World Cup Buzz

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January 21, 2017 12:01 UTC
August 17, 2008 11:24 UTC

Shaw struggling at Man United – Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has acknowledged England left-back Luke Shaw is enduring a testing period in his Old Trafford career due to illness and injury.

Shaw, 21, spent most of last season recovering from a double leg break sustained in September 2015 and has made only 12 starts since Mourinho succeeded Louis van Gaal in the close season.

Spurs bigger than Man City, says Pochettino

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has declared his club have a more storied history and more supporters than Saturday's Premier League opponents Manchester City.

City have won two league titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup since their 2008 takeover by Sheikh Mansour and enrolled superstar manager Pep Guardiola prior to the current campaign.

Ivory Coast set for Renard showdown after DR Congo draw

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Oyem (Gabon) (AFP) Reigning champions the Ivory Coast will need to beat the Morocco of their former coach Herve Renard to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after a second draw in as many games on Friday.

The Ivorians had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with DR Congo in Oyem in the day's early game with Wilfried Bony and Geoffrey Serey Die getting their goals.

Title hopefuls Nice held at Bastia

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Bastia (France) (AFP) French title hopefuls Nice edged provisionally a point clear of Monaco but were Friday lamenting the loss of two points in a 1-1 draw at lowly Bastia.

The match was marred by an ugly incident beforehand when police reported some Bastia fans stoned the Nice team bus, breaking two windows, as it arrived at the Armand Cesari stadium.

Matip given FIFA clearance to return for Liverpool

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London (AFP) Liverpool defender Joel Matip has been cleared to return to action with the Premier League club after FIFA resolved the Cameroon international's status on Friday.

Matip recently claimed he had retired from international football and did not want to play for Cameroon despite their attempts to call him up for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

West Ham land Saints defender Fonte

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London (AFP) West Ham signed Portugal defender Jose Fonte from Southampton in an £8 million ($9 million) swoop on Friday.

Fonte had been dropped by Southampton manager Claude Puel earlier this month after the club captain handed in a transfer request.

The 33-year-old was linked with moves to Liverpool and Manchester City, but Hammers boss Slaven Bilic convinced him to move to east London.

Lewandowski’s late strike seals Bayern’s win

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski's 91st-minute strike snatched victory for Bayern Munich in their 2-1 comeback win at Freiburg in sub-zero temperatures on Friday as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.

Lewandowski, last season's top scorer in Germany, showed his class with two superb strikes at Freiburg's sold-out Schwarzwald Stadion.

Hasenhuettl braced for test of Leipzig’s mettle

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Berlin (AFP) RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl admits his young side face a test of their mettle as legitimate Bundesliga title challengers with three tough matches, starting on Saturday.

Leipzig are second only to Bayern Munich in Germany's top flight with the league resuming this weekend after the four-week winter break.

Morocco battle back to beat Togo at Cup of Nations

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Oyem (Gabon) (AFP) Herve Renard's Morocco came roaring back from behind to beat Togo 3-1 in Oyem on Friday and breathe life into their Africa Cup of Nations bid.

In front of a sparse crowd, Mathieu Dossevi had given Togo an early lead in northern Gabon, but goals from Aziz Bouhaddouz and Romain Saiss had the Atlas Lions in front before the midway point in the first half.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 22

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Second-place Tottenham visit fifth-place Manchester City this Saturday, Jan. 21, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC UNIVERSO, highlighting NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this week. Spurs are on a six-match winning streak in the league, most recently defeating West Bromwich Albion 4-0 with a hat trick from Harry Kane.

Laurent Koscielny is Premier League’s most complete center back

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In recent years, Manchester City's Vincent Kompany and Chelsea's John Terry have dominated most debates on who is the best center back in England's top flight. After all, Kompany has landed in the PFA Team of the Year three times since his arrival to the blue side of Manchester, and Terry made four appearances in the aforementioned team over the years.

Fiorentina’s Kalinic turns down 40mn-euro China option

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Rome (AFP) Fiorentina's Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic said Friday he would stay with the club rather than respond to an overture from China.

Chinese outfit Tianjin had expressed interest in securing his services.

But Italian media quoted comments by Kalinic to Croatian website Sportske.

Gerrard returns to Liverpool as academy coach

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London (AFP) Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will return to coach at their academy next month, the Premier League outfit said on Friday.

Gerrard had been widely tipped to join the Anfield coaching staff following his decision to leave LA Galaxy after 18 months with the MLS team.

The 36-year-old, who made 710 appearances for Liverpool before joining the Galaxy in 2015, will take up a full-time role at the Reds' Kirkby youth complex from February.

Champions Ivory Coast hit back to hold DR Congo

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Oyem (Gabon) (AFP) Defending champions the Ivory Coast had to come from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday in a lively Africa Cup of Nations clash.

The result in the northern Gabonese town of Oyem kept the vibrant Congolese top of Group C with four points from two matches followed by the Ivorians with two.

Chelsea won’t dwell on Costa, Spurs plan City misery

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London (AFP) Chelsea will bid to put the Diego Costa crisis behind them when the Premier League leaders host Hull, while title chasing Tottenham aim to maintain their hot streak at troubled Manchester City on Saturday.

Blues striker Costa reportedly clashed with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte last week over the club's treatment of his back injury.