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Romelu Lukaku

World Cup Draw: England Face Belgium, Tunisia And Panama In Intriguing Group G Selection

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England will play Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in the group stages of next summer's World Cup in Russia.

The typically star-studded draw was made in Moscow on Friday and threw up an intriguing Group G for England.

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Currently fifth in FIFA's rankings, Belgium will provide a big challenge to the Three Lions, with a squad crammed full of world-class stars, from Eden Hazard to Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to Dries Mertens.

Champions League: Romelu Lukaku Nets Brace As Man Utd Cruise To Victory In Moscow (Video)

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Manchester United strolled to victory in Moscow on Wednesday night, with Romelu Lukaku netting a brace in a 4-1 victory against CSKA.

The Red Devils got off to the perfect start, with Romelu Lukaku heading home from an Anthony Martial cross on three minutes.

Soon after, the visitors doubled their advantage,with Martial stroking home a spot-kick after HenrikhMkhitaryan was fouled in the box.

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World Cup draw ‘could have been worse’ for France – Deschamps

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Moscow (AFP) – France coach Didier Deschamps said his side “have to win their group”, after Friday’s World Cup draw in Moscow pitted the 1998 champions against Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

“I’m going to give a classic answer: It could have been worse,” Deschamps, who captained France to World Cup glory 19 years ago on home soil, told BeIN Sport.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

Russia coach happy to dodge Spain in World Cup draw

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov expressed his relief at avoiding 2010 champions Spain in Friday’s draw for next year’s World Cup.

Hosts Russia, the lowest ranked nation in the 32-team tournament, were placed alongside Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Group A.

Russia coach happy to dodge Spain in World Cup draw

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov expressed his relief at avoiding 2010 champions Spain in Friday’s draw for next year’s World Cup.

Hosts Russia, the lowest ranked nation in the 32-team tournament, were placed alongside Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Group A.

‘Doping not a problem in football’ as World Cup draw takes place

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Moscow (AFP) – FIFA President Gianni Infantino denied Friday that doping was a problem in football shortly before the draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia took place in the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to address the footballing world that has descended upon Moscow, in the midst of a freezing winter, to find out who will play who, when and where at the competition next year.

Russia ready for World Cup draw with Spain the team to avoid

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Moscow (AFP) – The real countdown to the 2018 World Cup in Russia begins on Friday as the draw for the tournament is held at a star-studded ceremony in the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to address the footballing world that has descended upon Moscow, in the midst of a freezing Russian winter, to find out who will play who, when and where at the competition next year.

Russia ready for World Cup draw with Spain the team to avoid

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Moscow (AFP) – The real countdown to the 2018 World Cup in Russia begins on Friday as the draw for the tournament is held at a star-studded ceremony in the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to address the footballing world that has descended upon Moscow, in the midst of a freezing Russian winter, to find out who will play who, when and where at the competition next year.

Facing hurdles, Russia gears up for World Cup draw

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup draw in the Kremlin on Friday launches Russia’s bid to turn a page on its history of football hooliganism and racism while warding off a terror threat linked to Moscow’s intervention in Syria.

The success of the tournament is also a matter of personal pride for Vladimir Putin after the Russian strongman helped wrest the June 14-July 15 competition from England in an ugly 2010 battle before relations with the West dramatically collapsed over Ukraine.

Facing hurdles, Russia gears up for World Cup draw

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup draw in the Kremlin on Friday launches Russia’s bid to turn a page on its history of football hooliganism and racism while warding off a terror threat linked to Moscow’s intervention in Syria.

The success of the tournament is also a matter of personal pride for Vladimir Putin after the Russian strongman helped wrest the June 14-July 15 competition from England in an ugly 2010 battle before relations with the West dramatically collapsed over Ukraine.

Putin takes fight to hooligans ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Andrei and his fellow Russian football hooligans flew to France for the Euro 2016 tournament with only one goal in mind: to give England’s supporters a good kicking before the World Cup.

“It was like winning against Brazil in football,” Andrei told AFP of the orchestrated violence.

Putin takes fight to hooligans ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Andrei and his fellow Russian football hooligans flew to France for the Euro 2016 tournament with only one goal in mind: to give England’s supporters a good kicking before the World Cup.

“It was like winning against Brazil in football,” Andrei told AFP of the orchestrated violence.

Russia builds inside-out arena for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Football fans visiting Yekaterinburg in the Russian Urals for the 2018 World Cup are going to find out first hand what it feels to be on the outside looking.

Because the area was originally too small to fit FIFA rules, officials built two temporary stands on empty plots of land nextdoor.

Russia builds inside-out arena for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Football fans visiting Yekaterinburg in the Russian Urals for the 2018 World Cup are going to find out first hand what it feels to be on the outside looking.

Because the area was originally too small to fit FIFA rules, officials built two temporary stands on empty plots of land nextdoor.

Late Maribor goal hits Spartak knockout hopes

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Moscow (AFP) – Spartak Moscow’s hopes of earning a place in the Champions League last 16 suffered a damaging blow on Tuesday as they conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Maribor.

The result kept Russian champions Spartak third in Group E ahead of their final match, one point behind second-placed Sevilla, who take on group leaders Liverpool later on Tuesday.

Late Maribor goal hits Spartak knockout hopes

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Moscow (AFP) – Spartak Moscow’s hopes of earning a place in the Champions League last 16 suffered a damaging blow on Tuesday as they conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Maribor.

The result kept Russian champions Spartak third in Group E ahead of their final match, one point behind second-placed Sevilla, who take on group leaders Liverpool later on Tuesday.

Iwobi inspires Nigeria fightback to stun Argentina

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Moscow (AFP) – Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria stunned two-time former World Cup winners Argentina by recovering from two goals down to win 4-2 in Krasnodar on Tuesday.

Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero fired Argentina, playing without the rested Lionel Messi, into a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes.

Iwobi inspires Nigeria fightback to stun Argentina

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Moscow (AFP) – Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria stunned two-time former World Cup winners Argentina by recovering from two goals down to win 4-2 in Krasnodar on Tuesday.

Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero fired Argentina, playing without the rested Lionel Messi, into a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes.

Say hello to Telstar 18, the 2018 World Cup ball

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Moscow (AFP) – What on Earth is Telstar 18?

Several heads were left being scratched on Thursday after Russia used some hardcore techno beats in a dark auditorium decked out to look like an underground dance club to present the official 2018 World Cup ball.

The orb in the spotlight followed the edgy motif of the presentation by being adorned with black-and-grey checkered rectangles that could have featured in one of Hollywood’s latest sci-fi thrillers.

Say hello to Telstar 18, the 2018 World Cup ball

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Moscow (AFP) – What on Earth is Telstar 18?

Several heads were left being scratched on Thursday after Russia used some hardcore techno beats in a dark auditorium decked out to look like an underground dance club to present the official 2018 World Cup ball.

The orb in the spotlight followed the edgy motif of the presentation by being adorned with black-and-grey checkered rectangles that could have featured in one of Hollywood’s latest sci-fi thrillers.

Russian PM vows World Cup crackdown on ticket touts

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Thursday to crack down harshly on people who intended to profit from reselling their tickets to the 2018 World Cup.

The price of admission for the June 14-July 15 event ranges from 1,200 rubles ($22, 19 euros) for the nosebleed seats at the opening matches to 66,000 rubles for the best ones available for the grand finale.

Russian PM vows World Cup crackdown on ticket touts

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Thursday to crack down harshly on people who intended to profit from reselling their tickets to the 2018 World Cup.

The price of admission for the June 14-July 15 event ranges from 1,200 rubles ($22, 19 euros) for the nosebleed seats at the opening matches to 66,000 rubles for the best ones available for the grand finale.

Russia faces ‘very real’ threat of attack at World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia says it will take extraordinary measures to combat any terrorist threat when it hosts the World Cup next year, as its military campaign in Syria makes the country a prime target for jihadists.

A bombing on the metro in Saint Petersburg in April that left 15 people dead was among the recent high-profile terror attacks on Russian soil.

Russia faces ‘very real’ threat of attack at World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia says it will take extraordinary measures to combat any terrorist threat when it hosts the World Cup next year, as its military campaign in Syria makes the country a prime target for jihadists.

A bombing on the metro in Saint Petersburg in April that left 15 people dead was among the recent high-profile terror attacks on Russian soil.

Russian champions Spartak edge Akhmat

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian champions Spartak Moscow claimed a 2-1 win at Akhmat Grozny on Friday, as substitute Lorenzo Melgarejo scored the winner.

Captain Denis Glushakov gave the visitors an early lead, and although Brazilian Rodolfo equalised from the penalty spot for Akhmat, Paraguayan Melgarejo grabbed all three points just four minutes after coming off the bench.

Russian leaders Zenit bidding to stay unbeaten

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Premier League leaders Zenit St Petersburg return from the international break looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign against Arsenal Tula on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini’s men unexpectedly dropped points in a 2-2 draw at bottom club Anzhi Makhachlala in their previous league match, but are two points clear of second-placed Lokomotiv Moscow, who visit Ufa.

Korean scores own-goal double in Russia friendly win

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Moscow (AFP) – Kim Joo-Young scored two own goals in two minutes as Russia beat South Korea 4-2 in Moscow on Saturday in their first game since the Confederations Cup.

Krasnodar forward Fedor Smolov and Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Alexei Miranchuk also scored for the 2018 World Cup hosts, who put in a much-improved display after their group-stage exit from the Confederations Cup in June.

Korean scores own-goal double in Russia friendly win

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Moscow (AFP) – Kim Joo-Young scored two own goals in two minutes as Russia beat South Korea 4-2 in Moscow on Saturday in their first game since the Confederations Cup.

Krasnodar forward Fedor Smolov and Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Alexei Miranchuk also scored for the 2018 World Cup hosts, who put in a much-improved display after their group-stage exit from the Confederations Cup in June.

Klopp says Liverpool on Champions League track despite stalemate

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Moscow (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his team remain on track to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League despite drawing both of their opening games.

After a 2-2 draw with Sevilla in their Group E opener, Liverpool drew 1-1 away to Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, with Fernando’s free-kick for the hosts cancelled out by a brilliantly constructed Philippe Coutinho equaliser.

Coutinho scores as Liverpool held in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – A sparkling Philippe Coutinho goal was not enough to earn Liverpool victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Coutinho cancelled out Fernando’s free-kick in the 31st minute, but Liverpool’s quest for a winner came to nothing, leaving them still without a win after two games in Group E.

Coutinho scores as Liverpool held in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – A sparkling Philippe Coutinho goal was not enough to earn Liverpool victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Coutinho cancelled out Fernando’s free-kick in the 31st minute, but Liverpool’s quest for a winner came to nothing, leaving them still without a win after two games in Group E.

Mourinho wants Man Utd to stay ‘humble’ in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has encouraged his players to remain “humble” as they look to take control of Champions League Group A by beating CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.

United are level on points with leaders Manchester City in the Premier League after winning five and drawing one of their first six games and some of their football has been dazzling.

To Russia with love for Manchester United’s Mkhitaryan

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Moscow (AFP) – Trips to Russia have traditionally been seen as complicated assignments for English clubs, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan will have little trouble acclimatising when Manchester United visit CSKA Moscow this week.

The speedy attacking midfielder was born in Yerevan in January 1989 when the Armenian capital was still part of the Soviet Union.

Klopp grouchy ahead of Liverpool’s Spartak test

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Moscow (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cut a tetchy figure during a slightly shambolic press conference in Moscow on Monday to preview his side’s Champions League game against Spartak Moscow.

Sound issues, some peculiar questions from local reporters and a confused interpreter made for a surreal atmosphere, but Klopp was also irritated by the questions he received from the British journalists present.

World Cup trophy starts tour in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup trophy tour began a worldwide tour in Moscow on Saturday at a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.

Ten months before the 2018 World Cup kicks off there, the ceremony took place at Luzhniki stadium, which has been fully renovated and will also host the final and five other matches.

World Cup trophy starts tour in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup trophy tour began a worldwide tour in Moscow on Saturday at a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.

Ten months before the 2018 World Cup kicks off there, the ceremony took place at Luzhniki stadium, which has been fully renovated and will also host the final and five other matches.

Mancini demands Russian Premier League title focus from Zenit

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Moscow (AFP) – Roberto Mancini’s Zenit St Petersburg will hope to make it five wins in a row against Dynamo Moscow when they meet in the Russian Premier League on Sunday.

But Mancini has warned his charges to take newly promoted Dynamo seriously after watching his side struggle to a 0-0 draw in their last league match before the international break.

The Rest

Charlie Nicholas makes bizarre prediction for Man Utd-CSKA Moscow game

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Manchester United are in Russia this evening to take on last season's Russian Premier League runners-up CSKA Moscow in our second group stage game of this season's Champions League. The teams have already been announced and Jose Mourinho is starting... Continue Reading →