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Premier League 2016-17: Gameweek 1 – Preview
Published in Match Previews

The new season of the Premier League kicks off on the weekend with an action-packed line-up of matches. Last season was perhaps the most unique and memorable one in the history of the league.

While there are slim chances of Leicester replicating their success, it remains to be seen what new tricks Claudio Ranieri has up his sleeves this time around.

Most of the media attention however will be focused around the two new and high profile managers in Manchester. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will rekindle their rivalry from the La Liga days.

Clubs made some big money acquisitions and there is exciting talent to look forward to this term in the world’s most popular league.

Chelsea too have a new manager in the form of Antonio Conte and the Blues will be aiming to mount a strong challenge after meekly surrendering their crown last season.

Liverpool played some brilliant football last season. Now ahead of the new one, they are the team to watch out for under mercurial Jurgen Klopp.

Likewise, Tottehnham Hotspur too surprised fans with a terrific campaign last time around. Under Mauricio Pochettino, the north Londoners played a supreme brand of football.

Arsene Wenger’s new season commences with a tough game against Liverpool. This is the biggest clash of the weekend. Also keep an eye out on Chelsea’s exploits against West Ham in the London derby. These two fixtures could set the tone for the long season ahead.

Premier League Saturday fixtures

Hull City vs Leicester City

Crystal Palace vs West Brom

Burnley vs Swansea

Everton vs Spurs

Middlesbrough vs Stoke City

Southampton vs Watford

Manchester City vs Stoke City

Premier League Sunday fixtures

Bournemouth vs Manchester United

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Chelsea vs West Ham

Rio Olympics 2016: Michael Phelps takes his tally to 21 Olympic golds
Published in News

Olympic legend Michael Phelps on Tuesday clinched his 21 gold medal after winning individual and team titles on Day 4 of the Games.

The American crushed his competition, including long-time rival Chad le Clos, in the 200m butterfly. He also powered Team USA to a win the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The 31-year-old completed the race in one minute 53.36 seconds. The South African, who beat Phelps in London 2012, could manage only a fourth place finish.

"I wanted that one back. I came into the pool tonight with a mission and the mission was accomplished," said Phelps.

The duo is bound to collide again later this week in the 100m butterfly. Phelps is also due to compete in the 4x100m medley relay and 200m individual medley.

It was a well-established fact that Phelps came out of retirement to avenge his London 2012 defeat at the hands of Clos.

The Baltimore Bullet is the most decorated Olympian in history.  His medals tally is more than twice as that of next athlete on the list.

Little over an hour after his triumph, Phelps teamed up with Conor Dwyer, Francis Haas and Ryan Lochte to defend USA’s relay gold.

 

Paul Pogba: French midfielder completes world-record £89m transfer to Manchester United
Published in News

Star midfielder Paul Pogba on Monday completed his much-anticipated move to Manchester United.

The 23-year-old midfielder was sold to Juventus by the club for a paltry sum of £1.5m in 2012. Luring him back to Old Trafford cost the club a whopping  £89m.

"This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to," said the youngster after signing a five-year deal with United.

Juventus also stand to receive another £4.5m via performance-related bonus.

This move is the biggest in world football, even beating Gareth’s Bale switch from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013.

Pogba blossomed in Italy and has gone on to become a key member of French national side. He represented the Turin club 178 times and scored 34 goals.

While Juventus offered me a new contract, there was plenty of interest from Real Madrid as well.

Pogba left United after he fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson. With Jose Mourinho in charge, Old Trafford is bound to be a different place going forward.

United fans are expected to embrace Pogba with open arms. It now remains to be seen what he does on his much talked about return.

Leroy Sane: German midfielder set to join Manchester City in £37m deal
Published in News

Pep Guardiola is wasting no time in stamping his mark on the Manchester City squad. The Citizens are closing in on Schalke’s Leroy Sane.

The highly rated midfielder is expected to cost City £37m plus add-ons.

The German was in Manchester and did not join the Bundesliga side’s pre-season training camp, revealed the Schalke officials.

Pep, in June, had informed the media that he wanted to sign the youngster.

The 20-year-old played a key role in his country’s march to the semi-final of Euro 2016. He made his national team debut in November last year.

According to reports in the German media, Sane had clearly told Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel that he intended to exit the club this summer.

He first played for Schalke in April 2014 after emerging from the club’s youth academy.

Sane has 8 goals to his credit in 33 Bundesliga outings. Schalke registered a fifth-place finish in the 2015-16 season and won’t be part of the Champions League for a second successive year.

While Manchester United are building a formidable squad under Jose Mourinho, it remains to be seen whom City sign next after completing the formalities of Sane’s transfer.