European Championship in focus: Spotlighting France

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This team’s done a 180 since World Cup 2010. At least, attitude-wise, they’ve done a 180.

Laurent Blanc’s first priority when trying to revitalize the corpse Raymond Domenech dumped off in South Africa was a complete change of approach. The sullen leadership that sparked a rebellion at World Cup 2010 was excused from the team. It was only after the Patrice Evras and Franck Riberys worked their way back into the FFF’s good graces (and none of the gloom returned) that it was clear: Blanc had turned the page on the darkest time in France soccer history.

It’s helped that Clairfontaine’s next generation of talent is ready to assume control of the national team. France’s development academy played a key role in building the nation’s first world champion. Now, it’s provided the backbone of a team that’s restored France’s faith in the national team.

Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema, Yann M’Vila – they’re good to go. The question for Euro 2012: Is the mix right? Restoring respectability is one thing. Contending for a major title is quite another.

Man that matters:

Yann M’Vila: You might know him as the man Arsenal’s prepared to break the bank for, with the wildest of rumors claiming Arsene Wenger’s ready to pay a very un-Arsenal $43 million to bring the Rennes midfielder to the Emirates. In Ukraine, we’ll get a chance to see if he’s worth it.

Ligue 1’s best defensive midfielder, M’Vila will be asked to protect a central defense that could be France’s undoing. There are wildly differing options of Adil Rami’s first season at Valencia (having moved from Lille last summer), while Philippe Mexes brought inconsistency and a lack of fitness to Milan (from Roma). The duo is as capable of failure as success.

If M’Vila can sufficiently shield Rami and Mexes, France will not only get out of Group D, they’ll challenge to win the tournament. And if that happens, M’Vila may compel Wenger to break that very small Arsenal piggy bank.

First-round games:

June 11: vs. England (Donetsk, Ukraine)
June 15: vs. Ukraine (Donetsk, Ukraine)
June 19: vs. Sweden (Kiev, Ukraine)

Foursome of knowledge:

  • Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has assumed the armband for France after some expected Mexes to be given the honor. The message sent by Blanc: South Africa still matters. Lloris was one of the few core contributors to emerge from the 2010 World Cup with an (eventually) bolstered reputation. For Blanc, stability matters. Lloris can serve an Iker Casillas-esque purpose for a young France squad.
  • Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri were both controversially left off Domenech’s World Cup team. Now, they’re key components of a potent France attack that will feature has Franck Ribery, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Valbuena and Jeremy Menez.
  • There is, however, a real danger Blanc will not get the most out of that attack. Chelsea’s Florent Malouda could still find his way into the starting lineup, with Blanc having previously tried to get him and Ribery (both natural left-siders) into the same XI. The bigger danger, however, has been averted: Blanc held too much nostalgia for the success he had at Bordeaux and called Yoann Gourcuff into the pre-tournament camp. He’s since been cut, but not before Blanc raised a number of questions about how he intends to approach this tournament.
  • There’s one big absence could prove debilitating, especially if Blanc is trying to protect his central defenders. Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna is out with a re-broken leg (he’s suffered two breaks this year). Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy should be fine, but as a natural midfielder, there will always be questions. Thankfully, there are not real left wing threats in Group D. Sorry, Stewart Downing.

Where they are going:

It’s a good draw for France. They play their biggest threat, Sweden, last. By then, France could have a knockout round spot sewn up, and if Blanc is aggressive in their first two games, France may only need a draw in round three. They’re the group favorites.

source:  Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Adil Rami (Valencia), Philippe Mexes (Milan), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Gael Clichy (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcaslte), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Samir Nasri (Manchester City), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Alou Diarra (Marseille), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle)

Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain)

ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.

Premier League final table: Final standings for 2022-23 season


If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 delivered plenty of fun and it continued into the business end of the season.

Manchester City chased down Arsenal to win yet another Premier League title. Manchester United’s new-look side reclaimed a place in the top four, and so did Newcastle. Brighton and Aston Villa surprised by qualifying for Europe, while Liverpool dips into an unusual competition for its recent standards.

Teams were relegated. Managers were sacked. And here’s how the table looked when all was said and done.

Premier League final table – End of season

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard

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Leicester relegated despite final day win over West Ham


Leicester City has been relegated to the Championship despite getting the win it needed to have hope of survival: a 2-1 defeat of West Ham United at the King Power Stadium on Championship Sunday.

Leicester entered the day two points back of Everton for 17th place on the Premier League table and got goals from Harvey Barnes and Wout Faes to secure three points, but Everton outlasted Bournemouth 1-0 to match the Foxes and keep them below the dreaded line.


Leicester finishes its season with 34 points in 18th place on the Premier League table.

West Ham, on the other hand, will be forgiven for focusing on the Europa Conference League Final but fought hard for an equalizer even though it only found a Pablo Fornals marker after Leicester had gone ahead two. The Irons finish 14th with 40 points.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Too little, too late for Foxes

“Too little, too late” may go down as the story of the Foxes season.

Leicester did not get its recruitment plans correct — somewhat forced by Financial Fair Play — and then put too much faith in Brendan Rodgers to make things work.

Dean Smith got some performances out of this men, few better than Sunday, but this ultimately feels like a fait accompli: Sometimes, the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Despite big seasons from Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, this was that.

There’s also the question of playing for a draw against Newcastle on Monday, but let’s not heap criticism on Dean Smith for taking a calculated risk. He deserves better.

Leicester vs West Ham player ratings: Stars of the Show

Leicester vs West Ham player ratings

Harvey Barnes goal video: Leicester lifeline!

Wout Faes goal video: Foxes double the lead

Pablo Fornals goal video: Irons pull one back

How to watch Leicester vs West Ham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30am ET Sunday
TV Channel: SYFY
Online: Watch live on Peacock + Watch live on

Key storylines & star players

Leicester would love to see Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Wilfred Ndidi pass fitness checks, but Dean Smith will have rested and ready Harvey Barnes and James Maddison in a bid to score more goals than the Irons.

West Ham could be seeing the penultimate appearance of Declan Rice in an Irons shirt, as the big-money midfielder is being linked to several big clubs in the Premier League.

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: James Justin (calf), Jannik Vestergaard (calf), Wilfred Ndidi (thigh), Caglar Soyuncu (thigh), Ryan Bertrand (other)

West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Gianluca Scamacca (knee)

Chivas vs Tigres: How to watch live, stream link, updates


Chivas and Tigres square off in Guadalajara on Sunday (kick off 9:25pm ET) as the second leg of Liga MX’s Clausura final should be absolutely epic.


Tied at 0-0 from the first leg of the final in San Nicolas on Thursday, the advantage is with red-hot Chivas as their stunning recent form saw them win their final four games of the Clausura regular season to finish third in the table before beating Atlas and Club America in the playoffs.

Victor Guzman and Alexis Vega are Chivas’ main attacking threats as they will keep it tight defensively and the energy of the home crowd at Akron Stadium should be a huge help as Chivas aim to win their first Clausura title since 2017, when they also beat Tigres in the final.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal | Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United

Tigres finished seventh in the Clausura standings and beat Toluca and Monterrey to reach the final. The duo of Sebastian Cordova and Andre-Pierre Gignac are their main hope of winning on the road in Guadalajara and lifting the trophy.

Below is everything you need for Chivas vs Tigres, one of whom will be crowned as the Clausura champions on Sunday.

How to watch Chivas vs Tigres live, stream link and start time

Kick off: Sunday, May 28 – 9:25pm ET 
TV Channel: Telemundo, Universo
Online: Stream via Peacock

First leg Tigres vs Chivas video highlights – 0-0

Leeds relegated from Premier League as Harry Kane hits 30-goal mark


Leeds (31 points – 19th place) have been relegated from the Premier League after they were beaten 4-1 by Tottenham at Elland Road on the final day of the 2022-23 season.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Harry Kane scored twice more to complete his second 30-goal season, as Tottenham (60 points – 8th place) missed out on the Premier League’s final European place with Aston Villa beating 6th-place Brighton to qualify for the Europa Conference League. Now, a painfully pivotal summer of hirings and signings awaits for Spurs.

It was a nightmare start for Leeds, who needed not only a victory of their own but also points to be dropped by both Everton and Leicester above them. Tottenham’s first foray into Leeds’ penalty area ended with Kane hammering the ball past Joel Robles.


New half, same story for Leeds, who conceded once again barely a minute into the second half. Kane turned provider this time, as he lofted a blind ball into the channel for the overlapping Pedro Porro, who barely had a sight of goal with Robles smothering the near post. But, Porro placed a pinpoint strike just inside the far post from a tight angle.

Leeds gave themselves a faint hope when he slotted home after Georginio Rutter picked him out between two defenders in the 67th minute, but Kane answered just two minutes later with his second of the day and the 280th — and potentially final — goal of his Tottenham career.

Leeds United relegation reaction

Club statement:

“Everyone connected with Leeds United is deeply disappointed by the club’s relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship, after three seasons in the Premier League.

“Relegation is painful, and we apologize to our fanbase that the performances this season have not seen the club consolidate our status as we had all hoped.

“However, Leeds United remains in a strong position to build a team that can challenge for promotion from the Championship next season.

“We know things have not been good enough, we know we have to improve, but please be assured that behind the scenes we have worked hard to ensure that the past will not be repeated. Our focus is now on how we get straight back to the Premier League.

“Thank you for your unwavering support for the players and the badge, our objective is to continue to build the club into the one you deserve.”

Stars of the show

Leeds vs Tottenham

Leeds vs Tottenham, final score: 1-4

2nd minute – Harry Kane hammers home Tottenham’s opening goal

47th minute – Pedro Porro places a pinpoint strike inside the far post for 2-0

67th minute – Jack Harrison gives Leeds a late lifeline

69th minute – Harry Kane answers immediately with his 30th goal of the season

90th minute +4 – Lucas Moura adds to Leeds misery with Spurs’ 4th goal

How to watch Leeds vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: CNBC
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium + Watch on

Key storylines & star players

Leeds have had plenty of time opportunities to drag themselves out of the bottom-three and away from the relegation scrap as a whole, but they are now winless in their last eight games (0W-2D-6L) and have won just three of their last 24. Their biggest problem? The Premier League’s worst defensive record in 2022-23 — 74 goals conceded in 37 games. In each of the last four seasons, the side to concede the most goals has been relegated.

With another summer of uncertainty (from the manager to most of the first-team squad) on the cards for Spurs, Sunday could be the final time Harry Kane pulls on the white shirt of Tottenham, following reports this week that he will ask — or perhaps has already asked — to leave the club if a fair offer is made. Kane’s 278 goals make him the club’s all-time record goal scorer, and his departure could signal a full-blown tear-down and rebuild for the incoming manager still to be hired.

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Tyler Adams (hamstring – out for season), Luis Sinisterra (ankle – out for season), Patrick Bamford (thigh)

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Cristian Romero (undisclosed), Rodrigo Bentancur (torn ACL – out for season), Hugo Lloris (hip), Eric Dier (hernia), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (undisclosed)

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