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PostSubject: Soccer News [4]   Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:48 am

Arsenal youngsters see off WBA
Mexican striker Carlos Vela came off the bench to inspire Arsene Wenger's young Gunners to a 2-0 Carling Cup victory over ten-man West Brom at the Emirates Stadium.

The 20-year-old marked his return from an ankle injury when his shot set up Sanchez Watt for the opener in the 68th minute and then added a tap-in after Mark Randall's clever chip came back off the crossbar. After a positive start the Coca-Cola Championship leaders were up against it after former Gunner Jerome Thomas - who twice won the FA Youth Cup while at Arsenal - was sent off after 37 minutes for a needless slap on Jack Wilshere.

Wenger had once again given youth a chance, his team with an average age of just over 20, while also bringing in experienced defender Philippe Senderos - starting for the first time since May 2008 after a loan spell at AC Milan - and veteran Mikael Silvestre captained the side. Senderos - who could have joined Everton during the transfer window - had an early chance when he headed over at the near post following a corner from the left.

With Watt and French teenager Gilles Sunu Arsenal certainly had plenty of pace in attack, while Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey - both with plenty of first-team experience already - provided the trademark quick passing through the midfield. Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, 19, made the first meaningful contribution on his debut when punching a corner clear at the near post and he was stretching in the 15th minute as Robert Koren's angled 20-yard drive flew just wide.

Watt came within inches of opening his Arsenal account when he stabbed Wilshere's cutback goalwards, only for the ball to bounce agonisingly off the inside of the post and into Dean Kiely's grateful arms. The match had suddenly sparked into life, West Brom midfielder Simon Cox the next to test Szczesny with a low drive.

The Pole produced another fine stop to turn Koren's shot behind, which was creeping in. The youngsters were rattled - and Kerrea Gilbert hacked the ball off the line after a corner caused panic in the Arsenal six-yard box.

Arsenal responded well, with Wilshere again driving at the Baggies rearguard. On 31 minutes, Wilshere again made space for himself with another positive run, and his 20-yard shot was just off-target.

West Brom swung a free-kick into the area which Szczesny dropped under pressure at the far post from Leon Barnett, but fortunately Kieran Gibbs - who had played in the Champions League semi-final defeat to Manchester United last season - was on hand to clear. West Brom continued to look dangerous on the break, with Thomas' run down the left forcing Szczesny to make an important block.

Turning point
However, the 26-year-old was shown a straight red card in the 37th minute after he clashed with Wilshere, before then slapping the midfielder in the face while he was on the floor. Cox also went into referee Lee Mason's book for his protests.

Cox headed over for the first real chance of the second half when well placed in the six-yard box before Wenger made a change in the 58th minute. Vela and Randall came on, replacing Sunu and Francis Coquelin.

The game continued to be scrappy, as the visitors closed down the space quickly. It took a moment of Premier League quality from Vela to finally help break the deadlock.

He showed great close control to create space for a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which Kiely palmed wide, and Watt followed up to smash in his first senior Arsenal goal. The Mexican then got the goal he deserved after 75 minutes.

Randall's 20-yard chip came back off the underside of the bar - and Vela was alert enough to get in between Barnett and Kiely before knocking the ball over the line. The Baggies missed the chance to pull a goal back with 10 minutes to go when substitute Chris Wood fired wide at the far post - which just about summed up their night.

Bayern cruise in Cup
Belgian international defender Daniel Van Buyten scored his fourth goal in three games as Bayern Munich booked their place in the third round of the German Cup on Tuesday with a 5-0 win over minnows Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.

Having netted in Bayern's UEFA Champions League 3-0 win in Tel Aviv last week and then hit the winner in Saturday's 2-1 Bundesliga over Nuremberg, the defender scored twice in the German Cup second round match at Munich's Allianz Arena.

With Dutch coach Louis van Gaal resting several players, ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga clash at Hamburg and next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League against Juventus and giving stars Franck Ribery and Miroslav Klose some game time, Bayern assumed control after a hesitant start.

"I am very content with the result," said van Gaal. "It is always good if the players put in such a performance. I made a few changes because of the games we have coming up. We have most of our squad fit again, which is crucial with the important game against Hamburg coming up."

Germany stars Philipp Lahm and Mario Gomez handed the home side a comfortable half-time lead with first half goals. Van Buyten then hit a brace and 20-year-old substitute Thomas Mueller added another to underline Bayern's unchallenged superiority en route to the last sixteen.

Schalke 04 had few problems in the Ruhr valley derby against Bochum with a 3-0 win as defender Heiko Westermann and striker Halil Altintop scored for the Royal Blues before the home side conceded an own goal through Christian Fuchs.

Eintracht Trier striker Sahr Senesie wrapped up his hat-trick in injury time for the minnows as they beat second-division Arminia Bielefeld 4-2 after extra-time. Bundesliga side Nuremberg crashed out as they were beaten 1-0 by Hoffenheim.

And Borussia Moenchengladbach also exited when they lost 1-0 to Duisburg having conceded an injury time goal from Belgium's Kristoffer Andersen who scored against his old club. Bundesliga leaders Hamburg are in action on Wednesday night at Osnabrueck while defending cup holders Werder Bremen are at home to Hamburg side St Pauli.
Belgian international defender Daniel Van Buyten scored his fourth goal in three games as Bayern Munich booked their place in the third round of the German Cup on Tuesday with a 5-0 win over minnows Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.

Having netted in Bayern's UEFA Champions League 3-0 win in Tel Aviv last week and then hit the winner in Saturday's 2-1 Bundesliga over Nuremberg, the defender scored twice in the German Cup second round match at Munich's Allianz Arena.

With Dutch coach Louis van Gaal resting several players, ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga clash at Hamburg and next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League against Juventus and giving stars Franck Ribery and Miroslav Klose some game time, Bayern assumed control after a hesitant start.

"I am very content with the result," said van Gaal. "It is always good if the players put in such a performance. I made a few changes because of the games we have coming up. We have most of our squad fit again, which is crucial with the important game against Hamburg coming up."

Germany stars Philipp Lahm and Mario Gomez handed the home side a comfortable half-time lead with first half goals. Van Buyten then hit a brace and 20-year-old substitute Thomas Mueller added another to underline Bayern's unchallenged superiority en route to the last sixteen.

Schalke 04 had few problems in the Ruhr valley derby against Bochum with a 3-0 win as defender Heiko Westermann and striker Halil Altintop scored for the Royal Blues before the home side conceded an own goal through Christian Fuchs.

Eintracht Trier striker Sahr Senesie wrapped up his hat-trick in injury time for the minnows as they beat second-division Arminia Bielefeld 4-2 after extra-time. Bundesliga side Nuremberg crashed out as they were beaten 1-0 by Hoffenheim.

And Borussia Moenchengladbach also exited when they lost 1-0 to Duisburg having conceded an injury time goal from Belgium's Kristoffer Andersen who scored against his old club. Bundesliga leaders Hamburg are in action on Wednesday night at Osnabrueck while defending cup holders Werder Bremen are at home to Hamburg side St Pauli.

Messi double pushes Barcelona top
Champions Barcelona moved back to the top of the Spanish table with a thumping 4-1 win at Racing Santander on Tuesday to maintain their perfect start to the season.

Argentine Lionel Messi scored a brace, including a brilliant solo goal, making him the league's top-scorer with five goals while Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his record of scoring in every game and now has four to his name. It is a maximum 12 points from four games for Barcelona representing their best start since the 1997/98 season.

Real Madrid can move level on points with Barcelona if they can win at Villarreal tonight. Barcelona blitzed Atletico Madrid at the weekend with four goals inside the first 41 minutes and did the trick again in Santander establishing a three-goal lead by the 26th minute.

A destructive six-minute spell saw Ibrahimovic open the scoring in the 20th minute to maintain his goal a game record. Three minutes later Messi exchanged passes with Xavi before curling into the corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Gerard Pique, getting a reputation for a goalscoring defender, netted the third on 26 minutes after a great touch from Ibrahimovic. It could have been more in a one-sided first-half with Ibrahimovic hitting the post and Messi having a goal ruled out for offside.

Ibrahimovic had to go off in the second half because of a twisted ankle with Pedro enetering the fray in his place. Messi then wriggled past three defenders to score his second goal of the game before Oscar Serrano netted a consolation goal.

Impressive Sevilla
Sevilla notched a third successive win to join Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao on nine points after defeating Real Mallorca 2-0 at home on Tuesday. Mallorca could have gone top of the table with a victory but Sevilla were a cut above and took the spoils thanks to first-half goals from Sebastian Squillaci and Argentine Diego Perotti.

Sevilla welcomed back Brazilian international Luis Fabiano but it was French centre-back Squillaci who surprisingly opened the scoring after 17 minutes. It was a goal made in France with Julien Escude heading the ball across goal for compatriot Squillaci to head in off the underside of the crossbar.

The second goal was created brilliantly by Fabiano and Jesus Navas who crossed for Perotti to head home from close range. Mallorca had a golden chance to make it 2-1 close to half-time but Fernando Varela was foiled by Andres Palop.

Brazilian Adriano almost made it 3-0 minutes after the interval but a last-ditch block denied him a brilliant solo goal. Sevilla climb to third with their third consecutive victory while Mallorca lie sixth after their first defeat of the campaign.

"We were 2-0 up and could have scored two more but then we relaxed," said Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez. "We can't afford to do that because games can last 90 or sometimes 95 minutes and you have to play right until the end."

Real Madrid's expensive line-up face their hardest test so far with a trip to Villarreal tonight as coach Manuel Pellegrini goes back to his old club. "It is a joy to go back to Villarreal," said Pellegrini. "There were five years at a great club and I met some fantastic people. The fans always treated me well during my time there and I hope I get a good reception." Pellegrini has guided Real to three straight victories while his successor at Villarreal Ernesto Valverde has yet to win a game.

Atletico Madrid, another team looking for a top four spot, have also had a nervy start with just one point from nine ahead of tonight's home match against Almeria. Coach Abel Resino got the dreaded vote of confidence from Atletico president Enrique Cerezo this week following the 5-2 humiliation by Barcelona over the weekend.
Champions Barcelona moved back to the top of the Spanish table with a thumping 4-1 win at Racing Santander on Tuesday to maintain their perfect start to the season.

Argentine Lionel Messi scored a brace, including a brilliant solo goal, making him the league's top-scorer with five goals while Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his record of scoring in every game and now has four to his name. It is a maximum 12 points from four games for Barcelona representing their best start since the 1997/98 season.

Real Madrid can move level on points with Barcelona if they can win at Villarreal tonight. Barcelona blitzed Atletico Madrid at the weekend with four goals inside the first 41 minutes and did the trick again in Santander establishing a three-goal lead by the 26th minute.

A destructive six-minute spell saw Ibrahimovic open the scoring in the 20th minute to maintain his goal a game record. Three minutes later Messi exchanged passes with Xavi before curling into the corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Gerard Pique, getting a reputation for a goalscoring defender, netted the third on 26 minutes after a great touch from Ibrahimovic. It could have been more in a one-sided first-half with Ibrahimovic hitting the post and Messi having a goal ruled out for offside.

Ibrahimovic had to go off in the second half because of a twisted ankle with Pedro enetering the fray in his place. Messi then wriggled past three defenders to score his second goal of the game before Oscar Serrano netted a consolation goal.

Impressive Sevilla
Sevilla notched a third successive win to join Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao on nine points after defeating Real Mallorca 2-0 at home on Tuesday. Mallorca could have gone top of the table with a victory but Sevilla were a cut above and took the spoils thanks to first-half goals from Sebastian Squillaci and Argentine Diego Perotti.

Sevilla welcomed back Brazilian international Luis Fabiano but it was French centre-back Squillaci who surprisingly opened the scoring after 17 minutes. It was a goal made in France with Julien Escude heading the ball across goal for compatriot Squillaci to head in off the underside of the crossbar.

The second goal was created brilliantly by Fabiano and Jesus Navas who crossed for Perotti to head home from close range. Mallorca had a golden chance to make it 2-1 close to half-time but Fernando Varela was foiled by Andres Palop.

Brazilian Adriano almost made it 3-0 minutes after the interval but a last-ditch block denied him a brilliant solo goal. Sevilla climb to third with their third consecutive victory while Mallorca lie sixth after their first defeat of the campaign.

"We were 2-0 up and could have scored two more but then we relaxed," said Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez. "We can't afford to do that because games can last 90 or sometimes 95 minutes and you have to play right until the end."

Real Madrid's expensive line-up face their hardest test so far with a trip to Villarreal tonight as coach Manuel Pellegrini goes back to his old club. "It is a joy to go back to Villarreal," said Pellegrini. "There were five years at a great club and I met some fantastic people. The fans always treated me well during my time there and I hope I get a good reception." Pellegrini has guided Real to three straight victories while his successor at Villarreal Ernesto Valverde has yet to win a game.

Atletico Madrid, another team looking for a top four spot, have also had a nervy start with just one point from nine ahead of tonight's home match against Almeria. Coach Abel Resino got the dreaded vote of confidence from Atletico president Enrique Cerezo this week following the 5-2 humiliation by Barcelona over the weekend.

Ngog strike wins it for Reds
David Ngog guided Liverpool into the League Cup fourth round as Rafa Benitez's under-strength side ground out a 1-0 win at League One leaders Leeds United.

Benitez made nine changes from the side which triumphed at West Ham on Saturday, yet his fringe players failed to sparkle until Ngog struck with a low right-foot shot past Leeds goalkeeper Shane Higgs. However, Simon Grayson's impressive outfit emerged with their pride intact and their reputation enhanced after pushing Liverpool all the way in front of a raucous Elland Road crowd of 38,168.

"The foreign lads don't have this type of cup in their own country and you tell them beforehand its going to be a very difficult game and that's as difficult a game we've had all season," Liverpool's Jamie Carragher said. "It was a great performance from Leeds. They've been a little bit unlucky that we've won it but I'm glad that we have."

Old rivalry
For the fallen Yorkshire giants, the significance of a first meeting with Liverpool since February 2004 ran deep. This was about regaining lost pride, of letting the football world know about the steady renaissance taking place at Elland Road under Grayson's astute guidance.

Former Elland Road trainee Grayson has steadied the ship and his men went into the game on the back of 15 successive home league wins. Leeds, seemingly inspired by the raucous home crowd, fashioned the better goalscoring opportunities during the opening exchanges.

In the 11th minute, the impressive Robert Snodgrass reached the right-hand byline and flighted in a delightful cross which Michael Doyle headed wide from 10 yards. Moments later Leeds had the ball in the back of the net when defender Lubomir Michalik headed goalwards from a corner and Jermaine Beckford buried the ball from close range, only for the strike to be disallowed for an offside infringement.

Liverpool looked to Jay Spearing and Javier Mascherano to knit the midfield together but Ngog and Ryan Babel largely flattered to deceive up front. In the 14th minute, Frenchman Ngog flashed a low shot wide at the near post and then Babel fired straight at Higgs after a neat turn of pace.

Liverpool looked far from secure at the back and in the 32nd minute Beckford's delightful flick sent Snodgrass free down the right flank. His teasing cross had Diego Cavalieri at full stretch and his desperate palm away was far from convincing.

Liverpool continued to probe and only a fine reflex save from Higgs denied them the opening goal when Albert Riera connected with Fabio Aurelio's inswinging free-kick. Leeds went close again four minutes after the restart when Beckford fired a low shot goalwards from six yards, but Carragher, skipper for the night, made a vital block to avert the danger.

Beckford showed outstanding dexterity to arch himself into position to hook a right-foot shot narrowly over the crossbar in the 63rd minute as Leeds sought the breakthrough they doubtless felt they deserved. Yet the goal came at the opposite end of the field three minutes later when Mascherano's high ball was expertly controlled by Ngog, who swiftly turned and dispatched a low right shot into the bottom corner.

Liverpool, Arsenal edge through
Premier League big-guns Liverpool and Arsenal scraped into the League Cup fourth round with hard-fought wins over Leeds and West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

Rafa Benitez's Liverpool, seven-time winners of the competition, were fortunate to be level against League One leaders Leeds at Elland Road when David Ngog's strike midway through the second half sealed a 1-0 victory.

Benitez made nine changes to the team that won at West Ham on Saturday, with only Jamie Carragher and Javier Mascherano retaining their places. Simon Grayson's team thought they had taken the lead when Jermaine Beckford and Luciano Becchio combined to turn in Lubomir Michalik's header, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Leeds wasted several more chances to shock the Reds before French striker Ngog broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. Ngog controlled Mascherano's shot, turned and drove home a fine finish to silence the 39,000 capacity crowd.

Grayson was frustrated by his side's disallowed goal and said: "It's one of those decisions that can go for you sometimes or against you. It's gone against us and it was a big turning point in the game because I thought we were excellent and we created really good chances but sometimes you don't get the breaks."

Arsenal's latest batch of young starlets eventually saw off ten-man West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to a debut goal from teenage striker Sanchez Watt. Arsene Wenger's eleven changes to the side who thrashed Wigan at the weekend included a first Gunners starts for Watt, Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Francis Coquelin and Gilles Sunu.

The tie turned in Arsenal's favour when former Gunners winger Jerome Thomas was sent off for a push on Jack Wilshere just before the break. Albion held out until the 68th minute when Dean Kiely fumbled Carlos Vela's shot and Watt tapped in the rebound. Mexican forward Vela sealed the victory in the 76th minute.

Burnley heartache
Premier League newboys Burnley suffered a dismal 3-2 defeat at Championship strugglers Barnsley. Steven Fletcher had given Burnley the lead but Jon Macken equalised and Anderson De Silva put Barnsley ahead. Chris Eagles levelled for Burnley but the visitors lost goalkeeper Brian Jensen and striker Martin Paterson to injuries and tumbled out when Hugo Colace struck in the 75th minute.

Stoke staged a sensational fightback to beat Championship side Blackpool 4-3 at the Britannia Stadium. Tony Pulis's were facing a shock exit after Wales midfielder David Vaughan's long-range strike put Blackpool ahead in the 40th minute and then Billy Clarke added a second soon after the interval.

They wasted a chance to get back in the match when Liam Lawrence's penalty was saved by Matthew Gilks. But Danny Higginbotham gave Stoke hope in the 75th minute and Matthew Etherington equalised three minutes later.

Ricardo Fuller looked to have won it for Stoke when he scored in the 80th minute. Blackpool hit back again through Ben Burgess in the 81st minute, only for Stoke defender Andy Griffin to win it in stoppage time.

South African striker Benni McCarthy sent Blackburn through with a superb strike as Rovers defeated Championship club Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the City Ground. McCarthy gave Rovers the lead in spectacular fashion by curling home a 37th minute free-kick, then Forest striker Dexter Blackstock saw his second half penalty saved by Jason Brown.

Newcastle were dumped out by fellow Championship outfit Peterborough as Darren Ferguson's side cruised to a 2-0 victory at London Road. Sunderland dispatched fellow Premier League side Birmingham 2-0 at the Stadium of Light thanks to first-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Fraizer Campbell.

Portsmouth won 3-1 at League One Carlisle, Bolton relieved the pressure on boss Gary Megson with a 3-1 win over West Ham after extra time, while Scunthorpe defeated League Two Port Vale 2-0 after extra time.

Sabah living the dream
Miguel Sabah is the flavour of the month in Mexico. In the space of a few short months the Morelia Monarcas striker has gone from being an eternal promise to the finished article, securing a place for himself in the national side in the process.

The scorer of a vital winner in a South Africa 2010 qualifier against the USA, Sabah was on international duty again earlier this month, helping El Tri to a precious 1-0 defeat of Honduras at the Estadio Azteca.

Barely an hour after the final whistle, while the reporters covering the game were busy packing away their things, the victorious Mexico players began to file out of the changing rooms en route to their waiting cars. All of them except one that is. Making a beeline down the tunnel and straight for the journalists was none other than Sabah, the nation's new hero.


The fact is I'm not thinking about Europe. My goal is to perform well for Mexico and finish top scorer in Mexico. I'm enjoying the best phase of my career and I want to live the moment.
Mexico's new star Miguel Sabah


Showing a refreshing lack of self-importance, the amiable centre-forward spoke at length with the press pack, signed autographs and posed for photos. And as night continued to fall and the stadium workers hurried about their work, the unassuming Sabah gave an exclusive and wide-ranging interview to FIFA.com.

The first topic up for discussion was Mexico's narrow but hugely important victory over a stubborn Honduras side. Though delighted with the three points, it had been a frustrating evening for the striker, who got little change out of Los Catrachos's typically uncharitable defence. "It was infuriating," he said. "They really sat back on us and when that happens, you have to try everything you can as a striker. They had a lot of people in their own half and in the box, and though it wasn't easy we kept on trying and eventually got the goal we deserved."

Sabah endured an unproductive evening in front of goal, spurning two opportunities that would have sent his stock rising even further. "In that respect I'm angry with myself because they're kind of the things that can change a game," he explained. "I'm still feeling pretty relaxed, though, because it's something all strikers experience. When we played the United States it fell to me to come on and score the winner, but tonight I had some easier chances and they didn't go in. But we did what we had to do and won, which is what counts."

Despite his fruitless 90 minutes, Sabah is determined to stay upbeat, especially having worked so hard to get where he is now. "I remember watching the World Cup in Germany, and I never thought for a minute that I'd be here experiencing something like this," he said in reference to his unlikely rise to the top, a tale that FIFA.com featured only a few weeks ago. "At that time I'd never been called up to the national squad, not even for a friendly. It was all so far away that I couldn't even picture it."

The dream comes true
When it came, the change in Sabah's fortunes was dramatic. Within a few months of watching the world's best on television he went from the sidelines to the headlines, embarking on a scoring spree that has taken him all the way to the national side.

"Things started more or less at about that time. I knew I had to make the most of my opportunity whenever it came along, and it finally did at the recent Gold Cup. I finished the tournament as top scorer and since then I've just gained in confidence."

There is little danger of Sabah taking things for granted, however, as he acknowledged in typically self-effacing style. "There are lots of talented Mexican forwards and if I stop performing well then I'll be watching the World Cup at home again."

So what was the key to the sudden change in his fortunes? "Getting regular games was essential," came the reply. "I knew I could do it. I just hadn't been able to prove it. The key was playing week in and week out, going through different experiences and scoring frequently. If you don't play, you don't score. But they gave me the opportunity and that allowed me to mature and raise my game. That was the catalyst."

With the night wearing on and the stadium staff anxious to close the press zone, Sabah found time for one final observation on his career turnaround. "I don't know if it was fair or not but it was definitely very frustrating and I had to fight hard. In the end, all that fighting has got me where I am now, and it's driving me on to stay here too."

And before the stadium doors finally slammed shut, Sabah had an enlightening confession to make. "The fact is I'm not thinking about Europe. My goal is to perform well for Mexico and finish top scorer in Mexico. I'm enjoying the best phase of my career and I want to live the moment."

Who will reign in Egypt?
Every week FIFA.com invites users to debate a topic of interest in its Have Your Say section. With the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 about to kick off, the question we are asking fans to discuss over the next few days is an obvious one: Who do you think be crowned the new young kings of world football?

One surprise name missing from the list of candidates is perennial world champions Argentina. The current holders and six-time winners of the competition will not be in Egypt to defend their title having amazingly failed to qualify. In the absence of La Albiceleste many people are now tipping eternal rivals Brazil, winners of the tournament on five occasions, to reclaim a trophy that has eluded them since UAE 2003.

The Brazilians are not the only pretenders to the vacant throne, however. Germany, victors at Australia 1981, are expected to challenge strongly in the land of the Pharaohs despite the absence of several of the youngsters who shone so brightly at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. Nevertheless, the Germans served notice of their strength in depth when they lifted the UEFA U-19 European Championship last year. Another European contender with large reserves of talent is Spain, who failed to impress in qualifying for the tournament but have the pedigree to go all the way, as they showed in winning the title at Nigeria 1999 and finishing U-17 runners-up in Korea two years ago.

Africa's aspirants should also be in contention. Hosts Egypt have prepared hard for the weeks ahead and will be intent on putting up a good fight in front of their fervent supporters. Continental rivals Cameroon and Ghana, both of whom boast fine track records at this level, also have designs on glory, as do Nigeria, who, unlike the Germans and Spanish, can count on several of the players that formed part of their triumphant Korea 2007 squad at U-17 level.

The likes of Czech Republic, England, Italy, Uruguay, Paraguay, USA, United Arab Emirates and Australia should also be in the mix, making the task of choosing a winner all the trickier. But if you think you know who will become the new U-20 champions of the world, then click on ‘Add your comment' and share your prediction with other users from across the world.

Juventus wary of Genoa threat
Genoa host Juventus in a midweek match that could go some way to establishing the relative merits of each side's title credentials.

Juventus lie second in the Serie A table, just goals scored behind surprise leaders Sampdoria. Genoa had been the previous pace-setters until the weekend when a 3-1 reverse at Chievo halted their own 100 per cent run.

Genoa did have the excuse, though, that they had played a tough UEFA Europa League match on Thursday and their troops looked a little battle weary. But if they hope to keep pace with the front-runners in Serie A this season and progress in the Europa League at the same time, they are going to have to get used to playing twice a week and recovering quickly.

This match presents Genoa with the opportunity to demonstrate whether or not that Chievo defeat was just a blip and that they really can mix it with the best, or whether their early season form was merely a false dawn. For Juventus, who still hold a 100 per cent record, this game will show whether or not they have the capacity to go to tough away grounds and come away with the kind of results that turn pretenders into title challengers.

And goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, the star of their 2-0 defeat of Livorno on Saturday, is adamant the team must avoid the kind of fate that awaited them last season in a 3-2 defeat. "I don't want to concede three goals again," joked Italy's number one.

"Genoa are a very good side, particularly when they play at home because they play in a fantastic stadium and the atmosphere generated could provide an extra problem for us. But we have to be strong and not be intimidated by the passion of the locals."

While that may be the game of the week, in Florence Sampdoria will come up against their biggest test so far this season. Coach Luigi Del Neri claimed following Sunday's 4-1 thrashing of Siena that he would not set limits on his team's capabilities, particularly with the errant Antonio Cassano in the team.

Fiorentina are coming into the match off the back of a poor 3-1 defeat at AS Roma and the team which finished fourth in each of the previous two seasons needs to win to keep their push for a top four finish on track. Sampdoria president Riccardo Garone insists that his team cannot win the league and said it will come down to a two-way battle between champions Inter Milan and Juventus.

But he has set his own team a high target from their next two tough games, the trip to Fiorentina followed by the visit of Inter. "The table looks great but we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep going forward," he said. "I'm hoping for four points," he said before adding: "It's all to play for but Juve or Inter will win it."

Mourinho's southern challenge
Inter host Napoli in a match they will be expected to win and which could see them go top if other results go their way. However, they will have to play without coach Jose Mourinho barking at the players from the sidelines as he serves a one-match touchline ban for having abused a referee in Sunday's 2-1 win at Cagliari.

Meanwhile struggling AC Milan face a daunting trip to Udinese, who boast Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale amongst their ranks. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has already been suggesting that a title push is not the club's primary agenda this season.

"It will be a battle, it will be a difficult match against a team that runs a lot and puts itself around the pitch," said Galliani. "One way or another I know that Milan must finish in a position which qualifies us directly for the Champions League next year (top three finish)."

Serie A has already seen it's first coaching casualty with Atalanta, who began with four defeats from four, replacing Angelo Gregucci with Antonio Conte. They host Catania on Wednesday.
Genoa host Juventus in a midweek match that could go some way to establishing the relative merits of each side's title credentials.

Juventus lie second in the Serie A table, just goals scored behind surprise leaders Sampdoria. Genoa had been the previous pace-setters until the weekend when a 3-1 reverse at Chievo halted their own 100 per cent run.

Genoa did have the excuse, though, that they had played a tough UEFA Europa League match on Thursday and their troops looked a little battle weary. But if they hope to keep pace with the front-runners in Serie A this season and progress in the Europa League at the same time, they are going to have to get used to playing twice a week and recovering quickly.

This match presents Genoa with the opportunity to demonstrate whether or not that Chievo defeat was just a blip and that they really can mix it with the best, or whether their early season form was merely a false dawn. For Juventus, who still hold a 100 per cent record, this game will show whether or not they have the capacity to go to tough away grounds and come away with the kind of results that turn pretenders into title challengers.

And goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, the star of their 2-0 defeat of Livorno on Saturday, is adamant the team must avoid the kind of fate that awaited them last season in a 3-2 defeat. "I don't want to concede three goals again," joked Italy's number one.

"Genoa are a very good side, particularly when they play at home because they play in a fantastic stadium and the atmosphere generated could provide an extra problem for us. But we have to be strong and not be intimidated by the passion of the locals."

While that may be the game of the week, in Florence Sampdoria will come up against their biggest test so far this season. Coach Luigi Del Neri claimed following Sunday's 4-1 thrashing of Siena that he would not set limits on his team's capabilities, particularly with the errant Antonio Cassano in the team.

Fiorentina are coming into the match off the back of a poor 3-1 defeat at AS Roma and the team which finished fourth in each of the previous two seasons needs to win to keep their push for a top four finish on track. Sampdoria president Riccardo Garone insists that his team cannot win the league and said it will come down to a two-way battle between champions Inter Milan and Juventus.

But he has set his own team a high target from their next two tough games, the trip to Fiorentina followed by the visit of Inter. "The table looks great but we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep going forward," he said. "I'm hoping for four points," he said before adding: "It's all to play for but Juve or Inter will win it."

Mourinho's southern challenge
Inter host Napoli in a match they will be expected to win and which could see them go top if other results go their way. However, they will have to play without coach Jose Mourinho barking at the players from the sidelines as he serves a one-match touchline ban for having abused a referee in Sunday's 2-1 win at Cagliari.

Meanwhile struggling AC Milan face a daunting trip to Udinese, who boast Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale amongst their ranks. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has already been suggesting that a title push is not the club's primary agenda this season.

"It will be a battle, it will be a difficult match against a team that runs a lot and puts itself around the pitch," said Galliani. "One way or another I know that Milan must finish in a position which qualifies us directly for the Champions League next year (top three finish)."

Serie A has already seen it's first coaching casualty with Atalanta, who began with four defeats from four, replacing Angelo Gregucci with Antonio Conte. They host Catania on Wednesday.

Evra feared hairdryer treatment
Patrice Evra has admitted Sir Alex Ferguson's famous hairdryer would have been ready if Manchester United had failed to beat Manchester City in their thriller at Old Trafford on Sunday. In the aftermath of his team's 4-3 win, the Red Devils manager claimed his side should have won "by six or seven" such was their domination of Mark Hughes' side.

While that assessment does not do justice to City's efforts, particularly before the break when, if anything, they were marginally the better side, undoubtedly United were on top after half-time.

And, in squandering the lead on three successive occasions, the first and last of which were a direct result of defensive mistakes, Evra knows Ferguson would not have been a happy man if Michael Owen's last-ditch strike had not finally settled the contest in United's favour.


It would have been very difficult to go inside the dressing room if we had drawn. I think the manager would have given the hairdryer to everybody.
Manchester United's Patrice Evra following their last-gasp win over Manchester City


"It would have been very difficult to go inside the dressing room if we had drawn," Evra told MUTV. "I think the manager would have given the hairdryer to everybody.

"But to score like that, in the last second of the game, was just amazing. The players on the bench were coming on the pitch, the fans, the atmosphere - this is why I say thanks to God I play in the Premier League and for United."

Evra is now more focussed on a title race in which everyone, apart from Chelsea, has now lost at least one game. "It was important to win because City hadn't lost," he said.

"When we were drawing, I was thinking that people would start to say that City are still strong because they never lose. Now everybody has lost, except for Chelsea."

By turki
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sam

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PostSubject: Re: Soccer News [4]   Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:21 pm

thx for the info
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trooke.10
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PostSubject: Re: Soccer News [4]   Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:24 pm

Welcome Sam
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PostSubject: Re: Soccer News [4]   Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:28 am

THATS ALOT OF INFO
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PostSubject: Re: Soccer News [4]   Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:54 am

yes i know but is important
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PostSubject: Re: Soccer News [4]   Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:23 am

ok afro
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