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David Silva

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David Silva Announces Retirement From International Football

Just two days after Gerard Pique announced his retirement from International football, Pique’s team-mate David Silva has also decided to call it a day.

The 32-year old David Silvia decided to hang off his boots.

Silva, who played 125 matches for Spain feels its time to move on and give a chance to the future youngsters. The midfielder scored 35 goals in his 12-year career with Spain.

Silva announced his retirement through a open letter. The letter says:

“There have been days and weeks of reflection and analysis to make the decision to finish my time in Spain. Without a doubt it is one of the hardest decisions in my career.  The national team has given me everything and has allowed me to grow as a player and as a person from my first days in the youth set-up. I’m leave with pride after playing 125 games and scoring 35 goals in a 12-year spell where we lifted the World Cup and two European Championships.”

“I leave happy with all I have achieved, experienced and dreamed with a team that will be remembered forever. I have ended an era filled with emotion from all those moments that come to my mind, like the figure of Luis Aragones, a teacher that none of us will ever forget.”

David Silva Announces Retirement From International Football 1

Silva also thanked his supporters, fans, team-mates and the Spain federation for keeping faith in him.

“I cannot leave without thanking all of my team-mates, the coaches that had faith in me and the RFEF employees that do everything to make our lives easier.  I also want to thank my family for their support over the years, without their help I would never have been able to form part of this team. And of course, the fans who have always given me their support and respect every time I wore the Spain shirt. Thank you, good luck and farewell!”

Following the exit of Spain from round of 16 in the World Cup in Russia, Spain has been stuck with a big blow with two crucial players retiring at the same time. They have also lost their legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta, who retired just after the World Cup.

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Huge Injury Boost To Manchester City Ahead Of Manchester Derby

Manchester City are given a huge boost ahead of their clash with bitter rivals Manchester United as both Sergio Aguero and David Silva are looking to be fit by Thursday.

Aguero and Silva were limped out in their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in FA Cup semifinal on Sunday and Pep Guardiola has revealed his pessimism over their availability on Thursday.

However, both the stars participated in light training session on Monday as Pep Guardiola will be hopeful to have both the players available for the key game as the match could prove vitals for both Manchester clubs as top four position could be on cards.

David Silva was forced off the pitch just twenty minuted into the game while Sergio Aguero looked exhausted at the end of regular time and was limped off in the extra time as City lost after an early lead in the game.

The Citizens are currently in the fourth position in the league and are just one point ahead of their rivals Manchester United who are in fifth position in the league standings going into the game. The win would prove more crucial for Manchester City than United as the Citizens will need to finish in top four to ensure that they participate in Champions League.

Manchester United, on the other hand have more chances to qualify for Champions League next season, as they can even win Europa League and go to the elite competition next season.

The Red Devils will go into the important game on the back of horrific injuries to key players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo who will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering injuries in their Europa League game against Anderlecht last week.

The unavailability of Zlatan means that they now need to rely on youngsters Marcus Rashford and Anthony Marital to provide goals at the top while the absence of Rojo could see Daley Blind get back into the starting lineup for the derby.

The availability of Aguero and Silva would surely tilt the game in favour of City as the duo are in fine form over the past few weeks and could replicate similar performances to effect another win against their cross-city rivals to ensure that they sit comfortably in the league table going into the final weeks. Manchester United will go into the game as underdogs despite their commanding win over Burnley as they will be without their key players at Etihad on Thursday.

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Surprise Package: Premier League’s Best Spanish XI At Present

The total number of Spanish players in the Premier League has been on the rise for the past decade. A trickle which started with the likes of Nayim, Albert Ferrer and Marcelino before 2001, has become a torrent as Spanish football’s popularity and fissionability has risen.

From 13 Spaniards featuring in the whole of 2007/08, 29 have already played this season, with that tally rising every year bar 2014/15 when there was something of a mini exodus.

Goals and assists by Spaniards are correspondingly on the rise. After 13 games this season there have almost been as many assists by Spanish players as there were in 2007/08, and already nearly half the tally reached last season.

There have been 12 instances of Spanish players winning Premier League medals but only three were in the first 19 Premier League seasons.

Let’s take a look at a team comprised of the best Spaniards that the Premier League has to offer.

Goalkeeper: David de Geadavid de gea to remain with United!

One of the best goalkeepers in world football and certainly the best in the Premier League, David de Gea gets in as the best goalkeeper.

Right-back: Hector BellerinHector Bellerin

Another contender for the best in the world in his position, Hector Bellerin has exhibited his express pace and outstanding recovery again this season.

Centre-backs: Cesar Azpilicueta and Nacho Monreal

The first of two full-back-turned-centre-backs in this composite XI, Azpilicueta has thrived in Antonio Conte’s new three-man defence, ably fitting into the centre-half role.

Monreal had a spell at centre-half in the 2014/15 season during which time he tuned his defensive capabilities to a fine art. This has led to the security he now offers the Gunners at left-back.

Left-back: Marcos Alonso

Marcos Alonso arrived from Fiorentina this summer with Conte’s new formation in mind and his adaptability as a wing-back sees him clinch the spot on the left of defence. Along with Victor Moses, he has ensured Chelsea’s wings are well defended.

Central midfielders: Santi Cazorla and Oriol Romeusanti-cazorla

Now at Southampton, former Chelsea midfielder Romeu has been the unsung hero for the Saints so far this season, providing defensive stability from the centre of the park.

Santi Cazorla’s distribution from deep for Arsenal makes them tick and he has been conspicuous by his absence in recent times due to injury.

Right-midfield: Pedro

The former Barcelona man has been in stellar form for Chelsea as Conte made the switch to three up top. His tenacity and pace was best exhibited by his early goal in his side’s 4-0 thumping of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Attacking midfield: Juan Mata

Juan Mata

Having proven Mourinho wrong at Manchester United, Mata is now earning back all the credibility he lost when sold by the Portuguese at Chelsea.

Left-midfield: David SilvaFC Barcelona v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League

Often utilised out on the left for City when the middle of the park gets crowded, there are few better midfielders in the league than David Silva. A supreme footballer and an experienced head to have in any team.

Striker: Diego Costadiego-costa_7365

The league’s current top scorer and one of the most ferocious players ever to grace the division, Costa is up there with Sergio Aguero as one of the Premier League’s world-class centre-forwards.spanish-xi

 

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Top 10 Premier League over-30s you should watch for this season

The start of the 2016/17 Premier League season has already seen some fantastic performances from a number of young stars. In addition to the large amount of exciting young talent that is gracing the Premier League this season, there are a number of top players above the age of 30 who are set for an important campaign in 2016/17. Below are 10 outfield players over 30 to watch out for this season.

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Man United vs Man City Combined XI: Will Rooney make the cut, who misses out??

As if it were even possible, the Manchester derby has taken on yet more significance this season as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola resume their long rivalry on English soil.

City will make the short trip across to Old Trafford on Saturday lunch-time where the two wealthiest and strongest clubs in the Premier League will go head to head in a titanic battle.

Here’s a look at who would make it into a combined XI ahead of the big kick-off.

1. David de Gea

United appearances: 227

After yet another top class season, David de Gea has broken into the top 10 overall players on the new FIFA game. Only Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer is now considered better.

This derby will also see Claudio Bravo make his City debut.

2. Antonio Valencia

United appearances: 252

Antonio Valencia has finally convinced people that he has what it takes to be a right-back after an incredible start to the new campaign – his form even resulted in a nomination for the Premier League’s August Player of the Month award.

His participation is slightly in doubt, however, with a late scheduled return from international duty with Ecuador.

3. John Stones

City appearances: 4

John Stones didn’t have the best of seasons with Everton last term, but City still saw fit to make the talented England international the most expensive Premier League defender ever over the summer. So far, he’s been proving the doubters wrong.

4. Eric Bailly

United appearances: 4

Eyebrows were raised when United paid £30m for Eric Bailly, previously largely unknown. Mourinho even admitted the Ivorian defender was a raw talent that required polishing before he was ready. And therefore his excellent start in the opening few weeks of 2016/17 has been somewhat unexpected.

5. Luke Shaw

United appearances: 32

Luke Shaw’s career was at risk this time last year when he suffered a horrific double leg break in a Champions League game. Now, nearly a full 12 months on, the United left-back is getting stronger and fitter by the week as he returns to his pre-injury form.manchester-combined-xi

6. Fernandinho

City appearances: 142

There were a number of players Guardiola didn’t consider ideal when he first arrived at the Etihad Stadium – Joe Hart being a prime example. But the new boss took an instant shine to Fernandinho, the team’s midfield engine and beating heart.

7. Paul Pogba

United appearances: 9

Paul Pogba began his second spell at United with a fine performance against Southampton last month. That followed an £89m move from Juventus and barely any training with his new colleagues. The derby is the kind of stage that should be made for the Frenchman.

8. David Silva

City appearances: 265

Even now as one of the older generation of City players, David Silva still remains as important as ever. The Spaniard has won it all, domestically, since moving to England in 2010 and goes into Saturday’s game fresh off the back of an international brace.

9. Kevin De Bruyne

City appearances: 45

City struggled when club record signing Kevin De Bruyne was injured last season and his ability to stay fit will be crucial to any success in 2016/17. The Belgian simply makes things happen, even more so than Silva, and could command a place in any team in the world.

10. Raheem Sterling

City appearances: 51

The Raheem Sterling that has started this season is a totally different player from the one that failed to suitably justify a £49m price tag in his debut campaign with City and then endured a nightmare Euro 2016 with England. Renewed confidence has been the solution.

11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

United appearances: 4

Cynics thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic would find English football too challenging following his summer move from Paris Saint-Germain. The Swede has so far blown the doubters out of the water with four goals in his first four appearances and a general positive impact.

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Highly Cited: Premier League’s top 10 highest paid footballers this season

Paul Pogba is now the highest-paid player in the English Premier League, after his world-record move to Manchester United.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who has signed a five-year deal with the Old Trafford outfit, will earn £290,000 a week.

It is a huge jump from £65,000 a week his agent, Mino Raiola, demanded from the club in 2012, before he left for Juventus. At that time, Sir Alex Ferguson was alarmed by such demands for a young player, who only made seven first-team appearances – all as a substitute.

Pogba will now earn more than United captain, Wayne Rooney and fellow summer arrival, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Manchester dominates the top 10 earners in the EPL, with City having Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Raheem Sterling. Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Eden Hazard of Chelsea also make the list.

Let’s take a quick look at Premier League’s top 10 highest paid footballers at the moment.

*All estimated figures pre-tax. Sums may vary according to bonus payments

Tactical Battle, Pellegrini up against LVG
Tactical Battle, Pellegrini up against LVG
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Man City vs Man united predicted line-ups: Surprising changes ahead of the Manchester Derby

Manchester United will be looking to give their top four hopes a major boost when they travel to Manchester City on Sunday at the Etihad while City will be desperate keep hold their 4th place in the league table and here are the sides we think both teams will pick.

Manchester City predicted line-up: Hart; Zabaleta, Mangala, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Sterling, Toure, Silva; Aguero

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart obviously will take his place in City goal desperately looking for a cleansheet. With Vincent Kompany absent through injury, the Englishman will need to do his best to fill City’s leadership void at the back.

Defence: At the heart of the defence it will be Mangala partnering Otamendi. However the Argentine has a slight fitness issue. He will be assessed later today and if he doesn’t pass the fitness test, it will be Demichelis. On the left hand side Gael Clichy will be handed out the duty to nullify any threat down the left flank, while Zabaleta operating from the right hand side.

Midfield: It will be very, very interesting to see if Fernandinho plays on the right wing like he did against Kiev and Liverpool (Cup Final). Personally, but Pellegrini might go for the Brazilians lying deep, Fernando pairing up with Fernandinho while Yaya Toure moving forward.

Attack : Sterling should operate from the left, while Toure being handed out a more central role to help the attacking line and David Silva starting from the right. But whether he is right or left, Silva will most definitely drift to the centre as the match progresses. Aguero with his unplayable nature, combining a scintillating speed and penetration with pin-point accuracy and expert composure in front of goal, will look to destroy a makeshift United defence.

Here is how we think City will line-up:

Man City vs Man united predicted line-ups: Surprising changes ahead of the Manchester Derby 2

Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin; Martial, Lingard, Mata; Rashford

Goalkeeper: David de Gea will certainly keep his place in goal after yet another brilliant performance against Liverpool in the Europa League at Old Trafford. But you can’t be sure even the brilliance of De Gea will be able to keep Manchester City at bay for the entire ninety minutes.

Defence: van Gaal might make at least one change to the back line which started last time against Liverpool with Matteo Darmian coming in at right-back, so youngster Guillermo Varela is set to be dropped to the substitutes bench. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Antonio Valencia are back in contention but the Dutch manager might go with Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo retaining their places in defence.

Midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger continued his return from injury with yet another appearance off the bench in the Europa League second leg, so the German might now come back in to the starting lineup with Marouane Fellaini the one to drop out. Morgan Schneiderlin may also get a recall in the middle of the pitch with Michael Carrick given a rest after starting in each of the last three matches.

Attack: Ander Herrera missed the Liverpool clash on Thursday night with a groin problem, so the Spaniard could again miss out on a place in the starting lineup on Sunday afternoon. Juan Mata all set to return from a one-match domestic suspension and he could ideally start as number 10  while Anthony Martial should keep his place in attack.

However, the Frenchman is most likely to operate from the wing yet again with Marcus Rushford leading up front and the youngster will be desperate to get himself back on the score-sheet following  a barren few games after the sensational burst on to the scene last month.

Here is how we think United will line-up:

Man City vs Man united predicted line-ups: Surprising changes ahead of the Manchester Derby 3

 

 

Manchester City and Manchester United meet at Etihad
Manchester City and Manchester United meet at Etihad
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Manchester City vs Manchester United: Preview, Team News, Key Battles, Betting odds

This 171st edition of the Manchester derby, to be played Sunday at the Etihad, sees both the sides at what appears to be varying crossroads as the pressure yet again on under fire Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal ahead of a trip across town to Manchester City.

The ironical pendulum of the season-long referendum on the Dutch manager is again swinging towards despair and ruin following United’s elimination from Europa League at the hands of Liverpool despite a 1-1 draw in the second leg. Scoring one goal on Thursday thanks to a penalty earned and converted by Anthony Martial, has been enough of a chore for sixth-positioned Manchester United, let alone netting three considering they have scored only once in their last five matches.

The blunt toothless display which has made supporters and former United players, pundits angry was again evident as United were literally the second best throughout their 180 minutes infront of a Liverpool team progressing very quickly under Jurgen Klopp.

Now winless in last four appearances in all competitions after four wins on the bounce, Manchester United are in a dangerous stretch of gruelling schedule that could certainly banish them into the wilderness without a European berth.

A defeat at the Etihad would drop them seven points behind Manchester City, who right now own the final Champions League spot, with eight games remaining. On Tuesday, they will step into an FA Cup quarterfinal replay at West Ham, where Upton Park will appear at its most hostile as Hammers play their final cup tie on those grounds.

Meanwhile, in the blue portion of the city, the supporters believe Manchester City is in better spirits. Despite making it to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time after being eliminated in the round of 16 each of the three seasons prior, there was very little celebration at the Etihad following the Citizen’s goalless stalemate against Dynamo Kiev which allowed them to progress on a 3-1 aggregate.

Both the teams played out a dour goalless draw in the reverse fixture with a combination of two shots on goal all total – none until the 82nd minute. Jesse Lingard came closest to score for United, but his flick struck the crossbar and bounced away, while City failed to threaten without an injured Sergio Aguero.

Team News:

Manchester City

City will have to manage without their influential skipper Vincent Kompany in this Manchester Derby after he picked a hamstring injury early into his teams’s goalless stalemate against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Belgian has endured a stop-start season so far due to injuries and it seems as though he will spend another lengthy spell on the sideline, and there is doubt over his centre-back partner Nicolas Otamendi also, who was taken off with injury in the midweek fixture.

Raheem Sterling has not played the last three matches, but he could be ready for a return in place of Jesus Navas, who could be dropped to the bench.

Manchester United

As for Manchester United, Schweinsteiger has returned to full fitness following a spell on the sidelines and could start against City, but there will be no Wayne Rooney as he is not scheduled to return to action until after the international break.

Ander Herrera is a doubt with a groin issue, that forced him out of Thursday’s European clash, but Ashley Young and Cameron Borthwick-jackson are closing in on their scheduled comebacks.

Mata is available for this game as he has served a one-match suspension after the sending-off against West Brom.

Manchester City predicted line-up:

Hart; Zabaleta, Mangala, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Sterling, Toure, Silva; Aguero

Manchester United line-up:

De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin; Martial, Lingard, Mata; Rashford

Key Battles:

Sergio Aguero vs Chris Smalling

Sergio Aguero is certainly one of the most lethal strikers in modern football and following a dismal start to the campaign is now enjoying classy form yet again, netting twelve goals with three assists in his last 16 matches in all competitions. The Argentine hitman hasn’t been able to find the back of the net in his last two appearances but on his day he is unplayable, combining a scintillating speed and penetration with pin-point accuracy and expert composure in front of goal.

the task of neutralising  his threat predominantly comes to Chris Smalling. He is arguably Manchester United’s best defender this season and in the absence of more senior team-mates, is now one of the leading figures of the starting  eleven.

Anthony Martial vs Zabaleta

As Wayne Rooney injured and Juan Mata struggling to show consistency on the right-hand side, Anthony Martial steps into this weekend’s derby as United’s most notable attacking option.

He is quick, powerful and incredibly composed, especially for a 20-year-old in his debut season at Old Trafford, and amid a disturbing injury crisis has come up as one of the first names on the United team sheet.

He will be up against Pablo Zabaleta who has enjoyed a recent revival in terms of first team involvement. The experienced Argentine defender is the kind of character Pellegrini needs in a derby like this. He is an incredibly physical defender who can efficiently nullify Martial’s athletic prowess.

Key Stats:

Manchester United have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D3 L4).

City have won four and lost just one of the last six Premier League meetings with United.

Sergio Aguero has scored seven goals in seven top flight games against Manchester United.

Only five players have scored more against the Red Devils in Premier League history (Ferdinand, Henry, Gerrard & Fowler with eight and Shearer with 10).

Sergio Aguero needs one goal to equal the most goals scored by a player in Premier League Manchester derbies and go level with Wayne Rooney (8).

Aguero has scored 11 goals in his last eight Premier League appearances at the Etihad Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini could become the first Manchester City manager to win four Premier League Manchester derbies this weekend. The last City manager to win four Manchester derbies in the league was Joe Mercer in 1970 (won five in total).

Betting Odds:

Manchester City win – 1.83

Draw – 3.75

Manchester United win – 4.75

Predictions:

Manchester City edging this one with 2-1 scoreline.