Preview: Chelsea looking for three vital points at the Liberty
With either of Liverpool and Man City poised to drop points as the two title contenders go head to head on Sunday, Chelsea will be hoping to take advantage of the situation by grabbing all three points during their weekend encounter against Swansea City.
A win coupled with a Liverpool loss could allow the Blues to return to the Premier League summit.
Preview: Liverpool host City in potential title decider
The outcome of the match could verily decide who runs away with the Premier League title this season with only five matches left to play. Whereas Chelsea will remain in the mix of things Liverpool and Man City both have been in ravishing form as of late and have remained undefeated in their last five matches.
Liverpool in particular have been nothing short of spectacular and have won all of their last nine games in the Premier League. Much of their good form has been inspired from their magnificent strike duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge who share 49 goals between them in the league.
Preview: Weak Real Madrid looking for robust win
Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to play one half of this game but it appears he will not spend a single minute on the field. Already, physios are trying to get him ready to face Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final next Wednesday.
Reports suggest Ronaldo may need a bandage under his knee to control the pain. Ancelotti has not ruled his biggest asset out of El Clasico yet, but it is certain that CR7 will not kick a ball this weekend.
“I had the same injury and I had to strengthen my knee with a lot of gym work with massages to reduce the inflammation,” Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos explained.
Preview: Granada will try to take advantage of a frustrated Barcelona
The chase for the La Liga title continues on Saturday evening, as Barcelona travel to Granada. Bouncing back from a mid-week disappointment will be the priority, but the Catalans also have a Copa del Rey final coming up.
After a 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid, which eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League, many are questioning Martino’s future at the club.
He is now asking for his players to respond on Saturday, against a Granada side that are just three points clear of the relegation zone. With six league games remaining and one point between separating them from the top spot, every point is important.
Borussia Dortmund has been criticized sometimes this season for not being as strong as last season. In their final appearance in the Champions League this season, they overturned quite a few opinions. With Robert Lewandowski back in the side following a dubious…
Preview: Arsenal faces a must win at Wembley Stadium
It has been nine long years for Arsenal fans, and on Saturday, they have a chance to see their club at Wembley. Taking part in the semifinals of the competition will not be good enough, and they will expect the Gunners to progress to the final.
All the pressure is on their side, and Arsene Wenger will be on the radar.
The Frenchman knows that he is up against his best chance to claim a title, since their last piece of silverware in 2005. All their injuries will not help, but it should not be an excuse.
Preview: West Brom hopeful of moving away from the relegation zone
Two wins in the last four games have ensured that the Baggies remain five points clear of 18th placed Fulham who currently occupy the final relegation spot. Pepe Mel who replaced Steve Clarke at the helm has played a vital role and should be given credit if his side is to avoid relegation this season.
Their 1-0 victory over Norwich City last time out has allowed them to leapfrog the canaries in the league table, but the relegation battle is hardly over for the throstles who are yet to play Manchester City and Arsenal in the league.
There will be no all-Spanish final come May 14, 2014. However, Sevilla coach Unai Emery is content with Friday's results of the draw. Here is why:
“We think it is going to be a really attractive tie and one that will take a Spanish team through to the final, which is good for the national game.”
Likewise, Valencia defender Ricardo Costa was happy with the outcome of the Europa League semis draw. He said:
“I wanted us to face Sevilla because we can beat them and get to the final, where I would like to meet Benfica.”
Before the month of May begins, the names of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League’s two finalists will be revealed. See when and how to watch the semi-final matches live through LiveSoccerTV’s recap of Friday’s Champions League semis draw.
First leg match dates
They will be played on 22 April 2014 and 23 April 2014.
The two remaining Spanish clubs will be at home. Atleti will get the Last 4 adventure underway with a spicy clash against 2011/2012 UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon.
The following day, city rivals Real Madrid will affront Bayern Munich in a re-match of their 2011/12 Champions League semi-final clash.
Probabilities are very few with only four teams left, yet many fans are lost in predictions. How will Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid be paired on Friday in Nyon?
Atletico Madrid arguably provided the biggest result in the Last 8 by kicking giants Barcelona out of the competition. The Rojiblancos needed a lone goal from Koke in the second leg to beat the Catalans 2-1 on aggregate.
This sealed the fact that “Barca are out whereas Bayern, Atletico, Real…
Preview: La Vecchia Signora take on Les Gones in what should be a closely-contested second leg
Following PSG's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea, Remi Garde's men find themselves in an interesting similar position to the side they will be facing in Turin. Both Juventus and Lyon are now Serie A and Ligue 1's sole representatives remaining in any kind of continental competition this season, and each squad has their respective reasons for trying to make it into the final four.
For the Bianconeri, who were consigned to the Europa League after failing to get out of their group stage campaign, they will be keen to make it to the final in May as it's being held at their home ground. As for Lyon, their 5th-placed standing puts them four behind Saint-Etienne and the last continental football berth, so naturally, they will look to overturn the deficit and take one step closer to winning their first European title since claiming the now-defunct Intertoto Cup back in 1997.
Preview: Benfica out to end AZ Alkmaar's dreams of a Europa League Final
The Estadio da Luz will be the venue for the Champions League final this season. But before that can happen, Benfica will welcome Dutch side AZ Alkmaar to the Portuguese capital, for a Europa League quarterfinal match.
A 0-1 victory in the first-leg for Jorge Jesus’ side has them in the driver’s seat heading into Thursday night. Eduardo Salvio’s side volley beat AZ’s goalkeeper in the second half, marking his first goal since a lengthy recovery from a knee injury.
Benfica’s home form will be a concern for the visitors. Undefeated in their last 44 matches at the Estadio da Luz, the Portuguese League leaders will aim to make it 45 on Thursday night. Their last defeat in Lisbon came on October 2, 2012, against Barcelona, where the Catalans came away with a 0-2 victory.
Preview: Sevilla have a one goal deficit to overturn
Sevilla will welcome Porto to Andalusia on Thursday night for yet another fascinating Europa League match. The Sevillistas gave their fans hope, after defeating Betis in the previous round in a penalty shootout. They will now be up against the current Portuguese champions, who have plenty of experience.
The Portuguese side was matched up with Napoli in the previous round; with a lot of football fans expecting the Italian’s to go through.
Manchester United perhaps could not have asked for this tie to take place at a better time than it did. They are finally stringing results together; their performances, while not altogether convincing, seem more jointed. Their showing in the first leg was spirited…
Preview: Atletico hoping to make full use of away goal advantage
Diego Simeone’s men unfazed by an energetic home crowd in the first leg put an emphatic showing at the Camp Nou. Despite a setback which saw star man Diego Costa stretched off due to an injury Atleti remained the most dangerous side in the first half and could have taken an early lead had David Villa been more clinical. It was a wonder strike from Brazilian midfielder Diego Ribas which gave the visitors the lead and Atletico were poised to end the first leg with a goal advantage until Neymar leveled the scores in the 71st minute.
Preview: Chelsea looking to overturn two goal deficit
After a disastrous outing last time out, Chelsea will be hoping for a better showing in the second leg of the Champions League Quarter-Final. The London side was outclassed in the first leg as the French champions raced to a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore as well as an own goal from Chelsea defender David Luiz.
However Chelsea do have an away goal advantage heading into the match courtesy of an Eden Hazard penalty as a result of rash tackle inside the box by Thiago Silva on compatriot Oscar. This implies that if Chelsea are to score twice without letting the Parisians score at all, the Blues will make it to the last four of the competition.
Preview: Dortmund need a miracle, Los Blancos want an early goal
Even with the expected absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Dortmund’s pitch after only 15 minutes of training on Tuesday morning, Real Madrid are virtually free from pressure. Thanks to the big win at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg, Los Blancos are confident about sealing their 2013/14 UEFA Champions League semi-final spot on German soil.
This time, a repeat of the 4-1 victory they clinched over Real Madrid last season will not be enough for Borussia Dortmund to go through. The away goals rule would see them crash out from Europe on aggregate. Still, Dortmund are not giving up as football is full of surprises.
Preview: The Rossoneri look to make it three straight wins against the Grifone
It's not something that many fans would have anticipated after last season's miraculous turnaround, but Milan has yet to win three consecutive games in Serie a all season. They can do so against Genoa, a side that they have not lost to since back in September 2008, but due to their dismal form this season, their opponents are just three points behind them in the league table in 13th place.
Additionally, despite their 39 points, Gian Piero Gasperini's men have fared well at home, with seven victories out of ten at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. However, Milan, who are well out of contention for a Champions League berth, could close the gap on city rivals Inter to just five points with a win against the Grifone. The Nerazzurri were held to a 2-2 draw with Bologna and sit just eight ahead of the 11th-placed Rossoneri in fifth--showing how close the teams ranging from just outside the top four to fourteenth place are presently.
Preview: League leaders look to get back to winning ways against the relegation candidates
Juventus has nearly triple the total points of their opponents, with their haul of 81 giving them a 56 point lead over struggling side Livorno. Hence, this should be an easy way for Antonio Conte's men re-establish a comfortable margin over Roma after their 22-match streak was snapped by Napoli this past weekend.
Suffice it to say, history is not on Livorno's side. The Amaranto are currently in 18th place with a dismal 25 points earned from 31 games, and one would have to go back to a time well before many Serie A fans--or even their parents--were born to find out when they were able to defeat the Bianconeri. In fact, they have only won four times against Juventus, with just one in Turin, and the last time they were able to emerge victorious against La Vecchia Signoria was in 1942, the same year in which they earned their best ever result in Italian football--a second place finish behind Torino.
It is clear to see which position both Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata prefer to function in. Just behind the main striker in the number ten role, with the freedom to distribute the ball to the flanks, supply Robin van Persie to finish or to shoot from in and around the penalty box.
Mata's Man of the Match performance against Newcastle United on Saturday 5th April proved to be the Spaniard's best outing in a United shirt, scoring two goals including a stunning curling free-kick. However, should Wayne Rooney have not been injured Mata would have undoubtedly been moved over to the right or left hand side of the formation.