Messi needs rest

Lionel Messi had to miss out from the semi-finals of the Club World Cup back in December of 2015 due to a problem that he had with kidney stones and now recent medical tests have emerged which has detected and confirm that the Argentine is still suffering from this problem and he will have to go under the knife in order to help solve this issue.

Lionel Messi recently reached the 500th goal mark during the Copa del Rey match that his team played against Valencia on February 3 and the final scoreboard displayed 7-0 in favor of Luis Enrique’s team as they obliterated their opponents. The Argentine scored 3 times in this match while Suarez found the back of the net on 4 occasions. Scoring 500 goals in the entirety of his career is an accomplishment that not many players are able to reach but the Argentine superstar managed to do this at the age of 28.

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Injuries and a busy schedule for Manchester City

League Cup, Champions League and the Premier League are all of the top competitions that Manchester City have to play within the next few weeks and months. It will certainly be a schedule with non-stop action for Manuel Pellegrini and his players but this is not good news for the English club as they are a number of key players which are out injured.

Fernando, YayaToure, Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri are all of the players in the squad of Manuel Pellegrini which have been suffering with injuries in these past few weeks.

These injuries have forced Pellegrini on having to change around his squad for certain matches and the Chilean manager will have to continue doing those makeshift teams for a few more weeks unless his main players start to recover.

Even with all of the injuries that the players of Manchester City have been experiencing, the club has still managed to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup, secured a place in the last 16 of the Champions League and are still in the top spots of the Premier League. Read more

Chelsea: From Premier League champions to relegation candidates?

There can be no question that Chelsea were the dominant force in the Premier League last season, with Jose Mourinho’s men sweeping aside all that stood before them with ominous ease. It was the combination of superb defensive resilience and ruthlessness in attack that saw Chelsea not only set a new league record for the length of time spent at the summit, but also effectively saw them win the title in the first half of the season.

All the plaudits which headed their way were thoroughly deserved, but although their rivals looked on with enviable eyes, there was little surprise when Bookies.com made Chelsea favourites to successful defend their Premier League crowd. However, no-one could predict the dramatic fall from grace that they have endured this season, with Mourinho not only losing his job at Stamford Bridge for the second time in his managerial career, but Chelsea find themselves just one point above the relegation zone. Read more

Everton ended their run of three league matches

Everton ended their run of three league matches without a win in the best manner possible.

They thrashed Sunderland 6-2 at Goodison Park in a result that provides a lot of confidence to the blues. Over the last few weeks, confidence has especially been around these parts after the club went through the whole month of October without a league victory. The previous success for the club in the Premier League game against West Brom when a narrow 3-2 victory gave them all three points. The result against Sunderland, though, is much more emphatic.

Everton were always going to be the favourites against a relegation threatened to Sunderland, who had not really shown much improvement since the arrival of Sam Allardyce. The former Newcastle United manager has a reputation for keeping poor teams in the division due to a combination of factors. Allardyce favours a physical style of football that is really hard to play against, but it seems that he will need more time and possibly new players in order to spark a revival at Sunderland. Aston Villa continue to remain rooted at the bottom of the table while Sunderland are only slightly better. The Black Cats now have the worst defence in the Premier League with 25 goals conceded already. Read more

Steve McClaren has had to fend off questions about dressing room bust ups

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has had to fend off questions about dressing room bust ups as is the case with every other team that is struggling in the Premier League.

The club are still winless under the new manager, who came on as the replacement in the summer. McClaren has previously disappointed in his roles at Premier League and Championship clubs. It seems like more of the same at Newcastle, who suffered an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat against newly promoted Watford during the weekend. The team showed no fighting spirit throughout the 90 minutes and McClaren is already fighting to remain in the job.

There have been allegations of problems in the dressing room caused by Cheick Tiote, who is currently injured. McClaren has dismissed those concerns by saying that he is someone who knowsTiote extremely well even from his days at FC Twente. Despite strengthening the squad immensely over the summer, Newcastle look to remain in the relegation dogfight towards the end of the campaign. Keen to avoid this, it has been suggested that the club must invest more in the upcoming January transfer window. McClaren, though, just wanted to concentrate on the club’s upcoming game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Read more

Steven Gerrard who prepares to play his final game at Anfield

A number of tributes have been going in for Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, who prepares to play his final game at Anfield.

The midfielder has joined LA Galaxy on a two-year contract and will be linking up with his new teammates after the end of the Premier league season. Since Liverpool conclude this campaign with an away match against Stoke City, a lot of tributes have been flowing in for Gerrard ahead of the final home game for Liverpool against Crystal Palace. The 34-year-old has spent his entire career at the club despite interest from several top clubs on numerous occasions.

Francesco Totti is also a legend in his own right. He has been at Roma since becoming a professional. Unlike Gerrard, it does not seem as if the Italian international is not ready to leave Roma for a final stint in the MLS or the Middle East. The 40-year-old continues to be a key player at the club. Gerrard, however, was in and out of the team during his final season and this appears to have played a major factor in convincing the player to leave Liverpool. Totti has lavished praise on the 34-year-old by saying that he is the complete midfielder in the world. Read more

Champions League final – a TV blockbuster

The Champions League final is now the most watched sporting event in the world and this year’s showpiece between Barcelona and Juventus promises to be a game you can’t take your eyes off.

Barcelona’s victory over Manchester United in 2009 was the first time the Champions League final had overtaken the Super Bowl in terms of number of television viewers. Audience figures have continued to increase over the past few years, with around 165 million people globally watching last year’s final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Champions League

A similar figure will be expected this year when both finalists will walk out at Berlin’s Olympiastadion aiming to win a Treble.

Barcelona have already won La Liga and the Copa del Rey this season. Juventus, meanwhile, have won Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Barcelona have history of winning the Treble as they achieved that feat in 2009, but Juventus have yet to win all three trophies in the same year.

So, in front of a potentially record-breaking television audience, who is going to come out on top and be the Treble winners?

With Lionel Messi in their team, Barcelona are always going to be the favourites to win and the Argentinian superstar has been in sensational form over the past few months. He scored a stunning goal as well in the Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao.

He is also trying to become the first player to score in three Champions League finals after previously scoring against United in 2009 and 2011. It is certainly worth searching for the free bets that bookies offer to have a punt on Messi scoring in the final again.

Barcelona will be appearing in their eighth final in the competition and they have so far won four of those. Their first victory came against Italian opposition when they beat Sampdoria in 1992, while their most recent defeat came two years after that when they were thrashed in 1994 by the great AC Milan side of the era. But Barcelona have won their last three finals – all against English opposition – and their front three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is going to take some stopping.

Juventus are also in the final for the eighth time, but it is their first appearance since losing on penalties to Milan 12 years ago. Juve have only won two of their finals – against Liverpool in 1985 and Ajax in 1996 – and no team has lost six finals.

The Italians also have a poor scoring record after scoring just three goals in their last seven appearances.

However, they do have players with experience of winning the Champions League as Patrice Evra and Carlos Tevez both won with United, and Alvaro Morata was part of Real’s successful team 12 months ago. Also, midfielder Andrea Pirlo was part of the Milan side which beat Juve in the final in 2003.

Pirlo

Pirlo, along with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, also has happy memories of the Olympiastadion after winning the World Cup at the venue in 2006 when Italy beat France on penalties.

There is plenty of evidence pointing towards a Barcelona win, but in beating Real Madrid in the semi-finals, Juventus showed they can cope with a mesmerising attack and it would be no surprise if they became the latest team to win this Treble.

Djokovic can challenge Cilic in 2015

It’s getting to that point in the year again, where hundreds of tennis fans mark their calendars for their favourite event, with a number of prestigious summer tournaments remaining.

Those fans not lucky enough to secure tickets to Flushing Meadows for the US Open though, can take advantage of numerous free live streams, though it is advisable that you have strong internet connection, of at least 10mbps, or are in a Wi-Fi hotspot, such as a café or a bar.

With virtually every match covered, there is no reason to miss a single shot, with the action at Flushing Meadows usually serving up a tennis treat. Read more

Four Goalscorers to Watch out for at Wembley

With British teams having made an early exit from European competition this year, there is little domestic interest in this week’s Champions League quarter-final ties. Instead, the focus of much of the English football public will already have switched to the forthcoming FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

Some may say that the competition is a distraction from the important business of the Premier League, and others may say that the significance of reaching the final has been diminished by hosting the semi-finals at the home of English football. But that will not stop the remaining four teams giving it everything they have to make it through. In this article we look at four of the men who will be shouldering much of the goalscoring responsibility for their teams at Wembley. Read more

English Premier League to share television Money with Lower Leagues

The English Premier League has confirmed that it will be sharing a significant portion of the new television money to the lower leagues.

The Premier League has been heavily criticised for widening the gap between the Championship and the English top division. Clubs in the Premier league can earn – through television money – in a single campaign what they would on for a decade in the Championship. Such wide gulf in class could mean bad for the game going forward, but Premier league chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed that the lower leagues will now receive £1 billion – over three years – from next season onwards.

This figure is a substantial increase from the current £700 million provided to the lower leagues. This increase comes after Premier league negotiated a new £ 5 million deal with sky and BT for television rights starting from the 2016 season. The league will be investing this figure in five areas – grassroots, participation, solidarity, disadvantaged groups, and matchday experience. Some have criticised the small increase in additional revenue, but it represents an increase of more than 40% over the existing deal. Premier league, meanwhile, had a £ 3 billion deal with its existing broadcasters. The league has the potential to learn more depending upon international sales figures. Read more