Frank Lampard faces a baptism of fire in his first season as Chelsea head coach. The legendary Blues midfielder inherits a squad that managed to earn a place in the Champions League, finishing third in the Premier League last term.
However, it was not enough to keep former boss Maurizio Sarri in place as the Italian and his squad along with the Stamford Bridge faithful failed to see eye-to-eye on the philosophy during his one season in charge. Lampard is the third man in three years to take the dugout and faces the toughest challenge given the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. The club’s transfer embargo has prevented Lampard from replacing the superstar Belgian. Continue reading
The seedings and pots for the playoff round of the Europa League have been confirmed, and it could throw up some very interesting ties.
For starters, Torino and Rangers are not seeded but both Wolves and PSV Eindhoven are. It means the Midlands outfit could theoretically play either Torino or the Gers in their playoff round should all teams beat their respective third qualifying round opponents.
The official draw takes place on Monday.
Romelu Lukaku has been linked all summer with a switch to Italy, with Antonio Conte and Inter said to be particularly interested, but United have now proposed an exchange deal with Serie A champions Juventus that will see Paulo Dybala move in the opposite direction.
Here are the Italian media reactions to the news of the potential transfer- it was on the front page for both TuttoSport and Corriere dello Sport (see pictures below). Gazzetta however chose to focus on the Nicolas Pepe’s link with Napoli.
A few hours from now, Real Madrid and Atletico will square off in the first Madrid derby outside Europe. The game takes place at the Metlife Stadium in the International Champions Cup at 2am Spanish time. Here is AS’ front page for the game, and in what appears to be an acknowledgement of the new stars at both clubs, features Eden Hazard vs Joao Felix, both big name arrivals as their respective outfits this summer. Hazard moved from Chelsea to Real, while Felix joined Atleti from Benfica.
Rising Dutch star Matthijs de Ligt has finally ended months of speculation by officially opting to sign for Serie A champions Juventus. De Ligt was linked through out the summer to both Barca and PSG, but has chosen to further his career with the Bianconeri. He was an integral part of the Ajax side that reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season and beat Real Madrid, and somewhat ironically, Juve themselves, in the knockout stages of the tournament before being eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by Tottenham Hotspur. The reported value of the deal is £67.5m (around 75 million euros)
Tuttosport lead the way, dedicating their front page to the young defender. Gazzetta had a smaller welcome, but nevertheless had him on the front page, as can be seen below.
French paper L’Equipe has scoffed at Barcelona’s potential cash plus exchange offer for Neymar Jr. The Blaugrana have reportedly offered both Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic in exchange, plus 40 million euros for the superstar Brazilian forward.
Barcelona have already added Frenkie de Jong (75m euros), Ivan Rakitic (126m euros) and Neto (26m) to their roster this season, and exercised their buy back option on Marc Cucurella.
Neymar still retains the record for the world’s most expensive transfer, but has been long linked with a move away from Parc des Princes. Injury forced him to miss Brazil’s recent Copa America campaign, which the hosts won.
This decade has been one of Spanish domination in the Champions League. For six consecutive years between 2013 and 2018, there was at least one Spanish club always present in the final. However the 18/19 season was a bit of a shocker, with defending champions Real and cross town rivals Atleti both exiting in the Round of 16, and Barca inexplicably knocked out in the semis despite having won their first leg 3-0. Continue reading
Italy continued their dream World Cup run as they upset China 2-0 to reach the last eight of the tournament. Goals from Valentina Giacinti (15) and Aurora Galli (49) sealed their passage into the quarters, where they will play the Netherlands.
Here are some reactions from Italy’s top newspapers (CdS and Tuttosport). Men’s footy still takes prominence, but the victory made it to the front page of both papers.
A rather stunning comeback from RCD Mallorca saw them achieve two successive promotions as they beat Deportivo in the Segunda Division playoffs. Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Mallorca needed something special, and special is what they produced, winning 3-0 to claim a 3-2 triumph on aggregate. That’s two straight promotions- from Segunda B to La Liga in the space of two seasons!
Check out the player ratings and the Spanish media headlines (“historic comeback”)
Amazon bought a package to telecast 20 games during the 2019/20 Premier League season. The tech giant have today unveiled the list of fixtures that they will be broadcasting via their Prime package in the United Kingdom (free to all existing prime customers).
Key among them include the Merseyside derby and Manchester United vs Spurs. The 20 fixtures are all in December (3-5 and 26-27). Apart from the two mentioned above, other interesting fixtures from the list appear to be Leicester hosting Liverpool and Wolves hosting Man City. This effectively means there will be no Boxing Day Football on either Sky or BT.
Will be interesting to see the viewing numbers for these games!
Here is a look at what the Italian papers have to say ahead of Juventus’ second leg Champions League clash against Ajax Amsterdam. The Bianconeri drew 1-1 in Amsterdam, and Ajax will be hopeful of doing a Bernabeu encore in Turin. Juve though will draw strength from their stunning 3-0 win over Atleti, and the architect of that magnificent win- Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gazetta ran a Ronaldo Game of Thrones newspaper headline today (My throne cannot be touched). The Portuguese superstar also features prominently in TS and CdS- he’s very much the face of Juve’s Champions League campaign in the press there.
There are also mentions of Conte being a potential target for Bayern as well as the Empoli goalkeeper (Dragowski)’s stunning performance to keep Atalanta at bay.