Real Madrid – Manchester United Preview

José Mourinho says the world is waiting for a great Real Madrid CF v Manchester United FC game – which, for Sir Alex Ferguson, will be the acid test of his side’s credentials. José Mourinho is relishing the opportunity to renew his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson when Real Madrid CF host Manchester United FC in the first instalment of their round of 16 tie. The Merengues coach has faced United twice before at this stage of the UEFA Champions League, with FC Porto in 2004 and FC Internazionale Milano five years later, and is savouring the build-up to an encounter he believes the world is More >

Shakhtar Donetsk – Borussia Dortmund Preview

The champions of Ukraine and Germany meet at the Donbass Arena, hoping to pick up where they left off in the group stage. FC Shakhtar Donetsk are in the right shape for their round of 16 visit of Borussia Dortmund despite not having played competitively since the UEFA Champions League group stage, according to Mircea Lucescu. “We have tried to reach the same level as Dortmund,” said the Shakhtar coach, who took his squad to training camps in Spain and the United Arab Emirates during the Ukrainian winter break. “Wednesday’s game will show how well we have prepared.” Though his Dortmund team More >

Celtic – Juventus Preview

Neil Lennon’s side welcomes the current Serie A leaders to Glasgow on Tuesday night aiming to seal passage into the quarterfinals of Europe’s premier cup competition. Buoyed by UEFA Champions League group stage wins against FC Barcelona and FC Spartak Moskva, Celtic FC coach Neil Lennon says his players harness “a real belief” going into their round of 16 first leg with Juventus in Glasgow; an occasion he described as “one of the biggest games of their careers”. The 41-year-old’s opposite number, Antonio Conte, promised to stand by his attacking principles and warned his Juventus team More >

Valencia – Paris Saint-Germain Preview

The Champions League returns after the winter break, with the leader of Ligue 1 who hopes to make significant progress in a competition they are expected to do well in.

 

Ernesto Valverde takes charge of Valencia CF for the first time in the UEFA Champions League with the club looking to preserve an impressive record against French opposition. While Valencia’s stock has been on the rise ever since Valverde’s appointment in early December, round of 16 opponents Paris Saint-Germain FC come to Spain in buoyant mood despite the absence of two key men. Valencia Ernesto Valverde, coach It’s always More >

Weekend Football Matches

Scotland: Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC v Celtic FC preview (Saturday 13.00) Celtic head for the Highlands looking to extend their 15-point lead in the Scottish table before Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus. Giorgos Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre are likely to miss out with hamstring injuries and manager Neil Lennon will be anxious to see 16 first-teamers return unscathed from international duty. Defender Efe Ambrose is absent again as he prepares for Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Burkina Faso, but goalkeeper Fraser Forster should return from a neck More >

International Friendlies

Three new coaches, a potential 100th cap for Ashley Cole and a 150th anniversary are among the highlights on a busy night of international friendlies on Wednesday.

With FIFA World Cup qualifying resuming across Europe next month, Wednesday’s international friendlies represent a welcome chance to tinker with tactics and ponder personnel ahead of the push to reach Brazil 2014. The hosts are involved in one of the most eye-catching games, travelling to Wembley to face England as part of the English Football Association’s (FA) ongoing 150th anniversary celebrations. It marks a repeat of More >

Europol’s investigators identify 380 fixed football matches

A Champions League tie played in England is one of 380 matches across Europe investigators say was fixed. However, but European police didn’t reveal the identity of the match they believe was corrupt in England.

 

Speaking in The Hague, Europol said that they had uncovered an organised crime syndicate based in Asia that was co-ordinating the operation, with around 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals under suspicion. Europol, which has been investigating for 18 months, said suspected matches included World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League More >
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