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Can Sunderland bounce back to the Championship?



Sunderland will look to get their season off to a good start as they entertain Derby at the Stadium of Light, with both sides looking for improved season’s this time around as a Sunderland v Derby live stream is reported to be in operation for this game (Kick Off 19:45).

The Black Cats had an appalling season, culminating in their relegation from the Premier League, and fans will be hopeful of at least some cheer as we enter the new 2017/2018 season.

Its been all change at the top, with David Moyes ending his disappointing reign in the summer, while top striker Jermaine Defoe has left he club to join current Premier League outfit Bournemouth.

Sunderland vs Derby FC Match Highlights

Championship veteran Simon Grayson has been brought in to steady an uneasy Sunderland ship, and this year may be a season for consolidation and rebuilding.

The same could be said of Derby, who once again missed out on promotion through the playoffs, finishing in a demoralizing eighth place in the Championship.

The transfer window has been pretty busy at Pride Park, with a number of big name players moving away from the Midlands. Tom Ince has once again moved clubs with the well travelled man joining newly promoted Huddersfield, while Will Hughes has hooked up with Watdord in the Premier League.

That said, newly appointed boss Garry Rowett, who took over for the forlorn Steve McLaren has plenty of pedigree at this level and looks to be just the right man to oversee the Rams season.

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson:

Sunderland’s attempts to bring Tottenham Hotspur strikers Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane to the Stadium of Light have stalled after it appeared the strikers would not compromise on their wage demands.

Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, has made no secret of his desire to land experienced strikers this summer and Defoe and Keane fit the bill perfectly. Both strikers are likely to be surplus to requirements this season and rumours continue to circulate that both are likely to be on their way out of White Hart Lane this summer.

And Harry Redknapp has further fuelled the speculation as he remains intent on capturing Sunderland’s Asamoah Gyan. The Ghanian striker was bought by the Black Cats last summer after his impressive World Cup form.

Derby Boss Simon Grayson

News that Gyan could be on his way out of Wearside is likely to be greeted with hostility by Sunderland fans as the club need to bolster their attacking options. Letting go of one of their best forwards would be seen as a step backwards, and rightly so.

A deal for Defoe and Keane is by no means dead in the water, however. Tottenham could be tempted to sell as they aim to raise funds to buy a prolific striker having been linked with Fabiano and Llorente in the past few months.

Sunderland have already been the busiest by far this summer. They have bought two strikers with Ji Dong-Won and Connor Wickham arriving at the Stadium of Light. Other areas have also been bolstered too as Brown and O’Shea completed moves from Manchester United last week.

It seems that the club have been spending the funds generated by Jordan Henderson’s transfer to Liverpool very wisely and their spending does not look set to end yet. But Keane and Defoe will both have to compromise on their wage demands if they are to leave Tottenham in favour of a move up north this summer.


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1 Comment

  1. Elvis

    July 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Please do not bring Keane to Sunderland, he never wanted to come in the past. Defoe would be nice but not at the expense of Gyan. As far as stepping backwards, Bruce has brought in a lot of players but only two were in a better side than ourselves last year. Big gamble Bruce unless you have some aces up your sleeves.

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists midfielder still has a future at the club



Arsenal manager Unai Emery has insisted that troubled midfielder Granit Xhaka still has a future at the club and will be considered for selection in the Gunners upcoming fixture against Southampton.

Xhaka has yet to feature for the North London side since his confrontation with the club’s supporters at the Emirates in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

The Swiss midfielder was booed whilst being substituted which triggered the 27-year-old, who responded by cupping his ears and swearing at the section of fans who were jeering him.

He threw the captain’s armband to the floor and quickly took the Arsenal shirt off before storming into the changing rooms.

Following the incident, Emery had no choice but to strip Xhaka from captaincy, which was then handed over to star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Swiss international posted an explanation on social media citing his anger at threats to his family to cause the trigger to his verbal assault on the fans.

It has been reported that the enigmatic midfielder has been house hunting in Italy as rumours to a move to AC Milan in the January transfer window strengthened.

Odds for Granit Xhaka’s Next Club

3/1- AC Milan

10/1- Borussia Monchengladbach

11/1- Newcastle

12/1- West Ham

12/1- Atletico Madrid

The midfielder is 1/1 to leave the club but the bookies think that the likelihood of the former captain staying is higher, with the odds of him staying at Arsenal being set at 8/11.

Xhaka still harbours some feelings over the way the Gunners handled the situation, especially the decision to strip him from captaincy, but is ready to make amends and move on.

The deep-lying playmaker was selected for Switzerland for the international break and scored in a 6-1 win over Gibraltar to help confirm his country’s spot in next years European championships.

Emery is willing to do the same as Xhaka and has stated that the midfielder’s mindset is becoming better over the coming days and thus, is going to consider the midfielder for selection.

The Gunners have been struggling this season under the Spaniard with Xhaka being one of the mainstays in the side prior to the incident against the Eagles.

Arsenal sit in 6th place in the Premier League but are well adrift of a top-four place currently. Only three points will do for the supporters especially considering the poor form of their opponents.

The Saints are currently in 19th place, just one point ahead of Norwich and have lost four of their last five league matches.

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Liverpool plan Anfield Road End expansion to reach around 60,000 capacity



Liverpool have accelerated plans to expand their stadium Anfield’s capacity to circa 60,000 by inviting local residents to public consultation events.

Over 5,000 leaflets have been distributed to people around the area in an attempt to gain feedback on the proposed expansion.

Local residents, businesses and supporters, who can attend The Kop Bar or a pop-up stand on Anfield Road on five separate dates in late November/early December, will learn more detail about the plans and respond accordingly.

Liverpool only completed the expansion of Anfield’s Main Stand in 2016, taking the capacity from 45,000 to its current 54,074.

Currently, this leaves them with the sixth biggest stadium in the Premier League, behind Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, West Ham United and Manchester City.

The planned expansion on the Anfield Road End would see them move into the top four largest stadiums in the English top flight, reflecting and satisfying their world-wide fan-base and status more accurately.

“The consultation events are designed for local residents, businesses and fans to learn more and offer their feedback on the club’s vision to create a bigger Anfield, which would allow more fans to watch some of Europe’s best football in a world-class facility,” the club said.

A figure of 60,000 would take the historic stadium’s capacity to around three times the size of when it originally opened in 1884.

The club’s record attendance of 61,905 set in 1952 is unlikely to be broken, however, without either an even bigger expansion or a radical return to standing on terraces.

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Arsenal set to battle rivals Manchester United for the signature of teenage sensation Erling Haaland



Arsenal and Manchester United have both registered their interest in 19-year-old Erling Haaland who has taken European football by storm this season.

The goalscoring sensation has scored 26 and assisted 6 in all competitions for his club side RB Salzburg in just 18 games.

The Red Devils have always been heavily linked to the striker due to his links with current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian coach managed the youngster during his time at Molde and was highly impressed with Haaland during his come-up at the club and tipped the striker for greatness.

However, Arsenal have become somewhat shock contenders for Haaland’s signature. The teenager and his father Alf-Inge, who used to play for Manchester City, have reportedly visited the North London club.

Haaland’s 21 goal contributions in just 12 games in the Austrian Bundesliga have highlighted his great potential but it has been his performances in the Champions League that have lit up Europe.

The Norwegian international has scored in every group stage game thus far, having netted 7 times in 4 appearances against Genk, Napoli and the reigning European champions Liverpool.

He has already made history in the competition as he is the first player in Champions League history to score six goals in his first three games and is currently the top goalscorer in the competition.

The teenager has also created history in the youth levels of the national team in the U20 World Cup this summer.

Haaland scored an incredible 9 goals in a single game against Honduras U20 side in a 12-0 battering, which help end a disappointing tournament for the Norwegian side on a brighter note.

Manchester United are heavy favourites to sign the young giant according to the bookies, with the Red Devils 5/2 to pick up the teenager in the January transfer window.

On the other hand, the bookies deem it highly unlikely for Haaland to join Arsenal as the odds are currently at 20/1, but they could change in the near future.

Both Premier League giants are struggling so far, with both Solskjaer and Emery heavily linked with a departure from their respective clubs.

Solskjaer’s side sit one point and one position behind the Gunners in the league table with Arsenal already 8 points behind the top four.

Both clubs could use the help of Haaland despite the good form of their respective strikers Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

This is due to the fact that United and Arsenal have only scored 16 goals in the Premier League with the lowest goalscoring tally in the top four being rivals Chelsea, who have 27 goals.

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