Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tim Cahill On The Asian Cup Final: This Is Everything

Australia v UAE: Semi Final - 2015 Asian Cup - Newcastle

“We want to change football in Australia,” is why Socceroos star Tim Cahill believes the result of the Asian Cup is so profoundly important to the sports future.

In a guest article published by News Corp, Cahill talks about the struggles the sport has endured on home turf and why Aussie soccer players miss out on many of opportunity because of the country’s location.
“Just getting to the final has made a huge impact on kids, adults, people who love other sports and on those who just love the country,” he writes.

“When you look at Australian kids it’s very hard for them to have the same opportunities, but I want them to look at me and say, that’s where I want to be, that’s the path I want to take.”

“That we’ve reached the final is no fluke,” he says. “A lot of credit has to go to [Ange].

“Ange cares about the game, he cares about Australian football… There are no ulterior motives with Ange – everything he does is for the betterment of the game.”

He finishes by saying: “It’s going to be up there with some of the best moments in Australian football.”

Australia will take on South Korea in the Asian Cup decider tonight.

While the Socceroos go into the match as the tournament’s top goal scorers with 12 points, South Korea remains undefeated and are yet to concede a goal.

You can see the live action from Sydney on ABC TV at 8pm

source:businessinsider.com.au

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Yanis Varoufakis Newsnight interview:’It’s not about who will blink first’

Greece’s new left-wing finance minister says his government wants a “rational discussion” with the country’s creditors.

Yanis Varoufakis told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that contrary to what had been reported he had held a “very fruitful meeting” with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the eurozone group of finance ministers in Athens on Friday.

But he said Greece was not prepared to carry on trying “to enforce an unenforceable programme” of austerity measures.

source:bbc.com

Turnbull ducks Abbott leadership challenge talk

Party games ... Malcolm Turnbull had dodged questions over Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s l

Party games … Malcolm Turnbull had dodged questions over Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s l Party games … Malcolm Turnbull had dodged questions over Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership. Source: Bob Barker. Source: News Corp Australia

At a question-and-answer session following the address, the audience was asked to “confine your questions to the speech and what we are discussing here at the conference today”.

His minders told reporters he would not be available for questions.

A recent Seven News ReachTEL poll found Turnbull was the top choice to lead the coalition, with more than 44.6 per cent of respondents backing him with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on 31 per cent and Abbott languishing at 18 per cent.

Mr Abbott has recently drawn criticism for his decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip, prompting concerns he’s lost touch with the Australian public.

He admitted the move was a “stuff up” and has promised to consult more widely on such decisions in the future.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have been approached by Liberal MPs to spark a leadership challenge, but both have refused.

Senior government figures have publicly thrown their support behind the prime minister, who yesterday took the credit for the success of high-performing ministers.

“One of the reasons why so many members of the team are able to perform so well is because they have got a very good captain,” Mr Abbott said.

Treasurer Joe Hockey issued a warning to his colleagues, reminding them to focus on the job at hand.

“Everyone’s entitled to a view but I would just say to people: we do not want to become a carbon copy of a bad Labor government, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government,” he told reporters.

source:news.com.au

 

EXCLUSIVE: Putin’s proposal to Tsipras: “We will become a shield of Greece if …”

EXCLUSIVE:  Putin’s proposal to Tsipras: “We will become a shield of Greece if …”

Moscow gave the green light and hasty call to Alexis Tsipras in the shadow of the serious developments in Ukraine and the region . After the fall of the Karamanlis government , Russia had loose interest in Greece , since Ukraine government at that time was sympathetic especially in the energy game . Today, the HellasForce reveals the proposal of the Russian side that might shock the leader of SYRIZA , after the Russians know a lot more than you think for the political system in Greece .

Why Tsipras .
The Russians approached Tsipra as potential prime minister because they believe that has the fewest commitments with West (USA – Germany ) . Any “obligations” undertaken are not personal , but a product of understanding beteween executives who can not commit in no case Tipras . Russians place great importance in possible commitments, because a politician who checked eg for favorable behavior in Siemens, will always be enslaved and blacmailed from the West.

The unknown fiasco with Turkey and the Turkish war threat .
Few know the secret high-level talks between Russia and Turkey completed few day ago . The Russian side has concluded that Erdogan remains loyal NATO ally….

Russia openly threatened the Turkish side for the Turkish involvement in Syria and made clear that if  events like these repeated  in the city Kesamp , the Russian reaction would be tough. This parameter made ​​Kerry to talk about the non-negotiable territorial integrity of NATO , meaning of course the territorial integrity of Turkey as a NATO member country to calm Erdogan regarding the Russian threats.

Why Greece .
The obvious reasons are economic . The unsung are geopolitical and want Greece counterweight to Turkey . Following the developments in Ukraine , suffocation to the export of natural resources of Russia are evident. The conductors of Ukraine can no longer be counted as a valid solution, even if the Russians succumb to blackmail and basically give free Russian gas to Ukraine in order not to interrupt the flow of the rest of Europe . This makes pipeline policy  inaugurated by Putin  and Costas Karamanlis as a must. In fact , it is a matter of life and death, the completion of Southstream and Burgas – Alexandroupolis , but not with the mistakes made last time. Now there is no room for mistakes and limpness since Ukraine is considered a lost cause .

Geopolitical , Russia seems to save Syria , but the instability that prevails made ​​her do the grand opening in Egypt and make clear to Israel that it will no longer tolerate any action against Syria or Egypt. In contrast to Erdogan , Israel obeyed the Russian commands and stopped any involvement in the Syrian crisis despite pressures from Saudi Arabia .

In Egypt , things were easier since general Sisi has Jewish ancestry , while Hamas has sided with Morsi and the U.S. in the recent crisis. If Putin assure a presence in Greek living space , controls perfectly Turkey , essentially circling the main NATO threat to his country.

 Putin “package” to Tsipras .
Immediate resumption of pipelines policy , with the widest possible political acceptance if Tsipras elected . The exchanges could be economically and politically at home and abroad . Putin considers that with a brave entry will fire across the European plagued south , looking forward to the friendly attitude of Italy and eventual domination of Le Pen in France , even as a regulator . A brave reduction  of natural gas price would be enough to restart the entire Greek economy , while allowing open credits to buy Russian oil sponsorship .

Initially there is no question of leaving the Euro unless EU blackmail to reject such cooperation , so Russia will guarantee locking the “new drachma ” to prevent Argentinas example in such a development . Bulgaria has already made ​​it clear toEU that will proceed in Southstream in any case . The same will happen with the Burgas – Alexandroupolis when suitable government scheme is in place.

The Russians offer the possibility of ” geopolitical approach ‘ (that is the way will be ppresented) , which includes supply of military equipment to the standards of Egypt ” to rebuild the armed forces who have been affected from the memorandum ” and the possibility of military presence ( only in the Aegean ) registrable in exchange for Russian guarantee the integrity of the country , geopolitical and economical ! Commonly the Russians offer the possibility of designating EEZ with military protection but it will be presented as ” economic exchange framework” for the creation of a military base . The diplomatic point .. The Russians will guarantee the existence Western companies as well  in Greek EEZ , just as happens with Cyprus .

Extremely important : The Russians know the Turkish aspirations in Thrace and with the agreement Burgas – Alexandroupolis , they will guarantee and prevent any threat or change of the region status  .

Finally , knowing the uncertainty facing Tsipras these proposals or part of them , the Russians have prepared a package of internal assurance which they believe will give the feeling to the president of SYRIZA that any kind of threat may occur will be manageable , unlike the events from 2007 to 2009 . Russians will not raise the issue of possible exit of Greece from NATO as they prepared solution and covering the military cooperation between the two countries under the participation of Greece in the NATO alliance …

As we all understand, important developments for our country are expected….

source: hellasforce.com

Mile Jedinak just enjoying the moment of the Asian Cup final

Philosophical: Mile Jedinak focuses on the moment.

Philosophical: Mile Jedinak focuses on the moment. Photo: Brendan Esposito

 

It has been a long road for Mile Jedinak. In June 2006  he was an unemployed footballer driving three hours a day just to land a job in the A-League. On Saturday, he will lead Australia out of the tunnel in front of 80,000 people in the 2015 Asian Cup final. 

He could be forgiven for struggling to contain his excitement of leading the nation in one of the biggest football games of the Socceroos’ history yet, if anything, his demeanour is a surprising sense of calm. Sitting relaxed and measured in the final press conference before Australia’s match against South Korea, there was no sign of pressure from the Socceroos leader.

It is an attitude Jedinak says he always had, whether playing in the English Premier League or driving between Sydney and Gosford for months on end while trialling with Central Coast Mariners. Nearly nine years later, this relaxed approach seems to have rubbed off on the rest of the Socceroos.

“For me it’s just about enjoying the opportunity,” Jedinak said. “Did I think back then this was going to happen? Probably not. More so than anything it is about being in the moment and enjoying that moment. I’ve learned that along the way since driving up the F3 all the time. Just enjoy what you have because it can be taken away from you as quickly as it comes.”

The Socceroos will have their chance to claim their first piece of silverware since joining the Asian Confederation, and most importantly  a rare opportunity to win a title on home soil. However, the players aren’t openly discussing it in what has been a very quiet build-up, according to the captain, and that is because they are not daring to lose sight of their prize.

Throughout the build-up to the tournament’s decider, the mood within the camp has been subdued despite the excitement of the public around them. Recovery, sleep and light training are all the players are talking about among themselves in a united mentality personified by their leader.

Both Jedinak and his coach Ange Postecoglou made no secret of their confidence in performing on the biggest stage, but were coy to talk of results and celebrations. It was a snapshot into the process-oriented ideology of the camp as they prepare for their biggest test yet. The methodology and focus only on individual tasks is why Jedinak is a fitting captain for this team as it is one of the traits he enjoys most. “Up until now, not really a lot [has been said],” Jedinak said. “Not a lot to be honest. It’s recovery mode after a game, everyone is catching up on sleep, we’re just getting ourselves ready, there hasn’t been an awful lot said, the boys have been quite relaxed. The time for talking will be a little bit today in training and tomorrow in the build-up.”

It is a characteristic adopted just as much by the youngsters as the veterans and leaders of the squad. It is perhaps why Postecoglou has no concerns whether some of the younger players  will struggle to cope on the big stage. Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Trent Sainsbury and Massimo Luongo have  been linchpins of this side so far despite their young age but their application causes no concern for the coach.

“Sometimes the most experienced players freeze on the big day,” Postecoglou said. “The group has been very good. There’s been nothing I’ve seen to suggest that the occasion will get to anyone tomorrow.”

It is a confidence that stems from the completion of each task and an attention that strays no further than the next job. It is why Jedinak appears so relaxed in his approach while holding a burning desire to always win.

“What would winning mean to me? Everything. Winning means everything to me all the time and it’s going to be no different tomorrow. Having it in your home country is always going to make it that bit sweeter,” Jedinak said.

IMG_6314

Mile Jedinak with young Australia fans in Newcastle

 

source:smh.com.au

As Greece and EU Clash, Clues on Deal Emerge

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, left, the head of the eurozone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after a news conference in Athens on Friday.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, left, the head of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after a news conference in Athens on Friday. Photo: Reuters

Despite Finance Ministers’ Frosty Exchanges, Prospects Seen for Sharing Pain Between Athens and Creditors.

ATHENS—Greece’s finance minister and a representative of its European creditors exchanged grimaces, tough rhetoric and a frosty farewell on Friday, capping a week in which Athens’s new antiausterity government roiled its eurozone paymasters almost daily.

But behind the acrimony, clues are emerging about how Athens and its German-led creditors are searching for a deal that keeps Greece in the euro.

The options for a compromise, likely to become more concrete once negotiations get under way in February, include tweaking Greece’s budget constraints and debt-service burden while revamping how Europe monitors Greek compliance.

At a news conference on Friday, Greece’s outspoken new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, clashed over the way forward with his Dutch counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads up meetings of eurozone finance chiefs.

Mr. Varoufakis dismissed Greece’s hitherto-strict bailout regimen as “based on an anti-European logic,” visibly angering the Dutchman, who warned Greece against “unilateral steps and ignoring previous arrangements.” The two men left the room after a perfunctory handshake.

Spats on topics ranging from finances to foreign policy have gotten relations between Greece and the rest of the eurozone off to a rocky start since the left-wing Syriza party won Greek elections on Jan. 25.

Despite the bad atmospherics, Syriza officials said in private they know they will have to offer a convincing package of economic overhauls and budget discipline in return for financial concessions that will likely fall far short of the party’s bolder ambitions.

Nearly all parties to the latest flare-up in Europe’s debt crisis want to avoid the consequences of failing to reach agreement: Greece would run out of cash, at the latest by July and August, when close to €7 billion ($7.9 billion) worth of Greek bonds held by the European Central Bank fall due.

A default on the ECB’s bonds would most likely end Greek banks’ access to central-bank liquidity, forcing the country out of the euro. Massive economic dislocation in Greece, tens of billions of euros in loan write-offs for creditor countries, and a lasting destabilization of Europe’s currency union could follow.

“Nobody wants Greece to default,” said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management and a longtime eurozone-crisis consultant. “That’s the reason to be hopeful.”

A deal in coming months is far from certain. A chasm currently separates Syriza’s demand to renegotiate the bailout from Europe’s insistence on continuity.

The lack of personal or political affinity between Europe’s ruling establishment and Greece’s rebel government under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could hinder the search for common ground, analysts warn.

Since Syriza’s election triumph, Mr. Tsipras has angered Berlin and other European capitals by picking the nationalistic Independent Greeks as his coalition partner; reversing previous austerity and privatization steps; and disputing a European leaders’ communiqué that blamed Russia for the latest escalation in the war in Ukraine.

Hints that Greece under Syriza might lean more strongly toward Moscow have made Europe’s foreign-policy elite as nervous as its financial crisis managers this past week.

The choice of Mr. Varoufakis as finance minister also went down badly in Berlin. The sharp-tongued economist, fresh from teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, has long lambasted Germany’s approach to the European crisis, describing austerity as “fiscal waterboarding.”

Yet European policy makers and advisers who have begun studying the nitty-gritty say compromises, while difficult, appear possible on the central issues. Those include how tight a budget Greece should run; whether to rejigger Athens’s debts to other eurozone governments; which broader overhauls Greece’s economy needs; and how creditors should supervise agreed-to policies.

“On the economics, there is room for compromise,” said a senior German official. “The question is the politics: What can Syriza live with, and what can get through parliaments in Germany, Finland and elsewhere?”

Publicly, Syriza has demanded a major restructuring of Greece’s bailout loans, but in private, Greek officials say they are hoping for a repetition of concessions Europe has previously made: extending loan maturities and trimming and postponing interest payments.

That would allow Greece to spend a little more and tax a little less than under previous plans, giving its depressed economy some oxygen. European officials say Syriza will still have to curtail some of its spending promises.

Syriza is expected to present its detailed economic policies to Parliament on Feb. 7-9, aiming to convince creditors that it can be trusted to reform the country.

European officials say Syriza’s declared reform goals so far—including tackling corruption, tax evasion and cartels—are welcome. But, they say, Greece still needs major surgery in areas Syriza is reluctant to tackle, including the costly pension system.

One of the biggest obstacles is the bailout process itself—typically for the European Union, which often turns thorny political issues into bureaucratic ones.

Since the eurozone debt crisis erupted in 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted on a set of strict bailout procedures that make loans for debtor countries more palatable for German public opinion, but that have become politically toxic in crisis-hit countries.

At Friday’s news conference, Mr. Varoufakis underscored Greece’s refusal to work any longer with the so-called troika of inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and ECB. The three institutions have made Greece implement spending cuts and tax increases worth over 30% of gross domestic product in the past five years, according to Greek and EU data.

So far, creditor countries have maintained a hard line, led by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who said in Berlin on Friday that Germany stands ready to offer Greece solidarity within the existing bailout framework, “but only in this framework and in no other one.”

In private, eurozone officials say a new monitoring system is likely to be needed to replace the troika. Its membership and modus operandi may well change, but the tricky part will be satisfying both Germany’s desire for controls and Greece’s desire to take ownership of its own policies.

Mr. Schäuble has long been a skeptic about whether Greece can repair itself enough to ever thrive in the eurozone, according to people familiar with his thinking. He is unlikely to signal any flexibility toward Greece before Feb. 15, when a state election in Hamburg could show gains for the antibailout party Alternative for Germany, one of these people said.

Ms. Merkel is more pragmatic than her finance chief, the history of Europe’s crisis suggests. In 2012, when Greece came close to a euro exit, Ms. Merkel overruled Mr. Schäuble and opted against pushing Greece out, fearing incalculable fallout. She remains against a “Grexit,” but she needs a cooperative government in Athens that can make Greece more frugal and competitive. Without one, she can’t sell continued financial support to Germans, Berlin officials say.

“Neither side will get its way entirely,” said Ms. Greene of Manulife. Syriza will have to give way on many issues, but “Germany can’t dogmatically stick to what’s been put in place previously, or you’ll get an outcome that nobody wants,” she said.

source:  wsj.com

Prime Minister Tony Abbott prepares to dump paid parental leave scheme

Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme could be the next election promise to be revised.

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme could be the next election promise to be revised. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to radically water down, or dump entirely, his paid parental leave scheme in a bid to shore up support among frustrated backbench MPs.

Mr Abbott, who was heavily criticised for awarding a knighthood to Prince Phillip this week, will use a major speech to the National Press Club on Monday to try to reset the government’s message for the year ahead.

He is expected to flag a focus on improved access to childcare in his speech.

According to reports in News Corporation newspapers on Saturday, the paid parental leave scheme will be “dumped”; another report says the scheme will be shelved until the budget is back in surplus.

The PPL scheme was Mr Abbott’s original “captain’s pick”: he announced the policy in 2010 without taking it to cabinet. The Coalition has since taken it to two elections despite strong opposition from a majority of Mr Abbott’s colleagues.

The policy, to have been funded in part by a 1.5 per cent levy on big business, would have paid mothers a replacement wage for 26 weeks. The scheme was due to begin in July this year but has not been introduced to Parliament.

The current government-funded scheme pays mothers the minimum wage for 18 weeks.

Following months of poor polling results and struggles to get controversial health and education changes through the Senate, Mr Abbott’s knighthood decision ignited fierce criticism from backbench MPs.

Fairfax Media revealed on Saturday that government members have approached Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull about running for the leadership. Both resisted the push to challenge .

source:smh.com.au

Preview: Chelsea vs Manchester City showdown

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been ruled out of Saturday’s top-of-the-table contest with Manchester City after receiving a three-match ban by The Football Association, while creator-in-chief Cesc Fabregas is in doubt.

Costa was charged with violent conduct for an apparent stamp on Emre Can during Chelsea’s Capital One Cup semi-final win over Liverpool on Tuesday, a charge wihich the Spain forward denied, and on Friday The FA announced that the case against him was found proven.

The 26-year-old will also miss the forthcoming BPL matches against Aston Villa and Everton.

Blues midfielder Fabregas is also a doubt for the Man City fixture after limping out of the Liverpool match with a hamstring injury.

Chelsea sit five points above City at the Barclays Premier League summit, with the champions having drawn at Everton and lost to Arsenal after pulling level with Jose Mourinho’s side with a strong run of festive results.

The late kick-off at Stamford Bridge provides City’s first chance to respond to last weekend’s FA Cup elimination at the hands of Championship side Middlesbrough, with Chelsea also rebuilding confidence after a stunning 4-2 defeat by Bradford City.

Manuel Pellegrini has his own star striker, Sergio Aguero, fit and firing after a knee injury, although Frank Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge is another talking-point. Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer joined City in in the summer and scored City’s equaliser in September’s 1-1 draw between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Lampard was regardless handed a warm reception by Chelsea’s fans that day, with another generous welcome expected on his return to west London – which could come from the start in City’s midfield.

Any hopes Pellegrini may have held of having Yaya Toure back in his midfield were dashed on Wednesday by Ivory Coast’s progression in the Africa Cup of Nations, but the City manager is philosophical about the midfielder’s absence.

“It is up to other players to demonstrate what they can do,” he said on Friday. “Yaya is a very important player for us but I was not decided if he was eliminated from the African Cup to come and play here two days after because I do not think it is the correct way to do it.

“We played without Yaya in Rome and qualified and against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. So he is a very important player. The same for Diego Costa but I don’t think they decide that both teams depend on just those players.”

However, Samir Nasri could return to the bench following a calf injury while City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala also faces a fitness test after picking up a shoulder problem. Winger Scot Sinclair, meanwhile, is no longer at the club after completing a loan move to Aston Villa on Friday.

Mourinho, meanwhile, also has concerns in his defence with Filipe Luis (calf) and match-winner Branislav Ivanovic (foot) sustaining injuries in midweek.

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

Manchester City (from): Caballero, Hart, Wright, Boyata, Clichy, Demichelis, Kolarov, Kompany, Mangala, Sagna, Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Fernando, Lampard, Milner, Navas, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko, Jovetic.

source: premierleague.com

BBC: 22 μέρες με τον Αλέξη Τσίπρα

Πηγή:enikos. gr

Η Βόλφσμπουργκ… πάτησε τη Μπάγερν, μάχη τίτλου στην Αγγλία

Η Βόλφσμπουργκ... πάτησε τη Μπάγερν, μάχη τίτλου στην Αγγλία

Η «μητέρα των μαχών» διεξάγεται το Σάββατο (19:30) στην 23η αγωνιστική της Premier League, με την Τσέλσι να υποδέχεται τη Μάντσεστερ Σίτι. Ενα ματς που ίσως κρίνει τον τίτλο, καθώς σε περίπτωση νίκης των «μπλε» η διαφορά στην κατάταξη εκτοξεύεται στους οκτώ βαθμούς και οι ελπίδες για την ομάδα του Μανουέλ Πελεγκρίνι θα είναι ελάχιστες.

Παράλληλα, πρόκειται για ένα ντέρμπι που έχει πυροδοτηθεί σε μεγάλο -για τα αγγλικά δεδομένα- βαθμό, με τον Ζοζέ Μουρίνιο να δηλώνει ότι υπάρχει «οργανωμένο σχέδιο» εναντίον της Τσέλσι και να ματαιώνει τη χθεσινή συνέντευξη Τύπου. Μέσα σε όλα αυτά ήλθε κι η τιμωρία (3 αγωνιστικές) του Ντιέγκο Κόστα, πρώτου σκόρερ της κατηγορίας, για να… δέσει το γλυκό. Από την άλλη πλευρά η Σίτι δεν θα έχει στη διάθεσή της τον φυσικό της ηγέτη, Γιάγια Τουρέ, η απουσία του οποίου έχει αποδειχθεί μη αναπληρώσιμη για τους πρωταθλητές.

Από εκεί και πέρα, η ομάδα που έχει κερδίσει φέτος τους περισσότερους φίλους, η Σαουθάμπτον, υποδέχεται τη Σουόνσι και ελπίζει βάσιμα πως θα καλύψει τη διαφορά, είτε από τη δεύτερη θέση, είτε από την κορυφή. Η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ χωρίς τον τραυματία Μάικλ Κάρικ υποδέχεται την ουραγό Λέστερ και δεν έχει περιθώρια για απώλειες, αφού ακολουθεί «στον πόντο» η Αρσεναλ, που φιλοξενεί την Αστον Βίλα. Η Λίβερπουλ παρότι είναι 8η στη βαθμολογία, εξακολουθεί να έχει βλέψεις για τετράδα, αλλά θα πρέπει να ξεπεράσει το εμπόδιο της Γουέστ Χαμ, που βρίσκεται ένα βαθμό και μια θέση πιο ψηλά.

Το πρόγραμμα της 23ης αγωνιστικής και η βαθμολογία:

Σάββατο 31/1
Χαλ-Νιούκαστλ
Κρίσταλ Πάλας-Εβερτον
Λίβερπουλ-Γουέστ Χαμ
Μάντσεστερ Γ.-Λέστερ
Στόουκ Σίτι-ΚΠΡ
Σάντερλαντ-Μπέρνλι
Γουέστ Μπρομ-Τότεναμ
Τσέλσι-Μάντσεστερ Σίτι

Κυριακή 1/2
Αρσεναλ-Αστον Βίλα
Σαουθάμπτον-Σουόνσι

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 22 αγώνες)
Τσέλσι 52
Μάντσεστερ Σίτι 47
Σαουθάμπτον 42
Μάντσεστερ Γιουν. 40
Άρσεναλ 39
Τότεναμ 37
Γουέστ Χαμ 36
Λίβερπουλ 35
Σουόνσι 30
Στόουκ Σίτι 29
Νιούκαστλ 27
Κρίσταλ Πάλας 23
Έβερτον 23
Άστον Βίλα 22
Γουέστ Μπρομ 22
Σάντερλαντ 20
Μπέρνλι 20
Χαλ 19
ΚΠΡ 19
Λέστερ 17

Στη Γερμανία…

Μετά από σχεδόν μηνιαία διακοπή, η Bundesliga επέστρεψε στη δράση και μάλιστα η 18η αγωνιστική άνοιξε με ένα αποτέλεσμα που θα συζητηθεί! Η Βόλφσμπουργκ «διέλυσε» με 4-1 τη Μπάγερν στο μεγάλο ντέρμπι του γερμανικού πρωταθλήματος.

Η χειμερινή διακοπή του πρωταθλήματος φαίνεται ότι επηρέασε την ομάδα του Πεπ Γκουαρντιόλα, η οποία γνώρισε μία πολύ βαριά ήττα, τρίτη στο πρωτάθλημα από τον Οκτώβριο του 2012 και πρώτη στην τρέχουσα περίοδο.

Οι «λύκοι» που για άλλη μια φορά είχαν τον Αντελίνο Βιεϊρίνια ως δεξί μπακ (!) στην 11άδα τους, διατήρησαν το απόρθητο στην έδρα τους (8-2-0), ωστόσο, παραμένουν 8 βαθμούς πίσω από την πρωτοπόρο Μπάγερν.

Από εκεί και πέρα, η Λεβερκούζεν υποδέχεται την απογοητευτική Ντόρτμουντ, σε μια αναμέτρηση που πάντα είναι ντέρμπι, ενώ η Γκλάντμπαχ έχει δύσκολο έργο στην έδρα της Στουτγάρδης.

Το πρόγραμμα και η βαθμολογία, έχουν ως εξής:

Παρασκευή 30/1
Βόλφσμπουργκ – Μπάγερν Μονάχου 4-1
(4΄,45΄ Ντοστ, 53΄,73΄ Ντε Μπρούιν – 55΄ Μπερνάτ)

Σάββατο 31/1
Φράϊμπουργκ – Αϊντραχτ Φρανκφούρτης
Στουτγάρδη – Γκλάντμπαχ
Αμβούργο – Κολονία
Σάλκε – Ανόβερο
Μάϊντς – Πάντερμπορν
Λεβερκούζεν – Ντόρτμουντ

Κυριακή 1/2
Βέρντερ Βρέμης – Χέρτα Βερολίνου
Αουγκσμπουργκ – Χοφενχάιμ

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 17 αγώνες)
Μπάγερν Μονάχου 45
Βόλφσμπουργκ 34
Λεβερκούζεν 28
Γκλάντμπαχ 27
Σάλκε 27
Άουγκσμπουργκ 27
Χοφενχάιμ 26
Ανόβερο 24
Αϊντραχτ Φρανκφούρτης 23
Πάντερμπορν 19
Κολονία 19
Μάιντς 18
Χέρτα Βερολίνου 18
Αμβούργο 17
Στουτγκάρδη 17
Βέρντερ Βρέμης 17
Ντόρτμουντ 15
Φράιμπουργκ 15

Στην Ισπανία…

Η Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης υποδέχεται το απόγευμα του Σαββάτου στο «Μπερναμπέου» τη Σοσιεδάδ, στο πλαίσιο της 21ης αγωνιστικής του ισπανικού πρωταθλήματος, στην αφετηρία μίας εβδομάδας που ενδέχεται να την καταστήσει αδιαφιλονίκητο φαβορί για την κατάκτηση του τίτλου.

Έχοντας ήδη προβάδισμα ενός βαθμού από τη Μπαρτσελόνα και τεσσάρων από την Ατλέτικο, και μάλιστα με ένα ματς λιγότερο, οι «μερένγκες» θα φιλοξενήσουν την προσεχή Τετάρτη τη Σεβίλη στο εξ αναβολής παιχνίδι της 16ης αγωνιστικής και το επόμενο Σάββατο (7/2) έχουν το ντέρμπι με την Ατλέτικο στο «Βιθέντε Καλντερόν».

Με τρεις νίκες σε αυτά τα ματς, η ομάδα του Κάρλο Αντσελότι θα βρεθεί για τα καλά στη… θέση του οδηγού και θα έχει τον τίτλο στα δικά της χέρια, έστω κι αν την περιμένει (τον Μάρτιο) η επίσκεψη στο «Καμπ Νου».

Για τον αγώνα με τη Σοσιεδάδ, από την οποία η Ρεάλ είχε χάσει 4-2 στον πρώτο γύρο, αλλά και για τον επόμενο με τη Σεβίλη, δεν υπολογίζεται ο τιμωρημένος Κριστιάνο Ρονάλντο, που θα επιστρέψει στο μαδριλένικο ντέρμπι.

Η Μπαρτσελόνα υποδέχεται το βράδυ της Κυριακής τη Βιγιαρεάλ στο «Καμπ Νου», με στόχο να επιβεβαιώσει την περίοδο αγωνιστικής ανάτασης που διανύει.

Μετά την πανηγυρική πρόκριση επί της Ατλέτικο στο κύπελλο, οι «μπλαουγκράνα» μετρούν επτά σερί νίκες σε όλες τις διοργανώσεις και θέλουν να παραμείνουν στο… κατόπι της Ρεάλ.

Από την άλλη, πάντως, το «κίτρινο υποβρύχιο» παραμένει… αβύθιστο από τις αρχές Νοεμβρίου (δέκα συνεχή ματς χωρίς ήττα) και αναμένεται να προβληματίσει τους Καταλανούς.

Με νωπές τις μνήμες από τον αποκλεισμό στο κύπελλο και με σημαντικές απουσίες, η Ατλέτικο Μαδρίτης δοκιμάζεται στην έδρα της «νεοφώτιστης» Εϊμπάρ και χρειάζεται νίκη ώστε να παίξει τα… ρέστα της για τον τίτλο στο ντέρμπι της επόμενης εβδομάδας με τη Ρεάλ.

Η τέταρτη Βαλένθια έχει δύσκολη αποστολή στο «Ροσαλέδα» απέναντι στη σκληροτράχηλη Μάλαγα, ενώ η Σεβίλη υποδέχεται για δεύτερη φορά μέσα σε τέσσερις ημέρες την Εσπανιόλ (παίζουν σήμερα στον δεύτερο προημιτελικό του κυπέλλου).

Η ομάδα της Ανδαλουσίας είναι η… αδικημένη του προγράμματος, καθώς παίζει τρία ματς μέσα σε έξι ημέρες (Πέμπτη-Κυριακή με Εσπανιόλ, Τετάρτη με Ρεάλ), και μάλιστα σε μία χρονική στιγμή που δείχνει να κάνει «κοιλιά» στην απόδοση της.

Τεράστια εκτός έδρας νίκη επί της Ράγιο Βαγεκάνο πέτυχε η Λα Κορούνια, στην προσπάθεια που κάνει για να απομακρυνθεί από τις τελευταίες θέσεις της βαθμολογίας.

Συνοπτικά το πρόγραμμα της 21ης αγωνιστικής της Primera Division:

Παρασκευή 30/1
Ράγιο Βαγεκάνο-Λα Κορούνια 1-2
(22΄ Μπουένο – 10΄, 72΄πεν. Μπόργκες)

Σάββατο 31/1
Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης-Σοσιεδάδ
Εϊμπάρ-Ατλέτικο Μαδρίτης
Γρανάδα-Ελτσε
Θέλτα-Κόρντομπα

Κυριακή 1/2
Λεβέντε-Αθλέτικ Μπιλμπάο
Αλμερία-Χετάφε
Σεβίλη-Εσπανιόλ
Μπαρτσελόνα-Βιγιαρεάλ

Δευτέρα 2/2
Μάλαγα-Βαλένθια

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 20 αγώνες)

Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης 48 -19αγ.
Μπαρτσελόνα 47
Ατλέτικο Μαδρίτης 44
Βαλένθια 41
Σεβίλη 39 -19αγ.
Βιγιαρεάλ 38
Μάλαγα 32
Εϊμπάρ 27
Εσπανιόλ 26
Ράγιο Βαγιεκάνο 23 -21αγ.
Σοσιεδάδ 22
Θέλτα 21
Λα Κορούνια 21 -21αγ.
Αθλέτικ Μπιλμπάο 20
Χετάφε 20
Κόρντομπα 18
Έλτσε 17
Αλμερία 16
Λεβάντε 16
Γρανάδα 15

Στην Ιταλία…

Εκτός έδρας αποστολή έχει η -πρωταθλήτρια και πρωτοπόρος- Γιουβέντους στο πλαίσιο της 21ης αγωνιστικής, με την οποία συνεχίζεται το Σαββατοκύριακο το ιταλικό πρωτάθλημα.

Η «βέκια σινιόρα» αναμετράται την Κυριακή (16:00) στο «Φρίουλι» με την Ουντινέζε και θέλει τη νίκη, προκειμένου να διατηρήσει το προβάδισμα των επτά βαθμών έναντι της Ρόμα, η οποία υποδέχεται το Σάββατο (21:45) στο «Ολίμπικο» την Έμπολι που βρίσκεται ένα βαθμό πάνω από τη ζώνη του υποβιβασμού.

Από εκεί και πέρα, η Νάπολι αντιμετωπίζει την Κυριακή στη Βερόνα την Κιέβο, η Σαμπντόρια αναμετράται στο Τορίνο με την ομώνυμη ομάδα και η Λάτσιο αντιμετωπίζει στο «Ντίνο Μανούτσι» την Τσεζένα.

Η Φιορεντίνα αναμετράται στη Γένοβα με την Τζένοα, στην αναμέτρηση που «ανοίγει την αυλαία» της αγωνιστικής, ενώ η 21η ημέρα ολοκληρώνεται το βράδυ της Κυριακής στο «Σαν Σίρο», όπου η Μίλαν υποδέχεται την ουραγό Πάρμα.

Το πρόγραμμα της 21ης αγωνιστικής:

Σάββατο 31/1
Τζένοα-Φιορεντίνα
Ρόμα-Έμπολι

Κυριακή 1/2
Σασουόλο-Ίντερ
Αταλάντα-Κάλιαρι
Τσεζένα-Λάτσιο
Κιέβο-Νάπολι
Παλέρμο-Βερόνα
Τορίνο-Σαμπντόρια
Ουντινέζε-Γιουβέντους
Μίλαν-Πάρμα

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 20 αγώνες)
Γιουβέντους 49
Ρόμα 42
Νάπολι 36
Λάτσιο 34
Σαμπντόρια 34
Φιορεντίνα 31
Τζένοα 28
Παλέρμο 27
Ουντινέζε 27
Ίντερ 26
Μίλαν 26
Σασουόλο 25
Τορίνο 25
Βερόνα 24
Αταλάντα 20
Έμπολι 19
Κάλιαρι 19
Κιέβο 18
Τσεζένα 12
Πάρμα 9

* Η Πάρμα έχει τιμωρηθεί με αφαίρεση ενός βαθμού.

Στη Γαλλία…

Η Παρί Σεν Ζερμέν παραμένει γερά στη μάχη του τίτλου, μετά την αποψινή της νίκη με 1-0 επί της Ρεν στο παιχνίδι με το οποίο άνοιξε η «αυλαία» της 23ης αγωνιστικής του γαλλικού πρωταθλήματος. Οι «πρωτευουσιάνοι» με το «τρίποντο» αυτό έφτασαν τις 8 εντός έδρας νίκες, ενώ δεν έχουν ακόμη γνωρίσει την ήττα στο «σπίτι» τους (έχουν και 3 ισοπαλίες).

Κατά τα άλλα, το ντέρμπι της Μονακό με την Λιόν ξεχωρίζει από το πρόγραμμα. Οι Μονεγάσκοι θέλουν την νίκη για να παραμείνουν κοντά στις θέσεις που οδηγούν στις ευρωπαϊκές διοργανώσεις, ενώ οι «Λιονέ» θα επιδιώξουν θετικό αποτέλεσμα, έτσι ώστε να διατηρήσουν την διαφορά ασφαλείας από τους διώκτες τους.

Παράλληλα, η Μαρσέιγ υποδέχεται την Εβιάν και είναι το λογικό φαβορί για την νίκη.

Το πρόγραμμα και η βαθμολογία, έχουν ως εξής:

Παρασκευή 30/1
Παρί ΣΖ-Ρεν 1-0
(29΄ Λαβέτσι)

Σάββατο 31/1
Μαρσέιγ-Εβιάν
Λοριάν-Μονπελιέ
Μετς-Νις
Ναντ-Λιλ
Τουλούζ-Ρεμς
Λανς-Μπαστιά

Κυριακή 1/2
Καέν-Σεντ Ετιέν
Μπορντό-Γκινγκάμπ
Μονακό-Λιόν

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 22 αγώνες)

Λιόν 48
Παρί Σεν Ζερμέν 47 -23αγ.
Μαρσέιγ 44
Σεντ Ετιέν 40
Μονακό 39
Μονπελιέ 35
Μπορντό 33
Νις 31
Ναντ 31
Ρεν 30 -23αγ.
Ρεμς 29
Γκινγκάμπ 28
Λιλ 27
Μπαστιά 23
Λοριάν 23
Εβιάν 23
Τουλούζ 22
Καέν 21
Λανς 20
Μετς 20

Πηγή:in.gr