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 >

Mario Balotelli scored twice on his debut for Milan

The controversial striker started up front for the club he supported as a child as they welcomed Udinese in the Serie A clash.

After the cross deflected into his path, Balotelli hooked in a volley from close range to give the hosts the lead. After Giampiero Pinzi levelled up the match, it looked as though Balotelli and his team-mates would have to settle for a home draw. That was until El Shaarawy was awarded a soft penalty decision. The Milan forward surged into the box in the third minute of stoppage time before hitting the deck under what appeared to be a fair tackle. Balotelli kept up More >

The Weekend’s Top Football Matches

All six of the matches in  weekend preview take place on Sunday, with Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona and Juventus away and Manchester City FC home to Liverpool FC. Italy: AC Chievo Verona v Juventus preview (Sunday 12.30) With SSC Napoli just three points behind, Serie A leaders Juventus must get back to winning ways after being held at home by Genoa CFC last weekend. Coach Antonio Conte will have to do without the injured Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner, the suspended Leonardo Bonucci and Mirko Vučinić, plus Kwadwo Asamoah who is at the Africa Cup of Nations with More >

David Beckham set for PSG move

The former England international and LA Galaxy star has been without a club since December, but he now appears to be on his way to the ambitious Ligue 1 side. Paris Saint-Germain is on the verge of signing David Beckham on a free transfer, after the experienced midfielder landed in the French capital to complete his move to the Ligue 1 giant. The 37-year-old has been without a club since leaving LA Galaxy in December, and he had been training with Arsenal in recent weeks in order to stay fit. Beckham had also been linked with a number of clubs in the past two months, such as AC Milan, Monaco More >

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

A header by Raphaël Varane cancelled out Cesc Fàbregas’ strike and ensured the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona finished level. Raphaël Varane headed in an 81st-minute equaliser as the first instalment of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona ended all square at the Santiago Bernabéu. Cesc Fàbregas fired across Diego López, making his debut in the Madrid goal following his arrival last week from Sevilla FC, five minutes into the second half. Varane, making his debut in this fixture, headed the Merengues level late More >
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