Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Lille Starlet Eden Hazard Would Be a Great Signing for Arsene Wenger

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(Bleacher Report) If the Gunners could find a way to pull it off, the signature of Belgian starlet Eden Hazard would be one of the best moves they could make. His ability to cut through a defense as well as pass around one makes him an ultimate forward.

The Arsenal target scored two goals this weekend as he looks up and ready for the clubs opening round of the UEFA Champions League that kicks off this week. He will be an influential part for their possible success and will need to continue to be on the top of his game.

However, if not in January, Hazard could be a strongly chased target over the summer with Arsene Wenger eager to find a player that can take the place of Andrei Arshavin who has at times acted like he wanted out.

So far his performances for current side Lille have helped to show that the defending French Champions are still strong despite losing Gervinho to Arsenal already.

At only 20 years old Hazard is in the age bracket that Arsene Wenger like to buy in. The recent signatures of multiple players over 21 was one of them most aggressive offensive gambles that Arsene Wenger has taken in a long time, but it should pay off.

For once the Frenchman has purchased players that are experienced and they are the kinds of players that are versatile and interchangeable. Their experience and advice could go a long way to assisting a young incoming player like Hazard if Wenger can get him in the summer.

Earlier in the summer Hazard was rated as £26 million, but giving his recent continued high octane form that price could raise to £30 million plus by next summer.

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Blackburn's Signing of Scott Dann Could See Christopher Samba Move On

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(Bleacher Report) Aside from Gary Cahill, Arsenal were also highly linked with the signature of Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba this summer.

The Gunners could have used him in recent weeks as their defensive unit has been disappearing one at a time from either suspension or injuries.

Thomas Vermaelan looked to finally be up for another full season at the Emirates when he went down for a three month or more injury that will require minor surgery and time to heal. It was a rag tag defensive unit for the Gunners since Vermaelen’s injury, and has seen Wenger’s squad meet tough opponents that took full advantage of it.

Blackburn Rovers defender and possibly January Gunners target Samba may be a more affordable option to a target like Gary Cahill. Everton defender Phil Jagielka also was on the top of Arsene Wenger’s charts but the price tag again was the issue for the Frenchman.

Arsenal was also interested in the signature of former Birmingham City turned Rover Scott Dann this summer. Dann’s arrival could make it easier to sign Samba in the January window as he now has cover if he is sold.

The 27 year old defender would be most expected to take his leave from Blackburn in the next season or two if he is going to make a switch. At his age he is about to hit the prime years of his career and he would much rather be in contention to win silverware in the near future than languish in relegation battle.

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Mohammed Abdellaoue on Arsenal Radar for January

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(Bleacher Report) Despite the signing of Park Chu-Young Arsene Wenger could be in the market for another striking option come January. The daunting task of playing four tournaments at once between the Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and UEFA Chsmpion's League can take its toll on a team that is not supplied with depth.

Arsenal shipped of their most seasoned front man aside from Robin Van Persie to Sunderland on the last day of the transfer window. Danish out of favor forward Nicklas Bendtner has claimed he will not be returning and with Marouane Chamakh seeming largely ineffective in the long run in the EPL Wenger could look elsewhere.

That leads to Wenger believed to be heading back into the Bundesliga talent poor for another additional striker to both Gervinho and Park Chu-Young. Hannover 96 forward Mohammed Abdellaoue has been lighting up the German league with three goals in his first four games.

The Norwegian could be a welcomed addition as the first team have not been able to produce the goods as they would like to this season. Another body to shift up and down on the depth chart would do Wenger good.

Wenger could be looking for ways to keep his team fresh and making another quality signing will only improved the buzz around the club.

As the Gunners continue to get used to the rebuilding stage, they will more than likely be dipping into the Transfer Market against his winter, and Abdellaoue could be on that list.
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Have Bolton's Three Straight Losses Damaged Gary Cahill's Stock

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(Bleacher Report) Gary Cahill opened the season on a high by scoring in Bolton Wanderers 4-0 defeat of Queens Park Rangers on opening day. His brilliant strike was one of the best of the opening weekend as far as taking advantage of a scoring opportunity.

However, since that match the Trotters have gone down hill suffering three straight losses and pushing them down the table. Although the opposition in both Manchester clubs was top class, it is still a disappointment for the club not to have taken anything from the matches.

Cahill was subject of mountains of transfer speculation the summer, and was believed to be destined for a deadline day signing by Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman instead opted for the signing of Per Mertesacker as the big German came in for about half of the cost that Cahill was expected to demand.

Come January Cahill still could be on the Gunners managerial wish list if he can keep performing at a top level. Despite the three losses Bolton have never given up in any of the matches and have made some bright attacks but are still lacking cohesion and finishing touch.

One thing that is certain is that Cahill is a huge part of Owen Coyle's plans at Bolton, but at 25 years old the player is likely wanting to take his play to the next level for a major club.

That desire and his hopes for the upcoming UEFA European Championship in Summer could prompt him to try and force through a move in January if Arsenal or any club make a move.

In the long run these first several losses will not affect his value, but if his play dips with the clubs for a long period of time people will start to ask questions of the lad.
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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

11 Stars Playing Outside Europe Who Need a Transfer

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(Bleacher Report) With European home grown talent continuing to rise in its value, more and more Europea clubs will be searching for alternatives to high priced local boys.

In the next year or so, more and more young American based talent, whether it is North or South American, will be flowing over to Europe.

Talents from across the pond are traditionally less expensive and will be what pushes the majority of clubs to look west for additions as the footballing transfer market will once day imlode.

With that in mind, here are 11 players that could make a move in the next year......Click here to view the Slideshow.

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Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Eden Hazard and 3 Players Arsene Wenger Will Chase

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(Bleacher Report) Arsene Wenger can finally breath at least a small sigh of relief as his club pulled of a narrow 1-0 victory over Swansea City thanks to Andrei Arshavin.

The Russian scored thanks to an error by Swansea keeper Michel Vorm, who has been sensational since his arrival from the Eredivisie up until that one moment. The keeper rolled a ball out to an inattentive defender allowing Arshavin to pounce and put the Gunners on top.

It would prove all that was necessary for Wenger to lead his club to their first victory of the season and hopefully kick off a better September than they had in August.

Wenger had spent big on the final day of the transfer window, and he included all of his new signings in the 18-man squad that came out to face his opponents, with both Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta getting the start.

So far it looks like these could be signings to get them through their tough year ahead, but not all will make the cut for the long haul as he will undoubtedly pursue more strength for the club come January.

Check back here for updates as they are added below......Click to View the News.

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Monday, 12 September 2011

Liverpool FC: Latest Club News and Transfer Rumors

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(Bleacher Report) Liverpool were dealt a harsh blow when they failed to convert 24 shots on goal and a dominating 73 percent possession.

Jamie Carragher was caught off balance and out of position, which resulted in Jonathan Walters receiving a penalty that he converted. It could not have come at a worse time for the Reds, as they were dominating the game and had Stoke City on their back foot.

However, nothing proved that Liverpool were not going to get anything from the match more than when Jordan Henderson took three straight shots that got blocked back in his face. He then laid it off to Charlie Adam who suffered the same fate for two shots.

All Stewart Downing could do was shake his head as the frustration mounted for a team that is clearly lacking the cohesion that Steven Gerrard can provide in the center of midfield.

No matter what the Reds did they just could not get a shot to go right. The day ended in utter frustration as even Luis Suarez could not even convert a rebound from a wide on shot.

Hard luck was the result on Saturday and the Reds will hope for a better weekend when they host Tottenham at home next week.

With several hot stories around the wire the past few days and some continued transfer speculation still swirling about lets get up to date on the Reds.

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Joe Cole Makes a Splash on Loan Debut

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(Bleacher Report) Joe Cole arrived on Merseyside just over a year ago with high hopes, a big contract and tons of belief that he was going to help lead the Reds return to the promised land that they have been so long removed from.

However, that did not happen as Cole continued to fall off the wagon and was left to fill mostly a fringe role last season as the Reds chased fifth place but could not claim it at the death last year.

The new season had a different twist to it as new faces streamed into the Reds Melwood camp, and Joe Cole was allowed to take his leave on loan for the season to France.

Having never been based with a club outside of England a loan move to France made since for Cole much more than one in England. His injuries over time have caused him to lose a step or two and he looked no longer able to cope with the pace and physical nature of the English game.

The French league would allow him to rely more on his skill and finesse and that is exactly what he got to use when he set up Eden Hazard in Lille's most recent game of the weekend as he helped to keep the defending champions in the top four of Ligue 1.

Cole looked totally revitalized during the match, and it looks like both he and Liverpool made the right decision. It is uncertain if he will return to Liverpool at the end of his loan spell, I expect that if he continues the way he has started he will remain in France.
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Looks Like Stewart Downing Has Topped the Fans Charts for Best New Signing

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(Bleacher Report) An official poll on Liverpool FC's website has Stewart Downing as the fans top choice for best new signing so far. The former Aston Villa man has been impressive in his opening four games for the Reds.

His play on the wings has shown just how much the Reds needed a genuine wide attacking in recent seasons as they have seen their play be much more open than the narrow play attacking style seen in the later days of Rafael Benitez.

Downing came over in a hail of controversy as he England international was deemed over priced and over rated, but so far he has proved most of his critics wrong with his play and he is beginning to grow into the offense really well.

Just below Downing in the poll is fellow new comer Jose Enrique. The Spaniard who signed from Newcastle United the day before he made his opening day debut against Sunderland was met with a great reception.

Charlie Adam are distant at only 14 and three percent of the votes. The two have both had flashed of brilliance, but Liverpool need excellence day in a day out in order to keep pushing for a Champion's League place next season.
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Luis Suarez to Real Madrid is a Fools Rumor

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(Bleacher Report) Luis Suarez according to the Guardian a few days ago is the rumored target of a £35 million bid from Real Madrid expected to hit Liverpool FC's bank of the Mersey in January.

The Uruguayan has been a constant bother to any opposition and he is nothing short of tireless when it comes to chasing down every chance he has to be part of the game. His energy and desire are reminiscent of Dirk Kuyt when the Kop first fell in love with his never ending endurance.

Suarez appears one of those that would run himself into the ground for Liverpool FC and his captain Steven Gerrard has him picked as one of the future greats as he told his clubs official site in a sit down discussion of his teammate:

"He's got the appetite for the game to learn and get better.

"Hopefully he will go on here for a long time because he's certainly got a massive part to play at this club in the future - the history is there to be written."

"He's a very enthusiastic footballer and very intelligent. He's like a kid in the street and he can't wait to get out for training and games.

"Alongside Dirk of late, they've been like two Duracell bunnies. They just don't stop and for defenders that must be a nightmare, knowing when you control the ball those two will be chasing.

"It's fantastic to have him and hopefully he can continue his form until the end of the season. If he does, it will give us a much better chance of getting some silverware."

Although it is Energizer bunnies, Ill let the Reds captain off for the moment, Suarez is certainly of that category. He is as frustrated to miss a goal chance in the first minute as he is the ninetieth and it is that kind of attitude that can turn this club around in the right direction.

I can not see the owners allowing their best asset for future growth and success be prized away after only a year. It would be suicide for the owners as it would cripple their fan support as well as cup their goal scoring chances more than in half as Suarez is a good at creating chances as he is taking them.

Luis Suarez looks to be a Red for many years to come and Real Madrid will have to do their striker poaching somewhere else for the time being.
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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sergio Aguero's Hat Trick: Ranking the Manchester City Striker's Game vs. Wigan

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(Bleacher Report) Sergio Aquero was all that Manchester City needed to take away a 3-0 victory from their home match against Wigan Athletic. In only his fourth game in the English Premier League, the Argentine striker scored his first English Premier League hat trick.

His three strikes have him now sitting on six goals this season, which ties him with his teammate Edin Dzeko in second place on the EPL scoring charts. The two Manchester City strikers are second only to Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, who has already banged in eight goals this season thanks to two hat tricks.

Carlos Tevez and James Milner both got starts over Dzeko and Samir Nasri as both were not up to full fitness after international duty over the past week.

Wigan Athletic had a great opening month of August, seeing themselves on five points already, but Manchester City would prove to be their toughest test of the season so far.

Aquero started his game brightly and was involved with an early move that saw a great run from Gael Clichy be picked out by the Argentine from midfield. Clichy continued on and the end result would eventually be an Adam Johnson shot that went high over the bar.

The Argentine continued to move and create space as his club continued to loom over Wigan's goal in the opening minutes. He would break the deadlock in the 13th minute.

David Silva was the initial architect after robbing the ball back from Wigan and turning a counter attack. Carlos Tevez relived Silva and would play it back to him before the Spaniard passed to Aguero in the box. The lone striker tucked it into the far post corner out of the reach of Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi.

Tevez soon had the chance to extend it to a 2-0 lead, but his effort was perhaps the poorest I have seen in a long time. Perhaps Aguero should have been allowed to blast it home.

City cruised the rest of the first half with attack after attack, but they failed to go further up. Aguero had a lofted shot go just wide after some great pass-and-move plays with Clichy and Joleon Lescott.

Aguero was part of another great move when he laid off a ball to Tevev that saw him play a through ball to Micah Richards that should have been the second goal of the match, but the defender chipped it into the cross bar.

Another near miss from the top of the box would go just wide after a quick forward attack between the striker, and Silva saw him have a wide open shot at the top of the box, but again he was denied wide right.

As the half came to close, it was all Citizens, and Aguero looked poised and up for another goal. It would only be a matter of time.

The second half started with Wigan getting the first chance with Hugo Rodellega getting a shot off at Joe Hart, but it was an effort poorly placed.

Carlos Tevez would make way for Samir Nasri and the game immediately picked up for the Citizens with the additional creativity and energy flowing at the top of the midfield.

It would only take two minutes for a well-executed move between Nasri, Silva and Yaya Toure to allow the Frenchman to poke through a pass to Aguero, which the Argentine buried for his second goal of the game as the crowd went crazy at Etihad Stadium.

Nasri, who had picked up three assists in his first game for the Sky Blues two weeks ago against Tottenham, picked right up where he left off, providing another to Aguero at the 63rd minute.

Only six minutes later, a brilliant trick skill move allowed Silva to break through the midfield and pass the ball up to a wide open Aguero. The Argentine had only Al Habsi to beat in a one-on-one situation. He did with a calm and cool style, placing the ball in the right corner of the net.

The rest of the game was Manchester just putting the damper on Wigan as Sergio Aguero's hat trick was one of the best moments of the weekend.

He scored all of his goals with a finishing touch that was utterly sublime. He continues to only look better this season.

After only a handful of appearances, the 23-year-old former Atletico Madrid keeper is looking as if he was made for the Premier League.

However, you can not give him all the credit, because it has been the masterclass work of his midfield partners, David Silva and now Samir Nasri, that have seen him be able to exploit his chances in the league. Had he gone to a team with less talented players, he may not have had the support he needed to have such a great start.

Earlier this month, I posed the question of whether Aguero could make the same type of impact for City after coming over from Atletico Madrid as Fernando Torres did for Liverpool in his first season when he scored 33 goals for the Reds. You can read that article here.

So far he is on pace for much more if he keeps it up. His current rate it 1.6 goals per game after the first four league fixtures. If he were to remain uninjured and start all remaining 34 league fixtures while maintaining that form, he would score approximately 57 total goals.

While that is highly unlikely, he is well on his way to having the chance to score 33 or more goals for the Citizens throughout the season.

Based on a one-to-10 scale for ranking the Performance of Augero on Saturday, he by all means was a 10 for his new club.

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Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez: Manchester United Duo Score 5 to Crush Bolton

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(Bleacher Report) Last season saw the emergence of what looked like it had the makings of an incredible partnership. Wayne Rooney had made the best of both Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov over the last few seasons, but he is yet to have enjoyed a long term striking partnership.

The arrival of Javier, "Chicharito," Hernandez last season was seen as a move that was up in the air for Sir Alex Ferguson just as many of his signings can be at times. However, the Mexican international proved all the critics wrong scoring 13 goals in his first season at United.

While Dimitar Berbatov was the 20 goal-scoring EPL Golden Boot Winner, Rooney and Hernandez looked to be forming a deadly partnership when the Mexican played in the place of the Bulgarian.

They ended last season partnering in the Red Devils 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League final on English soil. In what was a disappointing match you could clearly see that Rooney was making a statement as he had one of the best games of the season in their loss, and Hernandez was lively throughout, but Barcelona were just to strong.

Preseason saw Rooney start building on his form from last season while Hernandez suffered a head injury and was forced to wait over a month to make his Premier League debut for this season when he came on as a substitute against Tottenham three weeks ago.

Just before the match started against Bolton you could see Hernandez on his knees at the half line looking to be praying before the match and for some reason you could just feel that this match could be something special for the Red Devils.

As he lined up alongside Rooney in their first start of the season together they got the match underway and it was immediately United on the attack as a victory for Manchester City earlier in the day meant it was a must win to stay the top of the table.

Four minutes and forty seconds into the match Hernandez got on the score sheet to give United the early lead as an Injured Tom Cleverly was limping to the sidelines needing a sub. What better way to stop the run of play than with a go ahead goal. It was a great ball played in from Nani and Hernandez only had to direct it into the back of the net.

Rooney played some great defense as he assisted his new keeper David de Gea by clearing a Chris Eagles shot off the line in an effort from Bolton to pull the opening goal back only minutes after they went behind.

New signing Phil Jones continued to show his value as he has all season by setting Rooney up for two goals in a five minute span.

The first at the 20th minute saw Jones playing a great cross that Rooney tucked home for his first of the day.

His second on the score sheet came at the 25th minute when Jones burst through the midfield and defense of Bolton Wanderers to play the ball off for Rooney to notch home his seventh goal of the season.

Two minutes later Hernandez looked to have answered his partner when he knocked home another Nani cross in the 27th minute, but it was hauled back due to being called offside.

United were cutting Gary Cahill's defense to shreds and it looked set to be a United rout. Hernandez and Rooney both continued to look lively throughout the first half.

With the second half set to resume, the Red Devils were already sitting 3-0 up on their opponents but looked to be hungry for more as they continue to raise their goal differential this season. The announcers claimed just before the second half kickoff that so far United have made their most prolific goal scoring start to a season since 1885.

Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic got the ball rolling for the second half but United were quick to get the ball back and got straight to work once more as they pressed for another goal after an opening five minutes with Bolton breathing down their necks looking to get one back.

Anderson made a great free kick effort on the 54th minutes but missed just long and Bolton once again pushed hard at the United goal with Martin Petrov shooting high over the bar.

David de Gea looked to emulate Liverpool's Pepe Reina with a long ball up to Anderson and Hernandez and the Mexican nearly had another with Jussi Jaaskelainen out of pocket, but he shot it directly into Nigel Reo-Coker.

However, he would finally get his second on the night on the 58th minute when a ball fell to him in the box and he hammered it home to send United up 4-0 with them continuing to be ruthless around the net.

Reo-Cokler nearly got one back for Bolton a minute later as it got over de Gea but only dipped enough to bang off the cross bar and preserve the clean sheet for United.

Ryan Giggs and Chris Smalling would come on just minutes later to give the defense and the midfield some extra creativity and life going into the final half an hour of the match.

It would be Giggs that started the move for the next United goal as he knocked a long ball forward to Nani on the right hand side and he crossed to Rooney who completed a hat trick with a blasted shot from outside the top of the box past Jaaskelainen to make it 5-0 Untied.

The hat-trick would be Rooney's seventh of his career and the second one against Bolton at the Reebok after he completed his first Premier League hat trick of his career against them on October 28, 2006.

A minutes later Giggs again was involved as he pushed a long through ball up to Rooney and his cross to Hernandez was just missed with the Mexican missing a chance for a hat trick alongside Rooney's.

Bolton never gave up as they continued to push for a consolation goal that would never come with Martin Petrov again being at the heart of their attacking efforts.

Hernandez missed his second chance to come level with Rooney for a hat trick on the 87th minute when Nani played him in for a great chance, but in an amazingly unselfish move he crossed to Anderson who was a step behind and could not take advantage of the wide open net.

The game ended 5-0 and the strike partnership of Rooney and Hernandez looks to be in full and complete health.

Hernandez was a menace all day as he constantly found ways to create space for this teammates and finished clinically on both of his goals.

Rooney continues to be on fire as he has eight league goals to his name after a second straight hat trick in the league after having completed one against Arsenal in their last league victory. His clearance off the goal line in the first half continues to prove that he is developing into a complete forward as he is important at all parts of the pitch.

The two attackers will open their UEFA Champions League campaign this week when they face off against Sporting Lisbon from Portugal, and they will be looking to be on all cylinders to get the Red Devils off the mark on the continent.

Their biggest goal will be to return to the Champions League final and end this new campaign on the opposite end of the way they ended last season. With the way their club is playing at the moment it is possible that Barcelona could not touch them right now.

It will be interesting to see how their form progresses for the rest of the season as United usually peak about November. If this is only the Red Devils at 75 percent then lord help anyone that stands in their way come mid season.
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Wayne Rooney Against Bolton and Ranking His 7 Hat Tricks

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(Bleacher Report) There is not another striker in the world that is hotter than Wayne Rooney at the moment.

Three weeks ago, he scored a hat trick against Arsenal at Old Trafford in United's 8-2 victory. He followed that performance the next week on international duty, scoring a brace against Bulgaria.

Just yesterday, on September 10, 2011, he scored his second straight hat trick in the league against Bolton Wanderers. It was the second time the Reebok had seen him score a hat trick on their home ground.

In total, he has eight goals in his last four appearances and is on fire. Chelsea will have to be on the lookout next week when they travel north to Old Trafford......Click to View Wayne Rooney's Hat Tricks.

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Saturday, 10 September 2011

The 10 Worst Things That Can Happen to a Footballer on the Pitch

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(Bleacher Report) Any mishap of things can occur to a player on the pitch; however, a number of events rank among the worst.

Ask any player, from a local pick-up team member to a major European League midfielder, and more than likely they will have an unfortunate story to tell; many would land in the top 10 worst things to happen to a footballer.

With that said, let's get to it......Click to See What you Never Want to have Happen to You.

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Friday, 9 September 2011

EPL Preview: Predicting the Manchester United Starting XI vs. Bolton

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(Bleacher Report) Manchester United are still riding high after what could be a season defining moment, by devastating Arsenal at home two weekends ago 8-2.

The international break may have cooled down the team, but so far that looks unlikely as the majority of the players sent away to represent their respective countries put in excellent performances.

This weekend the focus shifts back to the EPL. United are top of the table by one goal over their neighboring rivals Manchester City.

This weekend's opponent, Bolton Wanderers, have endured a tough run of games. After nearly coming back to draw against Manchester City three weeks ago, they then were dealt a convincing defeat by Liverpool right before the break.

Owen Coyle will be hoping he can change his fortunes when Manchester United come to town but, being realistic, his club will have a daunting task putting the damper on Wayne Rooney or Ashley Young.

Both men have played inspired football for United so far. The Red Devils are usually slower out of the gates, and hit form in early November, but if this is them at about 75 percent then there are few teams that will be capable of knocking them off later on.

Coyle will be hoping that Gary Cahill can be beyond top class at the back, and that Fabrice Muamba can do something to disrupt the forward midfield play of United. If neither of those prove true, it will be a long day at the Reebok for the home team......Click to View the Predicted Lineup.

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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Liverpool vs. Stoke: How Reds Can Defeat Stoke Thanks to Rory Delap Injury

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(Bleacher Report) Rory Delap has been a thorn in the side of multiple EPL clubs over the past seasons. It is well documented how much Arsene Wenger despises the player's long throw ability.

However, Liverpool have the fortunate advantage of making a trip to the Britannia Stadium this weekend without having to come up against the Potters' not-so-secret weapon.

The signing of Peter Crouch on deadline day is yet another move that looks to highlight the skill set provided by Rory Delap and also Jermaine Pennant.

Pairing up the towering Crouch with Kenwyne Jones, who is also a big physical striker up front, gives Tony Pulis' side a pair of targets that both Delap and Pennant can aim for all game long.

But that strategy will have to be adjusted on Saturday. Without Delap in the picture the Reds will be able to work on shutting down the only over main weapon of supply in Pennant.

Jamie Carragher should be able to advise his fellow defenders well with respect to helping them snuff out Pennant as he and several of the remaining Reds from Rafael Benitez's days remember playing and training alongside the Stoke winger in his Liverpool days.

If Pennant is closed down from the picture by at least 50 percent that takes out a huge amount of chances created by both himself and all of Delap's.

The inability to turn long throws into practically corners or free kicks against the Reds will be a blow to the attacking ideology that has ruled at the Britannia for the last several season.

It is without a doubt that I can say Stoke City are stronger now this season than they have been in the past. They have added some creativity with Wilson Palacios in the midfield and increased their attacking ability with the additions of both Crouch and Cameron Jerome.

Given that Stoke will be formidable none the less, but their system will still need to be retooled, and the new signings might not have developed their on-field relationships with the new teammates just yet.

Liverpool will be looking to exploit this by doing one of two things with their lineup.

One option has them line up in a 4-1-2-3 and using Lucas and the holding link between an all out assault led by Stewart Downing, Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy.

The second option calls to stack the midfield with a 4-5-1 which is the most likely that could see this possible lineup:

Pepe Reina; John Flanagan, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Lucas Leiva, Jay Spearing; Dirk Kuyt, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing; Luis Suarez.

Part of me says that both Craig Bellamy and Sebastian Coates will have some part to play before the day is done.

The Reds have one of the best chances of any team to go into the Britannia and take away a victory over a team that is tough as they come at home.

Without one of their main attacking weapons and several new faces most likely to debut this weekend, Stoke City are more vulnerable than they have been so far this season.

Liverpool have the players and the ability to get the job done this weekend, and I see them taking a 2-1 victory in a hard but good match against a physically tough opponent.
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English Premier League: Week 4 Match Previews and Predictions

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(Bleacher Report) After a two-week absence, the EPL returns to action following an exciting opening month of August and an even more exciting close to the transfer window.

Many changes were made through signings and transfers in the last few days of the summer window. The balance of power could very well be shifting in the coming months, especially concerning lower level clubs like Queens Park Rangers.

Some moves were expected and some were last-minute shockers. In the end, all it does is make us look forward to multiple new debuts this weekend with even more anticipation.

For a full review of the August team of the month from Bleacher Report and additional monthly awards you can click here, otherwise let's get rolling on the matches coming up starting on Saturday......Click to View the Match Previews.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Arsenal Transfer Speculation and Latest News for the Gunners

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(Bleacher Report) Another week in the Gunners camp has seen Arsene Wenger have to shoulder yet another disappointing injury blow with his only shining star center back, Thomas Vermaelen, now looks to be out for three months.

This looks to be yet another set back for Wenger, who is desperate to get his club back on the right track after not only a poor month of August, but an utterly embarrassing 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United in their last game.

He has brought in new faces thanks to a very busy final day to this summer's transfer window for the Gunners, but they will still take time to work their way into the system.

As this weekend's match against Swansea is quickly approaching, Arsenal will be hoping that a chance to try and beat up on a newly-promoted team will allow them to start the month of September off the right way: with three points and notch in the win column......Click to View the News.

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David N'Gog States That His Time at Liverpool Made Him Stronger

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(Bleacher Report) Recent Liverpool turned Bolton Wanderer striker David N'Gog has thrown his former club a thank you saying that his days at the club made him stronger.

The Rafael Benitez signing was a prime candidate to take up the front man spot under his former boss, but he was seen as surplus to Kenny Dalglish and the clubs new owners.

His £4 million move to Bolton signifies what most people already understood, that he needed a change of pace and scenery.

Comments quoted by both and have stated the players appreciation for his time on Merseyside and has him claiming Fernando Torres as his inspiration:
"When you are at a club like Liverpool you have to accept it (being behind Torres),'' said Ngog.

"That made me stronger as well because you want to be close to the best and Fernando is one of the best.

"He is one of the best strikers in the world and when he was at Liverpool he was consistent in scoring a lot of goals.

"You learn about a lot from a player like this. It was a good experience and I will try to produce here and show what I am capable of.''
However, while I believe his move to play under Owen Coyle is a great one for all parties included, the part of Torres that Reds fans hope he is talking about it the defense frightening clinical finishing that Torres displayed in the height of his Reds days and not the side that saw him alienate the majority of his adoring fans on Merseyside.

N'Gog provided the Reds with great service in his time scoring 19 goals in 94 appearances, but he number of simply chances that he missed during his time could easily have tripled his goal haul.

Given what his new manager Coyle has done for both Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge on loan should give N'Gog huge hopes for the amount of development he can achieve at the Reebok.
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Stewart Downing Claims Reds Have Huge Chance at Finishing in Top Four

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(Bleacher Report) Liverpool new boy Stewart Downing has been quoted recently by the Daily Mirror as having tipped his new club for a strong top four push as the Reds aim to return to UEFA Champions League football next season.

The £20 million wide man has so far enjoyed a great start with the club as they sit in third place on seven points after the first month of action in the Barclays Premier League.

His comments as follows show his faith in his new club and the way his manager has them performing:

“If we keep playing the way we are at Liverpool, we’ve got a hell of a chance of being in the top bracket. We have started the season very well but we’ve got a tough run of games coming up, starting with a trip to Stoke this Saturday."

“It’s also been a good start for me with club and country. It was nice to play against Wales and the main thing is we’ve got another win under our belts.”

With a great run of form currently keeping his spirits high, he will be important to the Reds if they hope to take a victory home from the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City this Saturday.

Stoke have recently spent big on Peter Crouch and will be hoping to use their now infamous over the top attack thanks to Rory Delap and Jermaine Pennant feeding the ball into their large target men in both Crouch and Kenwyne Jones.

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Danish and Ajax Sensation Christian Eriksen Could See Red in His Future

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(Bleacher Report) Christian Eriksen has been a reported Liverpool target since early in in the summer window. The 19 year old Denmark international has been quoted by has not likely to leave Ajax Amsterdam for another several seasons.

"With my style of play, there is no doubt that Spain would be ideal for me."

"But I'm still not transferring. My priority is to play football and at Ajax I play in the championship and I will play in the Champions League.

"It may take two or three years before I move to Spain. I'm in no hurry to go until I'm ready to go."

However, despite being aware of interest from Liverpool and also Manchester City the player seems more likely to head for Spain from his comments.

Over the next several seasons if he continues to progress as he has since joining Ajax in 2009, where he has made 70 appearances scoring 10 goals, he is likely to attract heavy interest and large transfer fees for his services.

With that in perspective it means his move away from the Dutch capital is only a matter of time and his destination is totally up in the air.
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Liverpool in Hunt for Another Lucas

(Bleacher Report) The Reds are believed to be in a negotiating battle with Inter Milan over the prospect of acquiring the services of Sao Paulo Football Club's 19 year old midfielder Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva.

Talksport has issued reports that their is discussion over a £15 million fee on the table from either Liverpool, Inter Milan or even Tottenham.

Lucas, as he is known, has already broken into the first team for the club and could be a hard player to pry free as he looks to be a integral part of the clubs plans for the future.

So far he has already totaled 44 games and scored 11 goals for the Brazilian club and is expected to do more during the season.

All three of the clubs mentioned have the possible cash for the bid if it is agreed for any of them. However, Inter Milan look the most poised for the move though.

Liverpool already spent large on their midfield this summer and Tottenham look to have the funds from their sales on the last day, but I do not believe the current position will help them sell the club to a prospect that will certainly have his eyes on European competition.

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