SoccerLens Archives for January 2012

Brendan Rodgers Will Have An Enormous Task At Anfield

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Brendan Rodgers Will Have An Enormous Task At Anfield - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Assuming (as seems likely) that Brendan Rodgers will be Kenny Dalglish's successor in the dugout at Anfield, he has a dream job that could very quickly turn into a nightmare. By taking on the job of rebuilding Liverpool into an outfit regularly finishing in the top four and challenging (if not winning) for League titles and domestic cups he has inherited a task monumental in size.

Chelsea’s capture of Hazard a serious statement of intent

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Chelsea's capture of Hazard a serious statement of intent - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Highly-rated Lille attacking midfielder Eden Hazard has revealed that he is ready to join Chelsea next season, despite interest from both Manchester United and Manchester City. The Belgium international has been a leading light for the Ligue 1 outfit over the last 24 months, and will move to Stamford Bridge in a £32 million deal once the transfer window reopens.

Reading’s 2012-13 Premier League campaign; what does Zingarevich’s takeover mean?

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Reading's 2012-13 Premier League campaign; what does Zingarevich's takeover mean? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

On Tuesday newly-promoted Reading announced that Thames Sports Investment has completed a 51 per cent buyout of the club. The new owners, led by Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich, are rumoured to be ready to spend the required revenue to help the Royals compete in the English top-flight, and ensure their return to the big time is not on a temporary basis.

Spain name Euro 2012 squad: Torres in, Soldado out

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Spain name Euro 2012 squad: Torres in, Soldado out - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Vicente del Bosque has the task of bringing home a third straight international tournament success this summer, with the triumphs at Euro 2008 and in the 2010 World Cup meaning Spain are favourites for this year's Euro 2012.

International Football Tournaments Are To Be Cherished

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International Football Tournaments Are To Be Cherished - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In eighteen days' time, Euro 2012 will start. Twenty three days of international tournament football, with matches being played almost every day for the twenty-three day duration. If you didn't know or understand football supporters you may think that there wouldn't be much interest.

Longest football bans: Joey Barton the latest in a conspicious list

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Longest football bans: Joey Barton the latest in a conspicious list - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The FA have slapped QPR midfielder Joey Barton with a 12-match ban following the temperamental midfielder's sending off against Manchester City on the last day of the Premier League season.

Roy Keane pays Gary Neville a compliment

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Roy Keane pays Gary Neville a compliment - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roy Keane was a team-mate and captain to Gary Neville for many years at Manchester United at the same time that Ferguson brought Keane to Old Trafford, the young crop of players that included Gary Neville were making their mark in the youth team.

Villa ruled out as Spain look to Torres to provide Euro 2012 spark

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Villa ruled out as Spain look to Torres to provide Euro 2012 spark - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

David Villa has been ruled out of Spain's Euro 2012 campaign, leaving Spain without their all-time record goalscorer. The onus will now fall on the likes of Llorente and of course Torres to step up to the plate and help Spain defend their European Championship crown.

West Brom reduce season ticket prices to help fans attend more games

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West Brom reduce season ticket prices to help fans attend more games - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

On the back of a successful season that saw them achieve their highest ever Premier League finish, West Brom have reduced ticket prices in a bid to help the local community afford to watch live football matches and to encourage families and young fans to attend more games.

How Chelsea’s Champions League win affects City’s, United’s and Arsenal’s revenues

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How Chelsea's Champions League win affects City's, United's and Arsenal's revenues - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea winning the Champions League will see the other English Champions League qualifiers lose a few million pounds each from UEFA's pot of TV money going to the Premier League.

Beckham plays musical balls with Samsung Galaxy Note in new Olympics Ad

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Beckham plays musical balls with Samsung Galaxy Note in new Olympics Ad - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a powerful smartphone that doubles as a tablet and when it comes to the London 2012 Olympics, it even has David Beckham using (and composing music with) the device.

Drogba says goodbye to Chelsea as Torres grows impatient

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Drogba says goodbye to Chelsea as Torres grows impatient - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Despite leading Chelsea to Champions League glory on Saturday it appears Didier Drogba has played his last game for the club.

France Football magazine has reported that the Ivory Coast star has confirmed he is leaving Stamford Bridge.

The New Barcelona 2012/13 Kits

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The New Barcelona 2012/13 Kits - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The new Barcelona home and away shirts for the 2012/2013 season have a fusion-theme, giving Barcelona players (and Barcelona-supporters) a distinctly unique Nike football jersey to wear.

The home shirt sees three vertical bands of blue and maroon blended in to give a slightly electric feel to the traditional Barcelona colours, with blue dominating on the shirt and red trim adorning the collar and sleeves (also seen with yellow trim).

Why Germany Have What It Takes To Win Euro 2012

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Why Germany Have What It Takes To Win Euro 2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Germany has the most decorated national team in the history of the UEFA European Championship.

With three titles and three runners-up medals, Die Mannschaf is once again expected to be a force to be reckoned with.

England’s Euro 2012 Chances

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England's Euro 2012 Chances - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There are always plenty of ‘if's, but's and maybe's' when It comes to England at a major tournament; Euro 2012, though, will take that to a whole new level.

It says a lot about the upheaval surrounding the Three Lions that star man Wayne Rooney's suspension for the first two matches of the competition is almost seen as the least of their worries.

Drogba Completes Roman’s dream

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Drogba Completes Roman's dream - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea found redemption for the misery of Moscow and ended their long quest to win the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich on penalties in the Allianz Arena.

Di Matteo delivered a surprise in his starting line-up, with youngster Ryan Bertrand handed a role on the left flank in front of Cole in an attempt to stifle the threat of former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben.

“Fans Without Borders” Spend €35bn Playing Away Each Season

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"Fans Without Borders" Spend €35bn Playing Away Each Season - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

To celebrate the 2012 UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and CHelsea FC, UEFA sponsor Mastercard has conducted research into football fan behavior and unearthed some very interesting statistics on team following, spend and the increasing globalisation of football brands.

Nike: “My Time Is Now” Ad

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Nike: "My Time Is Now" Ad - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Nike Football "My Time is Now" campaign features a global roster of the world's best players, and celebrates the hunger and impatience of young players ready to tear up the rule book to make their mark in football's elite ranks.

Top Five Bayern Munich v Chelsea Betting Tips

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Top Five Bayern Munich v Chelsea Betting Tips - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea and Bayern Munich go head-to-head in this season's Champions League final on Saturday at the Allianz Arena, in what should be a mouth-watering clash. The Germans are favourites due to playing at home, however the Blues have upset Barcelona and are in great form in Europe.

The Premier League Betting Awards – Season 2011/2012

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The Premier League Betting Awards – Season 2011/2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Another Premier League season has come to an end. For serious punters, the football season can be a grind. An enjoyable grind but a grind nonetheless. A perpetual routine of updating spreadsheets, adjusting ratings, pricing up match after match coupled with the somewhat schizoid experience of one week begging for heaven that a particular club wins only to find yourself hurling equal hope that they lose the next.

England Euro 2012 Squad

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England Euro 2012 Squad - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

England manager Roy Hodgson (he with a 0% England win record) announced the Euro 2012 23-man squad today. His selections (and explanations) were largely pragmatic and determined in some cases by injuries, although the team is strikingly similar to what the previous England manager, Fabio Capello, would have picked.

Liverpool allow Dalglish to leave with dignity

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Liverpool allow Dalglish to leave with dignity - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has left Anfield after talks with the club's American owners.

Dalglish had traveled to the US to meet with the Liverpool owners, where he presented his end-of-season review, outlined his plans for next season and answered questions from John Henry and Tom Werner about the missed targets this season.

Euro 2012 Odds Suggest Spain team to beat at Euro 2012

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Euro 2012 Odds Suggest Spain team to beat at Euro 2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

If the incredible drama of the Premier League has made you wonder how you are going to cope without football until August fear not football fans Euro 2012 is just around the corner, and of course, there are plenty of Euro 2012 odds to study, as punters across Europe decide on which team to back, or who will pick up the golden boot.

What Are The Prospects For Aston Villa?

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What Are The Prospects For Aston Villa? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Aston Villa on Monday sacked Alex McLeish. You can hardly blame them for sacking him. McLeish is so negative magnets in his presence never attract and only repel. He could fall on some tube tracks and not be electrocuted.

Barcelona’s Tactical Outlook Post-Guardiola

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Barcelona's Tactical Outlook Post-Guardiola - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When you look upon FC Barcelona as a squad, you might think you are looking at a squad that is almost perfect in every way.

They have a squad with experienced players that know each other well. Because they know each other, they play exceptionally well together.

Mancini, Carlos Tevez and Manchester City’s European Dream

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Mancini, Carlos Tevez and Manchester City's European Dream - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roberto Mancini's reward for guiding Manchester City to Premier League glory will be a new £20million contract.

Mancini, who has a year left on his current deal, will sign a new four-year agreement worth £5m-a-year.

2012/13 Pre-Season Schedules: Tottenham, Liverpool, Real Madrid and more

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2012/13 Pre-Season Schedules: Tottenham, Liverpool, Real Madrid and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Despite the 2011-12 season just drawing to a close and Euro 2012 and the Olympics on the horizon, a raft of leading European teams are planning their warm up games for next term. With an increase in popularity in the game across in North America, it has been the trend for pre-season friendlies to be played in the United States and Canada, and this summer it will be no different.

Official Premier League stats reveal the best England squad for Euro 2012

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Official Premier League stats reveal the best England squad for Euro 2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roy Hodgson unveils his Euro 2012 squad tomorrow, and official data released today by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that Norwich City stars, John Ruddy and Grant Holt plus Swansea striker Danny Graham should ALL be boarding the plane to the Ukraine.

Will Gareth Bale and Luka Modric leave Tottenham?

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Will Gareth Bale and Luka Modric leave Tottenham? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It is widely accepted that most rumoured transfer rumours are made up. They're made up by newspaper journalists under pressure from tetchy impatient editors who want new, fresh stories that will sell newspapers and garner a load of hits on the internet.

The link between rest and Champions League success (or why United failed in Europe)

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The link between rest and Champions League success (or why United failed in Europe) - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Players should be guaranteed three full days' rest between matches, the world players' union FIFPro said on Tuesday, adding that the idea could bolster the much-criticised Europa League.

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Online Football Fans: A Live Football Skills Challenge

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Cristiano Ronaldo vs Online Football Fans: A Live Football Skills Challenge - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Last year Castrol EDGE presented Ronaldo Tested to the Limit, an award-winning documentary that showed the Portugal and Real Madrid forward showcase his strengths in a series of captivating challenges in the most scientific examination of a player ever undertaken.

The New Arsenal 2012/13 Home Kit by Nike

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The New Arsenal 2012/13 Home Kit by Nike - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal's new 2012/2013 home kit is now available for ordering on the Soccerlens Store.

Inspired by Arsenal's history of innovation, the new men's Arsenal Home Shirt 2012/13 features an updated look highlighted by blue and white hoops first introduced by revolutionary Gunners manager Herbert Chapman in the 1930s.

Ferguson’s big United decision this summer

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Ferguson's big United decision this summer - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United's best performance in the 2011/2012 season was on Sunday, 28th August 2011, when they walloped an injury-ridden and pre-panic-buy Arsenal 8-2.

This standout performance wasn't a blip. In their first five competitive games of the season, United won all 5, including their best performance against Manchester City (although it was the Community Shield, people forget that United played City four times, not three times, and beat them twice) that was far more in United's advantage than the 3-2 scoreline suggested.

England’s Latest Recruit

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England's Latest Recruit - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

New England coach Roy Hodgson has sprung a major surprise by appointing Gary Neville to his coaching team.

The former Manchester United defender has signed a four-year contract, which allows him to continue as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Another Year of Scholesy!

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Another Year of Scholesy! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Yesterday evening, at Manchester United's player of the year dinner, Sir Alex Ferguson announced that Paul Scholes will be staying on as a player at the club for another season. This news will delight the Red Devils fans and will surely soften the blow from missing out on the Premier League this weekend.

Euro 2012 Betting Guide – Five top bets for the Euros

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Euro 2012 Betting Guide Five top bets for the Euros - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With Euro 2012 less than a month away, the participating nations are starting to name their squads for the tournament and the fans' enthusiasm is beginning to build. As with any international competition, games thick and fast allow the punters to gamble on a daily basis in the search of profits, and many will be reaching for the Euro 2012 betting guide to find a bargain price or outside punt.

Barcelona’s Summer 2012 Tranfer Targets: Who’s coming in and who’s going out?

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Barcelona's Summer 2012 Tranfer Targets: Who's coming in and who's going out? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Depending upon the outcome of Copa del Rey Final on May 25th against Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona can finish the 2011/2012 campaign on a (relative) high.

Winning the domestic Cup competition is nothing to sniff at but it pales to the accomplishments achieved in previous seasons.

Five reasons underdogs Chelsea can beat Bayern at the Allianz Arena

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Five reasons underdogs Chelsea can beat Bayern at the Allianz Arena - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It has been quite the Champions League campaign this season, with a number of shocks, surprises and upsets, none more so than the fact that Chelsea ousted Barcelona in the semi-finals to set up a final against Bayern Munich.

A Dramatic End to a Crazy Season

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A Dramatic End to a Crazy Season - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Yesterday, this year's roller-coaster Barclay's Premier League season came to a dramatic end following an astonishing afternoon of football.

Below is a round-up of how the points were shared and the significance for the teams involved.

The Biggest Winners Of 2011/12: Manchester City, Newcastle and more

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The Biggest Winners Of 2011/12: Manchester City, Newcastle and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A fantastic last day of the season capped off one of the most memorable Premier League seasons in the recent memory. 2011/12 has had it all; a topsy-turvy title race that literally went down to the wire, a bitter battle for the top four, heroics in the Champions League and a breathtaking relegation battle.

The Biggest Losers of 2011/12: Liverpool, Manchester United and more

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The Biggest Losers of 2011/12: Liverpool, Manchester United and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Despite a fantastically entertaining season with a raft of Premier League winners this term, it has been a campaign to forget for some teams and individuals. Euro 2012, the Olympics and the summer transfer window are approaching, and for some 2011-12 could not come to an end quick enough.

The New Manchester United 2012/13 Home Kit

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The New Manchester United 2012/13 Home Kit - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United's 2012-13 home kit is not only Nike's most environment-friendly kit, it also honours Manchester's industrious past with a bold new design.

Manchester United Football club's success has been founded on the traditional values of respect and hard work.

Gracias Pep? Tactical Mistakes Meant Guardiola’s Exit Can Only Benefit Barcelona

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Gracias Pep? Tactical Mistakes Meant Guardiola's Exit Can Only Benefit Barcelona - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Days have passed since FC Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea FC. In that time this writer has come full circle in his impression of a man whose tenure has also, come full circle at Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola Over-Reliance On Lionel Messi Hurt Barcelona

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Pep Guardiola Over-Reliance On Lionel Messi Hurt Barcelona - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

What is there left to say, or write? Though I won't be as harsh as Jose I will also refrain from championing Pep Guardiola the best in the business. He did exceptionally well but let me ask you a question:

How is it possible to not win a title when you can call upon the talents of say Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi?

Cisse can down City and keep QPR in the Premier League

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Cisse can down City and keep QPR in the Premier League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Queens Park Rangers find themselves two points clear of the drop-zone ahead of their trip to Manchester City on Sunday. With five goals in seven games, Castrol EDGE Performance Data shows that Djibril Cissé will be crucial to the London club's final battle for survival.

United looking to seal title by using their heads

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United looking to seal title by using their heads - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

If Manchester United are to snatch the title away from their local rivals on Sunday then they are first going to have to overcome Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Castrol EDGE performance data suggests that United might not find it such a difficult task if they use their heads.

Premier League betting: odds on a Manchester City or Manchester United title win

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Premier League betting: odds on a Manchester City or Manchester United title win - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sky Sports are screening both Manchester games on the final day of the season, and it's City (on SS1) who are firmly in the driving seat and long odds-on to clinch their first title in 44 years.

Sneijder, Kagawa or Martinez? The Solution to United’s Midfield problems

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Sneijder, Kagawa or Martinez? The Solution to United's Midfield problems - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United are on the brink of having one of their worst seasons in the last decade, and their first trophy-less season since the 2004-05 season.

United need improvements this summer to get back to their winning ways under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Championship Play-Off Final Preview: Hammers and Seasiders seek immediate Premier League return

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Championship Play-Off Final Preview: Hammers and Seasiders seek immediate Premier League return - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When you get relegated from the Premier League, it's not easy to get back there quickly. And sometimes, it gets worse before it gets better. Just ask Southampton, who are headed back to the top flight after seven years away and after being in League One only last year.

Real Madrid’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Real Madrid's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Jose Mourinho has a successful season in charge of Real Madrid. The Spanish side have become the deserved winners of the La Liga and fell just short in the Champions League.

Despite this, the Portuguese manager will look to strengthen his squad even further going into next season, as Madrid seek European glory.

What does the future hold for Tevez, Baines, Drogba and M’Vila?

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What does the future hold for Tevez, Baines, Drogba and M'Vila? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Here's a look at the top transfer stories circulating in the Premier League today, with guest appearances from Carlos Tevez (will he stay or go), Leighton Baines (can he match the flying Frenchman) and Didier Drogba.

Eden Hazard: United or City?

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Eden Hazard: United or City? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Eden Hazard is arguably the most sought after player in Europe at the moment. It  now looks like the Belgian dazzler has made his decision on where he'll be playing next season and Fergie's not going to like it at all!

Recently the Lille midfielder has dropped his biggest hint yet that he will join Manchester City this summer after announcing he will 'definitely' be wearing blue next season.

adidas Tango 12: Official Euro 2012 Match Ball

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adidas Tango 12: Official Euro 2012 Match Ball - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

adidas Tango 12 is the official Euro 2012 match ball, based on the classic Tango design used during both the FIFA World Cup™ and UEFA EURO™ tournaments during the early 1980s. The adidas Tango 12 features a modern interpretation of the design including bespoke graphics designed to represent the two host countries and link to the key characteristics of football – unity, rivalry and passion.

The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M’Vila, Podolski and RVP

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The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M'Vila, Podolski and RVP - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have been through something of a rollercoaster season, starting very slowly before a revival has the north London side 90 minutes away from a respectable third place.

Arsenal v Tottenham v Newcastle: The Race for Third Place

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Arsenal v Tottenham v Newcastle: The Race for Third Place - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It seems the competition for third place in the Premier League is now going to be decided on the final day of the season. Here I take a look at each team's final fixture and their chances of finishing ahead of their rivals.

Roberto Martinez to leave Wigan in the summer?

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Roberto Martinez to leave Wigan in the summer? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Martinez's last few months at Wigan have been incredible. The Spaniard has performed miracles at the DW Stadium since January.

The Latics have won six of their last games – including victories over Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle.

This Premier League Season Has Been A Cracker

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This Premier League Season Has Been A Cracker - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Football in England this year has taken a bit of a kicking. The standard has generally been seen to be lower than in recent seasons. The worst Manchester United side in living memory may still win the title. In Europe all English clubs with the exception of Chelsea's miraculous run to the Champions League final have underperformed.

Fulham’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Fulham's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lack of finances usually dictates Fulham's transfer policy. Over the years, managers at Craven Cottage have had to bring in players at the lowest cost possible.

In January, Martin Jol acquired the services of Pavel Pogrebnyak from Stuttgart on loan.

Fulham’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Fulham's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lack of finances usually dictates Fulham's transfer policy. Over the years, managers at Craven Cottage have had to bring in players at the lowest cost possible.

In January, Martin Jol acquired the services of Pavel Pogrebnyak from Stuttgart on loan.

2012 Europa League Final Preview: Which revived Spanish side will triumph in Bucharest?

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2012 Europa League Final Preview: Which revived Spanish side will triumph in Bucharest? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Coming into this season, many expected the UEFA Champions League final to be an all-Spanish affair between Barcelona and Real Madrid. That hasn't come to pass, as Bayern Munich and Chelsea had other plans.

2012 Europa League Final Preview: Which revived Spanish side will triumph in Bucharest?

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2012 Europa League Final Preview: Which revived Spanish side will triumph in Bucharest? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Coming into this season, many expected the UEFA Champions League final to be an all-Spanish affair between Barcelona and Real Madrid. That hasn't come to pass, as Bayern Munich and Chelsea had other plans.

Everton’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Everton's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With Everton, David Moyes has been deprived of funds for much of his time in charge. In recent years he's had to meticulously assess players, rely on his scouts and be prepared to be imaginative in the transfer market.

Newcastle’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Newcastle's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's really quite amazing that Newcastle can still finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th place in the Premier League, with just one game to go.

And for those Newcastle fans who were really disappointed at losing to Manchester City on Sunday, it can't be forgotten that last August the club were expecting a mid-table finish, with Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton all having left in the summer.

Selection fears for England internationals after Hodgson’s arrival

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Selection fears for England internationals after Hodgson's arrival - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The arrival of a new manager should bring fear and anxiety to players – but for all the right reasons. Out with the old and in with the new, this is the time for players to impress the new manager.

Tottenham’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Tottenham's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There's no hiding the fact that the wheels have come off Tottenham Hotspur's season, but what did fans expect at the start of the campaign?

Whilst I believe that Champions League qualification was always the minimum standard required, many fans are already looking ahead to the summer transfer window and who they want to see at White Hart Lane in 2013.

Birmingham: Premier league dreams, play-off anguish and losing your head

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Birmingham: Premier league dreams, play-off anguish and losing your head - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

This is a funny old time of year for any team in the Championship. Depending on how you've fared, you could be singing, crying, or just plain tearing your hair out. Any team from the Championship can be sorted into one of these categories:

1) Promoted this is the holy grail of this league, you're going to be playing Premier League football next season.

Manchester City’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Manchester City's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Backed by their wealthy owners, Manchester City have spent a fortune on players including Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Carlos Tevez in recent seasons.

It's fully expected that the Manchester club will continue to spend big to bring in new, quality, players as soon as the transfer window re-opens.

Premier League’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets: Team By Team Preview

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Premier League's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets: Team By Team Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Every year, Soccerlens brings comprehensive football transfer news and detailed transfer lists of the major football leagues in Europe.

This year's new feature is a detailed preview of the Premier League's 2012 summer transfer window, looking at the reported transfer targets for each team.

Liverpool’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Liverpool's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Domestically, Liverpool have had a strange season. Their league form has been nothing short of terrible, however, their performances in the cups have been extremely impressive.

Next season Dalglish (providing he remains in charge) will no doubt look to improve the core of the Liverpool team, allowing them to challenge for a top four position.

Chelsea’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Chelsea's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea resurgence under Roberto Di-Matteo has been truly impressive this season. However, he has inherited a squad whose quality and age has been questioned. Providing the Italian manager keeps the Chelsea job on a permanent basis, I'm sure he'll make quite a few changes in summer to re-invent the team as ‘his' side.

What makes the perfect football boot?

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What makes the perfect football boot? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The football boot assumes a number of different monikers; a piece of protective footwear, an iconic symbol of the modern player, a performance aid, fashion accessory and weapon.

The number of developers, style, brands and makes of football boot makes it a competitive marketplace, however the latest craze in footballing footwear is the Adidas f50, which is worn by Lionel Messi.

The History of Football Boots: From Protective Footwear to Performance Aid

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The History of Football Boots: From Protective Footwear to Performance Aid - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The football boot has evolved from a piece of protective footwear in it's 1800′s inception to a way of increasing performance in the modern game. The number of manufacturers, styles, colours and brands have increased dramatically in recent times, as the modern day footballer's footwear is idolised by adoring fans and supporters.

The Top 20 Derbies In Europe By Attendance

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The Top 20 Derbies In Europe By Attendance - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Watched by a global TV audience of around 650 million, it's been described as 'the mother of all derbies' and the second most important game in the world (after El Clasico) but is the Manchester derby the biggest derby in Europe?

History of Footballs

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History of Footballs - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Given the very modest origins of the football, it's amazing to think about what a modern-day one can do. More often than not, we think and talk about the people using it, which is understandable.

Look at football as art. The footballer is the painter, his body is the paintbrush, the pitch is his expansive canvas, and the football is his paint.

Constructing the Perfect Football

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Constructing the Perfect Football - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It goes without saying, but the footballs of today are miles more advanced than those that were used in the early days of the beautiful game. But as advanced as they are, there are still some kinks with even the best and most advanced soccer balls out there.

Premier League Week 37 Preview

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Premier League Week 37 Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A look at this weekend's Premier League matches as Manchester fights for the league title and London teams play for their Champions League futures.

Arsenal v Norwich

The chase for third place remains in Arsenal's hands, but with Tottenham and Newcastle in close pursuit there is no room for error.

Famous Football Families

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Famous Football Families - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Here's a look at the most notable football family connections, past and present.

Fathers and Sons

The Ayews: Abedi Ayew, known more as Abedi Pele is considered the greatest player in Ghanaian history. He was a big part of Marseille's success in the early 1990s, captained Ghana for six years, and scored 33 goals for his country.

Famous Sportsmen and women, and the football teams they support

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Famous Sportsmen and women, and the football teams they support - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Football truly is a global game, and the biggest teams have millions of fans throughout the globe. However the draw of the Premier League does not end with Joe Public, as numerous famous sportspeople from other disciplines follow the beautiful game.

Arsenal’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Arsenal's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have had a strong end to the season, but have heavily relied on Van Persie's goals. In summer I fully expect Arsene Wenger to make some key signings to replace the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri who they've dearly missed.

The FA Cup Final: Torres & Drogba v Suarez & Carroll

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The FA Cup Final: Torres & Drogba v Suarez & Carroll - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Today's FA cup final will provide four big names with the chance to turn a poor season around by bringing success to their respective clubs.

Chelsea's two attackers have had a less that average season, Torres has managed 6 goals in 30 Premier League appearances, whilst Drogba has scored just 5 in 23.

FA Premier League Week 37 Match Preview

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FA Premier League Week 37 Match Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A look at this weekend's Premier League matches as Manchester fights for the league title and London teams play for their Champions League futures.

Arsenal v Norwich

The chase for third place remains in Arsenal's hands, but with Tottenham and Newcastle in close pursuit there is no room for error.

Jose Mourinho: One Manager To Rule Them All

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Jose Mourinho: One Manager To Rule Them All - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Real Madrid wrapped up the La Liga title last weekend, with Jose Mourinho leading the Santiago Bernabeu outfit to their first Spanish top-flight success in four years. A convincing 3-0 away win over Europa League finalists Athletic Bilbao sealed the triumph, and broke Barcelona's stranglehold over the game in Spain.

With Tevez, Aguero and Balotelli staying, is there room at Manchester City for Edin Dzeko?

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With Tevez, Aguero and Balotelli staying, is there room at Manchester City for Edin Dzeko? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City have played some scintillating football over recent weeks to retake the top spot in the Premier League, with only 180 minutes between them and their first top-flight title since 1968.

Chelsea v Liverpool FA Cup Final Betting Odds

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Chelsea v Liverpool FA Cup Final Betting Odds - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The 2012 FA Cup final takes centre stage on Saturday (5.15pm KO, Live on ITV1) and bookmakers make Chelsea favourites to beat Liverpool in normal time. The Blues have been chalked up at 2.5 (Betfred and bet365) to do the business in 90 minutes, with Liverpool 3 chances (Betfred and Boylesports), and the draw rated a 3.

Manchester United v Swansea Preview: Character Is Not Enough

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Manchester United v Swansea Preview: Character Is Not Enough - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United will go into this game against Swansea City eager to put the derby heartache behind them. Although he has publicly conceded that City are now "in the driving seat", Sir Alex Ferguson is way too experienced not to know that even if City emerge from the weekend with the three points, it will still be crucial for his side to get the victory ensuring the heat remains on for the last day of the campaign.

Madrid Win La Liga as Messi Breaks Another Record

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Madrid Win La Liga as Messi Breaks Another Record - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Real Madrid clinched the La Liga title for the first time since 2008 after their 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday night.

A little over one week later after their Champions league misery, Jose Mourinho's side have recovered to take the title from holders Barcelona.

Newcastle host Man City as United and Tottenham hope for a draw

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Newcastle host Man City as United and Tottenham hope for a draw - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Manchester derby on Monday was widely dubbed the biggest game of the season but this clash now carries a similar level of importance. Not only is it vital for City to cement their recently gained advantage by claiming three points from the toughest of their two remaining fixtures, the game is huge for the Magpies too.

Aston Villa v Tottenham Preview: Big Clubs And Small Margins

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Aston Villa v Tottenham Preview: Big Clubs And Small Margins - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Aston Villa take on Tottenham on Sunday afternoon with two clubs separated by 28 points and fighting on opposite ends of the table, yet not too long ago they were both considered 'equal' footballing powers.

Footballers, injuries and the strangest rehabilitation methods

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Footballers, injuries and the strangest rehabilitation methods - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

For a professional footballer there is nothing worse than being injured, but with the physical nature of the sport, injuries are always going to happen. Despite the modern day footballer honing his body to become a complete athlete, knocks, niggles and ailments can take their toll.

2012 Fa Cup Final: Chelsea v Liverpool Talking Points

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2012 Fa Cup Final: Chelsea v Liverpool Talking Points - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea have quite a lot to look forward to in May. The thing undoubtedly at the top of their list is their 2012 Champions League final showdown with Bayern Munich, but they're also pushing for a fourth-place Premier League finish (although that may be out of their hands now after losing to two splendid goals by Cisse on Wendesday night.

Joint-ownership of football players; the future or a financial cloak?

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Joint-ownership of football players; the future or a financial cloak? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Long gone are the days of simply buying and selling players; due to the extortionate amounts of money that football players are worth modern day contracts are intricate, with many different beneficiaries in every deal.

It’s not over til it’s over – Football’s greatest comebacks

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It's not over til it's over – Football's greatest comebacks - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When players are being taught the basics of the game as youngsters, one of the key messages is to play until the final whistle. If your team goes a couple of goals down more often than not the result will not be in your favour, but sometimes the spectacular can happen.

It’s not over til it’s over – Football’s greatest comebacks

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It's not over til it's over – Football's greatest comebacks - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When players are being taught the basics of the game as youngsters, one of the key messages is to play until the final whistle. If your team goes a couple of goals down more often than not the result will not be in your favour, but sometimes the spectacular can happen.

Ferguson’s Replacement at United: Current Betting Odds

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Ferguson's Replacement at United: Current Betting Odds - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When Sir Alex Ferguson finally decides to close the curtains on his long and glorious career there will certainly be more than a few managers in line to replace him. Below are the Sky Bet current favourites:

1.

Adidas Predator Lethal Zones Football Boot

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Adidas Predator Lethal Zones Football Boot - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Earlier this week, adidas finally launched the Predator® Lethal Zones boot after weeks of teasers and sneak previews. The new Predator® Lethal Zones boot, designed to be a complete ball control boot for shooting, passing and dribbling, is composed of five, super-light (SL) rubber and memory foam 3-D zones, each designed to support perfect ball control.

Player Rivalries: Best of Enemies

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Player Rivalries: Best of Enemies - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Club rivalries are passed down through the generations; every Spurs fans knows that Arsenal are the enemy, Barcelona look at Real Madrid with contempt, whilst River Plate and Boca Juniors fans were born to fight each other.

Papiss Cisse: My Signing of the Season!

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Papiss Cisse: My Signing of the Season! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

For me, Newcastle's number nine has been the best transfer for not just this season, but the past few years.

Yesterday evening, Cisse produced two goals of the highest quality to keep Newcastle United firmly in contention for a place in the Premier League's top four with victory at Chelsea.

Jordan Henderson interview: reflecting on his first season at Liverpool [Video]

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Jordan Henderson interview: reflecting on his first season at Liverpool [Video] - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson speaks to IAMPLAYR about his first season at Liverpool and the highlights of the 2011/2012 season for Liverpool.

Credit: Jordan Henderson will appear in new online football game IAMPLAYR.

Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham’s top four hopes to be decided today?

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Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham's top four hopes to be decided today? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With as tight a race for Champions League qualification as in the recent memory, Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham all have three games left to play to ensure a top-four finish. The Blues have the FA Cup final on Saturday and their Champions League finale clash with Bayern Munich coming up, but are the form side of the three.

Why Manchester United Fans Should Remain Optimistic!

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Why Manchester United Fans Should Remain Optimistic! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In the previous week, I suggested that huge investment will be needed in summer for United to stand a chance at competing with top clubs next season. This feeling will have certainly intensified for all United fans as they witnessed the 1-0 defeat to City on Monday evening.

Ten Reasons why Football is better than Horse Racing

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Ten Reasons why Football is better than Horse Racing - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Despite the allure of horse racing amongst spectators, punters and race-goers alike, nothing beats a Saturday afternoon and a game of football. Horse racing is building in popularity and, especially with the betting on bigger races, is becoming a main sport in British society.

Flashback: Fergie’s battle over the Rock of Gibraltar

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Flashback: Fergie's battle over the Rock of Gibraltar - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

After 25 years in charge of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson will go down in history as one of the best and most successful managers in the club's history.

However, Ferguson was involved in a legal battle in the 2000′s over the ownership of prize-winning horse Rock of Gibraltar, in the one main blotch in his copybook.

Footballers and the continued connection to horse racing

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Footballers and the continued connection to horse racing - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Ownership of a horse is a sign of wealth and affluence, with modern day footballers some of the richest people in sporting circles both in the United Kingdom and further afield.

With the money attached to horse racing and betting, leading figures in football stand to make more money than their already inflated wages.

Manchester United’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

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Manchester United's Summer 2012 Transfer Targets - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United may miss out on the title this year, but there are many things to look forward to next season.

United's 1-0 loss to City puts them in a tie with their arch-rivals at the top of the table, but City's goal difference is eight points better than United's.

Football Injuries and Modern Footballers [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Football Injuries and Modern Footballers [INFOGRAPHIC] - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's the bane of a footballer's life. Not a salary cap, not kiss-and-tell scandals or even the dreaded, and eternally-blamed Credit Crunch (always a capital C for Credit Crunch). No, for any footballer- amateur or professional- the fear of injury is the biggest of all.

Roy Hodgson: Is This Surprise Selection the Man to Lead England to Glory at Euro 2012?

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Roy Hodgson: Is This Surprise Selection the Man to Lead England to Glory at Euro 2012? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roy Hodgson emerged as a surprise candidate for the vacant England manager's role, and was announced earlier today as England manager with the countdown to Euro 2012 well under way.

What next for Harry?

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What next for Harry? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sunday night saw the news that Harry Redknapp must have been dreading since that fateful February day when he was acquitted of not paying his taxes and Fabio Capello resigned in a huff over John Terry and god knows what else. Harry, the darling of the press was passed over for the job he dearly longed for.

City within Touching Distance of Title Glory after Manchester Derby Win

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City within Touching Distance of Title Glory after Manchester Derby Win - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
Kompany 45 +1

Manchester City:Â Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, Barry, Toure Yaya, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Aguero.

Manchester City take the Premier League initiative, but did Sir Alex Ferguson get United’s tactics wrong?

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Manchester City take the Premier League initiative, but did Sir Alex Ferguson get United's tactics wrong? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In a tight and nervy encounter on Monday night, Manchester City took the initiative in the Premier League title race with a 1-0 win over rivals and current champions Manchester United.

Bayern Munich v Chelsea Preview: The Complete 2012 Champions League Final Guide

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Bayern Munich v Chelsea Preview: The Complete 2012 Champions League Final Guide - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The 2011/2012 Champions League Final, to be played between Chelsea and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Saturday, 19th May 2012, is going to be a classic.

Both finalists were unfancied going into their respective semi-finals and they overcame unlikely odds to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona.

All-Time Premier League Top Scorers

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All-Time Premier League Top Scorers - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Who are the all-time top goalscorers in the Premier League? Which Premier League players have scored 100 goals or more? Who has scored the most goals in each Premier League season? And who is the top Premier League scorer this season?

Chelsea v Liverpool Preview: Head To Head Player Stats

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Chelsea v Liverpool Preview: Head To Head Player Stats - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, Castrol EDGE performance data compares some of the teams' key players.

On Saturday, two of the Premier League's top goalkeepers will be going head to head, with very little between them this season in terms of performance.