brazil

Game On: Lineups and talking points for Brazil vs. Chile

2 Comments

We all had a day of rest yesterday, but now, the World Cup is back. Is it better than ever? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The knockout stage kicks off with a pretty big match-up: CONMEBOL foes Brazil and Chile face off for the right to head to the quarter-finals. Brazil hold the historical edge, and in fact defeated la roja 1-0 at this stage in 2010. But Chile’s attack has looked quite potent, at least through the first two games, and their ability to get behind Brazil’s defense should not be underestimated.

[ MORE: Brazil thrash Cameroon 4-1 in final group game| Chile finally fall, to Netherlands ]
[ MORE Soccerly: Follow Live ]

LINEUPS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk, Fred.

Chile: Bravo; Silva, Medel, Jara; Isla, Aranguiz, Diaz, Mena; Vidal; Sánchez, Vargas.

Talking points

Will the blame fall on the officials? 
English referee Howard Webb takes charge of this match, and fortunately, he’s a man used to pressure. He’ll be under plenty of it in Belo Horizonte. After Brazil saw two rather generous calls go their way in the first round – the awarding of a penalty to Fred in the first game, and allowing his goal to stand despite looking rather offside in the third game – Chile decided to speak out about the need for balanced officiating in today’s match. Then Brazil fought back, accusing Chile of “disrespect.”

The pressure’s on – any decision made by Webb and his officiating team will certainly be scrutinized from every angle.

Can Chile press hard enough to cause Brazil to collapse?
Chile couldn’t quite find the right combination to unlock the Netherlands defense, eventually losing 2-0. But despite the fact that this Brazil attack isn’t quite as potent as recent years, they’re still not going to sit back as Holland did in the final group game. Chile will continue their high-pressing style, hoping to cause Brazil to crack. Will we see another own-goal from the hosts?

Expectation
Well, for the Selecao to win, of course. They’re the hosts, they have Neymar, they’re tipped to lift the cup. So their midfield has looked a bit weak, their defense a bit shaky – no one’s counting Brazil out just yet.

One blogger’s prediction
I’ve failed to provide the correct answer each time I’ve been asked to make one. I’m completely serious. But since I’d like Chile to advance, I’m going to go ahead and say Brazil win this one.*

*This never works. If I am conscious of jinxing, a reverse jinx occurs. Sorry, Chile.

Sassuolo’s victory over Pescara reversed to 3-0 loss

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - AUGUST 28:  (L-R)  Alessandro Matri of US Sassuolo competes for the ball with Cristiano Biraghi of Pescara Calcio during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Pescara Calcio at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on August 28, 2016 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) Sassuolo’s victory over Pescara has been reversed to a 3-0 loss.

Sassuolo won Sunday’s Serie A match 2-1 but the league now says it fielded an ineligible player.

The league says the paperwork for the signing of Antonino Ragusa, who played the final 25 minutes, had not been filed by noon the day before the match – as its rules demand.

Sassuolo says it followed the rules and will appeal.

The club was one of four teams to win both its opening matches, along with Genoa, Juventus and Sampdoria.

Report: Wilshere being chased by at least 22 clubs

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal FC
Leave a comment

Jack Wilshere won’t be with Arsenal following Wednesday’s transfer deadline, however, where the Gunners midfielder lands is yet to be seen.

[ MORE: Is David Luiz poised for a return to Stamford Bridge? ]

According to Daily Mail, as many as 22 clubs are in the mix to acquire Wilshere on loan, including various Premier League sides.

[ MORE: Aguero charged by FA, could be out for Manchester derby ]

While Daily Mail suggests that Crystal Palace is among the leaders to bring in the 24-year-old center midfielder this season, Bournemouth and Watford are also said to be in the mix to sign the playmaker.

Manager Arsene Wenger reportedly won’t allow the Englishman to go to any of the top four sides in England and also hopes that Wilshere lands outside of the UK .

Wilshere is also being chased by foreign clubs including Serie A sides Juventus and Roma.

The Gunners have been active as the deadline heads down its final hours, with Lucas Perez of Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi both joining the club on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, young defender Calum Chambers has joined Middlesbrough on loan and Serge Gnarby is reportedly close to joining Werder Bremen after drawing significant interest from Bundesliga sides.

US women will host Switzerland twice in October

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12:  Alex Morgan #13 of United States celebrates her goal to tie the game with teammates Mallory Pugh #2, Crystal Dunn #16 and Carli Lloyd #10 in the second half against Sweden during the Women's Football Quarterfinal match at Mane Garrincha Stadium on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 12, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil.  (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)
Celso Junior/Getty Images
1 Comment

CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. women’s national team will host Switzerland for two matches this October in Minneapolis and Utah.

The matches for the defending World Cup champions are set for Oct. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Oct. 23.

The U.S. team has played Switzerland just twice before, with the Americans winning both matches.

The United States is also facing Thailand on Sept. 15 in Columbus, Ohio, before playing the Netherlands in Atlanta on Sept. 18.

The team will be without goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was suspended from the team for six months following comments she made at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The United States was ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals for the team’s earliest-ever exit at the Olympics.

Report: Florentin Pogba could join brother in Premier League

Florentin Pogba
Leave a comment

Just incase you were unaware, there’s another Pogba. And he too could be playing in the Premier League very soon.

[ MORE: Could David Luiz be making a return to Stamford Bridge? ]

While it was Paul Pogba that stole the spotlight when he returned to Manchester United for a world-record transfer fee, Florentin — his 26-year-old brother — is drawing interest from England’s top flight.

According to the Sun, David Moyes and Sunderland are launching an $8.5 million bid for the St Etienne defender as a potential replacement for Lamine Kone. The Black Cats still anticipate that Kone will exit the Stadium of Light this season after handing in a transfer request earlier this month.

Pogba has played with the Ligue 1 club since 2012 after joining from lower-division club Sedan. Additionally, the centerback has made 13 appearances for Guinea at the international level.