Wigan are ready to make a club record £6m bid for Ecuador striker Christian Benitez, who plays for Santos Laguna in the Mexican league. (Daily Mirror)
Look for interest in Benitez to heat up again from teams across the pond as he recovers from his leg injury suffered late last year.
Everton could renew their interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho after learning Mikel Arteta will be out for the rest of the season. (Daily Mail)
Why? It’s not like Moutinho is going to play for Everton next week. It’s also unlikely that Moutinho will want to play for a non champions league team heading into (hopefully) Portugal’s run to the 2010 World Cup.
Midfielder Nico Krancjar has put contract talks on hold at Portsmouth and says he wants to join a Champions League team in the summer. (Daily Telegraph)
Portsmouth could consider themselves lucky being able to sign Glen Johnson recently to a new contact. It does appear this luck will not translate to Nico Krancjar who could use a change of scenery if he is to progress as a player.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas has told Arsene Wenger he is fit enough to play in Arsenal’s Champions League tie with Roma but the Arsenal boss will not risk his fitness after a knee problem. (Daily Star)
Yet Tomas Rosicky is still 4-6 weeks away from coming back from his knee injury.
Striker Craig Bellamy has dismissed talk he does not get on with Manchester City team-mate Robinho, saying he “adores him as a player”. (Daily Telegraph).
He may adore him as a player but it seems unlikely they adore each other as people. We are know Robinho is going no where so it will have to be up to Bellamy to make it work.
Paul Ince, who was sacked as Blackburn boss in December, could be in line for a return to management at Brighton. (Daily Star)
Would be a pretty big drop in class for Ince who took on more than he can handle when he made the jump from a league two MK Dons side to Blackburn this summer.
Bookmakers took a hammering on Saturday after punters placed heavy bets on Rushden to beat Weymouth, with the Terras being forced to field their under-18 side because of a pay dispute. Rushden won the game 9-0. (The Times)
I’m sure most of them will have no problem losing it all back in a matter of weeks.
Man I’ve been looking forward to the Manchester United – Inter match up for two months now. Two coaching icons going toe to toe as two of the biggest clubs in the world play a home and away contest to see who advances to the final 8 of the Champions League.
I’d love to be wrong but I’m kinda expecting this to be like one of those heavyweight boxing matches that doesn’t live up to the hype. Last year Inter Milan lost the first leg against Liverpool 2-0 and were pretty much out of it come the second leg. With that in mind I just don’t see either team cracking the other open. Each should play with a level of caution heading into the second game two weeks later. The last time a Jose Mourinho led team faced off against Manchester United was back in the 2007 FA Cup Final which was a bore of a game won by Chelsea 1-0 in extra time.
While simple in theory and backing Inter Milan in the Champions League hasn’t been profitable….ever I’m still going to side with them here. a) United best defender Nemanja Vidic is suspend for this game and they 3rd, 4th, and 5th central defender are hurt. Basically whoever is playing beside Rio Ferdinand is either not going to be 100% or be playing out of position.
As well by and large teams are timid, facing off against Manchester United. Even big clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea only play with one striker up front thus dropping a player to the midfield in an effort to control the middle of the pitch. Inter will lob the ball upfield to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who if you were to mold a perfect striker he’d come pretty close to the mold. Not the best player in big games but just watch the little things like his first touch on a ball and how he plays a give and go to his team mates. Then you have Adriano who was one of the best strikers heading into World Cup 2006 til his love for the bottle took over. Two years later he seems back on form which means there size and skill will cause havoc even for a World Class defence like United.
Inter Milan win +148
Arsenal-Roma over 2 and 2.5 -114 (I actually like this one a lot if it means anything)
Lyon +0.5 -112 vs Barcelona
To Advance Bets (I went 2-6 in these things in 2007 so yeah my track record isn’t great)
Inter Milan +135
Atletico Madrid -129 (Won’t cry if I’m wrong however)
(Couldn’t care less about the Villarreal/Panathinaikos match)
Real Madrid -106
Sporting Lisbon +252
Will update the record before tomorrow’s Champions League games. The future picks will also count towards the record.
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