Marco Borriello

Report: Genoa striker Marco Borriello attracting interest from MLS

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A report from Italy is claiming that an unnamed Major League Soccer team is chasing Genoa striker Marco Borriello.

The 32-year-old forward is out of contract at the end of the current Serie A season but in recent weeks he has impressed as Genoa continues to battle for a Europa League spot.

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Borriello has had spells at AC Milan and AS Roma during his career but GianlucaDimarzio.com reports that Borriello is wanted by an MLS side. The player himself is said to prefer another deal with the Rossoblu but given the success and level of interest in Italian players heading to MLS in recent seasons — Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Sebastian Giovinco, we are looking at you — then perhaps this report isn’t too far off the mark.

So, what is Borriello all about?

He is good in the air, can bring others into play with his physical frame and has a peach of a left foot. The striker doesn’t just score goals but also has an eye for a pass in and around the box. That all sounds good, right?

Looking at his playing resume, Borriello has had three spells at Genoa, was on loan at West Ham United last season and has played for nine different team in Italy during his career. The Napoli born forward has also made seven appearances for the Italian national team but didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet for the Azzurri after being part of their squad at the 2008 European Championships. Borriello has played for AC Milan, Roma and Juve throughout his career and has scored 42 goals in 99 appearances. That’s a pretty decent strike rate of nearly a goal every other game. But, to have played only 99 times during a 13-year career tells you that he hasn’t been short of a few injuries.

Which team in MLS could do with a target forward? Right now I look at the likes of the Philadelphia Union, Orlando City and the Montreal Impact as teams who need offensive reinforcements. It will be intriguing to see if Borriello heads Stateside this summer and where he might end up. Keep an eye on this one.

Watch Live: West Ham vs Liverpool (Lineups and Discuss)

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Liverpool search for their return to the top of the table as they remain in control of the Premier League title race.

The Reds return to the office from Upton Park at 11am ET live on CNBC or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Despite being in control of their own destiny with six matches to go, Liverpool only have to look as far as London to find out that one slip-up against an under-respected opponent could mean the death of their title chances.

Chelsea fell to Crystal Palace last week causing Jose Mourinho to rule the Blues out of the title race. While they may no longer have a clear path, the Blues now lie in wait for a club like Liverpool to slip up just as well.

It is the Blues who are currently top of the table, but a win would see Liverpool jump back into a two-point lead.

Brendan Rodgers is without defender Jose Enrique, and has made just one change from last week’s squad, dropping Daniel Agger for Mamadou Sakho.

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In order to claim victory, Liverpool will have to control former Red Andy Carroll, who faces his former club for the first time following his permanent move this summer to Upton Park.

Carroll downed Sunderland just a few days ago, but he will need to keep up with a much more potent attack this time around.  He will have his captain Kevin Nolan in the lineup after being forced off with back stiffness in the waning minutes of the midweek victory.

Sam Allardyce and West Ham will be without on George McCartney, who didn’t fare as well after coming off at halftime of the Sunderland match.  Joey O’Brien and Marco Borriello are also out.

LINEUPS:

West Ham United – Adrian; Armero, Reid, Tomkins, Demel; Noble, Taylor, Diame, Downing, Nolan; Carroll.
Bench – Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, C Cole, J Cole, Potts, Johnson, Nocerino.

Liverpool – Mignolet,; Johnson, Flanagan, Sakho, Skrtel; Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez, Sturridge.
Bench – Jones, Toure, Cissokho, Lucas, Moses, Allen, Aspas.

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs Manchester United

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  • Manchester United has 9 wins and 1 draw in last 10 matches with West Ham.
  • West Ham has the most dropped points (17) from winning positions in the Premier League.
  • West Ham have won 3 in a row at home – they haven’t won 4 in a row since 2002…over Sam Allardyce’s Bolton.

Manchester United is Danny Welbeck’s team now.

He will likely be up front when Manchester United travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham at 1:00ET on Saturday on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Following Robin van Persie’s Champions League miracle against Olympiakos midweek that has given some light to the darkness of United’s season, it will be Welbeck up front for the forseeable future.

The hero of Manchester United’s Champions League fortunes injured his knee midweek and is likely out for 4-6 weeks, meaning it will be a heavy dose of Welbeck up front. The Premier League season is all but lost for the Red Devils, but David Moyes will still be pushing for European play of some form next season.

(WATCH LIVE at 1:00 ET ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA)

Despite their Champions League triumph no doubt providing a lift, United’s trip to Upton Park proves a crucial moment in the season.  Despite their well-documented league struggles, Moyes hasn’t lost since February 1 and an away win against a good home club could prove they still mean business.

For the Hammers, Sam Allardyce is hoping his home form continues with the club sitting on three straight Upton Park victories.  However, they still sit just three points above the drop and with the teams below them picking up the occasional full bounty of points, a haul against Moyes and company would be just what the doctor ordered.

While Allardyce will still be without Joey O’Brien and Marco Borriello, the visitors are clearly the more hampered by absences. Along with van Persie, Nemanja Vidic is sidelined thanks to his red card against Liverpool, and both Johnny Evans and Chris Smalling are likely misses as well thanks to injury.

What they’re saying:

Sam Allardyce on West Ham’s aims at home: “Our efforts at home are what I have been focusing on with the players. We have won the last three home games on the trot and we have to try to continue that if we can to overcome the little blip we have suffered following two away games we have taken nothing from. The focus is to maintain the home results and try our best to pull off a big win, but if we can’t come away with at least a point.”

David Moyes on using the Olympiakos performance for motivation: “I thought it was great that I could applaud the supporters on Wednesday night. In some of the other games I’ve felt ashamed because the team haven’t played well enough. The big thing was that I could look the supporters in the face after the game because I thought that we had given them something to shout about and had nothing to be ashamed of in our performance.”

Prediction:

The Olympiakos match will no doubt have United near their best.  As great as that is, problems with personnel and consistency at the back leaves many worried for any away games in the Premier League, especially to Upton Park where West Ham have been solid.  This match has Champions League hangover written all over it, and it would be easy to see United dropping points.  Without van Persie and Vidic, they give up an early shock goal and can only get enough for a 1-1 draw on the road as Sam Allardyce again holds court.

West Ham United 2-0 Norwich City: Late goals delight ‘Happy Hammers’ (video)

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West Ham grabbed all three points against Norwich on Tuesday at Upton Park, as late goals from James Collins and Mohamed Diame sealed a 2-0 victory for the Hammers.

In a tight game between two teams locked together just above the relegation zone, the pivotal moment came in the 83rd minute as Collins rose highest to head home and send Upton Park into raptures. The tally was his first Premier League goal for West Ham since 2006.

Then substitute Diame, who crossed for Collins’ opener, sealed the Hammers third-straight league win (the first time they’ve done that since 2007) with a tidy finish in stoppage time.

With the win West Ham surge into the top half of the table in 10th place on 28 points, while Norwich remain just two points and two places above the drop zone.

(Latest Premier League Standings)

The home side started well and put some serious pressure on the Canaries in the early stages.

But Norwich came back into the game after the Hammers early onslaught, as Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer and Robert Snodgrass poured forward to try and put the away side ahead. And it was Hooper who almost gave the Canaries the lead, but his header was wonderfully stopped by West Ham ‘keeper Adrian.

Soon after it was Norwich who came forward again with the best chance of the game, as Snodgrass was put clean through by Nathan Redmond but the Scottish international couldn’t direct his effort past a sprawling Adrian. Norwich kept pressing and only a last-ditch tackle from James Tomkins stopped Bradley Johnson from giving them the lead in the 21st minute.

The game settled down after a frantic start, as you started to see why these two teams have recorded the most clean sheets in the bottom half of the PL standings between them. Midway through the opening half a wicked delivery from Stewart Downing was begging to be finished off, but Norwich captain Sebastien Bassong cleared the danger expertly.

Before the break it was back and forth, but right on half time Norwich had a glorious chance to take the lead as Alex Tettey surged into the West Ham box but Adrian once again pulled off a terrific stop to keep the scores level at half time.

West Ham brought on Marco Borriello for Carlton Cole at the break, as Big Sam tried to spark his attack into life. But in fact most of the second half saw the ball remain in midfield, as both teams cancelled each other out.

Hooper then had a glorious chance in the 69th minute as the Canaries striker went clean through on goal but Adrian, once again, saved superbly to keep West Ham on level terms.

In the 75th minute substitute Mohamed Diame went clean through after wonderful play in the final third but John Ruddy earned his paycheck with a marvelous stop to keep the Hammers out. Then less than a minute later at the other end, Joseph Yobo nearly scored his first Norwich goal but his lofted effort landed on top of the net.

But late on Collins’ header from Diame’s left-wing cross put West Ham ahead and Norwich never looked like equalizing. Then Diame put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time as he finished calmly when given the chance as the Hammers grabbed all three points.

LINEUPS

West Ham: Adrian, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis (Diame, 61), Taylor (Nocerino, 77), Noble, Collins, Demel, Downing, C.Cole (Borriello, 45)

Goals: Collins (84), Diame (90)

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey (van Wolfswinkel, 86), Johnson; Snodgrass, Fer, Redmond (Pilkington, 81); Hooper (Elmander, 76)

Watch Live: Aston Villa vs. West Ham United (Lineups and Discuss)

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For every team in the bottom half of the Premier League table, each match is a relegation battle – but West Ham’s visit to Villa Park is truly vital, as a win could lift the Irons out of the drop zone (watch live online on NBC Sports Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET).

West Ham have picked up four points from their last two matches, picking up a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge before beating Swansea City 2-0 at Upton Park last weekend. But that doesn’t mean they’re out of the drop zone just yet – their fellow strugglers are also improving, and so the Irons remain a point from safety. That likely means we’ll be treated to a display more in line with what was seen at the Bridge than the actual attacking football the side showed off in the first hour last weekend.

Aston Villa’s form may have improved in recent weeks, but just because they’re sitting tenth doesn’t mean they’re out of danger – that’s just five points above the drop. Paul Lambert, who entered contract negotiations this week, knows that appeasing the fans means improving the home record, and it’s likely the hosts will go all out to find three points rather than one.

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Last week, Andy Carroll was sent off with a straight red after an altercation with Swansea defender Chico Flores. Despite West Ham appealing their appeal to the FA, the three-match ban still stands, and Carroll with miss out. Instead it’s Carlton Cole that Sam Allardyce has put up front, favoring the devil he knows over new forward Marco Borriello, who remains on the bench.

Villa make two changes to the side that lost against Everton last week. Captain Ron Vlaar misses out with injury, with Matthew Lowton stepping into defense. Gabby Agbonlahor takes over the armband, taking over from Grant Holt, with Andi Weimann and Christian Benteke joining him up top.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Bacuna, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor

Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Sylla, Helenius, Albrighton, Holt, Bennett.

West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney, Nolan, Noble, Taylor, Jarvis, C.Cole, Downing

Subs: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Armero, Collison, Johnson, Borriello, Nocerino