Red Bull Everton Final

Report: Red Bull could purchase Premier League club. Liverpool? Everton?

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Rumors are circling about Red Bull being in the market for a Premier League club to add to their growing portfolio of sports teams.

With soccer teams the New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Leipzig, Red Bull Brasil, Red Bull Ghana and Red Bull Salzburg already under their belt and various other sporting entities, reports of further expansion could be true given the company’s aggressive business model in the past.

But, in all seriousness, this report is coming from the Mirror, hardly England’s most believable tabloid… if there is such a thing.

So, let’s get to the facts, apparently a source close to Red Bull believes the energy drink company is actively seeking out investment opportunities in the Premier League, and believes if they acquire or invest heavily in an English club, they’ll have more chance of success of reaching out to a wider audience across Europe and the rest of the world. This is what an apparent ‘insider’ on the deal had to say.

Red Bull want a team to take into the Champions League,”It is the only market they have not reached yet. Ideally this would be in the London area, but both Everton and Liverpool interest them too because it would not take much to get them to that level.

Many have suggested that buying a Championship team and investing heavily to gain promotion to England’s top flight is better, but that doesn’t seem to interest Red Bull. They want to go for a top team rather than wasting money and never clambering out of England’s second-tier, which, let’s face it, is almost a lottery as up to 15 teams each season have a realistic chance of taking the three promotion spots to the PL.

Premier League seems to be the main aim, but would Liverpool or Everton really sell out their prestigious history and brand just for a quick cash solution? I think not. Perhaps the money from Red Bull would buy/pay for the stadium expansion both teams are hoping for. Maybe they’d then be renamed “Red Bull Anfield” or “Red Bull Goodison.”

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Could ‘Red Bull Anfield’ or ‘Red Bull Goodison’ be added to Red Bull’s stadium portfolio?

Again, I’m not sure how well that would go down.

Some of the teams in London could be a more viable option, but without a huge influx of cash, can we really see the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace or anybody else other than Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea making the Champions League anytime soon from England’s capital? I think not. However, if it ever did happen, surely there would be some kind of link up between MLS’ very own Red Bull side, the New York Red Bulls, in terms of player loans and other spin offs. That would be great for RBNY.

Anyway, if Red Bull want to invest in a Premier League team, they may want to buy a Championship team desperate for cash, that would be their best bet. Look at Cardiff City’s Malaysian owner Vincent Tan rebranding the Bluebirds with red kits and Malaysian dragons on the logo. And then there’s Hull City, bought by Egyptian Assem Allam wanting to drop AFC from Hull City’s name and rebrand them as “Hull City Tigers.” Both came up from the Championship last season after struggling financially, and are now lording it in the PL.

Both ownership groups at Hull and Cardiff seem to think a rebrand, in colors and name, is completely fine. Obviously the fans aren’t best pleased, but if the teams are performing well in the PL and the owners are splashing the cash to bring in top players, can the supporters really have too many complaints?

Creating a new image, new logo and new nickname seems to be all the rage amongst PL clubs, so surely teams won’t mind slapping the “Red Bull” brand in front of their team name…

So, which will it be? Red Bull Everton or Red Bull Liverpool?

Watch Live: West Ham vs. Southampton (Lineups & Live Stream)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21:  Manager of West Ham United, Slaven Bilic look on during the  EFL Cup Third Round match between West Ham United and Accrington Stanley at the London Stadium on September 21, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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The Hammers are in a bad spot. Five matches into the season, they have just three points – one third their haul at this point last season. They host Southampton at the Olympic Stadium at 11am E.T. live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Southampton isn’t in much better shape. They own just five points thus far and sit in 14th, and manager Claude Puel has slotted  in-form striker Charlie Austin into the starting lineup looking to build on a pair of wins over the last week.

WATCH LIVE: West Ham vs. Southampton live online at NBCSports.com

Austin scored the only goal in Saints’ 1-0 win over Swansea last weekend, their first of the league season, and then scored again in the 2-0 win over Swansea in the EFL Cup midweek. That gives Austin four goals in his last three games following a Europa League brace two weeks ago.

For West Ham, Slaven Bilic has a problem at left-back yet again after Arthur Makuasu, Aaron Cresswell‘s replacement, went down with a knee injury. Newly-arrived Alvaro Arbeloa will move from his usual right side to deputize. Defensive issues have plagued the Hammers thus far, having conceded 11 goals in their last three league games.

LINEUPS

West Ham: Adrian; Nordtveit, Reid, Ogbonna, Arbeloa; Noble; Antonio, Kouyate, Lanzini, Payet; Zaza.
Subs: Randolph, Byram, Oxford, Obiang, Fernandes, Feghouli, Fletcher.

Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Romeu, Højbjerg; Davis, Tadić, Redmond; Austin.
Subs: McCarthy, Yoshida, Clasie, Long, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Hesketh.

Joe Hart, Torino down Roma 3-1 in early Serie A game

BERGAMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Goalkeeper of FC Torino Joe Hart gestures during the Serie a match between Atalanta BC and FC Torino at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on September 11, 2016 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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In today’s early Serie A game, Joe Hart and Torino held down Roma to win 3-1 at Stadio Olimpico to move into the top half of the table.

Roma dominated the stat sheets, holding 69% possession and out-passing Torino 466-174, but were wasteful in front of net, only able to put just five of their 21 their shots on target.

Andrea Belotti scored just eight minutes in to put Torino ahead, and Iago Falque bagged a brace with goals 13 minutes apart in the second half to seal it. For all its possession and movement in the attacking half, Roma could only manage a goal on a penalty, scored by Francesco Totti, his 250th career goal, all coming for one club.

Manchester City loanee Joe Hart commanded a solid performance by Torino’s back line, with the home side managing a whopping 22 tackles and 33 clearances. Roma actually out-performed Torino on the expected goals front, proving Hart’s influence.

The win, the club’s first since late August, pushes Torino up to eight in the Serie A table on eight points. They have conceded just a single goal – the Totti penalty – in their last three matches. It’s a far cry from the 2-1 loss to Atalanta in Hart’s debut, in which a mistake by the England international allowed Atalanta to score the winning goal.

On the other side, Arsenal loanee Wojciech Szczesny made a mistake to gift Torino their early goal. The result for Roma is a big blow to their hopes at challenging for the title, dropping them five points back of leaders Juventus and four behind Napoli.

Championship match features nightmarish halftime shenanigans

DERBY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Nigel Pearson, manager of Derby County looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Blackburn Rovers at iPro Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Derby, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
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On Saturday, Derby County fell at home to Blackburn 2-1, with all three goals scored in a furious four-minute span midway through the second half.

It’s been a nightmare start to the season for both clubs, with the clubs in 20th and 22nd on a combined three wins.

That, however, was not the most disturbing thing on display at Pride Park Stadium. The halftime show featured a show with a character from a child’s bad dream. A man in a fish suit swallowed a person whole then spit him back out sans clothing. But don’t take our word for it:

Have fun sleeping tonight.

After a pair of La Liga draws, all is not well at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF grimaces in pain during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Villarreal CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on September 21, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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It’s amazing how results go hand-in-hand with off the field mood for the top teams in the world.

There is no club where that seems to be more true than Real Madrid. The team has drawn two in a row, first a 1-1 finish against Villareal at the Bernabeu that saw Los Blancos pump out 23 shots, but put only six on target. Then, they drew 2-2 Saturday with this year’s darlings Las Palmas out on the Canary Islands, crumbling at the back by blowing a pair of leads.

All this still leaves them atop the La Liga table, a point above Barcelona, and yet the wheels appear to be coming loose.

Things always start with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, and that was the case on Saturday, when the superstar was withdrawn by head coach Zinedine Zidane in the 74th minute, and appeared to be visibly upset with the decision. Zidane told media after the game he was looking ahead to Tuesday’s Champions League matchup with Borussia Dortmund, saying, “He [Ronaldo] always wants to play and be out there on the pitch, but I’ve also got to think about the player and he needed to rest and think about Tuesday.”

Ronaldo did not speak to the media following the match.

Always in his teammate’s shadow is Gareth Bale, but things aren’t going well for him either. According to a report by The Sun, Bale has increased security after his fiance’s family has reportedly been targeted for arson attacks by a drug gang. In addition, Bale is reportedly unhappy after being substituted himself in the 70th minute of the draw with Villareal, according to reports in Spain. There have been reports for a while that his agent is shopping the Welshman to top clubs like Manchester United.

“We’re relaxed,” Zidane said after the Las Palmas draw. “We are working hard and focused on what we’re doing. We have to realize that you can’t always win, but we’re on the right track.”