Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Sunday’s opponents Chelsea to once again be one of his team’s closest challengers for the Premier League title. United are 6/1 with Bet 365 to win 1-0 at Old Trafford and customers can get a free In-Play bet for the game this weekend. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have failed to impress in the league so far this season, although they have taken ten points from their first four matches, and are 11/1 to beat the league leaders 1-0 on Sunday. Ferguson said: “They will be there at the end of the season, there is no doubt about that. At the moment, of course, the two Manchester teams are enjoying the publicity but in the background lurks Chelsea. They don’t need the publicity. They will be enjoying being out of the profile at the moment.”
Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard is Togel determined to continue to keep the pressure on Manchester United’s currently recognised No.1, David de Gea. Despite the Dane’s impressive display against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists De Gea will be back for Sunday’s all-important Premier League clash against Chelsea. United are 6/1 with Bet 365 to win 1-0 at Old Trafford and customers can get a free In-Play bet for the game this weekend. However, the Spaniard’s shaky start to his United career, coupled with Lindegaard’s emergence, could provide Ferguson with an interesting dilemma. Lindegaard says: “I learned a lot from Edwin van der Sar and I have confidence in my own ability. I came to Manchester United for the challenge to be the first-choice goalkeeper.”
* Reborn Napoli celebrated returning to the top of Serie A with a 3-1 home win over Milan, with echoes of titanic clashes between the north and south’s giants in the era of Diego Maradona. Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scored a hat-trick.
*The quest for a level playing-field in Spain goes on.
After Valencia finished 21 points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid last season and the big two began their 2011-’12 campaign with big thrashings, Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido decided to speak out and campaign for an equitable distribution of TV rights.
But a meeting of club directors in Madrid last week proved fruitless. Sevilla director general Jose Maria Cruz said the meeting was, “An afternoon tea of pessimists and good for nothings. We only had a praiseworthy defence from Espanyol and Betis. The rest of those that attended have remained silent as if it wasn’t an issue for them.”
With three games gone, Real Betis and Valencia are on 9 points, two ahead of Barcelona, who tanked Osasuna 8-0, and Sevilla. Real Madrid are on six having lost 1-0 at Levante.
*In the Netherlands, FC Twente and AZ Alkmaar top the Eredivisie after six games with 15 points, two ahead of Ajax and Feyenoord. PSV are in fifth with eleven. In Portugal, Porto and Benfica top the Primeira Liga with 13 points from five games.
*Meanwhile in France, Marseille, tipped by some for a title challenge, are at the bottom of Ligue 1 following a 2-0 loss at table-toppers Lyon. Didier Deschamps’ OM have drawn three and lost three so far.
*In England, the two Manchesters sit atop the table. United despatched third-place Chelsea 3-1 at Old Trafford, while City squandered a two-goal cushion at Fulham to draw 2-2. Fulham, Bolton and West Brom are in the drop zone with three points; Arsenal, who lost 4-3 at Blackburn, are one ahead on four after five games. Liverpool’s title aspirations took a blow in a 0-4 rout at Tottenham.
*Bayern Munich are top of the Bundesliga after six games, two points ahead of Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach. Hamburg are bottom with one point.
*In Japan, Gamba Osaka lead the J-League a point ahead of Kashiwa Reysol, while Vasco de Gama lead Sao Paulo by the same amount in Brazil.
*The USA’s Major League Soccer has revealed its top ten annual wages packets for 2011:
David Beckham – LA Galaxy $6,500,000
Thierry Henry -New York Red Bulls $5,600,000
Rafa Marques – New York Red Bulls $5,544,000
Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy $2,127,778
Juan Pablo Angel – New York Red Bulls $1,918,000
Nery Castillo – Chicago Fire $1,788,060
Julian De Guzman – Toronto FC $1,717,546
Freddie Ljungberg – Chicago Fire $1,314,000
Mista -Toronto FC $987,337
Branko Boskovic – DC United $516,200
- Eight of the twelve finalists for the 2012 Olympic Games women’s football tournament have been decided: Great Britain (England), Japan, North Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Colombia, France and Sweden. Two more will qualify from CONCACAF and one each from CAF (Africa) and Oceania.