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Franck Ribery will miss Bayern Munich’s ‘Der Klassiker’ clash with Borussia Dortmund

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Bayern Munich have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, as French international Franck Ribery will be sidelined through injury.

Ribery, 30, was injured whilst playing for France in their incredible 3-0 win over Ukraine in the World Cup playoff second-leg last Tuesday. The winger suffered a cracked rib and will miss the massive clash between German soccer’s biggest rivals.

One of the main contenders for the FIFA Ballon D’or award, handed to the World’s best player each year, Ribery has been in sensational form for Bayern and was pivotal in their domination of German and European soccer last season.

For the 2012-13 season Ribery won the ‘Best Player in Europe award’ from UEFA and his quality is undoubted. He’s already scored 11 goals in 21 games this campaign, getting close to the 13 he bagged in the whole of last season, and the fact that his tricky wing-play won’t be on display will give Dortmund a boost as they aim to close the gap on Bundesliga leaders Bayern to just one point with a win.

Saying that, Dortmund aren’t without injury problems either.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have their entire back four missing and have drafted in Manuel Freidrich on a free transfer, who could make his Dortmund debut at the age of 34. Central defender Mats Hummels and left back Marcel Schmelzer went off injured during Germany’s 1-0 win over England on Tuesday, whilst their other first-choice center back Neven Subotic is ruled out for the season. BVB’s regular right back Lukasz Piszczek has been missing since the end of last season when he was injured in the Champions League final against Bayern.

Needless to say, even without Ribery, Hummels, Schmelzer, Subotic and Piszczek, ‘Der Classiker’ will still be an unmissable game between two of Europe’s best teams at a lively Westfalenstadion.

Does Ribery’s injury swing the match in Dortmund’s favor? Perhaps. But Borussia have had the edge over Bayern in the Bundesliga in recent years anyway, winning four and drawing two of the six games since February 2010.

Plus Dortmund will still be hurting from that last-gasp Champions League Final win by Bayern at Wembley last May… revenge is oh so sweet.

Don’t miss this game, which you can watch in the U.S. on GolTV at 12:30pm ET on Saturday.

Ronaldo shows no sign of injury while hanging with Conor McGregor

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Cristiano Ronaldo may not be ready for the UEFA Super Cup, but he’s no longer limping around.

To explore the Real Madrid superstar’s Instagram is to see Ronaldo, sometimes clothed, hanging out with celebrities.

In the last couple weeks we’ve seen him with Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, and now his “bro” Conor McGregor.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Wait, what?

Yeah, Ronaldo is friends with the MMA star, and showed no ill form (and no brace of any kind) in several posed photos with McGregor.

Although admittedly, McGregor’s IG game is a bit better: The Irish fighter posted a photo of himself sunning in his briefs with the caption, “I’m gonna get him on the Forbes list by next year. But I’m gonna get him on the tan by next week.”

Good luck with both, bro.

Great to see you bro!!💪🏽🔝

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 24, 2016 at 3:48pm PD

Bruce pens letter to Hull fans: “Desperately wanted to make it work”

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Steve Bruce manager of  Hull City ahead of the pre-season friendly match between York City and Hull City at Bootham Cresent on July 23, 2014  in York, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
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Many Hull City fans didn’t want Steve Bruce to leave the club, and this open letter shows why.

After leaving the club by “mutual consent” on Friday — it was first widely reported that he quit — fans protested at Hull’s game on Monday.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Bruce may’ve had his problems with Hull’s ownership, but he certainly got his supporters’ feelings right down to the core.

From the Hull Daily Mail:

My biggest regret is having to walk away but it was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club. The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.

I desperately wanted to make it work this summer and be a Premier League manager again but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, I’ve left Hull City with some fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish, including just eight weeks ago in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Class from the longtime boss, and we imagine he’ll have a job very soon if he wants it.

Report: Everton to activate release clause of Stoke’s Arnautovic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Marko Arnautovic (1st L) of Stoke City competes for the ball against Seamus Coleman (2nd L) and Gareth Barry (1st Rof Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
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Everton is going to activate Marko Arnautovic‘s $16 million release clause to bring the Stoke City striker to Goodison Park, according to a report out of Austria.

Stoke had been trying to sign Arnautovic to a contract extension, but the player was reportedly prepared to play out the final year of his deal.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

The huge 27-year-old Austrian has been with Stoke since 2013, and broke through with 11 Premier League goals last season.

Arnautovic would give Everton support behind Romelu Lukaku, and insurance in case the Toffees do wind up selling their Belgian striker. Everton also has Arouna Kone as a potential target forward, but Oumar Niasse is expecting to leave after less than a year at Goodison Park.

Chelsea wins the League… of Hate; Bournemouth, Leicester not hated

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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A family of English newspapers conducted its annual survey of which teams are the most hated in the Premier League, and there’s a new champion.

Manchester United has dropped to second in the table to Chelsea in what the Manchester Evening News called the “League of Hate”.

[ MORE: Rooney’s England position not set ]

According to the MEN, 10,000 fans were quizzed on their love and hate:

A national survey asked fans of each top flight club which sides they hate, and which they love, and the west London club came out as the most disliked club overall.

United, who won the dubious accolade last year, have been revealed to be the next most reviled side.

It’s no surprise that the league’s more successful sides sit atop the table while newer PL clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley are not reviled. That said, Leicester’s dream story has them 19th. How much more success do they need to have before shooting up the hate table?

Here’s the Top Five, and all results:

1) Chelsea
2) Manchester United
3) Liverpool
4) Manchester City
5) Arsenal