Sport Belgium see far beyond Monday's World Cup opener against debutants Panama but need a solid win to settle nerves and rack up goal difference as a "golden generation" of club greats seek finally to deliver as a team. 16 Jun 2018 11:20PM Bookmark MOSCOW: Belgium see far beyond Monday's World Cup opener against debutants Panama but need a solid win to settle nerves and rack up goal difference as a "golden generation" of club greats seek finally to deliver as a team.Defensive injury concerns for veteran squad leader Vincent Kompany and Barcelona's Thomas Vermaelen have eased and coach Roberto Martinez has sent standby defender Laurent Ciman home.In any case, they may be more needed for Tunisia and then England in Group G, than against Panama. Celtic's Dedryck Boyata may step in to give Kompany's groin more time to recover.An unbeaten qualifying campaign under the Spaniard, brought in after quarter-final disappointment at Euro 2016, had Martinez bring the kind of … [Read more...] about Ambitious ‘golden’ Belgians eye flying start vs. Panama
Chelsea vs barcelona
Lionel Messi begins the latest quest for the elusive major international title on Saturday when Argentina play Iceland in a Group D match of the Fifa World Cup 2018. Messi has been tasked with the heavy burden of guiding Argentina to a long-awaited World Cup title, and just to get that confidence going, that positive feeling going, the Barcelona man will want to make a really good start both personally and as a team. The pressure is already on as far as the individual honours are concerned, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick in his opening match, while Diego Costa showed he might be in the running for the Golden Ball as well with a brace of his own in a hard-to-take-your-eyes-off Group B cracker between Portugal and Spain on Friday. While Argentina vs Iceland isn't quite as evenly matched as Portugal vs Spain, the South Americans will know the smallest country ever to qualify for the World Cup is no pushovers. Therefore, Jorge Sampaoli, the manager, will undoubtedly go with … [Read more...] about Argentina vs Iceland: Get ready to watch Fifa World Cup 2018 Group D fist match live from Russia
THEY are impossible to imitate: the Argentine "dwarf" genius, who is the greatest club player of all time, and the long-deceased Scottish manager who turned a second-tier club into a global empire. It is not just the magnitude of their achievements that makes Lionel Messi and Bill Shankly unique, it's the way they did it: original, idiosyncratic and far-fetched enough to ensure they could never have come out of a factory mould. So when an Egyptian and a German are suggested as the unlikely replicants, you fear the feelgood factor at Anfield has reached intoxicating levels. Yet such is the impact that both Mo Salah and Jurgen Klopp are making, the comparisons demand scrutiny. Salah's left foot certainly bears a resemblance to that of the Barcelona superstar. As we saw against Roma, it has the accuracy of a laser, the delicacy of a heart surgeon and the loft of Phil Mickelson's lob wedge on a tight green at Augusta. This season it has brought him more goals than Messi who, while still … [Read more...] about If Mo is Messi, Klopp is Shanks
By Graham Dunbar The Associated Press Fri., April 13, 2018 NYON, Switzerland—Two-time defending champion Real Madrid will play Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals in a clash off clubs with a combined 17 European titles. The two European powers have never met in the final but this will be their seventh semifinal meeting in the 63-year-old competition. The first leg is in Madrid. In the other semifinal, Liverpool was drawn to face Roma in a repeat of the 1984 final. The English team won that match in the Italian club’s home stadium. Liverpool will play at home first. Read more: Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty puts Real Madrid into Champions League semifinals; Bayern Munich advances Article Continued Below Roma pulls off remarkable comeback to knock out Barcelona; Liverpool beats Manchester City The first legs will be played on April 24-25, with the return games on May 1-2. The final is scheduled for May 26 at the Olympic Stadium … [Read more...] about It’s Madrid vs. Bayern, Liverpool vs. Roma as Champions League sets semifinal matchups
CONTRARY to certain opinions, there's still an awful lot to play for in what remains of the European football season. The title races may be over in England, France and Germany and "all bar the shouting" in Spain, but who will be top dog in the whole of Europe? Can rave reviewed Manchester City win the Champions League or will Liverpool prove too tough a hurdle? Can the Reds evoke the spirit of Istanbul and win it themselves? Can Arsenal sneak through the tradesman's entrance and qualify for next season's tournament? Can Jose Mourinho put a bit of false gloss on a non-season by winning the FA Cup? Will West Ham's bubble truly burst? Among the little guys, can all three promoted sides stay up? Long shot, but can Burnley finish above the Gunners in the table – on one tenth of the wage bill? Can Arsene Wenger survive? There are more than enough issues among Premier League clubs to keep us waking before dawn until the tainted snooze-fest of the World Cup begins. Indeed, with … [Read more...] about Nothing to play for?