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River captain could be banned from Copa Libertadores final in Madrid

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Just when you thought this story couldn’t get any crazier, there is new news that could see River Plate’s captain unable to make the trip for the Copa Libertadores final recently scheduled to play in Madrid.

After fan violence caused the suspension of the Copa Libertadores final 2nd leg nearly two weeks ago, and after a highly-publicized search for a new venue to play the match after it was determined that Buenos Aires was too dangerous for the highly charged rivalry game, it was announced yesterday the match has been scheduled for play December 9 in Madrid.

River Plate captain Leo Ponzio played in Spain with Real Zaragoza from 2009-2012 before moving to River on a free transfer. This past February, Spanish authorities are proceeding on a match-fixing case in which alleges Real Zaragoza paid $1.5 million to Levante to buy a win on the final day of the season, thus avoiding relegation. Spanish prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a six-year ban from the sport for the players and parties involved.

It is thought that, while the re-trial does not set to start until 2019, River Plate lawyers are concerned that the ban could be in effect until the trial concludes, at least in Spain, according to Spanish outlet Marca. No decision has yet been made on Ponzio making the trip, but the team is reportedly looking into the legal ramifications of his potential appearance in Spain.

This Real Zaragoza story and investigation has been made public for years in Spain and has taken a number of twists and turns. It was dismissed in 2016 due to a lack of evidence before being reopened this February. Other individuals caught up in the case include Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, Leicester City midfielder Vicente Iborra, Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez, and Egypt national team manager Javier Aguirre.

Amid all the crazy happenings regarding this Copa Libertadores final second-leg over the last two weeks – the original matchday saga, the immediate aftermath of the fan violence, and the worldwide rescheduling process – this continues to muddy the waters as the new match date approaches.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. West Ham, Man City v. Wolves

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Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers aim to collect a bit of silverware on the second Premier League Asia Trophy match day of the summer.

But first, a pair of Uniteds look to get off the map after beatdowns in their tournament openers.

Newcastle United and West Ham United were both walloped in Nanjing, and old hands Steve Bruce and Manuel Pellegrini would be happy to massage a victory out of their men.

Then Pep Guardiola and PL champions City get a taste of Wolves before their Oct. 5 meeting in league play.

Below is the full schedule for Saturday’s games in Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium.

Newcastle United v. West Ham United – 5 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. Wolves – 7:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

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Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.

From Marca.com:

Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.