Thibaut, Aritz Aduriz

Feud between Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet threatens to derail Belgium’s World Cup


At this point naming Belgium as your dark-horse favorite to win the 2014 World Cup is hardly a daring prediction. Deeply talented, fit, young and in fantastic form, Diables Rouges are heading into Brazil with momentum.

There is, however, an emerging feud between goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet that could threaten to derail the Belgian train from its track.

Courtois, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea for a third successive season, wants Liverpool’s Mignolet to show him more respect. In an interview with Sport/Foot MagazineCourtois claimed that Mignolet instigated a “personal attack” on him by questioning Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots’ as to why he was dropped.

“When someone says he’s been unfairly dropped as Belgium’s No.1 keeper I see it as a personal attack on me,” Courtois said.

“It shows you don’t accept your manager’s calls – and you have no respect for the first choice. He needs to show respect for whoever is currently in that role.”

Mignolet made the comments following his being handed the gloves in Belgium’s two most recent matches, defeats to Colombia and Japan. Courtois’ reaction to Mignolet’s disgust came swiftly and it wasn’t the first time the Atletico man went on the offensive. Earlier this month Courtois noted his disgust at not being backed by Mignolet.

“In Spain, I hear no goalkeeper saying they’re aiming for the place of Casillas,” he said. “Not De Gea, not Valdes, not Reina. It’s the opposite – they back Casillas. Simon can say whatever he wants, but I think I’ve already saved enough points for Belgium and I’m playing good games for Atletico. He has to stay humble and respectful.”

Both players have  earned 14 caps for their country. In 23 La Liga matches this season Courtois has 42 saves, 12 clean sheets, conceding a league best 16 goals. For Liverpool this season, Mignolet has made 26 appearances in the league racking up 82 saves and 7 clean sheets while conceding 32 times.

“Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings

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With eight games gone and 30 to go in the Premier League, now is the time that those preseason predictions start to get revised and new knee-jerk picks are made.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ] have run the numbers through their “super computer” — how big is this thing? To me, it’s the size of several rooms… — and the intriguing table will surprise many.

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Manchester City will win the title, pipping Arsenal to the crown, while Manchester United will finish in third and Chelsea will recover to finish fourth. At the bottom, only Bournemouth will be relegated out of the newly promoted teams, while it is looking bleak for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million

Do you agree with the findings of

Click on this link via talkSPORT to see the points tally for each team, as it promises to be a tight race for the title and against relegation.

Predicted final Premier League table

1- Manchester City
2- Arsenal
3 – Manchester United
4- Chelsea
5- Liverpool
6- Tottenham Hotspur
7- Everton
8- Southampton
9- Crystal Palace
10- West Ham United
11- Swansea City
12- Stoke City
13- Leicester City
14 – West Bromwich Albion
15- Newcastle United
16- Norwich City
17- Watford
18- Bournemouth
19- Aston Villa
20- Sunderland

After defying quit calls, Blatter mediates between FAs

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ZURICH (AP) After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at soccer’s governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million ]

Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told The Associated Press: “Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humor.”

According to Rajoub, Blatter ruled at Tuesday’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s federation that a decision to force the Palestinians to play a World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue was “invalid.”

[ MORE: Bradley to coach Sunderland?

FIFA’s World Cup committee initially ordered the Oct. 13 game to be relocated from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan after the first leg was played in Riyadh.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ]

Rajoub says FIFA has now agreed to postpone the fixture until a resolution is found.