Southend United manager, Phil Brown expects defender Anton Ferdinand to be fit to play as his side face Charlton Athletic this weekend, despite the 31-year old suffering an ankle injury in Boxing day encounter against AFC Wimbledon.
The defender appeared to be limping late on in 3-0 win over The Dons.
But Brown does not think the centre-back will be forced onto the sidelines.
“Anton took a whack to the ankle at the end of the Wimbledon game and it caused him a lot of discomfort. We will monitor the situation through the week but he won’t miss the Charlton game which is good news for us because he is a big player for us,” he said. read more …
The season of 2015-16 was the debut campaign of ZinedineZidane as the head coach of Real Madrid and it was a historic season not only for the Frenchman but for the club itself as they were able to win the Champions League.
Winning the Champions League is something that many top managers who have had an extensive coaching career have not been able to seal but Zidane was somehow able to do it in his debut season and this is one of the reasons of why it was such an important and historic feat when Real Madrid overcame Athletic Madrid on May 28 of 2016 and lifted the European piece of silverware in a dramatic penalty session.
Barcelona won the Spanish League of that season but nonetheless, the UEFA Champions League is widely regarded as the most prestigious and difficult piece of silverware to lift at club level and this is why ZinedineZidane’s debut season in charge of Real Madrid is considered to be as a successful one.
This accomplishment was done around 5 months ago and a new season has kicked off and despite having gone through such an impressive debut season, ZinedineZidane is rumored to be under fire and at risk of losing his managerial position in Real Madrid due to the amount of successive draws that his squad has been sustaining.
Real Madrid went through a streak of 4 successive draws after playing against: Villareal, Las Palmas, Borussia Dortmund and Eibar. All of these games concluded in draws and Real Madrid dropped a number of important points that could have pushed Zidane’s team above Athletic Madrid in the Spanish League standings but both clubs are currently sitting at the top with 18 points being secured after 8 matches. read more …
France international Dimitri Payet is set to make his season start when the Hammers host Watford this weekend in the English Premier League.
The Euro 2016 star has missed the first three games for his club – West Ham United – with the manager Slaven Bilic admitting that his side has missed him. Payet came on as a substitute when West Ham played Chelsea in the opening game, but it was clear he wasn’t back to full fitness.
Payet was in action for his country again, appearing twice as a sub during the international break. An injury-hit West Ham have started slowly in the new term after their brilliant run last season. They would really need the best from Payet as he return to action. The former Marseille forward was critical in their last run, and would have to shake off the thigh strain limitation to impress this term as well.
“Of course we’ve been missing him, like any club is missing their key players. France missed him. I watched the game and France was better when he came on with his quality, with his delivery from set pieces and his quality in open play. read more …
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has claimed that the club now have a transfer target in the form of Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.
The Ivory Coast international is thought to be unhappy at Etihad stadium due to lack of first-team opportunities. He has never come close to replacing Sergio Aguero in the last 18 months at City. Bony had joined the former Premier League champions for close to £ 30 million. Even as he made the move, many expected him to spend much of the season on the bench and this proved to be the case.
At 27,Bony is now keen on getting back on the pitch on a regular basis. West Ham will be a club who can offer him exactly the situation even though they have a forward like Andy Carroll in the ranks. Bilic stated that it was imperative that West Ham had a player who can score 20 goals a season without being injured for most of the time. Even though Carroll has a good scoring record or at least contribute indirectly to the goals, his injury record has been very poor. The £ 15 million signing is likely to be looked down upon if a player likeBony arrives at the Olympic stadium.
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After coming under serious criticism for its poor condition, the playing surface at Stade Pierre-Mauroy is finally going to be freshly placed in the middle of the on-going Euros.
The Union of the Football Associations in Europe which is the governing body of the Euros is believed to have conveyed the instructions regarding it to the French Football Federation.
A similar situation had arisen in the Euros in Switzerland 8 years back when St. Jakob Park had been resurfaced.
However, before all that, there is a game still to be played on the same surface, which is the damaged one, tonight and the teams facing off are the Group E leaders Italy and one of the pre quarter final aspirants in the group, Republic of Ireland.
Completely pissed off after visiting the ground yesterday, Antonio Conte, the Azzurri coach declared the conditions, especially the game area, unsuitable and unfit to be used in Europe’s biggest competition and said he had not expected that. read more …
Chris Hughton was disappointed to see Brighton failed to achieve qualification play-off final after a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the second leg.
A 2-0 loss in the first leg meant that his team were knocked out 3-1 on aggregate. The defeat was especially hard to take considering that Brighton missed out on the automatic promotion spots on goal difference, while they also finished 15 points ahead of Wednesday in the league table. Brighton were only two goals behind Middlesbrough in the goal difference stakes after a draw in the final game of the season.
Hughton has received a lot of praise for turning around the fortunes of the seagulls, but his major task comes ahead in the summer. He will have to motivate his players once again in order to fight next campaign. This will be the hardest part especially given that Brighton came so close to getting to the Premier League. Momentum and confidence always plays a major role when it comes to play-offs. Sheffield Wednesday seem to have more of it especially after their win over Cardiff City to secure the final play-off spot. Brighton, meanwhile, had just failed to achieve automatic promotion after having been one of the best teams in the division throughout the campaign. read more …
Claudio Ranieri says that he is unlikely to witness the game between Tottenham and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
Leicester City could potentially seal the Premier League title without kicking the ball, as any other result other than the victory for Spurs would see them crowned as champions. Leicester secured a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. This improved their advantage over Spurs to 8 points with only two games left. Prior to the game, they needed only three points to win the title. Ranieri says that he will be on the plane to Italy while the game goes on.
Earlier, Chelsea fans and players have expressed their desire to see Leicester win the title ahead of Tottenham, who are their big rivals. After the recent 4-1 win over Bournemouth, the blues will come into the game on a positive frame of mind. They have been criticised in recent weeks for their lack of commitment – since there is nothing to play for – but they are expected to step up their game just in time for this match. Ranieri says that he will at least be to follow the result once his plane lands in Italy. Even if the outcome is not a positive one for Ranieri, Leicester City will feel confident about winning the title at home next weekend. read more …
Everton was knocked out of the FA Cup after losing against Manchester United and things haven’t been going any better for Everton in the Premier League either as they are consistently dropping points.
Roberto Martinez and his squad has recently suffered a defeat against Liverpool and had to settle with successive draws against Southampton, Crystal Palace and Watford. The future of Roberto Martinez is now under scrutiny as the board of directors of Everton are having discussions in relation to the managerial role of Martinez after this season reaches it’s end.
There is already a list of potential managers who can replace Roberto Martinez and that are rumored to be in the watch-list of Everton, these managers include: Manuel Pellegrini, Frank de Boer and Ronald Koeman.
Manuel Pellegrini is currently in charge of Manchester City but he will be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season and the Chilean manager is going to become a viable option for Everton in case that they do decide to sack Roberto Martinez. read more …
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld says that the club are ready to face the next seven games as their finals.
There are only seven matches left in the Premier League with Spurs being five points behind Leicester City. Going past the unlikely table leaders will provide them with their first league title since 1964. Further, it would also be seen as the ultimate achievement by an English club considering the face of competition that includes Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea. The last 20 years have witnessed a determination by the rich clubs, but 2015-16 will be seen as the season in which money did not have a role to play.
City have effectively been ruled out of the title after a 1-0 loss against Manchester United recently. Even though Arsenal remain defiant about their title hopes, this season it is effectively seen as a two horse race with Leicester and Tottenham competing for the title. Leicester were in the relegation zone 12 months ago, while Spurs began the campaign with the objective of a top four finish at best.Alderweireld says that trying to focus every game as it comes may sound as a cliche but this is what Tottenham need to follow in order to stand a chance of leapfrogging Leicester City for the title. read more …
Leicester City managed to remain at the top of the table following a 2-0 win against Liverpool.
It was one of the impressive results of the season for the surprising team. Leicester were expected to be in a relegation dogfight, but to be leading the table with only two months of action left is rather surprising. Many expected the club’s title challenge to wither after Christmas, but there has been no signs of slowing down now that striker Jamie Vardy is in full swing once again. Despite the positive, manager Claudio Ranieri continued to downplay the title ambitions of the club.
Ranieri says that there are still several of matches left for his team and they are not considering taking a relaxed step just yet. One of the biggest challenges will come in the form of a match against second placed Manchester City at the Etihad stadium on Saturday. Leicester have a three-point advantage over City, but they will be aware of the opposition’s prowess in front of their own supporters. Ranieri downplayed Leicester’s title hopes, but he maintained that Arsenal and Tottenham are strong favourites. The North London outfits occupy the third and fourth positions and are not too far behind. read more …