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Showing posts from August, 2016

West Brom agree fees for Tottenham and Malaga midfielders

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West Brom boss Tony Pulis reiterated his desire for reinforcements after a dull draw with Middlesbrough and moved closer to getting his wish as the club agreed fees for two players. The Baggies were held to a desperate 0-0 stalemate at home to Boro on Sunday as their problems were laid bare at The Hawthorns. Pulis wants a host of new players and Press Association Sport understands deals have been agreed for Tottenham's Nacer Chadli and Malaga's Ignacio Camacho, both midfielders. The deals would take the club's tally of signings to four this summer, Matt Phillips from QPR and Everton loanee Brendan Galloway having already joined. advertisement

All you need to know about Sam Allardyce's first England squad

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Sam Allardyce has named his first England squad ahead of the September 4 clash with Slovakia. We take a look at what we can learn from his list. How different is this to the squad that bombed at Euro 2016? Numerically, there are five changes. James Milner’s international retirement, Marcus Rashford’s selection in the under-21s and Ryan Bertrand’s injury mean only two were any surprise at all. The pool of players knocking down Allardyce’s door is modest and this was never going to be a revolving door selection. Philosophically, mentally and tactically? We’ll have to wait and see them on the field.
Who are the biggest winners? Michail Antonio’s name stands out like a beacon. He has taken well to life in the Premier League since signing for West Ham a year ago but there was hardly a bandwagon forming around him. Allardyce has clearly taken note of the qualities he brings to a side and thinks he can use them on the international stage.

Davis Cup: Nadal not likely to play against India in Sept 16-18 tie

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With Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman still recovering from injuries, India is set to field the same set to players that beat South Korea 4-1 in July in the upcoming Davis Cup World Group play-off against Spain. As Yuki and Somdev are unavailable for the September 16-18 match against the European powerhouse, the All India Tennis Association neither has the choice nor does it need to tinker with the team combination. Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan will do singles duty while the legendary Leander Paes will again combine with Rohan Bopanna for the doubles. The match will be played on the hard courts of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association. Paes and Bopanna lost in the opening round at the Rio Olympics. It will be an enormous task for the Indian team to present a solid challenge to Spain, which has 12 players ranked among the top-100 in singles. Comparatively, none of India's singles players feature in the top-100, with Myneni, at 143th, being the highest ranked player. It will …

Connecticut Open: Kvitova progresses, Vinci ousted

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Petra Kvitova moved closer to a third straight Connecticut Open crown after defeating Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals on Thursday. Kvitova, who won this event the last two years as well as in 2012, stormed past her Russian opponent as she looks to join Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as a four-time winner in the tournament. To do that she will have to take down top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who had little trouble winning her quarter-final match, topping Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-4. Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson pulled off an upset when she beat second-seed Roberta Vinci 7-6, (9) 6-1. Larsson had lost in the final round of qualifying for the tournament, and only made the draw when other players withdrew. "It always helps to play many matches and to play good tennis," Larsson said. "It helps keep you calm and you know when you go out there on court, you're going to be a tough cookie to beat." Larsson, who is r…

Expect the unexpected at this year's US Open!

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At last year's US Open, Serena Williams was trying to rewrite the record book and fell short, but starting on Monday at Flushing Meadows winning is getting personal. Williams's 184-week reign as World No 1 is under attack, and the American will be loathe to relinquish it, according to no less an authority than ESPN commentator Chris Evert, who held the lofty perch for a total of 260 weeks. "Serena being number two in the world doesn't sort of sit well with her," Evert said in a conference call this week ahead of the US Open. "I think she'll be eager to go ... and I think she's going to win it again." The championship has a ring of familiarity with six-time US Open winner Williams and defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic as top seeds, but there is a twist in the 2016 proceedings. Rain will not threaten to bring the championship to a grinding halt, as a $150 million retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium guarantees centre court matches at l…

Jota to Porto on loan

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Promising teenager Diogo Jota has joined Porto on loan from LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid. Jota was signed by Diego Simeone in July after an impressive season with Pacos de Ferreira in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.  The 19-year-old was named the young player of the month twice in 2015-16, seeing him move to the Vicente Calderon on a five-year deal.  However, Atletico have elected to send Jota on a season-long loan with the 27-time Portuguese champions.  The deal also includes an option for Porto to buy the winger at the conclusion of the loan agreement.

Ranieri confident of Vardy resurgence

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has no doubt Jamie Vardy will rediscover his remarkable form of last season. England international Vardy fired his side to a stunning title with 24 Premier League goals last season. However, the 29-year-old is without a league goal this campaign, and Leicester are winless from their opening two games. Despite that, Ranieri remains confident over Vardy's ability ahead of facing Swansea City on Saturday. "Last season he was a dangerous man – dangerous and a goalscorer," he said. "I'm not worried because Jamie is very focused. "We played well on the counter-attack against Arsenal, they worry about Jamie, so we find another solution to surprise the opponents." Leicester have scored just once in their opening two league games, with that goal coming through Riyad Mahrez from the penalty spot at Hull City. Like Vardy, Ahmed Musa, an off-season recruit, is yet to net, but Ranieri believes his front pair can form a devast…

Very difficult’ to see Schweinsteiger play for United this season - Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho has suggested there is more chance of academy players featuring in his Manchester United team than Bastian Schweinsteiger. Mourinho has also had a dig back at Karl-Heinz Rummenigge following the Bayern Munich chairman's criticism of how he has handled the midfielder. Schweinsteiger has been frozen out of the first-team picture at United this term, with boss Mourinho making it clear he is not part of his plans. Earlier this week the 32-year-old former Germany international said he would not be joining another club in Europe and added of his current employers: ''I will be ready, if the team needs me.'' advertisement

Dundalk and Cork City return to winning ways

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After another week of European action, Dundalk returned to League duty tonight with a battling win over Wexford Youths. David McMillan's first-half strike was enough to give the Lilywhites a 1-0 win at Ferrycarrig Park, which has seen them open-up a four-point lead at the top of the table. Cork City are back up to second-place. After Alan Bennett’s opener, two goals each from Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard helped the Leesiders to a 5-2 win over Longford Town at Turners Cross. Bohemians beat St Pat's in their Dublin derby as Kurtis Byrne's goal was enough to claim a 1-0 win at Richmond Park. Also in the Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers beat Finn Harps 2-0 in Ballybofey, with Sean Boyd and Dean Clarke on the scoresheet. In the First Division, Athlone Town thrashed Cabinteely 4-0 and Drogheda United beat their hosts, Waterford United, 3-1 at the RSC.

Spalletti laments lack of Roma discipline

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Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was at a loss to explain his side's lack of discipline as they crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday. After drawing 1-1 away to Porto, Roma crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to suffer a 4-1 aggregate loss against the Portuguese outfit in their play-off. Roma finished Tuesday's contest with nine men after Daniele De Rossi and Emerson were shown straight red cards, adding to Thomas Vermaelen's sending off in the first leg.  Spalletti was disappointed with his side's discipline but conceded there was "no warning" for that type of behaviour from his players. "What happened is we lost a very important match that will change the season going forward and we are going to have to deal with that," the 57-year-old told Mediaset Premium. "We didn't control the ball well, which was what I had been planning and why I made certain choices. We didn't manage it, just as we were re-organising ourselves after the goal,…

Chelsea must learn to kill matches - Conte

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his side must learn to kill off matches quicker following their 3-2 League Cup win over Bristol Rovers. Michy Batshuayi scored two goals either side of a Victor Moses strike at Stamford Bridge to send the home side into the third round, but they were given a fright when the visitors twice halved a two-goal deficit through Peter Hartley and an Ellis Harrison penalty. The victory is Conte's third in competitive matches as Chelsea boss, following 2-1 wins over West Ham and Watford in the Premier League - both of which came about thanks to late goals from Diego Costa. And the former Italy boss wants his players to become more ruthless in their approach in order to prevent similarly nervy encounters in future. "These games are very tough," he told BBC Radio London Sport. "When you dominate the game, you must kill the game. In this case, we didn't do this. "It's a pity because when you're playing very well, creating a l…

Brendan Rodgers happy to get through ‘my longest 90 minutes as a coach

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Celtic's coach Brendan Rodgers celebrates Brendan Rodgers suffered "probably the longest 90 minutes" of his managerial career as Celtic survived a scare against Hapoel Be'er Sheva to reach the Champions League group stage for the first time in three years with a 5-4 aggregate. The Hoops were heavy favourites to see out the play-off second leg after their 5-2 victory at Parkhead last week but were on the ropes from the early stages at the Turner Stadium. Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon saved a penalty in the 15th minute from Maharan Radi, but the relief was only temporary as substitute Ben Sahar soon headed the Israeli champions ahead. The visitors conceded a second goal in the 48th minute when a mix-up between Saidy Janko and Gordon allowed Romania international Ovidiu Hoban the easiest of chances to make it 2-0, but the Scottish champions held on. Celtic boss Rodgers, who declared himself "immensely proud", said: "It was probably the longest 90 minut…

Two Premier League sides knocked out but Chelsea and Liverpool advance

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Watford and West Brom were the big casualties in the second round of the EFL Cup while the rest of the Premier League sides in action on Tuesday night all advanced in normal time. Watford went down 2-1 at Gillingham after extra time. The Hornets were eight minutes from progressing themselves having led through Odion Ighalo but Mark Byrne levelled and Bradley Dack, who had missed a penalty in the second half, grabbed the winner in the 102nd minute to eliminate last year's FA Cup semi-finalists. Tony Pulis' Baggies also squandered a lead they had held up until the 82nd minute as Northampton booked their passage through to the third round courtesy of a 4-3 penalty shoot-out success. The Cobblers led through Zander Diamond and though West Brom went ahead after strikes from James McClean and Gareth McAuley, Alex Revell forced extra-time as he made it 2-2. The extra half hour finished without further goals to send the match to a shoot-out. Saido Berahino missed from 12 yards and Ja…

Dundalk fall short of Champions League against 10-man Legia

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Dundalk's dreams of becoming the first Irish club to qualify for the Champions League group stage ended following a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Legia Warsaw. A stunning strike from Robbie Benson gave the Lilywhites hope as they looked to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit in the Polish capital but an injury-time equaliser from Michal Kucharczyk put the result of the play-off beyond doubt. Benson smashed a dipping volley into the top-right corner from just inside the 18-yard box in the 19th minute after striker David McMillan had headed Sean Gannon's cross from the right back across goal. The home side responded though and would have been on level terms on the night minutes later had it not been for a fine save from Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers. Czech Republic international Hlousek connected superbly with a left-footed shot from range but, with the ball heading for the top-right corner, Rogers rose to tip it past the post for a corner. French midfielder Thibault Moulin was the ne…