World Cup Buzz Archives for January 2014

Tim Sherwood Waiting On West Brom to Offer Him Baggies Job

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Tim Sherwood is playing a waiting game with West Brom preparing to decide on their new head coach.

The former Tottenham boss has held detailed talks with the Baggies to replace Alan Irvine, who was dismissed on Monday.

Sherwood was previously interviewed for The Hawthorns hotseat in the summer before the Baggies appointed Irvine in June and the Scot has lasted just six months after four wins in 19 Barclays Premier League games.

3 Reasons Why Alan Pardew Moving From Newcastle to Crystal Palace Makes Sense

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By now Alan Pardew has left Newcastle United, on his way to London to join Crystal Palace. On the surface, it seems an odd thing to do. He's not yet halfway through his 8-year contract to manage a large club with a huge stadium and very passionate fans. He's leaving all that for a much smaller club which hasn't been relevant since 1991 and is in danger of being relegated again this season.

Collective Effort Needed to Awaken Everton from Their Midseason Slumber

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Evertonians sampled defeat for the second successive Boxing Day on home soil, but unlike a year ago, there were major concerns emitting from those supporters in attendance and in the following hours on social media.

Last season, Everton—reduced to 10 men early on—laid siege to the Sunderland goal at Goodison Park, with Vito Manonne producing a match-winning display for his side.

2015 UEFA Champions League Ball From adidas: Leaked [PHOTO]

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A photo of adidas' UEFA Champions League ball for the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League final has been leaked on the Internet.

The 2014/15 UEFA Champions League Final will be held in Berlin, Germany, so not surprisingly the ball features some iconic Berlin images such as the Brandenburg Gate and a bear, which is the traditional symbol of the capital of Germany.

Arsenal Youngster Gedion Zelalem Becomes U.S. Citizen, Paves Way to USMNT Selection

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Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem reportedly flew from London to Washington D.C. on Monday to finalize paperwork to officially become a United States citizen. It is thought that the 17-year-old prospect has proclaimed his intentions to play for the United States Men's National Team by becoming a U.S. citizen.

Manchester United Goalkeeper David De Gea Felt Like Captain America

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David de Gea says he felt like comic book super hero Captain America following his remarkable transformation from skinny youngster to hulking goalkeeper.

Much was expected of De Gea when he signed for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, but the then 20-year-old struggled for form straight away, making several costly errors.

West Brom Want New Boss by Weekend to Replace Alan Irvine

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West Brom will move fast to appoint a new head coach after sacking Alan Irvine.

The Baggies parted company with Irvine on Monday night after just half a season in charge, and said in a statement that they "expect to be able to name Irvine's successor by the weekend" when they face Gateshead in the FA Cup third round.

6 Leading Contenders for Newcastle United Manager Job

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Newcastle could be seeking a new manager, having given Alan Pardew permission to speak to Crystal Palace about the vacant position at Selhurst Park.

Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the contenders to replace the 53-year-old in the St James' Park hot-seat.

TONY PULIS

Did an exceptional job lifting Crystal Palace to 11th place last season, before leaving the club by mutual consent at the start of the current campaign.

Real Madrid Warn Manchester United Off Gareth Bale

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Real Madrid have told Manchester United that Gareth Bale is not for sale at any price.

United have been linked with a summer move for Bale, who signed for the European champions in a world-record B£85.3million transfer 16 months ago.

The United board has informed manager Louis van Gaal there is a significant amount of money to spend if he feels his squad needs strengthening, and Bale's signing would be a considerable coup for the 20-time English champions.

Tim Howard Facing Up to 6 Weeks Out at Everton

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Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard will miss the next five to six weeks with a calf injury, manager Roberto Martinez has said.

The American missed Sunday's loss at Newcastle with the injury suffered against Stoke on Boxing Day, and is now set to miss out until well into 2015.

"Tim Howard will be out between five and six weeks with a calf injury," Martinez said at his press conference ahead of the New Year's Day game against Hull.

West Bromwich Albion Sack Alan Irvine After 1 Win in Last 9 Games

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Alan Irvine's near 7month long spell in charge at West Bromwich Albionhas reached its ugly end, and in truth it always did seem destined to end this way given the completely left-field nature of the appointment by chairman Jeremy Peace last summer.

The Scotsman, who has become increasingly unpopular amongst the Albion fan base in recent weeks, has overseen a difficult winter period within which West Brom have lost seven of nine matches, which has directly led to his departure.

Newcastle Striker Papiss Cisse Faces 3 Match Ban After Being Charged by FA

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Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse is facing a three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for using his elbow on Everton's Seamus Coleman.

The FA's video review panel looked at the incident, which happened in Newcastle's 3-2 win on Sunday, and decided it was worthy of a charge and three-game ban.

West Ham United Announce Record Profits

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West Ham have announced record pre-tax profits of over B£10million with joint-chairman David Sullivan stating he is "satisfied with the achievements" the club have made.

The Hammers sit sixth in the Barclays Premier League heading into the new year and just two points off the Champions League positions.

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher Discuss Premier League Team Of The Season So Far [VIDEO]

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Earlier tonight, Sky SportsMonday Night Footballpundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discussed their selections for the Premier League Team of the Season so far.

The former Manchester United and Liverpool defenders agreed on nine of the eleven players in the team, with their only differences coming at centre-back and midfielder.

Grading Arsenal’s First Half of The Season

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As the first half of the 2014-15 Barclays Premier League season is in the rear view mirror, let's take a look at the highs and lows of an up-and-down campaign so far for Arsenal F.C.

Most Valuable Player: Alexis Sanchez. This is most likely the easiest choice out of all of the categories.

Barcelona Transfer Ban Upheld By Court Of Arbitration For Sport

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Barcelona's appeal of FIFA's 14-month transfer ban, which means the Catalan club will not be allowed to sign players until January 2016.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by FC Barcelona against the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regarding the decision issued by the FIFA appeals committee on 19 August 2014," a statement from CAS read.

Arsene Wenger Says Inter Milan’s Interest In Lukas Podolski Is A Joke

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has fired back at rumorslinking striker Lukas Podolski to a loan doal with Inter Milan. The past few days have seen a flurry of stories from Italy linking the German international with Roberto Mancini's side.

According to various reports, the Internazionale coach has made Podolski and PSG's Ezequiel Lavezzi his primary targets in January as well as a host of other players in order to strengthen the Serie A club's squad and enhance its chances of earning a Champions League qualification for next season.

Mourinho Mind Games Are a Tactic to Invoke Siege Mentality Among Chelsea Players

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Jose Mourinho's tirade over perceived injustices against his Chelsea side may have been a tactic designed to invoke a siege mentality among his players.

The Chelsea boss railed about a "clear campaign" against his side after Cesc Fabregas was booked for diving in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Southampton, when the Spain midfielder could easily have been given a penalty.

Interview With David Mosse, aka Statman Mosse From FOX Sports and World Soccer Talk

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A welcome addition to the World Soccer Talk Podcast this season has the recruitment of David "Statman" Mosse whose expert opinions and treasure trove of stats always adds a unique perspective.

We took a few minutes recently to sit down with David Mosse to learn more about the man as well as his career at FOX Sports as their soccer researcher.

Newcastle Give Crystal Palace Permission to Speak to Alan Pardew About Eagles Job

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Newcastle have given Crystal Palace permission to speak to manager Alan Pardew over the vacancy at Selhurst Park.

The Magpies confirmed late on Monday evening that the Eagles had made a formal approach for the 53-year-old, who has been in charge at St James' Park since December 2010, as they look for a replacement for Neil Warnock.

Crystal Palace Set to Hire Alan Pardew Within 24 Hours In £2.5million Deal

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew could be on the verge of bringing his tumultuous four-year reign on Tyneside to an end and agreeing terms to take over as the new manager of Crystal Palace.

Several leading bookmakers suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to leave his post on Monday after reports that Palace have agreed compensation terms with Newcastle.

Ashley Young Has Silenced Manchester United ‘Boo Boys’ While Excelling At Wing-Back

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Since his arrival from Aston Villa for a fee of between £15-20million, Ashley Young has endured a love-hate relationship with Manchester United supporters.

Most hardcore United fans understand the importance the 29-year-old winger has played in sides managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and more recently Louis van Gaal.

Liverpool vs Swansea, Premier League Gameweek 19: TV Times and Open Thread

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Tenth place Liverpool plays eighth place Swansea City in today's Premier League match that will wrap up Gameweek 19 after nine matches were completed yesterday.

With a win for Swansea, the Swans can move into seventh or even sixth place, while a win for the Reds will see them Newcastle United into ninth position.

Manchester United Must Be More Ruthless to Win the Premier League, Says Louis Van Gaal

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Louis van Gaal has told his Manchester United side they must be more ruthless if they are to win the Barclays Premier League title in 2015.

United failed to finish a trying 2014 with a flourish, drawing 0-0 at Tottenham, and require a memorable end-of-season run to wipe out a huge deficit and overhaul Chelsea and Manchester City to claim a title which Van Gaal insists is still not beyond them.

Why Diego Simeone Will Get The Best Out Of Fernando Torres

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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has led his club to numerous honors since he assumed control in December 2011. Over the course of three years, the 44-year-old Argentine has led Los Colchoneros to a Europa League title, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Supercopa, Copa del Rey and a La Liga title.

Along the way the manager has uncovered talent which had been overlooked by most European sides, as well as influence the development of players within Atletico's famed youth system.

Liverpool Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet Says He Has Learned a Lot After Being Dropped

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Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet intends to use his axing from the side as a positive experience as he returns looking to prove he has benefited from the break.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said the Belgium international would be sidelined for an "indefinite" period after dropping him for the match at Manchester United a fortnight ago.

How James Milner Playing as a False 9 Has Helped Manchester City Score More Goals

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'Strikers are meant to score goals,' the lazy adage goes. For years, fans were subjected to the British press' mocking of Emile Heskey ‘s inclusion in the England squad even though clear evidence existed that England scored more goals and performed better when he played than when he was omitted.

Alan Pardew No-Show at Newcastle Press Conference Sparks Crystal Palace Rumor

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Stand-in Keith Millen wants the Crystal Palace job on a full-time basis but it was a surprising name which headed the list of possible candidates on Monday morning.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been installed as the heavy favorite by the bookmakers to replace Neil Warnock a development which occurred during his side's 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday evening.

Ezequiel Lavezzi Fuels Exit Speculation After Failing To Report For Paris Saint-Germain Training

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has failed to report for training ahead of the French champions friendly against Inter Milan tomorrow.

The Argentina international has been the subject of transfer speculation for some time as his relationship with PSG manager Laurnet Blanc deteriorated this season.

Jose Mourinho Continues to Believe that Chelsea Players Don’t Dive

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Jose Mourinho has been outspoken on diving in the English game since returning to Chelsea and on Sunday claimed there is a sustained campaign against his side after Cesc Fabregas was booked for simulation. Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the diving incidents since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge.

Alan Irvine’s Record Compared to Previous 5 West Brom Managers

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Press Association Sport examines the records of the five permanent West Brom managers who preceded Alan Irvine and compares them to the current Baggies boss who has presided over seven defeats in nine Barclays Premier League games.

TONY MOWBRAY

Lost out to Derby in the 2007 Championship play-off final after taking charge the previous October.

Winter Break Review of The Eredivisie

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The big story in the Eredivisie has been the resurgence of PSV Eindhoven who had by their standards a disappointing campaign last season. 12 months ago Eindhoven were sitting in 9thplace having lost six times in 17 league games. 2013/2014 was difficult all round for PSV, as Philip Cocu had to take time-off to remove a tumor on his back.

Atletico Madrid Confirm The Return Of Fernando Torres

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Atletico Madrid have confirmed the return of striker Fernando Torres on-loan from AC Milan for the next 18 months. The club released a statement on its official website announcing details of the deal.

The transfer will be completed in early January after the player undergoes a medical with the reigning champions of Spain.

Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal Bemoans Festive Schedule

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Louis van Gaal described the second half of Manchester United's goalless draw at Tottenham as "a struggle for life" after outlining his frustrations with a fixture schedule which demanded two Premier League matches in fewer than 48 hours.

The visitors, who had not lost at White Hart Lane since May 2001, swept Newcastle aside in 53 minutes in the 3-1 win on Boxing Day.

HAMBONE! (Premier League Weekend Review Show)

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With 19 games in 72 hours of English soccer, there's a lot to cover in this weekend's podcast, but the World Soccer Podcast crew have you covered with review and analysis of each of the 19 matches played in the Premier League over the holiday weekend. Instead of reviewing each game at a time, Nick Webster and the pundits analyze each of the 20 Premier League teams and how they've done in the past week.

Jose Mourinho Claims There’s a ‘Clear Campaign’ Against Chelsea

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Jose Mourinho claims there is a "clear campaign" against Chelsea and labeled the booking handed out to Cesc Fabregas for a supposed dive against Southampton a "scandal".

Sadio Mane and Eden Hazard scored in an entertaining, hard-fought 1-1 draw at St Mary's on Sunday, but afterwards the Blues manager's only focus was only on what he believes is a growing movement against his side.

Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City Let Lead Slip Against Burnley [VIDEO]

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted his team fell off the pace as Burnley fought back to claim an unlikely draw at the Etihad Stadium.

City looked set to cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to one point at they opened up a 2-0 first-half lead over the relegation battlers.

Watch West Ham United vs Arsenal Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Sam Allardyce blamed West Ham's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat by Arsenal on an offside decision that left him "totally and utterly confused and bewildered".

Alex Song's 25-yard drive just six minutes into the London derby at Upton Park was disallowed due to three home players among them Diafra Sakho standing offside in front of Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Martin Tyler Celebrates 40 Years of Soccer Commentating [VIDEO]

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Martin Tyler, the world's number one soccer commentator, celebrated 40 years of soccer commentating today after calling the Southampton-Chelsea game. Forty years ago, he commentated his first match featuring Southampton against Sheffield Wednesday.

In the interview with Sky Sports (see below), Tyler walks down memory lane and shares his insight into how things have changed from 1974 to 2014.

Raheem Sterling On Course to Become Top-Class EPL Striker, Says Brendan Rodgers

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Brendan Rodgers believes Raheem Sterling is on course to become a top-class Premier League striker as he continues to develop his eye for goal.

The Liverpool manager admits Sterling is a natural winger but has tasked him with being the focal point of the attack as Rodgers continues to tweak his side to replicate the goalscoring feats they achieved last season.

Winter Break Review of Serie A

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In terms of a title race it looks like it's going to be a straight slug-fest between Juventus and Roma. The fight for the third Champions League position looks quite tasty though and that could be worth keeping an eye on too.

There was a sense of uncertainty when Antonio Conte, who guided Juventus to three consecutive league titles, left.

Bobby Zamora Wants QPR to Tie Charlie Austin Down to a New Deal

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QPR need to tie forward Charlie Austin down to a new deal as team-mate Bobby Zamora believes other clubs would be "crazy" not to try and prise him away.

Five years on from playing non-league football for Poole Town, the 25-year-old is the top-scoring Englishman in the Premier League.

Only Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa have managed more than his 12-goal haul and talk of England recognition grows by the week.

Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 19: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Spurs vs Manchester United, 7am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Southampton vs Chelsea, 9:05am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Aston Villa vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Hull vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Manchester City vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
QPR vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Stoke vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
West Ham vs Arsenal, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Newcastle vs Everton, 11:15am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

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

Arsene Wenger Sings the Praises of Alex Song

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger needs no reminding of just what an important player Alex Song can be as he prepares his side for a quick turnaround at West Ham on Sunday.

The Gunners who beat QPR 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day, where striker Olivier Giroud was sent off for a headbutt on Nedum Onuoha make the short trip across east London to Upton Park looking to maintain their push towards the Barclays Premier League's top four.

Listen to the 2 Robbies Football Show at 5pm ET Today With Craig Burley

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Today's episode of The 2 Robbies Football Show features a opinionated and knowledgeable pundit (and former co-commentator for Sky Sports) Craig Burley.

Listen live to The 2 Robbies Football Show beginning at 5pm ET on www.NBCSportsRadio.com(or via the player below). Both Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe want to make the show as interactive as possible, so this is your chance to call in with your questions to 855-323-4622, or to tweet the guys ahead of the show @The2RobbiesFS.

Fernando Torres To Sign Permanent Deal With AC Milan Before Joining Atletico Madrid

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In what has been a whirlwind 48 hours, Chelsea have announced that on-loan striker Fernando Torres will sign a permanent deal with AC Milan on January 5th. Upon the completion of that transfer, the 30-year-old will then be sent to Atletico Madrid for what is believed to be an 18-month long loan.

Part of the reported agreement between Atletico and Milan is that midfielder Alessio Cerci will be sent to Italy as part of an exchange between the two European sides.

Liverpool Target Martin Montoya Nearing Barcelona Exit As Juventus Looms

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Earlier this month, it was reported that right-back Martin Montoya had informed Barcelona officials that he wanted to leave the Catalan club in January.

Despite recently featuring in manager Luis Enrique's side during an 8-1 win over Huesca in theCopa del Rey, as well as Barcelona's final league match of 2014 against Cordoba, the 23-year-old has remained adamant that his future lies away from the club where he startedhis professional career.

Decision On Barcelona Transfer Ban Appeal Delayed By Court Of Arbitration For Sport

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According to the Spanish publication AS, an announcement from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Barcelona's appeal of their FIFA-imposed transfer ban has been delayed after the court requested further documentation from the Catalan club.

It was believed the CAS were prepared to hand down a decision on Barcelona's appeal before Christmas, butthat announcement has been pushed back.

5 Leading Candidates to Replace Neil Warnock As Crystal Palace Manager

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Neil Warnock became the first managerial casualty of the Premier League season as Crystal Palace wielded the axe on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport's Simon Peach looks at five managers the south Londoners may be looking at to replace him with.

Tim Sherwood

The former Tottenham boss was swiftly installed as the bookmakers' favorite to replace Warnock.

Watch Chelsea vs West Ham United Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Diego Costa was on target in a 2-0 win as Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea proved a barrier too far for West Ham.

The Hammers, who began the day in fourth place, have been transformed since being criticized by Jose Mourinho for playing "football from the 19th century" last season and joked on Twitter they had arrived at Stamford Bridge by horse and cart.

Watch Arsenal vs QPR Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Arsenal survived the sending-off of striker Olivier Giroud for a reckless headbutt to beat QPR 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium and close back up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners were in cruise control following Alexis Sanchez's 10th league goal on 37 minutes, the Chilean having seen a tame early penalty saved.

Everton Manager Roberto Martinez Hits Out at Referee Lee Mason

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez was critical of referee Lee Mason after the Toffees' 1-0 home loss to Stoke and hinted he felt the official should be dropped.

Martinez hit out at Mason's decisions to only yellow-card Jonathan Walters for pulling back Leighton Baines in the first half and then award a penalty to the visitors moments later, having adjudged James McCarthy to have fouled Bojan Krkic.

Neil Warnock Accepts Blame for Crystal Palace Loss to Southampton

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Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock says he is happy to accept the fans' criticism after the Eagles' 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton in the Barclays Premier League.

Goals from Sadio Mane, Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld secured victory for the visitors before Scott Dann headed in a late Palace consolation.

Steve Bruce Answers Critics After Masterminding Victory Against Sunderland [VIDEO]

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A triumphant Steve Bruce left Wearside wondering if Sunderland fans might finally accept he did a decent job for them after masterminding Hull's fourth successive victory over the Black Cats.

The former boss at the Stadium of Light saw his team recover from a dreadful start they fell behind with just 30 seconds on the clock to run out 3-1 winners and in the process end a 10-game winless Barclays Premier League run.

Reasons Why Marco Reus Should Stay at Borussia Dortmund For The Good of Soccer

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Do you care about soccer? I know that sounds like a moronic question given that it is being asked of a reader of a site called World Soccer Talk, so ostensibly you do care about soccer if you managed to find your way on to this site. Think about it though do you care about the well being of the sport as a whole?

Winter Break Review of Ligue 1

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If anyone suggested that Paris Saint-Germain would be sitting in second let alone third going into the winter break they certainly would not have been met with a gallic shrug, quite the opposite in all likelihood. But that's the state of play in Ligue 1 which is shaping to be the most keenly contested league in Europe.

Fernando Torres Return To Atletico Madrid Being Held Up By Alessio Cerci, Say Reports

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Fernando Torres' return to Atletico Madrid is being held up by midfielder Alessio Cerci's determination to join Inter Milan.

Torres was understood to have been preparing for a trip home to Spain, but has now rejoined his AC Milan teammates as they prepare for their friendly against the newly crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions Real Madrid in Dubai.

Crystal Palace Sack Manager Neil Warnock

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Neil Warnock has become the Premier League's first managerial casualty of the season, with Crystal Palace sacking him on Saturday morning.

The 66-year-old only started a second spell at Selhurst Park on August 27, but has failed to carry on the stellar work done by predecessor Tony Pulis.

Pulis walked out ahead of the season after pulling off a great escape during the last campaign, but Warnock despite a memorable win over Liverpool has not got things going and leaves Palace with the club in the relegation zone on 15 points.

West Brom Manager Alan Irvine Worried About His Future

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West Brom boss Alan Irvine conceded his job could be on the line after his side were well beaten by champions Manchester City in the Boxing Day snow.

City ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at The Hawthorns with all their goals coming in the first half after they raced out of the blocks to take the lead after just eight minutes.

Wayne Rooney: I’m Playing Like Paul Scholes

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Wayne Rooney admitted there was a touch of Paul Scholes about his performance as he ran the midfield in Manchester United's easy win over Newcastle.

Rooney scored twice and set up the other goal in United's 3-1 victory at Old Trafford.

The United skipper, playing in midfield, timed his run from deep to perfection to turn home Falcao's square pass and it was the same story just before the break as he ran on to Juan Mata's through ball to double the lead.

What if Martin O’Neill Had Stayed at Aston Villa? Could They Have Won the Title?

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The decline of Premier League as a force in European football has been on display for the world to see since the 2009-10 season. That campaign was also the final season in a three-year run where Martin O'Neill guided a largely English Aston Villa side into the top six of the Premier League. With the decline of the league since that point and the resignation of O'Neill in the summer of 2010 and the subsequent fire sale of players it is interesting to speculate on what might have happened otherwise.

Winter Break Review of The Bundesliga

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This season's Bundesliga looks more of a procession than anything else.

Bayern Munich are running away with the league and only a catastrophic collapse could see even a semblance of a title race. The chances of that happening with Pep Guardiola at the helm range from slim to none.

Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost Goals GA GD Points
1 Bayern Munich 17 14 3 0 41 4 37 45
2 VfL Wolfsburg 17 10 4 3 33 17 16 34
3 Bayer Leverkusen 17 7 7 3 28 20 8 28
17 Borussia Dortmund 17 4 3 10 18 26 -8 15
18 SC Freiburg 17 2 9 6 17 25 -8 15

Looking at the numbers the consistency of the Bavarian side is incredible.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweeks 17-18

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Here's the line-up of commentatorsfor this weekend's Premier League matches:

Friday, December 26:

Chelsea vs West Ham, 7:45am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & David Pleat
Manchester United vs Newcastle, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Jim Beglin
Burnley vs Liverpool, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jonathan Beck & Andy Walker
Crystal Palace vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Everton vs Stoke, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Garry Birtles
Leicester vs Spurs, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Don Goodman
Sunderland vs Hull, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Kevin Keatings & Davie Provan
Swansea vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Dean Sturridge
West Brom vs Manchester City, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Trevor Francis
Arsenal vs QPR, 12:30pm, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Read more:Comprehensive guide to English soccer TV commentators (and co-commentators)

Sunday, December 28:

Spurs vs Manchester United, 7am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon
Southampton vs Chelsea, 9:05am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Kevin Kilbane
Aston Villa vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Trevor Francis
Hull vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jonathan Beck & Barry Horne
Manchester City vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Andy Hinchcliffe
QPR vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Efan Ekoku
Stoke vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Garry Birtles
West Ham vs Arsenal, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Tony Gale
Newcastle vs Everton, 11:15am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Chris Waddle

Monday, December 29:

Liverpool vs Swansea, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Martin Tyler & Jim Beglin

Premier League Boxing Day, Gameweek 18: TV Times and Open Thread

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Boxing Day, the day after Christmas in the United Kingdom, is one of the most traditional dates on the English soccer calendar. And it's a rare opportunity to see all 20 teams play in one day.

With a full schedule on Sunday (and one Monday game) and then a full schedule on New Year's Day, it also means it's a great opportunity for your team to pick up a series of valuable points in quick succession.

Lukas Podolski Nearing Arsenal Exit As Inter Milan Target The German Striker

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Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski is on the verge of a switch to Inter Milan, according to various reports emanating from Italy.

The German international has made 13 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions this season but only two of those have been starts. Podolski has yet to feature in manager Arsene Wenger's starting eleven during the club's 17 league matches.

What Soccer Gifts Did You Get For Christmas?

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What soccer gifts did you get under the Christmas tree this special day? Tell us in the comments section below.

It's a time of the year when it's a great opportunity to buy soccer-related presents for ourselves or our loved ones. But what did you get under the Christmas tree this year?

Share your storyin the comments section below or on our social media platforms onTwitter,Google+,FacebookandReddit.

Scottish Football Association Blocks Mike Ashley Move to Increase Shares in Rangers

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The Scottish Football Association has turned down a request from Rangers to allow Mike Ashley to increase his shareholding at Ibrox.

Newcastle owner Ashley is understood to have signed up to an agreement with the SFA that limits his stake to 10 per cent but wanted a new deal that would allow him three times that amount.

What MLS Fans Can Expect From New Houston Dynamo Coach Owen Coyle

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Former Burnley, Bolton and Wigan manager Owen Coyle was named Head Coach of the Houston Dynamo earlier this month. Coyle replaces Dom Kinnear who is the only manager the Major League Soccer outfit has had since relocating from San Jose after the 2005 MLS season.

Long considered one of the friendliest managers to reporters in the Northwest of England, Coyle's reputation has largely been built out of conducting himself with shrewdness publicly.

Roberto Martinez Uncompromising Over Everton Style

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez is prepared to make changes as he seeks a winning formula but in personnel and not style.

The Toffees have lacked consistency and are 13 points down on the figure they had in the Barclays Premier League at the same stage last season.

They have won just one of their last five in the league and suffered a 3-0 defeat at Southampton last Saturday.

Top 5 Premier League Bets, 26 December

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For football fans Christmas really starts on Boxing Day with a full Premier League betting coupon to get stuck into! Easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper has already tipped some huge shocks this season including Swansea to beat Man Utd at 10/1, Newcastle to beat Chelsea at 7/1 and West Ham to beat Man City at 11/2 – so don't miss his top five bets from December 26!

Atletico Madrid Complete The Signing Of Fernando Torres From AC Milan, Says Report

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Atletico Madrid and AC Milan have reached an agreement which will see striker Fernando Torres return to Spain on-loan for the remainder of the season, according to the Spanish newspaper AS.

In exchange for Torres, the Rossoneri will receive Spanish championsout-of-favor midfielder Alessio Cerci on-loanuntil the conclusion of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino Says He Won’t Panic if Spurs Don’t Sign Anyone in January

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Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will not panic if there are no major additions to his squad during the January transfer window.

The Argentinian arrived at White Hart Lane in the summer following a successful stint as Southampton boss with six new players also joining Spurs with Pochettino, as well as chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini, acquired the talent they felt could help them return to the Champions League.

Sam Allardyce Reflects on The Game That Helped Him Keep His West Ham Job

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Sam Allardyce believes a strong showing from his West Ham side in a goalless draw at Chelsea last season played a part in keeping him in a job.

The Hammers boss, who also learnt on Wednesday that Alex Song will not be traveling to link up with Cameroon for the African Cup of Nations, returns to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day having transformed his team into top-four contenders.

Ronald Koeman Enthused by Performance of Southampton’s 19-Year-Old Harrison Reed

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Southampton starlet Harrison Reed is an inspiration for the club's next generation of youngsters, according to manager Ronald Koeman.

Reed made his first start in the Barclays Premier League in Saints' 3-0 win over Everton last Sunday and the 19-year-old impressed with an authoritative display in front of the back three.

USA Men’s National Team Away Shirt From Nike For 2015: Leaked [PHOTO]

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A photo of the USA Men's National Team away shirt for 2015 has been leaked on the Internet.

The shirt design from Nike, which appears from a legitimate source (Footy Headlines), is a blue jersey with a gradient design from the top to the bottom of the shirt. The collar is unique, with a red tab accentuating the design as well as a red stripes icon on the back of the neck of the shirt.

Crystal Palace Table £6million Bid for Swansea Striker Bafetimbi Gomis, Says Report

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Neil Warnock has admitted that Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis could hand Dwight Gayle a Crystal Palace lifeline.

Palace are understood to have tabled a £6million bid for France forward Gomis, but face competition from at least five Premier League rivals.

Manager Warnock believes a more "physical presence" like Gomis could add "another dimension" to his Selhurst Park strike force.

Jose Mourinho Hails Hard-Working Players in Premier League

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Footballers playing in Britain deserve respect because of the hectic festive fixture program, according to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Beginning with Monday night's 2-0 victory over Stoke, the Blues will play five matches in less than two weeks.

Boxing Day sees the visit of West Ham while further Premier League matches against Southampton and Tottenham follow before an FA Cup third-round clash against Watford.

Boxing Day Bonanza: Pick The Best XI & Win Your Share Of £10,000

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How's this for Christmas booty? A signed Liverpool FC shirt, signed by the entire Liverpool squad and Brendan Rogers and £10k in cash. I'd be pretty chuffed opening that this Christmas, wouldn't you? Sadly, the only way I'd see that lot ending up under the tree for me is if I was Stevie G's son! Quite the fantasy.

Real Madrid Not Buying In January And Lucas Silva Will Stay, Says Cruzeiro Official

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The ongoing transfer saga of Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva appears to have reached a conclusion as the club's sporting director informed a Brazilian radio program that the player will not be joining Real Madrid in January while stressing the Brasileiro side are under "no urgency" to sell him.

The 21-year-old Brazilian starlethas been rumored to be on the way to his "dream" club for the past few weeks.

Neymar Looking To Extend His Contract With Barcelona Until 2020

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It is being reported in Spain that representatives of Brazilian star Neymar and Barcelona will sit down in the coming weeks to discuss renewing the player's contract at the club.

Neymar's current deal will expire on June 30, 2018. But the La Liga giants want to secure the 22-year-old forward for a further two years until 2020.

Premier League Team of the Week – Gameweek 17

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Based on the performances in the 10 matches played during the weekend of Gameweek 17 of the Premier League, as well as utilizing stats from WhoScored, Squawka and TransferMarkt, here's my team of the weekend:

Goalkeeper

Pantilimon [Sunderland] Costel Pantilimon, who signed for Sunderland from Manchester City on a free transfer, endeared himself forever to the fans of the Black Cats.

Analyzing the Top 5 Managerial Appointments of 2014

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2014 has seen a whole host of managerial comings and goings despite the Premier League having a rather uncharacteristically quiet first half of the 2014-15 campaign in that regard. That being said, here are the top five managerial appointments of the calendar year.

5. Massimiliano Allegri: Juventus (Appointed July 2014)

Whilst Allegri walked into the Italian champions, he walked into a very troubled camp at Juventus and has done an excellent job in keeping the team's fortunes positive on all fronts.

Why Tottenham Hotspur Have Struggled to Recover Since The Luka Modric Sale

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Tottenham Hotspur heads into 2015 falling just short of expectations once again. There have been moments of quality, even brilliance, and all it would take is a sustained good run to change things, but overall one cannot escape the feeling that Spurs are not living up to their potential. Wins have been tight, several coming only after some late game heroics.

AC Milan And Atletico Madrid Discussing Fernando Torres Switch, Say Reports

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Reports in Spain and Italy state that AC Milan and Atletico Madrid have opened talks regarding the potential transfer of striker Fernando Torres.

It is understood that manager Diego Simeone sees Torres as the ideal complement to forward Mario Mandzukic and wants to pair the two players in the Atleti's starting eleven.

Sami Khedira Wants To Renew Real Madrid Contract And Will Fight For His Position

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Midfielder Sami Khedira has been the odd-man out at Real Madrid in recent times. The German international has been plagued with injuries since last season and has seen his relationshipwith officials at the Spanish cluball but dissolved.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at Real Madrid this summer and reports from Spain believe the club are unwilling to renew his terms.

Guillem Balague Interviews Koke About Atletico Madrid’s Memorable Year [VIDEO]

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Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague sat down with Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke to hear his thoughts on Los Colchoneros memorable year.

The Spain international was heavily linked with a hostof European clubs last season, including: Spanish rivals Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Arsene Wenger Eyeing Strong Arsenal Finish to Second Half of Season

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Arsene Wenger has vowed Arsenal will empty the tank in the second half of the season as they seek to capitalize on an easing injury crisis.

Wenger expects Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta to return to action in January, while Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny are due back imminently to help reignite the Gunners' quest for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

No Injury Respite for Newcastle United Over Holiday Period

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will have little respite on the injury front as he attempts to bounce back from the disappointment of derby defeat at Manchester United on Boxing Day.

The 53-year-old saw his side lose out to arch-rivals Sunderland for the fourth time on the trot, something they had never done before, at St James' Park on Sunday as a bad week came to the worst possible conclusion.

Steve Bruce Demands Apology From Paul McShane

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Hull boss Steve Bruce has demanded an apology from out-of-favour defender Paul McShane.

The Republic of Ireland international, who is a fans' favourite and the club's longest serving player, has featured just six times this season and has not been seen since the Burnley defeat on November 8.

Louis Van Gaal Confirms Absences Of Herrera, Rojo, Fellaini and Shaw On Boxing Day [VIDEO]

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Less than 24 hours after reports surfaced from England that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal had received a fitness boost from left-back Luke Shaw, the Dutch boss has informed the mediathat he will be without the services of the defender; as well as three other teammates for United's Boxing Day encounterwith Newcastle.

Swansea City Agree Loan Deal For Benfica Striker Nelson Oliveira

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Swansea City have finalized a loan deal for Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

The terms were completed this afternoon and the forward will begin training with the Premier League side immediately, in order to acclimate himself with his new teammates. But Oliveira will not be eligible for the Swans' match day squad until January.

Spurs Announce DeAndre Yedlin Arrival

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Tottenham have announced that United States right-back DeAndre Yedlin will join the club in January.

The Premier League side agreed to sign Yedlin on a four-year deal in August, but announced at the time that the 21-year-old would remain with the Seattle Sounders for the remainder of the Major League Soccer season.

Jose Mourinho Heaps Praise on Chelsea Captain John Terry

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was full of praise for John Terry after the skipper's early goal helped the Blues secure a 2-0 win at Stoke and the Barclays Premier League Christmas number one spot.

Terry headed past Asmir Begovic in the second minute from a corner delivered by Cesc Fabregas, who later wrapped up the victory by netting himself with a scuffed 78th-minute effort.

David Moyes Admits Early Struggles With Real Sociedad

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Former Manchester United manager David Moyes was appointed his new position at Real Sociedad in early November.

Since the Scotsman's arrival in San Sebastian, La Real have lost once, won twice and drawn four in all competitions. They've advanced to the Copa del Rey Round of 16 and have slightly improved their position on the La Liga table.

Sir Alex Ferguson Backs Louis Van Gaal to Thrive at Manchester United

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Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Louis van Gaal to turn Manchester United into world-beaters again.

Van Gaal was handed the task of bringing the glory days back to Old Trafford following the failed reign of David Moyes, who replaced Ferguson when his successful 26-year tenure came to an end in May 2013.

Brendan Rodgers Says Daniel Sturridge Will Return For Liverpool In January

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is expecting striker Daniel Sturridge to return to his lineupat"some point in January".

Unfortunately for the club, Sturridge's return won't come before Liverpool's busy holiday fixture list which will see themplay three matches in seven days (Burnley, Swansea City and Leicester City).

Everton vs Liverpool: Row Over Merseyside Derby Time

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Liverpool City Council has threatened to take legal action if the Premier League refuse a request to change the kick-off time of February's Merseyside derby.

The match at Goodison Park is scheduled to take place at 5.30pm on Saturday February 7 and be televised by NBC Sports.

Merseyside Police have raised their concerns about the timing of the match, which has directly resulted in it being elevated to a Category C fixture with a high risk of disorder.

Luke Shaw Set To Return To Action Against Newcastle United On Boxing Day

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has seen his side ravaged by injury throughout the early part of his inaugural campaign in England. It seems as if each time the Dutchboss receives some positive news on the injury front, he's dealt a fresh blow to his squadwhich in-turn hampers his team selection.

Jamie Carragher And Gary Neville Say English Clubs Lack Power And Intensity [VIDEO]

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Sky Sports Monday Night Football has produced some amazing punditryin recent times. Over the past few years, former Premier League defenders Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have provided moments of genuine banter and analytical genius.

Prior to his evening's match between Stoke City and Chelsea,Neville and Carragher combine to share their passionate thoughts on the current makeupof Premier League clubs.

Analyzing The Top 5 Signings of 2014

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With 2014 now approaching its climax, it is time to assess the signings who have excelled after making a move in 2014. Not every signing will be a hit, as we have seen with great regularity in the Premier League over recent seasons however here five of the best signings of the calendar year.

5.

Analyzing The 10th Edition of The AFF Suzuki Cup

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The 10thedition of the biennial AFF Suzuki Cup has come to a close and the tournament delivered a final to remember.

To say that the tussle between Malaysia and Thailand delivered thrills, spills and no little entertainment would be quite the understatement.

A keenly contested final swung from one extreme to the other with the War Elephants winning 2-0 in front of their home crowd.

Key Premier League Referring Decisions: Gameweek 17

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The weekend's biggest and most controversial incident was at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon. I was fortunate enough to be at the game and thought the referee had a good game until just after Manchester United equalized. Gabby Agbonlahor was on a run when he slightly over-ran the ball. Ashley Young went to challenge for the ball.

Former Bayern Munich Manager Jupp Heynckes Believes Marco Reus Should Join Real Madrid

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In an interview on the German cable channel Sky 90,former Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes said he believes Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus should join Real Madrid. The former Bayern boss recommended the switch to Spain because he feels the Germanchampions have too much competition in their attacking positions.

Stoke City vs Chelsea, Gameweek 17: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Stoke City vs Chelsea, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

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

NBC Sports to Debut Premier League Breakaway On New Year’s Day

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NBC Sports will debut a Premier League Breakaway show on New Year's Day that willfeature live action from eight EPL matches being played concurrently during the 10am-Noon ET timeslot. The programming is part of NBC's plans to televise an unprecedented 30 Premier League matches during 7 days of the holiday season.

Antoine Griezmann Shines During Volatile Match At The New San Mames

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Atletico Madrid winger Antoine Griezmann scored a hat-trick and propelled Diego Simeone's side to a 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao during a volatile match at the new San Mames on Sunday.

Those who witnessed the La Liga contest will testify that it was one of the more compelling, hard-fought games of the early season.

Real Madrid Target Christoph Kramer Renews Contract With Bayer Leverkusen

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Christoph Kramer has renewed his contract with Bayer Leverkusen, extending his terms with the German side until 2019.

The midfielder, who currently on-loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, was being heavily linked with a January move to Real Madrid in recent weeks. But news of his contract renewal will mean that the La Liga giants will have to look elsewhere if they are going to strengthen their midfielding options during the upcoming transfer window.

Jonas Gutierrez to Play in Newcastle U21 Fixture Following Battle With Cancer

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Jonas Gutierrez is set to feature in an under-21 fixture having returned to training following his battle with testicular cancer, Newcastle have announced.

The 31-year-old was diagnosed in 2013 and underwent surgery in his native Argentina before moving on loan to Norwich for the remainder of last season.

Bojan Krkic Left Barcelona Because Of Pep Guardiola’s Broken Promise, Says Father

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Stoke City forward Bojan Krkic began his professional career with Barcelona, having his character and skills nurtured by the Catalan club's famed La Masia when he was nine-years-old. Bojan quickly emerged as one of the brightest prospects to ever play for the La Liga giant's youth academy scoring 126 goals during his first season.

Xmas Crackers (Premier League Weekend Review Show)

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It's the time of the season where fixtures come thick and fast. Before the Premier League clubs play their Boxing Day fixtures, there was a full slate of Premier Leagues matches played over Gameweek 17 in England with plenty of talking points. There was the Liverpool against Arsenal defensive meltdown, a five goal thriller at Loftus Road, a stalemate at Villa Park and much more.

Watch NBC’s New Premier League Ad; Come All Ye Faithful [VIDEO]

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NBC Sports has released a brand-new ad to promote its coverage of the Premier League on US television.

The ad debuted tonight during Sunday Night Football, TV's number one primetime show. Entitled "Come All Ye Faithful," the ad finds a creative (and seasonal) way to promote the Premier League coverage that's happening on Boxing Day.

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera Relishing The Prospect of Playing in The FA Cup

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Manchester United's Ander Herrera is delighted at the prospect of participating in the FA Cup.

The 25-year old Spanishmidfielder expressed his excitement of being able to gain some traditional English experience by participating in the tournament and aspires to play at Wembley one day.

Martin Skrtel Rescues Draw for Liverpool Against Arsenal [VIDEO]

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Liverpool dug deep into their reserves of resilience as Martin Skrtel scored the equalizer deep into stoppage time to ensure another good performance did not go to waste.

A week after failing to take a host of chances in the defeat at Old Trafford it seemed a pattern was emerging after Arsenal recovered from Philippe Coutinho's opener to lead with goals from Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud.

Adam Johnson Goal Settles Newcastle-Sunderland Derby [VIDEO]

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Adam Johnson condemned Newcastle to a fourth successive derby defeat for the first time in their history as Sunderland snatched a dramatic last-gasp 1-0 victory at St James' Park.

The winger struck in the 90th minute to settle a rip-roaring encounter which might have gone either way until his intervention.

Cristiano Ronaldo Awarded With His Homeland’s Highest Honor And A Statue

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Less than twenty-four after his side won its fourth trophy of 2014, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo returned to his place of birth in the region ofMadeira an archipelago which is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal to be presented with the "Cordão Autonomy" and a statue in his likeness by the Legislative Assembly.

Watch Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Radamel Falcao clinched a 1-1 draw for Manchester United as 10-man Aston Villa ended their winning run.

The Colombian scored just his second United goal, cancelling out Christian Benteke's beautiful opener for the hosts.

Gabby Agbonlahor's controversial red card after a 50-50 challenge with Ashley Young forced Villa to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men, but they held on to end United's six-game winning streak and earn a deserved point.

Watch Southampton 3-0 Everton Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Southampton brought their worst losing streak of the 21st century to a comprehensive end as they impressively dispatched of Everton.

The astonishing start to life under Ronald Koeman recently came to a dramatic end, with Tuesday's embarrassing Capital One Cup exit to third-tier Sheffield United a fifth successive defeat in all competitions.

Watch QPR 3-2 West Bromwich Albion Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Harry Redknapp saluted hat-trick hero Charlie Austin but also saved praise for the character his side showed to come from two-down and beat West Brom.

The 3-2 victory at Loftus Road moved the R's out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three as Austin returned from suspension to score three goals to complete a remarkable comeback after Redknapp's side started the game slowly.

Watch Tottenham 2-1 Burnley Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Erik Lamela's match-winning goal against Burnley will do wonders for the winger's confidence this season.

Lamela's long-range strike in the 35th minute proved the difference at White Hart Lane as Spurs beat the Clarets 2-1 and climbed to sixth in the Barclays Premier League table.

Watch Hull City 0-1 Swansea City Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Swansea boss Garry Monk took a calculated selection gamble against Hull and was delighted to be rewarded with a 1-0 victory.

Monk surprisingly made seven changes for the trip to the KC Stadium, with top-scorer Wilfried Bony benched in favour of Bafetimbi Gomis while Gylfi Sigurdsson, Leon Britton and Jefferson Montero were all excused duty with minor fitness niggles.

Watch West Ham 2-0 Leicester City Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Sam Allardyce is determined to revel in West Ham's best start to a season in almost 30 years.

Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing were on target in a 2-0 win over Leicester which means the Hammers are fourth in the Barclays Premier League at Christmas.

It is their highest position on December 25 since the 1985-86 season when they finished third.

Watch Manchester City 3-0 Crystal Palace Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Manuel Pellegrini was happy to see Manchester City move joint top of the table, but Neil Warnock was in a much darker mood following Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

City moved level on points with Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea thanks to a brace from David Silva and Yaya Toure's fourth goal in six matches.

Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 17: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Newcastle vs Sunderland, 8:30am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Liverpool vs Arsenal, 11am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live

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

Louis Van Gaal: Aston Villa Draw Could Cost Manchester United the League Title

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Louis van Gaal admits Manchester United's draw at Aston Villa could end up costing them the title.

Radamel Falcao cancelled out Christian Benteke's opener but United's six-game winning run ended with a 1-1 draw.

Gabby Agbonlahor was harshly sent off for Villa with 25 minutes left but the visitors could not break down their organised hosts.

Sergio Ramos Believes Real Madrid Are God’s Team

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Speaking ahead of his side'sFIFA Club World Cup final in Marrakesh, defender Sergio Ramostold the assembled media that he believes Real Madrid is "God's team" and thereigning champions of Europe are ready to take home their second piece of silverware during this early campaign (Los Blancos beat Sevilla earlier this year to win the UEFA Super Cup).

Arsene Wenger Says Alexis Sanchez and Luis Suarez are Alike

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Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez is like Luis Suarez and "made for the English game".

Wenger takes his Arsenal side to Liverpool on Sunday with Sanchez in his team, rather than among the opposition.

The Frenchman's pursuit of the Chile forward began at the end of May and he snared his target, signing him from Barcelona, despite Liverpool being linked with Sanchez as a replacement for the Nou Camp-bound Suarez.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 17

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Here's the line-up of commentatorsfor this weekendx's Premier League matches:

Saturday, December 20:

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace, 7:45am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Danny Mills
Aston Villa vs Manchester United, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon (international feed Ian Crocker & Davie Provan)
Hull vs Swansea, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Andy Walker
QPR vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Efan Ekoku
Southampton vs Everton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Dean Stuttidge
Spurs v Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Ray Houghton
West Ham vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale

Read more:Comprehensive guide to English soccer TV commentators (and co-commentators)

Sunday, December 21:

Newcastle vs Sunderland, 8:30am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Kevin Kilbane
Liverpool vs Arsenal, 11am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux (international feed Peter Drury & Jim Beglin)

Monday, December 22:

Stoke City vs Chelsea, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Martin Tyler & TBD

Read more: Top 5 soccer games to watch on TV this weekend.

Ananlyzing The Use of Liverpool Starlet Raheem Sterling as The Main Striker

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It's about 90 degrees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Raheem Sterling is drenched in sweat. He's exhausted from the second of two training sessions, and at the age of 17, he is on the verge of breaking through to Liverpool's first team on a regular basis. Supporters are excited about what the pacey winger can offer the squad, and Sterling was able to meet the media in a confident way.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 17: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace, 7:45am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Aston Villa vs Manchester United, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra
Hull vs Swansea, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
QPR vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Southampton vs Everton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Spurs v Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
West Ham vs Leicester, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra

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

Funny! Watch Christmas Carolers Sing Popular English Soccer Chants [VIDEO]

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UK sports network BT Sport has released a humorous Christmas video starring Christmas carolers singing popular English soccer songs and chants.

The 60 second ad features several familiar chants you can hear at Premier League stadiums.

Watch the video here:

Mobile app users, watch the Arsenal video here.

Stoke Manager Mark Hughes Expecting Quiet January Transfer Window

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Stoke boss Mark Hughes is anticipating a fairly quiet January transfer window for the club as their efforts to tie Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan to new contracts continue.

Both 33-year-old striker Crouch scorer of two goals in his last two games, taking his tally for the season to five and midfielder Whelan, 30, are currently on deals with the Potters that run out next summer.

Sean Dyche Targets Experienced Players In Burnley’s January Buys

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Sean Dyche has identified previous Barclays Premier League experience as the key attribute he desires in any potential Burnley buys this January.

The Clarets manager is ready to add to his squad in the new year as they bid to prove the naysayers wrong and avoid an immediate demotion back to the second tier.

Garry Monk: Swansea Don’t Over-Rely On Wilfried Bony

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Garry Monk insists his Swansea side are not over-reliant on Wilfried Bony's goals.

Bony has supplied over a third of Swansea's Barclays Premier League goals, as well eight of the last 13, and captain Ashley Williams said after last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham that they must find a way to lift the scoring burden on the Ivorian.

Angel Di Maria Returns To Manchester United Training; Could Make Bench Against Villa

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During his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester United's match against Aston Villa,manager Louis van Gaal revealed that midfielder Angel di Maria returned to training earlier this week and is in contention for the 18-man squad on Saturday. Although the United boss tempered his statement by reminding the gathering that one week of training is not enough for the Argentine to regain full match fitness.

adidas Scores With New Cutting-Edge Soccer Ball Technology

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This post brought to you by adidas miCoach. The content and opinions expressed below are that of World Soccer Talk.

adidas recently launched a brand-new soccer ball technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way that soccer players train.

Named adidas MiCoach SMART BALL, the ball is a Bluetooth smart and app-enabled soccer ball that syncs up with your smartphone or tablet.

Ronald Koeman Summons Young Saints to Help Decimated Southampton Squad

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Ronald Koeman will be calling on the kids this weekend after injury and suspension decimated Southampton's squad.

The club's best-ever top-flight start has been brought to an abrupt halt in recent weeks, with Tuesday's Capital One Cup loss at Sheffield United continuing an embarrassing run of form.

Clubs Enquiring About The Services of Experienced Top-flight Manager Tony Pulis

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It's not a good time to be a manager in football if your name is Nigel. Nigel Atkins has been sacked as Reading manager whilst Nigel Pearson, if reports are to be believed, is clinging to his job at Leicester City.

There is one name that has been linked to the Reading, Leicester and other struggling clubs, Tony Pulis'.

Reasons Why Tottenham Hotspur Won’t Make The Top 4

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The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham Hotspur manager brought a sudden feeling of optimism to the club. While Tim Sherwood had stepped in and performed admirably, Pochettino's success at Southampton convinced chairman Daniel Levy that he was the man to carry Tottenham forward. The Argentinean was set to implement a new style of play and take Spurs back into the Champions League fray.

Roberto Mancini – Are The Golden Days Going to Return For The Nerazzuri?

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Roberto Mancini, or Mancio as he's affectionately known by those around him, is undoubtedly one of the more colorful characters in the beautiful game.

Fresh from his first Serie A victory since returning to Internazionale, Mancini had surprised many when he accepted to return to an ailing Nerazzuri side.

Reasons Why The League Cup Still Matters

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The Football League Cup (also known as the Capital One Cup or the Carling Cup or the Worthington Cup in recent years) has often been held in very low regard amongst managers and pundits alike. Notable examples include Sir Alex Ferguson referring to the competition as a "Mickey Mouse Cup" and Arsenal fans claiming that winning the competition when they reached the final in 2011 would not signal an end to their much publicized trophy drought.

Stadium Announcement is a Time of Celebration And Reflection For DC United Fans

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The way to tell if someone was a knowledgeable DC United fan has always been to check their opinion on a new stadium. The most diehard, knowledgeable fans always answered with a variation of this phase: "I'll believe it when I see the shovel hit the ground".

Since the Columbus Crew opened the first MLS soccer-specific stadium, DC United has been searching for a new home.

Hatem Ben Arfa in Line for January Exit After 4 Months at Hull

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Hatem Ben Arfa is set for a January move after finding himself unwanted at Newcastle and Hull and in France a film is being produced about the mercurial winger.

The 27-year-old former Marseille player appears set for a January transfer after Newcastle manager Alan Pardew declared he did not want to take Ben Arfa back from his loan spell at Hull, where boss Steve Bruce has written him out of his plans.

Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez Suffers Setback; Ruled Out For 6 More Weeks

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman expects Jay Rodriguez's rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury to keep him out for at least another six weeks.

An awkward fall at Manchester City in April saw the 25-year-old rupture an anterior cruciate ligament, the injury ruling him out of the reckoning for England's World Cup squad.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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We're on the cusp of the Christmas period, and although that might mean different things for clubs scattered across the globe, the need for points is no less vital. It's conceivable that there's no worse feeling than going into a winter break on the back of a defeat after all, while a win going into a convoluted calendar can also do plenty to lift spirits.

Finally! An EPL Draft Fantasy Game is Now Available

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If you've been searching for an EPL draft fantasy game similar to ones you're used to for the NFL or baseball, your wait is over. A company named Togga recently launched a draft commissioner site for soccer fans. Based in Austin, Togga built its EPL fantasy game to fill a void where other fantasy Premier League games are lacking —to give soccer fans and their friends and co-workers a fantasy soccer game that features an American-style draft.

Chelsea Home, Away and Third Shirts for 2015/16 Season: Leaked [PHOTOS]

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Sketchesof Chelsea's proposed home, away and third shirts for the 2015/16 season have been leaked on the Internet.

Chelsea's new shirts from adidas aren't overhauls of previous designs. Chelsea's home shirt will feature a familiar design but with small enhancements to separate it from jerseys worn in previous years.

Bayern Munich Ready To Make Martin Ødegaard The Highest Paid Youth Player In Soccer

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Bayern Munich have made signing 16-year-old Norwegian prodigy Martin Ødegaard a priority, and the German giants are willing to do anything it takes in order to acquire the young midfielder's signature, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca.

Ødegaard has been tipped to join the Bundesliga championsby the German press, with most Spanish papers predicting European champions Real Madrid could still pip Bayern Munich and sign the young starlet.

AS Roma’s New Stadium Plans Being Discussed; Construction Could Start In Spring

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Last March, AS Roma officials announced plans for a proposed 52,500-capacity stadium that would make the Italian clubthe secondSerie A side to play in their own arena the other being Juventus.

Roma president James Pallotta told the NY Times that the Stadio della Roma would be a very important piecefor the club and would becentral to theItalian side's "re-emergence as a force in international football".

Newcastle Ponder Emergency Loan After 3rd String Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick Gets Injured

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will today consider whether to make a fresh approach to the Premier League over whether he can sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby.

Following injuries to number one Tim Krul and back-up Rob Elliot, the Magpies have had to field inexperienced Jak Alnwick in recent matches.

Thierry Henry’s Retirement from an Arsenal Fan’s Perspective

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While news that Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from the game was not overwhelmingly shocking, it is certainly a sad day around the soccer world. Calling Henry a former Arsenal great would not give him enough credit for what he did for the north London club. Thierry Henry is not only most likely the greatest Arsenal player of all time, but he is also perhaps the best Premier League player ever as well.

Christian Eriksen Could Become a Spurs Great

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Christian Eriksen can become one of the Barclays Premier League's best playmakers and go down in Tottenham folklore, according to team-mate Jan Vertonghen.

The 22-year-old arrived in the summer of 2013 among the flurry of transfer dealings in the wake of Gareth Bale's record-breaking move to Real Madrid.

Kevin Mirallas to Return For Everton in 2 Weeks, Says Roberto Martinez

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Everton forward Kevin Mirallas has not sustained significant damage to his right ankle and is likely to be available within a couple of weeks according to manager Roberto Martinez.

The Belgium international was carried off on a stretcher after being chopped down by Jordon Mutch having previously scored in the 3-1 win over QPR on Monday.

Sheffield United Land Spurs in Capital One Cup Semi Draw

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League One side Sheffield United will face Tottenham in a two-legged semi-final of the Capital One Cup.

The Blades saw off Premier League Southampton at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night, and will face Spurs at their home ground in the second of the ties.

Spurs booked their last-four spot with a 4-0 demolition of Newcastle but will not necessarily relish a clash with lower-league opposition.

Brendan Rodgers Recognizes Raheem Sterling’s Effort in Win Against Bournemouth

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Brendan Rodgers revealed his bemusement at criticism of Raheem Sterling after his man of the match display fired Liverpool into the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

The 20-year-old shone in the 'false nine' position against Championship leaders Bournemouth and netted either side of Lazar Markovic's first goal for the Reds as they teed up a two-legged semi against Chelsea.

Spurs Progress Pleases Pochettino After Defeating Newcastle in League Cup

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Tottenham put in one of the best performances of Mauricio Pochettino's reign as progress to the Capital One Cup semi-finals was secured in style.

The former Argentina defender's start to life in north London has not been without its teething problems, but things appear to now be moving in the right direction.

Mesut Ozil Nearing Arsenal Return After 2 Month Absence

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Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil feels his recovery from a knee problem is now "on the right path" and cannot wait to get back into action.

The German international has not featured since suffering a partial rupture of the outer band of the left knee joint against Chelsea on October 5.

The initial prognosis for a likely return was for early in 2015, and Ozil suggested he could soon be back in contention, having been pictured walking out for a session at the Gunners' Hertfordshire training base in the build up to last weekend's Barclays Premier League match against Newcastle.

Top 5 Premier League Bets, 20-22 December

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The Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland plus Liverpool v Arsenal are the highlights of this weekend's Premier League betting coupon, with six of the 10 fixtures having an odds-on team with the bookies. Easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper tipped Newcastle to beat Chelsea at a massive 7/1 as his best bet a fortnight ago and he's back to offer his five best wagers for this round of action!

Several Premier League Clubs Interested in Signing Wesley Sneijder

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Southampton are not in the running to sign Wesley Sneijder, but Press Association Sport understands there is interest from a number of other Premier League clubs.

Reports have emerged that St Mary's could be his next stop after a career which has taken the Dutch playmaker to Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Galatasaray.

Report Card for FOX Sports’ MultiMatch 90 Soccer Coverage

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Now that the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League is over until the Knockout Round kicks off in February, it's perfect timing to give a report card for FOX's new soccer TV experience called MultiMatch 90, which was quietly debutedin September.

The concept of MultiMatch 90 is to mimic a similar experience that NFL fans enjoy with the RedZone channel where instead of broadcasting one live UEFA Champions League game, FOX Sports offers a broadcast that jumps around from live game to game when anything exciting or of note happens such as goals, free kicks, red cards, etcetera.

Bournemouth vs Liverpool and Spurs vs Newcastle: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Today's Capital One Cup quarterfinal between Bournemouth and Liverpoolis being televised live on US television and Internet.

The tournament provides Liverpool(and Bournemouth) with its first opportunity to win silverware during the 2014/15 season. And for viewers in the United States, the game is being televisedonly on beIN SPORTS.

Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge to Receive Rehab from Boston Red Sox

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will continue his rehabilitation from a thigh injury in the United States over Christmas.

The England forward spent 10 days in Los Angeles to help with his recovery and he will now travel to the east coast to link up with the medical team at the Boston Red Sox, who share the same owners in Fenway Sports Group.

5 Reasons For Southampton’s Slump

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Southampton's astonishing start to the season has gone off-kilter in recent weeks, with Tuesday's embarrassing Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield United their fifth successive loss in all competitions.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at what is going wrong for Ronald Koeman's side.

1.

Mario Balotelli Left Out Of Liverpool Squad For Capital One Cup Quarter-Final

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Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli will not feature against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup quarter-final as he has not traveled with the squad.

The Italy international was a second-half substitute in Sunday's defeat at Manchester United, where he made his comeback after more than a month on the sidelines with a groin problem.

Wilfried Bony Cementing Himself as One of Premier League’s Top Strikers

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Attacking players can hurt defenses in a myriad of different ways.

Some go about their job with a brute physicality, never letting a defender settle, imposing themselves aerially and generally being a nuisance. Others are a little more subtle, dropping into space, utilising their in-game intelligence and exerting their technical ability on proceedings.

Investigator Michael Garcia Resigns Citing FIFA’s Lack Of Leadership

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US lawyer Michael Garcia has resigned from his position with FIFA, 24hours after the governing body dismissed his complaintregarding the handling of his investigation into World Cup corruption.

Garcia's findings which he detailed in a 430-page investigation were released as a 42-page summary by FIFA-appointed independent judge Hans-Joachim Eckert in mid-November.

Radamel Falcao Cautiously Optimistic About His Future With Manchester United

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Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao has endured a difficult start to his career in England.

The on-loan forward from Monaco arrived at Old Trafford after a spending the end of last season and this summer rehabilitating from a knee injury. The Colombian missed out on his country's World Cup campaign, had little to no pre-season and only made a handful of substitution appearances for Monaco before making a Deadline Day switch to Manchester United.

Where to Find Bournemouth-Liverpool Capital One Cup On US TV and Internet

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Today's Capital One Cup quarterfinal between Bournemouth and Liverpool is being televised live on US television and Internet.

The tournament provides Liverpool (and Bournemouth) with its first opportunity to win silverware during the 2014/15 season. And for viewers in the United States, the game is being televised only on beIN SPORTS.

Petr Cech: Helmet Saved Him and Zouma From Serious Injury for Chelsea

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Petr Cech insists his padded helmet saved him and Chelsea team-mate Kurt Zouma from serious injury.

The pair clashed heads in the Blues' 3-1 Capital One Cup quarter final win at Derby on Tuesday, forcing Zouma to be carried off.

The defender should be available for Chelsea's trip to Stoke on Monday, though, after being assessed at the iPro Stadium.

Jose Mourinho Happy With His Squad And Insists Chelsea Will Not Add In January

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Chelsea currently sit top of the Premier League table with 39 points after sixteen matches. The London club has also advanced to the semi-final of the Capital One Cup after a 3-1 victory over Derby County yesterday, and are through to the Champions League Round of 16; where a two-legged tie against Paris Saint-Germain awaits them in February.

Cruzeiro Reject Real Madrid’s Second Bid For Lucas Silva; Arsenal Offer On The Table

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Brasileiro league winners Cruzeiro have rejected a second bid from Real Madrid for midfielder Lucas Silva, according to various Brazilian news outlets.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti informed the media a week ago that the Spanish club would not address the potential transfer until after Christmas.

Capital One Cup Quarter-final Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United

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Both Newcastle United and Tottenham fans will be dreaming of a potential trip to Wembley Stadium ahead of their teams' League Cup quarter-final tonight. For viewers in the United States, the game is being shown live on beIN SPORTS Connect at 2:45pm ET.

But the reality of modern life in the English Premier League means Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettinoand Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will field weakened sides at White Hart Lane.

Pochettino: I’ll Take Any Blame If Spurs Lose in Capital One Cup Against Newcastle

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Mauricio Pochettino is happy to take the blame if his Tottenham side are knocked out of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.

Newcastle are the visitors to White Hart Lane as both sides look to make it into the semi-finals and move one step closer to a March final at Wembley.

Tottenham overcame Brighton in the last round despite making 10 changes from their previous Premier League fixture, and Pochettino had a similar rotation philosophy during his time at Southampton.

U.S International Jozy Altidore Continues to Disappoint at Sunderland

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If anything was to sum up Jozy Altidore's one-and-a-half year spell with Sunderland then it is the embarrassing moment when the United States forward failed to connect with the ball just yards away from an open goal against West Ham United last weekend.

The former Villarreal starlet has managed to register just one single goal in forty one appearances for the Black Cats since his move in the summer of 2013.

Liverpool Replicating Tottenham Hotspur After A Spending Spree That Has Gone Awfully Wrong

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When Brendan Rodgers was asked about his Liverpool side suffering the same fate as Spurs after their summer spending spree, he responded, "At Liverpool there's a strategy behind what we are doing."This was in July as Liverpool was completing the purchase of Divock Origi from Lille. Just five months later, Liverpool are languishing in 11thplace in the league, they've been dumped out of the Champions League unceremoniously with their grand plans in tatters.

Key Premier League Refereeing Decisions: Gameweek 16

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Diving has been and continues to be a problem in the modern game and it was again brought to the media's attention this weekend after there were six diving incidents, all of which led to differing outcomes.

Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Hull City was where the most debated incident occurred. Gary Cahill was already on a yellow card after a foul on Sone Aluko, which could easily have been a red.

CONCACAF Announces Venues For The 2015 Gold Cup

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On Tuesday afternoon CONCACAF released the venues for the 2015 Gold Cup. There are some of "the usual suspects" in terms of stadiums in cities that most people would generally expect to host games at big tournaments. There are one or two surprising inclusions and one or two surprising exclusions, as there are with every tournament.

Fox Sports Announce Coverage For The 2015 Women’s World Cup

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The 2015 Women's World Cup will feature many first. The first time a senior tournament will be played on turf, the first time an expanded field of 24 teams will play in Canada and the first time in 11 years the Women's World Cup will be aired on network television.

Tuesday it was announced that FOX will be carrying all 52 games across three stations in what will be the most comprehensive coverage of the women's pinnacle tournament.

League Cup Fever Grips Sheffield United After Blades Beat Southampton

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Sheffield United continue to be gripped by cup fever after they claimed a second Premier League scalp of the season to book a Capital One Cup semi-final spot after beating hapless Southampton.

The League One Blades, who reached the last four of the FA Cup last season, saw off West Ham in the second round and were at it again in a one-sided quarter-final as Marc McNulty's 63rd-minute winner gave them a 1-0 victory over Ronald Koeman's men at Bramall Lane.

Cesc Fabregas Believes Chelsea Can Win Quadruple This Season

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Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea have the "talent, discipline and courage" to win four titles this season after they defeated 10-man Derby 3-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.

The Blues are sitting top of the Barclays Premier League and have progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League, while they are yet to play their first FA Cup game this season.

Carlo Ancelotti Could Hurt Real Madrid’s Title Charge By Failing To Rotate His Squad

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Real Madrid are in the midst of a staggering run of matches. The La Liga giants have won twenty straight matches in all competitions heading into this evening's FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Mexican side, Cruz Azul.

Los Blancos last defeat was on September 13th in the Madrid derby when Diego Simeone's men walked out of the Santiago Bernabeu with a 2-1 victory.

Derby vs Chelsea Capital One Cup Quarter-Final: TV Times and Open Thread

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Today's Capital One Cup quarterfinal between Chelsea and Derby County is being televised live on US television and Internet.

The tournament provides Chelsea (and Derby) with its first opportunity to win silverware during the 2014/15 season. And for viewers in the United States, the game is being televisedonly on beIN SPORTS.

Soccer Analyst Alexi Lalas Joins FOX Sports From ESPN

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Alexi Lalas, the soccer analyst that people either love or hate, will make his FOX Sports debut in January after leaving ESPN at the end of this month.

As we reported in October (along with Awful Announcing), Lalas joins host Rob Stone, Warren Barton and former USMNT teammates Eric Wynalda and recently-added Brad Friedel as key members of FOX Sports' soccer team.

Premier League Team of the Weekend From Gameweek 16

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Based on the performances in the 10 matches played during the weekend of gameweek 16 of the Premier League, as well as utilizing stats from WhoScored, Squawka and TransferMarkt, here's my team of the weekend:

Goalkeeper

De Gea [Manchester United] David De Gea put in a memorable performance in Manchester United's match against Liverpool at the weekend.

Which Team Do You Love To Hate The Most? [POLL]

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Everyone has an opinion and we'd like to get yours in order to find out what is the one team you love to hate the most. Any team, any league, any confederation. You must have one. The team you love to see lose. The team you always want your club to beat. In a massive way.

As a Swansea City supporter, the likely answer for me is Cardiff City.

Everton Wait for Kevin Mirallas Scan After Injury Against QPR

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Roberto Martinez is keeping his fingers crossed Kevin Mirallas has not suffered a serious injury after he was carried off in the final moments of Everton's 3-1 victory over QPR.

The Belgian was chopped down by Jordon Mutch in stoppage time, with his ankle appearing to buckle.

Mirallas missed almost two months of action earlier this season after tearing his hamstring but Martinez is hopeful a scan on Tuesday will not bring further bad news.

Watch Gary Neville Analyzing David De Gea’s Development At Manchester United [VIDEO]

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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville put on another masterclass during yesterday's edition of Monday Night Football.

The former Manchester United defender has always done a fantastic job of expressing his thoughts and elaborating on them in great detail. Neville has an innate ability to articulate his ideas to a vast footballing audience.

Where to Find Chelsea-Derby Capital One Cup On US TV and Internet

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Today's Capital One Cup quarterfinal between Chelsea and Derby County is being televised live on US television and Internet.

The tournament provides Chelsea (and Derby) with its first opportunity to win silverware during the 2014/15 season. And for viewers in the United States, the game is being televised only on beIN SPORTS.

Spanish Police Arrest 30 People In Relation To Deportivo Fan’s Death

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Spanish police have made a series of arrests today in an operation relating to the death of a Deportivo La Coruna fan, who died as a result of the fighting that took place between rival ultras groups in Madrid last month.

During the hours before November 30th's match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna, fighting between the Frente Atletico (ultras group of Atletico Madrid) and Riazor Blues (ultras group of Deportivo La Coruna) took place near the Vicente Calderon.

Ander Herrera And Jefferson Montero Named In Spanish Match-Fixing Probe

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera and Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero are among forty-one players, coaches and directors named in a match-fixing probe in Spain.

The prosecutor's office alleges that 965,000 euros (£766,000) was paid in cash by then Real Zaragoza coach Javier Aguirre and nine of his players with their club's consent to the Levante players ahead of their La Liga game during the 2010-11 season.

Rafa Benitez Expected To Be Sacked At Napoli, Increasing Speculation of Liverpool Return

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Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has come under increased scrutiny over the past several weeks.

According to widespread reports in Italy, the Spanish tactician'srelationship with club officials has deteriorated as his on-field success with the Italian side has decreased.

Benitez was hoping to regain some trust from Napoli officials and build some momentum in his team with a positive result against AC Milan on Sunday.

Watch Everton 3-1 QPR Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Ross Barkley is confident that Everton can now kick on in the Barclays Premier League following a 3-1 victory over struggling QPR.

Barkley put the Toffees on their way in the 33rd minute when he netted his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion and Kevin Mirallas made it two before half-time, with Steven Naismith adding a third eight minutes after the break.

Arsenal Finally Lucky in Champions League Knockout Draw

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The Gunners dodged a big bullet on Monday as they were drawn against Ligue 1 club Monaco in the upcoming knockout round of the Champions League. Although Monaco finished top of group C in the European competition, Arsenal fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the draw was announced in Nyon, Switzerland.

Netherlands Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen on ‘That’ Substitution And More

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You're your country's number one goalkeeper and it's the 121stminute of a World Cup quarter-final. The match is scoreless and the prospect of a penalty shoot-out seems inevitable.

You're mentally preparing for what's about to happen next when you glance at the fourth official on the sideline and see your number being held up.

AFF Suzuki Cup – The Other Side of the Soccer World

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The Premier League's December program is starting to click into full gear and plenty of eyes in South East Asia will be looking on the games with the usual fanatical interest.

Football is huge in South East Asia, from Vietnam to Indonesia the appetite for the game is insatiable. Walk around streets of Malaysia or Singapore and you'll see a plethora of different kits from top Premier League sides to the big two in Spain.

Previewing The Club World Cup Semi-final Between Real Madrid and Cruz Azul

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Real Madrid travel to Marrakech to face Cruz Azul, a team that needed two hours on a rain-soaked pitch to defeat team that currently occupies the last spot in their domestic league. In a scenario that favors Real so much it might as well have been written by Carlo Ancelotti himself that the Spanish giants will have the huge upper hand in Tuesday's semi-final match-up with last season's CONCACAF Champions League winners.

Tributes Roll In After Thierry Henry Announces Soccer Retirement

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Arsenal paid a fitting tribute to Thierry Henry, as did a number of his soon-to-be new colleagues, after the former Gunners striker announced his retirement from football on Tuesday morning.

The 37-year-old confirmed he will return to London to take up a role in the media with Sky Sports "as a football expert and ambassador" from the start of 2015.

Wayne Rooney Believes Manchester United Can Win the Premier League Title

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Wayne Rooney insists Manchester United can overtake Chelsea and win the Barclays Premier League this season.

United stretched their winning streak to six matches on Sunday with a morale-boosting 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Liverpool.

Despite struggling in the opening stages of the season, Louis van Gaal has guided his men to third in the table and they are now eight points shy of leaders Chelsea, who are three points ahead of second-place Manchester City.

The Return of Arsene Wenger to Monaco

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There may have been a few less grey hairs, the glasses a little less stylish and even the odd crafty cigarette when Arsene Wenger sat in the Monaco dugout, but the desire to win of the young coach burned just as fierce.

Wenger was in his late 30s when he took over at Monaco, and had a point to prove after being unable to stop Nancy from being relegated in 1987.

DaMarcus Beasley Announces Retirement From US Men’s National Team

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Long-time United States Men's National Team great DaMarcus Beasley has announced his retirement from the team. Beasley, 32, made the announcement using his official Instagram account. In the social media post, Beasley stated, "Where do I start? Honestly I never thought this day would come, representing my country has been the greatest thing I've done in my career.

Everton vs QPR, Premier League Gameweek 16: TV Times and Open Thread

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The final match of the Premier League weekend kicks off tonight at a chilly Goodison Park where Everton take on Queens Park Rangers.

After Burnley beat Southampton 1-0 on Saturday, The Clarets leapfrogged over the R's, pushing QPR back into the bottom three of the Premier League. But a win or draw tonight for Harry Redknapp's side will push them above Burnley in the race to avoid relegation.

Christian Eriksen Hails Tottenham Fitness After Smash-n-Grab Win Against Swansea

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Christian Eriksen believes Tottenham's new fitness levels are responsible for their dramatic late shows in the Barclays Premier League.

Eriksen came up with an 89th-minute winner in Spurs' 2-1 victory at Swansea on Sunday to maintain their recent fine away form and take Mauricio Pochettino's side up to seventh in the table.

Juan Mata: Manchester United Mustn’t Rely on David De Gea

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Juan Mata hopes Manchester United will become less reliant on David de Gea over the rest of the season.

Not for the first time this year, De Gea put in an outstanding display at Old Trafford to help United record a 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

The man of the match saved two close-range efforts from Raheem Sterling and also tipped Mario Balotelli's fierce shot on to the bar in the second half of the Barclays Premier League encounter.

Gary Cahill Rested for Chelsea League Cup Game Against Derby

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Gary Cahill has been taken out of the line of fire by Jose Mourinho, who will rest the defender who was accused of diving for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Derby.

Programming note: For viewers in the USA, you can watch Chelsea against Derby in the Capital One Cup quarter-final live only on beIN SPORTS and DishWorld at 2:45pm ET Tuesday.

Kevin Strootman Not For Sale Despite Champions League Exit, Says AS Roma Official

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AS Roma general director Mauro Bladissoni has stressed that midfielder Kevin Strootman is not for sale despite his side's early exit from the Champions League.

The official also noted the Serie Aclub's president, James Pallotta, is angered by the constant transfer speculation linking the Dutch international with a move away from the Italian capital.

Leeds United, Blackburn And Nottingham Forest Handed January Transfer Bans

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Leeds United, Blackburnand Nottingham Forest have been handed transfer bans for the upcoming January window after breaching the Football league's financial fair play (FFP) rules.

The League announced that the clubs had incurred financial losses in excess of the £8 million permitted during last season.

Mexico’s Home Shirt for 2015 Copa America Is Black: Leaked [PHOTO]

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Mexico's home shirt for 2015 and Copa America will be black instead of green based on a leaked photo of El Tri's shirt manufactured and designed by adidas.

Mexico's shirt features the green, white and red from the country's flag at the bottom of the shirt, while the rest of the jersey is black with fluorescent green trim and fluorescent green national crest and adidas logo.

AC Milan Insist Fernando Torres Has Been ‘Unlucky’ And Will Not Leave In January

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AC Milan haveaddressed widespread media reports linking out-of-form striker Fernando Torres with a January exit fromthe Serie A giants. A club official has spoken toSky Italiaand insisted that the forward has been 'unlucky' and the Italian side will continue to be 'patient' while Torres regains his fitness and form.

Jose Mourinho Believes Chelsea Was Right To Let Frank Lampard Leave

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that the club made the right decision by allowing Frank Lampard to leave as a free agent this summer. The Portuguese boss believes that if the Blues had decided to keep the 36-year-old it would have hindered the development of younger players at Stamford Bridge.

UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Draw Revealed

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The draw for the Round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League has been announced today in Nyon, Switzerland.

The draw is as follows

Young Boys vs Everton
Torino vs Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla vs Monchengladbach
Wolfsburg vs Sporting
Ajax vs Legia
Aab vs Club Brugge
Anderlecht vs Dynamo Moscow
Dnipro vs Olympiacos
Trabzonspor vs Napoli
Guingamp vs Dynamo Kiev
Villarreal vs Salzburg
Roma vs Feyernoord
PSV vs Zenit St Petersburg
Liverpool vs Besiktas
Spurs vs Fiorentina
Celtic vs Inter Milan

Games will be played on 19 and 26 February.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw Announced: City to Play Barca the Highlight

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The draw for the Knockout Round of the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League has been announced, and two of the English teams have been dealt a cruel blow by being drawn against two of the toughest teams on the continent with Manchester City facing Barcelona and Chelsea facing PSG.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have aslightly easier taskas they'll face AS Monaco.

Pub Teams (Premier League Weekend Review Podcast)

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If Liverpool and Manchester United are pub teams, then let Nick Webster and the World Soccer Talk Podcast crew pour you a pint as they discuss the talking points from all of the Premier League matches from the weekend. Should Brendan Rodgers get the sack? Are Spurs for real? Can Manchester United catch up with Chelsea and Manchester City?

Everton Manager Roberto Martinez Wary of Improving QPR

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Roberto Martinez thinks timing is not in Everton's favour ahead of Monday's Premier League clash with QPR.

Rangers have won two of their last three games, beating fellow strugglers Leicester and Burnley to climb out of the relegation zone.

QPR's leading scorer Charlie Austin is suspended following his dismissal against Burnley but Martinez has been impressed by Harry Redknapp's side.

Arsene Wenger Still Sees Signs of Arsenal’s Nerves

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes it will take a couple more performances like the ones which dismantled Galatasaray and Newcastle before his side will be back to full confidence.

Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla both scored twice as the Gunners chalked up a second 4-1 victory in the space of five days to close back up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Watch Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Liverpool lived up to their pub-team billing as they handed Manchester United an easy Barclays Premier League victory thanks to some shoddy defending at Old Trafford.

With both teams out of form, Gary Neville had predicted this match would resemble the "Dog & Duck versus the Red Lion", but only one team defended like a Sunday league team in this grudge match.

Manuel Pellegrini to Investigate Manchester City Injuries

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is to investigate the spate of muscle injuries that threatens to undermine his side's return to form.

City could have to play through the Christmas program without a recognized senior striker and their captain after a costly 1-0 victory over Barclays Premier League bottom side Leicester on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool Did Enough to Win Against Man United

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers claimed his side "did enough to win the game" despite their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie sealed victory but it was United goalkeeper David De Gea who took the plaudits after keeping Liverpool at bay from a host of chances.

Swansea vs Spurs, Gameweek 16: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Swansea vs Spurs, 11am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra;Jon Champion & Clive Allen

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

Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany Join Manchester City Injury List

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Manchester City could face Christmas without any senior strikers and their captain following a costly 1-0 victory at Leicester.

Forward Edin Dzeko suffered a calf injury in the warm-up at the King Power Stadium and skipper Vincent Kompany suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem 77 minutes into his comeback.

Michel Vorm Defends Switch From Swansea to Tottenham

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Michel Vorm knows many find his decision to swap Swansea's number one jersey for the Tottenham bench a strange move, but it is a challenge the goalkeeper has no regrets about taking.

In the summer, the Netherlands international joined left-back Ben Davies in swapping south Wales for north London, ending a successful three-year spell at the Liberty Stadium.

Neil Warnock Keeps Mark Hughes Feud Simmering

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Neil Warnock has criticized Stoke for "time-wasting from the start" in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in a withering jibe at old foe Mark Hughes.

Warnock was left frustrated Palace failed to claim victory in a dismal Premier League draw, with Peter Crouch's tap-in quickly canceling out James McArthur's first Eagles goal.

Watch West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Alan Irvine revealed his relief after a vital win over Aston Villa lifted the pressure on the West Brom head coach.

The Baggies beat their local rivals 1-0 at The Hawthorns thanks to Craig Gardner's first goal for the club.

Kieran Richardson was sent off after just 22 minutes for Villa following a reckless tackle on Stephane Sessegnon.

Burnley 1-0 Southampton; Sean Dyche: ‘We Were Due Some Luck’ [VIDEO]

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Sean Dyche felt Burnley deserved the luck that helped them to a third win in six Premier League games.

Ashley Barnes' deflected shot in the 73rd minute, after Tom Heaton had earlier saved Dusan Tadic's penalty, earned the Clarets a 1-0 victory over Southampton.

It was enough to lift Burnley out of the relegation zone, at least until QPR play Everton on Monday.

Manchester United vs Liverpool, Gameweek 16: Starting Lineups, TV Times & Open Thread

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Arguably the biggest rivalry in English football kicks off today between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford with both clubs suffering from poor performances of late that led to Gary Neville comparing them to pub sides.

Nevertheless, we're in for a firestorm today. In team news, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dropped Simon Mignolet and replaced him with another usually dodgy keeper, Brad Jones.

Sam Allardyce Fumes at Adam Johnson Dive in West Ham-Sunderland Match [VIDEO]

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce accused Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson of diving for a penalty after the two teams played out a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson toppled under the challenge of James Tomkins in the 22nd minute and despite minimal contact referee Phil Dowd had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick from which Jordi Gomez struck the opener.

Steve Bruce Claims Chelsea’s Gary Cahill Dived Against Hull

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Steve Bruce accused Gary Cahill of taking a tumble "like something out of Swan Lake" and claimed he should have been sent off as Hull went down 2-0 to Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho's men edged their card-laden clash with the Tigers on Saturday as efforts from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa got them back to winning ways in the league.

Watch Chelsea 2-0 Hull City Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Jose Mourinho's men edged their card-laden clash with Hull but it was not one of the impressive, dominant displays Chelsea fans have become accustomed to.

Last weekend's surprise defeat in Newcastle ended talk of the Blues going through the season unbeaten, allowing resurgent Manchester City to close the gap at the top of the Premier League.

Watch Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle United Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Arsene Wenger is content with making the majority of Arsenal fans happy after hearing his name ring around the Emirates Stadium following an impressive 4-1 win over Newcastle.

The Arsenal manager has endured a turbulent relationship with the club's supporters this season following disappointing defeats against the likes of Swansea, Manchester United and, most recently, Stoke.

Steve Nicol to Appear on The 2 Robbies Show at 5pm ET Today

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Today's episode of The 2 Robbies Football Show features former Liverpool, Scotland and New England Revolution star Steve Nicol.

Listen live to The 2 Robbies Football Show beginning at 5pm ET on www.NBCSportsRadio.com(or via the player below). Both Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe want to make the show as interactive as possible, so this is your chance to call in with your questions to 855-323-4622, or to tweet the guys ahead of the show @The2RobbiesFS.

Frank Lampard Can Still Play a Vital Role for Manchester City

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As the twilight of players' careers typically approach, pace, intensity and fitness typically dwindle. But for those few who have made a career out of sticking the ball in the back of the net, that desirable attribute of being in the right place at the right time rarely deserts them.

Goalscorersare simply a different entity.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 16: TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Chelsea vs Hull, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Burnley vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Barry Horne
Crystal Palace vs Stoke, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Dean Sturridge
Leicester vs Manchester City, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Ray Houghton
Sunderland vs West Ham, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; David Stowell & Brian Little
West Brom vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Trevor Francis
Arsenal vs Newcastle, 12:30pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

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

Most Champions League Minutes Played By Footballers of Each Country

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Players representing Brazil have edged out Spaniards for the most minutes spent on the pitch during Champions League play so far this season. Brazil, who have 17 of their 23 players that were called up last month to the national team on Champions League rosters, have racked up 22,659 minutes played.

Almeria 1-4 Real Madrid: Los Merengues Record 20th Consecutive Win

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The last 'pit stop' before the Club World Cup in Morocco, Real Madrid played Almeria away from home Friday night in a match that wassupposedto be easy but was made slightly difficult by a motivated Almeria side.

Real Madrid's first half performance in particular was below par as they struggled with creating chances and narrowly ended the half with a one goal advantage.

Manchester City Boss Pellegrini Wants Frank Lampard Extension

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has made clear he wants to prolong Frank Lampard's loan and hopes a decision can be made soon.

Former England international Lampard, who was released by Chelsea at the end of last season, has made a strong impact after joining the champions on a short-term move from sister club New York City.

Manchester United Striker Robin van Persie: I’m Back to My Best

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Robin van Persie insists he is back to his best and has denied suggestions he is over the hill.

Van Persie will look to continue his recent good form on Sunday when Manchester United host bitter rivals Liverpool.

The arrival of Radamel Falcao, and Wayne Rooney's appointment as captain had led some to question the 31-year-old's place in the starting XI.

Randy Lerner Prepared to Fund Aston Villa Signings in January

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Boss Paul Lambert will be backed in the January transfer window although Aston Villa will not spend big.

Chief executive Tom Fox has revealed chairman Randy Lerner, who put the club up for sale in May, is prepared to fund signings.

Lerner is understood to have a new lease of life at Villa, despite looking for a buyer over the summer.

Louis Van Gaal Dismisses Manchester City’s £200 Million Training Complex

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Manchester City are not guaranteed to get the pick of the best young players in the north-west despite spending £200million on a new training complex, Louis van Gaal has warned.

City unveiled their state-of-the-art training complex in Manchester on Monday.

The base, which is connected to the Etihad Stadium by bridge, includes a 7,000-seater stadium, 16 pitches and a luxury hotel as well as cutting-edge technology which will aid opposition analysis and rehabilitation from injury.

Aston Villa Aren’t the Top Dogs in Midlands Says West Brom’s Craig Gardner

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Craig Gardner has dismissed Aston Villa as Midlands top dogs and insists West Brom are fed up of being overlooked.

Ahead of Saturday's derby clash at The Hawthorns, the midfielder believes the Baggies can topple their rivals.

Gardner made 80 appearances for Villa after coming through their academy before joining bitter rivals Birmingham in 2010.

Watch Hertha Berlin vs Dortmund Live, Legally and For Free at 9.30am ET

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If you live in the United States or Canada, sign up for a free 14-day trial of fubo PRO so you can watch today's Hertha Berlin against Borussia Dortmund match, which kicks off at 9:30am ET/6:30am PT.

fubo PRO is completely legal (see our article about the new service).

With fubo PRO, you have access to all of the Borussia Dortmund league games (home and away), as well as home Benfica matches, Everton TV and on-demand matches for Everton and Ajax.

Newcastle United Squad Depth to be Tested Against Arsenal

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Whilst Newcastle United's 2-1 win over Chelsea had a clichéd, season-defining feel to it, the visit of Sunderland in a week's time is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season.

Before welcoming their derby rivals to St James' Park, however, United must navigate their way through awkward fixtures against Arsenal and Tottenham within the space of a few days.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 16

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Here's the line-up of commentatorsfor this weekend's Premier League matches:

Saturday, December 13:

Chelsea vs Hull, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Burnley vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Barry Horne
Crystal Palace vs Stoke, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Phil Blacker & Dean Sturridge
Leicester vs Manchester City, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Ray Houghton
Sunderland vs West Ham, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; David Stowell & Brian Little
West Brom vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Trevor Francis
Arsenal vs Newcastle, 12:30pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Read more: Comprehensive guide to English soccer TV commentators (and co-commentators)

Sunday, December 14:

Manchester United vs Liverpool, 8:30am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon
Swansea vs Spurs, 11am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Clive Allen

Monday, December 15:

Everton vs QPR, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Martin Tyler & TBD

Read more: Top 5 soccer games to watch on TV this weekend.

2014 FIFA Club World Cup Preview and Where to Find Games on US TV

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Being crowned as the champions of world club soccer doesn't command the reverence you might expect. The FIFA World Club Cup often disrupts the domestic campaigns of a host of teams involved and subsequently, it's seen by many supporters as a hindrance to their side's quest for major honors closer to home.

Neil Warnock Plans Busy January Sales For Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock admits the club must make "two or three" signings in January to boost their chances of Barclays Premier League survival.

Palace have won just once in nine games ahead of a crucial Christmas period that includes matches against Manchester City, Southampton and fellow strugglers QPR.

Angel Di Maria Still Missing for Manchester United

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Angel di Maria will miss Manchester United's crunch match against Liverpool on Sunday.

United's record signing has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and will not be in the match day squad this weekend, manager Louis van Gaal confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

Jose Mourinho Rules Out Chelsea Return For Fernando Torres

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Speaking ahead of his side's match against Hull City on Saturday, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out a possible return to Stamford Bridge for out of form striker Fernando Torres.

Torres was sent to AC Milan on a two-season loan this summer and has only scored once in seven starts for the Serie A club.

Watch Live Borussia Dortmund and Benfica Matches and Everton TV With fuboTV

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If you're a fan of Everton, Borussia Dortmund, Benfica or Ajax, take note. Internet streaming service fuboTV is now providing live feeds to both Benfica and Borussia Dortmund matches here in the United States and Canada as well as coverage of Everton TV, Benfica TV and Ajax games. The service provides access to 17 Benfica Primeira Liga home matches and 34 total Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga home and away games throughout the 2014-15 season.

Liverpool Target Martin Montoya Will Leave Barcelona In January

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Liverpool target Martin Montoya has told Barcelona he wants to leave the Catalan club in a quest for more first-team soccer.

The 23-year-old right-back started his careerat the famed La Masia youth academy and rose through the ranks at the Spanish side before making his senior debut during the 2010-11 campaign.

Wenger: Respect Must Be a Two Way Street In Nigel Pearson Case

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spoken out over the Football Association charge issued to his Leicester counterpart Nigel Pearson for abusing a spectator, insisting respect must be a two-way street.

Pearson was charged on Thursday after footage emerged of him shouting at someone in the crowd during the team's 3-1 defeat at home to Liverpool on December 2.

Joe Hart Wants to End Career at Manchester City

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England goalkeeper Joe Hart says he wants to stay at Manchester City for the rest of his career as he prepares to sign a new contract.

The 27-year-old has reportedly been in talks over a lucrative new five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium for several months.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini last week said he expected negotiations to be completed imminently and Hart has now revealed the contract is all but signed.

Norwegian Prodigy Martin Odegaard Trains With Bayern Munich, Says Report

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Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard trained with Bayern Munich last week under the orders of manager Pep Guardiola, according to the German tabloidTZ.

Odegaard is arguably the most sought-after talent in world football. The 15-year-old attacking midfielder, who turns 16 next week, is being monitored by as many as 30 clubs and has already spent time training with European giants: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

Hamstring Injury Sidelines Aaron Ramsey From Arsenal-Newcastle Match

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Manager Arsene Wenger says it is too early to suggest how long Arsenal will be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey because of a hamstring problem.

The Wales international netted a superb 30-yard strike in the 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray in Instanbul on Tuesday night, but came off at half-time as a precaution.

Everton Youngsters Earn Praise From Roberto Martinez

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Roberto Martinez felt Everton's youngsters seized their chance to impress despite a 1-0 defeat by Krasnodar in the Europa League.

With the Toffees already guaranteed to top Group H ahead of the final game and their Russian opponents eliminated, Martinez took the opportunity to showcase the latest "diamonds" to come off a production line that launched the careers of Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley.

The Soccer Haters Can Hate, But Soccer is Here to Stay

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Soccer is growing at an astonishing rate in this country. Yet there are some people who refuse to believe it. Soccer haters continuous go to line is, "Nobody cares about soccer." This could not be farther from the truth. Not only were there TV viewership records set during this past World Cup, but attendance at the games played in this country has skyrocketed as well.

Besiktas 1-0 Spurs: Lights Go Out On Pochettino’s Men

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Mauricio Pochettino was frustrated by the "laughable" floodlight failures that disrupted Tottenham's Europa League clash with Besiktas.

Spurs were usurped at the top of Group C after Cenk Tosun's second-half effort saw the hosts eke out a 1-0 win at the Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium.

It was a result which left head coach Pochettino understandably frustrated, while he was also unhappy with the disruptions to the game.

Analyzing The Expansion Draft For Orlando City SC And New York City FC

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The MLS expansion draft never goes how anyone expects, nor does any one team do exactly what any other team would do.

With the fluidity and communication between teams in MLS greater than in any other American sports league, the Expansion Draft is often a mechanism for teams to complete trades, send players out on loan, send them away in exchange for allocation money or international slots, and maybe, just maybe, grab a starter or two.

Examining Champions League Group Stage Issues

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Match Day 6 of the Champions League has come and passed. Besides winner take all clashes between Manchester City and AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico and Liverpool and Basel at Anfield, there really was not much drama on hand. Extremely weakened sides from Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid threatened to undermine the integrity of the competition with their opponents still trying to qualify for either the last 16 or the Europa League place.

Gary Cahill: Euro Rivals Wary of Chelsea

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Gary Cahill believes Europe's top clubs will be wary of drawing Chelsea in the Champions League's last 16.

The England defender was hurt by Chelsea's semi-final elimination last season and says Jose Mourinho's men are "dangerous" and more experienced this term.

Cahill also thinks the Blues, who face Hull in their first Barclays Premier League contest since their 23-match unbeaten streak came to an end, can build momentum after responding from the loss at Newcastle by beating Sporting Lisbon 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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Momentum is a word that's thrown around regularly in soccer, and it's a valuable, intangible commodity for managers. Especially at this time of year with the fixtures coming up thick and fast ahead of a frenetic festive period.

The best way to accrue some momentum is arguably by beating a city or positional rival, and this weekend's selections feature three games that fall into that enticing bracket.

Top 5 Premier League Bets, 13-15 December

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The Premier League is looking more and more like it will be in the grasp of Jose Mourinho and Chelsea once more this season, but what does this gameweek have in store? Tipster for Easyodds.com Ross Casey has been scouring the betting markets of all 10 fixtures and has five of his best bets to offer.

Paris Saint-Germain Fans Stabbed After Champions League Match Against Barcelona

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Earlier today, the chief of the Catalan regional police force informed reporters that two Paris Saint-Germain fans were stabbed on Wednesday night following the French champions' Champions League match against Barcelona.

Chief Albert Batlle explained that the crime was committed near the Camp Nou and the suspects are believed to be part of the notorious Boixos Nois ultras group.

Carlo Ancelotti Defends Marcelo Following Brazilian Coach Dunga’s Criticism

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has come to the defense of his Brazilian left-back Marcelo, who has come under criticism from national team coach Dunga.

In an interview with the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the current Selecao boss said he was unimpressed with the defender's performance during this summer's World Cup.

Victor Valdes Named La Liga’s All-Time Greatest Goalkeeper

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Former Barcelona man Victor Valdes has been named the best goalkeeper in the history of La Liga, according to a study by the Spanish Center of Football History and Statistics (CIHEFE).

The study, undertaken by Vidal Vinaras de Blas, analyzed the careers of 790 keepers who have played in the Spanish first division since the beginning of the 1928 league championship.

UEFA Europa League, Matchday 6: TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's the TV/Internet schedule for soccer fans in the United States:

Qarabag vs Inter Milan, Noon, FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, ESPN3 & FOX Soccer 2GO
Dnipro vs St Etienne, Noon, ESPN3
Besiktas vs Tottenham, 1pm, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Monchengladbach vs Zurich, 1pm, FOX Soccer Plus &FOX Soccer 2GO
Apollon vs Villarreal, 1pm, ESPN Deportes &FOX Soccer 2GO
Bruge vs HJK, 1pm,FOX Soccer 2GO
Copenhagen vs Torino, 1pm,FOX Soccer 2GO
Partizan vs Asteras, 1pm,FOX Soccer 2GO
Everton vs Krasnador, 3pm, FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO
Sevilla vs Rijeka, 3pm, FOX Sports 2, ESPN Deportes & FOX Sports GO
Lille vs Wolfsburg, 3pm, ESPN3
Young Boys vs Prague, 3pm, ESPN3
Standard Liege vs Feyenoord, 3pm, FOX Soccer 2GO

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

Ronaldo Becomes Part-Owner of Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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Brazilian soccer superstar Ronaldo is now part-owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Ronaldo, who is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, has acquired approximately 25% of the Strikers and becomes part of the new ownership of the club, joining Brazilian investors Paulo Cesso, Ricardo Geromel and Rafael Bertani who acquired the team in September.

Twitter Takeover: Pete Quinn Will Answer Your Soccer Questions Today at 6pm ET

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World Soccer Talk writer Pete Quinn will be taking over the @worldsoccertalk Twitter account on Thursday, December 11 beginning at 6pm ET/3pm PT to answer questions from you, the readers about any soccer topic you're interested in.

Petehas been writing for World Soccer Talk since 2013. He's best known for histhorough analysis of Manchester United, La Liga and Serie A as often being one of the first to report breaking transfer stories.

Leicester Suffer Blow as Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel Ruled Out for One Month

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Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel suffered a broken metatarsal during training and has been ruled out for at least one month. While manager Nigel Pearson was optimistic of the initial diagnosis, he added that it was possible the Danish international could be sidelined for longer than one month.

Arouna Kone Excited Ahead of Everton Comeback

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Arouna Kone feels like he is starting his career again ahead of his long-awaited comeback for Everton.

The Ivory Coast striker followed Roberto Martinez from Wigan to Everton in the summer of 2013 but made just one start and five substitute appearances before suffering a knee injury last October.

7 Intriguing Facts From Champions League Group Stage

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The Champions League group stage wrapped up last night with the 6th and final group match-day. Now that the first part of the tournament is over and the next part (the knockout rounds) don't begin until February, it's a good time to look back and review the statistics of the group stage.

1. Most Wins:

Real Madrid 6 wins: The reigning European champions racked up a perfect 100% score in the group stage with 6 wins out of 6.

No QPR Action Against Steven Caulker After Disciplinary Incident

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QPR have announced they will not be taking disciplinary action against Steven Caulker over the incident that left the defender requiring hospital treatment.

Caulker suffered a cut to his head amid reports he was involved in a brawl at a London pub on Sunday afternoon with players from Crystal Palace also present at the social event.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Enjoys Surreal Chelsea Debut

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek says making his senior Chelsea debut has given him a thirst for more first-team playing time.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who has been with the Blues since the age of eight, made his first appearance in Wednesday night's Champions League Group G defeat of Sporting Lisbon.

James Milner: Manchester City Can Surprise in Europe

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James Milner believes Manchester City can go on and make a big impression in the Champions League after snatching a place in the last 16.

City completed a remarkable escape from the group stages after beating Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in one of the greatest results in the club's history.

Jose Mourinho: The Real Champions League Starts Now

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Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea "the real Champions League starts now" after the Blues romped through Group G with a tournament high 17 goals.

The Barclays Premier League leaders' place in the last 16 was already confirmed prior to their 3-1 defeat of Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday night.

The Blues could play Juventus, Basle, Bayer Leverkusen, Paris St Germain or Shakhtar Donestsk in February's first knockout round.

Aaron Ramsey: Champions League Win Was for Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey hopes his wonder goal against Galatasaray in Istanbul can help spark a run which kick-starts the Gunners' domestic campaign and dedicated the victory to under-fire boss Arsene Wenger.

The 23-year-old's sensational 30-yard half-volley, crashing the ball back into the top corner after it was cleared from a corner, was applauded by the home fans, despite seeing their side fall 3-0 behind, and sparked debates about great goals on social media.

Arsenal Target William Carvalho May Leave Sporting Lisbon in January

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Fresh off of a 4-1 drumming of Galatasaray in Tuesday's final Champions League group stage match, Arsenal received more positive news as it was revealed that one of their long-time transfer targets could be sold in January. Sporting Lisbon manager Marco Silva spoke to reporters ahead of their own Champions League clash with Chelsea on the future of one of his star players, and Arsenal target, William Carvalho.

Player Ratings: AS Roma 0 Manchester City 2

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Manchester City secured their spot in the last sixteen of this season's UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 victory away from home at the Stadio Olimpico this evening as AS Roma failed to make best use of their home advantage, despite having arguably the best chances of the match inside the first-half.

Watch Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Serious Champions League business begins for Chelsea in February after Jose Mourinho's men completed their unbeaten Group G campaign with a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.

The Blues had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Sporting hoping to join them ahead of Schalke, managed by Chelsea's European Cup-winning manager Roberto di Matteo.

Watch AS Roma 0-2 Manchester City Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta struck in the second half as Manchester City reached the Champions League knockout stage with a brilliant 2-0 win at Roma.

French playmaker Nasri chose the perfect moment to score his first goal of the season, smashing in a shot via the woodwork on the hour at the Stadio Olimpico.

UEFA Champions League, Wednesday Matchday 6: TV Times & Open Thread

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For viewers in theUnited States, today's UEFA Champions League games will be shown across several channels. Don't forget, you can also see live highlights of the matches onFOX Soccer Plus's MultiMatch 90service.

Here's the TV/Internet schedule for soccer fans in the United States:

Roma vs Manchester City, 2:45pm, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO & FOX Soccer 2GO
Barcelona vs Paris-Saint Germain, 2:45pm, FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO, ESPN Deportes &FOX Soccer 2GO
Bayern Munich vs CSKA Moscow, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Ajax vs APOEL, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Chelsea vs Sporting, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Maribor vs Schalke, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Porto vs Shakhtar Donetsk, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Athletic vs BATE, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO

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

Who’s Your Favorite Soccer Commentator?

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If you're like us, you have your favorite soccer commentator. The one who makes you smile orexcites you when you hear his or her voice on television, radio or online.

But based on your expert opinion, who's your favorite and why?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Share your honest opinion in the comments section below or on our social media platforms onTwitter,Google+,FacebookandReddit.

Why the Promotion/Relegation Debate Should Be Ignored

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One of the topics that generates a lot of clicks on the Internet, butthat we've purposefully stayed away from, is the debate about promotion/relegation in the US soccer system. There's a couple of reasons why we've avoided it until now. One, it's a hornet's nest. It attracts a lot of irrational comments from both sides of the fence.

Barcelona Slap £28 Million Buy-Out Clause On Munir El Haddadi’s Contract

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Earlier this month, rumors began to surface about the immediate future ofBarcelona forward Munir El Haddadi. The 19-year-old had featured in the Catalan club's first eight matches in La Liga, but has found it hard to break into the Barcelona's first-team once Luis Suarez FIFA-imposed ban expired.

Former Newcastle and Colombia Star Faustino Asprilla Reveals Death Threats

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Former Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla has revealed a criminal gang threatened to kill him and his family in an extortion plot.

The 45-year-old, who spent two seasons at Newcastle, said he has been forced to leave his home town of Tulua because of fears for his safety.

Asprilla was reportedly threatened by four men in two cars on Tuesday.

Emmanuel Adebayor Given Leave by Spurs

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Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been given leave to return to his home in Togo to deal with a personal issue.

It means Adebayor will play no part in Thursday's Europa League match against Besiktas.

Tottenham announced on Twitter on Wednesday morning: "We can confirm that Emmanuel Adebayor has been given permission to return home for personal reasons.

Luis Enrique Wary Of Threat Zlatan Ibrahimovic Poses To Barcelona’s Defense

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In late September, Zlatan Ibrahimovic watched Paris Saint-Germain's3-2 Champions League win over Barcelona from a private box in the Parc des Princes.

Fast forward to today and the towering Swedish international will once again be standing alongside his teammates as they prepare for a decisive Group F match against the Catalans at the Camp Nou.

Real Madrid Break 3 New Records In Win Against Ludogorets

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In a match that saw notone, nottwo, notthreebutfourdifferent records at stake, you knew that Real Madrid would actually play for something against Ludogorets even though the Spanish giants had already qualified for the Knockout Round of the Champions League. Yet that still didn't change the fact that with mostly fringe playersand never leaving third gear, the reigning European champions easily dismantled the Bulgarian champions four nil.

Brendan Rodgers Gets It Badly Wrong, As Liverpool Blow Champions League Chance

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Not even a stirring Anfield evening could save them from elimination. Nor could a patented moment of magic from Steven Gerrard at the Kop end on a brisk European night. Not this season, not this Liverpool team.

The Reds crashed out of the Champions League after failing to beat FC Basel, and while the famous old ground stirred with a vintage aurafor the10 minutes following the captain's sensational free-kick, the brief intensity, cohesion and ingenuity that was showcased was a mere aberration in what's been a timid European effort from the Merseysiders.

AS Roma’s Rudi Garcia Expects ‘Cup Final’ Atmosphere Against Manchester City

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When the Champions League groups were drawn in August, most experts agreed that AS Roma had a good chance of advancing to the Round of 16 out of Group E. But the majority believed that the best bets for first and second place in the group should have been placed onGerman champions Bayern Munich and the English title holders Manchester City.

Manchester City Striker Dzeko Relishing Roma Challenge

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Edin Dzeko believes he can rise to the big occasion when Manchester City's immediate Champions League fate is determined in Rome.

City face Roma at a fevered Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday hoping for the result that can prolong their latest campaign in Europe's elite competition.

Their task is made all the harder by the absence of leading scorer Sergio Aguero, who faces four to six weeks out after suffering a knee injury in Saturday's victory over Everton.

Watch Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Aaron Ramsey was pleased to see Arsenal take full advantage of an immediate opportunity to remedy Saturday's defeat to Stoke by thrashing Galatasaray 4-1 in the Champions League.

The Gunners shipped three early goals to Stoke at the weekend before struggling to make it 3-2 by full-time, with the result heaping further pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.

Premier League Team of the Weekend From Gameweek 15

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Based on the performances in the 10 matches played during the weekend Gameweek 15 of the Premier League, as well as utilizing stats from WhoScored, Squawka and TransferMarkt, here's my team of the weekend:

Goalkeeper

Alnwick [Newcastle United] JakAlnwick, Newcastle's 21 year-old backup keeper, probably never imagined he'd be making his league debut against Chelsea at the weekend.

New York Cosmos Ready to Tap Raul’s Experience and Passion

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There's another Spanish superstar in town and it isn't David Villa. In the wake of NYCFC acquiring the former Atletico Madrid and Spain forward, the New York Cosmos signed his predecessor, Raul. The Real Madrid legend was Spain's all-time top scorer before Villa broke his record in 2011, and until a few weeks ago he was the all-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.

GolTV Acquires Rights to Benfica Matches and Everton TV

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American sports television channel GolTV has announced that they have acquired rights to broadcast Benfica home matches in the Primeira Liga and also Everton TV of the Premier League. Benfica is the most successful soccer club in Portugal, having won the Portuguese league a record 33 times. As Águias (The Eagles) are also two-time winners of the Champions League.

Previewing The USWNT’s Brasilia International Tournament

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2014 has not been the U.S. Women's National team's best year. A coaching change out of the blue, back to back losses for the first time since 2001, taking an all time low 7thplace at the Algarve Cup, and placement in the Group of Death for next year's World Cup.

Things could have gone better.

MLS TV Coverage in 2015: Will FOX and ESPN Be Able to Match NBC’s Perfectionism?

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NBC broadcasted their final MLS game, the second leg of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution.

It was a fittingly great game for a network that raised the bar of MLS coverage to go out on. The care, professionalism and quality of NBC's presentation of the league was typically superb.

The Healthy Predicament Facing Bruce Arena And Whether to Explore Opportunities in Europe

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He's the greatest coach that Major League Soccer has enjoyed – and maybe the country altogether.

Bruce Arena helped turn MLS's glamour squad into a bona fide champion three times over. Before that, he helped the US Men's National Team to its best World Cup finish in the modern era (not to forget its most disappointing as well).

Luis Suarez Agrees His World Cup Actions Cost Him A Ballon d’Or Nomination

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Barcelona striker Luis Suarez believes that he should have been included in the Ballon d'Or shortlist. But the Uruguay internationalconfessedthat his actions during this summer's World Cup merited an omission from the player of the year ballot.

In an interview with the Spanish publicationSPORT,Suarez gave histhoughts on who should be the favorite for this year's trophy, but also questioned the criteria in which the award is based on.

2014 MLS Cup Viewing Figures Increase By 91% on ESPN and 31% on UniMas

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The number of people who watched the 2014 MLS Cup on ESPN increased by 91% compared to last year's MLS Cup. An average viewing audience of 964,000tuned in to watch LA Galaxy defeat New England Revolution 2-1 in the 120 minute match.

The average viewing audience for the 2013 MLS Cup was 505,000.

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool Deserved to Exit Champions League

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A brutally honest captain Steven Gerrard admitted Liverpool could have no complaints over their Champions League elimination.

The Reds crashed out of the competition as they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Basle in their final Group B clash.

Gerrard's late free-kick had given the 10-man Reds hope, canceling out Fabian Frei's opener, but, without the red-carded Lazar Markovic from just after the hour mark, they could not find a winner.

AS Roma Joins Real Madrid And Man City In International Champions Cup in Australia

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Three-time Serie A champion AS Roma have been confirmed as the final team to complete the International Champions Cup Australia, which will be held in July 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Legendary forwardFrancesco Totti, Daniele de Rossi and the rest of Roma's squad will open the tournament against Real Madrid on July 18th, before facing Manchester City on July 21st.

UEFA Champions League, Tuesday Matchday 6: TV Times & Open Thread

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For viewers in theUnited States, today's UEFA Champions League games will be shown across several channels. Don't forget, you can also see live highlights of the matches onFOX Soccer Plus's MultiMatch 90service.

Here's the TV/Internet schedule for soccer fans in the United States:

Liverpool vs Basel, 2:45pm, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO & FOX Soccer 2GO
Real Madrid vs Ludogorets, 2:45pm, FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports GO &FOX Soccer 2GO
Galatasaray vs Arsenal, 2:45pm, FOX Sports Net, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Benfica vs Bayer Leverkusen, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Olympiacos vs Malmo, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Juventus vs Atletico Madrid, 2:45pm, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Monaco vs Zenit St Petersburg, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO
Dortmund vs Anderlecht, 2:45pm, ESPN3 &FOX Soccer 2GO

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

Watch Jamie Carragher Blast Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker For ‘Abandoning Ship’ Against Stoke [VIDEO]

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On this week's episode of Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, pundit Jamie Carragher blasted Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker for his poor performance against Stoke City.

Carragher slated Mertesacker for the German's performance against Stoke City. As Arsenal captain for the day, Mertesacker repeatedly struggled against Stoke and played well below his level.

Watch Gary Neville Compare Manchester United to a Pub Team [VIDEO]

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It's been an eventful 24 hours for Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville who said that Manchester United got away with murder in their performance against Southampton. Plus he compared Manchester United and Liverpool to being pub teams (both clubs play each other on Sunday).

Louis van Gaal was asked what he thought of Neville's comments, where he said that Neville should pay attention to his words.

Everton USA Launches Website And Official Affiliation With Club

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Everton have announced a new partnership with Global Football America, the company that runs the Toffees' official supporters' club—Everton USA—in the United States.

The agreement, which is the first of it's kind in European football, will see the Toffees provide various offers to their supporters from the USAvia new website, evertonusa.

Real Madrid Aiming to Break The Record For Most Consecutive Wins

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Eighteenmatches, 18 wins, 67 goals scored, nine goals conceded, is there really any team that can stop Real Madrid at the moment?

The safe bet would be ‘no'. Butsocceris a particularly difficult game where one challenger might not drop you but the accumulation of challengers will. Real Madrid have gone 18 consecutive matches without dropping points, but now they are nearing the Club World Cup and then start 2015 with two back to back away matches vs.

Dirty Tackle Blog Returns! An Interview With Brooks Peck

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Last month, it was reported that the popular soccer blog Dirty Tackle was no more. Thankfully, we're here to report that Dirty Tackle has returned. The popular and irreverent blog is no longer on Yahoo Sports, but Brooks Peck — the man behind the site — is here to update everyone on the future of the blog.

NBCSN Scores Best-Ever TV Audience For Saturday Morning Premier League Match

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NBCSN scored its best-ever TV audience for an early Saturday morning broadcast of a Premier League match last weekend when an average viewing audience of 535,000 tuned in to watch Newcastle United against Chelsea.

The number is even more impressive when you consider that the match was televised beginning at 7am ET/4am PT.

Cruzeiro Reject Real Madrid’s Initial Offer For Midfielder Lucas Silva, But Deal Is Close

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During his pre-match press conference on Monday, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke publicly of his club's interest in Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva. The Madrid boss attempted to bring calm to the media storm surroundingthe imminent transfer of the Brazilian starlet to the Spanish capital by stating Real Madrid would decide of the 21-year-old's future after the completion of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Alberto Zaccheroni Says Italian Football Has Collapsed And Calls For Immediate Change

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Alberto Zaccheroni is perhaps best known for winning the Scudetto with AC Milan in 1999 and for the use of his unconventional 3-4-3 formation. The 61-year-old manager recently resigned fromhis position as Japan's national team coach and spent the majority of his 30-year managerial career working in Italian football.

Iker Casillas Sees Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich As Real Madrid’s Main Champions League Threats

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During an interview with the Spanish publication AS,Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas said he feels his side's main rivals in the Champions League are Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.

Los Blancos head into Tuesday night's encounter with Ludogorets at the Santiago Bernabeu as group winners and are in the midst of an 18-match winningstreak in all competitions.

Key Premier League Refereeing Decisions: Gameweek 13

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Manchester City against Everton was packed with big decisions throughout. Andre Marriner was in charge and it's fair to say he didn't have the best game of his career. The penalty incident, which led to the only goal of the game was a terrible decision. Marriner judged that Phil Jagielka fouled James Milner in the area, but there was minimal contact and definitely not enough to point to the spot.

Defender Laurent Koscielny’s Health is Essential to Arsenal’s Success

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While Arsenal went into Saturday's meeting with Stoke City on three consecutive victories (all shutout wins), the Gunners suffered a demoralizing 3-2 loss at the hands of the Potters over the weekend. While the final score suggests a close match between the Gunners and Stoke, the home team was ahead 3-0 at the stroke of halftime.

Player Ratings: Southampton 1 Manchester United 2

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In a match between two teams managed by Dutchmen, Manchester United took the spoils as Robin van Persie's brace took United to a rather fortuitous win in a match littered with errors from both sides.

Southampton

Fraser Forster 4

The summer signing had little to do all evening but was at fault for both goals.

5 Things We Learned From The MLS Cup Final

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The LA Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in extra time at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Sunday afternoon, following an all-too-familiar script to win their fifth championship and deny the Revolution in the final for the fifth time. Here are five thoughts.

1.

Watch Southampton 1-2 Manchester United Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Robin van Persie's brace handed Manchester United a 2-1 victory at Southampton and gave Louis van Gaal first Premier League blood in his 10-year feud with Ronald Koeman.

Van Persie ghosted onto Jose Fonte's loose backpass before flicking home Wayne Rooney's rangy free-kick to seal United's fifth-straight victory.

Andy Carroll Insists the Premier League Title is Not Beyond West Ham’s Reach

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Andy Carroll insists there is nothing to stop West Ham challenging for the Barclays Premier League title this season.

The 25-year-old scored his first goals of the campaign on Sunday as his brace helped the Hammers record a 3-1 win over 10-man Swansea and move up to third in the table for over 24 hours.

‘Manchester United-Liverpool Rivalry’ to Air on NBCSN at 11:30pm ET Monday

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I honestly can't remember the last time I watched a TV program where the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck, but it happened this weekend. The sensation happened while I was watching a screener copy ofManchester United-Liverpool Rivalry: Premier League Download, the new mini-documentary that's scheduled to air Monday night at 11:30pm ET on NBCSN.

Southampton vs Man United: TV Times and Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Southampton vs Manchester United, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

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

Complete Draw for 3rd Round FA Cup Revealed: Man United to Play Accrington or Yeovil

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The drawfor the FA Cup Third Round has been made, and there are a number of glamor ties drawn including Manchester United vs Yeovil or Accrington, a rematch of the 2014 FA Cup final with Arsenal playing Hull, AFC Wimbledon vs Liverpool, Sunderland vs Leeds United, Blyth Spartans vs Birmingham City and many more.

Watch the FA Cup 3rd Round Draw Live at 2pm ET/11am PT [LIVESTREAM]

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The draw for the FA Cup Third Round will be streamed live on World Soccer Talk beginning at 2pm ET/11am PT.

The draw isn't scheduled to be shown on US television.

Out of all of the teams that are in the draw (listed below), the most remarkable one is Blyth Spartans who are in seventh tier of English soccer.

Pictures from LA Galaxy 2014 MLS Cup Victory Against NE Revolution [PHOTOS]

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For LA Galaxy, the 2014 MLS Cup was a memorable episode in the history of the franchise team, as they won a record fifth MLS title in the top flight league in the United States.

According to MLSSoccer.com, Keane scored his 23rd goal of the season for the Galaxy, all competitions, in the sixth minute of overtime's second stage.

No Change On Jack Wilshere Prognosis Despite Contrary Reports

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Jack Wilshere remains on course to return from his latest ankle injury on schedule in around the middle of February, Press Association Sport understands.

It was reported on Monday morning that the England midfielder had suffered a setback in his recovery and could be out until at least March.

Manchester City Open £200m Training Complex [PHOTOS]

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Patrick Vieira believes Manchester City's new £200million training complex will help the club attract the best young players in the world starting with the city itself.

The Barclays Premier League champions have been based at the state-of-the-art City Football Academy since October, but officially opened the doors on Monday at a glitzy ceremony attended by club greats and Chancellor George Osborne.

2014 MLS Cup Sees Increase In Viewership On ESPN

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The 2014 MLS Cupdelivered a0.6overnight HH US rating on ESPN, which is anincrease compared to the overnight numbers for the 2013 MLS Cup.

It's important to note that the 2013 MLS Cup was the least-watched MLS Cup ever with a 0.5 overnight HH US rating and an average viewing audience of 505,000, so while the 2014 MLS Cup TV ratingsaw a boost, it was from a very poor 2013 number.

Jose Mourinho Urges Diego Costa to Improve Fitness

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has called on striker Diego Costa to improve his fitness as he seeks to end his scoreless run.

The Brazil-born Spain international hit the ground running after signing from Atletico Madrid in the summer, scoring seven goals in his first four Blues appearances.

But he has netted only twice in his last seven, having been hampered by hamstring problems, and has been overtaken as the Barclays Premier League's leading scorer by Sergio Aguero of Manchester City.

Swansea to Appeal Fabianski Red Card

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Swansea have announced they will be appealing the red card shown to goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during Sunday's Barclays Premier League defeat to West Ham.

The Poland international was dismissed in the 68th minute of the match at Upton Park for impeding West Ham substitute Diafra Sakho as he burst through on goal.

Aston Villa Claim Win Against Leicester in Feisty Encounter

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Alan Hutton bagged his first Aston Villa goal as they clinched a feisty 2-1 win over 10-man Leicester.

The right-back, who had been frozen out by manager Paul Lambert before this season, netted with 20 minutes left to cap their comeback.

Leonardo Ulloa ended his drought with his first goal in 10 games to put the Foxes ahead but Ciaran Clark equalized within minutes.

Lucas Silva To Complete £12 Million Real Madrid Move This Week, Say Reports

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According to various reports emanating from Spain and Brazil, Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva will finalize a move to Real Madrid in the coming days.

The highly-rated Brazilian is expected to sign a contract with the ten-timechampions of Europe this week, before being sent directly back to the Brasileiro league title holders on loan for the remainder of the European club calendar.

LA Galaxy Wins 2014 MLS Cup: Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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LA Galaxy are the winners of the 2014 MLS Cup after a Robbie Keane goal in extra time clinched the victory against New England Revolution.

The win means that LA Galaxy have now won a record 5 MLS Cups.

According to MLSSoccer.com, Keane scored his 23rd goal of the season for the Galaxy, all competitions, in the sixth minute of overtime's second stage.

Arsenal Fans Abusing Arsene Wenger Is Just Wrong [VIDEO]

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It has not been a good season at the Emirates. They're 13 points behind Chelsea inthe Premier League, they have already been eliminated from the Capital One Cup, and they're likely to finish second in an easy UEFA Champions League group. And now this past weekend at Stoke might have been the tipping point for many Arsenal supporters, withthe anger beginningto boil over.

Shock Results! (Premier League Weekend Review Podcast)

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After a weekend of shock results in the Premier League, the World Soccer Talk Podcast crew dissect all of the matches including Newcastle's shock win against Chelsea, Arsenal's 3-2 loss against Stoke and West Ham United moving into third place.

The crew for this episode are Nick Webster, Nate Abaurrea, Robin Burt and the return of Kartik Krishnaiyer.

Sam Allardyce Sings Andy Carroll’s Praises After West Ham Sink Swansea

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was full of praise for Andy Carroll after the striker hit two goals in their win over 10-man Swansea.

The 3-1 victory takes the Hammers up to third in the Barclays Premier League as their impressive start to the season continues.

Heading into the game Allardyce revealed he had opted to sign Carroll instead of Wilfried Bony in the summer of 2013, with the latter eventually moving to Swansea instead.

Dutch Rivals Van Gaal and Koeman Quiet On Relationship

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will cross swords with fellow Dutchman and his former assistant Ronald Koeman on Monday but both managers have declared their personal relationship to be "private".

Koeman, now Southampton manager, worked under Van Gaal at Barcelona but the pair fell out when they were at Ajax in 2004, when Koeman was coach and Van Gaal the technical director.

USWNT Drawn in The 2015 Women’s World Cup ‘Group of Death’

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Even with an expanded field for the 2015 Women's World Cup, the U.S. Women's National Team still managed to find themselves in the Group of Death.

The Americans eagerly watched to learn which teams will be featured in their group come June. In almost comically obvious fashion, the U.S. was drawn against opponents Australia, Nigeria and Sweden.

2014 MLS Cup: LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution

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The final game of the 2014 MLS season kicks off today with the championship on the line. Will it be home side LA Galaxy, featuring Landon Donovan playing his last game, that will be victorious, or will underdog New England Revolution spring a surprise in a weekend full of shock results?

Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution, 3pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN, UniMas & Univision Deportes

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

Barcelona’s Camp Nou Assigned Additional Security Ahead of Sunday’s Catalan Derby

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The commission of security has determined that Sunday's match between Barcelona and Espanyol is a "high risk" event. This means the Catalan derby will be assigned members of the state police (Mossos), municipal police (Guardia Urbana) and auxillary officers totaling 850 security personnel in order to ensure there is no repeat of last weekend's events in Madrid which resulted in the death of a 43-year-old Deportivo La Coruna fan.

Hull Manager Steve Bruce Denies Hatem Ben Arfa Bust-up

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Hull boss Steve Bruce has denied reports of a bust-up with Hatem Ben Arfa despite leaving the on-loan midfielder out of his squad for the Barclays Premier League bore draw with West Brom.

Bruce hauled Ben Arfa off after just 35 minutes of last week's 3-0 defeat at Manchester United and also left him out for the midweek draw at Everton.

Harry Redknapp Delighted With Rob Green After QPR Beat Burnley

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Rob Green's "world-class" save sparked Saturday's 2-0 victory over Burnley and keeps QPR "in the hunt" for Premier League safety, according to boss Harry Redknapp.

Green tipped George Boyd's swerving first-half piledriver strike onto the post at Loftus Road, before Rangers sealed victory through goals from Leroy Fer and Charlie Austin.

Hull City 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Boring Battle at the Bottom

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Exactly one month after his first full England call-up Saido Berahino found himself relegated to a bit-part role as West Brom's sluggish run of form continued in a tepid 0-0 draw against Hull at the KC Stadium.

A ninth minute penalty miss from Graham Dorrans summed up another frustrating afternoon for the Baggies which Berahino introduced for the final 18 minutes in place of Victor Anichebe failed to salvage.

Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 15: TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

West Ham Unitedvs Swansea, 8:30am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Danny Mills
Aston Villa vs Leicester City, 11am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Martin Keown

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

Neil Warnock Pleased With Crystal Palace’s 0-0 Display Against Spurs

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Neil Warnock intends to let his Crystal Palace players enjoy their Christmas party after seeing them out-play Tottenham and leave with a well-deserved draw.

The Eagles' boss was left a little frustrated that his side could not take all three points having created the best chances against a flat Spurs outfit who have now failed to win five of their eight Premier League home games so far this season after this 0-0 stalemate.

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool Players Need to Step Up When Gerrard is Absent

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his players have to step up in the absence of captain Steven Gerrard after a frustrating goalless draw at home to Sunderland.

With a must-win match at home to Basle in the Champions League on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Old Trafford, the 34-year-old midfielder was left on the bench until 23 minutes from the end.

James Milner Thrilled With Manchester City 1-0 Triumph Against Everton

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James Milner savored an important response to Chelsea's first defeat of the season as Manchester City beat Everton 1-0.

The midfielder was fouled by England team-mate Phil Jagielka for the penalty from which Yaya Toure netted the winner and closed the gap behind the Premier League leaders beaten 2-1 by Newcastle earlier in the day to three points.

Arsene Wenger Laments Soft Gunners Against Stoke

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger accused his side of being too soft as they once again came unstuck against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

The Gunners have won only one of their last nine games at the home of the Potters and saw a run of three straight victories end in a frenetic 3-2 Barclays Premier League defeat.

Manchester City Win, But Concerns For Sergio Aguero After Knee Ligament Injury

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An injury to star striker Sergio Aguero cast a shadow over champions Manchester City's labored but vital 1-0 win over Everton.

Yaya Toure struck a first-half penalty as City cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to three points but the immediate concern was for top scorer Aguero.

Jose Mourinho Complains About Newcastle United Ball Boys

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Jose Mourinho was left complaining about ball-boys and spectators after seeing his Chelsea side's unbeaten start to the season come to an end at Newcastle.

The Portuguese could only look on in horror as substitute Papiss Cisse struck twice after the break, making Didier Drogba's late header after defender Steven Taylor had been dismissed irrelevant with the home side holding out for a 2-1 victory.

Phil Neville to Appear on The 2 Robbies Show at 5pm ET Today

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Today's episode of The 2 Robbies Football Show features former England and Everton footballer Phil Neville.

Listen live to The 2 Robbies Football Show beginning at 5pm ET on www.NBCSportsRadio.com(or via the player below). Both Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe want to make the show as interactive as possible, so this is your chance to call in with your questions to 855-323-4622, or to tweet the guys ahead of the show @The2RobbiesFS.

Watch Arsene Wenger Post-Match Interview After Stoke Loss [VIDEO]

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger never likes losing, but when his team loses against Stoke City, their archenemy, it's always a painful medicine to swallow.

In his post-match interview, Wenger remarked that the spirit of his team was fantastic, but defensive mistakes let them down. Wenger felt his team, like Mourinho's side against Newcastle, was unlucky.

Newcastle Spirit Delights Alan Pardew After Putting Sword to Chelsea

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hailed his side's character and discipline after they consigned Chelsea to their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at St James' Park on Saturday.

Chelsea had gone 21 games unbeaten in all competitions prior to this encounter, but second-half substitute Papiss Cisse scored twice in 25 minutes to secure a priceless victory for Newcastle.

Liverpool Home Shirt for 2015/16 Season From New Balance: Leaked [PHOTOS]

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Liverpool's home shirt for the 2015/16 season is going to generate a lot of discussion, if the new leaked photo below is accurate.

For the 2015/16 season onwards, Liverpool will be wearing New Balance shirts instead of Warrior, according to the Liverpool Echo newspaper. Warrior is a subsidiary of New Balance, and the paper reports that New Balance has a better brand recognition in Asia than Warrior.

Watch Jose Mourinho Post-Match Interview After Chelsea Defeat [VIDEO]

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Never one to admit making a mistake, Jose Mourinho was blunt in his post-match interview after Chelsea lost 2-1 to Newcastle United in the Premier League today.

"I lost the game the way I like to lose," said Mourinho.

The Special One went on to explain how Newcastle United wasted time and how the referee was "fantastic," once again.

Chelsea Come Unstuck On Tyneside After Losing 2-1 to Newcastle United

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Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse came off the bench to condemn Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea to a first defeat of the season.

The Senegal international struck with his sixth goal of the season four minutes after replacing Remy Cabella, and then added a second 12 minutes from time.

Magpies defender Steven Taylor was dismissed for a second bookable offense and substitute Didier Drogba headed Jose Mourinho's men back into the game with seven minutes remaining to spark a desperate, but ultimately fruitless, late flurry.

Arsene Wenger’s Political Brilliance and Hubris Were on Full Display Again This Week

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Arsene Wenger reminded Gooners again this week why he a man made up of equal parts sheer brilliance, and total daftness. Being an Arsenal fan this season has once again reminded fans that they are involved in an abusive relationship with the club they know they should leave, Wenger is never going to change and things will never get any better.

NASL Have Made a Shrewd Move to Keep Atlanta in The League

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With a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise announced to begin play in 2017 and an ownership group looking to leave, many felt that now would have been the perfect time for the North American Soccer League (NASL) to move out of way and let MLS take center stage in Atlanta. Instead, the NASL has elected to run the Atlanta Silverbacks FC club themselves in 2015 while seeking out new ownership.

Potential Real Madrid Kit Leak For 2015-16

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Despite only just entering December, the first hints of new kits for the 2015/16 season have started to emerge. Images have been leaked of some Real Madrid kit concepts and track jackets. Three kits have been released, the first in the traditional Los Blancos white with a grey away and navy third choice strip also being leaked.

Looking at Louis van Gaal’s Transfer Plans For January And Next Summer

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Manchester United finally appear to have shaken off the lingering cobwebs from Sir Alex Ferguson's departure and have begun to find form on a regular basis with Louis van Gaal's side recording four straight league victories for the first time since Sir Alex's time at the club.

Having commissioned a record club spend of around £150million last summer the club looks set to continue on their mission to rebuild the first-team squad with van Gaal reportedly set to be handed a war chest of a similar amount over the next two transfer windows.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 15: TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Newcastle Unitedvs Chelsea, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Chris Waddle
Liverpool vs Sunderland, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Trevor Francis
Hull vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; David Stowell & Garry Birtles
QPR vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Ray Houghton
Stoke vs Arsenal, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Don Goodman
Spurs vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Manchester Cityvs Everton, 12:30pm, NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

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

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 15

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Here's the line-up of commentatorsfor this weekend's Premier League matches:

Saturday, December 6:

Newcastle United vs Chelsea, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Chris Waddle
Liverpool vs Sunderland, 10am, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Trevor Francis
Hull vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; David Stowell & Garry Birtles
QPR vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Ray Houghton
Stoke vs Arsenal, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Don Goodman
Spurs vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Manchester City vs Everton, 12:30pm, NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Sunday, December 7:

West Ham United vs Swansea, 8:30am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Danny Mills
Aston Villa vs Leicester City, 11am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Martin Keown

Read more:Comprehensive guide to English soccer TV commentators (and co-commentators)

Monday, December 8:

Southampton vs Manchester United, 3pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; TBD

Read more: Top 5 soccer games to watch on TV this weekend.

Crystal Palace Goalkeeper Julian Speroni Wary of Negative Set-up

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Julian Speroni believes Crystal Palace have to approach their game at Tottenham as a match they can win -or they risk falling into the relegation battle.

The Eagles currently sit 15th in the Barclays Premier League table but are just one point clear of the bottom three ahead of their trip to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Hull City Manager Steve Bruce Hopes to See Best of Sone Aluko

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Hull manager Steve Bruce is hoping fans will soon be able to see the real Sone Aluko make his mark on the Barclays Premier League.

The Nigeria international was arguably the club's best player in the first half of their 2012-13 promotion campaign before missing the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.

Sunderland Boss Gus Poyet: City Defeat Won’ Derail Us

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Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has backed his players to shrug off their Sergio Aguero blues and prove once again that they are a team for the big occasion when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

A gruelling week which started with a gutsy goalless draw against Chelsea turned sour on Wednesday night when Aguero scored two and set up another in Manchester City's 4-1 win at the Stadium of Light.

Verdict On Barcelona Appeal Of Transfer Ban To Be Announced Within 2 Weeks

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Barcelona officials were inSwitzerland earlier today to present their arguments to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the transfer ban currently imposed on the club.

Representatives of the Spanish side hope they can reduce the sanction which relates to the signing of underage players from outside of Spain with the hope that Barcelona will be allowed to sign players next summer.

Mark Hughes Hoping For Help From Supporters to Beat Archenemy Arsenal

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Mark Hughes hopes Stoke's fans can help them get back on track when Arsenal visit the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Potters fans enjoy nothing more than beating Arsenal and always give Gunners manager Arsene Wenger a critic of their style of play under previous boss Tony Pulis a 'warm' welcome.

QPR Manager Harry Redknapp Bemoans Gulf in Class in Premier League

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QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes "a gulf in class" makes it almost impossible for this season's relegation battlers to compete with the top sides in the Barclays Premier League.

Rangers secured a well-deserved 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City last month but have failed to earn another point against teams currently in the top half of the table.

Roberto Martinez Looking On the Bright Side at Everton

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez feels his side need to "sharpen up" but insists there should not be too negative a view taken of how they have been faring recently.

Martinez was disappointed the Toffees were held to a 1-1 Barclays Premier League home draw by Hull on Wednesday, a game which they initially dominated before showing some defensive sloppiness and fading as time went on.

LFP President Threatens Points Deductions And Relegation For Clubs Refusing To Ban Ultras

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LFP president Javier Tebas has taken a firm stance against violent fan groups in Spain by threatening to impose fines, points deductions and/or relegation to clubs who fail to ban 'ultras' from their stadiums.

The head of the Spanish professional league has unanimous support from the government as well as a host of clubs after a Deportivo de La Coruna fan died as a result of fighting prior to the match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo on Sunday.

UEFA Double Down On Promotion/Relegation: Pros and Cons of the Nations League

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Plans were rolled out this week for the UEFA Nations League — a new international league structure featuring promotion and relegation for European nations, and while it may sound like a political conglomerate, it's going to be a very real part of the soccer calendar come 2018.

Here's a look at the basic format the tournament will take, courtesy of Toby Moses of The Guardian:

• There will be four divisions, each containing 12-14 teams based on Uefa's coefficients.

Louis Van Gaal Backed To Spend £200million In Coming Transfer Windows, Say Reports

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Various reports emanating from England are speculatingthat Manchester United have backed Louis van Gaal to spend up to £200 million during the next two transfer windows.

According to these stories, the Dutch manager has identified targets to solidify United'smidfield and defense; and the club will be actively looking to acquire players during the upcoming January window.

Reasons Why Being a Wigan Fan is Surprisingly Enriching Compared to Big Clubs

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Paul Scharner. There's a name you probably haven't heard in a long minute, or perhaps not at all depending on when you started your relationship with the beautiful game. For the uninitiated, Scharner was a man a man's man. A man who did whatever he damn well pleased with the hair on his head (greatest hits include a Mohawk dyed every color on the visible spectrum and one invisible without the aid of infrared, and of course the style that included having "THANX" spray-painted on the back of his neck in a tribute to the fans during his final game).

Liverpool Are Still Well And Truly Haunted by Last Season’s Title Slip

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It's currently 24 years since Liverpool Football Club were the Champions of England, during that time they have been crowned Champions of Europe, but still that elusive and coveted 19th league title remains beyond their grasp. The last time Liverpool won the League, Manchester United, who had gone 26 gruelling years without lifting the League title have gone from having seven titles, becoming the most successful club in English football history by winning 13 Premier League titles.

Bundesliga Clubs Vote to Implement Goal-Line Technology

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In a decision on Thursday, Bundesliga clubs voted to approve goal-line technology starting next season. The result in Germany now means that the German league will join the Barclays Premier League in implementing the expensive technology during its matches.

Bundesliga president Reinhard Rauball said during a press conference after the decision, "I can tell you that in regard to the introduction of goal-line technology has been decided and indeed with a score of 15 to 3.

Arsenal Goalkeeper Emi Martinez Making The Most of His Opportunity

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In most instances, when a team is forced to go to their third choice goalkeeper following injuries to the first two shot stoppers, there is a drastic difference in the team's defensive makeup. In Arsenal's situation, this is not the case.

The third keeper in line for the Gunners is 22-year-old Damian "Emi" Martinez.

First-Hand Experience Recount of Tottenham Away at Stamford Bridge

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Away days; a tradition cherished amongst sports fans in Europe but almost unheard of in the United States. To be put quite simply, there is no experience for a sports fan that can compare to an away day in the Premier League. Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to experience an away day when I witnessed my beloved Tottenham Hotspur take on unbeaten Chelsea from the away end at Stamford Bridge.

Thierry Henry’s Departure Signals a Shaky Future for New York Red Bulls

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Thierry Henry's bittersweet au revoir now leaves the New York Red Bulls at a crucial crossroads. The fabulous Frenchman recast the floundering founding franchise from dowdy also-rans into Marion Cotillard-beautiful league beaters. But this season ended just like all the 18 previous – MLS Cupless.

How Chelsea Can Put Teams That ‘Park The Bus’ To The Sword

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Jose Mourinho's first season back in charge at Chelsea FC did not go according to plan. A key victory over Manchester City at the Etihad in early February had established them well and truly in the title race. They followed this key victory at the Etihad with victories over Everton, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool before the season ended.

Manchester City Confirmed For 2015 International Champions Cup In Australia

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Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have been confirmed as the second of three teams who will compete in the International Champions Cup, which will be held in July in Melbourne, Australia.

Manchester City joins European champions Real Madrid as participants in the three-team summer tournament which will take place at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground from July 18-24.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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It's almost that time of year again. When the games come thick and fast, when every night of the week yields an intriguing clash to sample. But for some leagues the action is fast approaching an intriguing climax.

The MLS Cup final is the showpiece match of what's set to be a wonderful weekend of soccer.

Liverpool Striker Daniel Sturridge Recovering in LA

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Liverpool have sent striker Daniel Sturridge to Los Angeles to continue his rehabilitation from the thigh injury which has sidelined him for most of the season.

The 25-year-old has not played for the club since August 31 after he initially strained a thigh on international duty with England.

Stoke City Chairman Fined £5,000 By FA For Comments About Referees

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Stoke chairman Peter Coates has been fined £5,000 by the Football Association for comments he made about referees.

Speaking to local paper the Sentinel last month after a series of matches where Stoke felt they had been badly treated, Coates said: "We feel we don't always get fair treatment and that is all we are asking for.

Leicester Fans Don’t Want Nigel Pearson Controversy Unsettling Team’s Focus

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Leicester City Supporters Club chairman Cliff Ginnetta has insisted they do not want Nigel Pearson's fan row played out like a "pantomime".

Ginnetta believes the majority still back the Foxes boss despite his angry exchange with a supporter on Tuesday and want to focus on beating the drop.

The Leicester chief rowed with a fan during their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool which left them bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

Why It’s Time For Everton To Replace Tim Howard According to an Evertonian

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Tim Howard was thrust into stratospheric standing amongst Americans with his heroicperformances at the World Cup. Lauded by all, branded as the "Secretary of Defense," indulging in nonchalant phone calls with the President and co-commentating Premier League games for NBCSN; it's little surprise the 35-year-old is bringing a book out in the coming weeks.

Chelsea Striker Loic Remy Reminds Jose Mourinho That He’s Ready and Willing

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After Didier Drogba impressed in the absence of Diego Costa, Loic Remy reminded Jose Mourinho that he is ready, willing and able to provide Chelsea with clinical finishes too.

Remy scored Chelsea's third in Wednesday night's 3-0 defeat of Tottenham after Drogba, starting in place of the suspended Costa, had made one and scored another in the Barclays Premier League leaders' comfortable win.

What Does MLS Need to Change to Get You to Watch Games on TV?

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Serious question... What does MLS need to improve to get you to watch more games on TV?

In an interview this week with Sports Illustrated, senior writer Grant Wahl admitted that "TV ratings remain low, probably the league's biggest remaining challenge." So what has to change to have a positive impact on the numbers?

Stevan Jovetic Enjoying Manchester City Momentum

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Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic believes his side's thrilling UEFA Champions League win over Bayern Munich last month could have made all the difference in the bid to retain their domestic crown.

Since Sergio Aguero's hat-trick sunk the Germans at the Etihad Stadium, City have put a tough series of top-flight results behind them and earned emphatic away victories at Southampton and Sunderland.

Alan Pardew: Chelsea’s Undefeated Run Will End

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes it will be "impossible" for Chelsea to remain unbeaten in all four major competitions this season.

Jose Mourinho's men maintained their unbeaten start to the current campaign by brushing aside Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Ahead of Chelsea's visit to St James's Park on Saturday, Pardew hailed the quality of Mourinho's men but said they were bound to slip up sooner or later.

Top 5 Premier League Bets, 6-8 December

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There's several odds-on shots sure to be well backed in this week's Premier League betting coupon, particularly in-form Chelsea and Man City who are expected to take care of Newcastle and Everton respectively. However, Easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper has been scouring the markets for his top five bets and is tipping the Magpies to end the Blues' unbeaten run at a massive 7/1 as his #1 wager!

Real Madrid Players Presented With Early Christmas Gifts For Winning La Decima

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The Spanish newspaperMarcahas reported that Real Madrid have rewarded the players for winning 'La Decima' by presenting them each with a watch worth roughly £4,000.

The La Liga club had already given their 'Galacticos' a bonus of around £400,000 for their Champions League and Copa del Rey victories last season.

Lucas Silva Dashes Arsenal Hopes By Saying He Dreams Of Joining Real Madrid

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Earlier this week the British tabloids were reportingabout a potential bidding war between Arsenal and Manchester United over the much sought-after Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva. The 21-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in South America and has been on the radar of a host of European clubs.

Arsenal Wenger Hails Alexis Sanchez Desire In Arsenal Victory Against Southampton

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Arsene Wenger praised the fighting spirit of Alexis Sanchez after the Chile striker fired Arsenal to a 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez pounced in the 89th minute for his 14th goal in 22 appearances since his summer arrival from Barcelona as the Gunners narrowed the gap on the top four to two points.

Player Ratings: Arsenal 1 Southampton 0

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The Gunners left it late once again, as Alexis Sanchez scored the winning goal in the 89thminute of the match to get Arsenal within three points of third place Southampton. Arsenal mostly dominated many of the categories throughout the match, but goalkeeper Fraser Forster was absolutely outstanding for the Saints and kept his team in the match until the very end.

MLS Marginalizes Regular Season By Placing Emphasis On MLS Cup, Not Supporters’ Shield

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Sometimes in the world of Major League Soccer, the only real candor you observe comes when the harsh reality of defeat sets in for a well-experienced head coach.

Such was the case on Sunday night. Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, sulking in the shadow of what could have been, vented as the shattered dreams of the greatest campaign in MLS history were evaporating back into the ether.

David Moyes Astonishes Many By Speaking Spanish During Press Conference [VIDEO]

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Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has only been at his new job as head coach ofReal Sociedad for a few weeks. During that time, Moyes has directed the La Liga side to a draw and a win in his first two matches in charge.

He has been praised for his organizational skills and attention to detail since his arrival in Basque Country.

Jose Mourinho Salutes Drogba After Chelsea Defeat Spurs in London Derby

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho lauded Didier Drogba's longevity as the Ivory Coast striker rolled back the years in an influential showing in Wednesday night's 3-0 victory over Tottenham.

Spurs were bidding for a first win at Stamford Bridge since February 1990 at the 28th attempt and began well, with Harry Kane hitting the crossbar with an early header.

Check Out Designs of Minnesota Vikings’ MLS Stadium Plans [PHOTOS]

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A group headed by Minnesota Vikings executives todayrevealedcomputer-generated images of how their new stadium could potentially look for MLS matches, provided their city was to be awarded with a fresh MLS franchise. The state of the art (American) football stadium is on pace to open in July of 2016, and from the pictures presented, looks like a very impressive venue.

World Cup Winner Emmanuel Petit Believes France Have Been Hypocritical And Cowardly Towards Thierry Henry

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Former France international and Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has told the French website sports.fr that his country has been "hypocritical and cowardly" in their treatment of Thierry Henry. He also went on to suggest that France may have been better off being "overrun" by Germany.

Petit won the World Cup with France in 1998 and was a teammate of Henry at Arsenal from 1997 until 2000.

Premier League Wednesday, Gameweek 14: Starting Lineups, TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Wednesday, December 3:

Chelsea vs Spurs, 2:45pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux
Arsenal vsSouthampton, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Kevin Kilbane
Everton vs Hull, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Andy Hinchcliffe
Sunderland vs Man City, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Kevin Keatings & Garry Birtles

Starting lineups:

Chelsea:Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba

Subs:Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Schurrle, Salah, Remy

Spurs:Lloris; Chiriches, Vertonghen, Fazio, Davies; Bentaleb, Mason; Lennon, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane

Subs:Vorm, Dier, Kaboul, Naughton, Chadli, Paulinho, Soldado

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Arsenal:Martinez; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Ox, Cazorla, Sanchez; Welbeck

Subs:Macey, Gibbs, Bellerin, Rosicky, Podolski, Sanogo, Giroud

Southampton:Forster; Clyne, Alderweireld Fonte, Bertrand; Wanyama, Cork; S.

For Manuel Neuer To Win Ballon d’Or, Something Truly Exceptional Has To Happen Says Buffon

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Juventus shot stopper Gianluigi Buffon believes that something "truly exceptional" would have to happen in order for German international and Bayern Munich goalkeeperManuel Neuer to win the 2014 Ballon d'Or.

In an interview with FIFA.com, the Italy international tipped Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo to take home his second-consecutive award the third in his career.

Arturo Vidal Feels Happy At Juventus And Is Close To Full Strength

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Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal spent the better part of the summer being linked with a move to Manchester United. The rumors became so loud that at one point reports surfaced of an 'agreement' being reached between the player's agent and the English club.

But the stories slowly disappeared and the Chile international remained in Turin with the Italian champions.

Seattle Sounders Against LA Galaxy MLS Playoff Breaks 500K Audience Barrier

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Sunday night's MLS Playoff between Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy, which was televised on ESPN beginning at 9:20pm ET, broke the 500,000 barrier.

The game delivered a 0.3 HH US rating andwas watched by an average audience size of 573,000 people.

The 573k number is an improvement against the other MLS semi-final second leg played over the weekend, for the New England Revolution against New York Red Bulls game on NBCSN, which was viewed by267,490 people.

Atletico Madrid Expel ‘Frente Atletico’ From Vicente Calderon Following Fan’s Death

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Late Tuesday, Atletico Madrid announced that the 'Frente Atletico' have been expelled from the Vicente Calderon following the events on Sunday which led to the death of a 43-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna fan.

The club released a statement of its official website which read: "Given the serious events that took place in Madrid Rio in the hours prior to the Atletico de Madrid Deportivo de la Coruna match last Sunday, Club Atletico de Madrid immediately created a specific commission to analyze everything that happened and take the appropriate measures.

Borussia Dortmund Players Pull Pints For Loyal Fans At Club Christmas Party [PHOTO]

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While Borussia Dortmund are on top of their Champions League group heading into matchday six of the competition, Jurgen Klopp's side are currently rock bottom in the Bundesliga with only three winsintheir opening 13 league matches. Injuries and poor form have lead to a sudden turn in the German club's fortunes.

Wales Home Shirt for 2015 from Adidas: Leaked [PHOTOS]

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Photos of Wales' home shirt for 2015 have been leaked on the Internet.

Wales' new home shirt for 2015 is designed and manufactured by adidas, and features a familiar red shirt that's accentuated by white pinstripes, and a red/green mesh trim. The rounded collar gives the shirt a distinct look, while the Welsh Football Association crest pops in this shirt design.

5 of the Worst Owners and Chairmen In English Football History

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Every now and then we all get a little bit frustrated with the higher-ups at of our respective clubs. We all want to see a little more money invested, a few more players drafted in and a dose of extra ambition shown.

But there are some chairmen and some owners who have posed supporters with issues that go beyond minor gripes.

Roy Keane Still Wants Sir Alex Ferguson Apology

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Roy Keane would be prepared to meet up with Sir Alex Ferguson for a cup of tea if he receives an apology from the former Manchester United manager.

Former Red Devils captain Keane feels Ferguson should say sorry for bad-mouthing him following his acrimonious departure from Old Trafford in 2005.

Jordan Henderson: Liverpool Must Keep Steven Gerrard

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Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson believes the club have to keep Steven Gerrard "for many years to come" after the captain provided a timely reminder of his qualities.

The 34-year-old scored his first from open play since January in the 3-1 win at Leicester, having also been involved in the two goals either side of that at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany in Roma Fitness Race

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is facing a race against time to be fit for his side's decisive Champions League clash against Roma next week.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed the influential centre-back will definitely miss tonight's trip to Sunderland and the home game against Everton on Saturday with the hamstring injury he sustained at the weekend.

Leicester 1-3 Liverpool: Steven Gerrard Influence Pleases Brendan Rodgers

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists captain Steven Gerrard can continue to influence matches and is far from finished as a pivotal player for the club.

The Reds midfielder, who is delaying making a decision on the offer of a new contract believed to be a one-year deal to extend his stay beyond the summer, scored the crucial second in a 3-1 at Leicester.

Van Gaal: Manchester United Deserved Win Against Stoke

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal felt his side deserved to cling on to beat Stoke but was far from happy with their performance.

David de Gea produced two brilliant last-gasp saves and Ashley Young also cleared off the line in injury time as United held on to a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

WBA Manager Alan Irvine Calls for Baggies Unity After Fans Turn On Him

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Head coach Alan Irvine called for unity at West Brom after fans turned on him at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies slipped to their fourth straight defeat after they went down 2-1 at home to West Ham on Tuesday.

Fans chanted 'Taxi for Irvine' as their frustrations grew with the Baggies having won just three times at home in the Barclays Premier League in 2014.

Garry Monk Purrs Over Swansea Display After Defeating QPR 2-0

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Swansea manager Garry Monk hailed his side's "most complete performance of the season" as they moved into the top six of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 home victory over QPR.

Monk's men dominated throughout but had to rely on goals from Ki Sung-yueng and Wayne Routledge in the final 12 minutes to finally break Rangers' spirited resistance.

Premier League Tuesday, Gameweek 14: Starting Lineups, TV Times & Open Thread

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Here's today's TV schedule for viewers/readers in the United States:

Tuesday, December 2:

Manchester United vs Stoke, 2:45pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Steve Bower & Phil Neville
Leicester City vs Liverpool, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Jim Beglin
Burnley vs Newcastle, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Don Goodman
Swansea vs QPR, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Dean Sturridge
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Alan Curbishley
West Brom vs West Ham, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Tony Gale

Starting lineups:

Manchester United:De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young; Herrera, Fellaini, Carrick, Mata; van Persie, Wilson

Subs:Lindegaard, Blackett, McNair, Fletcher, Januzaj, Falcao, W.

Carlos Vela Can Be The Real Deal for David Moyes at Real Sociedad

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David Moyes' reputation as a pragmatic manager is well-founded. His Everton team was certainly built from the back and reports from the Manchester United camp suggested he wanted to do likewise at Old Trafford. It's going to be the same at Real Sociedad but Moyes has always liked a bit of flair too and he's got all that and more in Carlos Vela.

Top 20 Dirtiest Teams in the Premier League This Season

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Crystal Palace have found themselves topping a table that none of the club will want, currently leading all Premier League sides in fouls per game after 12 gameweeks. The Eagles are also tied for the most sending offs of the season, level with Swansea and Manchester United on three dismissals each.

Arsenal And Manchester United Prepared To Battle For Cruzeiro’s Lucas Silva, Say Reports

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Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva has led his club to the Brasileirao league title and is reportedly ready for a new challenge in his career European football.

According to various reports emanating from England, the 21-year-old is being monitored by Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal.

How NFL Season Ticket Prices Compare to the Premier League: Special Report

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While many soccer fans in England and Wales complain that season ticket prices at Premier League clubs are ridiculously high, the prices seem like bargains when compared to how NFL teams in the United States are fleecing fans.

In a special report by World Soccer Talk, we've researched season ticket prices for NFL teams and have compared it against Premier League season ticket prices provided bySportingIntelligence.

Win Your Very Own Copy of Football Manager 2015 [CONTEST]

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The longer winter days are approaching, which means you'll have more time indoors to spend reading, watching soccer and, if you play your cards right, playing soccer computer and video games.

Courtesy of Sega and Sports Interactive, we're giving away a copy of Football Manager 2015 to one lucky reader.

Gerard Pique Believes Cristiano Ronaldo is a ‘Perfect Machine’

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique describes Cristiano Ronaldo as a "perfect machine," according toan interview with the Dutch publicationVoetbal Magazine. The 27-year-old also revealed that the Portugal international helped him during their time at Manchester United. He also went on to comment about the rivalry between Ronaldo and his current Barcelona teammate, Lionel Messi.

New Proposed Barcelona Home Shirt Features Hoops [PHOTO]

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Anew proposed Barcelona kit for 2015/16 has been leaked featuring hoops, according to the Catalan daily SPORT. The club's sponsor, Nike, planned the revolutionary design thatwouldradically change from La Blaugrana's traditional stripes.

SPORT claim that the new design has already been approved by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu,but members of the club's board of directors are unaware of the reported change in the kit's design.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 14

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Here's the line-up of commentatorsfor this mid-week's Premier League matches:

Tuesday, December 2:

Manchester United vs Stoke, 2:45pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Steve Bower & Phil Neville
Leicester City vs Liverpool, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Jim Beglin
Burnley vs Newcastle, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Don Goodman
Swansea vs QPR, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Dean Sturridge
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Alan Curbishley
West Brom vs West Ham, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Tony Gale

Read more:Comprehensive guide to English soccer TV commentators (and co-commentators)

Wednesday, December 3:

Chelsea vs Spurs, 2:45pm, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux
Arsenal vs Southampton, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Kevin Kilbane
Everton vs Hull, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Andy Hinchcliffe
Sunderland vs Man City, 2:45pm, NBC Sports Live Extra; Kevin Keatings & Garry Birtles

Read more: Top 5 soccer games to watch on TV this weekend.

Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes Confident of Riding Storm

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Stoke manager Mark Hughes believes the club can cope with the injuries that are beginning to pile up.

Midfielders Steve Sidwell and Glenn Whelan are the latest to join the casualty list that also includes Victor Moses (thigh), Robert Huth (calf), Peter Odemwingie (knee) and Dionatan Teixeira (broken foot).

Watch the Draft11.com Demo, the Daily Fantasy Soccer Game [VIDEO]

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Daily fantasy sports games are a completely new way of playing online games but with the added bonus of a chance to win cash money.

One of the new and recommended daily fantasy soccer games is Draft11.com, which is an easy-to-use soccer game that you can play over a single matchday without having to commit to an entire season like other fantasy games.

Thierry Henry’s MLS Retirement Sees Him Leave Behind an Unfulfilled Legacy

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I remember that night like it was yesterday; in April 2012 I had the privilege of doing a post-game interview with Thierry Henry. As a Gunners fan, I was salivating at the chance to put my microphone in front of this legend. Thanks to my then-MLS Talk media pass and a visit to DC for the Red Bulls, I would be getting the chance of a lifetime.

Why Sam Allardyce Must Manage His Striking Options Carefully Now Andy Carroll Has Returned

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West Ham United have enjoyed a start to the 2014-15 season that very few could have predicted last August.

After a summer of speculation regarding the future of manager Sam Allardyce, as well as disharmony amongst a fan-base unsupportive of the club's physical and sometimes believed one-dimensional playing style, it certainly appears as though the mixture of summer signings and coaching additions have seen the Hammers' fortunes turn right around.

Key Premier League Refereeing Decisions: Gameweek 13

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Southampton against Manchester City was the showpiece game of the weekend, following the home side's superb start to the season. Mike Jones was the man in charge at St Mary's and had a strange first 45 minutes. The most bizarre decision was to punish Sergio Aguero for a dive, when it was clear that Jose Fonte made strong enough contact inside the area.

Premier League Tactics Corner; Analyzing West Brom’s Lack of Pressing

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When a smaller club plays a bigger club, it isn't rare to see the smaller club play outstanding soccer for about 10 minutes before being beaten back by the better side. This was the case when Arsenal played West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but the Baggies could have kept on pressing and it could have led to them beating the Gunners.

A Change to The Penalty Law – Triple Punishment to be Reviewed

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A striker is through on goal and hares into the penalty area with just the keeper to beat. The last covering defender though has a chance to make a last ditch tackle and prevent the striker from getting a shot off; they take a chance and dive in. The tackle is mistimed and instead of making a clean challenge the defender fouls the striker.

Previewing The Newcastle United Setup Against Burnley

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After a six-match winning run in all competitions came to an end against West Ham, Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew now faces a stern test of his tactical acumen.

Despite having a lengthy injury list to contend with throughout the season (summer signings Siem De Jong and Emmanuel Riviere have barely featured) Tuesday night's trip to Burnley is a completely different challenge for Pardew.

Injury Problem Situation Critical for Pardew at Newcastle United

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Newcastle's injury problems have hit "critical" ahead of Tuesday's visit to Burnley.

That was the assessment of manager Alan Pardew, who will take a threadbare squad to Turf Moor due to fitness problems and suspensions.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul, captain Fabriccio Coloccini and Rolando Aarons are all injured, while Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and Massadio Haidara all face late fitness tests.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure to Ignore His Critics

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Yaya Toure has pledged to ignore critics of his early-season form to focus on Manchester City's Premier League title battle with Chelsea.

Ivory Coast midfielder Toure blasted reigning champions City into the lead en route to a vital 3-0 league victory at Southampton on Sunday.

The 31-year-old vowed to shrug off the fallout from a hectic 12 months and drag City right back into the title fight, with the Manchester men now trailing leaders Chelsea by six points.

AC Milan Set to Receive £80million Cash Boost From Sponsor

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AC Milan director Barbara Berlusconi has announced that her club has had its sponsorship deal with the Dubai-based Emirates Airlines extended for another five years. Berlusconi did not reveal the value of the new deal, but speculation is the deal could be worthas much as 100 million euros (£80 million).

Announcing the Winners of World Soccer Talk Writer/Reader Draft11 Tournament

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This past weekend, the World Soccer Talk readers competed against World Soccer Talk personalities such as The Gaffer, Nick Webster and Nate Abaurrea in a game of fantasy soccer to see who would come out on tops.

Draft11.com hosted the contest and offered $125 in prizes —$25 for each of the contestants who finished in first through fifth place.

Arsenal Beckons For Thierry Henry After Ending His RBNY Career

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Former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry announced Monday morning that he will not be returning to the New York Red Bulls for the 2015 season. Henry and his teammates were bounced out of the MLS playoffs over the weekend by the New England Revolution on a 4-3 aggregate score line. While the announcement was certainly not a big surprise, there will now be plenty of speculation of what the Frenchman's next move will be.

NBC Broadcast of Arsenal-Manchester United Sets US TV Viewership Record

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NBC's live broadcast of Arsenal against Manchester United set a record for the most-watched live Premier League game in US TV history.

An average viewing audience of 1.4 million people watched the Saturday, November 22 broadcast that began at12:30pm ET. The high-profile Premier League match was shown onthe NBC over-the-air network.

Barcelona To Veto Any January Move For Munir El Haddadi

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Despite starting seven of Barcelona's first eight matches in La Liga, Munir El Haddadi has failed to feature in four of his side'spast five league fixtures. His last appearance was during La Blaugrana's 2-1 victory over Almeria on November 8th; he started the match but was ultimately substituted at halftime.

Carlo Ancelotti Believes Spain Should Emulate England And Stamp Out Hooliganism

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Speaking ahead of his side's Copa del Rey tie with Cornella tomorrow, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has condemned the events which took place prior to the match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo de La Coruna on Sunday. The Italian conveyed his sympathy and anger at theviolent acts which led to the death of a Deportivo fan near the Vicente Calderon yesterday.

Cyber Monday Sale: Get 25% Off Your Soccer Gear Sitewide at World Soccer Shop

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World Soccer Shop is having a Cyber Monday sale today where they're offering a 25% discount on all orders, so you can save on your favorite soccer shirts, MLS gear, cleats and anything else soccer related you want to get for you or your loved ones.

To get your 25% discount, go to World Soccer Shop by visiting this website.

Watch Announcement of 3 Ballon d’Or Finalists at 11am ET/8am PT [LIVE STREAM]

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The three finalists for the 2014 Ballon d'Or will be announced at 11am ET/8am PT today via a special live stream made available by FIFA, France Football and YouTube.

Watch the live presentation via the video below.

In addition to the finalists for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award, there'll be an announcement regarding the nominees for other awards such as Women's World Player of the Year, World Coach of the Year for Women's Football, World Coach of the Year for Men's Football, FIFPro World XI and the Puskás Award.

Brendan Rodgers Lets Steven Gerrard Ponder Contract Extension

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists long-serving captain Steven Gerrard has earned the right to take his time considering the club's new contract offer.

The midfielder's current deal expires next summer, by which time he will be 35, and although an offer of an extension has been made it has yet to be agreed by the player.

Massimo Cellino Disqualified From Owning Leeds United Football Club

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The Football League have this morning announced that Leeds United's flamboyant Italian owner Massimo Cellino has been disqualified from owning the Yorkshire club due to falling short of the expectations set out within the League's much discussed 'Owners' and Directors' Test'.

The 58-year-old Italian had actually been denied initial permission to take over the club in April only for an appeal to see the block removed.

Winners of 2014 MLS Talk Awards Announced; Best Players, Podcasts, Blogs and More Recognized

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After two weeks of votingfrom more than 5,000 soccer fans, the winners of the 2014 MLS Talk Awardshave now been decided.

The inaugural MLS Talk Awards recognizes the best of the 2014 MLS season — everything from the blogs, podcasts and radio shows that fuel discussion about the league, to the best players, coaches and more.

Glen Johnson Resigned to Leaving Liverpool

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Defender Glen Johnson appears resigned to leaving Liverpool at the end of the season after insisting he will not "go crawling" to the club for a new contract.

Talks to extend his current deal, which expires in the summer, ground to a halt in the close season when the two parties reached an impasse over terms.

Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal Bemoans Christmas Schedule

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Louis van Gaal accepts that Christmas with the family is something he will have to sacrifice as manager of Manchester United.

The Dutchman is sad that he will not get to see his loved ones much during the festive season because of the English game's traditional heavy schedule at that time of year.

Watch Seattle Sounders 2-1 LA Galaxy Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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LA Galaxy defeated the Seattle Sounders last night on away goals to advance to the 2014 MLS Cup.

With Seattle taking a 2-0 lead at half-time, it looked very likely that the Sounders would put the game out of LA's reach, even though the Galaxy had won the first leg 1-0 last week.

But LA Galaxy scored a huge goal courtesy of Juninho (in the 54th minute), and held on to the 2-2 aggregate scoreline, which was enough for the team to advance on the away goal.