1. Champions League 2019/20 –Journey to the Group Stages

    The UEFA Champions League is one of the most watched soccer tournaments across Europe as we see the top teams from each league compete to become the ultimate squad. Taking place during the summer of 2019 we saw the qualifying rounds of the 2019/20 season begin and after a short break the competition commenced with the group stages starting on the 17th September and due to end in December ready for the knockout phases to start in early 2020. As the group stages are well underway, we thought we would take a brief look at match day and the qualifiers of this season’s Champions League tournament. So, if you are interested in finding out more about the fixtures then keep on reading.

    Champions League Qualifiers

    The Champions League Qualifiers for 2019/20 started on the 25th June and ended on the 28th August 2019. Within these stages of the football tournament the final qualifying teams were determined for the competition.

    In the first P

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  2. Round-up of the Champions League Group Stages

    Along with the ongoing tournaments such as the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Primeria, the Champions League is also in progress. This league incorporates a range of clubs from all of the leagues across Europe and is a widely celebrated by fans worldwide as they cheer on their favourite soccer team once more. Currently in the group stages, the Champions League is where clubs across the globe compete on the soccer field to eventually lift the trophy at the end of the games – thus gaining Champions status.

    Within this blog post we will take a look at how the tournament is panning out at the moment and what we can expect from the clubs in the coming weeks. From looking at how the matches have been scheduled and the groups picked, to the highest scoring player and team, you will find out all about this here.

    How are the Teams Grouped?

    After the initial play-offs had taken place prior to the scheduled group matches, the teams were whittled down to the 3

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  3. Taking A Look At The 2018/19 La Liga Fixtures

    Preparation for the beginning of the La Liga season in the coming months is in full speed. Clubs are well into their training schedules, the team’s sportswear is now available to the public, and now the list of fixtures has been released.

    Therefore, it is time for us to take a look at what 2018/19 has got in store for the Spanish Primera Division. From the table changing news that two key Real Madrid members have departed, to the welcoming of the three newly promoted clubs, we have got it covered below in this article.

    Overview of Schedule

    Last season saw Barcelona take the trophy with a number of teams following closely behind. Within the top 5 were Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia and Villarreal. When it came to the amount of matches won, there was not much in it, considering Atletico, Real and Valencia were so close at 22 and 23 wins compared to Barcelona’s 28.

    The opening match of the season unfortunately does not feature the current Champions. How

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  4. Five key players in Europe's top five leagues this season

    29th November 2017.
    There has been four months of domestic football already played this season, which is a good barometer to understand and analyse Europe's standout players.

    Of course, there will always be Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the list, but there have also been some superb players the average fan might not know in detail.

    Here are five of Europe's best players, one picked from each of Europe's top five leagues:

          • England Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City, midfielder


    Under Pep Guardiola, the former Chelsea starlet has enjoyed unprecedented success in his career so far. While he has not won the title with the Citizens yet, De Bruyne has played the best football in his career and is consistently placing himself in the world-class bracket each

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  5. Gonçalo Guedes: Valencia's Loan Star

    25th October 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    After years of financial uncertainty, managerial turmoil and two successive twelfth-placed finishes in La Liga, Valencia are back.

    Under the auspices of former Villarreal coach Marcelino, the sleeping giant of a club is awakening, rising to second in the Spanish top flight, behind only Barcelona, and thrilling with their unique brand of highly-organised, finely-tuned, yet free-scoring brand of attacking football.

    Marcelino's strict, regimented approach is exactly what Los Che needed, after complacency had set in among the squad amid six changes of manager in less than two years. The 52-year-old from Asturias has reintroduced discipline, structure and work ethic, while a whopping 16 members of last season's squad were deemed "expendable" and shipped out.

    West Ham United flop Simone Zaza has grabbed many of the headlines during Valencia's rise from the ashes, and deservedly so with eight goals to his name in nine La

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  6. Fabian Orellana Makes Deadline Day Move to Valencia

    6th February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Securing the signature of Fabian Orellana on deadline day from Celta Vigo was definitely a shrewd piece of business by Valencia.

    Following a fiery dispute with his manager at Celta, Eduardo Berizzo, that was reportedly due to Orellana trying to force a move away from the club without advising the club or his coach, this left his relationship with the Galician outfit in tatters.

    While Berizzo never officially disclosed the reason for his subsequent decision to no longer pick the wantaway Chilean, his actions and words spoke volumes over his dissatisfaction towards his once loyal charge. "I decided to leave out Orellana because of an unacceptable lack of respect towards me," Berizzo fumed.

    "My decision is firm and I told the club, who are in agreement. As long as I'm here, he will no longer be a part of this team. One thing is discipline and another issue is disrespect. He has not apologised but it doesn't matter. I have

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  7. Can Rodrigo Moreno Deliver at Valencia?

    31st October 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
    While there's no doubting the incredible talent Rodrigo Moreno possesses, it's been frustrating to see him continue to struggle for consistency since joining Valencia in 2014 for a reported €30 million.

    The underlying turbulence at the club, which has seen managerial changes aplenty and a plethora of dubious transfer dealings, obviously hasn't helped him, but you get the feeling it's time the 25-year-old stood up and really began to stamp his mark. In addition, the fact his rights are owned by a consortium that's spearheaded by Valencia's owner, Peter Lim, and that his agent is the infamous Jorge Mendes has brought it with an unwanted stigma too.

    For the man who was born in Brazil and moved to Spain as a teenager, it's been a fascinating journey for him so far. Upon arriving in his new homeland, he joined Celta Vigo's youth ranks, where his talent immediately began to turn heads. After four years with the Galicians, an offer f

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  8. Alvaro Negredo: Off to a Flying Start with Middlesbrough

    26th August 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
    Having scored an outstanding 23 goals in his opening 33 matches for Manchester City, in his debut Premier League season back in 2013/14, many thought Alvaro Negredo would go onto become a star at the Etihad for many years to come.

    Unfortunately, however, this wasn't to be the case for the Spaniard, as his time in Manchester came to an abrupt halt. He would score his last ever goal for the club in January 2014, with reports citing homesickness and personal issues were to blame for his demise, but Negredo vehemently dismisses such claims. "I don't go along with this. I was not homesick," he insisted to the Daily Mail.

    "At City, we had a dressing room full of Spanish speakers. Javi Garcia, David Silva, I came with Jesus Navas from Sevilla, then there were Argentines like Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis.

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  9. What Next for Gary Neville?

    5th May 2016.
    In December, Manchester United legend Gary Neville took on his first-ever head manager position at Valencia. On March 30th, his tenure with the Spanish soccer squad came to an early and abrupt conclusion.

    All told, Neville's dismissal from Valencia after a little less than four months in charge wasn't a surprise. The Bats have been in shambles for most of the season and Neville did little to put new wind behind the team's sails. At the time of his sacking, Neville's Valencia side had lost three La Liga games in a row, culminating in a 0-2 at-home defeat against Celta de Vigo.

    The Win-Draw-Loss Record

    Neville exits Valencia with the kind of unimpressive record that he will likely be trying to live down for several years to come. In total, he coached the Bats for 28 games. 10 of those ended in victory, seven in draws, and 11 in losses. Those numbers figure out to a 35.7% win percentage.

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  10. Valencia summer transfers must address key squad deficiencies

    8th April 2016. By Karl Matchett.
    A huge spending spree two seasons ago gave rise to the hope for fans of Valencia that their team was on the cusp of a rebirth, an ability to once again challenge the top three sides and push their way back amongst Spain's elite in La Liga.

    Under Nuno, a top-four finish in 2014-15 seemed to be proof of that; Los Che were strong defensively and had promising young talent in attack-but over the summer, worrying signs began to emerge. Valencia didn't add to their squad so much as solidify what they already had, concluding permanent deals for the likes of Joao Cancelo and Andre Gomes as well as overpaying heavily for striker Alvaro Negredo, not a goal threat last term but an obligated purchase after Champions League qualification was assured.

    It was a poor summer for their transfer work and the upcoming off-season has to not only rectify the mistakes already made, but ensure that new ones aren't made to further set back Valencia's progress.

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