Saturday, March 31, 2018

Messi keeps Barcelona’s unbeaten run alive in La Liga

Football – Inquirer Sports
Messi keeps Barcelona’s unbeaten run alive in La Liga
Messi keeps Barcelona's unbeaten run alive in La Liga

MADRID — Even without being fully fit and despite playing only a few minutes, Lionel Messi still had enough to keep Barcelona from losing in the Spanish league. Messi, who recently missed two international friendlies with Argentina because of a leg muscle problem, scored an 89th-minute equalizer in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Saturday. […]

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Willie Mullins quintet checks in for Sunday's Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Willie Mullins quintet checks in for Sunday's Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse
Willie Mullins quintet checks in for Sunday's Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse
Willie Mullins is mob-handed in his bid to finally win the Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Police release images of 15 West Ham fans they want to speak to over London Stadium disorder

The Independent - Football
Police release images of 15 West Ham fans they want to speak to over London Stadium disorder
Police release images of 15 West Ham fans they want to speak to over London Stadium disorder
The 3-0 defeat against Burnley was marred by violent clashes between fans, the players and the club owners in the director's box

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Galway camogie manager forced out after no-confidence motion by players

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Galway camogie manager forced out after no-confidence motion by players
Galway camogie manager forced out after no-confidence motion by players
A no-confidence vote by players has forced the resignation of Galway senior camogie manager Tony O’Donovan just four months after he was appointed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Completing World Cup 2018 sticker album will cost more than £770

The Independent - Football
Completing World Cup 2018 sticker album will cost more than £770
Completing World Cup 2018 sticker album will cost more than £770
Even with 10 friends swapping it might still cost them each £247 on average to complete the album, maths professor says

Gaelic Players Association hits out at decision to cancel Allianz Football League games

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Gaelic Players Association hits out at decision to cancel Allianz Football League games
Gaelic Players Association hits out at decision to cancel Allianz Football League games
The Gaelic Players Association has added its voice to the growing anger over the cancellation of Allianz Football League games

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

UEFA scraps 'cup-tied' rule for its competitions from next season

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
UEFA scraps 'cup-tied' rule for its competitions from next season
UEFA scraps 'cup-tied' rule for its competitions from next season
Teams in UEFA's club competitions next season will be able to make a fourth substitute in extra time and use new signings who have already played in the tournament for their former sides.

Monday, March 26, 2018

These players will *definitely* miss penalties for England at the 2018 World Cup

Dream Team FC
These players will *definitely* miss penalties for England at the 2018 World Cup

Who doesn’t love a shootout?

The World cup is almost upon us, which can mean only one thing… England losing on penalties.

So, in advance of the inevitable happening and the Three Lions getting bounced out after spot kicks, this should save you the hassle of worrying whether those stepping up will convert or not.

A familiar sight for England fansRex Features

Sure things

We’ll start with those who will definitely keep their cool in Russia (touch wood), should we find ourselves 12 yards from victory.

Harry Kane- Scored 21 out of 27 penalties

You would put your house on Kane producing the goods in Russia.

Despite failing to score 6 of his 27 penalties, the Spurs man still boasts an impressive record from the spot.

One small caveat, Kane once missed a penalty in an international friendly against Turkey in 2016.

Sure thingGetty Images - Getty

Jamie Vardy- Scored 10 out of 12 penalties

A firm believer in simply smashing it down the middle, you would back Vardy to convert in Russia.

The Foxes’ striker is in great form and confidence has never exactly been an issue for Vardy.

However, one of his unsuccessful pens was saved by Simon Mignolet, which is worrying…

A man lacking in confidence

Ashley Young- Scored 5 out of 8 penalties.

Maybe Southgate took into consideration Young’s penalty record when deciding to reignite his international career.

Despite the fact he is yet to take a penalty for Manchester United, Young had no hesitations with stepping up when at Aston Villa.

However, his last penalty was back in 2011, he might be a bit rusty.

Action Images - Reuters Tom Daley and Hugo Lloris[/caption]

Marcus Rashford – Scored 3 out of 3 penalties

Having fronted the line against Holland on Friday night, Southgate looks set to place a lot of faith in Rashford.

The United man will back himself from 12 yards considering his impressive record.

Rashford converted his most recent pen in a European Under-21 championship qualifier against Denmark in 2016- international pedigree.

Getty - Contributor “Few beers at the weekend, mate?”[/caption]

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Yet to bottle it

With Kane and co getting England off to a flyer in the shootout, if need be, Southgate could choose to draft in these as the cavalry.

Danny Welbeck- Scored 2 out of 2 penalties.

As he boasts a 100% record from the spot, Welbeck could feel aggrieved that he didn’t make it as one of the ‘sure things.’

Despite this, it just wouldn’t have felt right ever classing Welbeck as a ‘sure thing.’

Dat guy scored his most recent spot kick against AC Milan in the Europa League, he totally didn’t dive to get it either.

Getty - Contributor Dat guy[/caption]

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain- Scored one and only penalty

The Ox has a 100% success rate from the spot.

Granted he has only taken one penalty, but still.

Little Mix’s biggest fan doesn’t know what it’s like to miss a penalty and surely he can take confidence from that.

Action Images - Reuters When you don’t get Little Mix tickets[/caption]

Ryan Bertrand- Scored one and only penalty

If fit and in-form, you can make a case for Bertrand being an England starter.

More likely to be making appearances off the bench, Bertrand could prove useful in extra time as a fresh wing-back.

Southgate should take note that he converted his one and only penalty against Crystal Palace in 2016.

Can’t tell if Bertrand or Beckham?Rex Features

Raheem Sterling- Scored one and only penalty

These 100% records are stacking up nicely.

The World Cup is basically in the bag already!

Sterling’s one and only successful pen came against Heurelho Gomes for Watford last year.

People still celebrate that goal against Italy

Dele Alli- Scored his one and only penalty.

Another player with a 100% record.

Alli netted his only pen against out of favour England Keeper, Fraser Forster.

If the Spurs man can convert as many as he earns for his club, England will never lose a shootout again.

Divey Alli!Rex Features

Adam Lallana- Scored his one and only penalty

In the words of Tim Sherwood, Lallana’s record is second to none.

Provided Lallana can prove his form and fitness, he could well be stepping up for England in a shootout.

The Liverpool man has already scored a penalty on the international stage, firing past Pepe Reina in an international friendly against Spain in 2016.

Needs a trimGetty - Contributor

Jordan Henderson- Scored his one and only penalty

After somehow being given the armband on Friday against Holland, Henderson is obviously a man who Southgate trusts.

Henderson scored his only career pen in 2015 against Arsenal.

He beat David Ospina, the man who could realistically face England should Colombia also make it out of their group…Omens.

What is he doing here? FFSEPA

Not to be trusted

Jesse Lingard- Missed one and only pen

Despite netting against Holland, Lingard’s penalty record makes for disappointing reading.

Lingard has taken just one spot kick, and he missed it… promising signs there then.

Since that missed pen whilst on loan at Birmingham City in 2013, Lingard’s career has accelerated, maybe he could be a changed man?

AFP or licensors 25 year old man[/caption]

James Tarkowski- Missed two of two penalties

Tarkowski’s inclusion in the latest Three Lions squad was a surprise to many- even more of a surprise after you see his pen record.

When playing for Brentford in the Championship, the Burnley defender missed two out of two penalties.

This would strongly suggest that he should be last on the list of takers and makes you wonder why he was taking penalties anyway!

New profile pictureRex Features

Avoid at all costs

Gareth, for everyone’s sake, please don’t let this lot step up.

Man City defensive duo John Stones and Kyle Walker, are both yet to take a penalty.

Oooo, Man City friendsEamonn and James Clarke CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets have this brilliant offer when you sign up and bet a fiver

The same goes for Spurs pair Eric Dier and Kieran Tripper.

Harry Maguire is also a pen virgin and despite being tidy with the ball at his feet, he doesn’t strike me as the composed type in front of goal.

Pinnacle of English footballReuters

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

The goalkeepers’ union have started their traditional slamming of the World Cup ball

Dream Team FC
The goalkeepers’ union have started their traditional slamming of the World Cup ball

The World Cup is many things to many people.

It’s Pele laying it off for Carlos Alberto, it’s Diego Maradona’s hand but more importantly, his feet, it’s front-flipping Miroslav Klose, Andres Iniesta and Mario Gotze’s extra-time winners…

But more deep down at its core, the World Cup is goalkeepers slagging off the ball.

If De Gea’s going to struggle, what hope do the others have?Getty - Contributor

Don’t let this tradition’s recency detract from its nobility.

England’s Paul Robinson wasn’t impressed with the ‘plastic casing’ of the Adidas Teamgeist in 2006.

“When the ball gets wet, it’s even worse,” he told the BBC.

“It’s as if the new ball has a plastic casing around it.

“It doesn’t even have to be a shot from Roberto Carlos or Ronaldinho, the ball will be moving about all over the place.”

Moving all over the place, wasn’t it Paul?AP:Associated Press

The infamy of 2010’s Jabulani is well known.

Adidas’ effort for the first World Cup on African soil was widely criticised by the goalkeepers’ union™.

Iker Casillas described it as being ‘like a beach ball’, Hugo Lloris called it a ‘disaster’, while Gigi Buffon simply branded it ‘shameful’.

Turns out he gets on with beach ballsEPA

USA keeper Marcus Hahnemann said: “Technologay is not everything.

“Scientists came up with the atom bomb; it doesn’t mean we should have invented it”

Fun fact: a Jabulani hangs in London’s Design Museum as an example of a product not fit for purpose.

Diego Forlan aka ‘The Jabulani whisperer’AFP

2014’s Brazuca was spared the treatment — there must have been greater matters for the keepers to attend to in Brazil.

But this year, the complaints have returned.

Speaking about Adidas’ Telstar 18, Pepe Reina said: “I bet you as much as you like that we’ll see at least 35 goals from long range [in Russia], because it’s impossible to work out.

“And it’s covered in a plastic film that makes it difficult to hold on to.

“Goalkeepers are going to have a lot of problems with this ball.

“They should change it – there’s still time.”

Don’t think it’ll cause you too much trouble from your seat on the bench, PepeAFP or licensors

David De Gea backed up his compatriot, saying: “It’s really strange.

“It could have been made better.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen led the charge from Germany’s camp.

“The ball could be better; it moves a lot,” he said.

“But I think we’re just going to have to get used to working with it, and try to get to grips with it as quickly as possible before the World Cup starts.”

Ter Stegen is less keeper and more deep, deep, deep-lying playmakerGetty - Contributor

Fair play to the keepers for once again getting their excuses in early.

We hear that 2022 ball is a right nightmare…

Credit to the definitely follow-worthy Adam Hurrey for reminding us of this motif.

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READ MORE:

What happened to the four England players who missed their penalties at the 2018 World Cup? Does Mauricio Pochettino REALLY need to win a trophy to be regarded as a great manager? The exact moment Danny Welbeck’s Man United career was taken out back and shot between the eyes

'England needs to be more accessible' - RFU to stage home tests

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
'England needs to be more accessible' - RFU to stage home tests
'England needs to be more accessible' - RFU to stage home tests
England are ready to stage home Tests away from Twickenham, starting with next year's World Cup warm-up matches as the Rugby Football Union seeks to make the national side more accessible.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

International friendly round-up: Cristiano Ronaldo sends Portugal past Egypt as Germany and Spain draw

The Independent - Football
International friendly round-up: Cristiano Ronaldo sends Portugal past Egypt as Germany and Spain draw
International friendly round-up: Cristiano Ronaldo sends Portugal past Egypt as Germany and Spain draw
Miranda, Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho were on target as Brazil beat World Cup hosts Russia 3-0 in Moscow, an Ola Kamara hat-trick helped Norway thrash Australia 4-1

Friday, March 23, 2018

Usain Bolt delights fans by scoring in Dortmund training

Football – Inquirer Sports
Usain Bolt delights fans by scoring in Dortmund training
Usain Bolt delights fans by scoring in Dortmund training

DORTMUND, Germany — Usain Bolt trained again with German soccer club Borussia Dortmund on Friday and this time scored a header and a penalty in front of nearly 1,500 spectators. The 31-year-old retired sprint great took part in team exercises under coach Peter Stoeger, exchanging passes with Mario Goetze and others in the relaxed session. […]

The post Usain Bolt delights fans by scoring in Dortmund training appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Liverpool Supporters Want Star Defender As Reds Captain After Holland Appointment

All the latest breaking football news, transfer rumours, analysis, and match reports - 90min
Liverpool Supporters Want Star Defender As Reds Captain After Holland Appointment
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was confirmed as Holland's new captain on Thursday, following former skipper Arjen Robben's retirement from international football last year. The centre-back, who joined the Anfield side from Southampton in January to become the most expensive defender in the world, will wear the armband for the first time when the Netherlands play England in Amsterdam on Friday, and Reds fans have reacted by calling for the Liverpool captaincy to be handed to him as well....

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

World Cup 2018 kits: Each home and away strip rated — now vote on your favourite

The Independent - Football
World Cup 2018 kits: Each home and away strip rated — now vote on your favourite
World Cup 2018 kits: Each home and away strip rated — now vote on your favourite
From Belgium (brilliant) to Brazil (bright), from Egypt (basic) to England (boring), vote on your favourite international kit

Mo Salah is officially FIFTH favourite for the Ballon d’Or – so could he really win it?

Dream Team FC
Mo Salah is officially FIFTH favourite for the Ballon d’Or – so could he really win it?

He’s the man of the moment.

But could Mohamed Salah really upset the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duopoly to win the Ballon d’Or this year?

CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets have this brilliant offer when you sign up and bet a fiver Mo Salah scored four and set up one to thump WatfordMo problems for defendersReuters

Salah is relentless, a goalscoring machine like no other in the Premier League this season which should now culminate in the Golden Boot.

The Egyptian King has bagged 13 goals in 12 games in 2018 and currently sits top of the European Golden Shoe rankings too.

So there really is no reason why he can’t win it.

Salah’s face is everywhere

Well, according to Sun Bets, Salah – at a punchy 14/1 – is the fifth favourite to scoop the Ballon d’Or behind Lionel Messi (6/4), Neymar (11/4), Kevin De Bruyne (6/1) and Cristiano Ronaldo (6/1).

Messi and Ronaldo have shared the last ten awards equally since Kaka lifted the trophy in 2007.

The likes of Franck Ribery and Andres Iniesta have all tried and failed to displace the two demi-Gods.

MO SALAH IS 14/1 WITH SUN BETS TO WIN THE BALLON D’OR IN 2018
Ballon d'Or odds

Salah is currently fifth favourite at 14/1 Behind only Messi, Neymar, De Bruyne and Ronaldo Leads the European Golden Shoe rankings BACK SALAH AT 14/1 TO WIN THE BALLON D’OR IN 2018 WITH SUN BETS
Five times for RonaldoAFP

But given Salah’s electric start to 2018 he can’t be ignored.

If – and it’s a big if – the Liverpool star can translate his personal heroics into collective success for club and country he really would be on the radar.

Second place and a Champions League final appearance for Liverpool and then overachieving with Egypt at the World Cup?

Could Salah and Egypt spring a shock in Russia?

That’s the kind of return he needs, coupled with consistent brilliance at the back end of 2018.

But given Salah’s popularity across the board we really fancy him at 14/1 to cause a stir.

MO SALAH IS 14/1 WITH SUN BETS TO WIN THE BALLON D’OR IN 2018

READ MORE:

What do the last 20 seasons of Player of the Year tell us about Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah’s chances? How Liverpool’s entire season was shaped by a German rejection Mohamed Salah mania: What the ‘Egyptian King’ means to his fans back home PLAY DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER Pick seven players to win £10k!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Real Madrid Ready to Battle Liverpool in Chase for Brazilian Star & Prepare £60m Offer

All the latest breaking football news, transfer rumours, analysis, and match reports - 90min
Real Madrid Ready to Battle Liverpool in Chase for Brazilian Star & Prepare £60m Offer
ffer Liverpool are expected to hit the market for a world-class goalkeeper in the summer and are believed to have made AS Roma and Brazil stopper Alisson their chief target. The Reds' goalkeeping woes have been well documented over the last few seasons, with both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius having really poor spells between the sticks. Karius is now Jurgen Klopp's first choice keeper, but Mignolet has been tipped to make an exit at the end of the season. The Anfield side are reported as...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ronaldo vs Messi: Scoring race heats up in Spain

Football – Inquirer Sports
Ronaldo vs Messi: Scoring race heats up in Spain
Ronaldo vs Messi: Scoring race heats up in Spain

MADRID — Regardless of who wins the Spanish league title, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will be battling it out to the end. Real Madrid doesn’t have much chance of keeping Barcelona from winning the league, but Ronaldo is making a strong run to snag the scoring title from Messi with nine matches remaining. Ronaldo […]

The post Ronaldo vs Messi: Scoring race heats up in Spain appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Antonio Conte delighted with the 'fighting spirit, desire and will' of his Chelsea players in Leicester win

The Independent - Football
Antonio Conte delighted with the 'fighting spirit, desire and will' of his Chelsea players in Leicester win
Antonio Conte delighted with the 'fighting spirit, desire and will' of his Chelsea players in Leicester win
Chelsea will play Southampton for a place in the FA Cup final

Homecoming for Irish rugby team cancelled due to adverse weather

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Homecoming for Irish rugby team cancelled due to adverse weather
Homecoming for Irish rugby team cancelled due to adverse weather
Ireland's Grand Slam winners will parade their Six Nations trophy in the Aviva Stadium today.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Two familiar faces are back in Italy’s squad to play England

Dream Team FC
Two familiar faces are back in Italy’s squad to play England

Gianluigi Buffon will still be playing for Italy when we’re all long gone.

Italy’s latest squad for the upcoming friendlies against England and Argentina makes for interesting reading.

Four months after announcing his international retirement Buffon is back.

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#Azzurri 🇮🇹
Luigi #DiBiagio has named his squad for the friendlies against #Argentina 🇦🇷 in #Manchester, 23/03 ko 20:45 CET; and #England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧 in #London, 27/03 ko 21:00 CET#ArgentinaItaly #EnglandItaly #VivoAzzurro pic.twitter.com/IKUzE5lxzE

— Italy (@azzurri) March 17, 2018

Buffon has been named as one of Italy’s three goalkeepers along with AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Genoa’s Mattia Perin.

Giorgio Chellini, who followed Buffon in announcing his retirement after Italy failed to make the 2018 World Cup, is also in the squad.

But there is no place in Luigi Di Biagio’s squad for Mario Balotelli who was rumoured to be close to a recall after impressing with Nice.

Open wideAFP or licensors

Chiellini will move up to 98 caps if he plays against both England and Argentina while Buffon will move on to 177 caps.

Buffon is the most capped active player although he’ll have to go some way to reach Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan’s all-time record of 184 caps.

At the other end of the spectrum are Patrick Cutrone and Federico Chiesa who have both been called up for the first time.

Cheer up mate, you’re in the Italy squadReuters

Cutrone has scored 12 goals in his first full season since graduating through Milan’s academy.

Fiorentina forward Chiesa has scored five goals and could follow in his dad Enrico’s footsteps.

Enrico played 22 times for Italy between 1996 and 2001.

Impressive, but the Chiesa clan still have some way to go to match the Alonso family though.

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13 players with an outside chance of making England’s World Cup squad A tournament to decide the greatest Premier League side of all time has taken place and these are the results Germany’s midfield options are completely stacked ahead of the 2018 World Cup