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Champions League group stage draw

Today saw the group stage of this seasons Champions League drawn. Liverpool have replaced mainstays Manchester United, joining Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City as England’s representatives.

 

Five time winners Liverpool will be confident of qualification from their group. However, they will have to tackle the tournament holders, Real Madrid, on the way. Chelsea will be even more confident though. While no Champions League games are easy, they have some…well…easy games. Despite the difficulty Celtic had, The Blues shouldn’t struggle against Maribor. They have potentially tough trips to Germany and Portugal though, they will still be expected to top their group.

 

Arsenal’s progression will be more of a challenge. Borussia Dortmund await the Gunners, as well as a tough trip to Turkey to face Galatasaray. It’s Manchester City, however, who have it hardest out of the English sides. They have two ties against European superpower Bayern Munich to negotiate… Continue reading →

Bundesliga Round One: Weekend Round Up

 

After the opening weekend of the Bundesliga, it appears that normal service has resumed for Bayern Munich. Bayern undeniably have looked off colour much of pre-season, culminating in their 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Super Cup 2 weeks ago. Despite loosing Toni Kroos to Real Madrid and Javi Martinez to an expected season long cruciate ligament injury, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben eased Bayern to a 2-0 lead at home against Wolfsburg. Ex Bayern striker Ivica Olic pulled one back on 52 minutes with a fantastic 18-yard shot. Despite Bayern dominating the statistics, the Belgian midfielder Junior Malanda came agonisingly close to equalising when he missed from point blank range following a shot rebounding off the crossbar.

The shock of the weekend was arguably Borussia Dortmund losing 0-2 at home to rivals Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen stunned the home crowd with the fastest ever recorded Bundesliga goal after… Continue reading →

Liverpool in talks with Milan over Balotelli move

Liverpool have started negotiations with Italian giants AC Milan over a permanent move for Italy international striker Mario Balotelli.

 

Last night it appeared that manager Brendan Rodgers wanted to sign the former Manchester City star on loan. However, Milan are said to prefer a permanent move to cash-in on any transfer. Now Liverpool have begun talks to make this happen before the transfer deadline.

 

The 24-year-old was reportedly a target for Arsenal before the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. Now the man who feels like he is always unfairly targeted is being seen as a replacement for Luis Suarez, who joined the Catalan giants this summer. Balotelli’s apparent availability has re-sparked the interest of the Gunners, with Chelsea apparently also interested as they seek a long term replacement for the returning messiah, Didier Drogba.

 

Liverpool hope to cut a deal at around £18 million but AC… Continue reading →

Monchengladbach offer ‘make or break’ season for Chelsea’s Hazard

In acquiring Eden Hazard’s younger brother Thorgan Hazard on a season long loan from Chelsea, Borussia Monchengladbach have acquired a creative midfielder who shone in last years Belgian league and is determined to prove his worth to Chelsea.   During his time with Zulte Waregem, Hazard (21) was deployed largely in the number 10 role, playing behind a lone striker. He also demonstrated his ability to play anywhere across the centre of the park in a more withdrawn central midfield role. Hazard flourished in his native Belgium as part of a system that allowed him to play as the key playmaker.   If Hazard improves on his impressive 2013/14 season with Zulte then Gladbach could conceivably have made one of the shrewdest transfers in the Bundesliga this season. In 53 appearances, Hazard returned 17 goals and 20 assists in all competitions, which suggests that his undoubted raw talent is beginning… Continue reading →
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