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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle - scoring highlights

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle
Arsenal overwhelmed Newcastle 3-0 at the Emirates. Robin van Persie scored a double in the first half. The first goal was from the penalty spot. Denilson set the final score for the Gunners in the 59th.

1-0 Robin van Persie penalty kick goal.

2-0 Robin van Persie scores his second of the day.

3-0 Denilson sets the final score.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Steven Gerrard out for 10-15 days with groin injury

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to miss four matches, including the first two World Cup qualifiers, because he needs a groin operation.

Gerrard, 28, will undergo the operation on Thursday and will be out for "10-15 days", according to boss Rafa Benitez. Gerrard played through the pain barrier on Wednesday to help Liverpool into the Champions League group stage.

This means that he is set to miss the Premier League matches involving Aston Villa on Sunday and Manchester United on 13th September.

"I'm disappointed because Gerrard will have an operation on Thursday," added Benitez. "He has a groin problem, we knew it could be like this. He had a problem and now he will have an operation and will be out for 10-15 days.

"He needs to have it because he is having pain with it. When he went with the national team we knew he had a problem and in the first leg too. I was talking with the doctor on Tuesday and on Wednesday we talked with him. He said he would play with pain and after it he would have an operation."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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Europes best clubs ready for UEFA Champions League Draw

Sixteen teams gained automatic entry to the competition proper and the same number came through the third qualifying round on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Making their debut in the group stage are UEFA Cup holders FC Zenit St. Petersburg, CFR 1907 Cluj of Romania, the first Belarussian qualifiers, FC BATE Borisov, and the inaugural Cypriot entrants Anorthosis Famagusta FC.

In all, 17 nations are represented in the draw, the ceremony for which will include the UEFA Club Football Awards.

English sides dominate the seedings for the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage draw which will take place from 18.00CET on Thursday at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum.

Manchester United FC (ENG, holders) 107.996
Chelsea FC (ENG) 124.996
Liverpool FC (ENG) 118.996
FC Barcelona (ESP) 117.837
Arsenal FC (ENG) 110.996
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 99.380
FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) 96.934
Real Madrid CF (ESP) 93.837

POT TWO 92-66 points
FC Bayern Munchen (GER), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Villarreal CF (ESP), AS Roma (ITA), FC Porto (POR), Werder Bremen (GER), Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR), Juventus (ITA)

POT THREE 63-51 points
Olympique de Marseille (FRA), FC Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS), FC Steaua Bucuresti (ROU), Panathinaikos FC (GRE), FC Girondins de Bordeaux (FRA), Celtic FC (SCO), FC Basel 1893 (SUI), Fenerbahce SK (TUR)

POT FOUR 49-1 point
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), ACF Fiorentina (ITA), Club Atletico de Madrid (ESP), FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), CFR 1907 Cluj (ROU), Aalborg BK (DEN), Anorthosis Famagusta FC (CYP), FC BATE Borisov (BLR)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Carling Cup Round-up - Bolton, WBA, Hull dumped out

Adebayo Akinfenwa was Northampton Town's two-goal hero as the League One side dumped Bolton Wanderers of the Premier League out of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 win last night.

The London-born striker put the visitors ahead in the 22nd minute from the penalty spot after Gavin McCann had handled and then doubled the lead when he latched on to a cross from Abdul Osman six minutes later. Bolton's night took a turn for the worse before half-time when Gary Cahill received a straight red card for a challenge on Giles Coke.

Before the game the Bolton manager, Gary Megson, had stressed that the Carling Cup was "a big priority", saying "I want to pick the strongest team", but despite Kevin Nolan's 88th-minute goal they could not deny the Cobblers a place in the next round.

Joel Porter's 61st-minute strike looked like it had put the home side through but Robert Koren equalised in the 87th minute to ensure an extra 30 minutes were played. Hartlepool were the stronger side and went through after substitutes David Foley and Richie Barker both found the net.

Hull also fell at the first hurdle despite being given an early lead by Dean Windass at Swansea. Gorka Pintado equalised and a penalty from his fellow Spaniard Jordi Gómez in extra-time sealed the win for the Swans.

QPR's Argentinian winger, Emmanuel Ledesma, hit a hat-trick as west London's nouveaux riches thrashed Carlisle 4-0. Ledesma, who is on loan from Genoa, struck after Damian Stewart had given the home team the lead in the 48th minute.

Leeds, who defeated Chester 5-2 in the previous round, notched up another impressive Carling Cup victory, beating Crystal Palace 4-0 at Elland Road. The Nigerian striker Enoch Showunmi completed a miserable evening for Neil Warnock's men who have yet to win in the league this season.

A goal from Paul Green brought some respite for Derby's under-fire manager, Paul Jewell, as the Rams secured a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Preston

Southampton enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Birmingham, with goals in either half from Lee Holmes and Adam Lallana avenging a league defeat by Blues at St Mary's earlier this season.

Mido was again on the mark for Middlesbrough, scoring the opener after 11 minutes as the Teessiders ran out convincing 5-1 winners at home to Yeovil.

A Nicky Hunt brace and two goals in two second-half minutes from Alex Pearce and Jem Karacan put Reading in the comfort zone against Luton in a match that finished 5-1.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ferguson admits United running out of time for new signings

Ferguson worriedSir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is running out of time to bring in a new striker.

So far his targets have been players in demand at other clubs, and with United taking the moral high ground over Real Madrid's pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo it means that Manchester United have been fr more circumspect in approaching players.

Tottenham have shown no sign of bowing to the wishes of Dimitar Berbatov by allowing the Bulgarian to join Manchester United.

David Silva, Thierry Henry and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar seem equally unattainable, raising the possibility the transfer window will close with United not having added to their current strike force.

Ferguson has not given up just yet but he accepts the clock is ticking.

"I am less optimistic than I was"
said Ferguson, recalling that exactly a week ago he said a surprise was imminent. "We have 11 days left before the transfer deadline and we are working at something but you never know in football. It may happen, it may not. If it doesn't we will carry on with what we have got."

Desperate Transfer Gossip

In a desperate attempt to try and keep my football blog current I submit to you a selection of bollocky football rumours that will almost certainly NEVER come to pass.

So let's lead off with the Daily Mirror who say :

Wigan have warned Liverpool off a move for midfielder Wilson Palacios by insisting he is worth as much as £18m-rated Gareth Barry.

Everton will make a £7m bid for Switzerland midfield man Goekhan Inler in an attempt to finally clinch their first signing of the summer.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out a move for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry.

But The Guardian win the worst rumour of the day award for speculating :

Manchester City are investigating the possibility of making Barcelona's Thierry Henry a "box office" signing in January.

It all seems a slice of bullsh!t to me - but I read it - and now you've heard about it too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday's Premier League Roundup

Chelsea 4-0 Portsmouth (video highlights link)
Luiz Felipe Scolari made the perfect start to his Chelsea reign as they easily overcame Portsmouth 4-0 in their Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Joe Cole, Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard (penalty) and Deco all netted as the Blues made short work of the FA Cup holders to top the early standings.

Chelsea played with more freedom than under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant, and were in front inside 12 minutes. Cole provided the breakthrough, racing onto an excellent Michael Ballack pass to fire confidently past David James.

The Blues doubled their advantage on 26 minutes when new boy Deco's looping effort drifted over the head of James and the impressive Anelka headed home from close range.

By now Chelsea were rampant, and they virtually made certain of victory in first-half injury time. Sylvain Distin handled Joe Cole's cross and Lampard easily beat James from the spot.

The second half was a stroll in the sunshine for the home side, though Pompey did provide more threat in attack. It was Chelsea who eventually did find another goal, when Deco capped a fine Premier League debut with a superb swerving long-range effort a minute from time.


Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United (video highlights link)
Reigning champions Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson was missing a host of first-team regulars, including Carlos Tevez who had returned home to Argentina because of a family bereavement.

Young gun Fraizer Campbell started up front with Wayne Rooney, and saw his early point-blank header crash against the fortunate Shay Given's forehead.

But it was Newcastle who took a surprise lead on 22 minutes when Obafemi Martins powered home a header from a James Milner corner.

It took the champions just two minutes to draw level, as Darren Fletcher popped up to slide home a Ryan Giggs cross.

Both sides had chances to win it after that with Nemanja Vidic hitting the bar for the home side, but Kevin Keegan's side held out for a highly creditable point.


Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City

Gabriel Agbonlahor bounced back from his England snub with a stunning seven-minute hat-trick as Aston Villa beat Manchester City 4-2 at Villa Park.

John Carew had fired Martin O'Neill's side in front early in the second half but his strike was cancelled out by Elano on 64 minutes.

Then Agbonlahor, who was left out of the England squad by Fabio Capello for Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic, took out any disappointment on City in devastating fashion.

He netted on 69,74 and 76 minutes to give Villa a 4-1 advantage and assure them of three points.

Vedran Corluka got City's second - a consolation effort a minute from time.

It was a miserable afternoon all round for Mark Hughes' Blues, who lost Valeri Bojinov before kick-off. He snapped his Achilles during the warm-up and is now facing six months on the sidelines.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday's Premier League Results Round-up

Hull celebrated a Premier League victory at the first time of asking with a 2-1 win over Fulham at the KC Stadium.

It was an inauspicious start for the new boys as Seol Ki-hyeon put the visitors ahead in the eighth minute from Jimmy Bullard's cross.

But Geovanni had already forced Mark Schwarzer into a good save and he beat the Australian with a fizzing left-footer (22) to level matters.

The former Manchester City man turned villain at the start of the second half, however, missing an open goal, but Caleb Folan ensured it would be Hull's day after Craig Fagan robbed Paul Konchesky (81).


Arsenal kicked off the season with a 1-0 victory over promoted West Brom at the Emirates Stadium.

Gunners new boy Samir Nasri opened his account after only four minutes, finding the bottom corner following a lay-off from Denilson.

The home side could easily have extended their lead with Emmanuel Adebayor missing a one-on-one and having a goal disallowed for offside midway through the second half.


Fernando Torres fired Liverpool to a scarcely deserved 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The striker was anonymous for much of the evening as his partnership with £20m new boy Robbie Keane continued to stutter, but he produced a vicious drive eight minutes from time to claim the points.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for a Sunderland side who had enjoyed the best of the play and all but negated the return of the Reds' fit-again skipper Steven Gerrard.


Dean Ashton did his chances of being included in Fabio Capello's England squad to face the Czech Republic on Wednesday no harm with two goals for West Ham in a 2-1 victory against Wigan.

He opened the scoring after only three minutes at Upton Park, latching onto Julien Faubert's cross before turning and smashing a shot into the top corner.

He had a much easier task seven minutes later after Calum Davenport's hook towards goal left the former Norwich man with a tap-in.

Two minutes into the second half, Latics debutant Amr Zaki smashed in Emile Heskey's flick-on to give the visitors hope, but they could not find the equaliser.


Andre Ooijer piled the pressure on Everton boss David Moyes with a last-gasp winner for Blackburn in a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park.

David Dunn turned away from Phil Jagielka before curling a brilliant shot into the corner (22) to put Blackburn ahead.

But Moyes, who has been unable to bolster his squad this summer, was smiling on the stroke of half-time as Mikel Arteta beat Paul Robinson with a 20-yard free-kick.

The home fans were celebrating again when Ayegbeni Yakubu headed home Arteta's cross to put them ahead (64), only for Blackburn to draw level through Roque Santa Cruz two minutes later. And Ooijer stabbed home the winner after Ryan Nelsen hit the post


Newly-promoted Stoke were brought down to earth with a bump at the Reebok Stadium.

They found themselves behind thanks to a stroke of fortune for Bolton defender Gretar Steinsson, whose cross flew over Thomas Sorensen and into the top corner (34).

The Trotters' second goal was a lot more conventional, Kevin Davies outmuscling two defenders and heading in a long ball (41), and the Potters' Premier League bow was certain to end in defeat when Johan Elmander grabbed a debut goal (45) to make it 3-0.

Ricardo Fuller gave the Potters something to smile about with an injury-time goal.


Tottenham will be hoping for a better start than last season but their opening match ended in defeat as Middlesbrough recorded a 2-1 win at the Riverside.

David Wheater had a header harshly disallowed in the first half so it was fitting the defender should open the scoring from close range after Afonso Alves' effort came off the bar. Mido then sealed matters four minutes from time.

However, there was still time for Robert Huth to halve the deficit by heading a David Bentley free-kick into his own net (90).

Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who is rumoured to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, came on as a substitute.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Paddy Power has best BIG 4 pricing this weekend.

Top Irish bookmaker PaddyPower has decided to do a (slightly biased) price comparison of prices on the "big four" clubs for this weekend - and guess what they found?!

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They're offering the best prices on Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all to win on the opening weekend of the new season. A nice little accumulator too.

Check out the graphic so everything becomes clearer.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Champions League : Twente 0-2 Arsenal

Twente 0-2 Arsenal
(Gallas 33, Adebayor 82)

Arsenal are on course for their 11th consecutive appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage after second-half goals from William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor secured victory at FC Twente.

It was competition debutants Twente who were first to threaten when Romano Denneboom headed wide at the far post.

Arsenal had not settled, two corners inside the opening quarter the sum total of their attacking efforts, and they almost fell behind when Denneboom swept past Denilson into the penalty area only to slice high and wide.

Arsenal responded, albeit ambitiously, as 17-year-old summer signing Aaron Ramsey's long-distance effort sailed over.

Denneboom was proving a handful and it was his pass which sprung the visitors' offside trap nine minutes before half-time, but one-on-one with Almunia, Marko Arnautovic's first touch let him down.

Arsenal still had not slipped into gear, their best chance of the half being a Bacary Sagna shot wide after Twente goalkeeper Sander Boschker had spilled Clichy's effort.

Twente continued to look the more assured after the restart, yet out of nothing, Arsenal took the lead. Van Persie's free-kick from the right was allowed to run on by the deep lying Twente defence leaving Gallas to bundle in from close range.

Buoyed by their lead, Arsenal assumed control and added a second when Theo Walcott latched on to a long ball over the top to sqaure for Adebayor to slot under Boschker.

Link to Adebayor Goal (bottom of page).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Arsenal draw 1-1 with Sevilla to win Amsterdam trophy

Van Persie celebrates with Amsterdam trohpyArsenal won the Amsterdam Tournament trophy with a 1-1 draw against Sevilla on Saturday night.

Carlos Vela's fourth-minute strike gave Arsene Wenger's youthful side an early lead. A more senior Sevilla team responded impressively.

They bossed the latter stages of the first half and all of the second. The Spaniards spurned a host of chances before Javier Chevanton finally converted from close range with nine minutes left.

However the late equaliser did not change the winners of this year's Amsterdam Tournament.

The event awards an extra point for each goal scored so Arsenal's final tally of eight points put them comfortably ahead of Inter (5 pts), Sevilla (3pts) and Ajax (2pts).

Victory is always beneficial, especially when youngsters are involved. However Wednesday nights's trip 60 miles east of Amsterdam will be much more important.

Arsenal visit Arnhem in midweek to play Twente in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pre-season Friendly : Ajax 2-3 Arsenal (video link)

Emmanuel Adebayor struck twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat hosts Ajax 3-2 at the Amsterdam Tournament.

Bonus Video link ... all five goals

With a Champions League qualifier in Holland against Steve McClaren's FC Twente coming on August 13th, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had suggested this encounter would serve as "ideal preparation" for the opening of the new campaign.

Arsenal named a strong XI, which included a first start of pre-season for Euro 2008 winner Cesc Fabregas - while defender Kolo Toure also featured, fit again following his bout of malaria.

And it proved to be a good test, as the Dutch side - beaten by FC Twente in a play-off for a crack at Europe's elite club competition - went into the break 2-0 ahead following quick-fire goals from Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and highly-rated captain Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Arsenal rallied in the second half and were given a lifeline through Adebayor's bullet header - before, with 15 minutes left, substitute Nicklas Bendtner levelled the scores.

There was still time for a winner too - which came when Adebayor slotted home from Denilson's pass following another slick passing move by the Barclays Premier League club.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ronaldo Is Staying - But He is 1/2 To Be Gone Next Season

Is Ronaldo still wishing about a move to Madrid?Ronaldo may have confirmed he's staying at Man Utd, but bet365 think it will be his last season at Old Trafford.

bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth "Fergie may have been able to turn Ronaldo's head away from the Bernabeu this time, but we're 1/2 he'll have his bags packed the season after.

bet365 are pleased that the market has now reached its conclusion.

I's a relief for punters and bookmakers alike that this saga has finally been put to bed – just Gareth Barry to go now!"

Cristiano Ronaldo Betting Special

Will Ronaldo Still Be A Man Utd Player On September 1st 2009?
Yes 6/4 (2.50)
No 1/2 (1.50)

Take a punt at bet365 now

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Preseason results : ManYoo, Arsenal, Newcastle, Man City

Manchester United were frustrated in their final pre-season friendly of the summer as they played out a goalless draw with Juventus.

Sir Alex Ferguson sent out a strong side with the Community Shield against Portsmouth just four days away.

Juve will not start their Serie A campaign until the end of the month but they matched United in a tight first half, with neither goalkeeper seriously tested.

Lee Martin was perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after being brought down by Zdenek Grygera, while Darren Fletcher blazed over from a tight angle on the left.

There were few chances after the break either, although Paul Scholes spurned one glorious opportunity as he headed wide from point-blank range.

Newcastle had to settle for a 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven at St James' Park despite scoring twice in the first 10 minutes.

Steven Taylor put the hosts ahead after only three minutes, heading in Geremi's outswinging corner, and debutant Danny Guthrie made it two five minutes later from James Milner's through ball.

Newcastle were pegged back on the half-hour mark as Ibrahim Afellay fired in after Shay Given parried a shot from Nordin Amrabat.

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson prevented the Magpies from extending their lead and it was Amrabat who drew PSV level 20 minutes from time with a snapshot from 12 yards.

Arsenal's youngsters took home the Herbert Chapman Trophy after two goals in the last 15 minutes gave them a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield at the Galpharm Stadium.

The match was held to celebrate Huddersfield's centenary, with the cup named after the legendary manager of both clubs in the 1920s and 30s.

James Berrett gave the hosts the lead after 75 minutes but Sanchez Watt quickly equalised and Nacer Barazite grabbed the winner three minutes from time.

Celtic finalised their Clydesdale Bank Premier League preparations with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City in their friendly encounter at Parkhead.

Martin Petrov's 54th-minute strike gave City a deserved lead before youngster Paul McGowan equalised with 10 minutes remaining with his first goal for the first team.

McGowan missed the chance to become the hero when he hit the bar from 10 yards out in the final seconds as Celtic pressed for the winner.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Domestic form ahead of Champions League games

Seasoned European campaigners Dynamo Kyiv and Basel both suffered their first domestic defeats of the season at the weekend ahead of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round deciders this week.

Dynamo Kyiv v Drogheda United

Two-time UEFA Cup Winners' Cup champions Dynamo had started with successive victories to assume early leadership of the Ukrainian Premier League but came unstuck. Dynamo lost 2-1 at home to FC Metalist Kharkiv to surrender top spot to FC Metalurh Donetsk.

Drogheda United who are trailing Dynamo 2-1 from the first leg in Dublin, enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Bray Wanderers on Friday to consolidate fifth place,

Basel v IFK Goteborg

Basel failed to find the net in a 2-0 defeat at FC Sion while IFK Goteborg won for the fourth straight Allsvenskan match when they defeated Malmo 2-0.

Goteborg are level 1-1 with Basel after drawing the first leg.

Dinamo Zagreb v NK Domzale

NK Dinamo Zagreb warmed up for their home leg against NK Domzale with a 3-1 over NK Inter Zapresic while the Slovenian outfit, already 3-0 down in the tie, played out a goalless draw with league leaders NK Celje.

Artmedia Petrzalka v Tampere

Artmedia Petrzalka won 3-1 in Finland in midweek and continued their good form when they won 2-1 at FC Nitra.

Tampere United received a shot in the arm ahead of the second leg in Slovakia by comprehensively beating Rovaniemi PS 5-0 at home.

FK Ventspils v SK Brann

Norwegian champions SK Brann recovered from consecutive league defeats with a 4-1 victory against Tippeligaen strugglers Ham-Kam Fotball as they prepare to face Latvia's FK Ventspils leading 1-0 after the first leg.

SK Rapid Wien v Anorthosis Famagusta

SK Rapid Wien had a shock 3-0 away loss to Anorthosis Famagusta last week and desperately needed some good news. They received a morale boost thanks to a 3-1 win over SV Kapfenberg.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Preseason wins for Chelsea, Arsenal, Hamburg and Ajax

Nicolas Anelka scored four times as Chelsea tore apart a weakened Milan team 5-0 in their pre-season friendly.

Without Kaka or Ronaldinho, the Italians fell behind to Frank Lampard's second minute opener, and were never in the game as the Blues emphatically settled the third-place play-off in the Railways Cup.

There were four goals for Anelka during a game where Milan looked barely interested, especialy after finding themselves 0-3 down at halftime.

In London, a near-full strength Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Emirates, with Emmanuel Adebayor scoring the winner in the second half.

Unlike yesterday's match against Juventus, Arsene Wenger chose a strong side - led by captain William Gallas, with Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor also featuring, and home start for summer signing Samir Nasri on the left of midfield.

Hamburg won the Emirates Cup with a 3-0 victory over Juventus taking them to 7 points in the mini-league that also awards a point for each goal scored.

Sunderland lost 1-0 at home to Ajax. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the only goal in the 80th minute at the Stadium of Light.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Man City & Villa get easy uEFA Cup draws

Aston Villa and Manchester City were handed ties against little-known opponents in the Uefa Cup second qualifying round draw on Friday.

Aston Villa will play Icelandic side Hafnarfjordur while Manchester City meet Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Both sides are scheduled to play at home in the first legs on 14 August.

Villa, in conjunction with their opponents, have requested the tie is switched, which would see the first leg take place in Iceland on 14 August, with the decider at Villa Park two weeks later.

Djurgarden (Sweden) v Rosenborg Trondheim (Norway)
MANCHESTER CITY v Midtjylland (Denmark)
FC Honka (Finland) v Viking Stavanger (Norway)
QUEEN OF SOUTH v Nordsjaelland (Denmark)
Ghent (Belgium) v Kalmar (Sweden)
ASTON VILLA v FH (Iceland)
Stabaek (Norway) v Stade Rennes (France)
Haka Valkeakoski (Finland) v Brondby (Denmark)
FC Copenhagen (Denmark) v Lillestrom (Norway)
Elfsborg Boras (Sweden) v St. Patrick's Athletic (Ireland)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Champions League 3rd Round Draw

Arsenal were handed an tie against former England boss Steve McClaren's new side FC Twente in the Champions League third qualifying round.

McClaren was appointed by the Dutch side in June this year, taking his first job since he was sacked by England in November 2007.

Liverpool have been drawn against Belgium's Standard Liege. Liverpool, who were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals last year, will fancy their chances of getting past Standard Liege.

The Reds will play their first leg away from home - as will Arsenal and Rangers, too, provided the Glasgow side make it through.

Elsewhere in the draw, highly-fancied Barcelona will play either Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow and Italian giants Juventus face Tampere United or Artmedia Bratislava.

Aalborg/Modrica v RANGERS/Kaunas
Standard Liege v LIVERPOOL
JUVENTUS v Tampere/Artmedia
BARCELONA v Beitar Jerusalem/Wisla Krakow
Schalke 04 v Atletico Madrid
Spartak Moscow v Drogheda/Dinamo Kiev
Fiorentina v Slavia Prague
Galatasaray v Steaua Bucharest
Anorthosis/Rapid Vienna v Olympiakos
Vitoria Guimaraes v IFK Gothenburg/Basel
Shakhtar Donetsk v Domzale/Dinamo Zagreb
Levski Sofia v Anderlecht/BATE
Inter Baku/Partizan v Fenerbahce/MTK Budapest
SK Brann/Ventspils v Marseille
Panathinaikos/Dinamo Tbilisi v Sheriff Tiraspol/Sparta Prague

BetFred backs down after Liverpool fans take him on.

Betfred have been forced to cut Liverpool's odds for next season's Premier League title back to 7/1 after the club's fans took full advantage of the 8/1 on offer with the Warrington firm.

Bookmaker Fred Done pushed out the Reds following their £20.3m signing of Robbie Keane in his belief that the Republic of Ireland striker is not the answer as Rafael Benitez aims to end Liverpool's 18 years without a league championship triumph.

(see our original blog post Fred says Liverpool have little chance )

And the Koppites certainly took up Fred’s offer to back their side with him, entering Betfred shops in their droves to build up liabilities of nearly £200,000 for the world's biggest independent bookie on a Liverpool title win.

That was enough for BetFred to cry enough and cut the price. Still - it's that willingness to make a headline that makes Fred an interesting bookmaker eh?

Click to visit BetFred - and take on the UK's largest independant bookmaker.