contention

Liverpool

Atletico Madrid target Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho

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Liverpool face a battle to keep hold of playmaker Philippe Coutinho amid interest from Atletico Madrid. If they are still in Champions League contention come the January transfer window, the Spanish side will reportedly bid for the little Brazilian. Brendan Rodgers side's lack of European football means Coutinho would be eligible to play in the [.

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert to start for England vs Moldova

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Rickie Lambert will make his first start for England in tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Moldova. The Southampton striker is the beneficiary of Roy Hodgson's injury woes. With Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge ruled out with a thigh injury. Wayne Rooney was already out of contention because of a cut to his head.

Liverpool’s defensive crisis worsens after injuries to Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho

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Brendan Rodgers admits Kolo Toure injury 'doesn't look good': http://t.co/qd5iBvNMhm #LFC pic.twitter.com/tih6th1tEw Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 27, 2013 Liverpool are facing a defensive injury crisis ahead of this weekend's clash with Manchester United. The Reds were already short on defenders with Martin Skrtel still recovering from injury, Sebastian Coates ruled out for six months [.

Allen Embraces Added Pressure

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Joe Allen claims to have 'massive belief' in his ability and to have embraced the pressure which accompanies a big-money move to Liverpool.
The Wales international moved to Anfield during the summer transfer window in a £15million switch from Swansea.
He may only be 22, but Allen is now regarded as a key figure for club and country.

Allen In Line For Reds Debut

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits new signing Joe Allen is in his thoughts for Saturday's Premier League opener against West Brom.
The midfielder has followed Rodgers from Swansea to Anfield this summer, with the Reds putting a big-money deal in place to bring him to Merseyside.
Allen has had a week to find his feet in new surroundings and the Wales international could now make his debut at The Hawthorns.

Arsenal

Arsene Wenger says Thomas Vermaelen is in contention for Arsenal vs Sunderland

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Unfortunately, due to a back injury I can't join my team mates on the Asia Tour the next few weeks. I will be staying in London...1/2 Thomas Vermaelen (@T_Vermaelen05) July 11, 2013 Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen could make his return from injury in tomorrow's game against Sunderland, according to Arsene Wenger.

Theo Walcott injured in England training, now a doubt for Arsenal’s opener

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Theo Walcott is an injury doubt for Arsenal's Premier League opener against Aston Villa on Saturday after he took a knock in England training. The Gunners star could not finish the session after getting a kick to his ankle. He was training with a depleted group of senior England players that had been bolstered by [.

Crystal Palace plot loan move for Arsenal flop Marouane Chamakh

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Crystal Palace are interested in taking out-of-favour Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh on loan. The Morocco international could be offered a six-month move to salvage his Premier League career, reports The Sun. The former Bordeaux striker failed to make an impression at the Emirates after joining on a free transfer in the summer 2010 transfer window.

Salary cap restrictions on the table for the Premiership

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There seems to be for the first time a serious debate on introducing salary cap restrictions a la NFL into the Premiership. This comes on the heels of a strengthened TV deal that would generate £3bn to be shared by all 20 clubs towards player transfers and wages.

The bottom line is that increasing and out of control wage demands have eaten into that pie leaving clubs with less to spend.

Sahin Rejects Greed Claims

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Nuri Sahin has hit out at suggestions he joined Liverpool for the money by outlining the reasons for his switch to Anfield.
Turkish midfielder Sahin has come to the Reds on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid and is in contention to make his debut against Arsenal on Sunday.
He says he had offers from elsewhere but decided to make the move to Merseyside because he has faith in Brendan Rodgers and wants to play regularly.

Cazorla Interview – Arsenal have been after me for years (and size doesn’t matter!)

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The talented Spanish midfielder Santiago Cazorla believes he will settle into playing with his Arsenal team-mates very quickly, although he admits that the pace of the game in England is a lot faster than he's used to after playing in La Liga. Also there were many rumours last summer saying that Arsenal were in contention [.

Manchester City

Man City’s defensive crisis is back on, Martin Demichelis out for six weeks

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Manchester City are once again in a defensive injury crisis after reasonably priced panic buy Martin Demichelis was ruled out for six weeks with a knee ligament injury. The Argentina international was signed from Atletico Madrid for £3.5m on Sunday despite the fact he had only joined them on a free transfer from Malaga [.

Manchester City and Manchester United battle for £27m Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic

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Manchester United could be set to pip rivals Manchester City to the signing of Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic. Reports in both The Mirror and The Sun suggest that City boss Manuel Pelligrini is in the box seat and that the Etihad remains the Montenegro international's most likely destination. But both newspapers also agree that Manchester [.

Ducks To Shatter To Duck Dust At Anfield; Liverpool Preview, Stoke Post Mortem

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Arsenal has a crunch match against Liverpool up at Anfield on Sunday (8:30 EST, Fox Soccer Channel). Both teams have yet to win a game this season, although it's not quite crisis intervention time, as it's only the third game in. Still, Arsenal has yet to score a goal, which is worrying since we just sold the player who scored 40% of our goals last season.

Preview: Manchester City v Chelsea - A marker for the season?

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This afternoon Chelsea travel to Villa Park to take on Manchester City in the Community Shield - the traditional curtain raiser for the new season.

Some people are saying that this game alone could show everyone where we are at compared to City and last season but I am not so sure.

For me, it's all about our performance today.

Major League Soccer

Heaps, Revs go out ‘guns blazing’

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Entering a match against Eastern Conference-rival D.C. United Saturday night, the New England Revolution needed a result to remain in playoff contention.

After rookie Kelyn Rowe gave the Revs the lead in the 29th minute, the 'Boys in Blue' were once again unable to play with a lead. Just three minutes later, United leading scorer Chris Pontius leveled the score.

MLS News – DC loss eliminates New England from playoff contention

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NEW YORK The New England Revolution have been eliminated from the 2012 MLS Cup Playoff Race. The Revs lost 2-1 tonight to D.C. United and with only five games staying, the club will be ineffective to catch or necktie in levels five of theXEastern Conference teams. Read More

Thanks a Heap

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It galls me to say this, but here goes..."Thank you, Revs." And not just for ending Columbus' hot streak but for providing a timely reminder to United. The schedule-radar is congested with low hanging fruit, but this is precisely the time of year when teams with the pressure of post-season contention off their shoulders love to play the role of spoiler.

Supporters’ Shield Race Update

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The Supporters' Shield is San Jose's to lose at this point. (US Presswire)

As I mentioned yesterday, the MLS Supporters' Shield race has gotten a little tighter in recent weeks. Overall though it is not anywhere close to being a five or even a six team race like previously thought. No, it really is down to three maybe four teams at most.

Handicapping the Supporters’ Shield Race

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San Jose has the inside track to the Supporters' Shield. (US Presswire)

With the MLS All Star game last night I felt like the league is well past the halfway point to be able to begin doing a broader look at the league's Supporters' Shield race. I hope to do more installments of this race as we go along here.

Three For Three: MLSR Predictions

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New York Red Bulls (9-5-5) vs. Chicago Fire (9-6-4)
William Schulz: Chicago is only one point behind New York in the standings, making a win very important for the men in red. However I don't think Chicago has what it takes to win this one. I expect New York to score first thanks to their explosive offense, but their shaky defense will concede an equalizer.

six games

CONCACAF Qualifying: Still to play

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Sep 8, 2012) US Soccer Players – World Cup Qualifying resumed Friday night with six games that were supposed to help dramatically reduce the number of teams that could clinch a spot to the six-team Hexagonal. They didn't. As a result of several shocking results, all 12 teams remain in contention for a spot in the final round.

Five Things We Learned: Revolution vs. Impact

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Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen sparked a few chances in Sunday's 1-0 loss against the Impact. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

It's time to can the "one mistake killed us" excuse.

For the last six games, it's been become the go-to phrase when a bad bounce, an unsettling sequence of unwatchable defending, a concentration lapse, or a moment of indifference has cost the Revolution points.

Steve Clark

Preview: Weekend Norwegian action

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Josh Gatt and Molde look to defend their top spot, Steve Clark hopes to backstop Honefoss back into European contention and Villyan Bijev wants a Start debut in Norway.

Recap: Weekend Norwegian action

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Steve Clark and Honefoss used offense to jump into European contention, while Sebastian Troupe and Baerum suffered yet another disappointing loss.

Preview: Weekend Norwegian action

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Steve Clark and Honefoss have the opportunity to jump into European contention with a win, while Kyle Helton, Rhett Bernstein and Mjondalen take on a fellow-promotion contender.

CD Chivas USA

State of the MLS Run In: 12 Weeks To Go

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I'm going to start these a little sooner this season, in part because nothing else is going on this week (kidding!) and in part because the playoff race - at least the question of who is and who isn't in the playoffs - is resolving remarkably early this year. If we define a team as being in contention for a playoff spot if it has between a 20 and 80% chance of making it in, then our first State of the Run In last season in late August had 4 teams in contention - DC United, Houston, New York, and Chivas USA.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas Preview and Match Thread [4:00 pm]

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Heading into tonight's match is about more than the three points that the Portland Timbers desperately need. It's about vengeance. It's about restoring the pride that a team like the Timbers should have given the city that loves them so much. With FC Dallas having outplayed Portland twice at home in embarrassing fashion (4-nil last year, 5-nil just a couple weeks ago) it's time for the Timbers to return the favor and deal Dallas the same kind of humiliating defeat.

By the Numbers: Dallas Derby Set for Friday

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FC Dallas provided some drama on Wednesday night at the Development Academy Finals Week

There were some fireworks on Wednesday as FC Dallas scored a game-winning goal in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to stay in the hunt for the U-17/18 championship match and set up a "Dallas Derby" against Group 2 leader Solar Chelsea SC on Friday.

Sounders v Chivas USA Open Cup Semifinals - Three Questions

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Packed into the summer of soccer (isn't every year now?) is the US Open Cup and the Sounders quest for #SE4TTLE. This attempt at history sees a familiar adversary, a team that Seattle has faced and eliminated from the tournament three times. Chivas USA lacks trophies (though not as lacking as say Red Bull) and with a regular season that sees them basically eliminated from contention Wednesday night's game at Starfire will be their most important of 2012.

The Rest

Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet set to reject Sunderland

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Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet, two of the early favourites to replace Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland manager, are both set to rule themselves out of contention for the post. The Guardian reports that the pair both plan to spurn any approach from the Black Cats, with "Di Matteo, especially, and Poyet apparently lukewarm" [.

Manchester United tracking Sheffield United youngster Harry Maguire

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Manchester United are lining up Sheffield United centre-back Harry Maguire as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand. Media reports today suggest that the champions have been scouting the 20-year-old since last season when Sir Alex Ferguson was taking an interest. The 6ft 4in defender is rated at £4m, but that might rise [.

Breaking (bad) even + Arsecast 245

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Good morning, welcome to Friday and as such the newsiest day of the week as we start to focus on Sunday's game against Stoke.

Starting with some early team news and it looks like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in contention, for a place on the bench at least, while Laurent Koscielny hasn't yet recovered sufficiently from his calf problem to be considered.

Barca Clear Favourites To Beat Real Madrid On Thursday

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The first title of the 2012-13 season is up for contention and both Barcelona and Real Madrid are looking to make a dramatic entrance by lifting the Spanish Super Cup. The first leg, which will be played on Thursday at the Camp Nou, already has a clear favourite for the bookies: Barça.

A triumph by Vilanova's team is the favoured outcome and therefore the worst paid: €1.

Mark Ogden on signing RvP, imploding and conspiracy theories

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Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph Northern Football Correspondent, looks ahead to United's 2012-2013 season.

Scott the Red: United never implode at the end of the season. What do you think happened?

Mark Ogden: United have had a few wobbles during the run-in in the past, so it wasn't totally unusual that it happened last season.

A US Open Cup Experience to Remember

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Article by William Schulz

To be completely honest, I haven't been a "serious" sports fan for very long (I strayed in my adolescence, long story). For reasons I won't elaborate on here, Kansas City and its stadia became my homes away from home. An unfortunate side effect of that choice was that I became a complete stranger to sports success.

The State of Canadian Soccer Defectors

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By Jared Mercer

Jonathan De Guzman representing the Netherlands under-20s

Halfway through the World Cup Qualifying campaign this year for Canada in the CONCACAF region has brought about the usual divisions amongst Canadians regarding the state of soccer in Canada.

John Terry racism trial: Ashley Cole defends his team mate

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Ashley Cole says that we really shouldn't be having this trial referring to a post match meeting where John Terry met with Anton Ferdinand and both shook hands after agreeing there was nothing more than "handbags".

Ferdinand re-considered his position after his girlfriend replayed You Tube footage of the Terry incident on her cell phone where the Chelsea captain was seen mouthing off using racial epithets which he does not deny using.

Wednesday Kickoff: Tottenham eye Lloris signing, Maradona fired and more

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Brad Friedel is aware that his playing days are winding down, and Tottenham is reportedly eyeing a move that could accelerate his decline from his post as the club's No. 1 goalkeeper.

According to reports, Spurs are looking to sign Lyon and French national team goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, a move that does not faze the veteran American goalkeeper, who is entering his second season with Tottenham.

Central race tightens as 56ers fall

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Alex Greyson scored a pair of second-half goals after Eddie Garza's first-half score as the Quad City Eagles blanked the Madison 56ers 3-0 in a National Premier Soccer League Midwest Region match Saturday night in Rock Island, Ill.

The loss to the Eagles (4-4-1) left the 56ers (7-2-0) tied with the Milwaukee Bavarians (7-3-0) atop the Central Conference.