Friday, September 26, 2014

Liverpool vs Everton- Competition: English Premier League
Match date: Saturday, 27 September 2014 - Kick Off Time: 12:45 BST
Venue: Anfield Road, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool are simply failing to adjust to life without Luis Suarez. New signing Mario Balotelli was supposed to ease the pain from the Uruguayan’s departure, but the controversial Italian has done little in the ways of playing the hit-man for his club. Of course, it doesn’t help matters that Daniel Sturridge has been injured since the international break, as the hosts were expecting to rely heavily on the Englishman this season. However, he is expected to return to the fold this Saturday in the Merseyside Derby, hoping to ignite an attack that was nearly unstoppable last season. Manager Brendan Rodgers will need to find a way to plug the gaping holes in defence though, as they have conceded in every match so far outside one. Their midweek match in the League Cup saw them concede twice more to a good but nonetheless a Championship side Middlesbrough, who took the favored Reds into penalty kicks. An astonishing back and forth shoot-out saw both sides miss just once before the score sat at 12:12. But after new signing Adam Lallana smashed his home, Adam Reach wasn’t so fortunate and Liverpool hung on by the skin of their teeth. Such a lackluster display won’t go rewarded this weekend though, but the return of Sturridge could prove vital to the end result.
Everton team have had an up and down season so far, claiming just 5 total EPL points from 5 total matches while also bowing out of the Capital One Cup with a limp effort (3:0). However, they’ve also seen the return to form of their record-signing Romelu Lukaku as well as a massive 4:1 triumph over Wolfsburg in the Europa League. Now, a trip to Anfield could prove to be a big stepping stone in the right direction for the visitors, who were expected in the pre-season to contend for a top 4 finish. However, they’ve hardly looked the part, conceding the most goals in the Premier League so far with some porous defending; the same defence that conceded the second-fewest goals last PL season. It’s an odd turn of events as the personnel hasn’t changed whatsoever, and perhaps the age of Sylvain Distin is finally catching up to him. Nonetheless, they must push on and contain the newly-formed Sturridge-Balotelli partnership, while being wise to the lightning-quick Raheem Sterling. Manager Roberto Martinez typically has a difference-making card up his sleeve, but his tactical tricks and genius won’t help if the defence can’t make a simple clearance.

Liverpool last 5 matches:
31/08/14 Tottenham 0 – 3 Liverpool
13/09/14 Liverpool 0 – 1 Aston Villa
16/09/14 Liverpool 2 – 1 Ludogorets
20/09/14 West Ham 3 – 1 Liverpool
23/09/14 Liverpool P 2 – 2 Middlesbrough

Everton last 5 matches:
30/08/14 Everton 3 – 6 Chelsea
13/09/14 West Brom 0 – 2 Everton
18/09/14 Everton 4 – 1 Wolfsburg
21/09/14 Everton 2 – 3 Crystal Palace
23/09/14 Swansea City 3 – 0 Everton

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Manchester City vs Chelsea 
Competition: Premier League
Match date: 21 September 2014
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

The home side were making an aggressive approach into that tie as they were keen on getting back into winning ways. Man City's aggressive approach put Chelsea in a lot problems for the Blues as Mourinho's men found themselves under a lot of pressure.
However, things started to swing into Blues' advantage when Manchester City were forced to play with 10 men after Pablo Zabaleta got sent off.
Mourinho's men took advantage of that situation as they got themselves in front through Andre Schurrle's effort on 71 minutes. Unfortunately, that advantage was wiped out five minutes from time as City got back on level terms through Frank Lampard's equalizing goal. No more goals were netted by either sides as both were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in that big match.

Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea:
71' 0-1 Andre Schuerrle // 85' Frank Lampard 1-1

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Salzburg vs Celtic
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Match date: 18 September 2014
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Wals-Siezenheim

Celtic come away with a draw from Austria in their opening UEFA Europa League. Match ended with 2-2 scoreline.

Salzburg – Alan 36' // Jonathan Soriano 78'
Celtic – Wakaso Mubarak 14' // Scott Brown 60'

Celtic starting lineup vs Red Bull Salzburg 2014 EL:- Gordon, Ambrose, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Johansen; McGregor, Commons, Wakaso, Scepovic.

Salzburg starting XI vs Glasgow Celtic 2014 Europa League:- Gulacsi, Ulmer, Schwegler, Hinteregger, Andre Ramalho, Ilsanker, Leitgeb, Kampl, Soriano, Alan, Sabitzer.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Liverpool vs Ludogorets
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Match date: 16 September 2014
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool 2-1 PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Group B)
82' Mario Balotelli 1-0 // 90' 1-1 Dani Abalo // 90' (pen.) Steven Gerrard 2-1

Liverpool starting off their Champions League campaign with all three points albeit a considerably lucky one as they defeated Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgard at Anfield.
The home side looking to take control of proceedings straight from kick off, but were unable to break down their opponent's defense.
Ludogorets themselves always threatened through their fast counter attacking play, forcing the first 45 minutes to end in goalless draw.
Nothing changed much after the break as that tie still looking tight as ever, but lady luck seem to finally smile for Liverpool as they got themselves in front through Mario Balotelli's effort on 82 minutes.
However, in injury time, Ludogorets managed to draw level with a fine finish from Dani Abalo.
Fortunately for Brendan Rodgers' men two minutes later, a goal keeping error from the visitor gifted a spot kick for Reds, which was converted by Steven Gerrard to seal a 2-1 home win.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal - Competition: UEFA Champions League

Borussia Dortmund meet Arsenal once again in the CL group stages. Last season they topped the group but only on goal differential after they tied on points with Arsenal and Napoli. They welcome the Gunners to Germany once again where they actually fell in defeat 1:0 back in 2013, so expect the Yellow Wall to be louder than ever as they seek revenge. However, brilliant tactician Jurgen Klopp will have to deal with a lengthy injury list once again, which was made even longer over the international break as Marco Reus will make another trip to the medical room. Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan will greet him there, but both are close to returning to action with the latter already back in training. However, he has admitted himself that he won’t be ready for Tuesday’s clash. But good news does come in the form of Shinji Kagawa, who put an immediate stamp on proceedings over the weekend with a goal against Freiburg in his first action since returning to Germany, and the creative Japanese midfielder will get the start here once again. The Yellow-Blacks did lose their opening match of the Bundesliga season at home but have also won all 4 of their other competitive matches.
Arsenal team travel to Germany once again in their Champions League kickoff hoping to replicate last year’s victory over the hosts. But they will hardly come up against a similar team, as the Yellow-Blacks have seen the departure of Robert Lewandowski and have an extensive injury list to cope with. The Gunners will be confident of securing a victory, although they have only won 3 of their 7 competitive matches so far. The other results ended on level terms, as Arsene Wenger’s men remain unconquered this season. Last time out saw them pick a solid 2:2 draw against Premier League champions Manchester City, though they’ll admittedly be kicking themselves for blowing a late lead. Yet again their Achilles heel was a set piece, as Demichelis scored from a corner kick after being left inexcusably wide open. But the Citizens are a dangerous team, and Borussia Dortmund have problems with so many injuries. Alexis Sanchez is in red-hot form and he appears to be the real deal with his tireless work rate. Also, Jack Wilshere is slowly re-finding the form that had the critics raving for so many years and he could cause the Black-Yellows some serious problems in the center of the park. However, the hosts aren’t often conquered at home, and this match will be a real battle.

Borussia Dortmund last 5 matches:
13/08/14 Borussia D 2 – 0 Bayern Munchen
16/08/14 Stuttgarter Kickers 1 – 4 Borussia D
23/08/14 Borussia D 0 – 2 Bayer Leverkusen
29/08/14 Augsburg 2 – 3 Borussia Dortmund
13/09/14 Borussia Dortmund 3 – 1 Freiburg

Arsenal last 5 matches:
19/08/14 Besiktas 0 – 0 Arsenal
23/08/14 Everton 2 – 2 Arsenal
27/08/14 Arsenal 1 – 0 Besiktas
31/08/14 Leicester City 1 – 1 Arsenal
13/09/14 Arsenal 2 – 2 Manchester City

Match date: 16 September 2014 - Kick Off Time: 19:45 BST
Venue: Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund 

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, 12 September 2014, 8:30 PM. Stade Gerland, Lyon, France 

Olympique Lyon team have gotten off to a nightmare start to the season, finding themselves in 17th place in Ligue 1 with just 3 points from 4 matches. Furthermore, they bowed out of the Europa League in the Play-off Round of qualifying to the Romanian club, Astra (lost on away goals with a 2:2 aggregate). Big things were expected from new manager Hubert Fournier, who led Stade de Reims back into the French top-flight after a 33-year hiatus, but nothing has gone his way so far, including having to deal with an extensive injury list. Creativity is lacking, mainly due to the absence of key midfielders Fofana, Grenier, and Gourcuff. Fofana and Grenier are expected to miss once again this Friday, while Gourcuff has returned to training, and Les Gones could be in serious trouble at home without them. They do possess one of the top attacking talents in the French league with Alexandre Lacazette, and he can always make a difference at any given moment. He formed a solid chemistry with striker Gomis last season, but the large forward has since moved on to the EPL with Swansea City, leaving a noticeable hole up top, especially with Mohamed Yattara headed to the medical room alongside a host of his teammates. They will be eager to set things right after losing their last 3 matches in Ligue 1, but if recent form tells us anything, that streak very well could be extended against AS Monaco.
AS Monaco have had a similarly disappointing start to the season, claiming just 4 points from 4 league matches so far. The 2013-2014 runners-up will be keen to climb the table after surprising defeats to Lorient and Bordeaux left them without a point from their opening matches. But form has picked up a bit, as they collected a 1:0 road win over Nantes and a 1:1 draw against fellow French heavyweights Lille. However, the lone goalscorer in the Nantes victory was the Colombian star Radamel Falcao, who has since been loaned to the EPL to play with Manchester United in a surprising eleventh hour transfer. The departure is devastating for Monaco’s Champions League hopes, both of returning as well as advancing from this year’s group stage. Coupled with the loss of James Rodriguez, new manager Leonardo Jardim must find a creative answer and a reliable lead man in the squad. Dimitar Berbatov is certainly capable, but his aging legs leave a lot to be desired in terms of speed. There are grumblings around the Monaco camp already, mainly aimed at Jardim and his new system, but the truth is he needs time, and the players need to buy into his philosophy if they hope to return to the Champions League next season. Good news comes in the form of loaned-in Brazilian centre-back Wallace as well as coming up against an injury-plagued Lyon side.

Probable lineups:
Olympique Lyon: Lopes – Jallet, Bisevac, Umtiti, Bedimo – Mvuemba, Gonalons, Ferri – Gourcuff – Lacazette, Ghezzal.
AS Monaco: Subasic – Fabinho, Abdennour, Carvalho, Kurzawa – Moutinho, Toulalan, Kondogbia – Ferreira Carrasco, Berbatov, Germain.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Switzerland vs England - Euro 2016 Qualifying
St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland
Monday, 08 September 2014 20:45

Switzerland were only narrowly beaten by later finalist Argentina in the World Cup round of 16, two months ago. The ‘Nati’ have not played since and will go into this qualifier without a test match. Meanwhile they have a new coach, Vladimir Petkovic followed Otmar Hitzfeld. He named 18 World Cup players for the squad against England. Goalkeeper Benaglio (retired), Lang, Ziegler, Gravanovic and Branetta were not nominated, they will get replaced by serveral youngsters. Pajtim Kasami (22, Olympiacos) returned to the squad, Loris Benito (22, Benfica), Silvan Widmer (21, Udinese) and keeper Marwin Hitz (26, Augsburg) will be in it for the first time. The Swiss, ninth in the FIFA world ranking, have a solid defence and several creative midfielders (Shaqiri, Behrami, Dzemaili, Xhaka) but Valon Behrami and Admir Mehmedi could not exercise on Wednesday and are not totally sure to play on Monday.
England team played a very disappointing World Cup, gained only a single point in a group with Costa Rica, Uruguay and Italy and dropped to the 20th place in the FIFA world rankings afterwards. Actually they had not played such a bad football in Brazil, where unlucky in several situations, but this knock out obviously was not good for their confidence. Ahead of the qualifier in Basel the ‘Three Lions’ completed a test match against Norway in an only half filled Wembley stadium on Wednesday. The young side had 63 percent possession throughout the game but managed only two shots on target, one of them was Wayne Rooney’s 1:0 penalty winner in the 68th minute. Rooney was named the new English captain as Steven Gerard retired after the World Cup. Midfielder Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) and defender Calum Chambers (Arsenal) made their international débuts against Norway while midfielder Jack Colback got injured and will miss the Monday match.

Probable lineups:
Switzerland: Sommer – Lichtsteiner, Schar, von Bergen, Rodriguez – Inler, Behrami – Xhaka, Shaqiri, Mehmedi – Drmic
England: Hart – Stones, Jones, Cahill, Baines – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wilshere, Sterling – Rooney, Sturridge

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Italy vs Netherlands - Competition: Friendly
Match date: 4 September 2014
Venue: Estadio Ignacio Nicolás, Bahía Blanca

Italy registered a win against Netherlands in the match of International Friendly. An early red card to Bruno Martins Indi sees Guus Hiddink’s Netherlands go down in Bari to Italy.

Italy 2-0 Netherlands (Friendly)
3' Ciro Immobile 1-0 // 10' (pen.) Daniele De Rossi 2-0

Italy starting lineup v Holland 2014 friendly:- Sirigu, Ranocchia, Bonucci, Astori, Darmian, Giaccherini, De Rossi, Marchisio, Immobile, Zaza.

Holland starting XI vs Italia 2014 friendly:- Cillessen, Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Wijnaldum, De Jong, Sneijder, Kuyt, Van Persie, Lens.

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