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THE CURSE OF THE COMMUNITY SHIELD: Chelsea Face Man City In Season Curtain Raiser



Community Shield
Chelsea vs. Manchester City
Date / Time: Sunday, August 5, 4:00pm
Venue: Wembley Stadium


Chelsea vs. Manchester City (2/GG)
They may be two of the biggest names in English football, they may be the last two Premier League winners, and they may be meeting in the traditional curtain-raiser for the new season, but Sunday’s Community Shield match against Manchester City isn’t the start to Chelsea’s season. It’s not even the beginning to the beginning of the season.
Key players still won’t start, and they even have another meaningless friendly after it, against Lyon two days later on Tuesday (where thy are more likely to see serious minutes for said key players). Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, N’Golo Kanté, Oliver Giroud, and Gary Cahill are all only due back this weekend. They may get in a training session, maybe. More likely is that their first activity will be medicals and conditioning work.
Manchester City are much in the same boat. They sent 16 players to the World Cup (Chelsea sent 14), 11 of whom made it as far as quarterfinals. Guardiola has used “the youth” for much of preseason so far, and he’s also unlikely to deviate too much from that plan.
As usual, there will be no extra time if the scores are level after 90 minutes, and the penalty shootout is once again the ABBA system, rather than the standard ABAB that every other competition uses (including those that trialed the ABBA thing recently). Each team can use six of their seven named substitutes.

Referee: Jonathan Moss — love him or hate him, Chelsea win a lot when he’s the man in the middle. They beat Swansea and Brighton under his supervision last season.

Chelsea team news: Chelsea gazumped City for Jorginho, so that should add a bit of spice to what could be an otherwise unremarkable and (literally) friendly meeting, especially given the respectful, cordial, maybe even friendly relationship between the two head coaches.
Cesc Fàbregas managed to pick up a knee injury in the last game and was reduced to crutches for at least a couple days, so he probably won’t be fit to start. Sarri is planning on selecting an unchanged lineup otherwise, barring any further fitness or training issues, which should mean another start for 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi, greased lighting personified.
Sarri declared a public intention to win this thing — a slightly different tone from the “fun” message throughout July — and start his Chelsea career off on a good note.

Manchester City team news: Other than new signing Riyad Mahrez — it may be hard to believe, but he’s actually their record signing — famously snubbed by Germany for the World Cup Leroy Sané, and go-getter Bernardo Silva (who’s reminded everyone that he’s really good in City’s last game), Pep Guardiola has pretty much played the kids the whole preseason. As mentioned above, that’s been a bit of a necessity for him, and for most of the rest of the top six teams.
It’s anyone’s guess how City will line up, but an attacking trio of Mahrez, B.Silva, and Sané is already good enough to beat most teams. Guardiola’s bunch should continue working as a well-oiled machine, though their aging midfield core will be a concern — thus their big effort to sign an heir to 33-year-old Fernandinho, but missing out on both Jorginho and Fred (who joined Manchester United instead).

Last time: The last meeting between these two was the infamous match at the Etihad in which Antonio Conte infuriated pretty much everyone with completely passive tactics, even when behind by goal. So, instead let’s enjoy the last time we topped Pep Guardiola, a 2-1 victory on our way to the title in April 2017.

The Curse of the Community Shield?
A phenomenon noted as far back as 2005, since when plenty have pointed out that Community Shield victory is not much of an indicator of success for the forthcoming season. Only seven of its 26 winners in the Premier League era went on to be champions the following May, including a particularly inglorious period of eight clubs in a row between 1997 and 2004 who fell short in the league after lifting the Shield back in August.


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VIDEO: Ronaldo’s Overhead Kick Against Juventus Beats Gareth Bale’s Stunner Against Liverpool For UEFA Best Goal Poll



Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick in the Champions League final has been overlooked in a goal of the season poll conducted by UEFA according to Eurosport.
The Wales international scored with a brilliant acrobatic effort – one of two he scored in the game – as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Kiev to claim their 13th European crown.

Despite the sensational nature of the strike, it is another brilliant overhead kick, by Cristiano Ronaldo, which has been nominated as the Champions League entrant for the 2017-18 vote on, the European governing body’s website. Ronaldo, then also of Real Madrid, performed his bicycle kick as the Spanish giants beat Juventus – the club he has since joined – 3-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie in Turin.

UEFA’s technical observers said the goal was “an extraordinary display of technique and athleticism”. The shortlist features 11 goals in total, one from each of the competitions run by UEFA.

England international Lucy Bronze is nominated for the volley she scored in Lyon’s victory over her former club Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League. England Under-19 international Elliot Pemberton also makes the list following a fine piece of skill and left-foot strike against Turkey.

The first of the three goals scored by Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen in Denmark’s 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland a World Cup qualifying play-off in Dublin is also included.


  • Lucy Bronze (LYON 1-0 Manchester City) – UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals, 29/04/18
  • Olga Carmona (Switzerland 0-2 SPAIN) – UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship group stage, 21/07/18
  • Elisandro (Sporting CP 2-5 INTER FS) – UEFA Futsal Cup final, 22/04/18
  • Elliot Embleton (Turkey 2-3 ENGLAND) – UEFA European Under-19 Championship group stage, 17/07/18
  • Christian Eriksen (Republic of Ireland 1-5 DENMARK) – European Qualifiers play-offs, 14/11/17
  • Paulo Estrela (PORTO 5 -1 Besiktas) – UEFA Youth League group stage, 13/09/17
  • Eva Navarro (Germany 0-2 SPAIN) – UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final, 21/05/18
  • Dimitri Payet (MARSEILLE 5-2 Leipzig) – UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, 12/04/18
  • Goncalo Ramos (Slovenia 0-4 PORTUGAL) – UEFA European Under-17 Championship group stage, 07/05/18
  • Ricardinho (PORTUGAL 4-1 Romania) – UEFA Futsal EURO group stage, 31/01/18
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus 0-3 REAL MADRID) – UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, 03/04/18





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BRING POGBA: Cristiano Ronaldo Urges Juventus To beat Real Madrid And Barcelona To Land Want Away Man United Star



Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly pushing his club to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona to the transfer of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
According to Diario Gol, Ronaldo would dearly love to see Juve get the better of two of his major rivals in European football – Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
The report is the latest to claim Pogba is desperate to get away from United after becoming unsettled at Old Trafford, and it could be that he’ll be targeted by his old club Juventus.
The France international showed some of the best form of his career during his time in Turin, and it would undoubtedly be a major boost for the club to have him back.
Although Pogba has struggled to replicate that form in England, he showed flashes of his old self with his quality performances with France as they won the World Cup this summer.
Having signed Ronaldo from Real this close-season, if Juventus could also find a way to lure Pogba back to Italy it would be a serious statement of intent from the Serie A giants as they look to build on their domestic dominance by finally conquering Europe.

The transfer deadline for Premier League clubs ended last Thursday, meaning they can no longer make any signings again until January. They can, however, still sell players, and most European clubs can still buy them until August 31, although Serie A clubs have just until the 17th to make new purchases.

Manchester United Need Pogba More Than Pogba Needs Manchester United

Manchester United ‘need Paul Pogba more than Paul Pogba needs Manchester United’, according to former footballer Chris Sutton. According to Manchester Evening news, the BBC pundit says that Paul Pogba’s influence is growing at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho would do well to take note of that.

Pogba said there are things he would like to say about his situation at Old Trafford but would be fined for doing so following United’s win against Leicester on Friday night.

It came in the wake of a prolonged transfer saga linking Pogba to Barcelona after the Frenchman endured a tempestuous relationship with Jose Mourinho last season. Pogba was dropped for United’s key games against Sevilla and Chelsea last season and player and manager have not seen eye to eye ever since.


And Sutton believes that Mourinho should steer clear of further bust-ups with the midfielder. “What was the point of Jose’s criticism of Paul Pogba after the World Cup saying he needs to do it in a United shirt?” he told BBC 5 Live.

“What was the point? Every action has a consequence and that’s clearly upset Paul Pogba. “Manchester United need Paul Pogba more than Paul Pogba needs Manchester United right now and that’s the bottom line.

“He was their best player on Friday night and why should he hang around for Jose really when all he does is sly little digs at him?” Pogba was handed the captain’s armband for United’s opening-day win against Leicester, and fellow pundit Ian Wright believes Pogba’s influence is greater than that of Mourinho at Old Trafford.

“I don’t think there is anything else at Manchester United that could be causing his [Pogba’s] angst apart from his manager,” Wright said. “The players love him, the fans love him, Ed Woodward loves him because he’s not only a magnificent player but on the commercial side he’s a massive, massive asset at Manchester United.

“I think it’s a fight that Mourinho is having with Pogba and Ed Woodward that I think that eventually he will lose because those two guys are much more powerful that Jose Mourinho.

“He [Pogba] is saying that because he has been empowered and he knows that he can make a veiled dig at his manager saying that he would like to say things about his manager.”


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UEFA SUPER CUP: It’s Real Madrid Vs Atletico: Team News, Line-Ups, Head To Head, Betting Tips



UEFA Super Cup
Wednesday 15th August
10:00 Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (Betting Tip 1/GG)


Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet for the tenth time in a European fixture on Wednesday to battle for the Uefa Super Cup.
Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick helped Los Blancos seal a third consecutive Champions League crown last May; their fourth triumph in five years and their 13th in their history.
Atletico have been used to pushing their neighbours all the way in Europe’s premier club competition, forcing them to extra time in 2014’s final with only a penalty shoot-out separating them in another all Madrid-meeting in 2016.
A disappointing group campaign last season however fed them into the Europa League, where they swatted away Arsenal in the semi-finals before cruising to a 3-0 victory to lift the trophy in a match lit up by Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico managed to hold onto their prized asset again this summer with Real adjusting to life without Cristiano Ronaldo. Their first real tests of the season await.

Head to head
Real Madrid have won 100 of their 194 meetings with Atletico, losing 49 of those matches over the years.

Team news
Luka Modric has played just 15 minutes of pre-season since returning from his World Cup break and could start on the bench on Wednesday, amid uncertainty over his long-term future in the Spanish capital.
Real’s Spanish contingent have all played a full pre-season owing to La Roja’s early exit in Russia with Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema showing promise in an attacking three under Julen Lopetegui.


Reports in Spain suggest Keylor Navas will start in goal in Wednesday despite the arrival of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea last week, having had little time to train with his new teammates.
Lopetegui had been planning on giving 21-year-old defender Jesus Vallejo a chance to make an impression in the first-team this season but a muscular injury is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the month. He is the only Real Madrid player absent through injury.
Atletico’s World Cup-winning pair Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez only returned to training last Monday but featured in the second half of Saturday’s pre-season friendly with Inter. A role from the bench could await them this week.
Thomas Lemar, another member of that triumphant France squad, cut his holidays short by almost two weeks, however, linking up with his new club at the end of July. He has featured heavily in pre-season since along with fellow summer signing Gelson Martins and is expected to start.
Nikola Kalinic has inherited Fernando Torres’ old number nine shirt since his arrival at the Wanda Metropolitano and having had a relatively quiet summer after being booted out of Croatia’s World Cup campaign before the group stages were over, he might be fresh enough to make his debut.

Possible starting XIs
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Isco, Asensio, Benzema

Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Luis, Koke, Saul, Rodri, Lemar, Costa, Kalinic


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