Contenders

Manchester City

Second club bid for Spurs’ Gareth Bale, Man Utd prime suspects

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A second club has entered the bidding for Tottenham star Gareth Bale, according to Sky Sports. Reports overnight suggested that an £86m deal had been struck to sell Bale to Real Madrid. But Spurs sources have denied that is the case and claim that a second bidder has now put in an offer for the [...

Top 10 candidates to be the new Chelsea manager

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Roberto Di Matteo has left Stamford Bridge. Who will take over from him as Chelsea manager? OTP looks at some of the serious (and not so serious contenders). 1. Pep Guardiola Manchester City have been plumping up the Barcelona-themed cushions and waiting for a good reason to give Roberto Mancini the shove.

English Premier League

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho reveals he has started calling Eden Hazard ‘Eddie’

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Jose Mourinho says he has started calling Chelsea star Eden Hazard by the nickname 'Eddie'. Apparently, he's finding Eden tricky to pronounce. And the new name is likely to stick because the Belgium international hasn't seen fit to correct the Special One just yet. Speaking at his press conference ahead of tomorrow's match against Aston [.

Dwight Yorke backs Spurs and Chelsea to challenge Man Utd for the title

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Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke reckons Spurs and Chelsea will be contenders as his old club seek to defend the Premier League title next season. Yorke couldn't bring himself to name Manchester City, but said that United's "noisy neighbours" would also "definitely" challenge for the title.

The players Arsenal need to win the title next season….

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What do Arsenal need this Summer to be title contenders by CJ

Arsenal are 18 points behind Man Utd and 5 points behind Man City, however both teams have a game in hand on us so the question is realistically how far, in footballing terms, we are behind Man Utd and Man City.

Last week's game against Man Utd showed us that this current group of players under this current manager have the desire and the quality to compete with very best but don't have the required mentality that's needed to win a major championship.

City ace: United are front-runners

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Joe Hart believes that Manchester United will once again be the toughest contenders for his Manchester City side's Premier League crown.

Hart and City won the 2011-12 title dramatically on goal difference but the England goalkeeper admits that the famous triumph was too nerve-wrecking.

While the 25-year old is ready to fight for a successful title defense, he is aware that City will be once again be challenged seriously by their bitter cross-town rivals.

Everton's season

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 17, 2012) US Soccer Players – For those of you who aren't fans of the regular revolving contenders in England's Premier League, there's some good news for 2012-13. Though the dueling Manchesters will almost assuredly be competing for the title, the London contingent might not have done enough.

2012-13 Championship Promotion Race Predictions

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One of the toughest challenges in football is the race to win promotion to the Premier League from The Championship. The rewards for just one season in the top flight are reported to be worth in excess of £100 million, thus, it is understandable why each of the 23 teams in the second tier want to get out!

Magpies in for Reds striker

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Newcastle United could be set to land the summer's biggest loan swoop of the summer as they have reportedly made an offer to bring Liverpool's Andy Carroll back to the northeast. ESPN is reporting that the Magpies are interested in a season-long loan deal for the striker that they sold in 2011.

Di Matteo unfazed by additional pressure

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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo acknowledges that leading the Blues to a famous FA Cup and UEFA Champions League double as interim boss last season has created additional pressure for next season but has played down any impact it may have.

Di Matteo notably retained his composure following the team's accomplishment of European glory in May and even after becoming Chelsea's permanent manager, the Italian went about business as usual.

Arsenal

Norwich boss convinced Arsenal are title contenders

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The Norwich boss Chris Hughton is getting ready to face Arsenal this evening at Carrow Road, and after conceding nine goals in their last two games, he is well aware that his team have a mountain to climb to try and get anything from Arsene Wenger's team who are unbeaten on the road this season.

Hughton is certainly full of praise for Wenger and is extremely impressed with his success no matter who is playing on the pitch.

Arsenal fans should stop over-reacting – Let’s look at the positives for a change!

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The art of overreaction! by KJ

This Arsenal team started off fantastically after a draw at the Britannia. Games were won at Anfield against Liverpool as well as demolition of newly promoted Southampton at the Emirates. However, they weren't really a test of what this side could do.

Stoke City vs. Arsenal Preview

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If I'm going to be honest, this has to be my least favourite fixture of the season; I always get so nervous. Whenever we play another of the contenders, especially away, I feel as if anything less than 3 points is acceptable, and that we can forgive the team for losing at Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge.

The Sagna Conundrum

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The Sagna Conundrum

The first thing to know about the Sagna Conundrum is that it does not involve Bacary Sagna.

The Sagna Conundrum is a problem created not by his presence, but by his absence, and it comes down to this: when our super-consistent French right back is not available, who should take his place?

The Sagna Conundrum

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The Sagna Conundrum

The first thing to know about the Sagna Conundrum is that it does not involve Bacary Sagna.

The Sagna Conundrum is a problem created not by his presence, but by his absence, and it comes down to this: when our super-consistent French right back is not available, who should take his place?

straight games

SBI MLS Team of the Month: Sporting Kansas City

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

After another strong month, Sporting Kansas City sit atop the MLS Eastern Conference standings and are just three points off the pace for the Supporters' Shield. That's not all that the club was able to accomplish in August, though.Â

A 3-0-1 record in MLS play coupled with the second U.

Five Questions: Revolution vs. Union

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With Saer Sene out for Saturday's match, the Revolution will need Ryan Guy to help add spark to the attack. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

History is on the line at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. But, unfortunately for the hosts, it's not the kind of history they're terribly anxious to achieve.

Real Salt Lake vs. Tauro: Your Running Commentary

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Real Salt Lake hope that home-field advantage will change the club's CONCACAF Champions League fortunes, as the 2010-11 tournament finalists look to bounce back after dropping their group opener.

RSL welcome Panamanian side Tauro FC to Rio Tinto Stadium for a key Group 2 battle (10 p.

second half

Roma Continue to Grow Under Zeman's Rule

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After a disappointing summer transfer window for the Serie A, looking around at the possible contenders for the scudetto, it's evident that this season's race will have a few surprises in store. Teams like AC Milan, have lost many key players and weren't able to replace them properly, and others like Juventus and Inter just weren't able to clinch that world class player signing which could've helped set them definitively above the rest.

Malaga And Sevilla Get Opening Day Wins

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Aged 16 years and 98 days, Málaga forward Fabrice Olinga became the youngest scorer in Liga history as his late goal earned the Champions League play-off contenders a 1-0 victory at promoted RCelta de Vigo.

The second-half substitute made an immediate impact, first hitting the woodwork with a stinging effort and then bundling the ball in off his thigh for an 84th-minute winner, thereby eclipsing Iker Muniain's 2009 record by 191 days.

Major League Soccer

The playoff race

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 27, 2012) US Soccer Players – Call it the pull towards mediocrity. Major League Soccer's odd version of parity is once again calling good teams into question while making sure there's no gap at the top of the table. With the top three even on games played, there's five points between first and third.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Federico Higuain

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The Columbus Crew have propelled themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff race on the strength of a pair of victories this past week, and no player was more important in securing those victories than Federico Higuain.

The Argentine newcomer was instrumental in last Wednesday's 2-1 win vs.

MLS transfer window closes today

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The summer MLS transfer window has been marked by some serious acquisitions, with Designated Players like Houston's Oscar Boniek Garcia, Vancouver's Barry Robson and Kenny Miller, Montreal's Marco Di Vaio, New England's Jerry Bengtson, Chicago's Sherjill MacDonald and New York's Tim Cahill among the new crop of stars joining the league.

Up for Grabs

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (July 6, 2012) US Soccer Players -- A few weeks ago, I wrote about Real Salt Lake's rise to the top of the Major League Soccer standings. Finally, a team that seemed ahead of the pack, demonstrating skill, proving their worth to be the true contenders for the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.

Mariner's Team

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (June 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- For the longest time, you couldn't talk about former New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol without mentioning his top assistant, Paul Mariner. It was Nicol that made the Revolution the annual contenders that they were, pushing for an MLS Cup title year-after-year, nearly winning one on a handful of occasions, and consistently finishing near the top of the League standings.

Euro 2012

SBI's German Bundesliga Preview

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Similar to La Liga and Premier League, Bundesliga sees itself going into 2012 with two prime contenders, and then what looks like a strong competition for third place. For the top German league, last year's top two finishers will go into this season expecting to end that way again this year.

Euro 2012 Insight: Italy Eliminate Germany In ‘Kryptonite’ Meeting As Balotelli Redeems Himself

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UEFA Euro 2012 Semi-Final
Italy 2 Germany 1

Football can be a funny, funny game. One moment you think you've got it all figured out, and the next, it slaps you in the face and says : "GOTCHA!"

In Germany's case, after being billed as serious contenders to win the tournament, their elimination from Euro 2012 tonight was an astonishment.

2012 Euro: England vs Italy Preview

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England looks to knock off Italy. (Getty Images)

By Geoff Reid

Put pure and simply, this will be a battle. Don't expect anything like pretty soccer pass and move. Who wants this more is the more likely to win today's match. Going into the tournament, both teams didn't have the same expectations as they would usually do.

Euro 2012: Spain 2-0 France – Two-Goal Xabi A Happy Chappy As Spain Outplay Blanc’s Bland Bleus (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

After showing signs against England that they could be real contenders for Euro 2012, France went out with an almighty whimper against Spain on Saturday night.

Laurent Blanc started with right-back Mathieu Debuchy on the right side of midfield (with Anthony Reveillere talking the gifted full-back's place in defence), a tactical decision that told us all we needed to know about how Les Bleus would approach this fixture.

Has Hodgson Found the Key to Euro 2012 Success?

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Roy Hodgson now dares to dream that England are genuine contenders to win Euro 2012, and who can blame him?

Now assured of a place in the last eight of the showpiece summer tournament in Poland and Ukraine, courtesy of a 1-0 win against co-hosts Ukraine, thanks to a header from the recalled Wayne Rooney, and the Three Lions have to be taken seriously.

Euro 2012 Qualification groups – The Group of Shocks – Russia go from contenders to casulaties as Greece & Czechs celebrate http://t.co/ylhmJ0e3 #Euro20

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The Group of Shocks Russia go from contenders to casulaties as Greece & Czechs celebrate http://t.co/ylhmJ0e3 #Euro2012 #football - Get your Euro 2012 Group d!

The Dexy Longshot Euro 2012 Preview PT 3 – Group C

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Group C
Spain
If my predictions are anything to go by last time around, get involved. I predicted a Spain win and Senna player of the tournament as well as having Villa e/w as top scorer. Not so sure on La Furia Rosa this time mind. Spain are the bookies faves and I think a repeat of the final from 2008 could well be on the cards but despite that win and the other funny looking gold cup, they still have that pony midfield: Fab, Biscuits, Mata, Silva, Alonso, Iniesta, Xavi, Carzorla and Speedy Jesus Of Navas, that doesn't bode well.

head coach

SBI's Spanish La Liga Preview

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Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two best teams in the world (at least in the eyes of some) will once again head into a Spanish Primera Division season as the clear-cut favorites and opponents ready to turn La Liga into their own punching bag.

There is little mystery as to which teams will be dominating the Spanish League yet again.

The Beautiful Game: Bay Area Represent, Street Soccer USA In Full Effect

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In the words of Chali 2na: "BAY......AREAAAAA!"

This piece by Chandrima Chatterjee. Find out how you can help the Bay Area Street Soccer USA team here.

There's less than two weeks until the 2012 Street Soccer USA National Cup in NYC, yet there's one team that's been quietly yet diligently working away at practices, fundraisers and program building over the past few years and they are contenders both for the Cup and for the hearts of fans.

The Rest

Spurs contenders on all fronts.

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We've certainly got the class. The JimmyG2 Column Whisper it quietly, to your brother Charlie if you like, we could be contenders. On multiple fronts if Llewis Holtby our second favourite German is to be believed. Trophies is the name of the game this season and he says we have the depth and quality of squad to do it.

MLS Recap: Week 27

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Article by Pedro Gomes

Although it might have been Labor Day Weekend around America, MLS teams were putting in plenty of hard work to secure Playoff Spots heading into the post season. Let's take a look back and enjoy the action across the league as the post season contenders and post season pretenders are becoming clearer each game.

State of the MLS Run In: 9 Weeks to Go

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Previous Week

We've been pointing out for a couple weeks that it would take some real work for the roster of playoff teams to be shaken up from the 10 teams who've held the projected playoff spots for some time. Part of that work would be an extended run of bad play from the teams closest to the edge: the Vancouver Whitecaps in the West and DC United in the East.

AVB turns a blind eye

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Problems? I see no problems. The JimmyG2 Column The positivity generated by our loss on Saturday is almost overwhelming. Not so much waves as a Tsunami of hopeful expectancy such as we rarely see after a defeat. New manager, new Tottenham, new spirit amongst the fans. No more Mr. Moody Fickle guy.

Vargas Chase Hots Up With Genoa Ready To Rival Liverpool

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Genoa have emerged as contenders to sign Liverpool target Juan Manuel Vargas, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Vargas, 28, has been made available for transfer by his club Fiorentina, and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been tipped to make an offer for the Peru international, who can play in defence and midfield.

Time for a Change: Why Welsh Football Must Become a Summer League Competition.

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Founded in 1991, the Welsh Premier League has always had something of a turbulent run. Attendances have never been high, media interest has been negligible previous champions and powerhouses or just mere contenders have failed to live with stringent financial constraints, causing them to fall out the league or in the case of once contenders [.