Seedorf: Table of no interest

Seedorf: Staying grounded

Clarence Seedorf insists he has no interest in looking at the current table‚ and is instead preferring to focus on improving Milan.

AC Milan manager Clarence Seedorf insists he has no interest in looking at the current Serie A table‚ and is instead preferring to focus on improving his side.

The Rossoneri look to have put an atrocious run of form this season behind them, with Sunday′s 1–0 win over Catania making it four Serie A successes on the trot‚ while they are also unbeaten in five matches.

Those results have hoisted Milan to eighth in the standings and in with a shout of earning a European finish‚ although Seedorf is not looking further than the training ground for signs his side are on the up.

“I always said I didn′t look at the table‚ as I know our situation‚ we have games to play and should only pay attention to it at the end of the season‚″ he told Sky Sport Italia.

“The performance was sufficient as they played like a team, were aggressive and determined. We only played beautiful football in fits and starts today‚ but that can happen against a side that tries to stop you playing.

“We should give credit to Catania‚ as they never give up.

“This also happened last week against Genoa and we need to improve‚ as we are still not calm enough and make the wrong choices. For example, if we have one player against one‚ we pass it to the player who has two in front of him.

“We don′t keep control of the game. When we did keep possession for a while‚ we ended up shooting, so that is something we have to do better.

“I was above all pleased with the spirit to bring the points home‚ then we′ll work on improving the style of football and remaining consistent over 90 minutes.”

Source: VIQI News

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LA LIGA WRAP: REAL CAPITALISE ON BARCA SLIP

Barcelona suffered a surprise La Liga defeat at the hands of Granada to hand the Madrid clubs the title initiative.

Yacine Brahimi netted the only goal for Granada in the 16th minute before Barca spurned a host of chances‚ with Neymar taking a prime place among the culprits.

It is the second time this week Gerardo Martino′s team have fallen by a 1–0 margin‚ following their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of leaders Atletico Madrid – who have the chance to pull four points clear of the defending champions when they host Malaga tomorrow night.

There were no such problems for Real Madrid‚ who are now a point better off than their fierce Catalan rivals courtesy of a comfortable 4–0 home win over second–bottom Almeria.

Again operating without injured talisman Cristiano Ronaldo due to a knee injury‚ Real threatened to break the deadlock long before a 28th–minute opener from the impressive Angel Di Maria.

Gareth Bale‚ Isco and substitute Alvaro Morata completed the scoring on a significant night for Carlo Ancelotti′s team.

Celta Vigo twice came from behind at home, despite being reduced to 10 men early in the second half, to claim a valuable 2–2 draw against Real Sociedad– easing their relegation fears.

The visitors twice hit the front through Sergio Canales and Antoine Griezmann, the latter′s strike coming soon after Nolito′s 37th–minute penalty.

Celta defender Jon Aurtenetxe then received his marching orders three minutes into the second half to put the home side under serious pressure but Santiago Min earned a share of the spoils in the 82nd minute.

That result meant Villarreal moved above Sociedad into sixth with a dramatic late win over Levante‚ while Celta rose to 12th with 37 points – five spots and six points clear of the relegation zone.

A 0–0 draw appeared on the cards at Villarreal′s Camp El Madrigal until Jeremy Perbet headed home Manuel Trigueros′ free–kick for the hosts in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Source: SBOBET Times

Pacquiao victory greeted with joy in Philippines

Photo credit: Jay Directo photo and Isaac Brekken photo| AP

The Philippines united in celebration on Sunday as its boxing hero Manny Pacquiao cemented his comeback by avenging his 2012 loss to American Timothy Bradley to regain the World Boxing Organization welterweight world title.

Crowds watching the fight‚ which was broadcast live from Las Vegas in several parks‚ squares and public stadiums around the archipelago‚ erupted in cheers as Pacquiao was declared winner in a unanimous 12–round decision.

“The people of the nation are united in cheering on the victory of the nation’s fist‚ Congressman Manny Pacquiao. He is the symbol of the excellence of the Filipino in all endeavours‚” said President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Herminio Coloma shortly after the victory.

He said Pacquiao’s latest victory was symbolic of the way Filipinos can recover from the worst disasters‚ an apparent reference to Super Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquake that struck the country last year‚ killing thousands.

Street sweeper Fernando Baque 52‚ one of the thousands who watched the fight on a giant screen in a park in suburban Manila‚ said: “I was happy to see him win. He can still take it. He isn’t that old. He really controlled the fight. His punches really rocked Bradley.

“He shouldn’t retire yet. The country still needs him‚” he told AFP.

Questions about whether Pacquiao had grown too old to fight surfaced after he suffered two consecutive defeats: first a decision to Bradley in June‚ 2012 and then a knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez in December that year.

But since then‚ Pacquiao has appeared to be regaining his old form‚ winning an overwhelming points victory over Brandon Rios to win the World Boxing Organisation international welterweight championship in Macau last November.

While he failed to knock out Bradley‚ his Filipino fans were not disappointed by his performance.

“I really prayed for this. He really looked strong this time. As long as his body can take it‚ he should keep it up‚” said 50–year–old carer‚ Elsie Vinluan.

However 72–year–old retiree‚ William Saraste said Pacquiao should retire after just one more fight.

“He already has enough money and he can’t go on for much longer. I wish he would fight (American Floyd) Mayweather. That should be his last fight‚” he said.

A match between Pacquiao and Mayweather‚ both once considered among the best fighters of their generation‚ has long been hoped for but has also been repeatedly scuttled due to various conflicts.

Originally posted via AFP

Stars fighting for United Careers, says Fletcher

Manchester United players are fighting for their futures at Old Trafford‚ according to midfielder Darren Fletcher.

United have endured a turbulent season under David Moyes, who replaced long–serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson in May.

The Manchester club were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League quarter–finals by defending champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday‚ ending any hopes of silverware this season.

United also look set to miss out on Champions League football next season for the first time in 19 years‚ with the club languishing in seven position‚ seven points adrift of fourth–placed Arsenal.

And Fletcher‚ who appears to have overcome an inflammatory bowel disease, says it is time for the team′s under–performing stars to prove their worth with Moyes expected to ring the changes at season′s end.

“It is time to show the manager that you deserve to be at this club‚″ Fletcher said.

“If you get a chance to play‚ you have to go and impress the manager and show him that you are capable of being here next year.

“Go and put in performances because the manager will be thinking of next season‚ no doubt about that. You have to make sure that you are one of the names that he still wants.”

Moyes is expected to overhaul an aging United squad in the coming months‚ with captain Nemanja Vidic set for Inter Milan.

Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Javier Hernandez face uncertain futures‚ while Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos has been tipped to move to Old Trafford in a big–money deal.

“He will definitely look back on this season and realise it was a disappointment but I fully expect there to be some signings‚” the Scottish midfielder said.

“People expect signings in the summer‚ there is no doubt about that, but that is always the case at Manchester United.”

Source: SBOBET Times

Alejandro Gonzalez vs Santiago Giraldo

Alejandro Gonzalez and Santiago Giraldo will meet today′s quarter finals of ATP HOUSTON. This is the first time that two Colombian disputing this stage‚ in this kind of tournaments‚ after the fact against Giraldo Alejandro Falla in the first round of Roland Garros in 2012‚ with victory for the Risaralda.

In previous meetings‚ and González Giraldo fought Pereira Challenger 2010 with victory for the first 6–2‚ 6–0.

González (Grupo Argos) qualified by the withdrawal of Spanish Feliciano Lopez‚ when the party won the Colombian 6–2‚ 2–0. Significantly Antioquia in the first round defeated Marcos Baghdatis 4–6‚ 6–2‚ 6–1.
Meanwhile‚ Giraldo (Team Colsanitas) also defeated the Spanish Tommy Robredo 6–3‚ 6–4‚ in a very good match of Colombia‚ in the first round that left out the Australian Matthew Ebden 6–1‚ 6–2 .

 

Article Credit: EL TIEMPO.COM

 

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Ronaldo Set to miss Copa Final

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to miss next week′s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona due to a thigh injury.

The FIFA Ballon d′Or holder sat out last Saturday′s 4-0 rout of Real Sociedad with a knee complaint, an injury that meant he could only be named among the substitutes in Tuesday′s UEFA Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Real progressed to the semi–finals 3–2 on aggregate despite a 2–0 defeat in Germany in the absence of top scorer Ronaldo.

And the Portugal captain will now definitely miss Wednesday′s Copa del Rey final with rivals Barcelona after Real confirmed on Thursday that he has sustained a thigh problem.

The club tweeted: “Ronaldo has a muscular injury in his left thigh. Awaiting developments.”

Although Real have not put a timescale on Ronaldo′s return‚ reports suggest he will be out for around 15 days‚ which means he is also likely to be sidelined for the first leg of Real′s Champions League last–four tie‚ which will take place on April 22 or 23. 

However‚ the 29–year–old should recover for the second leg and Real′s La Liga title run–in.

Ronaldo has been instrumental to Real′s success this season, topping the scoring charts in La Liga with 28 goals‚ while also equalling the record for the number of goals in a single Champions League campaign with 14.

Real currently trail Liga leaders and city rivals Atletico by three points with six games remaining, and will face Bayern Munich, Chelsea or Atletico in the Champions League semi–finals, with the draw for the last four set to take place on Friday.

Source: SBOBET Times

5 Japan players to watch at the World Cup

BY JIM ARMSTRONG

AP Sports Writer

 – Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa will be called on to play key roles as Japan attempts to reach the next level at the World Cup.

Japan surprised critics in 2010 by advancing past the group stage with wins over Cameroon and Denmark before losing on penalties to Paraguay in the knockout stage.

Japan′s team this year will feature many young players and Zaccheroni will be counting on Honda and Kagawa for leadership.

Here are five players to watch:


KEISUKE HONDA

Widely regarded as Japan′s best player, Keisuke Honda scored in a 1–1 draw with Australia in June to secure the country′s fifth straight World Cup appearance.

Brash and confident, the 27–year–old AC Milan attacking midfielder said Japan won′t be intimidated by any opposition in Brazil.

He set up two goals in Japan′s 4–2 win over New Zealand in a friendly in March playing in his preferred central position.

Honda is off to a slow start at AC Milan, where coach Clarence Seedorf has been using him on the right side or as a defensive midfielder.

FILE – In this Tuesday‚ June 4‚ 2013‚ file photo, Japan′s Keisuke Honda controls the ball during their Asian zone Group B qualifying soccer match against Australia for the 2014 World Cup in Saitama, near Tokyo. Coach Alberto Zaccheroni promised to “surprise the world” after star player Keisuke Honda fired the Samurai Blue through with an injury time penalty against Australia.


SHINJI KAGAWA

Despite struggling to find his form under David Moyes during Manchester United′s troubled season, Shinji Kagawa has been a major contributor to Japan′s qualifying campaign.

Kagawa scored twice in the friendly win over New Zealand‚ proving that his lack of playing time at Old Trafford hasn′t slowed him down.

The 25–year–old midfielder scored 21 goals over two seasons with Borussia Dortmund. And on March 2‚ 2013‚ Kagawa scored three times for United in a 4–0 home win over Norwich to become the first Asian player to score a hat trick in a Premier League match.

FILE – In this June 4‚ 2013‚ file photo, Japan′s Shinji Kagawa controls the ball during their Asian zone Group B qualifying soccer match against Australia for the 2014 World Cup in Saitama‚ near Tokyo. Japan reached the knockout stage in 2010 at the World Cup in South Africa and outperformed Australia in qualifying to claim 17 points from eight games.

SHINJI OKAZAKI
Japan′s top striker‚ Shinji Okazaki has scored 11 goals in 24 games for German club Mainz this season.
The 27–year–old forward moved to Stuttgart in 2011 and scored 10 goals across two seasons before his transfer to Mainz.
Okazaki scored the only goal in Japan′s 1–0 win over Argentina in an international friendly‚ its first ever win over the 1978 and 1986 World Cup champions.
Okazaki′s 35 international goals make him Japan′s fourth–highest scorer of all time.

Shinji Okazaki of Japan beats the Latvian Goalkeeper to score his second goal during the international friendly match between Japan and Latvia at Home′s Stadium Kobe on February 6‚ 2013 in Kobe‚ Japan.


YOICHIRO KAKITANI

Considered by many to be Japan′s future star‚ 24–year–old midfielder Yoichiro Kakitani scored 21 goals in 34 games for Cerezo Osaka last season and added four goals for the national team in 2013 as an attacking midfielder for coach Alberto Zaccheroni.

Kakitani has drawn comparisons with Shinji Kagawa‚ who also played for Cerezo.

A strong performance in Brazil could garner more interest from clubs in Europe.

In This Photo: Yoichiro Kakitani

Yoichiro Kakitani of Japan in action during the international friendly match between Japan and Guatemala at International Stadium Yokohama on September 6‚ 2013 in Osaka‚ Japan.


YUTO NAGATOMO

Yuto Nagatomo joined Inter Milan in January 2011 from Cesena and has been an integral member of the back four since then.

The speedy 27–year–old left back has made 18 league appearances for Inter this season while scoring five goals.

A regular member of the national team‚ Nagatomo has played in 63 games for Japan with three goals.

FILE – In this June 4‚ 2013‚ file photo, Japan′s Yuto Nagatomo plays during their Asian zone Group B qualifying soccer match against Australia for the 2014 World Cup at Saitama Stadium in Saitama‚ near Tokyo. Japan‚ which reached the knockout stage in 2010 at the World Cup in South Africa outperformed Australia in qualifying to claim 17 points from eight games.

Barca rubber stamp revamp

 

Camp Nou: To receive a revamp


More than 27‚000 members of Barcelona Football Club have endorsed plans to spend 600–million euros on the redevelopment of the Camp Nou. 

More than 27‚000 members of Barcelona Football Club have endorsed plans to spend 600–million euros on the redevelopment of the club′s home ground, the Camp Nou.

The voting accounts for 72 per cent of the members who turned out to hear the proposal.

The vote was only the second in the club′s 115–year history, the previous ballot coming in 1950 when members backed plans to move from the old Las Corts stadium to the Camp Nou.

The Camp Nou, which currently has a capacity of more than 99‚000‚ is already the largest stadium in Europe. However‚ once the revamp is completed in 2021‚ the stadium will be able to seat 105‚000 spectators.

“This is a big step forward‚” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Inside World Football.

“Many members have told me that they have voted for a project which‚ because of their age‚ they will never see. But for a better Barcelona and better Nou Camp for their grandchildren‚” added he club′s president.

The Camp Nou has been the home of Catalan football since 1957 and many famous memories have been created at that ground. The club has evolved since then and become the powerhouse in European football.

Administrators think it would be fitting to have a stadium which symbolises their current status in the global game.

“In 2021 we will have a Nou Camp which all Barcelona members and fans will be proud of and allow us to say we have a ground of the same level as our team‚” added Bartomeu.

The stadium redevelopment is expected to include the construction of a new roof and work is expected to start in 2017.

 


Before any revamp to take place, hot in the UEFA Champions League scene

Atletico out to end Barca′s UCL run with Costa in tow

Atletico Madrid put up an impressive performance versus FC Barcelona at Nou Camp despite their star Diego Costa having to leave early in the match because of thigh injury. Diego Simeone′s side held their rivals down to a 1–1 draw. Atletico Madrid will host Barca at Vicente Calderón‚ this time with more firepower as Costa is expected to have recovered from his injury. Match is on April 10 at 02:45 (GMT+8).

 

Bet on these teams to win with the odds below:

1X2 Barcelona @ 2.35

1X2 Draw @ 3.10

1X2 Atletico Madrid @ 3.20

 

Place your bets here

 

 


Source: SBOBET, VIQI News

Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz

 

The Dallas Mavericks are still fighting to clinch a playoff spot in the West and could better their chances by sweeping the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

The Mavericks have a game and a half lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the seventh seed in the West and have won three straight to keep them at bay. On the season‚  the Mavericks average 105.1 points on 47.3 percent shooting and allow 102.6 points on 46.5 percent shooting. Dirk Nowitzki has been on absolute fire lately‚  shooting 55 percent from the field and 52 percent from three in his last five games. The Mavs have won seven of their last 11 games when scoring more than 100 points. The Dallas Mavericks are 42–36 ATS overall and 25–14 ATS on the road.

The Jazz have lost 12 of their last 14 games and are really spending their final games trying to play spoiler to playoff teams. On the season‚  the Jazz average 94.5 points on 44.2 percent shooting and allow 101.6 points on 47.3 percent shooting. Utah′s issues have been on the offensive side of the ball all season‚  but in the Jazz last five games‚ they′re surrendering 107.2 points. The Jazz have lost 14 straight games when allowing their opponent to reach the 100 point mark. The Utah Jazz are 31–40–6 ATS overall and 15–19–4 ATS at home.
The Mavericks are 5–1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Northwest and 1–6 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win. The Jazz are 3–0–1 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 1–4–2 ATS in their last 7 home games. The Mavericks are 5–2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Utah‚  while the favorite is 17–8 ATS in the last 25 meetings.

 

The Mavs have been scoring at will just about all season‚  while the Jazz haven′t shown much effort on the defensive end as of late. I like this game to go over the projected total‚ as neither team has been great at getting stops. Dallas should score well over 100 points‚ and the Jazz will finish the job

 

Article credit: Sports chat place

Author: Randy Chambers

 

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San Paolo to be upgraded

 

San Paolo: To receive an upgrade


Authorities have confirmed that there will be upgrades at the San Paolo stadium‚ Napoli′s home venue.

Italian authorities have confirmed that there will be upgrades at the San Paolo stadium, Napoli′s home venue.

While there had been speculation the Partenopei would move to a new venue in the foreseeable future‚ Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris revealed on Monday that plans to start work on the upgrade had already been made.

“I can confirm that we are on the right track‚” De Magistris told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli on Monday.

“On Friday we sent the necessary documentation to Napoli so that they know the exact fees to be paid.

“Without this there would need to be a delay in proceedings. Napoli will play at San Paolo and there will be a commitment to redeveloping the entire stadium‚” added the City Mayor.

There are strong indications that Napoli are happy with the current arrangement‚ which means work is likely to begin soon.

“We have now reached an agreement, thanks to De Laurentiis making himself available. He will pay the amount due before we move on to discuss the next steps. Sometimes things are not easy to sort out.

“Things will begin to move forward immediately. Once the payment has been received we can sign for the plan to go ahead‚” added Naples’ number one citizen.

“I would like for the research to be done before the end of the year, at which point there will be a commitment to putting the necessary money in to fund the building of the stadium.

“Will there be an athletics track? There is a commitment to create a project‚ I will trust those who have designed the most beautiful stadiums.”

 


Meanwhile Napoli′s mission: Third straight win over Lazio

Napoli defeated Lazio the last two times they met. Rafael Benitez′s side will again try to frustrate Lazio. Napoli scored a total of five goals in those two encounters‚ something that indicates how messed up Lazio′s defense is. Have Lazio made the right adjustments or is Napoli just too strong for them? Match will be on April 13 at 21:00 (GMT+8).

 

Enjoy more of this match by predicting its outcome with the betting odds below:

Asian Handicap:+0.75 Lazio @ 2.08 

Asian Handicap: –0.75 Napoli @ 1.85 

 

Start predicting here


Source: SBOBET‚ VIQI News