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Ryan Giggs insists United need to sign Gareth Bale to win Champions League

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RYAN GIGGS thinks Gareth Bale is the missing ingredient for Manchester United in Europe this season.
United return to Europe’s top table when they face Basel at Old Trafford tonight.And despite the summer arrivals of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof, the former Old Trafford winger insists the Real Madrid man in a United shirt would turn them into contenders.
Giggs told Sky Sports: “You look at the current Manchester United side and you wonder if they have the players to win the Champions League.“They are probably a little bit short at the moment, you have Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku if he fulfils his potential.
“There’s Marcus Rashford and David De Gea, a world-class player and if you add someone like Gareth Bale to the mix, then you talk about United having Champions League expectations.“Mourinho has won it before so we are going to be there or thereabouts, but whether we’ve got the players to go the whole way, I don’t know.”
Giggs who won the Champions League twice …

I'm wary of Juventus forward Paulo Dybala - Barcelona Goalkeeper

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Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is wary of the danger posed by Juventus forward Paulo Dybala ahead of their opening Champions League Group D clash on Tuesday.
Dybala struck twice in Juventus’ 3-0 aggregate quarter-final win over Barca last season and is set to start at the Nou Camp.“He’s a player that has a lot of quality... what we can see from outside is that he still wants to improve, he’s a player who can make the difference,” Ter Stegen told a news conference on Monday.
Argentine Dybala has scored seven goals in four games for Juventus this season, including a hat-trick against Genoa in Serie A on 26 August.Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde agreed that Dybala posed a threat but was also concerned with Juventus' power as a team.
”He’s an important player in his team, in Europe and in the world, we know that,“ said the coach. ”But so are (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Miralem) Pjanic and (Andrea) Barzagli."
“I fear Juventus for their consistency, what they’ve done, how they…

Klopp's progress with Liverpool to be tested in Europe's elite competition

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When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, he made a promise, "If we sit here in four years, I think we (will) win one title," he said.
Next month will mark the second anniversary of Klopp's appointment, the halfway point of that four-year cycle.There has undoubtedly been progress in that time; a team who were 10th in the Premier League when he arrived finished fourth last season.
Whether they are significantly closer to winning a major trophy is more open to debate.Liverpool reached two finals in Klopp's first seven months as manager, losing on penalties to Manchester City in the League Cup at Wembley, and suffering a more decisive 3-1 defeat by Sevilla in the Europa League in Basel.
That European adventure was an unexpected bonus.Expectations at Anfield are higher now, but Liverpool look far from a complete team as they prepare to face Sevilla once more, this time in the Champions League.
The best and worst of the 2017 Liverpool were shown when they be…

Roma coach confident of 'hurting' Atletico Madrid in key clash

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Roma host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in an opening game of the Champions League group stages which Italian coach Eusebio Di Francesco believes will be crucial to their ambitions.In a Group C that also includes Premier League champions Chelsea, both sides desperately need to win in the Stadio Olimpico.
Di Francesco insists Roma can match the technique and tactics of the Spanish — runners-up in 2014 and 2016 to Real Madrid."(Diego) Simeone's squad have a clear identity," Di Francesco said. "Perhaps less flair, but very tactically sound and they always know what their role is. They have reached two Champions League finals and you don't do that by accident. They have strong mental and physical qualities.""For us to compete with them we have to also go out on the pitch with those same characteristics — together with our own playing ideas," the Roma coach added. "It's an important game, one of the great ones in the life of a footballer. We have…

Who are the danger players Jose Mourinho's men need to look out for Manchester United vs Basel?

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United get their Champions League campaign under way against the current Swiss championsAfter nearly a two-year absence, Manchester United make their return to the Champions League on Tuesday night when they line up against Basel at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho’s men may have finished in sixth last season but victory in the Europa League final secured United’s place at Europe’s top table for the new term.
The Premier League side get their campaign underway against the current Swiss champions – a club that has won the Swiss Super League for the last eight seasons in a row.Despite this, the club have struggled to make their mark on the European stage and an easy win is expected for United on Tuesday night.
Nonetheless, here we profile Basel and take a look at the players who just might upset the apple cart:60-second profileFC Basel 1893 is one of the most successful clubs in Swiss football, having won the Swiss Super League 20 times in total, the second most for any Swiss club. Currently…

There was an argument for me to join United this summer

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Gareth Bale has admitted that there was “an argument” for him leaving Real Madrid for Manchester United this summer, but insisted he would rather win more trophies than be the star of the team.
The Welshman has been perennially linked with a move to Old Trafford ever since then-assistant manager Ryan Giggs tried to intercept Bale’s move to the Bernabeu under the instruction of David Moyes in 2013.
Jose Mourinho is also a known fan of the 28-year-old and admitted that he would be at the front of the queue should the former Tottenham star ever decide to Real.Since arriving in Madrid, Bale has always been in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo and now, with the emergence of Marco Asensio and Isco’s upturn in form last season, the former world’s most expensive player is left fighting for a starting berth.Neymar was in the same situation with Lionel Messi’s aura at Barcelona and chose to step out on his own at the risk of winning less trophies, something that Bale could have done by becoming t…

Rafael Nadal beats Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to claim 3rd US Open title

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Rafael Nadal beat Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win his third US Open title, his 16th Grand Slam of his career and his second Grand Slam this year.

Nadal looking to win 16th Grand Slam title

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The men’s singles final of the US Open is upon us and it will see South Africa’s Kevin Anderson against two-time US Open winner and 15-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. No prizes for guessing who is the favourite here. Nadal is the top seed and he has a 4-0 head-to-head record against Anderson. The only meeting before this between the two players in a Grand Slam was at the 2016 Australian Open that Nadal won in straight sets. Catch live scores and updates of the US Open final between Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson here.If there ever was a battle of contradictions, this is it. Kevin Anderson’s best finish before this tournament in a Grand Slam was a fourth round finish at the 2014 French Open. If he manages to win here, he will be the lowest ranked Grand Slam winner since World No 44 Gaston Gaudio won French Open in 2004. Nadal, on the other hand, has won 15 Grand Slam titles, twice at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. He is the current World No. 1 which is also the fourth time he has rea…

Hughes goes bitter with Mourinho

Stoke manager Mark Hughes accused Jose Mourinho of sour grapes for refusing his post-match handshake after Manchester United's winning run ended.
United dropped Premier League points for the first time this season as Maxim Choupo-Moting capitalised on errors from Eric Bailly and Phil Jones to net twice either side of efforts from Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku.Mourinho was dismissive of what he perceived to be defensive tactics
from the Potters in the 2-2 draw - a claim Hughes refuted - and at one point during the game the Portuguese was pushed by his counterpart when he entered his technical area.
There was then no handshake after the final whistle, a custom Hughes has previously been snubbed for by Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger, and the Potters boss accused Mourinho of taking the result poorly."I pushed him because he was in my technical area," Hughes said.
"Maybe that's why he didn't want to shake my hand. Maybe it's because it has to be viewed as a…

United could change formation vs Stoke

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Man Utd vs Stoke in their fourth Premier League fixture of the season and Jose Mourinho might be tempted to make a tactical change.Does Mourinho recall Rashford?The decision to start Juan Mata at Stoke in January signalled something of a shift for Jose Mourinho and United. In his last league win at Stoke, Mourinho brought John Obi Mikel in to beef up Chelsea's midfield for the slight forward Oscar and Sir Alex Ferguson was prone to similar changes. Jonny Evans started more Premier League matches than Nemanja Vidic in 2012-13 yet Ferguson restored the Serb in the Potteries.Stoke is maybe the kind of fixture Mourinho would have started his 'fourth player', had he signed him. Ivan Perisic and Gareth Bale are maybe more durable widemen than United's current options yet Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford are unlikely to be intimidated by Geoff Cameron.Both wingers have begun the campaign brightly and made impacts in isolated periods. Rashford was influential for England in …

Philippe Coutinho still has strong feelings for the Reds - Klopp

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JURGEN KLOPP knows Liverpool have work to do to rebuild bridges with Philippe Coutinho.
The Reds boss claims Coutinho still loves the club despite the Brazilian handing in a transfer request to try to force a summer move to Barcelona.Klopp said: “You have to go through these times and at the end things can be good if you are smart enough to start again.
“Why should I think about one day? I cannot even remember three or four days of the last four weeks.”
As SunSport reported yesterday, Klopp confirmed the news his playmaker will not be at Manchester City today — just days after twice turning out for Brazil.
And Klopp admitted the 25-year-old is starting out again at Anfield after comparing it to a divorce.Klopp said: “Maybe a few of you have had a split in a good relationship, with your friends, wife or whatever, and it is not good to think about the time you were split.
“What have you done there? What have you said? Who did you meet? It was clear. It was not the most easy time, but th…

US OPEN: South African reaches first-ever Grand Slam final

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KEVIN ANDERSON beat Pablo Carreno Busta to reach a first-ever Grand Slam final — and then thanked Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for missing the tournament.
Tennis has been dominated by just four players in the past 15 years.Anderson admitted his cause was helped by two of the tennis’ ‘Big Four’ missing the slam, as he reached his maiden final at the age of 31 with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
He said: “I really don’t know what to say right now.
“I don’t know if the team hug is appropriate until the finals but it felt the right thing to do.
“It’s been a long road. These Grand Slams are tough.“We’ve been privileged enough to play with some of the best players to have ever played the game and it’s nice that some of them gave us a bit of a shot to try and make a run this tournament.”
Anderson will now face Rafa Nadal in the final after the Spaniard overcame Juan Martin del Potro.

Rafa Nadal beats Roger Federer’s conqueror Juan Martin del Potro in four sets to reach third Gran Slam final of year

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RAFA NADAL reached the US Open final after a dominant four-set victory over Roger Federer’s conqueror Juan Martin del Potro.
The Spaniard recovered from losing the first set — and would drop just five games for the remainder of the match to take the contest 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.Victory on the Arthur Ashe Court means the two-time US Open-winner has now reached the final of three of the four Grand Slams in 2017 as his remarkable recovery continues.
Speaking after the match, a beaming Nadal said: “After a couple of years with injuries, some troubles, a very emotional time, it is amazing to be back, very important for me.“I played a couple of matches so-so, but the last three matches have been very positive, and this one was the best one for me.
“I have the passion to play with full energy, and to come back here many years.”Nadal and Federer have incredibly never met at the US Open but, with Andy Murray and Novak Dojokovic both missing from this year’s tournament, it was anticipated they wo…

Cape Verde catapult into 2018 FIFA World Cup contention

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Cape Verde upset South Africa 2-1 on Friday in Praia and repeated the feat to reach six points, level at the top with Burkina Faso who were down to 10 men for 50 minutes but still forced a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Senegal in Ouagadougou.Tiny Cape Verde Islands catapulted themselves into surprise World Cup contention with a 2-1 victory away to South Africa on Tuesday as the identity of the African qualifiers for next year’s finals remained far from resolved.
Nigeria, who did not play on Tuesday, look best placed to become the first of the five African teams to book a place in Russia as they will qualify if they beat Zambia at home in their next game next month.The Ivory Coast went down 2-1 at home in a shock loss to Gabon to let a comfortable lead slip to one point in Group C and open the door for second-placed Morocco.
Tunisia took command of Group A as they drew 2-2 away to second-placed Democratic Republic of Congo, while Egypt opened up a two-point lead with a 1-0 win over U…

Bobby Wood late goal earns United States draw with Honduras in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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A well-taken first half goal from Honduras midfielder Romell Quioto gave the hosts a chance to earn all three points in front of an enthusiastic crowd on a typically humid afternoon at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.A late equaliser from substitute Bobby Wood earned the United States a valuable point after a 1-1 draw against Honduras in a World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday.A well-taken first half goal from Honduras midfielder Romell Quioto gave the hosts a chance to earn all three points in front of an enthusiastic crowd on a typically humid afternoon at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.Striker Wood, however, popped up in the 85th minute to poke the ball home from close range in a congested box after Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez had done well to parry a free kick.
The result left the U.S. and Honduras both on nine points after eight matches in the CONCACAF qualifying group, known as the Hexagonal.Both teams fell behind Panama, who moved into third place after bea…

Pablo Carreno Busta reaches first major semifinal in US Open

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Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 at the US Open on Tuesday. He will face either No. 17 Sam Querrey of the U.S. or No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.Pablo Carreno Busta reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by beating No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
The 12th-seeded Spaniard easily handled his first match of the tournament against an opponent who was not a qualifier.Now Carreno Busta will face No. 17 Sam Querrey of the U.S. or No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who were scheduled to play Tuesday night. None of those three men remaining on the bottom half of the draw has ever played in a major final.Carreno Busta traveled a tame path to the quarterfinals, becoming the first man to face four qualifiers in a Grand Slam tournament during the Open era, which began in 1968. He didn’t drop a set against any of those opponents and stayed perfect against Schwartzman while appearing in his seco…

Colombia draw with Brazil in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

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The draw on Tuesday in Barranquilla, Colombia, ended a nine-game winning streak for Brazil coach Tite, who had been perfect in qualifying matches since he took over a year ago. Willian scored for Brazil in first-half stoppage time.Radamel Falcao scored a second-half header to salvage a 1-1 draw for Colombia against group leader Brazil, earning an important point in qualification for next year’s World Cup.The draw on Tuesday in Barranquilla, Colombia, ended a nine-game winning streak for Brazil coach Tite, who had been perfect in qualifying matches since he took over a year ago. Willian scored for Brazil in first-half stoppage time.In other matches in South America: Bolivia edged Chile 1-0, Peru beat Ecuador 2-1, Venezuela drew 1-1 at Argentina, and Uruguay defeated Paraguay 2-1. Brazil has already qualified for the World Cup with 37 points from 16 matches.The other three automatic spots are still up for grabs going into the final two rounds next month. It’s also possible a fourth bert…

Venus Williams egdes to face Sloane Stephens in US Open semifinals

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US ninth seed Venus Williams, seeking her third US Open crown, advanced to a Thursday matchup for a spot in Saturday's final against 83rd-ranked compatriot Sloane Stephens. Venus will return to the world top five for the first time since January 2011.Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams became the oldest semi-finalist in US Open history at age 37 by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).
US ninth seed Williams, seeking her third US Open crown, advanced to a Thursday matchup for a spot in Saturday’s final against 83rd-ranked compatriot Sloane Stephens.Stephens, who missed 11 months with a left foot injury before returning at Wimbledon, matched her best Grand Slam showing by outlasting Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).Williams, who improved to 2-4 all-time against the Czech 13th seed, will return to the world top five for the first time since January 2011 after dominating the tie-break.
“I’m so fortunate to have wo…

Argentina and Chile stumble again

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Argentina needed a second-half own goal to help them snatch a 1-1 draw against already-eliminated Venezuela in Buenos Aires while Chile crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Bolivia in La Paz. Argentina are fifth in the standings with 24 points while Chile are sixth with 23 points.Argentina and Chile’s World Cup qualification hopes were left on a knife edge after the South American heavyweights slipped up once again on the road to next year’s finals in Russia.
Argentina needed a second-half own goal to help them snatch a 1-1 draw against already-eliminated Venezuela in Buenos Aires while Chile crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Bolivia in La Paz.The results left 2014 World Cup finalists Argentina and reigning Copa America champions Chile outside of the automatic qualifying places and sets up a nail-biting final two rounds of matches next month.
Argentina are fifth in the standings with 24 points from 16 games while Chile are sixth with 23 points. The Argentinians — who would face a playoff aga…

Klopp to put Philippe Coutinho back into his Liverpool side

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Jurgen Klopp has no problem picking Philippe Coutinho again despite the Brazil international's unsuccessful efforts to leave
Liverpool this summer.
The 25-year-old, the club's highest-paid player after signing a new five-year, £150,000-a-week contract in January, tried to force an exit by asking to leave after Barcelona had a third bid of £90million up front rejected.
Owners Fenway Sports Group issued a statement insisting Coutinho would remain a Liverpool player when the summer window closed and that has proved to be the case, although since then there have been suggestions he does not want to play for the club again.The player was unavailable for the Reds' first five matches with an apparent back injury but came off the bench to score for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on Thursday and is expected to feature against Colombia on Tuesday before returning to Melwood.It remains to be seen whether he will be considered for Saturday's trip to top-four rival…

I nearly quit Arsenal for personal reasons - Wenger

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After months of debate and questions about his future, the 67-year-old finally committed himself to the club for another two years in May.Arsene Wenger has admitted he considered leaving Arsenal "for personal reasons" this summer before signing a two-year contract extension.
Wenger found himself under increasing pressure last season as the Gunners failed to secure Champions League football and speculation was rife that the Frenchman's 21-year reign in charge might be coming to an end.
After months of debate and questions about his future, the 67-year-old finally committed himself to the club for another two years in May - but he has revealed it was not a straightforward decision."Yes, I hesitated to extend for personal reasons," he told French television station Telefoot . "I've been at Arsenal for 20 years, and I'm wondering if I should continue to lead the club. We went quite badly during the season."Wenger, who claimed there had been intere…

Harry Kane receives praise from Spain as Spurs striker sets sights on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

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Spain manager Julen Lopetegui told Gareth Southgate how fortunate England were to have Harry Kane up front, as the
Tottenham striker now targets the goal records of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The revelation, made by Southgate at his press conference at Tottenham’s training base on Sunday afternoon, shows just what high regard Kane is held in all over Europe. The Spurs striker has won the Premier League golden boot for the last two seasons and can claim, alongside Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata, to be one of the best centre-forwards in Europe. So much so that Lopetegui, who has Morata as his first choice for the Spain national team, told Southgate recently he would love to have Kane up front.
“I was having some interaction with Julen Lopetegui at a game where he was commenting on how lucky I was to have Harry playing,” Southgate said.
Kane may have started the season slowly for Tottenham but Southgate talked up his form, now that he has three goals in his last five games. He …