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CITY CAN WIN IT

CITY CAN WIN IT

Manchester city have a great chance of winning the league title this season in what would be Manuel Pellegrini’s first major trophy since his arrival to Europe several years ago. The Chilean was appointed as the replacement for Roberto Mancini in December. He has already guided the club to League Cup success, but this would be his major achievement. Even though city currently trail leaders Liverpool by a couple of points, they have the opportunity to go top if they win the two matches in hand. Scoring goals was a major problem for city in the last couple of weeks especially due to the absence of Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine has been missing since the second leg at Barcelona. He has suffered numerous injuries in the second half of the campaign, which have destroyed hopes of finishing as the top scorer in the league. However, he remains the club’s top scorer with 15 goals in just 17 league appearances. City have been confident that Aguero will be able to make his return before the trip to Anfield in the next few weeks, but the striker has confirmed that he does not plan to return unless he is 100% fit.

Aguero is unlikely to take any chances with his fitness given that the World Cup is only a few months away.

“With this recovery I am trying to do my best to be able to play again, but I cannot do it in a hurry. I do think to myself if something happens now, I will lose the rest of the Premier League season and the World Cup. He says to me that I can’t leave without winning a Champions League. That’s the objective of each player in Europe,” said Aguero. The striker has scored 29 goals in 29 appearances of all competitions.

JOHNSON TAKES AIM

JOHNSON TAKES AIM

Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has taken a swipe at his former manager Jose Mourinho by saying that Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers is much better than the Portuguese. Johnson was one of the first signings made by Chelsea after the arrival of Roman Abramovich as the owner of the club. However, he did not last long at the club after the arrival of Paulo Ferreira for £ 13 million. After subsequent spells at the likes of Portsmouth, Johnson has been playing for Liverpool for the last few years. He has established himself as one of the first choice not only for Liverpool, but also for England as well.

In the last few years, he has developed a reputation for being one of the best attacking right backs in the country. Johnson says that his current form is largely thanks to the faith shown by manager Rodgers, who has been getting a lot of praise from various quarters for the good work done by Liverpool this season. After missing out on Champions League football for several years now, Liverpool are in a position to even win the title, which would be their first since 1990. Johnson says that Mourinho never kept his promises, but concedes that the Portuguese remains as one of the best managers in the world.

“It was difficult for me under Jose at Chelsea because there was a moment when he said I deserved to play on merit. He said if I played well in the next game I would play the week after. I got man of the match so he couldn’t drop me. Then in the next game he said the same thing and I got man of the match again. He didn’t play me in that game and from that moment I just lost it and thought, ‘Well, how am I meant to respect you now? It’s just finished’,” said Johnson.

CHELSEA MIGHT WIN

CHELSEA MIGHT WIN

Alan Pardew has failed to dismiss Chelsea’s chances of winning the title ahead of the meeting with the blues at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle will be making the visit to London where they have enjoyed a good record in recent years. Their most recent win came in 2012, while Alan Pardew’s men will also be looking to complete the double this campaign.

Newcastle beat Chelsea 2-0 earlier in the campaign, but the omens are not looking good this time around. Newcastle have been on a very poor run of form, which has seen them get only one victory in the last six matches.

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DE JONG CHASE

DE JONG CHASE

Newcastle United is quite serious about bringing in the Dutch player Luuk de Jong. The 23 years old striker currently features for Borussia Monchengladbach in the German top flight, but, he has not been a regular starter there.

The Magpies don’t want him on a permanent basis though. They just want him on loan for the remaining part of the season. However, with still more than a couple of weeks remaining in the mid season transfer window, they are not in any kind of hurry. They are biding their time.

Currently, the Bundesliga teams are on winter break. They will be back in action towards the end of January and the negotiations regarding this deal are believed to go forward during that time only.

De Jong has been at Monchengladbach since the last one and half years. He had joined the club before the start of the 2012-13 Season. During his tenure there, the Netherlands international hasn’t got as much playing time as he would have liked to. He has just played 23 league fixtures so far.

The 2013-14 Premier League has gone well for Newcastle United till this point of time. They find themselves in top 10 right now. They are ahead of teams like Southampton and Aston Villa in the table and that clearly shows that they have performed a little better than what was expected of them.

Out of the 21 league games that the Magpies have played so far, they have won 10 and have lost 8. They have got 33 points under their belt.

Newcastle’s next league game is an away fixture. They will be taking on West Ham United at Upton Park on the day after tomorrow and they will enter that game as favourites.

NO SET POSITION

NO SET POSITION

Newcastle United’s Yoan Gouffran has revealed that he is not looking to play in any given position for the club, but he is more than willing to help manager Alan Pardew by playing in any position the manager wants. Gouffran was brought to the club as a striker after having impressed a lot during his time at Bordeaux. However, he has been used in a variety of roles by Pardew this season. He has been used out wide, as a midfielder, and as a false number nine. Gouffran, though, is not worried about the position he plays, but instead wants to help the team as much as possible.

Newcastle have been experiencing a remarkable turnaround in fortunes over the last few weeks. They managed a stunning 2-0 win over Chelsea, which was followed by an even more remarkable 1-0 win over Tottenham. They have helped them to rise close to the top half of the table. Newcastle have managed three wins in the last five matches. He has made 10 appearances for the club and has scored three goals, with one of them coming against Chelsea.

He has also created two assists as well. Newcastle have found a goal scoring striker in the form of Loic Remy, who is on loan from QPR.

“We have a lot of quality options here. We have Loic Remy as well as Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse in the squad. I don’t mind who I play with. We have a lot of competition for places and that is the most important thing. We must keep working hard. I am the type of player who wants to do a job for the team. That is the most important thing for me. I can play in different positions in attack or, if needed,” said the 27-year-old.

SPURS SUFFER

SPURS SUFFER

Tottenham had to suffer quite a lot in order to earn the 3-0 victory over Tromso in the Europa league. They had three players injured after the match, which will be a major headache for the manager given that all of them are key for the club. Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas recently said that the Football Association was not looking at the health of the players because they were scheduled the Capital One cup in such a way that the players felt could be affected. However, the match against Tromso did more damage for Tottenham.

Mousa Dembele, Younes Kaboul, and Danny Rose all suffered injuries at various stages of this match. They are major doubts for the Premier league this weekend. It has been a great start by Tottenham as we have been able to compete along with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City in the table so far. It was expected of them given that they spent in excess of £ 100 million in this transfer window. Even though they recouped most of the money through the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, their squad is substantially stronger due to the presence of several quality players across the pitch.

Villas-Boas did confirm that Dembele could feature against Cardiff during the weekend.

“Dembele should be okay. He felt a lot of pain when he was brought down, but now he’s steady. Younes felt muscle tightness in his adductor and we decided to take him off. He was struggling but he didn’t rupture anything. We have to be a little bit more careful with Danny Rose. We hope it’s not serious. We have to give him one night to see the reaction of his ankle. He is in doubt for Sunday but he should be okay,” Villas-Boas said.

ROONEY SET FOR COMEBACK

ROONEY SET FOR COMEBACK

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be coming back to the team for friendly match against AIK Fotboll according to manager David Moyes. The future of the star striker has been speculated a lot in recent weeks after Chelsea made an official offer for him. The bid, which is believed to be in the region of £ 20 million, was instantly rejected by Manchester United. Chelsea, though, are thought to be preparing a second offer for the 27-year-old, as Mourinho sees him as a vital player in the team. Rooney had to be sent back from the pre-season tour of Asia after suffering a hamstring injury.

However, he has sufficiently recovered from the injury in order to be part of the squad at Stockholm according to Moyes. Rooney has placed himself on the transfer list for the last few months, but no official offer has materialised until the interest from Chelsea. It is believed that Rooney is very keen on linking him with Mourinho, who has made no secret of the fact that he is a huge fan of the former Everton star. Rooney is thought to be extremely hurt by the comments made by Moyes that he needs a good backup for striker Robin van Persie in case the Dutchman gets injured.

“I do expect Wayne to be in Stockholm. As far as I know he is coming on. He has started light jogging and the feedback from the physios is that he is progressing, so hopefully those dates will still be right when we get back. We have said, and the club have said, he is not for sale. That has not changed,” said the former Everton manager. Moyes has had a difficult start to his United career after losing two out of the last three pre-season matches.

WENGER LIKES ROONEY

WENGER LIKES ROONEY

Arsene Wenger has made no secret of the fact that he would like to sign Manchester United hitman Wayne Rooney if given the opportunity. Arsenal are finally looking to spend some money in the transfer window, as they have been linked with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez apart from Rooney. They have already made a £ 30 million offer for Suarez, which has been rejected by Liverpool. They are also believed to be in advanced negotiations with Real Madrid over the £ 25 million deal to bring Higuain to the Emirates stadium.

Arsenal only recently saw Chelsea make an official offer for one of their targets Rooney. Even though the exact offer made by Chelsea is not known yet, it is believed to be around £ 20 million. The West London outfit believe that they will be able to secure Rooney for around £ 30 million. However, the biggest hindrance in this deal could be the wage demands of the player. The 27-year-old England international currently earns around £ 200,000 per week, which is one of the best in the world. He is unlikely to look for a pay cut when he moves to his new team.

However, this would have to significantly break Arsenal’s wage structure, but Wenger says that the club can afford it.

“It happened to us last year and it can happen to them. We would not have a problem with the wages of Rooney. Rooney is under contract and has two years to go so it’s United who make the decision. But we would not have a problem with the wages of Rooney. At the moment, Fabregas has decided to stay one more year at Barcelona,” said the Arsenal manager regarding Rooney and Fabregas. There have been rumours that Fabregas could be set for a return to Arsenal.