10:21 PM EDT, Sun March 29, 2015
The Liverpool Offside 2 hours ago

Tactical Analysis: Liverpool Must Target Arsenal Midfield to Win Key Match

It won't be easy, but a win over the Gunners is still very possible despite an unfortunate string of injuries and suspensions. After a tough loss to Manchester United, injury questions hover over a host of Liverpool players such as Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana, and suspensions for Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel further deplete the team's depth. With a must-win encounter against Arsenal rapidly approaching, Brendan Rodgers will have to make some difficult tactical decisions when he selects his starting eleven against the Gunners. Here are some of the key questions...

Manchester United's main summer target: "I'd like to leave"

Mats Hummels has long been reported as a target of Louis van Gaal, and the defender's recent comments suggest he may well be up for the move. Manchester United's defence this season has been at its best when comprised of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, and that pretty much sums up what a general shambles it's been. Marcos Rojo is still probably our best defender, but nobody's been in really great form all season and an appalling lack of leadership at the back has led to us being, well, not good enough. So, who can we turn to? Well, for a long time, reports have suggested the man Van Gaal...
The Liverpool Offside 7 hours ago

Fernando Torres Reflects on Emotional Anfield Return

His exit in 2011 left Liverpool supporters feeling jilted, but four years on Fernando Torres' first return as a neutral brought with it an emotional welcome from the Anfield faithful. Hindsight makes it easy to evaluate the sale of Fernando Torres as a good bit of business by Liverpool. No doubt that at the time £50m was a huge sum of money, particularly for the output (or lack thereof) that followed from the player, but when he was sold to Chelsea in January of 2011, there was little else to feel other than sadness and disappointment. Most--present company included--reveled in his...
Bitter and Blue 8 hours ago

City international players on duty

Here we analyze the matches that have involved some of City's players. As reported by Manchester City's official website, 13 City players were selected to represent their national teams during the March FIFA international date. These players are Joe Hart (England), James Milner (England), Bacary Sagna (France), Fernandinho (Brazil), David Silva (Spain), Vincent Kompany (Belgium), Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro), Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia), Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast), Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast), Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina), Sergio Agüero (Argentina) and Edin Džeko (Bosnia and...
The Liverpool Offside 10 hours ago

Watch: Liverpool All-Star Charity Match Full Highlights

Steven Gerrard netted two penalties and an adoring Anfield crowd got a chance to serenade some of their favorites in a match that ended 2-2. Gerrard XI 2: Gerrard (pen. x2)Carragher XI 2: Balotelli, Drogba A fine occasion on Sunday afternoon at Anfield, where a Steven Gerrard XI drew 2-2 with Jamie Carragher's squad, with Gerrard netting twice from the spot--the latter by virtue of a classic Luis Suarez dive--and Mario Balotelli and Didier Drogba scoring for the former vice-captain's side. It was a relatively emotional event, with the crowd spending most of the match serenading those who...
The Liverpool Offside 11 hours ago

Henderson Planning Liverpool Stay for "Many Years"

Along with Raheem Sterling, there's been plenty of concern about a contract extension for Liverpool's current vice-captain, but Jordan Henderson is focused on securing his future at the club for a long time. Among the more annoying ongoing stories this season--Liverpool not playing very well for most of the fall winter being the most annoying, clearly--has been contract negotiations for some of the club's more talented younger players. Raheem Sterling's contract has received the most attention, with expectations that a new deal would have been agreed months ago after assurances going as...
The Tilehurst End 14 hours ago

International Round-Up: Royals Duo Star In Wales Win

Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu's both started in an impressive Wales win away in Israel while there were also wins for Aaron Kuhl and Garath McCleary. Chris Gunter & Hal Robson-Kanu Could two Reading players be about to achieve something that Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes and Gary Speed all failed to do: qualify for a major international tournament with Wales? A 3-0 victory in Haifa last night has left Welsh football fans starting to believe but with five games to still go few in the Principality will be starting to make holiday plans for France in summer 2016. The win was as...
The Liverpool Offside 15 hours ago

Liverpool All-Star Charity Match: Ways to Watch, Streaming, Lineups, and Live Coverage

Steven Gerrard's unofficial second testimonial takes place today at Anfield, with a host of big names taking part for charity. With the international break arriving on the heels of the disappointing loss to Manchester United last Sunday and a string of injury concerns, Liverpool supporters were in need of something to boost the collective mood. Today should provide just that, with a collection of stars--many of them former Liverpool players--descending on Anfield for charity match to celebrate Steven Gerrard's career. The Match Official Team News: Gerrard XI v. Carragher XI Kickoff:...
Lion Of Vienna Suite 18 hours ago

Which on-loan Bolton Wanderers should stay in the summer?

We take a look at all the players currently out on loan from Bolton Wanderers, and assess who should stay and who should leave, come the end of the season. With Bolton Wanderers' recent action in the loan market this past week, in recruiting Liverpool midfielder Jordan Lussey, and sending out Rob Hall and Rob Holding on loan to MK Dons and Bury, respectively, the tally for Bolton players currently out on loan stands at a rather large thirteen. So who out of this band of youngsters and outcasts should Neil Lennon at least try to keep hold of once they all return from their stints at other...
The Liverpool Offside Mar 28, 2015

Overnight Open Thread: Your Favorite Steven Gerrard Moment

A lone question to pass the time as we wait for the All-Star Charity match to kick off from Anfield. It has not gone according to plan for Steven Gerrard in his final season at Liverpool, and given the incident last Sunday, the celebration feels a little forced. But it's a celebration nonetheless, and maybe the timing gives us the chance to forget--or at least set aside momentarily--the misgivings about Gerrard's tumultuous campaign. It's not formally a second testimonial, but it's serving as such, and will bring together players that have been part of some incredible moments with Steven...
7500 To Holte Mar 28, 2015

Has Lerner agreed a deal to sell Aston Villa?

Aston Villa look set to be sold at the end of the season, if a recent report is true! We might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, or so says Neil Moxley of the Sunday People. Moxley has reported that Villa's owner, Randy Lerner, has entered a final stage of discussions with a consortium based in the United Kingdom. The final asking price for Villa seems to be the £150 million tag that Lerner set himself, which will see him make a tidy profit of over £80 million (which of course excludes the many millions he has spent of wages and players..) If this report turns out to be true,...
7500 To Holte Mar 28, 2015

Lambert: I've nothing but good things to say about Aston Villa

Villa's ex-boss clears the air on a recent TV appearence We've long since moved on and it appears that Paul Lambert is ready to do the same. Lambert had taken a step back from the spotlight after leaving Villa in February in order to expand on his knowledge of the game by hanging out with that Jurgen Klopp character before taking on his UEFA PRO exams. Aston Villa's old manager appeared on the BBC's Football Focus earlier today in what seems to be an attempt to get himself out there for his next role. Obviously, Lambert wasn't just there to be a pretty Scottish face and was grilled on his...
The Liverpool Offside Mar 28, 2015

Sterling Hopeful of Facing Arsenal After Toe Injection

A lingering toe injury led to Raheem Sterling's early released from England duties, and the 20-year-old is hoping to be fit enough to face Arsenal next weekend. Anxiety about players heading out on international duty is to be expected, and it only worsens when they leave with a known injury worry. For the likes of Daniel Sturridge that applies pretty much every time he's called into the England squad, but for Raheem Sterling--who's proven mostly healthy and reliable in his career to this point--it was a new phenomenon .The 20-year-old forward joined up with Roy Hodgson's squad suffering...
Cartilage Free Captain Mar 28, 2015

International football open thread

Come chat with CFC during all of the internationals Harry Kane may not be playing but there's still a slate of sizzling international qualifiers going on today.  Ben Davies and some guy named Gary Bale are currently playing for Wales against Israel while former Spur Luka Modric starts against Norway for Croatia, also ongoing. Additional Spurs may feature for Belgium when they take on Cyprus at 3:45 pm ET/7:45 pm UK. Today's best game is likely Netherlands-Italy at 3:45 pm ET. Elsewhere, Lionel Messi and Argentina square off against El Salvador in Washington, DC at 4:30pm ET. There is also...
The Fighting Cock Mar 28, 2015

Our father, who art in Kane. Harold be thy name

Dan Rattigan looks at the reality that we now have to share Harry Kane with the rest of the world.
The Liverpool Offside Mar 28, 2015

Ibe Targets Return Before Season's End as Recovery Continues

A knee injury ruled out the young winger in the midst of an impressive run in the first team, and now Jordon Ibe is left to hope he'll be fit before the current campaign is over. After his recall from Derby County, it wasn't quite clear how Jordon Ibe would feature in Liverpool's setup, especially given the fact that he was cup-tied in both the FA and League Cup. Having featured in a wide forward role for Steve McLaren's side, Ibe returned to a Liverpool setup that didn't have such a role, instead deploying a lone forward with the support of two central playmakers in support and relying on...
The Short Fuse Mar 28, 2015

Weekend internationals open thread

Watching all the action this weekend? Talk about it here! It's Interlull weekend, that weekend when I get a breather from soccer but when most everyone else watches various international qualifiers and friendlies. I mostly spend these weekends hoping no Arsenal players get hurt; speaking of, there aren't a lot of details about the limping off of Danny Welbeck right now, other than this mention of a "knee injury" picked up in yesterday's game. Ulp. There are a whole bunch of games this weekend; there are both qualifying and friendly games in Europe and South America, and after those are...
Bitter and Blue Mar 28, 2015

Fond Farewells...

Who do we think will get the bullet in the summer? This summer may see a revolving door spin at the Etihad with the squad tipped for a major overhaul. Last years UEFA sanctions made for a relatively quiet transfer window but this summer will see a host of new faces brought to the Etihad in an effort to inject some life back into City's team. Arrivals will be balanced by departures in order to meet financial fair play regulations, so who do we think will be saying goodbye to Manchester? Kompany is safe. Despite a less than impressive season for the captain, his experience and leadership...
The Liverpool Offside Mar 28, 2015

Liverpool’s March Internationals: Preview, Streaming, and Ways to Watch Israel vs. Wales & Brazil vs. Chile

International duty continues over the weekend for Liverpool's internationals, with Joe Allen, Simon Mignolet, Philippe Coutinho, and Mamadou Sakho expected to be involved for their respective countries. With a few already in the books, attention turns to a slightly busy weekend, with four international matches with a Liverpool interest across the two days. Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling made it through England's comfortable win over Lithuania unscathed, with the latter registering an assist and his first international goal, and further success--and health--is now the focus for the...
The Liverpool Offside Mar 28, 2015

Xabi Alonso Overjoyed To Be Back In Liverpool

The long-time Liverpool fan favorite is thrilled to be back in the city he loves, and couldn't resist taking a shot at Jamie Carragher while expressing that joy. The Steven Gerrard charity tribute match this weekend has some beloved names and faces involved in it, but few are more loved by Liverpool fans than Xabi Alonso. Despite leaving somewhat contentiously, fans continue to support and admire the Spanish midfielder, and maybe the best part is that he loves them right back. "For five years I haven't had the chance to go back there," Alonso said in an interview before leaving for...

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