Premier League from the fourth round of the FA Cup, where only two more top-tier clubs were eliminated from the competition. The duo will also spend the show's first segment discussing news John Terry will not be offered a new contract at Chelsea as well as the transfers that took place during the last weekend of this year's winter window.

‘No fairytale’ as John Terry announces Chelsea exit

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Chelsea captain John Terry dropped a bombshell on Sunday by announcing he will leave at the end of the season after the club decided not to renew his contract.

"I was in (for talks) last week before the Arsenal game and it is not going to be extended," Terry, 35, told reporters after his side's 5-1 win at second-tier Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup fourth round.