The Marseille Stadium Mystery

So, Ligue 1 kicks off again in a month’s time on Saturday 9th August, with one of those chaotic season-opening multiplexes where the TV coverage is a frantic mix of that bingity bing-bing, bing-bing bing noise that tells you the coverage is moving, just as a man desperately yells “But à Gerland!” (just an example) over his equally excited colleagues. Great fun unless you’re live-tweeting. There are no grands chocs on the timetable for game 1, but some interesting matches…

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Valenciennes Relegated Again: VAFC v DNCG

Valenciennes Relegated Again: VAFC v DNCG

Last season was not a happy one for Valenciennes, who hit the relegation zone after five games and never dragged themselves out of it. They changed managers, bringing in Ariel Jacobs for Daniel Sanchez, they got in Abdul Majeed Waris on loan in January, but it didn’t work. Their season featured not one, but two seven-game losing streaks, at the beginning of the season after an opening day win over Toulouse, and at the end, as the…

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Liverpool bound Divock Origi has the world at his feet

Liverpool bound Divock Origi has the world at his feet

Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with a move for Lille’s Divock Origi in recent weeks, and on Wednesday evening it was reported that Liverpool had stolen a march on the other Premier League suitors and were close to completing a deal worth around €10 million for the 19-year-old. Liverpool are closing in on a deal for Belgium international Divock Origi. Spurs are also interested but Liverpool lead the race. — Tony…

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World Cup Player Preview: Abdul Majeed Waris

World Cup Player Preview: Abdul Majeed Waris

Heading to their third World Cup, and looking to build on their previous achievements reaching the last 16 on their debut in Germany, and that quarter-final against Uruguay in South Africa in 2010, Ghana have been handed a place in a very tricky group along with Germany, Portugal and the USA. In the frenetic world of CAF qualifying, Ghana went through pretty comfortably, topping a group with Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan, winning five of six,…

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Aissa Mandi: Algeria’s defender is the Right Mandi for the Job

Aissa Mandi: Algeria’s defender is the Right Mandi for the Job

“I ask you to comply with the norms of civility” came the patient but tired voice of the announcer at the Stade de Geneve. He was pleading with the hordes of Algerian supporters who had spilled onto the pitch following a 2-1 victory against Romania in Algeria’s final pre-World Cup friendly. A number of them climbed onto the goalposts, others fought with police. Young women capitalized on the chaos to snap a few pitch-side souvenir selfies. I left…

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Alejandro Bedoya: Bringing Belief to the USA

Alejandro Bedoya: Bringing Belief to the USA

Four years ago, Alejandro Bedoya’s World Cup dreams were dashed when US coach Bob Bradley made the then 23-year-old one of the last players cut from his squad for South Africa. At the time, Bedoya was plying his trade in Sweden, establishing himself as a central figure at Örebro SK. Since then, he’s played for four different clubs (including Örebro) and sometimes struggled for regular playing time. Yet in May of 2014, he found himself…

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Vincent Enyeama: Helping the Super Eagles to soar

Vincent Enyeama: Helping the Super Eagles to soar

It seems strange to say it about a 31-year old, but 2013-2014 has been something of a breakout season for Vincent Enyeama – at least in terms of the big European leagues. The Nigerian goalkeeper will take the field against Iran for his country’s World Cup opener this Monday full of confidence, after a spectacular season with Lille. The young Vincent chose to become a goalkeeper despite being relatively short for the position, standing at…

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PSG’s Edinson Cavani to be Uruguay’s main man in Brazil?

PSG’s Edinson Cavani to be Uruguay’s main man in Brazil?

Uruguay and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani comes into the FIFA World Cup on the back of a satisfactory debut season in Ligue 1. After scoring 16 times in 30 league appearances – 25 goals across all competitions – El Matador will have his sights set on gunning down the likes of England and Italy in Group D. The prolific 27-year-old has been frequently linked with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea since the turn…

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