About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly buzzing: I do this for our fansby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was floating after their victory over Champions League opponents Liverpool.Koulibaly was outstanding for the 2-0 win.He said at the final whistle: “I arrived late to pre-season training as I was at the Africa Cup of Nations and Kostas Manolas had joined a new team, so it took us a while to learn how to play together and we conceded a lot of goals, but we’re improving.“I try to give 110 per cent to these fans, as they give me so much love and I want to repay them. “I throw myself into challenge for them, as I want to take the Napoli colours to the top, so it fills my heart when they cheer for me.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Big Serie A interest arriving for Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozilby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSerie A interest is arriving for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.Ozil is on the outer at the Gunners this season.Fenerbahce have entered into negotiations with Arsenal about a loan deal for the German.But Calciomercato.it reports there is also interest from Italy.Inter Milan, AC Milan and Napoli are all ready to make a move for Ozil ahead of the January market.
A two-goal showing from Kadidiatou Diani saw the U.S. women’s national team fall in the side’s opening match of 2019, taking a 3-1 loss at the hands of France. After going unbeaten throughout 2018, the USWNT came into the World Cup year riding high, kicking off the 2019 slate with a friendly against World Cup host France in Le Havre. But Diani’s star showing was enough to doom Jill Ellis’ outfit to a defeat to one of the few teams to have taken points off of them last year. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Her first of the night came following a brilliant run down the right from Delphine Cascarino, who cut back into the box for Diani, who had started the move in the midfield, to slam home just nine minutes in. Not the start the USWNT envisioned…Diani starts France’s attack brilliantly and finishes it for the 1-0 lead just 9 minutes in. pic.twitter.com/gDypSLq5o3— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 19, 2019The U.S. seemed to repond well enough to the early strike, but Diani broke the game open with her second of the night 10 minutes after the break. A ball in down the right gave the 23-year-old just enough space to send a lofted shot to the back post, leaving USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stranded. Oh my 😲What a goal by Diani for France. pic.twitter.com/FT6SMviEJX— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 19, 2019Marie-Antoinette Katoto made it 3-0 in favor of France in the 78th, cementing the win for the French side. Mallory Pugh pulled one back for the USA late on but it would not be enough to salvage a result. The loss broke a 28-match unbeaten run for the U.S. but shouldn’t have come as a huge shock. France has earned three wins and two draws against the USWNT over the course of their last 10 meetings and the French side is among the favorites to win this summer’s World Cup, having stretched its own unbeaten run to nine games. The two teams faced off just once in 2018, playing out a 1-1 draw.
The diving debate surrounding Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is considered to be “totally unacceptable” and “hostile”, with Robbie Fowler suggesting that the Egyptian is being singled out as an “overseas player”.The Reds star has faced plenty of criticism over recent weeks for a supposed willingness to go to ground too easily.Decisions have gone for and against him when taking a tumble, with Liverpool benefiting from penalty calls. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Fowler believes Salah has had every right to hit the deck when touched, with players at other clubs – such as Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba – proving that referees only act when they are made aware of obvious contact.The Reds legend wrote in The Mirror: “I’ve been shaking my head in disbelief at the criticism aimed at Mohamed Salah in recent weeks for what people have been particularly eager to call cheating.“It’s been sustained and hostile, and I’m wondering why.“Why it’s been much worse than that aimed at Harry Kane this season, for instance, or in the past say Michael Owen or David Beckham (and I’m not singling them out!).“We have to be very careful as football fans. We need to stop and think about whether Salah is being targeted for where he comes from and who he is.“It seems like stereotyping, and possibly because he’s an overseas player.“If that is the case, it’s totally unacceptable.”Fowler added: “Yes, there have been times when Salah has gone over a bit theatrically, sometimes he may have gone down a bit easily.“Two things. One, who doesn’t now? Two, he’s almost always been kicked.“In fact, he has been kicked mercilessly for 18 months. And if he doesn’t go down in a way which lets the ref see he’s been kicked, then will he get the decision? No chance.“Watching the Arsenal-Manchester United game on Friday, Paul Pogba went through early, got hacked from behind, but didn’t go down and then lost the ball. No free-kick.“Soon after, goes through again, gets pulled back slightly. What does he do? Of course, he goes down, because otherwise he knows if he tries to get a shot off and fails, he gets nothing again. It is not as simple as people are making out.“If Salah were this massive cheat people seem to be trying to portray him as, why was the penalty he converted against Newcastle at the end of December the first awarded for Liverpool at Anfield in 18 months?“In that time, he’s scored almost 50 league goals, and not one until this past Boxing Day was a penalty in a home game.”Fowler is not the first to offer his support to Salah in the simulation row, but the likes of John Aldridge – another Liverpool icon – have warned the 26-year-old that he risks earning an unwanted reputation if the theatrics continue. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)With bowl season getting into full swing this week, we spoke to OddsShark gambling expert Jon Campbell about betting on the bowls and the College Football Playoff.(Note: this interview was conducted on Thursday, December 22.)The Spun: Washington is currently a 14.5 point underdog to Alabama in the Peach Bowl semifinal game. The Huskies have been great this year, but had their worst performance of the season against probably the most talented team on the schedule: USC. Do you think the Huskies have a realistic chance of keeping this one close? (Ed. note: the line is now down to 14 points at most sportsbooks.)Jon Campbell: I like Alabama to cover the spread here. I think the spread’s still a little too low, I would’ve had Alabama closer to a 17-point favorite. I like Alabama at 14.5. Not too much shocks me anymore in sports and college football, but I think it would be a surprise for me and a lot of people if Washington does up winning this one. If you look at the moneyline, the payout is 6-1, so it’s not the craziest thing you’ve ever heard if Washington does end up winning this one, but it would be unlikely.One thing I do like about them is that they take really good care of the ball. They’re No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin this year, so it’s going to be interesting.The Spun: Over in the other semifinal, Ohio State and Clemson are pretty evenly matched, Ohio State’s a three-point favorite right now, but have had some moments of inconsistency this season. Which do you trust more in the Fiesta Bowl?Campbell: Clemson’s the best bowl bet in the nation since 2012, they’re 5-0 against the spread, so it’s tough for me to bet against them here. They were 3.5-point underdogs for a long time and that line has come down. I like Clemson a lot more at +3.5, but I do think they can win this game. I think they match-up really well, and Deshaun Watson’s going to be a tough test for Ohio State as he is for everyone, and I just love this defensive front for Clemson. I love the Buckeyes too, they’re obviously a great team, but I do think Clemson has a really good shot to win this one straight up. I think they’re going to give Ohio State a lot of trouble.The Spun: A number of bowl games feature interesting variables due to the coaching carousel. We’ve already seen Houston lose without Tom Herman, and WKU not miss a beat without Jeff Brohm. Overall, do you see any real trends for teams in the middle of a coaching transition, or is it more of a crap shoot?Campbell: You kind of took the answer out of my mouth there. It really depends from team to team. With Houston losing Tom Herman, you’d think with that one they’d be the least affected, because the offensive coordinator now becomes the head coach, with Major Applewhite, but I think they had a real let down in their bowl game and the last game of the season with the coaching change. And then Western Kentucky, they don’t miss a beat without Jeff Brohm.So it’s one of these things that I think the media likes to talk about more in general than it actually affects the team. I think nowadays the players, even at the college level, know the coaches could change at any time, so I think it is a bigger deal to the media than it is to the point spread, but it is something to pay attention to.The Spun: Is there one prominent factor that you look at above the others when it comes to picking a bowl game?Campbell: You have to look at which conferences are playing one another, and some conferences are better than others of course. That’s the first thing that always jumps out to me, and that’s a really quick handicap. The next thing I look at is defense first when I’m handicapping football in general, and I think most recreational bettors start with offense first, but I look with defense, and how well that defense matches up with the strength of the other team’s offense. That’s where I start.The Spun: I think in bowl season, it seems to be a general thought that there’s more offense than normal, and we saw that in that Memphis-Western Kentucky game, but I saw you tweet on Wednesday that it was the first game to hit the over. Through the first eight bowls, we’re at 1-7 in over-unders. Is there something going on this year that you think has impacted the total points, or is it the randomness of bowl season?Campbell: No, it’s just the way it goes, and it almost always balances out. The numbers are almost a perfect 50/50 when you look back to the 2012 season. And year-to-year, it balances out really close to 50/50, so there’s actually a little bit of an advantage to bettors now that we know the under has come in, and knowing that it balances out, I would recommend keeping a closer eye and look to the over first, because it should come around.(Ed. Note: After today’s Army win over North Texas, the over-under record is 8-9, with seven of the last nine games going over. Good call, Jon.)The Spun: Which of the remaining match-ups do you think is flying under the radar, but could be one of the more fun games left on the slate?Campbell: I think maybe the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 29, Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech’s favored by seven, the total is 62. You’ve got two balanced offenses there that can do different things on offense, and I think that we might see a lot of points in this one, and I think it could be a close game. This is one that’s definitely flying under the radar and isn’t being talked about much, but it could be a fun game.The Spun: If you could only place one bet for the remainder of this bowl season, what would it be?Campbell: This is always a tough one because I like to lay a lot of bets, but if I had to pick one, it might be South Carolina getting 10 points against South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl. And that’s another bowl game that nobody really cares about but going back to the conference thing, this is an SEC team, the best conference all year, every year it seems, and they have a great defense that has 25 takeaways this season. So with them getting double digits, I think all of the focus is on South Florida’s offense, and it’s a great offense, but I think they’re going to be in tough against a pretty good SEC defense here that can also turn the ball over, and I just think 10 points is too many.The Spun: That should definitely be an interesting one, and we talked before about coaches leaving. It’ll be hard to know what the impact of Willie Taggart going to Oregon will be. To wrap up, does anyone manage to upset Alabama, or does the Crimson Tide take home the national title?Campbell: I like Alabama. I know that’s not a really exciting answer, but they’re just too good this year. I don’t think anyone will beat them. Over a 60 minute game, they just do everything so well, and they’re going to beat whomever they have to play.—Check out OddsShark for everything you need to know about betting this bowl season. Jon Campbell can be found on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark.
Jasper Cillessen has hit back at the criticism which he has been subjected to following the Netherlands’ defeat to Portugal in the Nations League final.The Barcelona goalkeeper was questioned about his role in Sunday’s loss in Porto as Goncalo Guedes scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the hosts.Cillessen did get a hand to the shot but was unable to keep it out, though he insists he was unsighted. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “I saw the ball very late, because Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind were standing there. And Guedes’ shot was pretty hard,” Cillessen told FOX Sports. That victory handed the inaugural Nations League title to Portugal but the Dutch will feel disappointed that they did not put up a better fight. A large part of the blame for the defeat has been put at the door of Cillessen, who believes that he has become a scapegoat for his national team.”In the Netherlands, we go very easy on that. I already received some messages: the Dutch media write a lot about it and I’m a little tired of that.“I saw the ball late and he hit it pretty hard. That’s the only thing I’ve seen right now. Anyway, we always criticise someone very easily in the Netherlands.”It was not only in the final that Cillessen attracted bad press. In the semi-final against England he received negative reviews for his failure to stop Marcus Rashford’s penalty.Many Dutch fans took to social media to lament Cillessen’s penalty saving record, saying that the goalkeeper dived too early for the Englishman’s spot kick.”I will be careful what I say: I’m a little tired of that as well. It’s too easy to say that, especially if you check out Rashford’s last few penalties. “It’s too easy what everyone has said about it. I really don’t like it.”Serving as the second choice goalkeeper at Barcelona has also led to questions around his future at club level, too.Numerous goalkeepers around Europe have been linked with the Spanish champions, who are rumoured to be in the market for a new shot-stopper, but Cillessen will not be rushed into any decision.According to Marca , the Netherlands international is happy to bide his time and wait until returning from his holiday to make any decision on his future.”I still have not considered anything,” said Cillessen.”I want to go on holiday, then I’ll meet with my agent and we’ll talk.”
Sporting CP head coach Marcel Keizer said the future of Bruno Fernandes is a question for the club’s board amid ongoing links to Manchester United.Fernandes has been tipped to join United throughout the transfer window and talk of a switch to Old Trafford has gathered pace with the Premier League season on the horizon.Sunday’s Portuguese Super Cup – which Sporting lost 5-0 at the hands of rivals Benfica – was widely seen as a potential Fernandes farewell before leaving Lisbon. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Portugal international Fernandes was a topic of conversation post-match and Keizer told reporters: “Bruno Fernandes is an important player.”Will he stay? It’s not a question for me, but for the management.”Fernandes scored 20 goals – 31 in all competitions – and supplied 13 assists in the Primeira Liga last season as Sporting finished third.The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Sporting were humiliated by Primeira Liga champions Benfica on Sunday.Pizzi scored a brace, while Rafa Silva, Alex Grimaldo and Chiquinho were also on target against Sporting, who had Idrissa Doumbia sent off in the 89th minute.”It’s a night to forget,” Keizer added. “We had a good chance to score, but we couldn’t. We never gave up trying to score even after we were losing by two and three goals. Benfica also created a lot of chances and managed to score.”It will be a very difficult week, but we have a match for the championship next week and we have to prepare it.”Keizer’s Sporting open their league campaign away to Maritimo on Sunday.
Oklahoma’s football team is still three months away from playing a regular season game, but the fate of the Sooners’ 2018 campaign might be riding on what happens on this June evening. That might seem hyperbolic, but it really isn’t.The 2018 MLB Draft begins tonight. Oklahoma’s quarterback, Kyler Murray, is a potential first-round pick.Murray’s coach, Lincoln Riley, has said that his quarterback will be with the team this summer. He will not be playing baseball, he says.The quarterback is going to have a decision to make, though. And, depending on what happens tonight, it could be an extremely difficult one.If an MLB team falls in love with Murray and takes him somewhere in the first round, offering him a seven-figure signing bonus, is he really going to opt to return to college football?We’re going to see.QB or not QB: OU’s Murray a top MLB Draft talent. #Sooners”He’s still in the process of maturing as an athlete. He’s dynamic, he’s physical. He reminds me of Andrew McCutchen.”https://t.co/1IDjFIcLwW— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) June 1, 2018The MLB Draft starts at 7 p.m. E.T. It will be televised on the MLB Network.
Former ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger, who’s now doing sports gambling things out in Las Vegas, won college football Twitter on Sunday night.The legendary broadcaster had a tweet about Katherine McCarron, formerly Katherine Webb, the wife of Oakland Raiders quarterback AJ McCarron.AJ McCarron was recently traded from Buffalo to Oakland.Musburger took to Twitter to welcome him to the franchise, including a comment about his “beautiful” wife.“Welcome A.J. McCarron to the Raider family. Can’t wait for the “beautiful “ Mrs. McCarron to join us in Oakland,” he wrote.Welcome A.J. McCarron to the Raider family. Can’t wait for the “beautiful “ Mrs. McCarron to join us in Oakland .— Brent Musburger (@brentmusburger) September 3, 2018Musburger and Katherine McCarron had a viral moment during Alabama’s national title win against Notre Dame several years back.Good for Brent for continuing to own it.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 29: A detail view of a Notre Dame Fighting Irish players helmet showing the CFP logo during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against the Clemson Tigers at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)The first full weekend of college football will finish off with Notre Dame and Louisville on Labor Day. The television and kickoff info for that game is now out.Notre Dame players Asmar Bilal, Shaun Crawford and Chris Finke helped announce the game time and TV programming this afternoon. You can see their video below.The Fighting Irish and Cardinals will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, September 2 from Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.ESPN will broadcast the game. Before Commencement this weekend, our guys wanted to drop the kick time for our opener vs. Louisville.📍 Cardinal Stadium🏈 Irish vs. Cardinals📅 Monday – Sept. 2 – 8 p.m. ET📺 ESPN#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/xAaRqGcZoH— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) May 16, 2019Notre Dame and Louisville are coming off vastly different 2018 seasons. The Fighting Irish went undefeated in the regular season before losing to Clemson in the College Football Playoff national semifinal.The Cardinals, meanwhile, went 2-10 and winless in ACC play in 2018. They are entering Year One under new head coach Scott Satterfield.These two programs have only met once before, back in 2014. Louisville beat the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium.This year’s game should be an interesting early test for both squads.