1 Paul Pogba Chelsea target Paul Pogba has been told he needs to fulfil his potential against Manchester City in the Champions League this week.The Juventus hitman and former Manchester United star will return to the city where he started his career on Tuesday but Serie A great Fabio Capello believes the 22-year-old still needs to win over his critics in England.Despite being linked for most of the summer with a move to Jose Mourinho’s men, Arsenal and a possible return to the Red Devils – Pogba decided to stay in Italy after initially joining from United back in 2012.And now the France international is a different proposition as a player and is ready to show his quality in Juve’s Champions League opener on English soil, according to former England manager Capello.“Now Pogba needs to do something important, he has the potential to be a super player but, with the steering wheel in his hands, he must show that he can drive,” he told Tuttosport.“The match against Man City will be an important test for him.”
You can certainly see why a host of Premier League sides were competing to sign this young striker.After impressing for Northern Ireland Premiership side Cliftonville, the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Swansea were all competing to sign Northern Irish youngster Rory Donnelly, with the Welsh side winning the race.He failed to make a senior league appearance in two and a half years at the Liberty Stadium, however, and sealed a move to Gillingham this summer in a bid for more first team football.And the 23-year-old is already taking League One by storm, as evidenced by this scything run and deft chipped goal against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.Check out the sublime finish above!
Liam Williams hobbles off against Australia 1 Wales have suffered another Rugby World Cup injury blow with wing Liam Williams being ruled out of the tournament remainder with a foot injury.The Scarlets player limped off during the second half of Wales’ 15-6 Pool A defeat against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.And the Welsh Rugby Union tweeted on Sunday: “Disappointing news out of camp this morning. Liam Williams ruled out of RWC with foot injury.”Williams, who can also play at full-back, battled to overcome a foot injury during World Cup preparations in the summer, but he gained a place in head coach Warren Gatland’s 31-man squad.He was then concussed during the 28-25 pool win against England a fortnight ago, missing the Fiji game five days later, before returning to action when Wales took on the Wallabies.Williams becomes the sixth member of Gatland’s original World Cup squad to be sidelined by injury, following Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos and Cory Allen.And his loss is a particular blow heading towards next weekend’s quarter-final clash against twice world champions South Africa.Wales appear to be thin on the ground in terms of wing cover, and it now appears likely that George North will return to the wing against South Africa after starting at outside centre in the Wallabies game.That would then leave Gatland needing to make a decision on Jamie Roberts’ midfield partner, with Tyler Morgan and James Hook his likely options.Wales, despite being hit by repeated injury setbacks, emerged from the World Cup’s so-called ‘pool of death’ in second place behind Australia.
1 Petr Cech has revealed the secret to Arsenal’s defensive success in the Premier League this season.The Czech shot-stopper has been outstanding between the sticks since his summer move from Chelsea and his calming presence has been hailed as a key reason for the Gunners’ rise to the top of the table.Cech, who broke David James’ record for clean sheets in the Premier League in Monday’s win over Bournemouth, has now revealed that his well-marshalled back-line owes much to his multilingual skills.The 33-year-old can speak five languages – Czech, English, French, Spanish and German – and that has helped him get his message across clearly.He told the Mirror: “I speak to the full-backs [Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin] in Spanish, to [Laurent] Koscielny in French and to Per [Mertesacker] in English, because for him it is the same as me.“He organises people in English. Sometimes foreign players wouldn’t know what you say.“That’s when you realise it’s easier to say it in their language than hoping they will understand. It can happen.”Cech was Arsene Wenger’s only summer recruit when he moved across London from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates after losing his first team spot to Thibaut Courtois.Chelsea go into 2016 sitting 14th in the Premier League, while Arsenal are in the driving seat to win their first league title in 12 years.It is arguably the north Londoners’ best chance in a number of years and Cech says he would not have joined the club if he felt it was not possible.He explained: “I realised it was not my time to sit on the bench, I wanted to play the games because I believed I had the qualities to play and this is where I started to make the decision to come here (Arsenal) and to play.“It was not an easy decision but I always wanted to go to a team which could win.“If I didn’t believe that I was going to a team which could win then I don’t know why I would come.“I play football, not to only enjoy it and I love the challenge of playing and competing with the best players, but I want to have the chance to win games.“I believe this team has the qualities to win games and hopefully we will manage to go all the way in the league.“It’s a very difficult and long run but I believe this team has the capabilities of doing it.“We are in a good position, we are in the mix of the teams who will play to win the title so we want to stay in that position for as long as possible and every time we have a chance to improve our position then we would love to do it.”SEE HERE – ‘Petr Cech well worthy of new Premier League record’, says former holder David James Petr Cech
Robin van Persie has enjoyed an impressive football career – but he definitely doesn’t have the X Factor.The former Arsenal and Manchester United star, currently playing in Turkey for Fenerbahce, has released a rather bizarre video of him signing along to an R Kelly song.It’s as terrible as you can imagine, although you can’t fault the Dutchman’s enthusiasm! Check it out above…
4. Ivan Rakitic (right midfield) 1. Marc-André ter Stegen (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 14. Javier Mascherano (centre back) 11 11 11 11 Barcelona are in formidable form ahead of their clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.Luis Enrique has surpassed the 28-game unbeaten run set by his predecessor Pep Guardiola, with his side currently revelling in a 32-game streak.And the Spanish manager has a fully fit squad to choose from as they look to retain the Champions League trophy by progressing through the last 16 stage.So, who might take to the north London stage?Take a look at talkSPORT’s predicted Barcelona XI by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 11 5. Sergio Busquets (centre midfield) 6. Dani Alves (right back) 11. Neymar (left wing) 11 8. Andres Iniesta (left midfield) 11 18. Jordi Alba (left back) 11 10. Lionel Messi (right wing) 9. Luis Suarez (striker) 11 11 3. Gerard Pique (centre back)
Here are the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers…Manchester United could lose goalkeeper David de Gea this summer, with Real Madrid planning to trigger the Spain number one’s £30million buy-out clause, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. (Sky Sports)United have suffered a big blow with news that captain Wayne Rooney has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury which could see him sidelines for a further month. (Daily Mirror)The Red Devils are also facing a fight to keep midfielder Ander Herrera this summer, with Atletico Madrid and Juventus keen on a summer move for the Spanish star. (Daily Mail)Arsenal are preparing a £50million swoop for 23-year-old Juventus striker Alvaro Morata. (Daily Express)Antonio Conte wants to replace Chelsea captain John Terry with Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci if he is named the Blues’ new permanent manager. (Daily Express)The 46-year-old will ask Stamford Bridge owner Roman Abramovich for funds to sign five players when he joins the club. (The Times)Atletico Madrid want to bring Diego Costa back to Spain and the 27-year-old Chelsea striker is equally keen to rejoin his old club. (Marca)Man United will go head to head with AC Milan this summer to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35. (L’Equipe)Former Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli has claimed he was offered the Chelsea manager’s job but Abramovich then switched his attentions to Conte instead. (The Sun)Hull manager Steve Bruce could be tempted to take over at Aston Villa if the Tigers miss out on promotion from the Championship – but has insisted on a large transfer fund. (Daily Mirror)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Rafa Benitez could be the best manager Newcastle have had since Sir Bobby Robson, says Micky QuinnJoey Barton warns ‘top level’ manager Rafa Benitez: ‘If people don’t start putting the effort in, Newcastle United are in big trouble’Rio Ferdinand on World Cup wind-ups, Alex Ferguson and MoscowChelsea transfer report: Eden Hazard will NOT be sold by Blues this summer even if Real Madrid come callingArsenal joined by Bayern Munich and Chelsea in battle to land £15m Croatian star Atletico Madrid sensation Antoine Griezmann plays down links to Chelsea and Manchester UnitedWest Brom transfer report: Belgian hitman targeted as Saido Berahino’s replacementChelsea target summer deal for PSG star – but he will cost them £40million-plus Transfer rumours and paper review Saturday, March 12 1
11 11 10. Sergio Aguero (striker) 17. Kevin De Bruyne (left wing) 3. Bacary Sagna (right back) 25. Fernandinho (centre midfield) 6. Fernando (centre midfield) 11 11 11 11 11. Aleksandar Kolarov (left back) 15. Jesus Navas (right wing) 11 11 11 You can listen to Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals live on talkSPORT, tonight from 19:45 (BST).Manuel Pellegrini’s quest to win the competition continues on Wednesday night as the Premier League side travel to the French capital.In the Blues’ way, though, stands a formidable force in PSG, who have already won Ligue 1 and now have their sights firmly set on lifting Ol’ Big Ears in Milan this May.Manchester City have been boosted by the news Joe Hart should be fit to stand between the sticks at the Parc des Princes, although whether he will relish facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored four past him in 2012 during England’s 4-2 defeat to Sweden, is another matter.Meanwhile, unfortunately, Pellegrini will be without three key stars as Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling recover from their respective injuries.So who will take to the field in France for the Champions League quarter-final first leg clash? talkSPORT takes a look.Click the right arrow above to see our Manchester City predicted XI v Paris Saint-Germain… 11 21. David Silva (attacking midfield) 1. Joe Hart (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 20. Eliaquim Mangala (centre back) 11 30. Nicolas Otamendi (centre back)
1 Gareth Bale is confident Real Madrid will progress to the Champions League final, despite the frustration of failing to make their chances count at Manchester City.The absence of star turn Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manuel Pellegrini’s side a great opportunity to take a first-leg lead on Tuesday, yet they were made to sweat for a goalless draw on their first ever semi-final appearance.Jese hit the crossbar as Real improved markedly after half-time, with Joe Hart having to be at his best late on to prevent Casimero and Pepe netting all-important away goals.Bale was frustrated not to have found a winner, especially having felt both he and Lucas Vazquez should have had penalties, but was upbeat about the 10-time champions’ chances of making the Milan finale.“I didn’t think we had to change too much,” the attacker said of coping with Ronaldo’s absence. “I think the players, Jese and Lucas, who came in did a very good job.“We looked solid, we looked a threat on the counter and we were unlucky maybe not to get the goal and a few penalties.“It was a little bit frustrating not to be able to score, but we got a clean sheet and we go back to the Bernabeu now very confident.“Obviously we’d loved to have scored a goal, but it is not a bad result.“We got a clean sheet and we go to the Bernabeu where we have a great record, where we score a lot of goals, very confident and, yeah, we are looking forward to it.”Zinedine Zidane’s side certainly go into the home leg in a far better position than they did in the quarter-finals, when Wolfsburg inflicted a shock 2-0 first-leg defeat in Germany.However, Real rallied rather than wilted on that occasion and progressed thanks to a 3-0 triumph on home turf – a result that gives them understandable confidence, albeit Bale knows City are a different calibre of opponent.“Of course you have to play it carefully, but ultimately when we’re at home we attack a lot,” he said.“We’ll try to keep it defensively tight as well so it will obviously be a difficult game at home, we know that. They’re a very good team.“I think both teams are evenly matched. We’re very confident at home. We know it’ll be a difficult game, but we will be going all out to try and win it.”Toni Kroos echoed the sentiments of team-mate Bale, underlining the belief in Madrid’s squad that they will make it to the San Siro.“Manchester City are a good team, but we’re playing at the Bernabeu and we believe we can win the tie,” the Germany midfielder said.“It doesn’t matter who the favourite is. The winner will be in the final. Everyone knows we’re good at home, we showed that in the quarters and we hope to do so again on Wednesday.“We have to play well and do things like we did against Wolfsburg. If we play like that I think we’ll be in the final.” Gareth Bale in action for Real Madrid against Manchester City