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More English Premier League kits revealed

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It is that time of the year, the new jerseys are rolling out and boy we have some contenders for the prettiest and ugliest kits the English Premier League has ever seen.

With new shirt sponsors chosen and kit suppliers busy throughout the summer, EPL sides have been releasing new merchandise in their droves.

Some of the designs have caused considerable debate, particularly Liverpool’s away jersey and Southampton’s severe lack of red and white stripes.

However, we know that fans across the globe will be flocking to their nearest store or shopping online to pick up the latest edition of their favorite team’s jersey.

Not every EPL teams has a new kit. But the overwhelming majority do. Here’s a roundup of the new shirts and a few photos to go along with it.

I just want to point out, I am no fashion expert. Oh no. But I do know what I like in soccer jersey’s and a few of these are questionable, at best.

Let us know which shirts you like or despise, in the comments below.

Aston Villa

Villa’s home shirt is great, no qualms about that. But the away kit… someone get me a bucket, quick. It is horrendous. Huge squares of some claret color stuck onto a white jersey, then the sponsor is just huge and well, as you can tell I’m not impressed.

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Aston Villa’s away jersey looks like patchwork gone wrong.

Cardiff City

Cardiff’s Malaysian owners caused a huge fuss last season when they switched the team’s home colors to red and re-designed the clubs logo. The Bluebirds latest kit for their first-ever season in the EPL isn’t the greatest. A weird round-neck collar and dodgy shorts say it all. But hopefully on the field they will exceed expectations, just like last season.

Chelsea

Chelsea’s ad campaign for these new ‘true blue’ adidas shirts was quite bizarre, blue paint and half naked soccer players were everywhere. But this shirt is sleek and tidy, with the away shirt looking fresh in white.

Crystal Palace

Palace’s new shirts have been out for quite some time. On May 7 before promotion they released these kits and it sticks true to the roots. A new badge is also really smart, with the eagle coming to life on the logo. Make sure to check that out.

Everton

Lovely shirt. Honestly, it is a real stunner. Great collar, the white stripes on the arms look fantastic and just a classic Everton jersey. However the re-designed badge is causing a lot of fuss up on Merseyside. A new “modern” look to Everton’s famous logo has not gone down well. At all.

Hull City

Simple away shirt design for Hull, as they’ve released their new adidas shirt with a bright blue and red panel. Simple.

Liverpool

Well, well, well. What do we have here. Honestly, it looks like a game of Tetris is going on across the bottom half of Liverpool’s new away shirts. American company Warrior have certainly pushed the boundary here. Bold. But not quite sure if it’s beautiful.

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Gerrard doesn’t look impressed with the new away shirt. Rightly so.

Manchester City

Light blue and simple, City switched suppliers to Nike in a huge deal. Really like the simplicity of this shirt and a lovely shade of dark blue/black is appaently featured on the away kit too.

Manchester United

Most United fans will be pleased to see a collar return to the Red Devils home shirt. Not since the days of Eric Cantona have we seen a player properly flick up the collar and nutmeg someone with outrageous panache. Maybe Robin van Persie can pop the collar next season?

Newcastle United

Newcastle United’s shirt sponsors have been the main talking point this summer. Papis Demba Cisse has claimed he won’t wear any shirt with “Wonga.com” emblazoned across it, due to his religious believes about the money lending company. Plenty of other Newcastle players have supported him. Oh dear. Their new blue away kit looks okay though.

Norwich City

The Canaries launched their new home shirt at the end of last season, wearing it during their superb 3-2 away win over Manchester City. You get what you expect, lashing of yellow and green. Standard.

Southampton

There has been a considerable uprising against Southampton’s latest shirt. As you can see below, the traditional red and white stripes have completely disappeared. Last season’s shirt was red with small white pinstripes… So the gradual easing out of tradition hasn’t gone done well with Saints fans. Personally I think the Liverpool-esque design is quite snazzy.

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Saints fans are disappointed that the famous red and white stripes have vanished. Rickie Lambert looks very dapper though.

Stoke City

Electric yellow and dark gray aren’t a combination you see often. But Stoke have that in their away shirt for next season. Let’s hope it ‘sparks’ more victories on the road Mark Hughes side, as the Potters won just twice away from the Britannia in 2012-13.

Sunderland

Sunderland fans out there, I would love to hear your opinion on this away kit. Quite frankly, it has to be one of the worst EPL shirts I’ve seen. The gaudy bright yellow color will certainly see the Black Cats stand out. This will look at home amongst the fluorescent jackets on a building site.

Swansea City

What you would expect from Swansea. Fresh and to the point with a plain white home kit with black undertones. The away kit is okay, blue and yellow never did any harm. But those huge sponsor logo’s on the front of the shirt need to be toned down.

West Bromwich Albion

Red and black stripes and a tasteful sponsor, West Brom fans will enjoy this retro away jersey which has been pulled back from the vaults. Just a great kit.

West Ham United

Another case of some old, same old. West Ham wear claret and blue. The home and away kits are a combination of claret and blue. Simple. Effective. Carry on.

10 Premier League teams enter Football League trophy

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Sesc Fabregas (L) of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Gary Cahill (C) and Tammy Abraham (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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10 Premier League teams have accepted an invitation to play in a revamped version of the Football League Trophy during the 2016-17 season.

Relaunched as the “EFL Trophy” the competition was previously only open to teams in League One and League Two, the second and third tiers in the English soccer pyramid, but in a one-off trial the Football League has included 16 Category A academy teams from both the Premier League and English Championship to participate.

[ MORE: Guardiola bans pizza

Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham United, Everton, Southampton, Stoke City, Swansea City, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough are the 10 PL teams who have decided to enter the competition.

A number of other Premier League clubs declined the invite and some purists in England are concerned that essentially “B teams” from the top two tiers will run away with the competition and easily win it. For example, PL side Southampton won the Football League Trophy in 2010 when they were in the third tier but now their U-21 side will be competing in the competition.

Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the Football League, explained the reason to mix things up as member clubs in the Football League voted in favor of the changes this summer.

“When opting to make these innovative changes to the competition, at the very heart of our thinking was to ensure younger players got an opportunity to test themselves in competitive games against experienced professionals. By involving them much earlier at senior level, we have a real chance of developing more and better home grown players.”

A regional group stage draw took place on Wednesday with eight groups in the south and eight in the north. Each team will play three games and the top two teams from each group will then compete in a knockout tournament with the final at Wembley Stadium in April.

The full schedule for the upcoming tournament can be found in the link below.


Zidane suggests Real Madrid in the hunt to sign Paul Pogba

Real Madrid's headcoach Zinedine Zidane follows a Champions League, round of 16, first-leg soccer match between Roma and Real Madrid, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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Zinedine Zidane is a mischievous so and so.

With Juventus sealing a $98.7 million move for Gonzalo Higuain on Tuesday, everybody is expecting the Italian champs to sell Paul Pogba to Manchester United in the next few days for a fee in excess of $130 million.

[ MORE: Guardiola bans pizza ]

Well, hold your horses. Real Madrid could be back in for Pogba.

Speaking to the media ahead of Real’s opening 2016 International Champions Cup game against Paris Saint-Germain in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, Zidane has

“I do not know if he’ll come. Until August 31 anything can happen,” Zidane said. “Pogba is a great player and when you’re with Madrid you always want the best. But today he is not a Madrid player, he is with Juventus. I cannot say anything else.”

Zinedine, my friend, quickly try and screw the lid back on that can of worms you’ve just opened.

[ MORE: How did Yedlin, CCV do for Spurs? ]

Pogba, 23, is currently on vacation in Florida with his agent Mino Raiola and it has been reported that his potential world-record transfer to Manchester United has hit a snag. Raiola is in line to make over $22 million on the deal but reports suggest Juve and United are at odds over who pays Pogba’s agent that fee.

All of that aside, do Real really need Pogba?

Yes, he’s a fine player but as we’ve already discussed at PST, is he really worth over $130 million? As his up and down form at EURO 2016 proved, he may still not be the complete player but his athletic ability combined with his deft touches and penchant for taking over games with his lung-bursting runs are his biggest assets. The lure of working with Zidane, a French national team legend, could be strong for Pogba and of course Zizou knows all about switching Juve for Real Madrid as he made the same move during his playing days for a then world record fee.

Zidane already has Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Mateo Kovacic in central midfield but maybe the reigning European champs will look to strengthen further by adding yet another glittering star to their ranks.

If Pogba does head to Real Madrid, then surely the Los Galacticos nickname will be back in full force.

Guardiola responds to banning pizza, overweight Man City players from training

SHENZHEN, CHINA - JULY 27:  Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola attends a press conference for 2016 International Champions Cup match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at Shenzhen Stadium on July 27, 2016 in Shenzhen, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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Pep Guardiola isn’t too impressed with the fitness levels of Manchester City’s players.

The new manager of City has apparently ordered certain players to train on their own away from the first team.

[ MORE: Winter break for the PL? ]

That’s according to French left back Gael Clichy, who said that “if your weight is too high, you’re not training with the team” and added that “you hear it a lot but, for my part, it’s the first time any manager has really done it. And we have a few players who are not training with the team yet.”

Clichy also revealed that Guardiola has banned “some juice and, of course, pizza and all the heavy food is not allowed” as part of a strict new diet for the Citizens.

Wow.

Speaking in a press conference in China ahead of City’s clash against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, Guardiola revealed his issues with the current fitness of his squad.

“They are not overweight, but I want my players fit,” Guardiola said. “The weight is so, so important. You need to run, fight, jump, head the ball and then after two days you need to do it again. After three days you have to do it again, then another three days you need to do it again. When you are not fit, danger is coming. You are not fast enough or quick enough in the head. That is why you need to be fit.”

So, Guardiola didn’t deny this is the case but it goes to show just how meticulous and ruthless he is when it comes to getting his players in peak condition.

Now, it’s probably an honest slip of the tongue from Clichy to reveal all of this but will he regret telling the world about Guardiola enforcing a strict diet on the team? Who knows. Probably not.

It’s no secret that Guardiola is a hard taskmaster. Speak to players at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. You’re either with him or against him. There’s no ambiguity.

I’m expecting to see huge cardboard cutouts of pizza slices in the stands at City’s games this season…

Conte not going to sell Matic, enjoys quality midfield headache

VELDEN, AUSTRIA - JULY 20: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea reacts during the friendly match between WAC RZ Pellets and Chelsea F.C. at Worthersee Stadion on July 20, 2016 in Velden, Austria. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
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Antonio Conte feels he has a bit of an embarrassment of riches in his midfield, not that it’s a problem outside of deciding who hits the pitch.

The Chelsea boss does not plan on selling Nemanja Matic despite the acquisition of N'Golo Kante — in fact Conte thinks Matic can be one of the best in the world.

[ MORE: New club for Pato ]

That’s not surprising, given that Matic was one of the keys to Chelsea’s 2014-15 PL title run.

Conte says he has some tricky selections to make in the coming days, as Chelsea prepares to open its Premier League season Aug. 15 at West Ham United.

From ChelseaFC.com:

“Kante is a good player and he was a target of our market. I am pleased the club took this player, it’s fantastic,” said the 46-year-old. “The players in a great team like Chelsea must know there are many players that can play. It’s important for me to have a good choice to try the best solution game by game. It’s important for me to see always the right attitude and behaviour from the players.

“When I have players like N’Golo, Nemanja, Cesc, Oscar and Chalobah, and Mikel who is in the Olympics, it is not easy to choose. I want to have this problem.”

For a manager who loves to keep it tight in the midfield, it would be far from shocking to see Matic and Kante behind two attacking mids (Willian and Hazard?) or even three.

Regardless, Chelsea’s match day tactics will be one of the more fascinating subplots of 2016, especially when Conte matches up against the Blues’ former boss Jose Mourinho (Oct. 22 at Stamford Bridge and April 15 at Old Trafford).