Gerrard open to move
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard he is prepared to join another club if he is not offered a new contract.
Gerrard’s current contract is due to expire in May, but the 34-year-old who has been with Liverpool since the age of nine has rejected any suggestions he will retire if he is not offered a new deal by the Reds.
“I won’t be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season,” the midfielder said.
“We will have to wait and see if that’s at Liverpool or somewhere else. That’s Liverpool’s decision.”
Gerrard, who announced his retirement from the international scene after the World Cup in Brazil, made his debut for Liverpool as an 18-year-old substitute back in 1998 against Blackburn Rovers. Since then he has gone on to make 678 appearances for Liverpool scoring 176 goals.
In a wide ranging interview with the Daily Mail and Telegraph the Liverpool captain described current England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge as “possible the number one English striker I have played with”.
Gerrard also said it to early to judge new striker Mario Balotelli and added his surprise that former Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez was omitted from FIFA’s 23-man world player of the year shortlist.
“He scored 31 goals and was voted the best player in the hardest league in the world,” he said. “So you tell me how he’s not on the Ballon d’Or list. Incredible.
“He should be fighting Cristiano Ronaldo for it. That’s a fact.”
Swansea in talks with U.S. Investor
Swansea City is understood to be in discussions with American businessman John Moores over potential investment in the club.
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said the club has opened discussions with potential investors but refused to name specific names.
The Swans chairman said: “Until there is actually a bit more detail and more definite information to give, this is pure speculation.”
He added: ”There is a level of confidentiality that has to remain until there is a bit more to give.”
Moores is an entrepreneur and previously owned the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball franchise.
In September Swansea chairman Jenkins said the club were miles behind most of the other EPL clubs in terms commercial income. The club currently makes the bulk of their income via TV money and transfers.
However, Swansea is a unique EPL club in that 20% of the club is actually owned by the supporters’ trust, and a spokesman said the club should be cautious about changing its financial regime.
“We’re not convinced that this is the time to change that set up and bring in some foreign ownership,” trust chairman Phil Stumbler told BBC Radio Wales.
He added: “The board of directors believes they have proved over the years that the decisions they make are in the club’s and fans’ best interests.
“This philosophy is a priority and any future investment will only be accepted if it is right for the club and fans.
If Swansea accept investment from Moores they would become the fifth EPL team to be back by US investors joining Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Sunderland.
Cardiff Owner and Magic Johnson to invest in MLS
Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan and basketball legend Magic Johnson are among a group of investors that have been awarded new MLS franchise Los Angeles Club.
The investment group also includes QPR co-owner Ruben Gnanalingam and US women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm.
The new team will enter MLS in 2017 alongside an expansion team in Atlanta and the LA club’s managing partner Henry Nguyen said: “We believe this team can become a globally-recognized brand.”
Earlier on Thursday Tan, who also owns FK Sarajevo in Bosnia, said he was going to be “minority partner” in the new franchise.
“That’s my personal, private investment,” he told BBC Business. “I believe the MLS will be a good investment.”
Tan said: “I enjoy investing in a football club and I believe that you can make money in a football club.
“I didn’t really start off well investing in football, I wasn’t that lucky.
“But there are a lot of clever owners who make money every year so I now understand the business so much better.
“I joked that I invested so much money in Cardiff and it is my tuition fees to learn the football business.”
Tan has proved a controversial figure since taking over Cardiff in 2010, redesigning the club’s crest to include a red dragon and changing the club’s home kit from blue to red—Cardiff are known as the Bluebirds had worn blue from 1908 until 2012. Last season he caused more controversy when he told manager Malky Mackay to resign or be fired.
Cardiff were relegated from the EPL last season and currently sit 11th in the Championship.
|West Ham v Man City||2-1||1-3||0-3||1-2||1-3||0-1||1-4|
|Liverpool v Hull||0-0||2-1||2-0||1-1||1-1||2-1||1-3|
|Southampton v Stoke||1-0||2-0||1-1||3-0||3-1||1-1||1-2|
|Sunderland v Arsenal||0-2||1-2||2-3||0-2||1-3||1-2||1-3|
|West Brom v Crystal Palace||2-2||2-1||2-0||2-0||1-1||2-0||1-1|
|Swansea v Leicester||2-0||2-1||3-1||2-1||2-0||2-1||2-2|
|Burnley v Everton||1-3||0-1||1-2||0-0||1-2||1-2||1-2|
|Tottenham v Newcastle||1-2||2-1||2-1||2-1||3-0||1-2||2-2|
|Man Utd v Chelsea||1-1||2-2||1-4||0-1||1-2||2-1||2-1|
|QPR v Aston Villa||2-0||1-2||1-1||1-0||1-1||2-1||3-1|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. Getting the exact score correct earns THREE points.
|Newcastle v Liverpool||2-1|
|Arsenal v Burnley||3-0|
|Chelsea v QPR||4-0|
|Everton v Swansea||2-1|
|Hull v Southampton||1-2|
|Leicester v West Brom||2-2|
|Stoke v West Ham||0-1|
|Man City v Man Utd||3-2|
|Aston Villa v Tottenham||1-1|
|Crystal Palace v Sunderland||2-0|
Newcastle v Liverpool
Newcastle were struggling a couple of weeks ago and Alan Pardew looked certain to be fired, but all of a sudden they have turned things around and are currently the inform team.
The Magpies beat Tottenham 2-1 away last week, before beating League Cup holders Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad. In fact, Newcastle has not lost a game since losing away to Stoke in September and went the whole of October unbeaten.
Visitors Liverpool have still to hit the form that saw them challenge for the EPL title last season. The Reds could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Hull last week, but did overcome Swansea 2-1 in the League cup thanks to goals from Mario Balotelli and Dejan Lovren.
Newcastle striker Papa Cisse is struggling with a knee injury meaning Ayoze Perez could keep his place in attack.
Cheick Tiote is out with a calf problem and Mike Williamson is still a doubt after missing the last two games.
Liverpool are without Luis Enrique, Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, Suso and Jon Flanagan, who are all out injured.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Newcastle (W2, D2), but with Newcastle hitting form—Alan Pardew’s side have lost just two of their last eight Premier League matches—that could change on Saturday.
Liverpool cannot seem to put a run of games together this season—after winning 11 Premier League games in a row between February and April, Liverpool have won just five of the subsequent 12 matches. The Reds are really struggling for goals in the absence of Daniel Sturridge and are not creating much either.
There has never been a goalless draw between these sides in their 40 Premier League clashes, and if both teams continue to defend as they have done so far this season the trend should continue. A few weeks ago I would have backed Liverpool to just edge this one, but after their recent results I think Newcastle will win.
Arsenal v Burnely
Arsenal returned to winning ways last week with a 2-0 away to Sunderland. The win was the Gunners first in two games after losing way to Chelsea and drawing at home to Hull. Arsenal didn’t play well but were gifted both their goals after defensive errors by Sunderland’s back-line.
Burnley gave Everton a good game last week, but still lost 3-1 at home. The Clarets are hard working and well organized, but lack the quality to achieve the rewards their work deserves.
Arsenal injury woes continue with Jack Wilshere set to join Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby and Olivier Giroud on the sidelines due to injury.
Burnley’s Dean Marney is expected to return from a hamstring problem, but Saturday’s game comes to soon for Steven Reid, who is not yet fit enough to play after a groin injury.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five top-flight games against Burnely, and with the Clarets conceding 12 goals in their last four league games I expect Arsenal to make it six games unbeaten.
Chelsea v QPR
Chelsea and QPR square up this weekend to settle the debate over who is west London’s finest club.
Chelsea maintained their position atop of the EPL with a 1-1 draw away to Manchester United. The Blues might count themselves unlucky as they conceded in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but they only had themselves to blame, as they didn’t push for a second goal when they had the chance. The Blues created a few good chances against United, but looked to be lacking a little cutting edge without Diego Costa and if he picks up a long-term injury they could struggle.
QPR got their first win of the season last week with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa. The Hoops have been slowly improving and were unlucky a few weeks back to lose to Liverpool 3-2. Charlie Austin got both their goals against Villa and the Hoops will have to keep him fit if they want to have a chance of staying up, as he looks like he will get them goals.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa and midfielder Ramires have both overcome injury and could return to the starting eleven.
Forward Loic Remy remains out and Cesar Azpilicueta is banned, but fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic returns after a suspension of his own.
QPR remain without midfielders Jordon Mutch and Joey Barton, who are both injured. But Adel Taarabt could return despite a recent public fallout with manager Harry Redknapp, who claimed he was overweight.
Chelsea are the overwhelming favorites for this game, but QPR actually have a good record against the Blues—QPR have lost only one of their last five matches against Chelsea in the Premier League and won 1-0 in their last visit to the Bridge in 2013. Nevertheless, I cannot see anything other than a comfortable win for Chelsea.
Man City v Manchester United
Week 10 draws to a close with one of the biggest games of the season so far, as champions Manchester City host neighbors Manchester United.
Manchester City are in a mini crisis and are without a win in their last three games. The Champions lost 2-1 away to West United last weekend and then lost at home 2-0 to Newcastle in the League Cup.
Neighbors Manchester United continued their steady form with a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. The Red Devils scored with a last gasp goal, but deserved their point for their attacking endeavor. Going forward United look as good as any team in the EPL at the moment, but in defense they still look vulnerable and give teams chances.
Manchester City look set to be without David Silva who picked up a knee injury in their defeat against Newcastle.
Manchester United welcome back captain Wayne Rooney from suspension, but fellow striker Radamel Falcao remains out through injury.
Both of these sides boast good attacks, but neither is defending well at the moment so expect goals. A few weeks ago I would have predicted City to run away with this game, but they have looked sloppy recently and that is why I think United have a chance. Nevertheless, I think City will just about edge this one.