Arsenal Focus – Wenger’s men looking to make a dent in Champions League

A shattering collapse in Italy in the first leg of their round of sixteen match against AC Milan last season was enough to end Arsenal’s Champions League dream for another year. In truth, few fancied Arsene Wenger’s side to make any impression among the continent’s elite and, despite a spirited comeback attempt back at home in North London, the Gunners fell short and crashed out. The aim will be to better last year’s performance – even without the now-departed Robin van Persie. Five months on, Arsenal have discovered the identity…

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Fulham Focus – Berbatov signing could be the light at the end of the tunnel

Even the staunchest Fulham fan would admit that it has not been the best week for the Cottagers. After their defeat at Old Trafford last Saturday followed a dismal cup exit to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, star man Moussa Dembele was sold to Tottenham Hotspur. On top of that, the Clint Dempsey situation remains unsolved. Although the defeat to Manchester United brought a good performance from Martin Jol’s men, a defeat is a defeat and the Cottagers should have approached their Capital One Cup tie at Hillsborough in a determined…

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Tottenham Focus – Modric departure leaves gap in Spurs midfield

Luka Modric has left for Spain, and with his departure Tottenham have lost their midfield general. The Croatian dynamo may have left a sour taste in the manner of his departure, but as many Spurs fans may acknowledge, Modric was integral to Spurs, controlling and dictating the team’s tempo as a deep lying creative midfielder. Arguably this season, Spurs have looked to Andr

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Newcastle Focus – Pardew hoping to build on midweek Europa success with a win over Villa

Alan Pardew says he will feel “absolutely delighted” if his Newcastle side can beat Aston Villa on Sunday and finish their gruelling opening fortnight with another win. Given their opening three Premier League fixtures – which included two of last season’s top four – plus the two Europa League ties against Atromitos, six points and a spot in the group stages of the latter competition would certainly be a healthy return. We recently wrote that if those five matches came in the second half of the season they would be…

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QPR Focus – League Cup could kickstart Hoops’ season

A convincing 3-0 win against League One side Walsall was enough to convince QPR manager Mark Hughes that his side is improving after their poor start to the Premier League campaign. The League Cup second round tie saw the return of Ali Faurlin, who missed most of last season’s survival campaign. The Argentinian midfielder played the full 90 minutes against Walsall and is aleady starting to impress. Hughes said: “I think psychologically he needed to get over that hurdle of completing 90 minutes, which he did very, very well I…

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West Ham Focus – Will Carroll finally shine?

Andy Carroll has finally made the switch from Liverpool to West Ham on a season long loan. The summer-long speculation surrounding Carroll has concluded and his choice of destination will be celebrated around Upton Park. The deal on the face of it is a good one, but will West Ham benefit from the Carroll signing? If we look at the pros of this transfer we will see why the majority of West Ham supporters will welcome the coup with open arms. Despite the issues he has had in finding his…

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Sunderland Focus – Mackems looking to bring Swansea’s excellent start to a halt

Coming off another good showing, this time against Morecambe in the Capital One Cup, Sunderland will be looking to build on a very positive start to their campaign. A surprising but much welcomed result against powerhouse Arsenal on opening day help set the tone for what should be a very exciting season at the Stadium of Light. Next up is Swansea City, scorers of eight goals in their first two games and off to a remarkable start to the season. They will provide a stiff test for the Mackems who…

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Man Utd winger Young out of England squad

England manager Roy Hodgson is facing an injury headache after Manchester United winger Ashley Young pulled out of the squad to play Moldova and Ukraine with a knee problem, the Independent has reported. Young picked up the injury during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Fulham in the Premier League last weekend and had to be substituted during the match. The former Aston Villa player has been a regular feature in Hodgson’s team during the former West Bromwich Albion boss’ short England tenure. While Young’s injury is not thought to be…

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Vieira believes Man City can get through Champions League group

Patrick Vieira believes Manchester City can get out of a Champions League group containing La Liga champions Real Madrid, Ajax, the champions of Holland, and Borussia Dortmund, who have won the Bundesliga two years in a row, the Metro has reported. Vieira, who ended his playing days at City and is now the club’s director of football development, admitted that City had been drawn in the toughest group of the competition but that the players will be excited at the prospect of testing themselves against the likes of Real Madrid.…

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Man Utd insist Rooney is not for sale

Manchester United have moved to put an end to rumours linking Wayne Rooney with a move away from the club, insisting that the England striker is not for sale at any price, ESPN has reported. Rooney himself had previously announced on Twitter that there was no truth in media reports linking him with an exit from Old Trafford following the signing of Robin van Persie. Now the club’s chief executive, David Gill, has gone on record to dismiss the notion that the former Everton forward’s days are numbered at the…

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Liverpool striker Carroll finally seals move to West Ham

Andy Carroll finally completed his long awaited move away from Liverpool, making the switch to London and to Sam Allardyce’s West Ham on a season-long loan deal. The Daily Telegraph reports that having wanted to stay at Anfield and fight for his place despite the indifference new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers appeared to have for Carroll’s style of play, with the transfer window soon closing and the reality that staying on Merseyside would bring little playing time, Carroll accepted the move to Upton Park. The Hammers had earlier deemed the…

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Man City make surprise Wright signing

Former Arsenal, Everton and England goalkeeper Richard Wright has joined Premier League champions Manchester City in a surprise move just weeks after leaving Preston North End because he was homesick and missing his family in his native Suffolk, the Daily Mail has reported. Wright was released by Preston a matter of weeks into his contract with the League 1 club after Wright indicated he did not want to be away from his family for so long. The Mail adds however that City will help Wright’s family move to Manchester for…

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Lyon claim Tottenham move for Lloris is close to collapse

France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris appears set to stay at Lyon for the remainder of the season as the the Daily Mirror reports Tottenham Hotspur’s move to purchase him has stalled. A deal for Lloris, capped 38 times for Les Bleus, had appeared to be in place but with the transfer window closing late on Friday, Lyon claim Spurs have changed the terms of the previously agreed deal. A statement on the French club’s website read: “Olympique Lyonnais have not reached an agreement with Tottenham for the transfer of…

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Rodgers admits Liverpool need new faces on deadline day

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted the club will have to be active on transfer deadline day after acknowledging that he is looking for new players before the window closes, the Daily Mail has reported. Rodgers was speaking after seeing Liverpool draw 1-1 with Scottish Premier League side Hearts in a Europa League play-off. The Reds won the tie 2-1 on aggregate but while Liverpool were in action against the Jambos, striker Andy Carroll was in London completing a loan move to West Ham. It is the departure of Carroll…

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Man City to move for Maicon and Javi Garcia

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hopes to sign at least two players on transfer deadline day, Inter’s Brazil full-back Maicon and Javi Garcia, the Spanish international midfielder currently with Portuguese side Benfica, the BBC has reported. Maicon is intended as cover at right-back for Argentinean international Pablo Zabaleta and is available for around £5m. The 31-year-old has been at Inter since 2006, having previously played for Monaco and Cruzeiro. Garcia, meanwhile, is valued at around £24m and became Mancini’s preferred target when Daniele De Rossi opted to remain with Roma.…

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Torres: I owe Chelsea

Fernando Torres has come a long way since May 19th, when having won just won the Champions League with Chelsea, Torres spoke of just how unhappy he was at the club following a season that saw him play mostly second fiddle to Didier Drogba, particularly in the big games. However, the the Daily Mail suggests that now, with Drogba gone and Torres the clear first choice striker, the Spaniard is far happier with life with Stamford Bridge. “I had a conversation with Robbie (Di Matteo) and with the board and…

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Villas-Boas accuses Hamburg of disrespecting Tottenham over van der Vaart deal

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has poured cold water on the proposed transfer of Rafael van der Vaart to former club Hamburg after insisting the latest offer from the Bundesliga side was disrespectful, the Independent has reported. A return to Germany has long been mooted for van der Vaart, who played for three years at Hamburg before moving to Real Madrid. It was from the Spanish side that van der Vaart joined Spurs but the Netherlands international is facing competition for his place in the side from new signing…

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Wenger looking to injured players to strengthen Arsenal squad

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not expecting a busy transfer deadline day, insisting that while the club has the money to make further signings they are unlikely to do so, with instead the upcoming return to fitness of Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna how the Gunners intend to strengthen, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Wenger has already added Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla to his roster this summer, while seeing Robin van Persie and Alex Song depart. Wenger admitted that he is always looking to improve…

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Chelsea to loan out Sturridge if Schurrle deal is done

Chelsea are willing to let Daniel Sturridge leave the club on loan but only if they can complete a deal to sign Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle before the transfer window closes, the Guardian has reported. The Champions League winners have offered around £20m for Schurrle, having had a bid of £16m turned down earlier in the summer. Leverkusen have previously insisted they will not sell the 21-year-old but it is thought that the player is tempted by the prospect of playing in the Premier League, which could yet tilt…

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Champions League draw in full – Man City face Real Madrid, Chelsea get Juventus test

In Monaco this afternoon the Champions League group stage was drawn and already in this early round there are some big ties to look forward to. The most eye catching group of the lot sees the Spanish champions vs the English, Dutch and German champions in group D. Manchester City were hoping they wouldn’t be pitted against the opponents of this calibre again but they will have to overcome the toughest group in the entire draw with second favourites Real Madrid and past winners Ajax and Borussia Dortmund vying for…

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Liverpool close in on Leverkusen youngster

Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Samed Yesil from Bayer Leverkusen as Brendan Rodgers continues to transform his new team. According to the Daily Mail the deal is in the region of £1m and is expected to be completed with plenty of time to spare before tomorrow’s deadline. The 18-year-old attacker has only made one league appearance for Leverkusen but has impressed on international duty, with 19 goals in 21 games for the German U-17 team. Yesil will become the fifth summer signing for Rodgers and the second…

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Celtic emerge as favourites for Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero could be a shock arrival in the SPL if Celtic can fend off interest from Tottenham over the next 48 hours. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian attacker is interested in a move to the Scottish Champions after rejecting a move to Sion in favour of a Champions League side as well, as a change from Italian football – where he has spent his career. Spurs are said to be weighing up an offer for the free agent but the opportunity to have another season…

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Tottenham back in for Llorente

With just over a day to go before the transfer window slams shut, Tottenham Hotspur look to be one of the more active clubs in the market with Sky Sports suggesting that the Lillywhites are eyeing up at a late bid for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente. The 27 year old shot to stardom last season as the spearhead of a an Athletic Bilbao attack side that reached the Europa League final, beating Manchester United in the process thanks to two goals from Llorente. Llorente, a member of Spain’s victorious…

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QPR have Granero bid accepted

Queens Park Rangers are set to make another marquee signing before the transfer window closes with Esteban Granero currently on his way to London to have a medical and discuss personal terms with the R’s. According to Sky Sports, the Real Madrid midfielder has been allowed to leave the club and a deal has been struck for a permanent deal with QPR. Granero has come through the Real Madrid ranks playing at all levels before being sold to Getafe in 2008 following a successful loan spell there. He only spent…

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Berbatov having medical at Fulham

Dimitar Berbatov is currently having a medical at Fulham after what has been a whirlwind of a 48 hours. Reported by Sky Sports the Bulgarian striker has accepted a move to Craven Cottage and is currently working through the procedures to get the deal done before 11pm tomorrow. The 31-year-old was expected to sign for Fiorentina after the Serie A side had an offer accepted by Manchester United. But after a controversial 24 hours in which the attacker flew to Florence and had discussions with Juventus instead, he now seems…

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