Man City vs Chelsea – Match preview and prediction

Manchester City look to close the gap on city rivals United to just one point at the Etihad Stadium tonight, as Chelsea try to keep pressure on Arsenal for the coveted fourth spot. Man City are without Jolean Lescott and Vincent Kompany in central defence, both out with injury, so Kolo Toure and Stefan Savic will partner. The return of Carlos Tevez to the City side is approaching, and the Argentine could feature tonight, although he is set to start the tie on the bench, with Mario Balotelli and Sergio…

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Tottenham vs Stoke – Match preview and prediction

Tottenham go into Wednesday night’s home clash against Stoke City with memories fresh in the mind of Saturday’s tragic events, that saw Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba suffer a cardiac arrest on the pitch. The game goes ahead in no small part due to the excellent recovery Muamba is making in recent days. Redknapp has told his players that with such an experience on Saturday, any players who are not comfortable taking to the field tonight, can sit out the game, although there are no indications that any players have publically requested…

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Milan put pay to media myths as Arsenal succumb in San Siro

In the space of one night, Milan have gone from over-aged, slow and toothless, to genuine Champions League contenders, in the mind of some of the less studied media writers, and to many who do not watch Serie A on a regular basis. Taking a look at recent history, the result should not come as too much of a surprise – Milan are Scudetto holders, top of Serie A this term, were the only team to take points off Barcelona in Group H, and had one of Europe’s top strikers,…

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Tottenham Club Focus – Have January transfers improved Spurs?

The January transfer deadline passed without Spurs making the marquee signing that had been hoped for since the Summer. Whether for the want of trying or not, Tottenham go into what may be a title challenging last four months of the season without Roman Pavlyuchenko, Steven Pienaar, Vedran Corluka and Sebastien Bassong, and with new signings Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen. But are we really any better off than we were on Tuesday morning? The least contentious decision would likely be the loan move of Vedran Corluka to Bayer Leverkusen.…

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QPR complete signing of Man City defender Onuoha

Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha has completed a transfer to QPR. The 25-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at City under manager Roberto Mancini, spending last season at Sunderland, and making nine appearances this term. Onuoha now links up with former teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips at QPR, who are now under the management of former Man City boss Mark Hughes. The ex-Man Utd striker is delighted at the new signing, telling AP: “He did very well for me at Manchester City and played a number of games, probably…

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Dalglish confirms Liverpool interest in Sporting youngster

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has confirmed the clubs’ interest in bringing Portuguese midfielder Joao Carlos Teixeira to Anfield. The 19-year-old Sporting Lisbon player has only just broken into his club sides’ first-team squad, but impressed Liverpool scouts in the NextGen Series last year, when he was part of a Sporting side that beat the Reds 3-0. Talking to the official club website, Dalglish revealed: “There might be something about that, yes. If we’ve something to say we’ll tell you but I think there might be something on that.” See what…

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Blackburn close to Bordeaux striker loan deal

Blackburn are set to complete a loan deal for 23-year-old Bordeaux striker Anthony Modeste. Rovers are looking to improve their fire-power, with only Yakubu (12 goals) netting more than three league goals this season so far, and the young French forward Modeste has impressed Blackburn manager Steve Kean while scoring three goals in four starts for Bordeaux in Ligue 1 this term. The deal on offer would appear to be a simple loan deal, with no option to buy the player at the end of the season, according to FIFA.com.…

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Man Utd lead race for Crystal Palace defender

Manchester United are monitoring Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne, with a view to a potential £3m move to Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mail. Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be in the market for a right-back, with the injury to Rafael meaning centre-backs, most notably Chris Smalling, have had to fill in on the right side of defence. Palace are expecting to lose the player at the end of the season, having failed to agree a renewal of his contract, and a January bid would likely be acceptable…

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Marseille defender interested in Chelsea move

Marseille right-back Cesar Azpilicueta has made clear his interest in signing for Chelsea, following recent reports linking the Spaniard to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are thought to be in the market for a right sided full-back, as a replacement for Jose Bosingwa, and with the potential exit in the coming year of 33-year-old Paulo Ferreira. Talking to L’Equipe, 22-year-old Azpilicueta revealed: “There has been no contact, and I am still bound to OM until 2014. Now, if the leaders of Chelsea want me, they should first discuss that with OM.…

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Drogba close to Chelsea exit as Shanghai links increase

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba could be about to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, linking up with former Blues teamate Nicolas Anelka, according to the club owner Zhu Jun. Drogba has been unable to find agreement with Chelsea over a new contract, and has been linked continually with a Stamford Bridge exit. It is thought the Ivory Coast international is looking for a longer term contract, but Chelsea are only willing to extend his deal by one year. Zhu Jun, the owner of Shanghai Shenhua, is quoted in the Telegraph as…

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Kakuta makes Chelsea loan exit to Dijon

Chelsea midfielder Gael Kakuta has gone on loan to French side Dijon for the rest of the season. Kakuta, 20, has already spent some time on loan at Bolton Wanderers earlier in the season, but since returning has not been able to break into the Chelsea first-team this season, with his last appearance in blue coming more than a year ago, in the FA Cup victory over Ipswich. It will be the third loan spell the Frenchman will have had since joining the London side in 2009, having also made…

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Everton ponder move for Vietnam international

Everton could be preparing a move for Vietnam striker Le Cong Vinh, after the Merseyside club sent scouts to watch him play for Hanoi Club, according to Vietnamese online newspaper VietNamNet. It is reported that Everton scout for South-East Asia, Steve Darby, was present at Hanoi’s clash against Khanh Hoa, where Cong Vinh’s side won 4-1, and is keen to recommend the Vietnam international to the Toffees in a bid to bring the player to the Premier League. Cong Vinh, 26, has scored nine goals in nine international appearances for…

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Hazard interested in Chelsea or Man Utd transfer reveals agent

Eden Hazard would be interested in joining Chelsea or Manchester United, according to the players’ agent. The Belgian international has won rave reviews over the past season playing for Lille, and has been strongly linked with moves to the Premier League, as well as to Italy and Spain, with Barcelona and Inter Milan rumoured to have sounded out the player about such a move. Agent John Bico revealed to the Daily Mail: ”He is a professional, and the club is a company. Sometimes clubs have to deal with the reality…

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Granero could make Liverpool move says agent

Out of favour Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero could be set for a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, with Liverpool a possible destination, according to the players’ agent. The Spanish attacking midfielder has found opportunties limited under Jose Mourinho since his 4m Euro move from Getafe in 2009, falling behind the likes of Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil in the central positions. Granero has played just 11 minutes in La Liga this season, over three appearances, and agent Teofilo Lazaro told the International Business Times: ”He’s finding his chances limited…

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Fulham have Maxi Lopez bid rejected

Fulham have failed in their attempts to sign Catania striker Maxi Lopez. The Serie A side have revealed that the Cottagers made a loan offer for the player, who has also been previously the subject of interest for AC Milan and Juventus. However, Chief Executive Pietro Lo Monaco told radio station Radio Mana Mana: “We didn’t accept Fulham’s offer for Maxi Lopez because they would like to take him without spending a pound. I won’t give him on loan, he has an important value.” Manager Martin Jol has revealed however…

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Watch the best goals of the FA Cup 3rd Round Proper – Vote for your favourite

As always, the FA Cup 3rd round has brought us a little bit of everything. Manchester United saw off their local rivals 3-2 at the City of Manchester Stadium, thanks in no small part to a controversial sending off for Vincent Kompany. Paolo Di Canio wants a plague of remembrance following his sides’ 2-1 giant-killing of Premier League Wigan Athletic, and the dream lives on for those facing replays, including minnows Dagenham and Redbridge. Here are the best goals of the FA Cup 3rd Round Proper, courtesy of FATV:

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Napoli boss expects tough task against Chelsea

Napoli Coach Walter Mazzarri admits his side have a difficult task ahead of them if they are to beat Chelsea, having drawn the London side in the Champions League last 16 today. Napoli progressed at the expense of Manchester City in the group stages, but their Coach is well aware of the dangers posed by the Blues: “Chelsea are one of the best teams in Europe, and after a period of crisis they are finding continuity again, also thanks to stars like Didier Drogba,” Mazzarri told Premium Calcio. “In their…

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Milan positive after drawing Arsenal in Champions League last 16

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has responded positively to news of their Champions League last 16 draw against Arsenal. The Rossoneri currently sit in third place in Serie A, and finished runners-up in their Champions League group behind Barcelona. Allegri feels the draw could have been worse for the Milanese: “We have a good chance of getting through,” he told the Corriere dello Sport. “But we have to get to February in the best condition, with all the squad available, unlike last season [against Tottenham]. We know the strengths of this…

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Chelsea set to offer McEachran as part of Cahill deal

Chelsea are set to offer Bolton a loan deal with young midfielder Josh McEachran as part of their January offer for defender Gary Cahill, according to the Daily Mail. Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas is thought to want defensive reinforcements following a less than convincing start to the season for David Luiz, and the imminent sale of Alex, who has been linked with a £2m move to Juventus. Chelsea showed interest in the summer for the England international, along with Tottenham, and the same two sides are expected to battle it…

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Liverpool eye £20m Spanish striker to solve goalscoring problems

Liverpool are reportedly interested in the services of prolific Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, according to The Metro. Soldado, who came through the youth system at Real Madrid before moving on to Getafe and subsequently Valencia, has netted eight goals from 13 La Liga appearances this season, following on from a successful term last year that has seen him interest the likes of Tottenham and Benfica. It is reported that Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is looking for a striker to help turn draws into wins, after a seaosn that has so…

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Rooney must be in Euro 2012 squad despite suspension says Wilkins

Former England midfielder and current football pundit Ray Wilkins has insisted that England must take forward Wayne Rooney to the European Championships 2012, even if he is banned for the group stage. Rooney received an initial three game ban for his sending off against Montenegro in England’s final qualifying game, ruling him out of the entire group phase of Euro 2012. Despite some calls for manager Fabio Capello to bring in a player with no suspension in his place, Wilkins says bringing the Manchester United striker is a must, even…

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Villas-Boas needs more time says Wilkins

Former Chelsea Assistant Manager Ray Wilkins has given his verdict on new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, and insists the ex-Porto man needs more time to show what he is capbale of at Stamford Bridge. Wilkins, who was dismissed controversially last season by club owner Roman Abramovich, claims the new system the Blues play leaves opportunties for the opposition: “There has been a few players brought in, and the system has changed quite a lot. AVB wants his players to press higher up the pitch, and that can consequently leave space…

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How the tickets were won in A Different League’s Heineken Star Player competition

This week saw the first Heineken Star Player mini-league for staff and fans of A Different League, and one of our lucky entrants went home with two tickets to the Champions League Group E decider between Chelsea and Valencia in two weeks time. For those of you unaware of Heineken Star Player, it is a free, real-time prediction game that allows you to earn points based on your footballing instincts. Will they score from this corner? Will the free-kick be saved? Will there be a goal in the next 30…

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Adebayor praises Redknapp after early season Spurs success

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has told of his enjoyment as being part of the Spurs side that currently sit in 3rd place in the Premier League. The Togo international netted both goals at the weekend in Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at White Hart Lane, taking his tally to five since his loan move from Manchester City, and Adebayor singled out Spurs manager Harry Redknapp as a major reason behind this season’s success: ” For me it’s always special to have a manager like him, he has given me…

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