Arsenal must decide on Europa League campaign – Peter Cech

Arsenal must go into their Europa League campaign with the intention of winning the tournament or set themselves different priorities for the season, goalkeeper Peter Cech has said. The London side host Germany’s Cologne in Europe’s second-tier competition on Thursday and Cech, who won the title with Chelsea in the 2012-13 season, said the club must take a call on how they approach the tournament. “You make your decision,” he told London’s Evening Standard. “At Chelsea, we were really disappointed to have been knocked out of the group stage (of…

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Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo extends Real Madrid contract

Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo extended his 11-year stay with the Spanish giants by signing a new contract until 2022, the club announced on Wednesday. The Brazilian, 29, has won three Champions League and four La Liga titles in over 400 appearances since joining from Fluminense in 2006. “Real Madrid and Marcelo have agreed to extend the contract of the player, who will remain tied to the club until June 30, 2022,” the club said. Marcelo will, though, be suspended for Madrid’s next two La Liga games after his ban for…

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Atletico Madrid confident of breakthrough in Diego Costa negotiations with Chelsea

Atletico Madrid confident of breakthrough in Diego Costa negotiations with Chelsea Diego Costa remains AWOL from Chelsea as Atletico move closer to his signing Atletico Madrid are increasingly confident they have made a breakthrough in negotiations to sign Diego Costa from Chelsea, Sky Sports News understands. A source close to the negotiations says progress is being made but “it is not sorted yet”, after a summer-long debacle between the player and his current West London employers. Atletico are banned from registering new players before January and have so far offered…

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Tottenham Hotspurs fight to end Wembley woe

Frustrated by a series of miserable experiences at Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur host Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday desperate to finally vanquish the ghosts that haunt them at the national stadium. When Mauricio Pochettino’s side kick off their Champions League campaign against the Germans, it won’t be just priceless Group H points that are up for grabs. For Tottenham, Wembley is in danger of becoming the bogeyman that wreaks havoc on their ambitions to challenge for silverware at home and abroad. The north London club have been forced to relocate to Wembley…

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UEFA Champions League to test Klopp’s progress at Liverpool

When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, he made a promise: “If we sit here in four years, I think we (will) win one title,” he said. Next month will mark the second anniversary of Klopp’s appointment, the halfway point of that four-year cycle. There has undoubtedly been progress in that time; a team who were 10th in the Premier League when he arrived finished fourth last season. Whether they are significantly closer to winning a major trophy is more open to debate. Liverpool reached two finals in…

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Eden Hazard hopeful for UEFA Champions League title win

Chelsea footballer Eden Hazard says he is keen to win the Champions League title as his club begins its European campaign with a group stage match against Azerbaijani side Qarabag on Tuesday. Hazard joined Chelsea shortly after they won their first Champions League title in 2012 but the London side have not won the competition since. It came close in the 2013-14 season but lost to Atletico Madrid in the semifinals. Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last campaign and as they prepare to return to…

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Bayern Munich boss fires back at Lewandowski

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has fired back at Robert Lewandowski after the Poland hot-shot criticised the Bavarian giants’ spending policy. Bayern crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim on Saturday which left them sixth in the German league table – their worst position after the first three games since 2010-11. The mood ahead of Tuesday’s first Champions League match at home to Anderlecht was not helped by Lewandowski telling magazine Der Spiegel that Bayern should spend big to attract more world-class players. They set a new Bundesliga record…

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Plateau United crowned Nigerian league champions

Plateau United have won the 2017 Nigerian Professional League championship, beating defending champions Rangers International 2-0 on the last day, to clinch the coveted  trophy and cash of N50million. The 2017 championship in the last few weeks was  a cheek and jowl affair between United and Lagos based MFM FC, with just one point separating them going to Day 38. Champions Plateau United But while United earned the maximum three points to hit 66 points, MFM faded out, losing to El-Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri 1-2  and ending the race with…

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Rooney looks to Spurs to redeem himself

Everton manager Ronald Koeman confirmed Wayne Rooney will play against Tottenham on Saturday despite a drink drive charge hanging over the striker. Rooney was arrested a week ago and has a court hearing on 18 September after being released on bail over the incident. The 31-year-old has scored twice in three Premier League games for Everton, having rejoined his boyhood club from Manchester United in the summer. Koeman was unable to bring in another top striker before the transfer window closed and will therefore keep faith with Rooney despite his…

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Juventus warm-up for Barcelona against Chievo

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri will get a final chance to test his troops before next week’s Champions League opener at Barcelona in Saturday’s Serie A tie at home against Chievo. Serie A champions Juventus travel to the Camp Nou on Tuesday to take on the Catalan side they eliminated in the quarterfinals of the European competition last season. But first up is modest but consistent Chievo Verona, whose players earn a combined €18 million annually compared to the €164 million pocketed by Juventus’ squad. And Chievo coach Rolando Maran has…

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