Tag Archives: Andrey Arshavin

Premier League ‘Bosman XI’ – Team Of Stars Out Of Contract In The Next Summer

Lampard-Bosman-XI

As we get close to the new year and the January transfer window, we make a team with the Premier League players who will be out of contract at the end of the season and could leave for free.

From the start of the new year, all these players can start negotiating with other clubs for a better contract and can join them for nothing in the summer. This year the likes of Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Paul Scharner found new clubs, while Owen Hargreaves, Craig Gordon and Harry Kewell are left waiting for a phone call.

So come next summer which players could be moving on for free from the Premier League? Here is our Premier League ‘Bosman XI’..

Premier League Bosman XI

Subs:- Brad Friedel (Tottenham), Kolo Toure (Man City), William Gallas (Tottenham), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Mladen Petric (Fulham), Franco di Santo (Wiagn).

Note:- The likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Jamie Carragher are also in their final year of their respective deals but have been excluded from the team because it is too hard to see them playing for anybody else.

Advertisements

Manchester United v Arsenal Preview

Manchester United’s blockbuster summer signing Robin van Persie takes centre stage on Saturday as the former Arsenal skipper comes up against his old employers for the first time in an United shirt.

The Dutch international, who scored 132 times during his seven years with the Gunners before departing in a £24million deal this summer, has already made an impact at Old Trafford. Van Persie already has seven goals to his name from just seven Premier League starts to show why Sir Alex Ferguson was so happy to land his signature despite competition from Manchester City and Juventus. The striker’s priceless ability to win games on his own will be sorely missed by the fans who once idolised him, and even though Arsene Wenger has called for respect from the travelling fans, the hostility is likely to come out from the away section.

Arsenal also need to banish the memories of last season’s Premier League visit to Old Trafford in August, when they suffered an 8-2 humiliation in what ranks as one of Wenger’s darkest days in his otherwise successful career.

The London club are six points behind United and while it will be to immature to write them off their title ambitions in November, a nine-point gap would be a significant deficit to bridge. On the other hand, victory for Ferguson’s men would take them at the top of the table for the first time this season as Chelsea are not in action until later in day when they travel to Swansea.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United

The Red Devils have no fresh injury issues following their two dramatic matches against Chelsea over the past week. Defender Chris Smalling continues to make good progress in training, but the game at Old Trafford will come too soon. Fellow centre-back Phil Jones (knee) is also not ready, while Nemanja Vidic and midfielder Shinji Kagawa (both knee) remain sidelined. Sir Alex Ferguson made a host of changes for the Capital One Cup clash and will bring back his big players for the big Premier League encounter.

Arsenal

The Gunners will go back to a more recognized team after changing their entire starting XI for the surprising Capitol One Cup success at Reading. Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna are in contention, but Theo Walcott may be back on the bench after playing whole 120 minutes at the Madjeski. Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip) faces a fitness test, but winger Gervinho (ankle) will be out for around three weeks, while defender Kieran Gibbs (thigh), first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (ankle), midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and Czech winger Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) all continue their rehab.

HEAD TO HEAD

Played – 193
Manchester United Wins – 84
Draw – 42
Arsenal Wins – 67

HEAD TO HEAD FIXTURES (LAST FIVE)

22-Jan-12 – Premier League – Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United
28-Aug-11 – Premier League – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal
01-May-11 – Premier League – Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United
12-Mar-11 – FA Cup – Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal
13-Apr-10 – Premier League – Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal

FORM GUIDE

Manchester United – LWWWW
United come into this match on the back of a very important win at Stamford Bridge in the league and are currently just one point behind leaders Chelsea in second place.

31-Oct-12 – Captial One Cup – Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United
28-Oct-12 – Premier League – Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United
23-Oct-12 – Champions League – Manchester United 3-2 Braga
20-Oct-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 4-2 Stoke City
06-Oct-12 – Premier League – Newcastle United 0-3 Manchester United

Arsenal – WWLLW
The Gunners lie in sixth place in the Premier League, six points behind their opponents having won four, drawn three and lost two of their nine games.

30-Oct-12 – Capital One Cup – Reading 5-7 Arsenal
27-Oct-12 – Premier League – Arsenal 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
24-Oct-12 – Champions League – Arsenal 0-2 Schalke 04
20-Oct-12 – Premier League – Norwich City 1-0 Arsenal
06-Oct-12 – Premier League – West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
All eyes will be on the former Arsenal man on Saturday. The 29-year-old has added an extra dimension to United’s attack this season, and is the club’s top goal scorer with nine goals in all competitions. The Netherlands international will be keen to show his former club what they lost. However, he will show some respect to the club he represented for seven years but most Arsenal fans won’t feel the same.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
The 23-year-old has been in headlines this week, for reasons on and off the pitch. Contract talks are stalling because the England international isn’t happy with his lack of playing time, but after scoring a hat-trick against Reading in midweek he is making it very hard for Arsene Wenger to leave him out. Walcott on song is a great attacking player and added to the likes Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Jack Wilshere, they could easily stun the Red Devils.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra (C); Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley; Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young; Robin van Persie.

De Gea is most likely to take back his place in between the sticks from Anders Lindegaard after the Danish international let in five goals against Chelsea in the mid-week. Ferdinand and Evans will return to central defence after the youngsters – Scott Wootton and Michael Keane – failed to stand up to the challenge at Stamford Bridge. Alexander Buttner, who was substituted at half time, will also make way for Evra. Carrick and Cleverley are expected to return in the midfield along with Valencia and Young on the wings. Rooney and Van Persie were rested for midweek clash and the star strike duo will take field against an under-performing Arsenal defence.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Vito Mannone; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen (C), Andre Santos; Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta; Theo Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski; Olivier Giroud.

First choice keeper Wojciech Szcesny is close to recovery but the Pole is not fit to make a start against the Red Devils, leaving Mannone as the only option for Wenger. Kieran Gibbs is also out with injury, giving Brazilian full-back Andre Santos more first team action this season. After his hat-trick in the mid-week against Reading, Theo Walcott may get the nod on the right wing in place of Aaron Ramsey, while both Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh are expected to be back on the bench after their impressive performances in the Capital One Cup. Giroud did score against Reading but his league record has been very poor but Wenger will most likely rely on the Frenchman yet again.

OPTA FACTS

  • 1 – Wayne Rooney scored his first Premier League goal, his first in the Premier League for Manchester United and his 100th Premier League goal against Arsenal.
  • 1 – Only one of Arsenal’s 14 league goals this season have come before the half-hour mark.
  • 5 – Manchester United have scored and conceded at least two goals in the same Premier League game five times this season.
  • 7 – Manchester United have won seven and lost none of their last eight against Arsenal at Old Trafford in all competitions.
  • 9 – Manchester United have won nine of their last 10 meetings with the Gunners in all competitions.
  • 10 – Arsenal have scored just 10 goals in 20 Premier League visits to Old Trafford, with last season (8-2 defeat) being the only time they have netted two in one game.
  • 21 – Robin van Persie has hit the woodwork 21 times since August 2009, nine more times than any other Premier League player in the same period.

REFEREE

Name – Mike Dean
Based – Wirral
Age – 44
Games – 6
Yellow Cards – 15
Red Cards – 0

MATCH ODDS

Manchester United 8/11, Draw 13/5, Arsenal 4/1

PREDICTION

It’s been an incredibly entertaining goal-filled week in which both sides conceded five goals in the Capital One Cup. This fixture last season delivered an equally ridiculous scoreline when Manchester United ran out 8-2 winners. Arsenal’s failure to score in league games this season and having to see Robin van Persie play against them will surely make matters worse for the North London side. The game is expected to be another entertaining one for the neutrals, but Sir Alex’s side should have too much for the Gunners in this one.

Predicted Score: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

Ten Famous Transfer Deadline Day Deals

The transfer window was made a compulsory part of the Premier League from the 2002-03 season, and the summer (Aug 31) and winter (Jan 31) transfer deadline days have witnessed alot of frantic activities in the last few years.

In our first ever Picture Special, we look back at the ten famous last-minute deals that took place in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United – £25.6m) August 31, 2004

Ashley Cole (Arsenal to Chelsea – £5m plus William Gallas) August 31, 2006

Carlos Tevez & Javier Mascherano (Corinthians to West Ham United) August 31, 2006

Marouane Felliani (Standard Liege to Everton – £15m) August 31, 2008

Robinho (Real Madrid to Manchester City – £32.5m) September 1, 2008

Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United – £30.75m) Septemer 1, 2008

Andrey Arshavin (Zenit St. Petersburg to Arsenal – £15m) January 31, 2009

Rafael Van der Vaart (Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur – £8m) August 31, 2010

Andy Carroll (Newcastle United to Liverpool – £35m) January 31, 2011

Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea – £50m) January 31, 2011

Predicting Czech Republic v Poland And Greece v Russia

With the second round of group matches done and last round to be played over four days, 14 teams have a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals with just 8 places are up for grabs, while two teams – Sweden and Republic of Ireland – are already out.

Today we predict the outcome of the matches in the Group A, where all fours teams – Poland, Czech Republic, Russia and Greece have a chance to make it through to the next round. The two matches will be played simultaneously, co-hosts Poland will take on Czech Republic in Wroclaw, while inform Russia will battle out Greece in Warsaw.

Date – 16th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Prediction – Czech Republic are the favourites going into this match against the co-hosts Poland, as a draw may be enough for them to qualify, if Russia beat Greece in the other match, but for Poland they have to win today or else they are out. With so much at stake in this game, the teams will be cautious in the opening 15-20 minutes but will start playing their game once they settle in. Poland will have to be aware of the early threat of the Czech Republic, as they can score some early goals as they did against Greece. While, on the other, the Czechs will have to keep Robert Lewandowski under control or else he could just end their hopes in the tournament. Czech Republic will start the game well and will settled quicker than the co-hosts. Vaclav Pilar, who has scored in both of their matches, will give them the lead early on after a brilliant pass by skipper Tomas Rosicky. The goal will make Poland attack more and Lewandowski will equalise just before half time. The Poles will come out and dominate the game after the interval. Petr Cech, who has conceded five goals so far, will be tested a lot in the second half and will have to be at his best to deny the co-hosts. The Poles will continue to control the game and with less than 10 minutes remaining on the watch, the Poland skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski, who scored the stunner against Russia, will score the most important goal in his life – the goal that will take his side through to the quarter-finals.

Predicted Final Score – Czech Republic  1-2 Poland (Pilar ; Lewandowksi, Blaszczykowski)

Date – 16th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – National Stadium, Warsaw

Prediction – Having won the first two games, a draw will be enough for Russia to qualify but they wont take this match lightly as they know how important momentum is in such tournaments. Greece, on the other hand, need a win to qualify, while draw or a defeat will knock them out of the competition. Russians are the favourites to win the game, but the Greeks will be the one who will be going for the win more than the Russians. Greece will start with a very attacking formation and will go to attack from the first minute, but the Russians will do what they are best at – hitting teams on the break. Arsahvin will break and setup again for Alan Dzagoev – who has been in fine form in this competition – to score his fourth goal of the tournament. Again the Greeks would come and attack and again the Russian will hit them on the break and this time it will be the skipper himself to get his name on the scoresheet. Dimitris Salpingidis will get one back for the UEFA EURO 2004 winners in the second half but it would be just a mere consolation, as substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who has misfired in both the matches so far, will finally score his first goal and get monkey off his back. A win will mean Russia qualify as group winners and will face the second best team in Group B, while Greece are out with Poland qualifying as the second best team in Group A and will most like face Germany in the quarter-finals.

Predicted Final Score – Greece 1-3 Russia (Salpingidis ; Dzagoev, Arshavin, Kerzhakov)

Predicting Greece v Czech Republic And Poland v Russia

The first round of group matches is over and yesterday we saw the England and France game ending as expected in a 1-1 draw, and later Andriy Shevchenko headed in two goals to help Ukraine register a surprising victory over Sweden. Today, it’s time for round two, as we see the teams from Group A back in action.

The first match of today sees Greece – who drew against co-hosts Poland in the opening game of the tournament – take on Czech Republic – who were thrashed by Russia in their opening game – in Wroclaw, while co-hosts Poland take on the inform Russians in the second match of today in Warsaw.

Date – 12th June, 19:00 GMT

Stadium – Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Prediction – Greece had a chance to win their first game against Poland but they did really well to comeback from a goal down and a man down to earn a vital point. Today they face Czech Republic who were mercilessly torn apart by Russia in their first game. This is an important match for both the teams as a win for either team would mean a lot. Expect this game to be an open one with both teams going for the win. There would be end to end football with both teams attacking from the start and the match would be like yesterday’s Ukraine v Sweden game. Skipper Giorgos Karagounis – who missed the penalty against Poland – will give his team the lead before Michal Kadlec heads in the equaliser just before half time. After the interval, the Czechs will go on the offensive and score the second through Vaclav Pilar after some good work by skipper Tomas Rosicky. Greece would attack with all guns firing and in the end they will get their equaliser in the dying moments of the game and it would be Georgios Samaras to do so. The game will end with in draw, a fair result in the end.

Predicted Final Score – Greece 2-2 Czech Republic (Karagounis, Samaras ; Kadlec, Pilar)

Date – 12th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – National Stadium, Warsaw

Prediction – Poland missed a chance to win the opening game of the tournament, after they had taken an early lead and their opponents were a man down for more than a half, but in the end they were lucky to get a point from that game. On the other hand, the Russian were inform against the Czechs and just tore them apart scoring four goals. Expect this game to be another end-to-end affair with both teams going for all the three points. Russians will have their attacking football, while the co-hosts Poland will have home support behind their back. Russian skipper Andrey Arshavin, who was inspirational in the first game, will give his side the lead in the first fifteen minutes, only for Robert Lewandowski to equalise before half time. Russia will come out and dominate the game in the second half and will soon get their second goal through the inform Alan Dzagoev. Poland will then go on the offence in search for the equaliser but the Russians will hit them on the counter and Arshavin will get his second of the game and wrap up the game for his country. A deserved win for Russia, while the co-hosts face Czech Republic in the final group game, with nothing less than a win needed.

Predicted Final Score – Poland 1-3 Russia (Lewandowski ; Arshavin, Dzagoev, Arshavin)

Predicting Poland v Greece And Russia v Czech Republic

As the countdown of the UEFA EURO 2012 reaches it final hours, everyone across the globe will be busy predicting it all – from the group matches to the quarter-finals and the semi-finals to the finals itself.

Today, we predict first two games of the tournament, that are, co-hosts Poland taking on UEFA EURO 2004 winners Greece in the opening game at the National Stadium in Warsaw, followed by the match between Russia and Czech Republic at Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw.

Date & Time – 8th June 2011; 19:00 GMT

Stadium – National Stadium, Warsaw

Prediction – In the opening match of the tournament, the co-hosts, Poland – with the home support behind them – will begin the match full of passion and energy. The Red and Whites will go all guns blazing with Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski as the main threat in front of goal. On the other hand, the Greeks – who have conceded the least number of goals during qualification – will defend for most of the game and try and hit the co-hosts on the breaks. Poland will eventually take the lead in the second half, thanks to the inform Dortmund striker and will go on to win the game 1-0. A perfect start for the co-hosts.

Predicted Final Score – Poland 1-0 Greece (Lewandowski)

Date & Time – 8th June 2011; 21:45 GMT

Stadium – Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Prediction – Russia are the favourites to progress from this group and today will take a step closer to that after winning their first game against the Czech Republic. The Russians will dominate the game and the young CSKA Moscow playmaker, Alan Dzagoev will impress everyone with his skills and passing. Andrey Arshavin – who has been out of form for Arsenal this season – will open the scoring in the first half and then the former Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko will wrap up all the three points in the second half. Chelsea’s Champions League hero and the Czech keeper – Petr Cech will have a busy evening in goal.

Predicted Final Score – Russia 2-0 Czech Republic (Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko)

UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – Russia

Population 143 million Area 17,075,400km2 Capital Moscow Currency Ruble Official Language Russian

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation Российский Футбольный Союз Official Site http://www.rfs.ru Year of formation 1912 Euro Ranking 9 World Ranking 13 National Stadium Luzhniki Stadium and Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow & Petrovsky Stadium, St Petersburg Well-known club sides Zenit St Petersburg, CSKA Moscow Leading goalscorer Vladimir Beschastnykh (26), Roman Pavlyuchenko (20) Most capped player Viktor Onopko (109), Valeri Karpin (72) European Championship finals attended as Russia 1996, 2004, 2008 Best European Championship performance Semi-Finals 2008 Playing Record in European Championship P63 W37 D12 L14 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 20/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

After a stuttering start to qualifying, sluggishly bettering Andorra 2-0 and then losing 1-0 to Slovakia in Moscow, Dick Advocaat’s men steadily improved and sealed passage to Poland & Ukraine as group winners. They exacted revenge over Slovakia in Zlina, with 1-0 win that not only guaranteed them top spot if they gained a point more against Andorra, but also condemned Slovakia to third place.

While Andrey Arshavin’s form at Arsenal could be generously described as erratic, his playmaking performances for his country have been marginally better and it will be through him, in his more central role, that the Russian play will be directed. As well as their captain’s contributions, Roman Pavlyuchenko will powerfully lead the line, Yuri Zhirkov will penetrate the left side and 21-year-old midfielder Alan Dzagoev, named Best Young Player in the Russian League in 2008-09, will dictate the game from the deep.

Aside from a hard-fought semi-final exit to eventual winners Spain for years ago, Russia have disappointed in recent decades. As part of the Soviet Union, they powered their way to the inaugural trophy in 1960 and were runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988. Making the latter stages here depends on the influence of Arshavin and who they get in the quarter-finals after negotiating undoubtedly the weakest group in this year’s tournament.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

03/09/2010 – Group B – Andorra 0-2 Russia
07/09/2010 – Group B – Russia 0-1 Slovakia
08/10/2010 – Group B – Republic of Ireland 2-3 Russia
12/10/2010 – Group B – Macedonia 0-1 Russia
26/03/2011 – Group B – Armenia 0-0 Russia
04/06/2011 – Group B – Russia 3-1 Armenia
02/09/2011 – Group B – Russia 1-0 Macedonia
06/09/2011 – Group B – Russia 0-0 Republic of Ireland
07/10/2011 – Group B – Slovakia 0-1 Russia
11/10/2011 – Group B – Russia 6-0 Andorra

HOME AND AWAY KITS

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP A

Friday, 08/06 – Russia v Czech Republic (Wroclaw, 19:45)
Tuesday, 12/06 – Poland v Russia (Warsaw, 19:45)
Saturday, 16/06 – Greece v Russia (Warsaw, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (PFC CSKA Moskva), Vyacheslav Malafeev (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Anton Shunin (FC Dinamo Moskva).

Defenders: Aleksandr Anyukov (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Aleksei Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva), Sergei Ignashevich (PFC CSKA Moskva), Vladimir Granat (FC Dinamo Moskva), Yuri Zhirkov (FC Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitri Kombarov (FC Spartak Moskva), Roman Sharonov (FC Rubin Kazan), Kirill Nababkin (PFC CSKA Moskva).

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Konstantin Zyryanov (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Denis Glushakov (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Igor Semshov (FC Dinamo Moskva), Marat Izmailov (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Alan Dzagoev (PFC CSKA Moskva).

Forwards: Andrey Arshavin (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Aleksandr Kokorin (FC Dinamo Moskva), Roman Pavlyuchenko (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham FC).

THE CAPTAIN – ANDREY ARSHAVIN

Won almost evert possible with Zenit St Petersburg (Russian Premier League, Russian Premier League Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup) before moving to Arsenal in 2009. Enjoyed an auspicious start, scoring more than half of his appearances and providing nine assists, but this form has dipped badly and he had returned to Zenit on loan for the second half of last season.

THE KEEPER – IGOR AKINFEEV

One of Europe’s most-scouted goalkeepers, Igor Akinfeev broke into the CSKA Moscow first team at the age of 17 and has not been forced out since. Along with winning the UEFA Cup and three national championships, he has been awarded the Zvezda trophy, given to the best football player from the former Soviet Union. Shaping up to be the world’s best goalkeeper.

STAR MAN – ROMAN PAVLYUCHENKO

By no means he was first choice at Harry Redknapp’s rejuvenated Tottenham Hotspur team, but the current Lokomotiv Moscow hitman remains the number one striker for his country. He scored both the goals in Russia’s crucial 2-1 victory over England during UEFA EURO 2008 qualification, scored the first goal for Russia in the 3-1 win over Holland in the quarter-finals of that tournament and was named in the 23-man Squad of the Tournament. In short, Pavlyuchenko is a big-game player of some esteem and, in what appears to be the flimsiest group of the tournament, could be an early contender for the Golden Boot award.

THE MANAGER – DICK ADVOCAAT

Despite the ‘Little General’ taking Holland to the last eight of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the semi-finals of the UEFA EURO 2004, a public failing out with Ruud Gullit in 1993 curtailed any support Dick Advocaat had in his homeland. He has since managed South Korea, the UAE, Belgium and now Russia, after winning 2998 UEFA Cup with Zenit St Petersburg. Enjoys an excellent relationship with his captain and has reproduced a strong mentality in the squad who may feel more at home in Poland & Ukraine than the most.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Quarter-Finals – Russia, with almost the same players they had for the qualification to these finals, will be confident of making it through the group stages and to the 2nd Round or the quarter-finals. They are the favourites to top and the group and they should try and win the group because a second place finish in the group is likely to mean a 2nd round clash with European and World Champions Spain. The other likely 2nd round opponent would be Italy unless we see some major upsets from Republic of Ireland or Croatia.