The international break has drawn to a close and European club soccer mercifully resumes this weekend. But before we play it forward into the weekend’s league action, let’s take a look back at what we learned about the continent’s big guns from the latest round of UEFA World Cup qualifiers.
Costa Finally Clicking with Spain
Dropped by former manager Vicente del Bosque after his disastrous World Cup campaign, striker Diego Costa has been restored the Spanish lineup by new manager Julian Lopetegui and the Chelsea striker has been impactful. Costa stored twice last month against Lichtenstein and played 67 minutes in last week’s 1-1 draw with Italy.
But he came up big time on Monday against Albania, opening the scoring in what proved a 2-0 win that saw Spain... Read More
European heavyweights Italy and Spain will clash at Juventus Stadium on Thursday as World Cup qualifying for the UEFA region gets back underway.
Italy ran out 2-0 winners the last time these two faced off in the round of 16 at the European Championships last summer. That was the first time in over four years the Azzurri had managed a win against Spain.
Going into Thursday’s clash there’s a sense that these nations are both in different stages of the rebuilding process. Italy’s golden generation, which won the World Cup in 2006, have largely moved on. But Antonio Conte’s youngish Italy team was one of the surprise packages of Euro 2016.
Conte has of course gone on to Chelsea. But his successor Giampiero Ventura carried on Conte’s good, work... Read More
World Cup qualification for the UEFA region got underway this weekend with the continent’s top teams back in action vying for a place at Russia 2018. Here are some of the key takeaways from the weekend’s qualifiers.
England left it late but got it done
It took until the fifth moment of extra time for the breakthrough to come but ultimately, Sam Allardyce got his tenure as England manager underway with a win against 10-man Slovakia. In truth, the Three Lions had been dominant throughout, maintaining a majority of possession and putting up 20 shots against a defensive Slovakian side that managed just a single off-target shot.
Wayne Rooney impressed in a deeper-lying midfield role but Allardyce will likely be concerned about his team taking so long to... Read More
UEFA World Cup qualifiers are back underway on Sunday and Monday as the continent’s best get back on the road to Russia 2018.
Here are three must-see matches to catch over the three-day weekend.
Slovakia vs. England
Sam Allardyce’s first competitive fixture in charge of England will see the Three Lions taking on Slovakia Saturday. These two teams actually met at Euro 2016 earlier this summer in a group stage encounter that ended in a scoreless draw.
This time around, Allardyce will be looking for more production out of his squad, particularly in the goals department, as he looks to get his career as England manager off on the right foot. That could mean a start for Raheem Sterling who has started the Premier League season off in... Read More
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