Wolves rock Newcastle in Premier League Asia Trophy

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A rough summer continued for Newcastle as the Magpies were hammered in Nanjing by a first-choice Wolves lineup 4-0 in Premier League Asia Trophy action.

Diogo Jota scored a pair, and England youth international Morgan Gibbs-White added a third as Wolves took a commanding 3-0 lead into the break. As both sides rung changes in the second half, an Allan Thomas own-goal with five minutes remaining finished the scoreline and doomed Newcastle to yet another summer misstep.

WATCH PL ASIA TROPHY LIVE

For Wolves, it was a promising start to preseason play as the lineup featured a host of regulars, with only Mexican international Raul Jimenez, still resting after a successful Gold Cup campaign, missing from the starting eleven. Jota was particularly spectacular, with a brilliant touch in the buildup to his first goal rewarded with the finish, plus his second – Wolves third – where he snatched the ball straight off the feet of Newcastle defender Isaac Hayden in the penalty area.

Gibbs-White also scored off a Newcastle turnover in its own defensive third, with Jonny picking the pocket of Jamie Sterry on the left flank and finding the 19-year-old alone in the middle for a powerful finish from outside the top of the box.

Newcastle has had a rough summer, with the club losing manager Rafa Benitez, selling leading scorer Ayoze Perez, and failing to secure second-leading scorer Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis. The club has yet to sign a single player and was forced to overpay for Steve Bruce, who was in charge for the match against Wolves.

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

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The 2019-20 Premier League Asia Trophy kicks off in China on Wednesday, as four Premier League teams go head-to-head in one of the premier offseason competitions.

WATCH PL ASIA TROPHY

Reigning PL champions Manchester City are involved, while Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle are also out in the Far East. This is the second time the tournament has been held in mainland China, with the two semifinals on Wednesday held in Nanjing, while the final and third-place match will be held in Shanghai on Saturday.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games in Nanjing’s Olympic Sports Centre.

Newcastle United v. Wolves – 6 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. West Ham – 8:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

Some of the best new 2019-20 kit releases so far

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One of the most enjoyable parts of the run-up to the new season is following clubs slowly trickle out their new home and away kits for the upcoming campaign.

Kit releases are becoming a bigger and bigger deal as kit makers pour more and more money into lucrative contracts. As we slowly make our way towards the new 2019/20 season, here are a few of the best releases across Europe so far. Obviously, these are extremely subjective, so if you feel one has been left out or strongly dislike one on the list, let us know what you think!

Arsenal away kit

The Gunners have produced some iconic kits in the past, and also some horrific ones, preferring on many previous occasions to be bold and risk it all, to mixed results. This season, Arsenal’s away kit is yellow, and unlike a number of swings & misses with yellow in the past, this one is fresh. The club brought in NBA star James Harden to model the new away kit, and it rules. The yellow isn’t too bright and the background V pattern keeps it interesting but not eye-popping which can be the trouble with yellow at times.

AS Roma away kit

Speaking of bold, Roma did risk it all this season with their away kit, and we’re glad they did. The Italian club unveiled a white kit with a lightning bolt splashed in the club’s maroon, yellow, and orange colors. It’s an outstanding choice done well, and proves one of this season’s most intriguing looks.

FC Barcelona away kit

While the Spanish giants’ home kit is a checkerboard pattern that doesn’t necessarily jump off the page, the away kit is another successful use of yellow. Like Arsenal’s, the yellow isn’t a staggeringly bright shade, instead allowing the diagonal sash to smartly take center stage. Check out new signing Frenkie de Jong unveiling the kit.

Bayern Munich home & away kits

Bayern Munich produced a fresh double this season, with a new-age home kit that looks fantastic plus a clean white away kit that jumps off the page. The home kit, as you can see on Benjamin Pavard below, is the typical Bayern Munich red with a subtle background that helps the kit pop, while the away kit is plain white that just looks outstanding, with the bottom of the shirt sporting a small dot pattern that gives it some form of uniqueness, as David Alaba shows off.

Celtic home kit

Hoops and collars are both often a feast or famine type of design, and while plenty of hoop kits have failed miserably in the past, Celtic nails both this season. As you can see below, they stopped the hoops above the shoulder, and that helps the green collar jump off the design. Along with the plain white shorts and green socks, this kit is a standout product.

Chelsea home kit

Like Bayern Munich, Chelsea went for the background pattern behind the club’s well-known main color, but the Blues went for a much bolder pattern, choosing to sport a randomized criss-cross that really pops behind the dark blue hue. As you can see youth product Mason Mount show off while announcing his new contract, the various sized lines are interesting but also not distracting.

Inter home kit

I audibly gasped when I saw this kit for the first time. Inter, always a leader in the kit department with the famed Pirelli logo, has produced a fabulous home kit for the upcoming campaign. Unlike last season which was just straight vertical stripes, this year’s kit has the stripes that break behind the sponsor logo and return to normal underneath, and it looks amazing, as does that particular shade of blue.

Marseille home kit

Puma knocked it out of the park for the French side, scaling back the blue to a white kit with blue pinstripes and the blue logo. It’s an outstanding look, as you can see on midfielder Morgan Sanson below. Coincidentally, they have some absolutely fire training gear to go along with it as well.

Nottingham Forest away kit

How about a Championship club to add to the mix? Nottingham Forest released a smart looking away kit that splits the two sides of the shirt into dark blue and black, and it works to perfection. Working with an already clean-looking sponsor logo and the white outline of the club crest without the red, the two-sided look is a great one. A cool touch to include the ladies squad in the kit release as well.

Wolverhampton Wanderers home & away kit

Wolves has quietly been one of the consistently best English kit producers, and they got it right again this year on both counts. The home kit is a simple yellow-orange with a subtle lined pattern in the background that looks great with the three adidas lines under the arm, while the away kit is black with diagonal yellow pinstripes that jump. Well done.

Ajax

As a bonus for making it this far down the list, here’s a bold choice that flat out doesn’t work. Ajax released its new 2019/20 away kit fresh off its run to the Champions League semifinal, and the combination of a weird forest green and an eye-burning traffic cone orange makes for a face-melting combination. Sorry, Daley Blind, but this is a hard pass.

Transfer rumor roundup: Bayern Munich chasing Sane, Dembele

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A brief roundup of all the major transfer rumors sweeping their way across Europe and around the world, including the Premier League…

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor rumor | Thursday | Wednesday ]

Bayern Munich appear hellbent on signing a young superstar this summer, and they might just have the opening they need to do so in the wake of Antoine Griezmann’s $135-million move to Barcelona. Just when Ousmane Dembele appeared headed for a regular starting spot alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the 22-year-old Frenchman now figures to be the odd man out for a full-time starting spot.

There has been no indication that Dembele is looking to leave the Camp Nou in search of regular starting time, but just in case he is, Bayern are reportedly ready to offer him a landing spot. A bid of nearly $80 million was reportedly rejected last week, prior to Griezmann’s arrival. Dembele moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for over $150 million.

If Dembele proves unattainable, Bayern have reportedly had their hearts on set on Manchester City’s Leroy Sane since the summer began. According to reports, Man City value Sane at more than $110 million.


Arsenal will demand a fee of $11 million from any club that wants to sign defender and captain Laurent Koscielny, according to the Standard. With one year remaining on his current contract, the 33-year-old refused to join his teammates on the club’s preseason tour of the United States as he attempts to force through a move back to France where he would like to see out his playing career.

Bordeaux, Rennes and Lyon are all reportedly interested in signing Koscielny, but none of the above have yet made a bid to Arsenal. Koscielny could also buy out his own contract, making him a free agent, and recoup that money over the life of a long-term contract featuring higher wages with the club saving millions of dollars on the front end.


Manchester United are still pursuing Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, but the Red Devils have a backup plan this year, according to French newspaper L’Equipe. While Maguire, who Man United pursued to no avail last summer, would reportedly cost $100 million, Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile is thought to be the fall-back option, for roughly $38 million.

The 18-year-old, who would be much more of a long-term investment than the 26-year-old England international, is also reportedly on the short list of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolves find out opponents for Europa League campaign

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Wolverhampton Wanderers’ first European game in over 39 years will see them play in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round draw.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  

Wolves’ reward for finishing seventh in the Premier League last season is to play either the winner of Crusaders and B36 Torshavn. The former are from Northern Ireland and the latter are from the Faroe Islands.

Baring a huge shock, Wolves will be heading into the third qualifying round, and Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side will then have to play in the knockout round of the Europa League qualifying system as they are still six games away from making the group stage of the competition.

Wolves will use this competition as preseason and if they do end up making the group stage, it is pretty clear they will take their first European campaign since 1980 very seriously and they will be up their with the favorites to win it all.

The first round draw for both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League was made on Tuesday, and the second round for the Europa League has now set up the schedule through early August.

Below is the second qualifying round draw in full, with both the main path and the Champions path games taking place on July 25 and Aug. 1.


Second qualifying round main path – 25 July & 1 August (Seeded teams in bold)

IFK Norrkoping (SWE)/Saint Patrick’s (IRL) v Dinamo Minsk (BLR)/Liepaja (LVA)
Barry Town United (WAL)/Cliftonville (NIR)/Haugesund (NOR) v Sturm Graz (AUT)
Lechia Gdansk (POL) v Inter Turku (FIN)/Brondby (DEN)
Domzale (SVN)/Balzan (MLT) v Malmo (SWE)/Ballymena United (NIR)/NSI Runavik (FRO)
CSKA-Sofia (BUL)/OFK Titograd (MNE) v Osijek (CRO)

Laci (ALB)/Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Siroki Brijeg (BIH)/Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
AEK Larnaca (CYP)/Petrocub-Hincesti (MDA) v Levski Sofia (BUL)/MFK Ruzomberok (SVK)
Zeta (MNE)/Fehervar (HUN) v Breidablik (ISL)/Vaduz (LIE)
Molde (NOR)/KR Reykjavík (ISL) v Cukaricki (SRB)/Banants (ARM)
Roma (ITA) v Debrecen (HUN)/Kukesi (ALB)

Arsenal Tula (RUS) v Neftçi (AZE)/Speranta Nisporeni (MDA)
UE Sant Julia (AND)/Europa (GIB)/Legia Warszawa (POL) v Vitebsk (BLR)/KuPS Kuopio (FIN)
Gabala (AZE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)/SP La Fiorita (SMR)/Engordany (AND)
Aberdeen (SCO)/RoPS Rovaniemi (FIN) v Fola Esch (LUX)/Chikhura Sachkhere (GEO)
Luzern (SUI) v Riteriai (LTU)/KI Klaksvik (FRO)/SP Tre Fiori (SMR)

Espanyol (ESP) v Stjarnan (ISL)/Levadia Tallinn (EST)
Utrecht (NED) v Akademija Pandev (MKD)/HSK Zrinjski (BIH)
Malatyaspor (TUR) v Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN)/Rigas FS (LVA)
Royal Antwerp (BEL) v Viitorul (ROU)
Prishtina (KOS)/St Joseph’s (GIB)/Rangers (SCO) v Cork City (IRL)/Progres Niederkorn (LUX)/Cardiff Met (WAL)

Cracovia Krakow (POL)/Dunajska Streda (SVK) v Atromitos (GRE)
Pyunik (ARM)/Shkupi (MKD) v FK Jablonec (CZE)
Radnicki Nis (SRB)/Flora Tallinn (EST) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
Buducnost Podgorica (MNE)/Narva Trans (EST) v Zorya Luhansk (UKR)
Ventspils (LVA)/Teuta (ALB) v Gzira United (MLT)/Hajduk Split (CRO)

Strasbourg (FRA) v Maccabi Haifa (ISR)/NS Mura (SVN)
Wolverhampton (ENG) v Crusaders (NIR)/B36 Torshavn (FRO)
Mlada Boleslav (CZE)
 v Ordabasy Shymkent (KAZ)/Torpedo Kutaisi (GEO)
Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) v AEL Limassol (CYP)
Brann (NOR)/Shamrock Rovers (IRL) v Kauno Zalgiris (LTU)/Apollon Limassol (CYP)

Jeunesse Esch (LUX)/Tobol Kostanay (KAZ) v Vitória SC (POR)
AZ Alkmaar (NED)
v Hacken (SWE)
Budapest Honved (HUN)/Zalgiris Vilnius (LTU) v Sabail (AZE)/Universitatea Craiova (ROU)
Alashkert (ARM)/Makedonija Skopje (MKD) v FCSB (ROU)/Milsami Orhei (MDA)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)/Hibernians (MLT) v Esbjerg (DEN)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv (BUL) v Radnik Bijeljina (BIH)/Spartak Trnava (SVK)
Connah’s Quay (WAL)/Kilmarnock (SCO) v Partizan (SRB)


Second qualifying round Champions Path – 25 July & 1 August (Seeded teams in bold)

Group 1

SP Tre Penne (SMR)/FC Santa Coloma (AND) v Sūduva (LTU)/Crvena zvezda (SRB)
BATE Borisov (BLR)/Piast Gliwice (POL) v Dundalk (IRL)/Riga FC (LVA)
Partizani (ALB)/Qarabag (AZE) v Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)/Saburtalo (GEO)

Group 2

Ararat Armenia(ARM)/AIK (SWE) v Feronikeli (KOS)/Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)
Valur Reykjavik (ISL)/Maribor (SVN) v Ferencvaros (HUN)/Ludogorets (BUL)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)/Sutjeska (MNE) v The New Saints (WAL)/Winners of the preliminary round

Group 3

Losing finalist, preliminary round v Astana (KAZ)/CFR Cluj (ROU)
HJK Helsinki (FIN)/HB Torshavn (FRO) v Linfield (NIR)/Rosenborg (NOR)
Nomme Kalju (EST)/Shkendija (MKD) v F91 Dudelange (LUX)/Valletta (MLT)