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Glenn Hoddle predicts the result for Chelsea vs Real Madrid Champions League second-leg clash

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Glenn Hoddle predicts the result for Chelsea vs Real Madrid Champions League second-leg clash


Former England international Glenn Hoddle has backed Chelsea to come out on top against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second-leg clash on Wednesday.

The Blues currently have the advantage heading into the return leg at Stamford Bridge as they managed to score an away goal to draw 1-1 against Real Madrid.

Hoddle believes Real Madrid are not at their strongest, and Chelsea should assert their dominance over Zinedine Zidane’s side as they did in the first leg.

“I said before the first leg that I thought over two legs they (Chelsea) would get through. They are not playing the greatest Real Madrid side ever. I think Real will have a stronger side at the Bridge on Wednesday than they had in the first leg and I think Chelsea are going to have to play well,” Hoddle told the Evening Standard.

“But I thought there were major parts of that first leg where Chelsea were in control and should have got the second goal. Sergio Ramos will strengthen Real if he comes back in but I think Chelsea should be buoyant, they should be positive and I think they will win the game. They are playing with a lot of confidence and Thomas Tuchel has done a wonderful job,” he added.

Real Madrid will be without two key players against Chelsea

Although the Real Madrid duo of Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos are expected to play a part, the duo of Raphael Varane and Lucas Vazquez will not be available for the game.

Real Madrid were not at their best in the first leg and will perhaps count themselves lucky to head into the second leg without a deficit.

However, Zidane’s side will still need to find an away goal if they want to win the tie on aggregate. Chelsea will look to stop them and are in a good run of form at the moment.

Chelsea have kept four clean-sheets in their last four games across all competitions and have found new defensive rigidity under Thomas Tuchel.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, have not been at their scoring best, having drawn blanks in three of their last six games across all competitions.






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Manchester City Win 2020-21 Premier League Title | Football News

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Manchester City Win 2020-21 Premier League Title | Football News


Manchester City Win 2020-21 Premier League Title

Manchester City sealed the Premier League title with three games to go.© AFP




Manchester City won the 2020-21 Premier League title after Manchester United slipped to a 1-2 defeat at home to Leicester City. Luke Thomas gave Leicester an early lead before Mason Greenwood equalised five minutes later for the hosts. Caglar Soyuncu then headed home from a corner in the second half. This is Manchester City’s fourth Premier League title.

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Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report | Football News

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Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report | Football News


Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report

Aymeric Laporte has not been a regular for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola this season.© AFP




Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been approved to play for Spain instead of France at Euro 2020 this summer, sources at the Spanish football federation (RFEF) confirmed to AFP on Tuesday. The Spanish Council of Ministers has granted Spanish nationality to Laporte, who was born in Agen, France but never played for the French senior team, despite three call-ups to the squad between 2016 and 2020.

Laporte spent eight years with Athletic Bilbao between 2010 and 2018 before leaving to join Manchester City in England.

The Spanish Ministry for Sport told AFP on Tuesday the process had been initiated by the RFEF and was being “finalised”, with the knowledge and consent of the player.

It means Laporte could play for Spain at Euro 2020 this summer, potentially alongside Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

The 26-year-old would be a valuable addition to the Spanish squad, particularly given central defence has been a problem area for coach Luis Enrique.

Gerard Pique retired in 2018 and the spot next to Ramos has been filled by a number of players, including Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Eric Garcia of Manchester City.

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After an impressive start at City, Laporte suffered a knee injury in 2019 and has not been a regular under Pep Guardiola this term.

France coach Didier Deschamps has a wealth of options at centre-back, with Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Clement Lenglet and Kurt Zouma among those picked ahead of Laporte in recent months.

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New Zealand’s BJ Watling To Retire After England Tour | Cricket News

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New Zealand’s BJ Watling To Retire After England Tour | Cricket News





New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling on Tuesday announced that he will hang up his gloves after the Kiwis’s tour of England, which includes two Tests against the hosts and then the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India. The 35-year-old said that he felt it was the right time to quit. Watling has represented New Zealand in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs and five T20 Internationals (T20Is). Watling had a stellar career, especially behind the stumps, and also played several crucial knocks in front of them as well.

“The curtain is set to come down on the career of one of New Zealand’s most widely respected cricketers, with wicket-keeper BJ Watling to retire from all cricket after the upcoming Test tour of England,” New Zealand Cricket said in a release.

“It’s been a huge honour to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy. Test cricket really is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve loved every minute of being out there in the whites with the boys,” Watling was quoted as saying.

“Sitting in the changing rooms having a beer with the team after five days’ toil is what I’ll miss the most,” he said.

“I’ve played with some great players and made many good mates. I’ve also had plenty of help along the way for which I’ll always be grateful,” Watling added.

Watling also thanked his family for their constant support.

“My wife Jess has been a constant source of stability and support and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to spend more time with her and the kids. I also owe a big thanks to my mum for steering me in the right direction early on and always being there for me.”

Watling said that despite having to announce his retirement ahead of New Zealand’s tour of England, his focus was on the three matches.

“Although I’ve had to make this announcement ahead of the tour to England, my focus is very much on the three Tests ahead and preparing to perform in them. This tour will be a challenge on a few levels and we know as a team we will need to be at the very top of our game if we want to succeed,” he said.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Watling would be remembered for the tremendous courage and determination he brought to the game, and especially when the chips were down.

“BJ turned games around,” he said. “I can’t think of another player who reacted so positively, and who was successful in the face of adversity.”

 

“His ability to wring every possible run out of the tail was unmatched; his work behind the stumps tireless and efficient,” he said.

“He has a quiet, unassuming and undemonstrative manner that belies the huge appetite he has for the contest and the challenge,” White said.

“BJ’s been a huge part of the success of the current BLACKCAPS team and on behalf of NZC, I want to wish him well for the upcoming Tests in England and life after cricket.”

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead hailed Watling as “a great bloke”.

“BJ is a wonderful player and a great bloke,” Stead said.

“He works really hard on his game to get improvements and always puts the team first. “You just have to look at the respect he’s held in by his teammates and the opposition to appreciate his standing in the game,” he added.

“The records speak for themselves and he’s been such a crucial cog in the Test team’s rise over the past decade. That double hundred he scored at the Mount in 2019 was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen and epitomised BJ Watling as a player, really,” he said.

“The attitude and fight he brings to every day and every session of a Test is what has made him such a valued member of the BLACKCAPS,” Head went on to say.

“He is without a doubt one of our best ever wicket-keeper batsmen,” he concluded.

Watling holds the record for most dismissals by a New Zealand wicketkeeper in Tests, with 249 catches, excluding 10 taken as an outfield player, and eight stumpings.

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He has eight centuries to his name in the longest format of the game, including a double-century against England.

Watling made his debut for New Zealand in 2009.

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