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Found 5 results

  1. Matchday 6 of the Champions League is upon us and, come Wednesday night, we will know once and for all who goes into the knockout stages, who drops into the Europa League, and who will be watching European football from the comfort of their own televisions. In this article, Football Manics previews Tuesday's final-day fixtures involving British teams. Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow (7:45pm) Manchester United need just one point against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford to secure top spot in Group A of the Champions League, but will be through in the last 16 providing they avoid a seven-goal defeat. CSKA, meanwhile, must pick up more points than Basel, who face Benfica away on the same night, to guarantee a place in the knockout stages. Basically, barring a major catastrophe, Man United are through and, although Jose Mourinho insists he will take the game seriously, he is expected to rest a number of key players ahead of the weekend's Premier League derby with Manchester City. David de Gea is not expected to be involved, with Sergio Romero to be named in between the sticks and Joel Pereira on the substitutes bench. Luke Shaw is also set to make his first Red Devils appearance since October and Paul Pogba will also be drafted in as his suspension only applies to domestic games. United are unbeaten in their previous five meetings against CSKA and have only lost two of their last 48 CL group games on home soil, so I predict them to claim victory and seal top spot in the group. Score prediction: 3-1 Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid (7:45pm) Chelsea have the chance to secure top spot in Champions League Group C when they host Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Antonio Conte's charges are two points clear at the top of their group and have already qualified for the knockout stages, but will be eager to send a potential latter-stage rival out of the competition. Diego Simeone's charges are in third place, two points behind Roma in second, so they know that anything less than a win and they are eliminated. However, even a win could see them drop to the Europa League as the Giallorossi only need to beat FK Qarabag to secure their passage to the last 16. David Luiz missed training on Monday as he continues to struggle with a knee problem, while Atletico's Juanfran is pushing for a return from injury. It remains to be seen how Chelsea line up against the Spaniards, especially considering that Antonio Conte has suggested that finishing first could also yield fearsome opponents in the last 16 - Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are currently second in their groups. Atletico, meanwhile, will be taking to the pitch all guns blazing to keep their slim qualification hopes alive for as long as possible, so I see the visitors taking all three points. Score prediction: 1-2 Celtic vs. Anderlecht (7:45pm) With Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in their group, Celtic were always going to struggle to reach the knockout stages, but they remain in pole position for a Europa League spot, providing they avoid a heavy defeat at home to Anderlecht. The Belgian side have lost all five of their Group B matches this season - including a 3-0 home loss to the Hoops - but know that a victory by a three-goal margin or more would see them leapfrog the Glaswegians and take the last-32 spot in the EL. Brendan Rodgers's side will be boosted by the return of Moussa Dembele and Nir Bitton, while Scott Brown will overtake Kenny Dalglish's record of 68 European Cup appearances. Unless Anderlecht strike early and make Parkhead nervous right from the off, I can see Celtic riding out the first half and then, with their opponents' heads dropping, break open the floodgates in the second half. Score prediction: 3-0 Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  2. Liverpool have been handed a tricky draw against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for a place in the Champions League group stage. Jurgen Klopp's charges are away in Germany for the first leg on either 15 or 16 August, with the return leg to be played at Anfield on 22 or 23 August. Scottish champions Celtic, meanwhile, meet Kazakh counterparts Astana in their play-off round tie, with the home leg first. The 10 winners from the play-off stage will join the 22 teams who have already qualified for the group stage. Full draw Champions route Qarabag (Azerbaijan) v Copenhagen (Denmark) Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus) v Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) Olympiakos (Greece) v HNK Rijeka (Croatia) Celtic (Scotland) v Astana (Kazakhstan) Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel) v Maribor (Slovenia) League route Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey) v Sevilla (Spain) Young Boys (Switzerland) v CSKA Moscow (Russia) Napoli (Italy) v Nice (France) Hoffenheim (Germany) v Liverpool (England) Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) v Steaua Bucharest (Romania) Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. Hull City have confirmed the appointment of former Russia head coach Leonid Slutsky as their new manager. After their relegation from the Premier League, former boss Marco Silva triggered a release clause in his contract to leave for Watford, leaving the Tigers searching for their fourth manager in the space of a year. However, they are now in a position to confirm that they have brought in Slutsky, who had been looking for a job in England since his departure from the Russian national team and CSKA Moscow. Slutsky told the club website: "I am delighted to become the head coach of Hull City and I am very much looking forward to the challenge of guiding the club back to the Premier League. "I already know that this is an important club with a big and loyal fan base. I've had a good feeling about it ever since meeting the Allam family and I can't wait to get started next week."
  4. Being in the Champions League is the ultimate honour for any European team. From those who routinely qualify and aim to win it to confirm their place among the world's elite to those for whom just making the group stages is almost a dream, it's a club competition without comparison. And when it comes to fans, they will turn out in their thousands and travel all across the continent to see their team in action at the stadium or even just being in the city's fanzone to soak up the incredible atmosphere. Football fans are among the most well-travelled people in the world, willing to go to great lengths to root for their beloved players. But which fans travel the most? London-based luggage company and big football fans Global Luggage decided to work out who went the extra mile in the 2016-17 Champions League. Their infographic chart shows the miles that supporters flew in a round trip by teams for each individual match as well as total miles, with some interesting results! As the most travelled, fans of Portuguese giants Benfica must’ve had an extensive itinerary, they've notched up a total of 13,082 miles under their belt. Alone, a trip to Dynamo Kiev’s stadium in Ukraine would’ve been 4,170 miles - practically crossing Europe end-to-end. Sticking with the Iberian theme, Spanish team Atlético Madrid come in second place with 11,678 air miles between matches - a combined flight time of around 26 hours. So what about England? Although we haven’t quite cracked the top 7, Leicester City fans can lay claim to over 7,000 miles of travel. Tottenham Hotspur supporters can also boast over 22 hours of flying, with an average trip being 936 miles of their total 5,016 miles travelled. And as any fan of the above teams - not to mention all the others - will tell you, it's completely worth it. Because the love for the beautiful game knows no bounds and no limit to how far we'd travel for it. To find out more about Global Luggage and to check out their products, simply visit http://www.globalluggage.co.uk Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  5. Everton clinch Oumar Niasse signing

    Everton have signed Senegal forward Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow in a £13.5m deal. The 25-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Goodison Park club. "We're delighted as Oumar is a player we've been following for a long time," Toffees boss Roberto Martinez said. "He brings a real hunger and desire to be successful into what is already a strong squad." Niasse, meanwhile, said: "I started to watch Everton more since the beginning of October because I had heard about their interest. "I was interested to see how they play. If you see players who are aged 20 or 21 and see them perform like that, you know you have a good coach." Niasse has 13 goals in 23 appearances for Lokomotiv this season.

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