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/r/Championship's Championship club by club season preview - part 1!

Part 2 here - Part 3 here - Part 4 here

On Friday at 8pm UK time, Reading and Derby County will kick off the 127th season of the English second division - also known as the Championship! 24 clubs will compete for 3 promotion spots to the Premier league (2 via automatic promotion and 1 via playoffs) and to avoid the 3 relegation spots to the third tier a.k.a League One.

Its looking like a really tight and competitive season. The league is absolutely full of ambitious player and managerial talent - the more time goes by the more it looks like a Premier League 2. If you want a competitive league with proper English football, that also has the spice of skilful players and forward thinking managers, it really is the place to go.

This is guide written by the fans who have come together on /Championship - an absolutely huge thanks to them. Do check out the sub, we try to keep it a good place to discuss the EFL, away from the rancid gloryhunting shithole that is /soccer (just kidding - I like this place). Lots going on, including a score predictor thread which is running all season.

This guide is in table order with the PL demoted sides first. Only 5 clubs today (because the Swansea one is a fucking novel and I can't fit any more in), the rest will be submitted tomorrow and Friday. Do bare in mind that not all the transfer news will be up to date as these guides were largely written a week ago. Point out to me if there are any clear errors with formatting or spelling.

Championship info, links and media

/Championship's 17/18 player of the season review

Season previews: The Guardian | Sky Sports | The Mirror
EFL focused podcasts: Not the Top 20 | The Totally Football League Show
The 17/18 table - Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham went up. Barnsley, Burton and Sunderland went down. This season West Brom, Swansea and Stoke join from the PL and Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham join from League 1.
These are the bookies' favourites for promotion (via Oddschecker):
Club Odds
Stoke 2.75
Middlesbrough 4
West Brom 4
Nottingham Forest 4.5
Leeds 4.75
Swansea 5
And relegation:
Club Odds
Rotherham 2.2
Bolton 2.25
Ipswich 4.5
Reading 5
QPR 6
Hull 6
How to watch in the UK: Live rights are owned by Sky Sports. They are upping the number of televised matches this season. Reading v Derby on Friday is televised. The weekly highlights show previously on Channel 5 is moving to Quest TV, which apparently is on Freeview.
How to watch abroad: Depends, but in most territories, the iFollow Service is available, which is £110 to watch all a single club's matches. Bargain. I think the clubs that aren't on iFollow have their own similar streaming services.
Check out club Youtube channels - quite a few of them post extended highlights now with their own commentary, including Derby, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and more. (You may need VPN to watch if you're abroad.)

Swansea City by RafiakaMacakaDirk and my_knob_is_gr8

Location: Swansea, Wales
Nickname: Swans, The Jacks
Major honours: Football League Cup (2013), Championship Play-off Winner (2011), League One Winners (1925, 1949, 2008)
17/18 finishing postion: 18th (Premier League)
Transfermarkt squad value: €115.5 mil NOTE: This number is as of July 22nd, when we still have Mawson (€15 mil), A. Ayew (€15 mil), Bony (€10 mil), Clucas (€8 mil) and Fernandez (€8 mil), who are all pretty much expected to be sold, or loaned out, before the season starts. Without all of these players except Bony (who's injured for a while so it makes it unlikely he'll be sold soon), the squad value would be around €70 mil.
Manager: Graham Potter joined the Swans on 11th June 2018. In 2010, he became head coach of Östersund, who were in the fourth tier of Swedish football. 5 years later, he got the club promoted into the Swedish top flight and in 2017, they won Svenska Cupen which qualified them for the Europa League where they managed to get through the group stage. He’s been applauded for what he did at Östersund and the way he managed to build the club up from nothing. The year after his success in the Europa league he signed a 3 year contract with Swansea.
Potter is well respected by The Swans and after a few years of poor managerial and financial decisions his appointment is seen as a step in the right direction to bringing us back to our old ways of being a well-run club. Potter has been recognised for his "progressive" and "unconventional" coaching methods. At Östersund, he encouraged his players and staff to engage in community activities, such as performing in theatre and music productions which was designed to take them out of their comfort zone. Potter describes his style of football on the pitch as "tactically flexible, attacking, and possession-based". At Östersund, he deployed a flexible 3–5–2 formation centred on ball possession.
Best player(s)/ talisman:With many of our best players being rumoured with a move away what good players that remain at the start of the season is yet to be seen.
Alfie Mawson is probably our standout player. He’s been amazing for us since we got him and was a bargain at about £3m. He’s great in the air and is just an all round tank. Keeping him will be a huge boost for us and should be solid in the championship.
Federico "El Pajaro" Fernandez has also been strong at the back with Alfie. The pair played with each other for the majority of last season and together became a solid unit. We will most likely sell him to reduce wages though.
Jordan Ayew put in a great shift last season and was our top goal scorer. His work rate was immense and was able to drop back and defend when needed. He’s fast, able to beat a man and a decent finisher. Sadly all these players are transfer targets for other clubs and might not even be here at the start of the season. If we can keep a lot of our players we should have a decent season but who knows who'll be left by the end of the window…
Rising star: Swansea’s U23 had a great season last year and with Potter wanting a young and fresh squad, a handful have moved up into the first team.
Our standout youngster, Oliver McBurnie, joined Barnsley on loan in January last season where he went on to win a Championship player of the month award after 6 goals in 8 games and went on to win Barnsley’s Player of the year award. While only 22, he’s struggled to break into our first team but will most likely be our main striker for the coming season. Be on the lookout for his long legs, miniature shinpads and ridiculous sock length! LEGS LEGS LEGS!!!
Connor Roberts performed well at RB last season and adapted quickly to the premier league where he battled Kyle Naughton to be in the starting line up and did great when given the chance. Decent at going forward and professional at the back. Hopefully potter puts him ahead of Naughton.
What happened last season?: What Happened last season?: After our great escape the season before and with Paul Clement at the helm there was optimism that the 17/18 season could be our turning point where we start rebuilding 'The Swansea Way". How wrong we were.
After a disastrous transfer window where we sold Sigurdsson and never replaced him and started panic buying the week before the transfer window closed we were left an obvious hole in our team. We had no creativity in midfield and no one could kick the ball into the box to save their life. And just to rub it in further Renato Sanches turned out to be more disappointing than Bob Bradley. With the team sitting bottom of the table Clement was sacked in late December.
Then along came the wise talking Carlos Carvalhal who managed to rebuild the confidence the team had lost. Our results took a turn for the good, beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham consecutively at home. He pulled us out of the relegation zone and things were looking good. However, the good times were quickly followed by the bad times. Our form turned and we didn’t win a single one of our last 9 matches. We were quickly relegated after pitifully losing to both Southampton and Stoke in our last 2 games of the season.
Highlights (Or lowlights):
The pass by Renato Sanches that summed up his and our season
Swansea City 3-1 Arsenal
Summer transfer business (so far): At the end of last season, it was clear we needed several transfers, both in and out. However, this would all depend on the manager we got.
Yan Dhanda (Free, Liverpool): A 19 year-old Midfielder, Yan Dhanda left Liverpool this summer and joined the Swans in a free, before we even hired Graham Potter. At one time one of the most promosing youngsters in Liverpool's Academy, injuries slowed down his progress, and ultimately made him fall behind other players. Citing lack of first-team playing time, Dhanda decided to join us this summer in hopes of getting regular playing time in the senior squad. Through 3 pre-season games, Dhanda has been one of the brighest and most impressive players in the squad, even scoring a game-winning goal and smashing a penalty in a shootout against Genoa. With our current injuries and shenanigans involved in our midfield, Dhanda has a good chance of becoming a starter and hopefully guide our midfield during the season.
Jordi Govea (Free, Real Madrid): Another 19 year-old from Ecuador, Jordi was the first signing under Potter. Not much can be said about the lad, but this is what Real Madrid had as his bio:
Jordi is an Ecuadorian defender who possess three key qualities for a player in his position: he's skilful, is able to go past a player and has a good shot on him. He's left footed and is able to send in good crosses on the run.
With Martin Olsson currently as our starting LB, and Kyle Naughton as the backup, the hope is that Jordi can develop on our U-23 squad and hopefully move up to the senior squad in coming years. Also the only man I've seen do a medical while wearing jeans (https://twitter.com/SwansOfficial/status/1015251916132057089)
Joel Asoro (€2 mil., Sunderland): Yet another 19 year-old, a Swedish winger who has represented his country in the younger levels, he was Potter's first senior signing. With world-class speed, and some impressive skills, Asoro was able to score 3 goals and get 2 assists last season in 26 apperances for Sunderland. While these numbers may seem a bit disappointing, many of these games were sub appearances on a very dysfunctional team. Along with Dhanda, Asoro has been one of the most impressive players during preseason, constantly beating his man with either speed or skills, and whipping in good balls to Legs. At the current rate, Asoro appears to have a good chance of starting on the right wing spot, with Nathan Dyer and Luciano Narsingh backing him up.
Predicted starting XI: NOTE: This is gonna be assuming Mawson, A. Ayew, Clucas, and Fernandez are all sold by the start of the season. If by some reason they end up staying, they are pretty much guaranteed to start. Based on the pre-season games so far, a lineup looking like this would be plausible, with Rodon most likely to be replaced by a CB (possibly Scott McKenna) when we buy one. Our second unit is looking something like this.
Best case scenario: Graham Potter is able to motivate and make sure our senior players (Fer, Carroll, etc.) stay fit, along with our youngsters being able to make an impact as expected, and also we retain Mawson, Fernandez, and Clucas, we can finish in the top 2 and get promoted automatically.
Worst case scenario: Our worst case scenario, and something many of us fear of happening, consists of primarily 3 things. 1. Graham Potter isn't given enough time to build an identity with our squad and is sacked by the midway point of the season by the greedy, dumb American owners. . 2. We end up not replacing the players we sold properly like last summer, therefore having a squad with holes everywhere and no chemistry. 3. Our youngsters such as Asoro, McBurnie, Dhanda and company don't pan out and progress at all, thefore becoming mediocre players. This would all culminate in us looking like Sunderland, and making relegation a probability.
Prediction: Realistically I see us selling Mawson and company in the last days before the season starts and not replacing them properly until later on. Because of this, as well as our current injuries with Fer and Clucas, I can see us initially struggling to build an identity but over time, we will start playing like Potter wants us and finishing the season strongly.
8th place, missing the play-offs by 4 points
What will happen to your closest rivals?: The scum that is known as Cardiff City will break the record for lowest points ever accumulated in a Premier League season, getting 5 points all from draws, and will therefore get relegated with 17 games to spare.

West Bromwich Albion by Joelwba

Location: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands
Nickname: The Baggies, The Throstles
Major honours: 1x League title, 1x League Cup, 5x FA Cup
17/18 finishing postion: 20th in Premier League (relegated)
Transfermarkt squad value: £101.16m
Manager: Darren Moore or Big Dave as he's known to Albion fans. A club icon as a player in the early 2000s, he returned to look after our U23 squad before being promoted to assistant manager by Alan Pardew in January. Following the end of Pardew's horrific reign, Moore took temporary charge with Albion facing inevitable relegation. He led us to wins over Newcastle, Spurs, Man Utd and a draw with Liverpool, somehow taking our futile battle for survival to the final week of the season. Following this he earned the head coach role permanently. Moore is loved among the Albion faithful, largely due to his reputation as a player here. He heavily favours a 4-4-2 formation and at the back end of last season, tended to soak up pressure and play on the counter attack. It will be interesting to see how his approach differs in a league where we are one of the favourites, not fighting to survive (hopefully)
Best player(s)/ talisman: It's an interesting situation for Albion currently. There are plenty of Premier League quality players still in the squad. A lot depends on if they are picked off before the deadline shuts. Chris Brunt is a club stalwart and likely to be reappointed as captain. He is adored by the fans and in my opinion will be an incredible asset in the championship. His set pieces alone will bring 10+ goals to the side. Kieran Gibbs is a high quality player who appears to be set to stay and should make a big difference. Jay Rodriguez, Craig Dawson, Salomon Rondon and Nacer Chadli should all make a big difference in this division IF they stay. In all honesty I expect to lose a few of the above. Sam Johnstone appears to be an astute signing to replace the outgoing Ben Foster.
Rising star: Sam Field he's one of our own! He looked completely at home against some of the top Premier League sides last campaign. A box-to-box midfielder, he's full of energy and looks so comfortable on the ball. I expect him to be a major part of our side this season, having just signed a new long-term deal.
Kyle Edwards is an exciting attacking midfielder who has been impressing in pre-season. He may have a part to play following a loan spell at Exeter last campaign.
Jonathon Leko looked like a potential world-beater when he first came through a couple of years back. A lightning quick winger full of tricks. A loan spell at Bristol City and limited appearances later he seems to be losing his way. Will be an interesting one to watch.
Finally, the enigma that is Olly Burke. After signing with us last summer for £15m, he failed to impress any of the four managers we had over the season. He looks exciting when he comes on, without any end product so far, and was unfairly blamed for a loss at West Ham by Alan 'Coward' Pardew. We all know the talent he's got. Hopefully we can see it this season.
What happened last season?: Let's not talk about it... We finally escaped the stranglehold of Tony Pulis, only to opt for the human joke that is Alan Pardew and duly hurtled towards relegation. Four of our players stole a taxi and then played (and lost) the following weekend.
Pardew was sacked about 3 months too late, and Moore took over, restoring pride with some notable wins over Man Utd and Spurs.
This season we also lost the great Cyrille Regis, and the outpouring of emotion and the coming together of the club during the weeks after his passing was something special.
Summer transfer business (so far): We started by releasing Claudio Yacob, Boaz Myhill and Gareth McAuley. Yacob and McAuley will be greatly missed but it is perhaps the right time for them to go.
Jonny Evans departed for Leicester for a cut-price £3m, Ben Foster left for Watford and James McClean has departed for Stoke City.
Sam Johnstone has been bought in to replace Foster, with Jonathon Bond arriving as backup. Kyle Bartley has joined from Swansea City and it appears that Harvey Barnes will soon be arriving on loan from Leicester.
Finally, James Morrison is currently out of contract but still with the club. His future is uncertain.
I am very happy with Johnstone and Bartley. It has been a quiet window for Albion so far but that is largely a good thing. The squad is packed with Premier League talent and the window is more about keeping hold of them.
There is major interest in Dawson and Rondon, along with interest in Rodriguez, Hegazi and Chadli. If any of the above go, then we would need to replace. Otherwise I would be happy with another striker and another CB.
It is also worth mentioning that every player in the Albion side suffered a 50% wage cut upon relegation which means that we are financially sound despite relegation, but may lead to more big names leaving.
Predicted starting XI: This is my best attempt. It will undoubtedly be 4-4-2. We may see Nyom in at right back and perhaps Barry in for Field.
Obviously about half of this side could leave, so we shall see.
Best case scenario: The bulk of the side remains and the quality in the side shines through as we breeze to automatic promotion.
Worst case scenario: The better players leave or do not put the effort in. Moore cannot transfer his great start into his first full season in management. We become embroiled in a relegation battle
Prediction: It will be somewhere in the middle. I'd like to think we'll go up automatically but I think play-offs are more likely. 6th
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Villa won't go down but will settle into mid-table, despite the recent takeover.
I think Wolves will do well in the PL, although I don't know how long Nuno will last before a big club comes in.

Stoke City by mrmariomaster

Location: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Nickname: The Potters
Stadium: bet365 Stadium, 30,089 seats
Major honours: 1972 League Cup
17/18 finishing position: 19th, Premier League
Squad value: £127.8 million
Manager: Gary Rowett signed from Derby in May. His honest attitude has brought lots of optimism to fans, who are looking forward to an overhaul of the Club. His style of play seems to change based on the squad he has available.
Best Player: Joe Allen was vital to the Club last season, giving us hope that we would avoid relegation. His massive new contract signed this summer shows how loyal and committed to the Club he is, and will be a vital player this season.
Rising star: Tom Edwards is a local lad who has won the Under 18 Player of the Year award twice in the Club. In the latter parts of last season he played some good first team football.
What happened last season: A pathetic attempt at a season that had been coming for a while under Mark Hughes. Paul Lambert was appointed in January, but a win rate of just 2 in 15 matches wasn’t enough for him to keep his job and miss out on the million pound bonus offered to him.
Transfer business so far: So far this has been a decent transfer window. Peter Etebo had an amazing World Cup for Nigeria and Benik Afobe looks really promising. Adam Federici has also been appointed to replace Lee Grant. Xherdan Shaqiri has left along with a few players like Stephen Ireland and Glen Johnson who will not be missed. Badou Ndiaye also looks to be on his way out, but it looks like Jack Butland will stay with us, which is massive. Perhaps most surprising are the new contracts signed by our 2 best players last season, Joe Allen and Moritz Bauer.
Predicted Line up: Here is our predicted squad. I’m not sure what formation we will have. EDIT: This is a new version, complete with our rumoured new signings and in the right formation.
Best case scenario: Stoke will finish top with an all-time Championship points record.
Worst case scenario: A mediocre start to the season will see Rowett sacked and Stoke with a disappointing mid-table finish.
Prediction: I think with our squad and our new manager, we will finish 1st.
What will happen to our closest rivals? Port Vale will be relegated to the Vanarama National League.

Aston Villa by trueschoolalumni

Location: Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE
Nickname: The Villans, The Villa, Prince William's Club, David "Twat" Cameron's Second Club.
Major honours: 7 First Division wins, 7 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, 1 European Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intertoto Cup
17/18 finishing postion: 4th
Transfermarkt squad value: £67.77m and dropping fast
Manager: Steve Bruce (for now). Former Man Utd playing legend who's been a fixture of English football for decades. He joined Villa in 2016 after successful runs at Hull, Sunderland (yes they were good once) and Birmingham City. A bit of a promotion specialist, he's taken Championship clubs up to the Premier League 4 times in the past and just missed out last season, losing 1-0 to Fulham in the Playoff Final. Tactically, he's fairly old school who prefers 4-4-2 or a 4-1-4-1, usually involving a big man up top. Fun fact: while managing Huddersfield in 1999 he wrote three novels, "Striker!", "Sweeper!" and "Defender!", which focus on main character Steve Barnes, a football manager. Barnes solves crime and takes on terrorists, and the books have become prized rarities. The Guardian's Football Weekly podcast managed to get a copy and read out some of the copy - suitably awful.
Best player(s)/ talisman: There's only one Jack Grealish. A Villa boy through and through, he's been with the club since 2001 (aged 6), and made his way into the first team in the 2013-14 season. He's been the centre of controversy a few times, most notably getting on the beers and passing out on a Tenerife street. Playing as a number 10, his quick feet and dribbling skills provide a number of goals and assists, as well as fouls. He probably went down a bit too easily when first in the Premier League, but time in the gym has noticeably toughened him up and he's a much more solid player as a result. One of the better players in the Championship, and due to Villa's abject finances, a transfer target for the likes of Leicester.
Rising star: Keinan Davis could possibly be it, potentially Andre Green and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy as well.
What happened last season?: Have you ever walked into a casino, spotted the roulette table and popped £10,000 on red? It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off. You've doubled your money if you win, but look like a right git if you lose. Villa figured this was a good way to approach 2017-18: spend millions on players, get in lots of loans, gamble everything on achieving promotion. After a so-so start, Bruce got the team playing well, stringing together a number of wins and moving through the playoff spots. Unfortunately they ran into a few teams playing out of their skin - champions Wolves ran away with the league and boasted a squad that included several Champions League players. Neil Warnock's Cardiff couldn't stop winning and grabbed the second automatic promotion. In the playoff final Villa came up against a Ryan Sessegnon-led Fulham and were just pipped at the post 1-0.
Summer transfer business (so far): It's one-way traffic, due to absolutely abysmal finances. Loan spells for Lewis Grabban, Robert Snodgrass, Josh Onomah and Sam Johnstone have all ended, which is almost the spine of the team (Johnstone in particular - he was arguably the best keeper in the Championship and personally bagged a number of wins). Plus clubs are circling to pick off whatever assets we have left (eg. Jack Grealish, James Chester). With no prospect of anyone new coming in, it looks like the youth academy will be getting a lot more game time.
Predicted starting XI: Possibly this, but half these players could be gone before the first match.
Best case scenario: Mid-table anonymity would have to be best case - Villa are a mess and could go down this time around.
Worst case scenario: Our finances are the real issue - they are dire. Villa need to find £9 million this month to avoid going into administration. Owner "Dr." Tony Xia is a billionaire, apparently, but tax bills went unpaid and the question remains if he's able to support the club as generously as he has in the past. Administration, points deductions and potentially relegation to League One are all real possibilities right now. It's not looking good.
Prediction: Due to financial irregularities in the 23 clubs above us, Villa will get into the Champions League and take out the likes of Atletico, Bayern and Real Madrid on the way to our second European Cup. "Taylor, Green, prepared to venture down the left. There's a good ball played in for Jack Grealish. Oh, it must be and it is! It's Keinan Davis!"
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Unfortunately the Scum managed to avoid League One in the final rounds of the season. Here's hoping they go one better. Agbonlahor to re-sign for one game: the Derby. And score the winner, again.

Middlesbrough by OneSmallHuman

Location: The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Founded: 1876
Nickname: The Boro (Or just Boro)
Major honours: The League cup 2003-2004 season
17/18 finishing position: 5th
Transfermarkt squad value: 79.34m
Manager: Tony Pulis became manager of us in late December 2017, replacing the sacked Garry Monk after a pretty lacklustre few months of the campaign (despite where our league position was). Pulis is known in England for being the man that is never relegated when in charge of someone in the top flight. We are all aware of Tony Pulis' style of football. You start by having a strong and massive defence and maximise your use of set pieces to gain an advantage. Pulis is a lover of all set piece plays, whether that is crossing the ball in from a corner or free kick, or launching a ball into the box from a throw in, they're all in his arsenal of weapons. 'Pulisball' as it is pretty much known. Pulis has achieved promotion from the championship once before with Stoke, and I hope he achieves it again with us this season
Best player(s)/ rising star: I mean, where else do I begin. Adama Traore. Arguably the best player in the championship on his day and is one of the most frightening dribblers in English football, maybe even world football. The winger is known for his speed and dribbling ability although is usually criticised for his lack of end product. Before last season I would've agreed, however 5 goals and 10 assists, with all but 2 assists coming before Pulis' arrival show the progression of the Spanish winger.
As for other members of the squad, Ben Gibson, the prodigal son. Boro through and through he's progressed into a commanding centre half with the ability to play out from the back thanks to Karanka. He gained attention and emerged as one of the few given credit after our disappointing premier league campaign but was only the subject of one bid upon our relegation, from now manager Tony Pulis. It remains to be seen whether he'll be here come the first game of the season, but I hope he will be.
As for future stars, Dael Fry, already has played 2 championship campaigns for us and looks as assured as a veteran of the game. Another centre half produced by our academy and he is being played in cdm this pre-season by Pulis, to add to his versatility. Hopefully a standout season for him, especially if Gibson does end up leaving. Finally, yes, he does always look as confused as images of him show.
What happened last season?: Well, the first half of the season was tragic under Monk. We played really poor football at times and looked like we hadn't defended a day in our lives. There was also no consistency in the team, we'd win one game then lose the next. A key theme under both managers however, was our inability to beat those around us in the table. After Pulis' appointment the results picked up and it ended with us finishing 5th in the table. We ultimately lost in the playoff semi finals to Aston Villa but honestly, we didn't think we'd even be in the top half around Christmas.
Summer transfer business (so far): Just the three deals to talk about so far. We've acquired Paddy McNair from Sunderland who looks like a decent player. He's been utilised in right back and midfield during pre-season so it looks like they'll be his positions for the season. I imagine he'll play alongside Clayts and Howson in a midfield three.
Aden Flint was signed from Bristol City and I think I'm in the minority when I say I don't like how much we paid for him. Obviously the man is a Pulis player but I'm a bit unsure about his defensive ability. That being said he's looked strong during pre-season and I'm sure Pulis will get the best out of him. Fabio departed our club for Nantes so we'll need more full back cover.
As for the rest of the window, I expect Gibson to leave but will be delighted if he doesn't. One of our strikers will also leave and Braithwaite should follow after his decent World Cup performances. We'll probably bring in a striker and a winger and hopefully hold onto Adama. That'd be a successful window in my eyes.
Predicted starting XI: My best guess The only other guess I could make is that Gibson might leave and then Ayala would start, but he's injured at this point in time. Britt might play over Gestede too if Pulis is feeling fancy.
Best case scenario: It has to be top of the pile right? It's not out of the question to imagine us up there and if everything clicks then we've got a chance. A defence that scores more than some teams' strikers, Adama channelling his inner Messi and finding consistency, Rudy/Britt/Bamford scoring for fun. It could be carnage.
Worst case scenario: I can't see us finishing outside the playoffs, if we did then that would be gut-wrenching. But if we did then that would most certainly be the worst. Realistically, it'd be losing in the playoffs... again, and if it were in the final again then god help me. Although saying this, now losing Bamford and maybe Traore will be a worst case scenario in itself, definitely if they're not replaced.
Prediction: Have to be confident, although it always kills me. 1st or 2nd. Tony Pulis and his nice white trainers carry us to the promise land. That being said, we never do it the easy way.
Best Match of Last Season Sorry Leeds fans, but it had to be. "Hattrick Bamford" as our Twitter account tweeted, 3-0 against Leeds with Adama running the show. Leeds clearly found some positive from the game as they're set to sign him off us. This was the sign of what we should've done more last season. Showed what Paddy could've been too if given an even more extended period in Striker by himself. Oh well.
What will happen to your closest rivals?: Who even are our closest rivals in this league? We're in geographical purgatory. Can't say Sunderland anymore so what? Leeds? Bielsa either turns them into the well oiled machine they hope for or he succumbs to the old Leeds ways and is sacked by December. As for the Mackems, probably promoted from League 1.
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The /r/Futebol Guide to the 2018 Brasileirão [Part 1]

2018 Brasileirão

The 2018 edition of the most competitive league in the world starts this Saturday (14/04), so it's high time /soccer had a guide to it! /futebol has compiled this instructive, complete, and entertaining guide about the Brasileirão.

How does the league work?

The tournament follows a straightforward format of double round-robin with 20 contestants. Unlike many other leagues that may use goal average or head-to-head points as their first tie-breaking criteria, however, the Brasileirão uses number of wins instead.

How can I follow it?

Broadcasting rights vary from country to country; your best bet is to look up which TV stations will air Brasileirão matches at your country at LiveSoccerTV. If you don't mind streaming, TudoTV and Tampa da Bola are reliable, uncluttered services that should air all games.
For discussion and inquiries among supporters, TedBoyMarino's weekly round-up series is always released right after the last fixture of the round with links to all goals and insightful commentary about all matches. Also consider joining /libertadores' Discord server in English.

Which clubs will contest the tournament? What exciting players will take part in it?

I'm glad you asked.

Predicted Table

# Team
1 Grêmio
2 Palmeiras
3 Corinthians
4 Cruzeiro
5 Flamengo
6 Santos
7 Atlético Mineiro
8 São Paulo
9 Botafogo
10 Internacional
11 Vasco da Gama
12 Atlético Paranaense
13 Fluminense
14 Chapecoense
15 Bahia
16 Sport
17 Ceará
18 Vitória
19 Paraná
20 América

América

Full name América Futebol Clube
Nicknames Coelho ("Rabbit")
Supporters Americanos, Espartanos ("Spartans")
Ground Estádio Independência (23,018), Belo Horizonte/MG
2017 Season 1st place (2nd tier)
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing 7th place (1973)
Manager Enderson Moreira
Starting XI João Ricardo; Norberto, Messias, Rafael Lima, Giovanni; Zé Ricardo, David, Serginho; Aylon, Luan, Rafael Moura.
América has been, for the past decade, a prime example of an yo-yo club, going from the third tier of Brazilian football to the second to the first to the second to the first to the second to the first all in that short timespan. The historic side from Belo Horizonte has ascertained itself as a club too strong to linger on the lower divisions and, now that it's been promoted to the Brasileirão for the first time in recent times as champions in the tier below (as opposed to its hard-fought promotions as the fourth-placed team in 2010 and 2015), its board has reasons to believe it is high time to aspire higher and establish itself as a permanent fixture in the Brasileirão.
The club seeks to redeem itself from its dismaying 2016 season, which set the record for the worst season in the league since 2007. The board, wary of the mistakes of the past, seems right on track to prevent another embarrassment: manager Enderson Moreira and most of the roster that bested Internacional's superior financial power in the race for the Brasileirão Série B title in 2017 have remained, and adequate reinforcements have arrived at the club. However, América's performance at the Campeonato Mineiro doesn't set supporters' hearts at ease: the team failed to even draw against fellow Belo Horizonte clubs and Brasileirão contenders Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro after four encounters.
Being the longest-serving manager in the Brasileirão, Enderson Moreira has earned the trust of the board to implement his offensive brand of football. América's defence is entirely reminiscent of last season's, which conceded only 0.66 goals on average per game: João Ricardo, safeguarding the net at Independência for a record fifth year, is protected by Norberto, Rafael Lima, home-grown talent Messias and Giovanni forming a backline of four. The 21-year-old youngster Zé Ricardo and the 35-year-old veteran David are trusted to hold the midfield, leaving playmaking duties to Serginho, a less illustrious product of Santos' famed youth academy looking to take his career to the next level. Up front, the wings are covered by Aylon and Luan, both regular loanees who have finally settled at América and found their mojo in Belo Horizonte after a long time; highly decorated striker Rafael Moura may be 34 already, but he seems eager to prove that he still has it in him.
Fun fact América ditched its traditional colours in favour of red from 1933 to 1943 in protest against professionalism.
Familiar faces None. Overseas observers may not recognise anyone from América's squad, consisting mainly of youth academy players and veteran journeymen.
Star of the show Aylon. With 6 goals in 11 fixtures, the loanee from Internacional was the club's top scorer at the Campeonato Mineiro.
Wild card Matheus Sales. The talented 23-year-old holding midfielder and former Brazil U23 international failed to start at Palmeiras' star-studded team but could have a breakthrough year at América.
CruzeiroDoSul

Atlético Mineiro

Full name Clube Atlético Mineiro
Nicknames Galo ("Rooster"), Alvinegro
Supporters Atleticanos
Ground Arena Independência (23.018), Belo Horizonte/MG
2017 Season 4th place
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing Champions (1971)
Manager Thiago Larghi (interim)
Starting XI Victor; Patric, Leonardo Silva, Gabriel, Fábio Santos; Elias, Adilson; Otero, Cazares, Luan; Ricardo Oliveira.
Atlético Mineiro is the very first Brazilian champion, winning the first tournament in 1971. After reaching the finals again in the 80's, the team had a big slump, with bad campaigns, financial problems and a relegation. In this decade, the Galo had a ressurection. They picked up their pieces, got their stuff together and, much thanks to the talent of Bernard and Ronaldinho Gaúcho and their 2013 Copa Libertadores title. Both players have since been gone, but the team has used the success brought by those campaings to establish themselves as a top contender in the country once again.
Coming off a early second round elimination from the Copa Libertadores last season, the Galo has done enough to get them back to the continental competition. But the team had internal problems early this year, with manager Oswaldo de Oliveira fired after an altercation with a beat writer after a bad result. The team let go some of their biggest wage earners in Robinho and Fred (who would join their main rivals, Cruzeiro) and sold fullback Marcos Rocha to Palmeiras, but managed to fill one of these holes by signing elite veteran striker Ricardo Oliveira. They still have a good squad, and can give some trouble to their opponents this year.
Atlético hasn't yet signed a head coach after firing Oswaldo de Oliveira (which has started lots of rumors), keeping assistant coach Thiago Larghi as manager until further notice. They have a top level goalkeeper in Victor, a decent 3/4 of defense with Leonardo Silva, Gabriel and left-back Fábio Santos, but big trouble at right-back with Patric. Elias and Adilson do the defensive midfielding, with Otero and Cazares giving international flavor to the midfield, next to winger Luan. At the striker position, the undisputed starter is the reverend, Ricardo Oliveira.
Fun fact Atlético used to be the owners of a high-level mall in downtown Belo Horizonte. They recently sold it as they're gathering resources to build their own stadium soon.
Familiar faces Elias. He has played for Sporting Lisbon and Atlético Madrid between 2011 and 2014, then back to Sporting in 2016.
Star of the show Victor. The goalkeeper has been a solid part of the team's recent ressurection, giving confidence to the team due to his consistency and reliability since 2013.
Wild card Erik The 23-year-old striker has potential, but didn't get enough first-team time on Palmeiras. He came to Atlético on loan from Palmeiras in the Marcos Rocha deal and has been in the mix since the start of the year.
TedBoyMarino

Atlético Paranaense

Full name Clube Atlético Paranaense
Nicknames Furacão ("Hurricane"), Rubro Negro ("The Red and Blacks")
Supporters Atleticanos
Ground Arena da Baixada (42,370), Curitiba/PR
2017 Season 11th place
Kits Home/Away/Third
Best Showing 1st place (2001)
Manager Fernando Diniz
Starting XI Santos; Esteban Pavez, Paulo André, Thiago Heleno; Thiago Carleto, Raphael Veiga, Lucho González, Jonathan, Nikão, Guilherme; Pablo.
Atlético's last years have been consistent, even if not the most glorious ones. Since their return from second division in 2012, the Furacão (hurricane) has snatched a few Libertadores' spots in 2013 and 2016, but usually roams around the mid of the table, like in 2017 with a modest 11th spot.
Atlético is known by a good financial health and management, even though the club don't possess the great revenue that clubs from Southeast have. At the beginning of the year, Atlético contacted Seedorf (Milan and Netherlands ex-player) to be their Manager, like in English clubs, a spot not as usual in Brazilian football. After lots of complications, Furacão's board settled for Fernando Diniz, young manager who achieved the spotlight by conducting an small Audax to the vice-championship of the Campeonato Paulista, defeating fellow Brasileirão contenders such as São Paulo and Corinthians.
Atlético only played the Brazilian Cup and Sudamericana games with the main team. Historically the team chooses to play the Campeonato Paranaense with a U23 side; showing the quality of Atlético's academy, the U23 team won the league only losing a single game, promoting great new players called for the main squad to the remaining season, such as Bruno Guimarães and João Pedro.
Diniz will have at his disposal an team without a great star, but with a strong colletive, a mixup between young academy players and seasoned veterans. Thiago Carleto, former Coritiba, chosen the best LB from the last Brasileirão crosses the city to join Atlético this year. Alongside him, the solid defense is complete by Thiago Heleno, Chilean CB Pavez and a great in form Santos, who made the supporters forget Weverton. At the midfield, Lucho Gonzalez is back to orchestrate the midfield, alongside Nikão and Guilherme, serving the surprise **Pablo, who made a great game against São Paulo in the Cup and should snag the position from Bergson.
Fernando Diniz style is quite unique, favoring the ground play as opposed to long balls so much used in Brazilian football. It requires defenders with passing capabilites and the big question of the season is that if he can mantain the style against stronger sides to aim high this season.
Fun fact Arena da Baixada is the only stadium in Brasileirão Série A and only host stadium in 2014 World Cup to use syntethic grass.
Familiar faces Lucho González Started career in River, and played for Porto, Olympique de Marseille and Argentinian NT.
Stars of the show Santos for so many years in Weverton's shadow, now that he departed to Palmeiras, is having his time to shine with great performances so far.Nikão While contested sometimes, since 2015 is the reference man in Atlético's attack, most of offensive plays pass by Nikão's feet.
Wild card Bruno Guimarães Elected the best player of the Campeonato Paranaense, he is sure to fight for a spot in the Furacão's midfield.
darussi4n

Bahia

Full name Esporte Clube Bahia
Nicknames Bahêa, Tricolor, Esquadrão de Aço ("The Steel Squadron")
Supporters Tricolores
Ground Fonte Nova (50,000), SalvadoBA
2017 Season 12th place
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing 1st place (1959, 1988)
Manager Guto Ferreira
Starting XI Douglas Friedrich, Nino Paraíba, Lucas Fonseca, Tiago, Mena; Gregore, Elton; Zé Rafael, Vinicius, Marco Antônio; Edigar Junio.
After years of bad administration, Bahia looks ready to think higher. After the promotion to the 1st division in 2016, Bahia made their best run ever since the start of the round-robin sistem, getting 12nd place, and being a competitive side against the biggest teams in Brazil. Now, the team expects to reacompplish their spots between the greats and looks to make a run even better than last year, and clinching an spot to dispute international competitions.
The club looked shaky at the start of the year, with bad showings against the weak sides of the Campeonato Baiano and the Copa do Nordeste. But the team appears to have find itself, and won the Campeonato Baiano winning all three encounters against an weak Vitória, who got 5 first team players suspended after the sad scenes of Vinicius' beating and the forced end of the match, with the best attack and the best defence in the state. Their manager, Guto Ferreira, wasn't welcome back after leaving last year to help Internacional to promote for the first division, and the first bad appearances almost cost him his job, but with the Campeonato Baiano trophy, the first place in the group at the regional and 5 consecutive wins at the decisive games, looks like he is staying for some time.
After losing their best academy kids in Jean and Juninho Capixaba, and Renê Junior, their best player from last year, the club went to the market and made some signings to the weaker spots, their RB and LB, buying 2 players for each position, and a new keeper. Bahia also managed to keep Zé Rafael, the second best player and the most important offensively, but he is failing to find his best form until now.
The team starts with Douglas, who played his heart out last year for Avaí, but not enough to save them from relegation, and the central defence is formed by the same players from last year, Lucas Fonseca and Tiago. In the sides of the defense, Bahia has the new signings of Nino Paraíba in the right and the Copa América winner Mena on the left, forming an four backline. Gregore, an young talent that made an great U23 championship last year, and Elton, another new signing from Ponte Preta are the ones to protect the midfield, and Vinicius is doing the playmaking and doing it well with 8 goals and 7 assistances in 19 games, and at his sides we have an uninspired Zé Rafael, who is looking to get to his good form again, and an youngster newly promoted to the first squad, Marco Antonio, who is trying to prove himself after clinching an spot at the first team. Leading the attack Bahia has Edigar Junio, but he wasn't the first plan there. Kayke, who was bought to make Edigar get back to his winger position, didn't had good appearances, and made Ediga again to be improvised at the center of the attack.
Fun fact Bahia won it's first national title against Pelé's Santos, and was the first Brazilian team to qualify for Libertadores.
Familiar faces Mena, who won the 2015 Copa América for Chile against Argentina;
Star of the show Vinicius, doing an great start for Bahia after an really bad 2017 and a lot of criticism, and leading the midfield actions for them.
Wild card Marco Antônio, recently promoted from the youth squad and already jumping to the first team, can be an outstanding player, or fail to show another good games like the first leg of the Campeonato Baiano.
nichbd

Botafogo

Full name Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas
Nicknames Estrela Solitária ("Lone Star"), Glorioso ("Glorious")
Supporters Botafoguenses, Alvinegros ("the Black and Whites")
Ground Estádio Nilton Santos (46.831), Rio de Janeiro/RJ
2017 Season 10th place
Kits Home/Away/Third
Best Showing 1st place (1968, 1995)
Manager Alberto Valentim
Starting XI Gatito Fernandez, Marcinho, Igor Rabello, Joel Carli, Moisés, Rodrigo Lindoso, Matheus Fernandes, João Paulo, Léo Valência, Luiz Fernando, Brenner.
Botafogo is one of the most historical clubs of Brazil, but on the last decade they have been pretty much hit or miss, with seasons like 2013, 2016 and 2017, where they finished top 5 on the league or had a good campaign on Libertadores, or seasons like 2014, where they end up relegated from top flight. Botafogo faced adversities, as every major Rio de Janeiro club, with their stadium being closed due to structural damage caused by failure on the construction, leaving them without their home (and leaving Fluminense and Flamengo without a place to play their home matches while the Maracanã was at the IOC orders), with their former president, Maurício Assumpção, raising the club's already colossal debt with its shady business.
In 2017, Botafogo overachieved. With now Santos manager Jair Ventura on board, they had an amazing playing style that pretty much sealed their defence and let them out on counters, causing them to actually give Copa Libertadores champions Grêmio their most difficult tie on the competition, drawing the first leg on Rio and losing to a 63' minute goal from Lucas Barrios to send them back to Rio with a bitter taste on their mouths, feeling that they could go all the way. But then, the year ended, Jair Ventura, Bruno Silva and some of their other stars left, and they started 2018 on turmoil losing to 4th division Aparecidense on the first round of the Brazilian Cup, leading to the firing of manager Felipe Conceição, and to the appointment of former Palmeiras assistant manager Alberto Valentim, who made a complete turnaround and lead the team to the Campeonato Carioca title.
Their team this year has Gatito Fernandez starting on goal over club legend and former Brazilian International Jefferson, who's going to retire at the end of the year. Forming their 4 man backline, youth product Igor Rabello, nicknamed O General ("The General") by the fans, forms the centerback partnership with experienced Argentine and Campeonato Carioca finals hero Joel Carli, with 21 year old Marcinho and Corinthians loanne Moisés completing the defence. On the midfield, Rodrigo Lindoso and youth product Matheus Fernandes play on a double pivot behind João Paulo and Léo Valência, while the former is sidelined after an horrific injury, he might be replaced by Rodrigo Pimpão, coming from Atlético Goianiense after making an amazing Brasileirão for the relegated side, Luiz Fernando came to Rio and made the spot his own, being one of Botafogo standouts this season playing alongside team top scorer Brenner.
Fun fact Botafogo is the team that had more players called up to the NT on World Cups, with the last one being Jefferson in 2014.
Familiar faces Jefferson was the starting goalkeeper before Alisson for the Brazilian NT.
Star of the show Igor Rabello. After a breakout season for Botafogo in 2017, O General looks to cement his name alongside the best defenders in the league.
Wild card Keep an eye on Matheus Fernandes, the 19 year old midfielder is one of the hottest prospects on the league right now.
jggomes14

Ceará

Full name Ceará Sporting Club
Nicknames Vovô ("Grandpa"), Vozâo ("Big Grandpa")
Supporters Alvinegros
Ground Arena Castelão (63.903), Fortaleza/CE
2017 Season 3rd place (Série B)
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing 3rd Place (1964)
Manager Marcelo Chamusca
Starting XI Éverson; Pio, Valdo, Luiz Otávio e Romário; Juninho e Raul; Wescley, Ricardinho e Felipe Azevedo; Arthur Cabral.
One of the founding members of CBF, Ceará brings a different flavor to the league, being one of the powerhouses of the Northeast region. Having not played in the First Division since 2011, now they're back at the top, hoping for a long stay.
Last year started with an early elimination at the Copa do Brasil, but then the team bounced back with the Campeonato Cearense title and the promotion to top flight. This year, the team shows signs of evolution, getting through the third round before losing to another Brasileirão contender, Atlético Paranaense. Ceará has once again won the Campeonato Cearense, winning the two legs against bitter rival Fortaleza.
Still, as a recently promoted team, their main focus is battling relegation, then to solidify their spot as a top flight team, and as the powerhouse of the Northeast.
Ceará is managed by Marcelo Chamusca, who can be called the "Lower League King", as he's the only manager to have managed promotion from the fourth division to the third (in 2013 with Salgueiro), from the third to the second (in 2016 with Guarani) and from the second division to top flight (last year with Ceará). How his knowledge will be translated to the top division is yet to be known, but he has a pretty good CV to back him up.
The squad is mostly made of loanees and important figures from last year's campaign. Between the posts is Éverson, undisputed starting goalkeeper since 2015. Tall centerback Luiz Otávio is paired up with Valdo. Romário, both a loanee and a key figure from last season, is the left-back while and Pio is the right-back. Homegrown talent Raul is paired with experient Juninho as defensive midfielders, while another veteran, Ricardinho, has a more creative role. The wingers are Wescley and Felipe Azevedo, both played abroad at Asian football leagues. As striker, 19 y.o. Arthur Cabral has been putting his name on the map, being one of the top scorers of the country so far.
Fun fact Their mascot, the Grandpa, is not due to them being the oldest team of their city, but rather for a former club president, Meton de Alencar Pinto, who welcomed some youth players from a rival team and treating them "like their grandsons".
Familiar faces Javier Reina. The Colombian midfielder played around South America and for three seasons in South Korea before signing for Ceará. He hasn't been playing a lot so far this year.
Star of the show Arthur Cabral. It might sound too soon for the teenager, but he has stepped up his game in the Campeonato Cearense, scoring 15 goals so far. Ceará will need good showings from their youth academy jewel for a good chance of survival.
Wild card Elton. The veteran striker was part of last year's squad. He may have lost his starting spot to the aforementioned Arthur, but he's still a dangerous player.
Sunny_Ember

Chapecoense

Full name Associação Chapecoense de Futebol
Nicknames Furacão do Oeste ("The Western Hurricane"), Chape
Supporters Chapecoense
Ground Arena Condá (22,830), Chapecó/SC
2017 Season 8th place
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing 8th place (2017)
Manager Gilson Kleina
Starting XI Jandrei; Apodi, Rafael Thyere, Nery Bareiro, Bruno Pacheco; Amaral, Márcio Araújo, Elicarlos, Héctor Canteros; Guilherme, Wellington Paulista.
From looking at their current state, one would be forgiven for not remembering Chapecoense's tragedy in 2016. The same philosophy of strong local support, financial responsibility and credentialed administration that earned the club a meteoric rise from the Brazilian fourth tier to a consolidated midtable status at the Brasileirão in less than a decade would guide the club to its best season ever, making it to the Copa Libertadores qualifying rounds right on the aftermath of the disaster, and could now lead the club to new heights.
Their hard-earned continental berth, secured on a last-minute goal at the last round of the league, may have been for naught as the club went out to an experienced Nacional but its performance at the Campeonato Catarinense was remarkable: the Furacão do Oeste was dominating at the tournament, with a single loss in 18 fixtures. While the club has excelled in knock-out tournaments throughout its history, manager Gilson Kleina is fonder of long, weary round-robin competitions such as the Brasileirão: when entrusted in the middle of the 2017 season to shepherd the club away from the relegation zone, he exceeded expectations by putting up the best campaign in the second round of the league. The 50-year-old commander has been at the helm of better squads in the past, but the chemistry he's formed with the Chapecoense players is unmatched by any before it.
Gilson Kleina is fond of the "defense wins championships" doctrine: under an orthodox 4-4-2 formation, his side conceded once every 2.25 matches in the Campeonato Catarinense. Under the goalpost, Jandrei arrived on loan in 2017 and he's since become an undisputed starter at the position. At the back, team leader Apodi and lower-league recruit Bruno Pacheco take care of the wings, while Grêmio loanee Rafael Thyere and Paraguayan journeyman Nery Bareiro have formed a strong defensive duo. Kleina relies on Amaral, Márcio Araújo and Elicarlos, perhaps the most experienced players of the squad, with long, multiple spells at major Brazilian clubs, to control the midfield, while former Argentine international Héctor Canteros is the creative brain of the midfield. Up forward, Grêmio loanee Guilherme seeks to become a reliable starter at a top flight club after a season as Botafogo's super sub, while target man Wellington Paulista wants a repeat of his fine 2017 season, in which he was the club's top scorer.
Fun fact Chapecoense's home ground, the Arena Condá, is named after Kaingang leader Vitorino Condá, who became part of local folklore for securing his tribe's grounds against land invaders in the XIX century.
Familiar faces West Ham supporters might remember Wellington Paulista's short stay at the club; Canteros' name may sound familiar to Villareal supporters. Apodi has played for Kuban Krasnodar, Querétaro and Brescia in the past as well.
Star of the show Apodi. The former Brazilian U23 international became a squad leader and a crowd hero during the club's reconstruction, and Chapecoense depends on his good form carrying into this season.
Wild card Elias. The promising keeper, who performed superbly against Barcelona, will give Jandrei a run for his money should his performances swing over the season.
CruzeiroDoSul

Corinthians

Full name Sport Club Corinthians Paulista
Nicknames Timão ("Big Team"), Time do Povo ("The People's Team"), Coringão
Supporters Corinthianos
Ground Arena Corinthians (49,205), São Paulo/SP
2017 Season 1st place
Kits Home/Away/Third
Best Showing 1st place (1990, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2011, 2015 and 2017)
Manager Fábio Carille
Starting XI Cássio; Fágner, Henrique, Balbuena, Sidcley; Renê Júnior, Gabriel; Clayson, Jádson, Rodriguinho, Ángel Romero.
Coming strong from a Campeonato Paulista title against rivals Palmeiras, Corinthians is once again one of the front-runners in the title race. The proletarian club from São Paulo has consistently been on the top of the table for the past decade, turning over a new leaf since falling from top flight in 2007, and is gunning for a record fourth title in a decade — a feat yet to be accomplished since the 1960's.
Tite's protégé Fábio Carille is starting his second year at the helm of Corinthians, following a dominant title run in 2017. Once a Timão player himself, Carille had been assistant manager at the club for eight year, serving under Tite and Mano Menezes, who'd eventually be appointed to the Brazil national team. He was remarkably successful in building up from Tite's style of play, and the finely-tuned squad cruised to the title. As 2018 arrived, important players left and suitable replacements came, but the departure of top scorer Jô left an open spot on the squad yet to be claimed.
Standing for a modern brand of football, with an organised, pressing defence and a fast-paced, collective offence, Fábio Carille is perhaps the best manager the Brasileirão has to offer at the moment. Under the goalpost, club legend Cássio still aims for the Brazil national team. In the most altered sector from last year's campaign, bad boy Fágner, Paraguayan international Balbuena, Palmeiras turncoat Henrique and up-and-coming Atlético Paranaense loanee Sidcley form Carille's trusted backline of four. Football journeyman Renê Júnior and Palmeiras reject Gabriel have the critical role of holding the midfield in Carille's side. Opting to play without a striker, Carille fields instead veteran workhorse Jádson and squad leader Rodriguinho to lead creative duties, with pacey dirty worker Ángel Romero and former hidden jewel Clayson at the wings.
Fun fact Named after Corinthian-Casuals, Corinthians still maintains good relations with the English amateur homonym club, which tours Brazil sporadically to this day.
Familiar faces Wolfsburg supporters might recall Fágner's name, while Jádson's name might take Shakhtar Donetsk supporters to a stroll down memory lane.
Star of the show Cássio. At the club since 2012, the long-haired goalie has been a pivotal player at all of the club's honours since then, including the Copa Libertadores and Club World Cup titles.
Wild card Pedrinho. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder, promoted last year from the youth academy, is the brightest talent coming from Parque São Jorge in years. Still building up physique to last 90 minutes in a professional match, he should be slowly incorporated to the starting squad by Carille thoughout the year.
CruzeiroDoSul

Cruzeiro

Full name Cruzeiro Esporte Clube
Nicknames Raposa ("Fox"), La Bestia Negra
Supporters Cruzeirenses
Ground Estádio Mineirão (61.846), Belo Horizonte/MG
2017 Season 5th place
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing Champions (1966, 2003, 2013, 2014)
Manager Mano Menezes
Starting XI Fábio; L. Romero, Dedé, Léo, Egídio; Henrique, A. Cabral; Robinho, Thiago Neves, De Arrascaeta; Raniel.
Cruzeiro is considered one of the powerhouses of Brazilian football, being one of the few teams that was never relegated from top flight and the only team in the to win the Brazilian treble, winning the Campeonato Mineiro, the Copa do Brasil and the Brasileirão in 2003.
Last year, the team got a top-5 finish in the league and won the Copa do Brasil, clinching a spot to the Copa Libertadores group stage. The team lost some notable pieces, selling fullback Diogo Barbosa to Palmeiras, but went on the market to get important depth players and a top striker in Fred. Some specialists consider Cruzeiro as having the best roster in the country.
With spectations through the roof, a high-demanding but present supporter core and friendly ticket prices, Cruzeiro has the highest average attendance for Série A teams this season, with over 25k supporters every match to see the team smash some farmers from the countryside in the Campeonato Mineiro.
After going undefeated in the first stage of the Campeonato Mineiro, including wins against fellow Série A teams Atlético Mineiro and América, Cruzeiro got a bad sequence with the first loss of the season against Racing then a draw at home against Vasco, Cruzeiro show signs of comeback, after coming back from a 3-1 deficent to win the Campeonato Mineiro.
Cruzeiro has a top head coach in former National Team manager Mano Menezes, a club legend in Fábio as goalkeeper (and a elite backup in Rafael), centerbacks Léo, Murilo and injury-free Dedé rotate in the two starting spots making a decent defensive core, but with big problems in set pieces. Egídio and Lucas Romero (a natural defensive midfielder converted as a fullback by the manager) close the back four. Ariel Cabral and Henrique make a good defensive midfielder duo, with Robinho and Arrascaeta as wingers and Thiago Neves as the main playmaker and experienced reference for the team. With Fred out with a serious knee injury, the striker position is up for grabs: speedster Sassá, veteran Rafael Sóbis and home-grown talent Raniel are battling for it.
Fun fact Cruzeiro has its mascot, the fox mainly because of the smartness and cunningness of a former club president, Mário Grosso. But also, of course, in a reference to their main rivals, Atlético Mineiro, and their mascot, the rooster.
Familiar faces Lucas Romero. Romero is a known name for any Football Manager fans, being a must-buy especially on FM15. I could talk about Fred here, but he has a torn ACL and MCL and might not even play this season.
Star of the show Thiago Neves. Being the main thinking head of the team, TN30 has been really leading the team by example since his arrival, in a technical and mental way.
Wild card Dedé. After yet another season cut short with a knee injury, the 63rd greatest Brazilian of all time is now back to prove he hasn't lost a step and is ready to become once again the best centerback in the country. If he can keep himself healthy, that is.
TedBoyMarino

Flamengo

Full name Clube de Regatas do Flamengo
Nicknames Mengão, Fla
Supporters Flamenguistas, Rubro-Negros ("the Red and Blacks")
Ground Estádio Luso Brasileiro (20,113), Rio de Janeiro/RJ
2017 Season 6th place
Kits Home/Away
Best Showing 1st place (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1992, 2009)
Manager Maurício Barbieri (interim)
Starting XI Diego Alves; Trauco, Réver, Juan, Pará; Jonas, Everton, Lucas Paquetá, Diego, Éverton Ribeiro; Guerrero.
As of the last few years, Flamengo has failed to deliver what its fans ultimately crave for: the Brasileirão title, one more for the club’s cabinet of trophies. The last time that happened was back in 2009, when the club jumped from a 10th position by the end of the first half of the season, to a 1st place finish in order to secure the title. Since then, the perfomances on the national level haven’t been as great for the fans: Flamengo even fought against relegation in 2013, which is certainly not what the expectations are for a club of this size. Still, the 2016 season saw the club at the top of the table for a few rounds, but that was overtaken by Palmeiras, who ended up as champions in that year. It is fair to say that the fans are obsessed with the club's 7th league trophy: the Hepta.
The season started shaky, as manager Carpegiani was fired upon the defeat to Botafogo in the semifinals of the Campeonato Carioca along with footbal director Rodrigo Caetano, causing apprehension amongst fans, since it remains unclear what Flamengo’s plan for a manager is. Interim manager Maurício Barbieri assumed, but he most likely won’t be kept in charge. Other options have been searched, such as Grêmio’s Renato Gaúcho, who preferred to continue in his club.
Despite confusions in the club, something that is clear is that Flamengo indeed has a great squad. Diego Alves was signed last year, and although he is yet to hit his best form, there’s confidence that he can do a good job. It is also fair to claim that the back-line has had at least a slight improvement from last year, seeing as veteran Juan has regained form and been rock solid in defense, and Réver has been great as a defender, just like he was last year. In the left-back, Trauco barely saw play time under Carpegiani, despite being a firm starter in the last year.The right side has the dispute between Pará and Rodinei, both whom can be a liability defensively. In the midfield, Jonas gained more play time compared to last year, and he also did a better job under Carpegiani. Youngster Lucas Paquetá has consistently proved himself as worthy of starting material, keeping up great perfomances, and putting up effort on the pitch. Diego is one of the clubs’ stars, and he remains a key spot in the midfield as he’s able to distribute greatly. Éverton Ribeiro is certainly one of the most talented players in Brazil. Up front, Guerrero is still Flamengo's best bet for the striker position.
Fun fact The crowd of 194,603 in a Fla-Flu derby at the Maracanã in 1963 went out as the biggest attendance at a football match in history; the 0:0 tie won Flamengo the Campeonato Carioca.
Familiar faces Foreign observers should all recognise former stars Júlio César, Juan and Diego Ribas and € 45 million wonder kid Vinícius Júnior on the bench as a super sub.
Star of the show It’s not uncommon for Diego to run the show in Flamengo’s matches, he’s the maestro of the team. Few players have the capacity that he has to distribute the ball in such great sintony with the rest of the team, it’s a gift. Not to mention his ability in taking free kicks.
Wild card Willian Arão still has things left to prove seeing as he’s not been able to put up perfomances that once guaranteed him in the starting XI. He’s being dropped, and when he does come to the game, he hasn’t been offering much.
DarkNightSeven
This is the first of a two-part post. Click here to go to the second part.
submitted by CruzeiroDoSul to soccer [link] [comments]

World Cup starts this Friday at 1am, here's all you need to know

Free TV

SBS will be showing some of the games for free in HD, including all the socceroos matches.
That's OK, but if you want to watch other matches then you need to either sign up for online viewing with Optus Sport, or go to a pub.

Signing up with Optus Sport

You can watch the whole world cup online with Optus Sports, and you don't need to be a customer.
You need to install the app on your phone, Android, or iOS. Sign up with them on the app, and setup the payment with them, it's $14.99/month, and you can cancel at any time.
Once you are registered, you can use that login information to enter the normal website, which will allow you to watch the matches from your laptop, PC, etc... This is probably what you want to do, to watch the matches at your place.
If you are indeed an Optus costumer, check here if you already have access to Optus Sport

Watching it at a pub

Do you know any other good venue that is doing a special for the World Cup?

Schedule

Information about teams and players

submitted by tinmun to sydney [link] [comments]

#HD]SoccerS.Watch* Juventus vs Young Boys Live Stream: UEFA Online Free Full Streaming

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submitted by AdministrativeShine8 to barcatotten_foru [link] [comments]

How /r/soccer reacted to Man Utd's 16/17 Premier League campaign

Put this together last summer and it seemed to be well-received. Seemed to generate some amusing content last time so hopefully this time it does the same.
The comments were gathered by sorting the post-match threads on /soccer by Top Comment. If you want your username deleted from your comment, just message me.
n.b In some cases it has not always been possible to find the post-match thread on /soccer so filler comments from /reddevils have been used.

Matchday 1: Bournemouth 1 - 3 Manchester United

Matchday 2: Manchester United 2 - 0 Southampton

Matchday 3: Hull City 0 - 1 Manchester United

  • "Fuck me. Hull were tremendous. Phelan did a brilliant job setting the team out. Rashford looked absolutely brilliant as soon as he came on. These last minute wins are thrilling to say the least." -ballsywallsy
  • "Rashford was exceptional in the 20ish minutes he got tonight. Every touch or dribble was direct and threatening. That goal was just the cherry on top of a magnificient performance." - chammyman

Matchday 4: Manchester United 1 - 2 Manchester City

  • "Somewhere in Turin, Joe Hart sips on an espresso chuckling heartily." - four_four_three
  • "Almost forgot how good Guardiola v Mourinho games are. I always just put it down to the quality of the sides (Madrid vs Barcelona) but Inter vs Barclona and Bayern vs Chelsea in the Super Cup were also class. This game was really good" - yourpupilsdilated

Matchday 5: Watford 3 - 1 Manchester United

Matchday 6: Manchester United 4 - 1 Leicester City

Matchday 7: Manchester United 1 - 1 Stoke City

  • "I love the new United. Just when their fans think they were turning a corner, they draw to the worst team in the league at home." - unusuallylethargic
  • "I feel like De Gea would take some better corners than Rooney at this point. Grant MOTM" - NoPaEr10

Matchday 8: Liverpool 0 - 0 Manchester United

  • "Never underestimate Josè's ability to make a big game boring. It's an art." - hnewbs
  • "Imagine waiting 2 weeks for this shit" - ZiM10x

Matchday 9: Chelsea 4 - 0 Manchester United

  • "All the money United have spent and four nothing" - sanszooey
  • "Mourinho finally has Chelsea looking like champions again" - hnewbs
  • "Don't know why everyone's writing off Man United, I reckon they'll stay up." - VanillaFace77

Matchday 10: Manchester United 0 - 0 Burnley

Matchday 11: Swansea 1 - 3 Manchester United

  • "The real result here is Phil Jones playing 90 minutes!" - Pigeon_Asshole
  • "It's frustrating how we shut off after leading by halftime, especially since we've lost the league and lost out on champions league on goal difference." - PurpleEyeStabber1211

Matchday 12: Manchester United 1 - 1 Arsenal

  • "Arsenal win 1-1." - deleted
  • "Even while suspended, Zlatan exerted more influence on this match than Özil." - envague

Matchday 13: Manchester United 1 - 1 West Ham United

  • "You know you've been in for a treat when you hear the words "Fellaini's gone up front with Ibrahimovic". Long may the mediocrity continue." - EvenGandhiHatesLVG
  • "If you're in bad form and you need a point, come on down to the the theater of memes and we'll sort you out." - Giordano_5

Matchday 14: Everton 1 - 1 Manchester United

  • "Everton MOTM has to be Marouane Fellaini" - Jayveesac
  • "The special 1-1." - ukisreng

Matchday 15: Manchester United 1 - 0 Spurs

Matchday 16: Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Manchester United

  • "Worst officiated game of the season, players get benched and even sold for being shit, managers get fired, so should referees, they should get reviewed and they shouldnt be allowed to referee if they keep doing this.." - johncenatbh
  • "So where's everyone who was talking about how washed up ibra is?" - EvenGandhiHatesLVG

Matchday 17: West Brom 0 - 2 Manchester United

  • "At this rate, Zlatan is going to break Sir Bobby Charlton's goal record before Rooney does." - envague
  • "Quite sensationally, Jose Mourinho has managed to come out of three consecutive fixtures against 'P' managers with 9 points. A far cry from the 2014/2015 season when his only defeats of the entire season came against Pardew, Pochettino, Pulis and Bradford's Phil Parkinson. Have to give credit as well to Rojo and Jones. They kept Rondon quiet." - yourpupilsdilated

Matchday 18: Manchester United 3 - 1 Sunderland

  • "Pogba was a class above today. What a fucking player" - disad1ers
  • "United getting there, great football and winning matches, im still angry at the dumb draws and so many chances missed in those previous games, but the difference from last season is so big" - johncenatbh

Matchday 19: Manchester United 2 - 1 Middlesbrough

  • " would been an absolute cunt for weeks had we not won that. Fair fucks to José for the attacking subs." - Pedantic_Pat

Matchday 20: West Ham United 0 - 2 Manchester United

  • "Mike Dean ruined what could have been a really good game of football right there." - Mozzez
  • "Worst performance since the Chelsea game. Pogba vs West Ham out there, until Mata and Rashford came on. Again, awful refereeing. They really need to do something about this shower of shite." - thepurplesoul

Matchday 21: Manchester United 1 - 1 Liverpool

Matchday 22: Stoke City 1 - 1 Manchester United

  • "I bet there are tons of Liverpool fans rapidly changing their post match comments now" - WontomWisdom
  • "Yet again teams above us are dropping points and we can't capitalise...frustrating as fuck, fair play to Rooney though for saving a point." - ShepherdsPye
  • "Congratulations Wayne Rooney on an incredible achievement." - Simar121

Matchday 23: Manchester United 0 - 0 Hull City

  • "After all their rivals above them dropping points, Man Utd drawing at home with Hull was the most predictable result this evening." - ghostofcaesar
  • "City big winners this week" - odewar37

Matchday 24: Leicester City 0 - 3 Manchester United

  • "There and back again - A Leicester City tale." - mike_blomkvist
  • "Excellent result. Mhikitaryan is Di Maria without the shitty attitude. Valencia is a madman. And I loved having Bailly back. And the other point people complained about for some reason, I'll repeat what I said in the match thread; Why would you bring Martial on when a game is won. Young needs game time to be useful to the squad. There's no reason for Martial at 3-0 in a win game to risk injury. Use him in a game he's needed instead. The last thing we need is to burn Martial out the way Liverpool did Sterling.." - Spoofex

Matchday 25: Manchester United 2 - 0 Watford

  • "The dizzy heights of 5th place are giving me a nose bleed" - ShepherdsPye
  • "Can I just say how well Ander Herrera has played defensively this game. He had some amazing tackles throughout the game. Definitely deserves praise." Aajss

Matchday 26: Manchester United 1 - 1 Bournemouth

  • "You can talk about the referee and his appalling game all you want but there's no justification for us not winning that game." - Hairyarthur ____

Matchday 27: Middlesbrough 1 - 3 Manchester United

  • "Valencia chased that down. He played 90 minutes 2 days ago, 90 minutes up and down the pitch today. Last minute chased it down. theres no error if he doesnt. No other player would have chased it. I fucking love you Tony" - vincent1989
  • "You can shove your tiki-taka up your arse. Sitting unnecessarily deep, playing 6 at the back and scoring possibly the shittest goal we've ever scored to secure the win. I want that every week" - cookie1254

Matchday 28: Manchester United 0 - 0 West Brom

  • "Any positives? I'll start, Bailly and Rojo is the best partnership we've put out this season and could be fantastic going into the future" - madaratheuchiha

Matchday 29: Manchester United 1 - 1 Everton

  • "A point a day, keeps the CL away" - the_drog
  • "My God Everton are shit at counter attacking..." - jaegarjaquez

Matchday 30: Sunderland 0 - 3 Manchester United

  • "Petition to play the rest of our games away please" - The_B1ack_0ne

Matchday 31: Manchester United 2 - 0 Chelsea

  • "http://imgur.com/a/GzmWK" - twersx
  • "The greatest team selection by a Man United manager since we beat Arsenal in the FA Cup with 3 defenders in midfield. Take a bow Mourinho. Take a bow every single player who played today. Outstanding. Performance of the season." - buddyhollybenhur
  • "Real Madrid should buy Ander Herrera. That way they'll get both him and Hazard." - deleted

Matchday 32: Burnley 0 - 2 Manchester United

  • "Felt like a Fergie era game. Routine, boring and easy win." - adonbilivitt
  • "That Bailly dude is pretty good" - gbx7

Matchday 33: Manchester City 0 - 0 Manchester United

  • "The city of Manchester owes me two hours of precious live time" - TheHighFlyer
  • "Fitting Mourinho quote: "Every time I play Pep I end up with 10 men. It must be some sort of UEFA rule." - alricson

Matchday 34: Manchester United 1 - 1 Swansea

  • "I guess no one wants to play in the champions league" - that0neguy22
  • "Manchester United's all time league unbeaten record smashed. This alone tells us this 16/17 squad is the finest side this club has ever seen." - moneysubber

Matchday 35: Arsenal 2 - 0 Manchester United

  • "Bye bye world's worst unbeaten run." - buddyhollybenhur
  • "How poetic it is to see the most pointless unbeaten streak in history ended by Arsene Wenger of all people." - Sexxyblack

Matchday 36: Spurs 2 - 1 Manchester United

  • "At least Ill always get that "who scored the last goal at WHL?" trivia question correct." TheBourneLegend
  • "If you need 3 points just close your stadium and invite Man United over." - HarryWHU

Matchday 37: Southampton 0 - 0 Manchester United

Matchday 38: Manchester United 2 - 0 Crystal Palace

  • "The left back Mitchell and Tuanzebe were exceptionally impressive . I hope we will see more of them in the future" - maorgano
  • "We were pretty much on holiday which is fine as result didn't really matter. Credit to united though their youngsters looked promising" - Burpah
submitted by tocitus to reddevils [link] [comments]

I asked you to predict EURO 2016 results. Here are the predictions of 100 participants! [x-post r/footybetting]

A couple of days ago I asked /footybetting (thread link) and /soccerbetting (thread link) to help out with a new project I'm working on*. At this stage I'm happy to introduce the idea as well as the results of your participation.
*For those who didn't see the original post/s; I asked redditors and some of my friends to predict the fulltime result home/draw/away of 10 upcoming EURO 2016 matches.

The idea

There's this neat concept often referred to as "wisdom of the crowd". Wikipedia refers to it as "the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than that of a single expert". It has been shown that the aggregate opinion of a group tends to be more accurate than that of its individuals. This is, according to Wikipedia, true in domains such as quantity estimation, general world knowledge, and spatial reasoning.
For this project I intend to explore whether this tendency applies to sports betting. The survey I published was part of a pilot project to assess the viability of the idea. I used SurveyMonkey since it seemed like a userfriendly (and more importantly, free) platform to distribute the survey.
Unfortunately, it turns out that the free version is capped at 100 responses - and there are now 110. We'll have to do with 100 this time around since I'm not willing to start investing in the project just yet. I'll be looking for better platforms when doing further tests.
Without further ado, here are...

The results

If you would like to view raw data (primarily number of votes and pretty graphics), click here.
Fixture Home Draw Away
France vs Romania 99% 1% 0%
Albania vs Switzerland 3% 21% 76%
Wales vs Slovakia 44% 40% 16%
England vs Russia 69% 27% 4%
Turkey vs Croatia 21% 40% 39%
Poland vs North Ireland 79% 16% 5%
Germany vs Ukraine 96% 4% 0%
Spain vs Czech Republic 93% 5% 2%
Ireland vs Sweden 8% 42% 50%
Belgium vs Italy 39% 39% 22%
As you can see, some of those are really close. If you want to bet according to these predictions, I'd advise going for double chance bets on the really tight ones (i.e. Belgium vs Italy, Turkey vs Croatia, Wales vs Slovakia).

The future

If it turns out that these predictions are accurate at all, I will be publishing a few more surveys like it. Hopefully I'll be able to take more than 100 responses next time, and hopefully there will be more uncertain matches (maybe some obscure leagues). I will also, if possible, add the ability to skip questions so you can choose to only reply where you think you can contribute.
After further testing, I will consider launching an online service for this type of "crowdsourced" betting. I've got many ideas for how it would work, but would like to do more test runs before I start talking about them.
Please feel free to ask questions here or by PM. I am also open for collaborating with other redditors towards the potential launch of a website. PM me if you're interested.
Good luck!
submitted by BillGoats to SoccerBetting [link] [comments]

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submitted by Etc2011 to manchampions [link] [comments]

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submitted by hdqitv to shithiL [link] [comments]

Daily Transfer News Thread - 08/21/2018

Auto-Refreshing Transfer News Thread from Sky Sports
Auto-refreshing reddit comments link
20:02

THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

Join us at 7am tomorrow for all of the latest news and rumours from the market. Until then...
19:54

NO OZIL WAGES FOR RAMSEY

Arsenal are keen to tie Aaron Ramseyto a new contract but will not give him the kind of wages that his teammate Mesut Ozil earns, report the Evening Standard.
Ramsey is seeking a significant increase on his current £110,000 weekly wage with Ozil earning £350,000 since signing his new contract last season.
The Welshman's contract expires at the end of the season and Chelsea, Manchester United and Lazio have all been linked with a move for him.
19:19

REAL'S LAST-DITCH HAZARD ATTEMPT?

Real Madrid will make one last attempt to sign Eden Hazard before the Spanish window closes, according to the Daily Mirror.
Real have been linked with the Chelsea star all summer, and with their window closing on August 31, they feel there is still time to do a deal.
Julen Lopetegui's side have not made a major signing this summer.
18:33

RANGERS APPOINT NEW DIRECTOR

Rangers have made Hong Kong-based shareholder Julian Wolhardt a new director of the club.
Wolhardt, a Danish national, bought a 4.5 per cent stake in the club from Mike Ashley in June 2017. His appointment comes 10 days before a general meeting is held at the club over a proposed share issue.
18:16

SOCCER SPECIAL PRICE BOOST

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18:11

MILLER SIGNS UP

Calvin Miller has today signed a new one-year contract with Celtic, keeping him at the club until 2020.
The 20-year-old left back made four starts for Celtic last season.
17:52

SUPER 6

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17:23

PJANIC SIGNS NEW JUVE DEAL

Miralem Pjanic has signed a new five-year deal with Juventus.
Pjanic, 28, has helped Juve win the Serie A and Coppa Italia double in both of his seasons at the club, following five years at Roma.
17:00

DUNNE DEAL

Burnley centre-back Jimmy Dunne has joined Hearts on a six-month loan deal, the Scottish Premiership club have announced.
Hearts have been on the lookout for centre half cover following injury to club captain Christophe Berra.
16:35

MARTINA DEBUT?

Defender Cuco Martina could make his Stoke debut as Wigan visit in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday.
The Curacao international, signed on a season-long loan from Everton, has been building up his fitness in the U23s side and will be assessed ahead of the game.
16:03

LOPETEGUI WANTS RODRIGO

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui wants Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno, reports AS.
Lopetegui, whose side sold Cristiano Ronaldo earlier this summer, wants to strengthen his attacking options and believes Rodrigo would be a perfect fit for his squad.
However, senior figures in Madrid are reluctant to bring a new forward to the Bernabeu.
Madrid believe Rodrigo’s €120m buyout clause is excessive and feel €60m would be a fair fee for the Spain international.
15:30

BREAKING NEWS

Leeds United full-back Laurens De Bock has joined Belgian side K. V. Oostende on season-long loan.
The 25 year-old joined Leeds from Club Brugge and went on to make seven appearances for the Whites.
De Bock will spend the rest of the 2018/19 campaign on loan at the Jupiler Pro League side.
https://twitter.com/LUFC/status/1031926402386481152
15:09

‘VAN DIJK WORTH EVERY PENNY’

Virgil van Dijk's price tag is not an issue anymore, says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who salutes the attributes of his Dutch centre-back.
14:39

BREAKING NEWS

Real Madrid forward Martin Odegaard has joined Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan, the European champions have announced.
https://twitter.com/realmadrid/status/1031911782355546112
14:36

RAMSEY ON UNITED RADAR

Manchester United are planning a January move for Aaron Ramsey, reports the Manchester Evening News.
The Wales international’s future is up in the air after entering the final year of his current contract at the Emirates.
Ramsey famously rejected a move to Old Trafford before joining Arsenal from Cardiff in 2008.
14:16

BOLT LOOKING TO LEARN

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has teamed up with Central Coast Mariners for pre-season training and admits he has a lot to learn if he is to earn a place in the team.
13:42

MADRID DUO AFTER ALONSO

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid could be in direct competition to sign Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso, according to AS.
Alonso has started the season in fine form, scoring and assisting a goal in Chelsea's 3-2 win over Arsenal on Saturday.
Real are seeking reinforcements at left back after allowing Theo Hernandez to join Real Sociedad on loan while Atletico are wary of an approach from PSG for Filipe Luis.
Alonso started his career with Real Madrid before leaving for Bolton Wanderers in search of first-team football back in 2010.
13:36

VILLA TO HIJACK BOLASIE MOVE

Aston Villa are looking to snatch Yannick Bolasie from Middlesbrough's grasp according to Keith Downie.
https://twitter.com/SkySports_Keith/status/1031896906052452352
13:10

JANSSEN UNDERGOES SURGERY

Out-of-favour Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen has undergone minor foot surgery which could scupper the chances of him leaving the club this month.
Janssen spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce and has been linked with a return to Turkey particularly after being stripped of the No.9 shirt at Spurs.
The Dutchman does not feature in Mauricio Pochettino's plans for the coming season.
12:44

SAINTS SEAL HODSON SIGNING

St Mirren have signed Rangers defender Lee Hodson on a season-long loan deal.
The full-back has found himself surplus to requirements under new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard following the signings of Jon Flanagan and Borna Barisic this summer.
12:38

BRUNT RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL DUTY

Chris Brunt has announced his retirement from international duty in order to focus on helping West Brom earn promotion back to the Premier League.
"After a period of lengthy consideration I have taken the difficult decision to retire from international football," he said in a statement.
"I have spent a lot of time thinking it over but I feel, at this point in my career, I need my sole football focus to be on helping West Bromwich Albion return to the Premier League."
Brunt made 65 appearances for Northern Ireland after making his debut in 2004 but missed out on participating at Euro 2016 due to a knee injury.
12:34

FORSTER RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster is running out of time to leave the club before the European transfer window closes, reports the Daily Echo.
Forster has fallen behind Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn at the pecking order at St Mary's and has been linked with Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Besiktas this summer.
12:20

NO OZIL WAGES FOR RAMSEY

Arsenal are keen to tie Aaron Ramsey to a new contract but will not give him the kind of wages that his teammate Mesut Ozil earns, report the Evening Standard.
Ramsey is seeking a significant increase on his current £110,000 weekly wage with Ozil earning £350,000 since signing his new contract last season.
The Welshman's contract expires at the end of the season and Chelsea, Manchester United and Lazio have all been linked with a move for him.
12:07

MILLER TO JOIN ST MIRREN?

St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs has refused to rule out a move for Kenny Miller, a day after he left his role as player-manager of Livingston.
St Mirren were interested in signing Miller during the summer, before he joined Livingston. If he was to sign this week, he could make his debut this Saturday... against Livingston.
Stubbs says there have been no discussions thus far, as Miller has “a few things to tie up” at his former club. However he admits Miller could be a target if the circumstances change in the coming days
11:58

BORO AFTER EVERTON DUO

Middlesbrough remain in discussions over deals with Everton over midfield duo Yannick Bolasie and Mo Besic, according to the Northern Echo.
Tony Pulis is keen to get loan deals wrapped up for the pair before Friday's game against West Brom.
11:33

RABIOT IN BARCA LINK

Barcelona have already signed Arthur and Arturo Vidal this summer, but they remain keen on a move for PSG's Adrien Rabiot, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Rabiot's contract with PSG expires next summer and Barcelona think they will be able to get him for a fee worth £45m.
If Rabiot were to join it would raise question marks over Ivan Rakitic's future at Barcelona with the Croatian having been linked to PSG.
11:05

NEVILLE DEFENDS EMERY

Gary Neville has defended Arsenal's new head coach Unai Emery amid criticism over his tactics during his first two Premier League games in charge.
Arsenal have lost both of their games this season against Manchester City and Chelsea but Neville insists that he has seen improvement early on in Emery's reign.
"For me, the idea of what the coach has been trying to work on is there," he said on Monday Night Football. "He is trying to undo quite a lot of the bad habits, to be quite honest with you, that have been going on for the last five or six years, that those players have had in them.
"But the principle is there and that's a big change for me. It's a big step forward and if I were Unai Emery after these first two games against Manchester City and Chelsea I would be taking the positives."
10:55

MORNING WHISPERS

Catch up with the latest in the transfer world with help from our friends at Football Whispers...
https://storify.com/services/proxy/2/F5hKKG1jxDuHAkMwLai29w/https/d2kmm3vx031a1h.cloudfront.net/mmWGJvgSSaBHYE8P16KF_2018-08-21-11-37-25-sky-top-10-graphic.png
10:40

BETIS EYE ZINCHENKO

Real Betis are interested in signing Manchester City's versatile Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko but are waiting for Pep Guardiola's side to allow him to leave, reports ABC de Sevilla.
The Premier League champions may still require his services this season, but Betis are ready to arrange a loan deal should he become available.
The player's agent was in Seville last week to agree personal terms. Zinchenko turned down a permanent move to Wolves earlier in the summer.
10:26

BARCELONA KEEN ON DE JONG

Barcelona are making another attempt to sign Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong, according to Sport.
The club have already had one bid rejected, but the 21-year-old could leave this season if Ajax fail to win their Champions League playoff tie against Dynamo Kyiv.
10:07

EVERTON SET LOOKMAN PRICE

Everton are demanding £28m plus add-ons for Ademola Lookman to join RB Leipzig, according to Sky sources.
Sky Sports News reported on Monday that Leipzig had made a fresh £22m offer for the 20-year-old winger after he impressed during a loan spell with the club in the second half of last season.
The German side have remained keen to sign him before their August 31 transfer deadline, with manager Ralf Rangnick stating earlier this summer: "We want him back and he wants to come."
Everton boss Marco Silva has said this summer that he wants to keep the player, that Lookman is the club’s “present and future”, and he was doing everything “to make him happy again”.
RB Leipzig head of recruitment Paul Mitchell - a potential candidate for Manchester United's new technical director role - is thought to be a long-term admirer of Lookman, who joined Everton from Charlton Athletic.
09:57

BASSONG TRAINING WITH QPR

Former Tottenham and Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong is training with QPR.
The Cameroon international has not played since March 2017 and was released by his last club Norwich in the summer that followed.
The 32-year-old played an hour of QPR’s Under-23 fixture against Nottingham Forest yesterday and is understood to initially be looking to gain fitness.
Rangers are bottom of the Championship having lost their first three league games – the latest a 7-1 defeat at West Brom on Saturday.
09:44

BORDEAUX BEGIN HENRY TALKS

Bordeaux have begun preliminary talks with Thierry Henry’s representatives about the possibility of becoming their next manager, Sky Sports News understands.
The Ligue 1 side suspended current manager Gus Poyet on Friday after he labelled the French club a "disgrace" and the Uruguayan has said he no longer wishes to continue.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that Henry was interested in the job yesterday and said that he has the 'qualities' to be a success.
09:39

BHOYS IN FOR BRUMA

Sky Sports News reported earlier that Celtic are preparing a bid for Aberdeen central defender Scott McKenna but another player on their radar is Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma.
According to Bild, Wolfsburg are open to selling him this summer for £5m after he was left out of their matchday squad against SV Elversberg at the weekend.
Bruma has been capped 25 times by the Netherlands and lists PSV, Hamburg, Leicester and Chelsea as his former clubs.
09:24

LIVINGSTON SIGN TOGO STAR

Manager-less Livingston have signed Togo international Steve Tevi Lawson.
The 24-year old fullback agreed to join the club at the weekend, before the departure of Kenny Miller.
Lawson has played 6 times for Togo – his most recent club was Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland.
09:18

BRENTFORD SIGN DASILVA

Brentford have confirmed the signing of Josh Dasilva with the 19-year-old signing a four-year contract.
Dasilva opted to reject a contract offer from Arsenal at the end of his deal and as such Brentford will have to pay the Premier League club a compensation fee.
Phil Giles, Brentford's Co-Director of Football, said: "It is great that Brentford now has a reputation for being able to offer that to the best young players and that they are keen to join us."
https://twitter.com/BrentfordFC/status/1031828470383484929
09:14

CELTIC PREPARING MCKENNA BID

Celtic are preparing to bid for Aberdeen’s £10m-rated defender Scott McKenna, Sky Sports News understands.
The Dons have turned down bids for the 21-year old Scottish international from Hull and Swansea in the last two transfer windows.
Aberdeen are understood to value their centre half at around £10m which is some way off Celtic’s valuation of the player.
Aberdeen maintain their player is not for sale. He is contracted until 2023 having signed two new long-term deals in the past 12 months.
08:53

DENAYER JOINS LYON

Manchester City's Belgium international defender Jason Denayer has joined Ligue 1 club Lyon on a permanent deal.
Denayer joined City in 2013 and spent time on loan at Celtic, Galatasaray (twice) and Sunderland without making a competitive appearance for his parent club.
It is being reported that the fee for Denayer is €10m with a potential €3.5m in add-ons.
08:46

KLOPP: EVERYONE LOVES NABY

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that everyone at Liverpool loves summer signing Naby Keita and that he believes the Guinean midfielder will continue to improve following an impressive display against Crystal Palace.
"He's very shy and not very extroverted but on the pitch you don't see it. He needs to settle a little bit. He's next to Sadio all the time [in training]," Klopp told Monday Night Football.
"Everybody loves Naby but I don't know if he loves us because he doesn't speak a lot. But football-wise you can see the potential is outstanding but we have to give him time."
08:33

BARCA STANDING FIRM OVER RAKITIC

PSG have been linked with a move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic but the La Liga club will not sell the Croatian for anything less than his €125m buyout fee, report Marca.
That would likely rule the Ligue 1 champions out of a deal as their hands are tied due to Financial Fair Play regulations following the blockbuster signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
08:24

CHELSEA WANT LOFTUS-CHEEK STAY

Chelsea want to keep Ruben Loftus-Cheek amid interest from clubs in Germany, Spain and France.
Loftus-Cheek has slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the summer arrivals of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic while Ross Barkley has also been picked ahead of him.
After playing for England at the World Cup, Loftus-Cheek was not named in Chelsea's 18-man squad against Arsenal on Saturday and he is said to be considering his options.
08:18

DORTMUND AFTER ALCACER

Borussia Dortmund are keen on a deal to sign Paco Alcacer on loan from Barcelona, reports L'Equipe.
Alcacer is not part of Ernesto Valverde's plans for the coming season and has been linked with Valencia, Real Betis and Alaves.
Dortmund are seeking a replacement for Michy Batshuayi who has joined Valencia on loan.
08:09

FORMER UTD ASSISTANT HITS BACK

Mike Phelan, who was Manchester United's assistant manager when Paul Pogba first left the club in 2012, has replied to Mino Raiola over the agent's comments this morning...
https://twitter.com/Mike_Phelan_1/status/1031808493039308800
08:02

MURRAY THANKFUL FOR PL OPPORTUNITY

Brighton striker Glenn Murray has thanked Chris Hughton for giving him an opportunity in the Premier League and not replacing him with a big-name player as other promoted clubs have done.
"You see with some of the promoted teams this year that they have got rid of some players and have brought some big names in. Thankfully our manager did not do that," Murray said.
"He gave everyone that helped the club to the Premier League an opportunity in the Premier League and I think most of us have taken that opportunity."
07:48

HARPER RETURNS TO MAGPIES

Former goalkeeper Steve Harper has returned to Newcastle to join the club's backroom staff, five years after leaving the club in 2013.
Harper was Newcastle's longest-serving player, first breaking through as an 18-year-old in 1993, and will become their goalkeeping coach with the club's Under-23 and Under-18 sides.
07:24

'300K-A-WEEK' FOR HAZARD'

Chelsea are to offer Eden Hazard a new £300k-per-week deal to ward off Barcelona and Real Madrid interest, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper reports the Belgian has held talks with the club over a new contract, but is yet to agree terms with the Blues.
07:16

READING SIGN SIMS

ICYMI last night, Reading have completed the signing of winger Josh Sims from Southampton on a season-long loan deal.
https://twitter.com/ReadingFC/status/1031798053450145792
07:07

NEVILLE'S RAIOLA ADVICE

A swift riposte from Gary Neville to Mino Raiola's comments, after Paul Pogba's agent took aim at fellow pundit - and former Manchster United player - Paul Scholes...
https://twitter.com/GNev2/status/1031799445728505856
07:01

POGBA AGENT TAKES AIM

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is normally a quiet, reserved man when it comes to publicity - but the Italian isn't showing that this morning on Twitter.
He hasn't aimed his anger at Manchester United per se, but is there some undertone in there?
https://twitter.com/MinoRaiola/status/1031790668304277504
https://twitter.com/MinoRaiola/status/1031791316030644224
06:54

CARRAGHER: VAN DIJK WORTH £75M

Jamie Carragher believes that Virgil Van Dijk's man of the match display against Crystal Palace shows why Liverpool spent £75m to sign him from Southampton in January.
"Tonight is the reason why you spend £75m on Virgil van Dijk," Jamie Carragher said on Monday Night Football following Liverpool's 2-0 win at Selhurst Park.
"There were two or three minutes to go and Liverpool give away a free-kick in a dangerous position. He wins the first header and it goes out for a corner. Then the next one comes in and that is where the breakaway comes, and that's the goal."
06:46

CITY SUFFER BRAVO BLOW

Manchester City were one of five clubs to vote against bringing the transfer deadline forward last summer and they might be lamenting their luck after seeing two players sidelined with injuries.
Following the news that Kevin De Bruyne will be out for up to three months with a knee injury, City have confirmed that No.2 goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has ruptured his Achilles tendon.
City will be unable to sign a replacement for the Chilean until January so young academy graduate Daniel Grimshaw is in line for a promotion to provide backup to Ederson.
06:33

NEVILLE'S PLEA TO WOODWARD

There's more fall-out to Manchester United's defeat at Brighton - with Gary Neville issuing a plea to chief executive Ed Woodward to improve the club's transfer strategy.
"Ed Woodward's job is to deliver profits on and off the pitch," he told Monday Night Football. "Profit on the pitch is performance and trophies - league titles and Champions Leagues.
"The club are delivering off the field, Ed Woodward has done an incredible job in terms of the commercial operation and the way in which the club makes an operating profit, but there is no doubt he should put a footballing structure underneath him that his extremely serious and can go and deliver for him on the pitch."
Read more from him here.
06:30

CARRAGHER EXPECTS MOURINHO EXIT

Jamie Carragher does not think Jose Mourinho will be Manchester United manager next season and suggested he could even leave the club at some point in this campaign.
"I'm not jumping to a knee-jerk reaction because Manchester United lost a game away from home," he told Monday Night Football.
"But after what's happened in the summer, if performances like that continue, I don't think Jose Mourinho will be the manager of Manchester United next season - he may not be manager at some time this season.
"There will be coaches up and down the country looking at what Mourinho said in the summer about bringing players in, a centre-back. [Of the four they have] Jose has spent £30m on two of them and two are England internationals in Phil Jones and Chris Smalling."
06:22

TRANSFER HEADLINES

06:21

MOURINHO HAS UNITED BACKING

There has been plenty of speculation over Jose Mourinho's future at Manchester United, particularly after their 3-2 defeat to Brighton with Zinedine Zidane rumoured to be a potential replacement.
However, a senior source at the club told The Guardian: "Why would we discuss Zidane when there is no job?"
06:13

IN THE NEWS

  • Aaron Ramsey's Arsenal career is on the line after Unai Emery dropped the midfielder at Chelsea. (Mail)
  • Manchester United have given their backing to Jose Mourinho and insisted they have not sounded out Zinedine Zidane about taking over at Old Trafford. (Times)
  • Chelsea are to offer Eden Hazard a new £300k-per-week deal to ward off Barcelona and Real Madrid interest. (Mail)
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek is eyeing a loan transfer to Spain after barely being used in Chelsea's first two games but Maurizio Sarri wants him to stay and fight for his place. (Mirror)
  • Jose Mourinho's plea to Ed Woodward that Manchester United should sell Anthony Martial before Europe's transfer window closes is set to be ignored. (Star)
06:07

A LATE ONE FROM LAST NIGHT

In pretty much the dead of night last night it was confirmed Mario Balotelli would be staying at Nice, despite various links with other clubs.
Balotelli even failed to report back for pre-season training initially, but Nice's twitter account has now confirmed the Italian forward will remain with them this season.
"The Italian international expressed his wishes to the directors," they said. "There will be a third season for the forward. The agreement was signed by all parties on Monday evening.
"Suspended for the first 3 games of Ligue 1, the Gym's forward, who has scored 43 goals since arriving at the club, will be available for selection next week, ready for the trip to Lyon.
06:02

GOOD MORNING!

Welcome back to the Transfer Blog, early risers. Let's have a quick look at the big stories doing the rounds today...
Join the discussion on Discord. I am a bot. Found any errors? Contact /Football Mods
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