dark horses

Champions League

Arsenal Supporters Need to be Patient

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Arsenal was earmarked as potential dark horses in the title race before the loss of Robin van Persie. Now without Van Persie, the hope for a title challenge has suddenly disappeared and has been replaced with doubts of Champions League ...

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Jeremy Menez Picks Out The ‘Postage Stamp’ vs Shakhtar (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Champions League dark-horses Shakhtar Donetsk beat Roma 3-2 in the Stadio Olimpico last night, but the goal of the game belonged to Giallorossi forward Jeremy Menez, who picked out what pundits like to refer to as the 'postage stamp', i.e. placing a shot about as 'top corner' as it's physically possible to get.

Euro 2012

England v Italy Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Preview

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England v Italy Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The final quarter-final of Euro 2012 takes place this evening as the Azzurri tackle Roy Hodgson's England in Kiev with the winner setting up a rendezvous with Germany on Thursday night.

It is a meeting of two of the tournaments more conservative sides that are well drilled, disciplined and tactically aware.

Jakub confident of home advantage

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Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski says the co-hosts can achieve anything with the backing of the home crowd.

The Borussia Dortmund star was the hero in Poland's second Group A match, scoring a stunning equaliser as the host nation secured their second 1-1 draw of the tournament against Russia in Warsaw.

England vs France: Euro 2012 Preview

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It's time for the opening game of Group D, France vs England. France along with Russia are many people's dark horses for this competetion; they are going into the tournament being the world's most in-form team, being unbeaten in 21 matches winning 15 of them. They have a prolific striker in Benzema, and have attacking midfield talent in Ribery, Nasri and Cabaye.

Czech Republic players perform outstanding ballet sequence during loss to Russia

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After walloping the Czech Republic 4-1 on Friday night, it was clear to see that the mesmeric Russians had given the Czechs a footballing lesson. What we hadn't realised was that Dick Advocaat's men had also taught the opposition some sumptuous synchronised ballet moves. With Russia the spiritual home of a darn good pirouette, it's [.

Euro 2012: The experts predict… (aka come back and laugh at us all in 3 weeks) Part II

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Euro 2012: The experts predict... (aka come back and laugh at us all in 3 weeks) Part II is a post from: Just Football

Just Football writers' Euro 2012 predictions continue... (follow the link for Part I) Sam Thompson (@TTTFootball)

Winner: I think the winner is going to come from Group B, and I would say that Germany has the edge over the Dutch.

Euro 2012: The experts predict… (aka come back and laugh at us all in 3 weeks) Part I

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Euro 2012: The experts predict... (aka come back and laugh at us all in 3 weeks) Part I is a post from: Just Football

Jonathan F (@JustFootball)

Winner: Germany Youth, experience, more youth, team cohesion, an impeccable record in qualifying (10 games, 10 wins), tournament know-how and players of the sheer frighteningly precocious ability of Mario Götze and Marco Reus hovering around the fringes of the team.

Precedence or Sheer Coincidence?

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Two stalwarts on opposing side

Last of the look at the teams in Euro 2012 that will and could have an impact on the tournament. Yesterday I discussed the teams that are not favoured but could potentially have a big say in the tournament and we continue with the last 2 today. Italy and Russia are the two dark horses left.

Expectations Differs

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The right connection

Now that I've done with the favourites (my own choice, at least) for Euro 2012, it's time to look at those dark horses. Teams that I won't necessarily wage my house on but worth a small punt if the prices are right. Teams that will go into the tournament without much chance of winning it but could rise to the occasion and spring a surprise or two.

Euro 2012 Predictions Competition

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Languagecaster are hosting a Euro 2012 prediction competition with Amazon book tokens as prizes. Which team will do you think win the Euros? Can Spain retain the trophy? Will German finally deliver? Can an outsider like Ireland do well? What about dark horses Portugal, Russia or France? Or maybe even England?

Euro 2012 Prediction Competition

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Languagecaster are hosting a Euro 2012 prediction competition with Amazon book tokens as prizes. Which team do you think will win the Euros? Can Spain retain the trophy? Will German finally deliver? Can an outsider like Ireland do well? What about dark horses Portugal, Russia or France? Or maybe even England?

Poll: Who will win Euro 2012?

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The 2012 European Championship kicks off on June 8th when Poland take on Greece in the opening match. Spain are the holders and are many people's favourites to win though some pundits are also tipping Germany and Holland to do well. Who do you think will win the Euros? Dark horses France? The host nations Ukraine or Poland?

dark horse

Football League end of season round-up: League Two

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DiCanio's Swindon reigned supreme this season

The final piece of our end of season round-up casts us towards League Two, often a proving ground for exciting new managers and players – but how well did my predictions pan out?

Promoted

Actual – Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town, Crewe Alexandra

Predicted – Crawley Town, Rotherham, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth.

Catching Euro 2012 Fever

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It's now days until the opening ceremonies in Poland and Ukraine. Your football fix may not have been fulfilled up to now, but assurances that this European Championships will more than make up for lost time.

Why are the Euros so important this time around? Well, it's the final ever time the tournament will be played with 16 teams.

English Premier League

FA Cup draw wide open?

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When the two Manchester clubs were drawn together in the FA Cup third round, it opened the door to other clubs with aspirations of lifting the famous old trophy.

One of the best two sides in England at this present time will be out of the FA Cup and that opens the competition up to the rest.

Curbs thinks Parker talented has been wasted by England

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Former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley believes England have failed to utlise the talents of midfielder Scott Parker during his career.

The 31-year-old has only just begun to play for England regular after winning his first four caps while with four different clubs across eight years.

Arsenal: We’ve Got Our Bottle Back

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How are you feeling this morning?

Still glowing?

Yeah, me too.

We have kind of forgotten what it's like to enjoy a BIG win; a meaningful win; a surprise win against the odds.

Most of our surprises in the last six months have been nasty ones – the kind Mrs Gary Neville has every morning when she wakes up and sees who's beside her.

Manchester United find the perfect balance between defence and attack

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United 3-0 Tottenham: Analysis and Observations

It is still early days but the manner in which Manchester United conducted themselves in their first home game was most encouraging. And such a result against a team thought to be the ‘dark horses' of the Premier League this season gives all the more reasons to be optimistic.

Soccer Players

Playing Favorites

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Oct 28, 2011) US Soccer Players -- The season is over. The gauntlet's been thrown. The second season begins. The preamble of the last eight months has produced the final ten teams looking for glory in November. We all have our favorites and our dark horses and the teams that will surprise us, and since Wednesday those ten teams will test our predictions.

Women's World Cup: The USA meet a tough DPR Korea

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Abby Wambach will do battle with the North Korean defense

USA vs. Korea DPR
Rudolf-Harbig Stadium, Dresden, Germany

In a few hours, Abby Wambach and company finally get to open their World Cup account after a long hard journey that took them through the playoffs.

Vocabulary

Main Report: 2014 South American World Cup Qualifiers

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Did you know that the 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds have already started? With 'only' just under a thousand days until the big kick-off in Brazil, we take a look at one of the most hotly-contested qualifying groups: South America.

Women’s World Cup: The Knockout Stage

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The first stage of the Women's World cup is over and we are down to the last eight teams and the quarter-final knockout stages. So far, the tournament, being held in Germany, has been a great success, and it looks like the women's game is finally getting the media recognition it deserves.

Main Listening Report: The Clausura Season in Argentina

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This week we look at one of the most passionate and exciting leagues in world football, the Primera División in Argentina. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.

Main Listening Report: The Clausura Season in Argentina

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Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it. | Subscribe: Main Listening Report | Complete List Here

This week we look at one of the most passionate and exciting leagues in world football, the Primera División in Argentina. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.

The Rest

Dull dark horses, USA get punished

Arseblog at related • 1 view

Before this World Cup started many people referred to Belgium as the 'dark horses'; a team that might surprise us by being contenders when everyone's eyes were on the likes of Brazil, Argentina and so on.

Well, having seen them twice now, it looks to me like they have a very definite plan: be as boring and dull as possible then nick a late goal.

Top 5 MLS Cup favorites

No Short Corners at related • 2 views
In early September I ran my top 5 picks for MLS Cup dark horses. Some look promising now (RSL), some not so much (Chicago). Now, with most of MLS taking a break this weekend, we level our gaze on the top five frontrunners. It's all about the big dogs today. With the wild card round almost two weeks away and the picture rapidly crystallizing, here are the top five teams most likely to take home

Soccer World: Smaller teams should go for Carling Cup

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The Carling Cup is not the most glamorous cup competition in the world but it is a great opportunity for some so called 'smaller' Premier League teams to have success and get into Europe.

For years there has been some discussion about the merits of the Carling Cup, with some managers putting out under strength sides, as they see the competition as a burden, have disrespected it to a fair degree.

Can Dortmund Emulate Last Season’s Wonderful Form?

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The wonderful thing about the Bundesliga is its unpredictability. You just never know what is going to happen. Witness the remarkable rises of Mainz, Hannover or Nürnberg last season, while teams expected to challenge at the top of the table – Stuttgart, Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg – spent much of the season desperately fighting against relegation.

Next Stop, Argentina! Copa America 2011 Preview

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Next Stop, Argentina! Copa America 2011 Preview is a post from: Just Football

by Christopher Atkins

The 2011 Copa America kicks off in Argentina this Friday, as South America's top teams compete for continental bragging rights and a spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Chelsea and United clash set in UEFA Champions League

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Chelsea and Manchester United will clash in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, while Tottenham Hotspur have been drawn against Real Madrid.

Holders Inter Milan will tackle Schalke, while 2009 winners and favourites for this season's tournament Barcelona have been paired with Shakhtar Donetsk.