Liverpool boss Dalglish hails talents of Suarez

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised the magnificent individual performance from striker Luis Suarez after the Reds beat Norwich 3-0, BBC Sport reports. The Uruguayan has had his fair share of negative press this season, especially following his eight game ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. However, Suarez showed how good of a player he really is with all three goals in Liverpool’s success at Carrow Road. One of the striker’s efforts was a sublime 45-yard chip and Dalglish is delighted with how well Suarez played, especially…

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Sagna insists Stoke point could be valuable

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is happy with a draw at the Britannia Stadium and believes that their point against Stoke is important, Sky Sports reports. The Gunners had Robin van Persie to thank for getting them a point against the Potters and that draw leaves them four points clear of nearest rivals Newcastle, who were beaten 4-0 by Wigan at the DW Stadium. Sagna believes the physical element Stoke offer was dealt with by Arsenal and the point is much-needed for the Gunners to push on and secure Champions League…

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Chelsea seal deal for Werder winger Marin

Chelsea have agreed a fee with Werder Bremen over the signing of German international midfielder Marko Marin, The Telegraph reports. The 23 year old will join the Blues in the summer after spending three seasons in Germany with Werder. Marin underwent a medical in London this week and terms are expected to be agreed within the coming days. A statement on the Chelsea website confirmed the deal, as the club look to strengthen their side ahead of next season. The statement said: “Chelsea Football Club have today agreed to sign…

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Racing down, Levante maintain Euro push

Racing Santander went down 3-0 at Real Sociedad to send the Cantabrians to La Segunda after 10 years in the top flight. Second-half goals from Antoine Griezmann (2) and Imanol Agirretxe ensured Alvaro Cervera’s men are mathematically relegated while Sociedad guaranteed top-flight football at Anoeta for another year. Sporting Gijon kept their slim hopes of safety alive with a convincing 3-0 win at Espanyol, whose dream of European football is all but over with this defeat. Javier Clemente’s team are now four points behind Villarreal in 17th place after Adrian…

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Sunderland Club Focus – Players need to prove themselves to stay at club

Sunderland face Bolton on Saturday knowing a win will see them equal last season’s points tally. It will be far from an easy game, however. Wanderers went to Villa Park on Tuesday night and came away with a 2-1 victory while the Black Cats could only manage a goalless draw at the same ground on Saturday. They have now failed to score in their last four games and have lost the form that defined the earlier months of Martin O’Neill’s time in charge. The will also be missing Craig Gardener…

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Arsenal tempted by Bilbao midfielder Martinez

The Daily Telegraph has reported that Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez has been watched by scouts from Arsenal as Arsene Wenger continues to search for additions to the Gunners squad for next season. Yann M’Vila has been a name consistently mentioned in connection with a move to the Emirates Stadium but the newspaper notes that competition for the France international could drive the price tag past what Wenger is prepared to pay. The Telegraph suggests Martinez would be “a more realistic option” as Wenger looks to add greater defensive strength…

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Chelsea defender Cahill a doubt for Champions League final

Gary Cahill is facing a race against time to be fit for Chelsea’s Champions League final with Bayern Munich after suffering a hamstring injury during the Blues’ semi-final triumph over Barcelona, the Guardian has reported. If Cahill cannot feature for Chelsea in the showpiece at Bayern’s Allianz Arena on May 19 it would leave interim manager Roberto Di Matteo with something of a defensive headache, as captain John Terry is ruled out of the match after his straight red card in the semi-final, as is Branislav Ivanovic, who is banned…

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Van Persie could delay Arsenal contract talks until after Euro 2012

Arsenal could face a wait to discover the future of captain Robin van Persie after the BBC reported that the Netherlands international may wish to delay talks over a new contract to stay at the Emirates Stadium until after Euro 2012. It was previously thought that both Arsenal and van Persie wanted to clarify the situation before the striker left for international duty, with a gap at the end of the season, after the end of the Premier League campaign but before the start of preparations for Euro 2012, said…

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Abramovich to offer Guardiola total control of Chelsea in bid to woo Barca boss

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will offer Pep Guardiola unprecedented control over affairs at Stamford Bridge in an attempt to convince the soon-to-be-ex Barcelona Head Coach to step into the managerial vacancy at the club, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Guardiola on Friday confirmed he was to step down from his role at the Nou Camp after four years in charge, citing exhaustion as the primary reason. At the same time the 41-year-old said he would be taking at least a year out from football yet the Telegraph says Guardiola is…

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Chelsea boss Di Matteo hopes for uneventful QPR match

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has revealed he hopes the Blues’ Premier League meeting with Queens Park Rangers passes off without incident, the Guardian has reported. The fixture between Chelsea and QPR is surrounded by controversy due to the legal action involving Chelsea captain John Terry and R’s defender Anton Ferdinand. The Stamford Bridge crowd is expected to emphatically signal their support for Terry and the newspaper notes that Ferdinand has already admitted he believes he will receive plenty of ‘stick’ during the contest. The defender added that there…

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Guardiola denies Chelsea contact

Sky Sports says that departing Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has scotched rumours he has had contact with Chelsea over the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge. Guardiola is leaving the Catalans at the end of the season after four years in charge and is planning to take a sabbatical from football in order to recharge his batteries and spend more time with his family. However, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is a keen admirer and, although interim boss Roberto Di Matteo has excelled in the role since the sacking of Andres Villas-Boas,…

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Mourinho plans big changes at Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho is planning changes that could see up to eight players leave Real Madrid before the start of next season, reports Sport. The Portuguese boss has been working alongside director of football Jose Angel Sanchez in recent weeks with a view to strengthening the squad for next season, especially since both are aware prices for the top players could rise significantly if they excel at Euro 2012 this summer. Of particular concern is the right-back spot, where a number of options have been tried this season following the re-conversion…

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Tito Vilanova: The Quiet Man

Francesc ‘Tito’ Vilanova, Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man and the person who will succeed him as Barcelona boss, is very much one of the Camp Nou alumni. In many ways Vilanova is closer to a lot of the Barca players than Guardiola, having known some of them virtually all their professional football lives and coached them as kids, but the decision to appoint him to the hot seat has still come as something of a bombshell. Surprising and unexpected yes, maybe even astonishing, yet in terms of continuity at a club…

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Liverpool Club Focus – Reds eye form ahead of cup final

Goal-shy Liverpool head into their next Premier League match against Norwich City knowing that not only would an eighth top-flight defeat in eleven games for the Reds allow the Canaries to go level on points with them, but it would also cast serious doubt over the Merseysiders’ chances of finishing in the top ten. For a side that was aiming for a Champions League place at the start of the campaign, a bottom half finish would be a significant disappointment, regardless of how many trophies they end up clinching this…

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Newcastle Club Focus – Crucial clash for Magpies with in-form Wigan

Newcastle travel to Wigan Athletic this weekend with the hope of extending their winning run to seven games. The Magpies are in with a great chance of securing one of the Champions League slots although this is very much a must win game. Wigan have turned around their season in impressive style with recent wins over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. With the teams around Newcastle all playing winnable games this weekend it is crucial that Alan Pardew’s men come away from Lancashire with at least a point.…

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Manchester United Club Focus – Welbeck restricts Hernandez’ playing time en route to winning new contract

With Danny Welbeck’s contract negotiations seemingly finding their conclusion, the striker has been well worth the reported trebling of his £15,000 per week wages. Having spent last season on loan at Sunderland, Longsight-born Welbeck came into the United side at the start of the campaign with some impressive performances. He started in the Community Shield at Wembley, and then again against West Brom in the opening league fixture of the season. In the next two games against Tottenham and Arsenal he opened the scoring, before suffering a hamstring injury that…

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Blackburn Club Focus – Spurs trip not so daunting anymore

Steve Kean’s struggling Blackburn Rovers side will travel to White Hart Lane this weekend, knowing that a much-needed victory against top-four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur would boost their chances of survival in the top division of English football. While many neutrals will have Spurs down as favourites to win due to their vastly superior position in the table, recent form suggests that the north London outfit may find it difficult to overcome a resilient Rovers side who will be fighting for their Premier League lives. Harry Redknapp’s men have won just…

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Tottenham Club Focus – Blackburn a must win game despite the disarray

By the time Tottenham Hotspur kick off their match on Sunday at home to Blackburn Rovers, their three rivals for a Champions League place will have all played. Arsenal are away to Stoke, where they have struggled before; Newcastle are away to a Wigan Athletic team fighting for Premier League survival, whilst a probably tiring Chelsea take on QPR. The worst case scenario for Spurs is their rivals win, meaning Spurs will be looking distantly at the top four from sixth place. The best case is that Spurs will receive…

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Aston Villa Club Focus – Testing week for McLeish leaves Villa on the brink

A week ago it was suggested that this would be a season-defining week for Aston Villa, and that is exactly what it has proven to be. With one point from two important home ties against Sunderland and Bolton, Villa are now just 3 points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and in real danger of dropping down into the Championship. But who is to blame for such a poor season? Is it Randy Lerner and his tightening of the budget? Is it Martin O’Neill spending the money Lerner once…

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Everton Club Focus – Ever-reliable Osman reaches 300 Toffees appearances

Leon Osman is poised to make his 300th Everton appearance if selected for the Toffees’ next Premier League fixture, at home to Fulham on Saturday, and the graduate of Everton’s prolific academy has been one of David Moyes’ most reliable performers for the duration of his career at Goodison Park. Osman is one of only two players who was on Everton’s books when Moyes took over in March 2002 – Tony Hibbert, Osman’s fellow youth team graduate, is the other and the right-back played in Moyes’ first fixture in charge,…

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Corluka criticises Redknapp after Tottenham slump

Vedran Corluka, the Tottenham Hotspur defender currently on loan at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, has blamed manager Harry Redknapp for the loss of form that has left Spurs outside the Champions League places, the London Evening Standard has reported. Tottenham have gone from challenging for the Premier League title with Manchester United and Manchester City to fifth in the table, three points behind Newcastle United in fourth place and six adrift of North London rivals Arsenal. Spurs were also unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage…

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Guardiola confirms he will leave Barca

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season, reports El Economista. Guardiola is understood to have informed players and staff of the decision not to renew his one-year rolling contract at training on Friday morning – the first since Barca were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea on Tuesday night – and despite club President Sandro Rosell having tried to change his mind he will now take time out of the game to be with his family and recharge…

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Dalglish sees Liverpool future for Aquilani

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has said misfit midfielder Alberto Aquilani could have a future at Anfield if the player’s loan spell with Milan does not turn into more than a temporary move, the Independent has reported. A clause in the loan contract between Liverpool and Milan for Aquilani says a £6m transfer will automatically go through if the Italian plays 25 games for the Serie A side. Aquilani has made 22 appearances this season but has been a substitute for the last four games, failing to get off the bench…

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Mancini admits Balotelli could return to Manchester City derby squad

Roberto Mancini has suggested that wayward striker Mario Balotelli could be recalled to the Manchester City squad for the derby match against Manchester United, the BBC has reported. The match between the two clubs could go a long way to deciding the whether the Premier League title will remain at Old Trafford or cross the city to reside at the Etihad Stadium, as United currently lead the table by three points from City, but a City win on Monday evening would take them top of the pile on goal difference…

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