Daily Archives: October 25, 2014

Α-League: Melbourne Victory 5-2 Melbourne City

A-League Rd 3 - Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City

Melbourne Victory twice came from behind to beat local rivals Melbourne City 5-2 and lay down a marker to the rest of the A-League in front of a packed Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

International marquee Besart Berisha was the hero for the Big V, netting a hat-trick to secure the bragging rights for Kevin Muscat’s men, thanks in no small part to a man-of-the-match performance from Kosta Barbarouses and a brace from Archie Thompson.

David Villa, playing perhaps his penultimate game in Australia, was held goalless as City failed to capitalise on some good possession and a strong start to the game, with John van ‘t Schip left scratching his head as Victory overwhelmed their cross-town foes after the break.

What they said

Berisha: “I wish it was lazy. It was really tough work. We came twice back and showed really good character. The boys deserved the win because we fight and never give up.”

Barbarouses: “Yeah, we made the most of the space. When I’ve got Bes (Berisha) and Archie (Thompson) playing alongside me and Gui (Finkler) providing me with the balls, it’s an easy job.”

Kisnorbo: “It was a lapse of concentration. We gave them a gift of a goal and it pretty much went downhill from that point on. We’ll take the positives from tonight, we played a good half of football and scored two goals from set pieces.”


1-0 (Robbie Wielaert 13′)

Aaron Mooy’s in-swinging free-kick from the right flank arrived smack bang in the middle of the corridor of uncertainty between defence and goalkeeper, with Dutch centre-back Wielaert only too happy to enter that Bermuda Triangle and power home the opener.

1-1 (Archie Thompson 23′)

Barbarouses’ perfectly-weighted pass slipped in Guilherme Finkler, who was able to squeeze the ball wide to Thompson, the veteran notching from what may have been an offside position.

1-2 (Hoffman 26′)

Victory have impressed with their set-piece routines so far this season but it was City’s turn to claim a goal straight off the training field. Corner-taker Aaron Mooy exchanged a clever one-two with a team-mate stationed outside the area before curling an inviting cross into the penalty area, Jason Hoffman climbing highest to head his team back into the lead.

2-2 (Berisha 45+1′)

New Zealand international Barbarouses made the goal, evading challenges from Iain Ramsay and David Villa, before turning Patrick Kisnorbo inside-out to shoot at Andrew Redmayne. The goalkeeper could only parry the shot, with poacher-extraordinaire Berisha on hand to loop a neat finish into the roof of the net.

3-2 (Berisha 46′)

Berisha did it all himself for Victory’s third, shaking off the attentions of the City defence before unleashing a strike which took a deflection off Wielaert, wrong-footing Redmayne and giving the men in navy blue and white the lead for the first time in the game.

4-2 (Berisha 67′)

James Brown’s needless challenge in the back of Matthieu Delpierre saw Strebre Delovski point to the spot and Berisha did the rest, netting his second penalty in three matches to complete his first hat-trick in Victory colours.

5-2 (Thompson 87′)

Who else but Barbarouses? The Kiwi played an exquisite pass from wide to take out the entire City defence and release Thompson though on goal. The Victory favourite rounded Redmayne with ease to bag his second and Victory’s fifth.

Key moment

In the opening 60 seconds of the game Scott Galloway – making his first appearance of the season – showed awareness and desire to intercept a pass before it reached David Villa, drawing a huge cheer from the Victory supporters.

The Spaniard went on to be a danger throughout the first half and gave the young fullback a searching examination before switching to the point of the attack, but that early moment epitomised Victory’s determination not to be overawed by the World Cup winner.

Coach killer

On as a substitute just before the hour mark, Brown’s ill-judged barge on Delpierre gifted Victory a fourth goal and left City’s floodgates wide open.

Back to the drawing board

City’s 4-3-3, with Paartalu holding and Mooy and Murdocca closing down Milligan and Valeri, enabled Van ‘t Schip’s side to isolate Victory’s forward line from their holding midfielders in the first half. But playmaker Finkler remained a danger and converted fullback Ramsay had no answer to the in-form Barbarouses. When City’s dynamic central duo tired in the second half, Victory began to dominate possession and pulled away from their local rivals.

The Final Word

After a scratchy draw against Adelaide United last week, Victory overcame a slow start to reassert their status as genuine title contenders. Any ill effects from the long mid-week trip to play Perth Glory in the FFA Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday should be mitigated by the fact they are not in A-League action again until hosting Wellington Phoenix on Monday November 3.

City meanwhile have a tough assignment at home to Adelaide on Friday night. Lose that one – David Villa’s final game for the club until his possible return from New York City later this year – and the club’s glitzy rebrand is will look dead in the water.

Read more at http://www.a-league.com.au/article/result-melbourne-victory-5-2-melbourne-city/1o5trruhuk6191e13zfhgd7pgb#GgeUcE49QsbhoLW7.99
Melbourne Victory: Nathan Coe, Scott Galloway (Leigh Broxham 69′), Daniel Georgievski, Adrian Leijer (Rashid Mahazi 84′), Mathieu Delpierre, Mark Milligan, Carl Valeri, Kosta Barbarouses, Guilherme Finkler, Archie Thompson, Besart Berisha (Ben Khalfallah 75′).

Melbourne City: Andrew Redmayne, Jason Hoffman, Iain Ramsay, Robbie Wielaert, Patrick Kisnorbo, Erik Paartalu (Paulo Retre 69′), Aaron Mooy, Massimo Murdocca (Jacob Melling 84′), Damien Duff, Mate Dugandzic (James Brown 58′), David Villa.

Scorers: Wielaert (13′), Thompson (23′, 87′), Hoffman (26′), Berisha (45+1′, 46′, 67′)
Red cards: None
Yellow cards: Berisha (32′), Mooy (41′), Duff (50′)
Conditions: 18°, dry
Attendance: 43, 729 @Etihad Stadium

source: a-league.com.au

Θέμελης: Ο τάφος της Αμφίπολης είναι συλημένος


Την παρουσία τυμβωρύχων, που αναζητούσαν χρυσό και μέταλλα, στον αρχαίο τάφο της Αμφίπολης φαίνεται να επιβεβαιώνει η μαρμάρινη κεφαλή της Σφίγγας, η οποία βρέθηκε στον τρίτο θάλαμο και σε αρκετή απόσταση από τον κορμό του γλυπτού στην είσοδο του μνημείου.

«Αποτελεί αναμφισβήτητα μία ακόμη – την πιο πρόσφατη- απόδειξη ότι το μνημείο είναι συλημένο», δηλώνει στα «Νέα» ο καθηγητής κλασικής αρχαιολογίας, Πέτρος Θέμελης, αναφερόμενος στη μαρμάρινη κεφαλή της Σφίγγας.

«Απόδειξη που έρχεται να προστεθεί στις προηγούμενες: τις τρύπες στους τοίχους, τη σπασμένη πόρτα και τη φθορά στο ψηφιδωτό, καθώς πολλές φορές οι τυμβωρύχοι πίστευαν, και σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις δικαίως, ότι θα βρουν θησαυρούς κάτω από τα ψηφιδωτά δάπεδα», προσθέτει.

Μέχρι πού έφτασαν όμως οι τυμβωρύχοι; Υπάρχει ελπίδα η ερευνητική ομάδα που ανασκάπτει σήμερα το ταφικό μνημείο να βρει κάτι πολύτιμο ή μήπως η σπασμένη πόρτα και κατόπιν το κομμένο κεφάλι της Σφίγγας δεν αφήνουν περιθώρια;

«Κανείς δεν μπορεί να απαντήσει, διότι δεν ξέρουμε αν ο τρίτος θάλαμος, ο οποίος τώρα ανασκάπτεται, είναι και ο τελευταίος. Δεν γνωρίζουμε πού τελειώνει αυτό το μνημείο, ούτε πόσες φάσεις είχε», απαντά ο κ. Θέμελης.

Πηγή: newsbomb.gr

Western Sydney Wanderers grab 1-0 Asian Champions League final advantage over Al-Hilal in first leg

Wanderers' Tomi Juric celebrates a goal v Al-Hilal in the Asian Champions League final first leg.

Photo: Tomi Juric scored the only goal for Western Sydney in the Wanderers’ 1-0 win over Al-Hilal in the Asian Champions League final first leg. (Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

The Western Sydney Wanderers are on the verge of creating Australian football history, after stunning Saudi Arabian heavyweights Al-Hilal 1-0 in Saturday night’s first leg of the Asian Champions League (ACL) final.

Socceroo Tomi Juric was the hero for the Wanderers, returning from a month out with a groin injury to come on in the second half and score the match-winner from an inch-perfect Antony Golec cross in the 64th minute.

Two-time Asian champions Al-Hilal had dominated the Wanderers in the first half, but the injection of Juric early in the second period proved a master-stroke by coach Tony Popovic and the Saudis’ famous ‘Blue Wave’ were conquered.

Twenty-three-year-old five-game international Juric showed his class to guide the Golec ball past the Al-Hilal keeper, sparking bedlam among the capacity crowd of 20,053.

A few minutes later, Juric almost put the icing on the cake, when a superb strike from outside the box cannoned into the post.

The Wanderers’ A-League season has begun in disastrous fashion with two straight losses.

But, the country’s newest club is 90 minutes away from becoming the first Australian side to win an ACL title after a resurgent performance.

The Wanderers travel to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in preparation for the second leg, which kicks off at King Fahd Stadium early next Sunday morning (AEDT).

Victory or a draw will be enough for the Wanderers to claim the trophy against a multi-million dollar team recognised by FIFA as the best in Asia.

Wanderers celebrate goal against Al-Hilal

Photo: Job half done … Tomi Juric is congratulated in front of the joyous Wanderers faithful. (AAP: Dean Lewins)

 The Wanderers’ defence was holding on for dear life in the opening 45 minutes, with Al-Hilal looking a class above and dominating possession.

Some gutsy last-ditch efforts from Daniel Mullen kept the Wanderers’ sheet clean and increasingly frustrated the Saudis, who could not find a breakthrough.

The Wanderers’ win was all about determination.

Brendan Santalab battled on despite a hamstring injury suffered last week and a nasty shoulder problem he picked up on Saturday, before being replaced by Juric – a man also short on conditioning.

Then, late in the half, another Socceroo Matthew Spiranovic – who has not played since the World Cup with an ankle problem – came on and did not let his coach down.

There were some near misses for the Wanderers, including the 88th minute when keeper Ante Covic was forced to throw himself on an Al-Hilal long ball and deny flying Brazilian striker Neves Thiago – and then again, when regular time had expired, and Covic was forced to stop an on-target shot from Salem Mohammed.

Tensions boiled over at times with Santalab receiving a yellow for a cynical challenge on the man who hurt his shoulder, Doru Mihai Pintilii.

source: abc.net.au

Labor reclaims two NSW seats in state by-elections after donations probe

Charlestown Labor candidate and now MP-elect Jodie Harrison at the Charlestown Public Sch

Charlestown Labor candidate and now MP-elect Jodie Harrison at the Charlestown Public School polling booth. Picture: Liam Driver Source: News Corp Australia

Newcastle Labor candidate and now MP-elect Tim Crakanthorp holds his daughter Avalon afte

Newcastle Labor candidate and now MP-elect Tim Crakanthorp holds his daughter Avalon after voting at the Hamilton South Public School. Picture: Liam Driver Source: News Corp Australia

Voting at The Junction Public School polling booth in Newcastle. Picture: Liam Driver

Voting at The Junction Public School polling booth in Newcastle. Picture: Liam Driver Source: News Corp Australia

LABOR tonight declared victory in two ICAC-triggered NSW state by-elections in the Hunter Valley. 

Opposition Leader John Robertson said Newcastle and Charlestown had returned to ALP hands as was widely expected after being lost in the anti-Labor general-election landslide of 2011.

The ruling Coalition did not field candidates.

The seats were vacated in August after the resignations of Liberals Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell who admitted to the Independent Commission Against Corruption that they had taken banned donations.

Voters in the two seats will have to go to the polls again in March for the state’s general election.

The result takes Labor’s lower house tally from 21 to 23. That is still well short of the 47 seats needed to form government.

Incoming Labor MP for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp said the traditionally safe Labor area would never be taken for granted again.

“Today we showed the Liberals that Newcastle is a Labor town,” he told a crowd of Labor supporters at the Premier Hotel in Broadmeadow.

Mr Owen and Mr Cornwell quit the NSW parliament in August after making admissions to ICAC about banned donations they had received.

Mr Crakanthorp, a Newcastle City councillor, and Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison had been expected to pick up both seats.

The Liberals did not run candidates in what NSW party director Tony Nutt describes as an act of “atonement”.

Mr Crakanthorp said earlier today he hoped his victory in Newcastle would give Labor momentum for the March general election.

“It’s about trying to engage people and convince them that Labor is back,” he told reporters outside Hamilton South Public School before casting his vote.

Ms Harrison, standing in Charlestown, said she was focused on restoring trust and integrity in NSW politics.

“I’ll be working very hard between now and March to be re-elected,” she said.

source: theaustralian.com.au

Labor ahead in Newcastle and Charlestown byelections

Decision time: Voters arrive at Stockton Public School to vote in the Newcastle byelection.

Decision time: Voters arrive at Stockton Public School to vote in the Newcastle byelection. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers


Early results had Labor candidates ahead in two Hunter byelections called after the political donations scandal claimed the scalps of two sitting MPs.

In a city still reeling from the effects of the ICAC investigation, politics and trust remain wildly opposed, with a host of independents seeking to make headway amid the major parties’ problems.

The ICAC investigations into property developer donations saw two Liberal MPs – Tim Owen in Newcastle and Andrew Cornwell in Charlestown – resign, and also put the region’s two other Liberal MPs on the crossbenches.

In early counts, Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp was ahead in Newcastle, but high-profile businesswoman and independent Karen Howard was challenging strongly with Greens candidate Michael Osborne not far behind.

In Charlestown, Lake Macquarie mayor and Labor candidate Jodie Harrison appeared to be cruising to victory.

Palmer United-backed independents were polling poorly in early counts in both seats.

The full measure of the ICAC-inflicted damage to the major parties will be digested in the final counts.

But even the most hopeful pundit would be hard pressed to see too much upside in Labor wins for Opposition leader John Robertson, who practically became part of the furniture in the city during the campaign.

Two Labor victories will give them 23 seats. Labor would still need another 24 seats to fall their way to form government in March.

Independents, including two backed heavily by Palmer United Party’s Clive Palmer, joined Greens and minor party candidates to cash in on the major party malaise.

In the past fortnight, the political big guns have left none of the city’s doors unknocked. Mr Palmer and PUP’s Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus, and the Greens’ Adam Bandt, Lee Rhiannon and John Kaye have been regular visitors.

Kay Sneddon was among the thousands of Novocastrians who yesterday dodged their way through the paper-ladened party hacks clogging community hall entrances.

“I think it’s a waste of money,” she said.

“We haven’t had a representative since June. I think we should wait just a few more months (for the March state election).”

Adamstown’s Rosa Volpe “just picked”.

“I have no idea who anyone is,” she said.

Chris Bosworth headed in with his children Ava and Angus. He said he saw no point in electing someone for a few months, or just 12 parliamentary sitting days.

“I’m getting it out of the way so I can play golf,” he said.

“I still haven’t decided. I’m thinking I might just tick my name off and not vote. I’ve never done it before, but this is a waste of time.”

Premier Mike Baird has been the only notable absentee in Newcastle over the past month, saying his decision not to stand candidates in Newcastle and Charlestown was “atonement” for his misbehaving MPs.

Newcastle voters will go to the polls again in three weeks to vote for a new lord mayor and then back up again in March for the full state election.

source: smh.com.au

Ξεκίνησε η καταγραφή των ζημιών σε δήμους που επλήγησαν από την νεροποντή


Προβλήματα σε 10 δήμους από την νεροποντή που έπληξε η Αττική την Παρασκευή. Στα 250 με 300 τα αυτοκίνητα που παρασύρθηκαν από τα νερά. Πόσα σπίτια έχουν καταστραφεί. Πάνω από 850 οι κλήσεις στην ΠΥ

Καταγραφή των ζημιών κάνουν από το πρωί του Σαββάτου τα συνεργεία των Δήμων και των συναρμόδιων υπηρεσιών στο Περιστέρι, τη Νίκαια και τις υπόλοιπες περιοχές που επλήγησαν από την ισχυρή βροχόπτωση την Παρασκευή. Παράλληλα, σύμφωνα με τον γγ Πολιτικής Προστασίας Σεραφείμ Τσόκα, δεν υπάρχουν αγνοούμενοι στο γκαράζ του σούπερ μάρκετ στο Ίλιον που πλημμύρισε.

Σύμφωνα με τον κ. Τσόκα, προβλήματα έχουν σημειωθεί σε 10 δήμους, ενώ έχουν παρασυρθεί από τα νερά 250 με 300 αυτοκίνητα. Επίσης, ζημιές υπάρχουν σε σπίτια και ήδη βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη η διαδικασία καταγραφής τους. Όπως, είπε μέσα σε μιάμιση ώρα έπεσαν 14 εκατοστά νερού, ενώ αν έβρεχε όλη ημέρα υπό κανονικές συνθήκες το ύψος της βροχής θα έφθανε τα 5 εκατοστά.

Την Παρασκευή υπήρξαν 850 κλήσεις για επέμβαση της Πυροσβεστικής για άντληση υδάτων και μέχρι τις 3 το μεσημέρι του Σαββάτου τα 80 συνεργεία της θα έχουν αντιμετωπίσει όλα τα περιστατικά, όπως δήλωσε το πρωί ο Περιφερειακός Διευθυντής του Σώματος Δημοσθένης Αναγνωστάκης.

Οι Δήμαρχοι Περιστερίου και Ίλιον, Α. Παχατουρίδης και Ν. Ζενέτος παρείχαν το βράδυ προσωρινή στέγαση σε οικογένειες που χρειάστηκαν βοήθεια. Σύμφωνα με τον κ. Παχατουρίδη το πρόβλημα προκλήθηκε πέραν του όγκου της βροχής και σε δύο παλιά σπίτια που έχουν κτιστεί σε λάθος σημείο.

Από την πλευρά του ο κ. Ζενέτος είπε ότι το πρόβλημα θα επιλυθεί με το αντιπλημμυρικό της οδού Καλπακίου που εκτελείται από την Περιφέρεια Αττικής. Πρόσθεσε μάλιστα πως αν είχαν προχωρήσει τα έργα 200 μέτρα περισσότερο δεν θα παρουσιάζονταν προβλήματα.

Στο μεταξύ, ο πρωθυπουργός Αντώνης Σαμαράς διαβεβαίωσε ότι τη Δευτέρα έχει δοθεί εντολή στο υπουργείο Οικονομικών να αποδεσμεύσει αμέσως τα χρήματα που είναι αναγκαία για κάθε πληγέντα δήμο.

Στην αγχόνη 26χρονη ιρανή, επειδή σκότωσε τον επίδοξο βιαστή της

Στην αγχόνη 26χρονη ιρανή, επειδή σκότωσε τον επίδοξο βιαστή της

H Τζαμπαρί στη διάρκεια της δίκης της

Η παγκόσμια εκστρατεία για να μην εκτελεστεί η θανατική ποινή στην περίπτωση της 26χρονης ιρανής Ρεϊανέχ Τζαμπαρί δεν απέδωσε καρπούς. Τα ξημερώματα του Σαββάτου, η νεαρή που καταδικάστηκε σε θάνατο, επειδή μαχαίρωσε τον επίδοξο βιαστή της, οδηγήθηκε στην κρεμάλα.

Στη διάρκεια της δικής της, η Τζαμπαρί υποστήριξε ότι σκότωσε βρισκόμενη σε αυτοάμυνα. Μάλιστα, στο δικαστήριο υποστήριξε ότι εκείνη μαχαίρωσε τον δράστη και ότι κάποιο άλλο άτομο τού έδωσε το τελειωτικό χτύπημα.

Οι δικαστές δεν πείστηκαν με τα επιχειρήματά της και την καταδίκασαν σε θάνατο. Μάλιστα, το Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο του Ιράν επικύρωσε τη θανατική ποινή.

Στη νεαρή είχε δοθεί 10ήμερη προθεσμία, ώστε να πείσει τους συγγενείς του θύματος να την συγχωρέσουν. Ούτε αυτό απέδωσε καρπούς.


‘We did not start this’: Putin accuses United States of damaging world order

Scathing of the US ... Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a 40-minute diatribe against the West during a speech in Sochi.

Scathing of the US … Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a 40-minute diatribe against the West during a speech in Sochi. Photo: Bloomberg


Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of endangering global security by imposing a “unilateral diktat” on the rest of the world and shifted blame for the Ukraine crisis onto the West.

In a 40-minute diatribe against the West that was reminiscent of the Cold War and underlined the depth of the rift between Moscow and the West, Putin also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet empire at the expense of Russia’s neighbours.

“We did not start this,” Putin told an informal group of experts on Russia that includes many Western specialists critical of him, warning that Washington was trying to “remake the whole world” based on its own interests.

“Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbours, are groundless,” the former KGB spy declared in a speech delivered standing at a podium, without a smile, in a ski resort in mountains above the Black Sea city of Sochi.

Listing a series of conflicts in which he faulted US actions, including Libya, Syria and Iraq, Putin asked whether Washington’s policies had strengthened peace and democracy.

“No,” he declared. “The unilateral diktat and the imposing of schemes (on others) have exactly the opposite effect.”

Putin, 62, has stepped up anti-Western rhetoric since returning to the Kremlin as president in 2012, helping push up his popularity ratings since the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.

Even so, the speech was one of the most hostile Putin has delivered against the West and it appeared partly intended to show Russian voters he will stand up to the rest of the world and defend their interests.

The criticisms of a world order dominated by Washington, more than two decades after the Cold War, recalled a 2007 speech in Munich in which Putin shocked the West by lambasting Washington’s “unipolar” world view. The speech prompted many Western leaders to reassess their view of Putin.

Shifting the blame

The annual meetings of what is known as the Valdai Club have rarely featured such open, direct and tough language in their debates on Russian policy.

Critics say the meetings have become a showcase for Kremlin policy, with the session attended by Putin shown live on state television and little discussion of Russia’s record on human rights and democracy, which is criticised in the West.

Putin rejected criticism over the Ukraine crisis, in which Moscow has sided with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and threw the West’s criticisms of Moscow back in its face.

Repeating accusations that Western governments helped pro-Western groups stage a coup d’etat that ousted a pro-Moscow president in Kiev in February, Putin said: “No one wanted to listen to us and no one wanted to talk to us.”

“Instead of a difficult but, I underline, civilised dialogue they brought about a state coup. They pushed the country into chaos, economic and social collapse, and civil war with huge losses,” he said.

Dismissing US and European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow as a mistake, he said: “Russia will not be posturing, get offended, ask someone for anything. Russia is self-sufficient.”

He made only passing references to the decline of Russia’s $US2 trillion ($2.27 trillion) economy, which is in danger of sliding into recession as its currency tumbles along with the price of oil, its main export item.

But he said in a question and answer session after his speech that Russia would not burn though its gold and foreign currency reserves thoughtlessly to prop up the economy.

Putin has increasingly sought to shift blame for the economic crisis onto global problems, the sanctions and the oil price. He and other Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have also used increasingly tough language to blame the West for the Ukraine crisis.

A ceasefire has been in force in Ukraine since September 5, but it has been violated daily and the West says Moscow continues to have troops and weapons in east Ukraine. Russia denies this.

source: smh.com.au

La Liga: Real Madrid vs Barcelona match preview

 El Clasico has been branded by many to be the biggest game in club football. Whether you adhere to this belief or not, no one can ignore the illustrious line up of talent that this fixture has to offer.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has confirmed that summer signing Luis Suarez will feature for the Catalan club, adding further intrigue to the already tantalising showdown.

After eight games, Barcelona are sitting top of La Liga, already four points ahead of rivals Real. Ancelotti’s Madrid know they can’t afford to allow Lionel Messi and friends to extend their lead at the top, even at this early stage in the season. Both teams go into the game on a fantastic run of form with excellent scoring statistics to match. Barcelona have scored twenty-two goals in the league this campaign and are yet to concede a goal, whereas Madrid have registered a staggering thirty times whilst conceding nine at the other end.

Real’s attacking options include Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, James Rodriquez and Bale if fit, and Barcelona will have their work cut out if they hope to maintain their impressive run of clean sheets. However, the visitors have their own set of superstars which would strike fear into any back line. Messi, Neymar and new boy Suarez will give a Madrid defence, which has drawn criticism this year, plenty to think about.

Many will see this fixture as another opportunity to compare the footballing brilliance of Ronaldo and Messi, hoping to come to a conclusive decision on who reigns supreme. However, with the inclusion of a certain Luis Suarez, the fixture promises to produce an enthralling encounter between two powerhouses of European football instead of just two superstars. The stage is set.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5pm


Barcelona 1 (Bartra) Real Madrid 2 (Di Maria, Bale), Copa Del Rey, April 2014

Real Madrid 3 (Benzema 2, Ronaldo) Barcelona 4 (Iniesta, Messi 3), La Liga, March 2014

Barcelona 2 (Neymar, Sanchez) Real Madrid 1 (Jese), La Liga, October 2013


In the team’s last three meetings there have been ten different scorers.

You have to go back to 2002 to find the last time Real and Barcelona shared a goalless draw.

Messi has played in twenty-eight El Clasico’s, scoring twenty-one goals.

It is estimated that there will be a worldwide television audience of around 400 million.

Ronaldo has already scored three hat-tricks this season.

Barcelona fans have only been allocated 500 tickets for their away fixture. The Bernabeu holds 81,044.


Real Madrid to win: 2.37

Barcelona to win: 3.0

Draw: 3.6


The last time the two sides met in the league Barcelona came away 4-3 winners at the Bernabeu. Iniesta put Barcelona into the lead early in the match before a two goal brace from Benzema put Madrid in front. Messi drew the Catalan club level just before half time and then three second half penalties, two for Messi and one for Ronaldo, concluded the scoring. Ramos also saw red mid-way through the second half.


EPL Preview: Manchester Utd vs Chelsea

Manchester United's defence

“Manchester United are going to have to play at their absolute maximum and at a level they haven’t played at so far this season if they are going to win,” Neville, who won eight BPL titles at Man Utd, told premierleague.com.

“But they are capable because they have got some special players, like Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, and they are capable of producing some fantastic moments. If they can defend well as team, and those players can be on top form, then Chelsea will have problems as well.

“The interesting thing will be to see how Jose Mourinho approaches the game. Whether they’ll play like they did at Manchester City, where they allowed City to come on to them and then counter-attacked. Or will he think, ‘no we are better than Man Utd, we are going to go out and play an expansive game’?

United must make do without the suspended Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, who remains short of match fitness with an ankle injury, while Chelsea’s Loic Remy is ruled out after picking up a groin injury in Chelsea’s 6-0 rout of Maribor in the UEFA Champions League and leading scorer Diego Costa is rated by his manager Jose Mourinho as having “a little chance” of playing after hamstring and virus problems.

Old Trafford ‘atmosphere’

But whoever makes the starting line-up for Chelsea, Neville knows United’s defence will have to be on their mettle to thwart the west Londoners. If they are, Neville believes Van Gaal’s side can emerge triumphant.

“If Diego Costa and Loic Remy do not play, that’s a big boost for United,” he said. “United have been indifferent at the back this season, they have had lots of injuries, they have got a young back four, and it will be interesting to see how they handle Chelsea’s attack.

“The atmosphere at Old Trafford will be fantastic. If they can get the crowd behind them, United is the type of place where this fantastic Chelsea team could come unstuck.”

The Chelsea encounter starts a daunting run of fixtures for Man Utd, with trips to Manchester City, Arsenal, Southampton and a home fixture against Liverpool looming on the horizon.

“We are going to find out about United in this next period,” Neville added. “The fixtures that they have had so far were the lesser teams and it’s been a struggle at times. It’s been difficult away from home for them this season. They should be doing a lot better but they are a new team, with a new manager, it takes time.”

For press conference quotes from Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, click here >>

Manchester United (from): Amos, De Gea, Johnstone, Lindegaard, Blackett, Blind, Jones, Rafael, Rojo, Shaw, Smalling, Vermijl, Anderson, Di Maria, Fellaini, Fletcher, Herrera, James, Januzaj, Mata, Young, Falcao, W Keane, Van Persie, Wilson.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Courtois, Schwarzer, Ake, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Christensen, Filipe, Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma, Fabregas, Hazard, Matic, Mikel, Oscar, Ramires, Salah, Willian, Costa, Drogba, Schurrle.

source: premierleaue.com