Transfers Manchester City January transfer news LIVE: Man City to clinch Alexis this week Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:00 1/9/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Manchester City Premier League Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Citizens as the January transfer window heats up Man City to clinch Alexis this weekAlexis Sanchez’s move from Arsenal to Manchester City could be completed as early as this week, claims the Express.City have refloated their interest for Pep Guardiola’s former Barca charge in January, with the two clubs entering talks.The Premier League leaders want the deal done as soon as possible, and hope to land Alexis in a move worth around £30 million Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Wenger: Arsenal can’t compete with City for EvansArsene Wenger has insisted that Arsenal are not in a financial position to compete with Manchester City after hinting at being interested in Jonny Evans.Both clubs are apparently keen on the West Brom defender but Wenger is adamant that his side are “second best” to City when it comes to negotiating the transfer.Read the full story on Goal! Arsenal to use Debuchy in Evans deal?Arsenal could send Mathieu Debuchy to West Brom as part of a deal to sign Jonny Evans, according to the Evening Standard.The Gunners reportedly have yet to meet West Brom’s £25 million valuation for Evans, with Manchester City also interested in the centre-back. But the inclusion of Debuchy could sway the Baggies, who are keen to add the right-back.Pep asked City to prioritise Alexis over Van DijkPep Guardiola asked Manchester City to prioritise a deal for Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez over any possible move for Virgil van Dijk, according to reports (via Metro).Van Dijk completed a £75 million transfer to Liverpool at the beginning of the window.The Gunners want £35m for Sanchez but City could sign the Chilean on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.Wenger out, Arteta in at ArsenalArsene Wenger is ready to cut his contract short and end his two-decade tenure at Arsenal, reports the Daily Mirror. Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest compounded Wenger’s frustrations, with the Premier League already out of reach. And former Gunners man Mikel Arteta could step into the breach, ending his spell as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City assistant.City & Arsenal in Alexis talksManchester City and Arsenal are negotiating the transfer of Alexis Sanchez, Goal can confirm. Arsenal have told City that they want in the region of £35 million for Alexis, who is out of contract at the end of the season.However, City are optimistic that they can agree a deal worth around £25m to complete the signing of their long-term transfer target in the January window.Read the full story on Goal! Wenger denies Evans bidArsene Wenger has denied making a bid to bring West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans to Arsenal.Former Manchester United defender Evans has been linked with a January move to the Emirates Stadium, with Manchester City also reported to be interested.However, while Wenger is keen to further improve his squad in the January window, he insists he has not made an approach for Evans.Read the full story on Goal! City set for stunning Maguire bidManchester City are set to make a stunning £50 million bid for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, reports The Sun. Pep Guardiola has been impressed with the England defender since his move from Hull last summer are willing to part with a massive sum to bring him in, despite also being linked with cheaper options. The Man City boss ideally wants a centre-bavk who would be eligible to play in the Champions League, and Maguire fits the bill. Fred waiting for Guardiola’s callManchester City target Fred has admitted he is waiting to hear from Pep Guardiola regarding a move.Goal understands City are keen on the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder as Guardiola looks to add depth to his squad in the middle of the park.Read the full story on Goal!
Juventus Juventus sweating on Higuain ahead of crunch clash with Spurs Dom Farrell 00:33 3/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Juventus Serie A Paulo Dybala Lazio v Juventus Lazio Paulo Dybala will lead the line for the Serie A champions against Lazio, but his fellow Argentine is set to rest his injured ankle once more Gonzalo Higuain faces a race to be fit in time for Juventus’ Champions League trip to Tottenham but fellow forward Paulo Dybala will return to Massimiliano Allegri’s starting line-up for Saturday’s game at Lazio.Higuain sustained an ankle injury during the derby against Torino two weeks ago and, even though he was given an international recall by Argentina on Thursday, he is still not ready for a return to club action.Conversely, Dybala missed out on a place in Jorge Sampaoli’s national squad but Allegri views him as the man for the job in attack at the Stadio Olimpico despite a recent hamstring problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Higuain won’t be ready,” he told reporters. “He still has a bit of nuisance with his ankle.”As for London, we’ll think about that in a few days. You have to be confident.”We will think about the Champions League next week. Now, let’s focus on tomorrow’s game. It’s a very important game for us and for them. It will be a very big day for all of Serie A.”Dybala will be in the game from the first minute.”The capital clubs could have a major impact on the destination of the Scudetto, with leaders Napoli entertaining Roma after Lazio host Juve.Allegri’s men were beaten by the Biancocelesti in a dramatic Supercoppa Italiana last August, while Simone Inzaghi’s men also prevailed at the Allianz Stadium in Serie A two months later.”We lost the last two games due to making mistakes,” Allegri said when assessing Juve’s third-placed opponents.”They are a physical and technical team who deserve the position they have.”They give little away and are well trained by Inzaghi. Moreover they are very good on high balls and in the aerial battles.”[Sergej] Milinkovic-Savic is one of the most interesting young players in Europe and you don’t need my judgement to say that.”
Transfers Messi: I like Griezmann, he’s one of the best Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 14:20 5/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty/Goal Transfers Primera División Atlético Madrid Barcelona Lionel Messi Antoine Griezmann The French forward’s future is a hot topic of discussion and the Argentine’s comments will only fuel speculation of a switch to Camp Nou Lionel Messi praised Antoine Griezmann as “one of the best” amid reports linking the Atletico Madrid forward with Barcelona .Griezmann is widely linked with a switch to the Liga champions in the close-season after another prolific campaign for Atletico.Messi talked up the France international as one of the world’s best and he would seemingly be happy to have the 27-year-old at Camp Nou. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now “It’s obvious that I like him. He’s one of the best right now,” the Argentina star told RAC1 .”I don’t know if there’s anything with him or not, but we’re delighted that the best come and Griezmann is one of them.”Messi was speaking after Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad in the great Andres Iniesta’s last game for the club .After a campaign in which Barca won La Liga and the Copa del Rey, Messi was satisfied with his side’s season.”It was a very good season. We went back to get La Liga and the cup,” he said.
Real Madrid ‘Zidane’s Real Madrid exit a little strange’ – James Rodriguez Joe Wright 17:52 6/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Real Madrid Zinédine Zidane Bayern München Primera División Bundesliga The Bayern Munich loanee, who was allowed to leave the Bernabeu last summer, admits to being surprised by goings on in the Spanish capital James Rodriguez admits he was surprised to see Zinedine Zidane step down from his role as head coach of Real Madrid.Zidane made the shock announcement at a news conference on Thursday, just five days on from winning his third successive Champions League title, having taken charge of the first team in January 2016.James, who joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal last year after struggling for regular football under Zidane, says the timing of the former France star’s departure was “a little bit strange”. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Asked if he was surprised by the news, he told reporters: “A little bit, yes, because he’s had three years there where he has practically won everything.”It’s a little bit strange, no? But it was his decision. I think he did good things in all three years.”James’ own future has come under scrutiny in the wake of Zidane’s decision to leave.Bayern have an option to sign the Colombia international on a permanent deal during his loan spell, but there are suggestions he could decide to return to Madrid for 2018-19.Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Madrid youth coach Guti are among the favourites to succeed Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The good news for all is that blue sky is forcing it’s way through yesterday’s rain clouds and things are looking positive for tomorrow’s kick-off of the National Touch League. The Open and 20 years teams have all arrived in Coffs Harbour, or are doing so today, with many venturing down to Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium for a training session or just to check out the facilities. The 132 referees and National Selectors are also all arriving today and will enjoy an opening function at The Greenhouse Tavern tonight. The Mayor of Coffs Harbour, Jenny Bonfield, will visit Australian Touch Association and Permit Officials at the Stadium tomorrow night, to welcome the competition to Coffs Harbour. With some of the outside fields waterlogged, there has been field re-scheduling with some games moved to the spare fields, which are in a suitable condition for the tournament. The Stadium is looking good, with staff carrying out final preparations such as field markings and finalising draws and arrangements. Tents are also being set up around the main stadium to help cope with the 2500 players and officials attending over the next 10 days, as well as the large number of spectators expected to watch Australia’s, and also the World’s, top touch footballers. The Open and 20 years competition concludes on Tuesday with the Seniors Divisions beginning their competition on Thursday 18th and finishing Sunday 21st. For further information please contact: Australian Touch Association Media Officer, Rachel Moyle on 042 223 3165.
As well as semi finals, playoffs for the other divisions will also take place, while a developing state final and community final will be played in addition to the main final. The games to be played on Saturday morning are as follows:18’s GirlsSemi Final OneQueensland Secondary Schools Touch v Sydney RebelsSemi Final TwoNew South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges v New South Wales Combined High Schools Fifth and Sixth PlayoffSunshine Coast Pineapples v South Queensland SharksSeventh and Eighth PlayoffNorth Queensland Tropical Cyclones v Hunter Western HornetsNinth and Tenth PlayoffSouth West Queensland Swans v Northern EaglesEleventh and Twelfth PlayoffACT v Northern TerritoryThirteenth and Fourteenth PlayoffBrisbane City Cobras v New South Wales Combined Independent SchoolsFifteenth and Sixteenth PlayoffSouth Australia Heat v Sydney ScorpionsSeventeenth and Eighteenth PlayoffTasmania v Victoria18’s BoysSemi Final OneQueensland Secondary Schools Touch v South Queensland SharksSemi Final TwoNew South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges v New South Wales Combined High SchoolsFifth and Sixth PlayoffSydney Scorpions v North Queensland Tropical CyclonesSeventh and Eighth PlayoffCentral Queensland Bulls v Brisbane City CobrasNinth and Tenth PlayoffWestern Tigers v Northern EaglesEleventh and Twelfth PlayoffNorthern Territory v New South Wales Combined Independent SchoolsThirteenth and Fourteenth PlayoffHunter Western Hornets v Sunshine Coast PineapplesFifteenth and Sixteenth PlayoffACT Pirates v TasmaniaSeventeenth v Eighteenth PlayoffVictoria v South AustraliaTo view all of the times and fields for the finals and playoffs, please click on the following link:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-742-0-0-0&a=COMPS
Touch Football Australia (TFA) is currently using tablets to improve their business efficiency, productivity and service. TFA continues to work with official TFA supplier, Tablet PC Solutions, to choose the right tablet for the job and seek technical advice and development. Find out how you can make the right choice too! For more information, please click on the link below: http://www.makethetouch.com.au/which-tablet-is-best-for-me/Related LinksMake the Touch
Everton boss Marco Silva unsure of January plansby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton boss Marco Silva has played down the prospect of buying in January.Silva admits he may wait until the summer to sign players, rather than risk wasting money in the January window.“This is always a difficult market,” he said. “If we are not 100 per cent, we have to be at least 95 per cent sure they will come here to improve our squad.“If you can do everything well during the summer, it would be better so then you don’t have to change many, many things.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Crystal Palace boss Hodgson delighted as Solanke undergoes medicalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is delighted to be closing a deal for Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke.Solanke is currently undergoing a Palace medical.”It’s no secret he’s a target,” said Hodgson. “What would he do? Provide an attacking threat. He’s a proven goalscorer through all the age groups at (former club) Chelsea and England.”If he comes here, it’ll be up to him to show he can do that in Premier League football.”He’s someone with the profile we’re looking for, and the ability we are looking for. We know him better from the England games, and the performances with England.”I thought he was a good signing from Liverpool’s point of view, but he’s been kept out of the team by some very strong players.”It would take some player to knock their front three out of the team so it’s not a negative in relation to him that he’s not been able to do so.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say PSG captain Thiago Silva backing move for Napoli midfielder Allanby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG captain Thiago Silva is backing their move for Napoli midfielder Allan.PSG are willing to pay big money for the Brazil international this month.And Thiago Silva says, “I was really surprised by Allan. “When I was following the Brazilian league, I thought he was a good player, but in the Champions League I realised he was a lot stronger than I thought. “If he came to join us, we would be very happy. Otherwise, I wish him the best with Napoli.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard: Let Van Ginkel rehab calmlyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says there’s no pressure on Marco van Ginkel over his knee rehab.Lampard admits the midfielder, who was set to return to PSV Eindhoven last summer, has suffered a setback in his recovery.He stated: “He is injured for a longer period. “Unfortunately, there were some complications with his surgery. We do not want to set a precise time for his recovery, but let him rehabilitate calmly. He is very diligent and his attitude could not be better. “He works extremely hard every hour of the day. He is positive, despite the fact that I am convinced that it is very difficult for him.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool winger Woodburn taking inspiration from ex-Arsenal winger Gnabryby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool youngster Ben Woodburn has taken inspiration from the journey of Serge Gnabry.Bayern Munich winger Gnabry was brought into the spotlight before the international break after he scored four goals against Tottenham Hotspur.Woodburn is currently struggling on loan at Oxford United, but Gnabry’s past struggles at Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion are providing him with motivation.”I feel like I have had so much experience and yet I am still only young and learning. Watching someone like Serge Gnabry develop is a big help,” the Wales international, who celebrates his 20th birthday on Tuesday, told the Daily Mail.”I saw his four goals for Bayern Munich against Tottenham in the Champions League. When he was 20, he couldn’t get a game on loan at West Brom.”He has shown you can push through if you keep working hard and hopefully I can do something like he’s done.”
Cameroon kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations title defence with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in Tuesday’s Group F clash.The 2017 winners were made to work hard for their victory in Ismailia, as both goals arrived in a three-minute period in the final half-an-hour of the match.Yaya Banana broke inexperienced Guinea-Bissau’s resolve with a header in the 66th minute and substitute Stephane Bahoken made a swift impact by adding a second. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Guinea-Bissau, competing in the finals for just a second time, struggled to create much over the 90 minutes and relied on Jonas Mendes to keep them on level terms until Cameroon eventually made the breakthrough.FULL TIME | Cameroon – Guinea-Bissau 2-0 #TotalAFCON2019 #CMRGNB pic.twitter.com/YlNEb3x6AH— CAF (@CAF_Online) June 25, 2019Christian Bassogog fired over with the angle against him from the best of the Indomitable Lions’ first-half chances and Mendes got down to his right to push aside Joyskim Dawa’s header from the next big opening 29 minutes later.It looked like it was going to be a frustrating day when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was the next to be thwarted by Mendes with his curling effort from outside the box early in the second half, but Banana found a way through just past the hour.Karl Toko Ekambi sent in the corner and Banana’s downward header beat Mendes and covering defender Rudinilson Silva on the line.And it did not take long for the second goal to arrive, as a headed clearance in the box ricocheted off Sory Mane and fell nicely for Bahoken to sweep home from six yards.Guinea-Bissau almost pulled one back 18 minutes from time, only for Piqueti Silva’s header to hit the frame of the goal. KEY OPTA FACTS- Cameroon have lost only one of their last 10 Africa Cup of Nations games (W4 D5), after losing three of their previous five.- Guinea-Bissau have lost their last three games in the Africa Cup of Nations.- Cameroon have kept four clean sheets in their last five Africa Cup of Nations games.- Cameroon’s last eight goals in the Africa Cup of Nations have been scored after the 59th minute.- Banana and Bahoken both scored their first goals in the Africa Cup of Nations with their first shots in the competition. read more
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, his former coach Daniel Pavan believes.The 26-year-old has known Pavan since the age of 10 and in the last two seasons the Brazilian has emerged as one of the game’s best keepers.He helped an unfancied Roma reach the Champions League semi-final in 2018, and a year later played a pivotal role as his new club Liverpool won Europe’s biggest club competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Just last month he was in between the sticks as Brazil won the Copa America, the country’s first international triumph in 12 years.Alisson and his Manchester City compatriot Ederson are widely regarded as the two best goalkeepers in the world, but they remain outsiders when it comes to collecting football’s most coveted individual award.The only goalkeeper ever to receive the Ballon d’Or was Lev Yashin of Dynamo Moscow in 1963 – almost six decades ago.Pavan, however, believes that Alisson deserves to be talked about as a potential recipient of the Ballon d’Or.”I believe that because of Alisson’s level of performance, his regularity and winning the Champions League he has total conditions to be a nominee and even deserves to receive the Ballon d’Or,” he told ESPN.”I think it’s a good opportunity to show that goalkeepers also deserve to earn this honour.”Alisson began his career at Internacional in Brazil where Pavan is the current goalkeeping coach.Pavan is also a big fan of Ederson, who was selected in the 2018-19 Premier League team of the season, despite Alisson winning the competition’s Golden Glove award for keeping a record 21 clean sheets.Alisson, though, is Brazil’s number one and it is a position he is unlikely to relinquish anytime soon.“They are very similar goalkeepers,” Pavan continued.“Both have an excellent game with their feet, know how to get off the goalline very well, are very firm and secure.”I think Alisson comes in a better sequence – more top performances for club and country – and is the best goalkeeper in the world today.”He has the confidence of [Brazil goalkeeper coach Claudio] Taffarel and [manager] Tite, they rely heavily on him and that’s why he holds the shirt for the Selecao.”Both Alisson and Ederson will face one another on Sunday in the Community Shield, the curtain-raiser to the new campaign in which the latter hopes to win a third consecutive Premier League title. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has delivered his verdict on the club’s new additions, as well as the young players expected to make an impact in the first XI this season, and said he feels he is someone the youngsters can look to emulate.Although the England international is just 21, he has made 111 appearances for the Old Trafford club, plus 32 for his country since breaking into the first team in 2016.Rashford has played with Harry Maguire at international level, the defender having joined for £80 million from Leicester City , but had no experience of Daniel James, or Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and the pair of 21-year-olds have impressed him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “Over five, 10 yards, Daniel James is the quickest I’ve seen,” the Manchester-born man told The Times .“It’s a massive strength, you can put everything in front of him.”“Harry [Maguire] brings calmness. Playing with him for England, you feel assured at the back, and for a team that’s massive.”“Naturally [Wan-Bissaka] is an attacker, and they’re always the hardest to get past because they understand what forwards are thinking. That’s what makes him a top defender. His physical abilities are very good. He’s young and with the attributes he has, you can only see him going up and up, and there’s not a better place for him to develop.”Rashford was developed at the United academy and believes that Solksjaer’s commitment to youth will bear fruit.Several players are looking to follow the path trod by Rashford this year, with Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Tahith Chong among those to impress in pre-season.He also says that he hopes to be an inspiration to the players who make the step up this year, as former United greats were for him.“That’s one of the things he (Solskjaer) holds on to very closely”, the striker added. “He always wants to give them opportunity.“I want to make a difference. I’ve experienced Champions Leagues, Europa Leagues, World Cups, so I’m in a great position to offer advice.“I looked up to the likes of [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes, [Nicky] Butt coming through the academy and understand these players now look up to me, wearing the No. 10 shirt, scoring important goals. That motivates me.”
How will Juventus line up this season? Truth be told, we’re not even sure how they’ll line up on Saturday, when they kick off their Serie A campaign at Parma.Sadly, there’s even some doubt as to whether new coach Maurizio Sarri will even be cleared to sit on the bench, given he is presently struggling with a bout of pneumonia.As such, there’s even more uncertainty surrounding the Bianconeri than would be natural after a change in leadership. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Replacing the pragmatic Massimiliano Allegri with a self-confessed “dreamer” like Sarri created enough intrigue as it was, without the unexpected and unwelcome concerns over the latter’s health.However, it is the club’s attempts to put together a squad capable of winning the Champions League that is really responsible for the sense of unease among Juve fans right now.As we’ll outline below, the Bianconeri have been busy this summer, but not busy enough, as sporting director Fabio Paratici still needs to offload a number of big names before the close of the transfer window in order to balance the books.Consequently, Juve are likely to begin their bid for a ninth consecutive Scudetto with players that could well be sold before matchday two, which only adds to the cloud of confusion hanging over a club that have for so many years been synonymous with stability and sensibility.An interesting season lies ahead for everyone involved…GOALKEEPERSThe big news is that Gianluigi Buffon is back. After his surprise and ill-advised decision to move to Paris Saint-Germain last year, the 41-year-old has rejoined the club he helped win nine Serie A titles. However, Buffon returns after a dismal season at Parc des Princes, best remembered for his error-strewn display against Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League. So, he is not expected to mount a credible challenge to Wojciech Szczesny for a starting berth.Indeed, it is telling that the ever-humble Buffon politely declined when offered both the No.1 jersey and the captain’s armband by Szczesny and Giorgio Chiellini, respectively. “I just want to do my bit for the team,” the World Cup winner explained.Buffon should certainly see some game time as Mattia Perin has been ruled out of action until November with a shoulder injury that scuppered his chances of a move to Benfica in July.DEFENDERSIt would be difficult to overstate the importance of Juve’s acquisition of Matthijs de Ligt. We’re talking about one of the best defenders to emerge on the scene in years, a player wanted by Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.In addition, when one considers that Manchester United paid €85 million for Harry Maguire, an inferior centre-half to De Ligt in so many areas, the Dutchman should prove a bargain at €75m.The 20-year-old old is certainly an incredibly valuable addition to a Juve defence that was in dire need of a rejuvenation, given Andrea Barzagli has retired, Giorgio Chiellini is now 35, and Leonardo Bonucci just three years younger.While Bonucci retains a wonderful range of passing, he hasn’t been the same player since returning from AC Milan and struggles in a back four, anyway, meaning De Ligt will partner the still-brilliant Chiellini in the heart of the defence, especially as Daniele Rugani appears to be heading towards the exit door despite the success of his previous spell with Sarri at Empoli.However, it will be worth keeping an eye on another new signing, Merih Demiral, the 21-year-old Turkey international who has impressed in pre-season and could force his way into the starting line-up sooner than expected.Worryingly, though Juve are well stocked in the middle, they now look short on quality out wide, and particularly on the right-hand side.The decision to let the dynamic Joao Cancelo join Champions League rivals Manchester City was bad enough, but taking Danilo in return was downright bizarre. Given Mattia De Sciglio and the versatile Juan Cuadrado are the only other options at right-back, Juve will have an obvious weak link no matter who starts.As for the opposite flank, Alex Sandro is obviously an excellent attacking full-back but the complete lack of quality cover is a serious concern.MIDFIELDERSJuventus have long been regarded as the masters of the free transfer and they’ve reminded everyone of precisely why by picking up both Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot for nothing (if we exclude wages and signing-on fees!) this summer.Both should go straight into the starting line-up, as Ramsey is the kind of goal-scoring midfielder the Old Lady has been lacking for years, while Rabiot, for all the concerns about his temperament, is an immensely talented player with the requisite mix of physique and technique to belatedly replace fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba.Miralem Pjanic will be again charged with pulling the strings in the middle of the park, despite ongoing concerns over his efficacy in the biggest games.Emre Can is obviously a viable alternative, after impressing all and sundry with his drive and versatility last term, but the perception remains that the Germany international is not as good as he thinks and will never be anything other than a useful utility player.Rodrigo Bentancur, meanwhile, has shown plenty of promise and is still improving. The same cannot be said of Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira, both of whom are 32 and very clearly in decline. The pair have undeniably served the Old Lady well but that both are still at the club is surprising.FORWARDSThere is just one certainty in attack: Cristiano Ronaldo will start. But where will he play? And who will start alongside him? That we do not know the answer to either question just three days before the start of the new Serie A season will be of as much concern to the Portuguese perfectionist as Juve fans.The Bianconeri have spent the majority of the summer trying to offload Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain – yet all three are still at the club. Of course, all three could yet depart, meaning Sarri still doesn’t know which forwards he’ll be relying on this term. Hardly surprising, then, that he recently labelled the situation “embarrassing”.Of the three, Dybala appears to have the best chance of starting, at least on Saturday, as he has played well in pre-season and Sarri has spoken optimistically about deploying ‘La Joya’ as a false nine.Then again, Mandzukic worked well with Ronaldo last season, regularly swapping positions with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, while Higuain is the most orthodox No.9 Juve have and has a good rapport with Sarri.The market will probably decide everything, though. If Juve were to land Mauro Icardi, the exiled Inter striker would obviously lead the line, with Ronaldo on his preferred left flank.However, if no No.9 arrives, expect Ronaldo to play through the middle, with Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi on the flanks.Both wingers had their issues last season but both are being tipped to excel under Sarri this season. Costa has, at times of late, looked like his old unstoppable self, while Bernardeschi appears finally ready to become a Juve regular.COACHNapoli fans were understandably upset by Sarri’s appointment as Bianconeri boss, given the Tuscan’s previous ties to the Partenopei.The bitter response from some Juventini was more surprising, though.”Sarri has no class, regardless of whether he dresses in a suit or a tracksuit,” former Juve president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli told Radio Kiss Kiss.”I won’t forget the middle finger he flashed at the Juve fans when he was on the team bus. He can stick that finger somewhere else…”I don’t think Gianni Agnelli would’ve chosen someone like Sarri. He is a fine coach, but in terms of communication, he was never able to say anything less than unpleasant and malevolent towards Juve.”Cobolli Gigli certainly doesn’t speak for all of the fans but it would be far to say that many will have to be won over by a coach who only won his first trophy, the Europa League, last season, with Chelsea.Still, while Sarri may not have a stellar CV, he does have a well-earned reputation for playing good football – which is something that was lacking during Allegri’s final season in charge at Juve.The chain-smoking 60-year-old is expected to go with his tried-and-trusted 4-3-3 formation as he looks to not only deliver a ninth consecutive Scudetto but also claim Juve’s first European Cup since 1996.It won’t be easy but given Sarri’s attractive style of play, and penchant for creating controversy, this season should certainly be exciting.HOW JUVENTUS COULD LINE UP
GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: A view from the end-zone as the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 15, 2007 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Tennessee 59-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)The news keeps getting worse for the Florida Gators football program. After freshman corner Justin Watkins was suspended following a second arrest earlier this week, six other players are facing university discipline.The six players engaged in an on-campus confrontation in late May. According to a report from First Coast News, wide receiver Kadarius Toney, defensive tackle Kyree Campbell, Tyrie Cleveland, Rick Wells, tight end Kemore Gamble and quarterback Emory Jones were involved in a confrontation with Gainesville-area gambler named Devante’ “Tay Bang” Zachery.University police started their investigation after a witness called 911. According to the report, the six football players were among a group of 10-15 people involved in the altercation.Here’s more from the report:Zachery, 21, and his friends were waiting for the football players near the dorms. The football players began to confront the group, but left in vehicles, the report states. As the group left, they could be heard yelling, “We coming back strapped,” the report states.The other group returned and a confrontation ensued. One player reported the group had a baseball bat, a red laser being pointed at another player’s chest and another individual threatening “Come any closer, I’ll spray you.”Zachery told police, he observed one football player holding “some sort of assault rifle and some others were [holding] rocks.” Police wrote, they didn’t believe Zachery’s story and thought he was minimizing the incidents he was describing, the report states.Toney and Campbell were recommended to UF’s Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution department for an “incident by holding and pointing what appears to be assault rifles (later determined to be airsoft rifles) at other individuals on campus,” the police report states.None of the six players have been charged with a crime.Florida opens the season against Charleston Southern. The game is scheduled to take place on September 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET – the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.[First Coast News]
Kirk Herbstreit.The college football season is six weeks old and everyone is chasing the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has the most-explosive offense of his time with the Tide as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the Heisman Trophy front-runner despite not playing in a fourth quarter.Alabama leads the nation in points scored per game with over 56. The Crimson Tide are also in the top-12 nationally in points scored against, allowing just over 16 points per game.With Alabama’s dominance this season, some are wondering if the national title race is already over. Can anyone keep the Tide from bringing home back-to-back titles?Kirk Herbstreit attempted to answer that question. Herbie named the biggest threat to Alabama before the national title.He thinks LSU will give Alabama a test during the regular season and Georgia will provide the “biggest test” in a potential SEC title game.Before Atlanta? At LSU. But biggest test obviously will be Dawgs in Atlanta. Rematch of last years Natl Title. Same setting. Chance to be epic. https://t.co/iQAtBUDhCd— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 11, 2018It will be interesting to see how Alabama performs against an elite defense – which both LSU and Georgia have.Alabama faces Missouri this weekend.
FS1Saturday night showed once again why Alabama is the No. 1 team in college football. Although the offense scored a season-low 24 points, the defense pitched its second consecutive shutout against Mississippi State.It was a dominant performance from the Tide, but one college football analyst wasn’t impressed. Noted SEC hater Danny Kanell chimed in after Alabama’s 24-0 win over No. 16 Mississippi State.Kanell poked fun at the fact LSU and Mississippi State field two of the worst offenses in college football. For those touting Alabama’s defense as legitimate, Kanell doesn’t agree.“Pretty impressive back to back defensive performances for Bama. Shutting down the 104th and 106th ranked passing offenses. Wow,” Kanell said on Twitter.Pretty impressive back to back defensive performances for Bama. Shutting down the 104th and 106th ranked passing offenses. Wow.— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) November 10, 2018Just a little sarcasm from the former Florida State quarterback.Next up for the Crimson Tide is a matchup against the Citadel. After that, Alabama takes on Auburn in its regular-season finale and the Georgia in the SEC title game.
The best story of the 2018 college football season belongs to Purdue super-fan Tyler Trent. ESPN’s College GameDay ran a feature on Trent, who was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and he quickly became the most-beloved fan in the nation.Trent was on hand to watch Purdue pull off the upset of the season when the Boilermakers took down an undefeated Ohio State program. The Boilermakers finished the season with a 6-6 record – enough to make a run at a bowl game.In two days, Purdue takes on Auburn in the Music City Bowl and Trent will be in attendance thanks to one NFL team.Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay flew Trent and his family to Nashville on Wednesday so he could watch the Boilermakers take on the Tigers.Tyler Trent, a former Purdue student and Boilermakers superfan who is suffering from a rare form of bone cancer, will be at the Music City Bowl on Friday with help from the @Colts. https://t.co/MuMsvOhaTd— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 26, 2018There’s no more deserving fan in the country than Trent. It’s a classy move from Irsay and the Colts organization to make this happen for Trent and his family.Purdue and Auburn kick off on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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