City must hurdle Liverpool to keep United in sight
Climbing the Premier League ladder on Manchester’s mind ahead of game with Reds
Look Who’s BackCup ClashesParis Bound
The Super Bowl isn’t the only big game on Sunday, because in the Premier League, Manchester City hosts Liverpool.
City are still in with a chance in the title race, but Tuesday’s disastrous scoreless draw against last-place Queens Park Rangers now leaves them seven points behind Manchester United. They really can’t afford to drop points now against Liverpool.
It will be interesting to see how City get along without volatile striker Mario Balotelli, who has been sold to AC Milan.
The Italy international had only scored one league goal this season, and it’s hoped that the City squad will be a bit more harmonious now without him.
With strikers Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, and Carlos Tevez all scoring, I expect that Balotelli was more trouble than he was worth. The people who will miss him most will be the English sportswriters, as his antics made for great news.
As for Liverpool, they are capable of playing some nice football when they’re in the mood. That usually depends on how well their midfield is playing, which too often has not been good enough.
The Reds blew a 2-0 lead against Arsenal on Wednesday, and before that suffered a shock FA Cup loss to League One side Oldham.The Scottish Cup fifth round is this weekend and the game everyone is talking about is once-mighty Rangers, now labouring in the Third Division, visiting Scottish Premier League side Dundee United.
Back in the summer, when the restructured Rangers were hoping to stay in the SPL, it was Dundee United who were among the most vocal opponents.
In fact, United’s fans threatened a season-ticket boycott if their club voted to keep Rangers in the SPL. A great deal of animosity still exists between the two clubs, with Rangers fans boycotting Saturday’s match.
Hopefully the focus will remain on the game, as it will be very interesting to see how Rangers do against an SPL side. Rangers currently lead the Third Division by a whopping twenty points, while up in the top flight, their rivals Celtic hold a huge 15-point advantage.The Africa Cup of Nations has reached the knockout stage, as the quarter-finals kick off on Saturday. Tournament favourites Ivory Coast won their group, but have ended up with a very tough opponent on Sunday as they face Nigeria. In recent tournaments, Ivory Coast have looked the best team, but have managed to find a way to lose each time.
On Saturday, hosts South Africa are favoured to get past Mali, while Ghana, who are probably the second strongest team in the competition, go up against minnows Cape Verde, who have done superbly just to get this far.
Sunday’s other quarter-final clash has Burkina Faso, who surprisingly edged Nigeria to win their group, up against sentimental favourites Togo, who have advanced beyond the group stage for the first time in their history.
Togo withdrew from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations after their team bus was attacked by gunmen, with several players injured and two team officials plus the driver killed. They failed to qualify for the 2012 edition, so it’s good to see them doing well now.As many people had speculated, David Beckham will be joining Paris Saint-Germain for the balance of the French season. But I don’t think anybody could have predicted that Beckham will be donating his entire salary to a local children’s charity!
I’ve been a big admirer of Beckham for years, and all I can say to this is “wow!” If this move marks the end of his playing career, he’s certainly doing it with class.
At PSG, he joins a club with great players, big ambitions, and a significant challenge on their hands as they battle for the title in a very competitive league. Beckham has won trophies everywhere he has played, and this is exactly the type of challenge he likes to take on.
I don’t expect Beckham will stay in Paris for the long-term, so I’m left wondering what challenge will the 37-year-old seek out next?
Bob Lenarduzzi is President of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. For information on Whitecaps FC summer camps visit www.whitecapsfc.com/camps or call 778-330-1354.
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David Beckham gives a press conference on Thursday at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June, and is donating his entire salary to charity.
Photograph by: LOIC VENANCE, AFP/Getty Images