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Southgate ready to protect troubled Sterling

London (AFP) – Gareth Southgate claims Raheem Sterling justified his decision to protect the troubled England star despite his booking for diving against Nigeria. Southgate kept faith with Sterling after a troubled week for the Manchester City winger and he responded with a mixed performance in Saturday’s 2-1 win in the World Cup warm-up at Wembley. Sterling had been forced to apologise to his England team-mates after turning up to their training camp a day late following a flight mix-up on his way back from a holiday. Adding to Sterling’s woes, the 23-year-old endured criticism for unveiling a new tattoo

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Loew fumes as ‘sloppy’ Germany crash on Neuer’s return

Klagenfurt (Austria) (AFP) – Joachim Loew slammed “sloppy” Germany as the world champions crashed to a 2-1 defeat by Austria on Manuel Neuer’s comeback to leave them winless in their last five games. “If we play like that in Russia, then we have no chance,” fumed Germany head coach Loew in Klagenfurt on Saturday. Less than a fortnight before the World Cup kicks off in Russia, Germany have now suffered back-to-back defeats after also sliding to a 1-0 loss to Brazil in Berlin in March. The good news from a German perspective is that Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer looks set

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Germany crash to Austria on Neuer’s comeback

Klagenfurt (Austria) (AFP) – Manuel Neuer looks set to go to the World Cup, but Germany’s goalkeeper was unable to prevent his team crashing 2-1 to Austria on his comeback on Saturday. Neuer has proven his fitness after eight months sidelined by a fractured foot in timely fashion, with four names to be cut ahead of Germany naming their final 23-man World Cup squad on Monday. But the ‘keeper was powerless to stop second-half goals by Martin Hinteregger and Alessandro Schoepf after Mesut Ozil gave the Germans an early lead. The result is a big concern for Germany head coach

The post Germany crash to Austria on Neuer’s comeback appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Brazil’s Neymar to return from injury against Croatia

London (AFP) – Neymar will make his first appearance for over three months on Sunday as Brazil boss Tite confirmed the Paris Saint-Germain striker will play in the second half of his country’s friendly against Croatia. Neymar suffered a fractured foot while playing for PSG against Marseille in Ligue 1 on February 25. The 26-year-old had surgery in Brazil amid fears he wouldn’t be fit for the World Cup. But Neymar recovered well enough to be included in the Selecao squad for the tournament, which gets underway in Russia on June 14. Facing a race to be fit for Brazil’s

The post Brazil’s Neymar to return from injury against Croatia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Troubled Sterling booked for diving as England down Nigeria

London (AFP) – England kicked off their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 friendly win over Nigeria, but Raheem Sterling ended a troubled week on a low note as the Manchester City star was booked for diving. Gareth Southgate’s side swept into a two-goal lead as Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane netted in a dominant first-half display at Wembley on Saturday. But that encouraging opening was marred by a lethargic effort from England after the interval. Alex Iwobi reduced the deficit for Nigeria, who came close to equalising after exposing the flaws in Southgate’s three-man defence by repeatedly attacking

The post Troubled Sterling booked for diving as England down Nigeria appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Germany ‘keeper Neuer makes first start for eight months

Klagenfurt (Austria) (AFP) – After eight-months sidelined by a fractured foot, Manuel Neuer will pull on the Germany No.1 shirt on Saturday when they take on Austria in a rain-hit World Cup warm-up match. Heavy rain in Klagenfurt meant kick-off had to be pushed back by 30 minutes from 1800 (1600 GMT). Two weeks before Germany kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia, Germany head coach Joachim Loew has named the Bayern ‘keeper in the starting side — 259 days after his last match for Munich. Loew has to cut his 27-man squad to 23 by Monday and the

The post Germany ‘keeper Neuer makes first start for eight months appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 14-28, 2018

The Liga MX Clasura final series featuring Toluca and Santos Laguna averaged 1.871 million viewers over both legs on Univision and Univision Deportes, which was a 7% drop from the 2017 Clasura final between Chivas de Guadalajara and Tigres. FOX’s final UEFA Champion’s League broadcast averaged record 2.004 million viewers as Real Madrid celebrated their third consecutive Champions League title. Viewership for the English-language FOX broadcast was up 14% from the 2017 final that saw Real Madrid defeat Juventus and up 18% from the 2016 final where Real Madrid defeated local rival Atlético Madrid. Spanish-language viewership on ESPN Deportes is

The post Most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 14-28, 2018 appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Tunisia heads to World Cup 2018 without Akaichi or Ben Cherifia

Paris (AFP) – Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul stripped six players from his provisional group to reveal a whittled down 23-man World Cup squad on Saturday. The Carthage Eagles squad will head to the World Cup without striker Ahmed Akaichi or goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia.  “Good luck to my friends in the World Cup in Russia… Long live Tunisia!” Akaichi, who plays for Al-Ittihad, wrote on his Facebook page. Tunisia’s football federation announced the squad a day after the team drew (2-2) in a friendly against Turkey, with goals from Anice Badri and Ferjani Sassi.  Khazri sat out Friday’s warm-up match,

The post Tunisia heads to World Cup 2018 without Akaichi or Ben Cherifia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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World Cup fever mounts as France turns on the TV

Paris (AFP) – Over 7.6 million viewers tuned in to French television’s TF1 to see France thump Italy 3-1 in Nice in their second World Cup warm up game, according to figures released on Saturday. The Friday evening prime time slot featuring a sumptuous goal from Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele only just edged out Monday’s viewing figures of 6.9 million who tuned in to watch France beat Ireland 2-0 in a deluge. Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti grabbed the opening goal before Italy cut the deficit before the break through Leonardo Bonucci. French poster boy and playground favourite Antoine Griezmann, also

The post World Cup fever mounts as France turns on the TV appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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