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Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud both came on as late substitutes in France's huge World Cup qualifying win against Ukraine on Wednesday.

With Mathieu Debuchy playing well for club and country, Bacary Sagna is unlikely to be a starter for France in Brazil. The prognosis for Olivier Giroud is less clear. Karim Benzema scored in the win and has now scored in three of his last four qualifiers but his overall performances and the quality of the opposition against which he scored opens the door for Giroud to start ahead of the Real Madrid man. Giroud's production for Arsenal has slowed down since his blazing start but he is still among the more productive forwards in the Premier League and if he continues to maintain that status for the entire season he may eclipse Benzema in the starting line-up. Regardless, given the 2-0 deficit France faced heading into the match, both players will be thrilled to be going to Brazil as participants.
Source: ESPNFC.com
Wed, Nov 20, 2013 12:39:00 PM

Jose Mourinho was handed his first ever loss at Stamford Bridge as manager of Chelsea, as last place Sunderland pulled off the upset of the season in a 1-2 final.

After 77 unbeaten matches, 61 of which were wins, Mourinho finally tastes defeat on his own pitch, ending one of the more spectacular records in league history. The manager had to turn to Mark Schwarzer to fill in for Petr Cech, who was a late scratch due to a virus. Samuel Eto'o gave the Blues the lead in the 12th minute, converting a left footed volley from a Willian corner and it looked to be business as usual. Sunderland would level six minutes later however, as Schwarzer spilled his save, allowing Connor Wickam to score. Chelsea had their expected share of chances, but Vito Mannone was up to the task after the early Eto'o goal. Compounded with Mourinho's record being smashed, the loss takes the fate out of Chelsea's hands for the title race assuming Liverpool take care of business tomorrow.
Apr 19 - 2:34 PM

After what until now has been a quiet and disappointing first season in the Premier League, US international Jozy Altidore won a penalty for Sunderland which resulted in the game winning goal as the Black Cats pulled off a huge 1-2 upset over Chelsea.

Epic. Sunderland found themselves down after 12 minutes, and with Chelsea's home record under Jose Mourinho, had little reason to feel optimism. However, Connor Wickham, who had erupted with a brace midweek, was in the right place following a shot by Marcos Alonso which was spilled by Mark Schwarzer, allowing for the easy put back. Chelsea stepped up the attack for the next hour, but Vito Mannone was strong in net, stopping shot after shot. Wickham was replaced by Altidore in the second half, and the American was brought down by Cesar Azpilicueta in the box. Fabio Borini converted and Sunderland held on to take three huge points. They are now 3 points behind Norwich with three home games in their last four against Swansea, Cardiff and West Brom. We may keep the Tyne-Wear derby a top flight affair after all.
Apr 19 - 2:49 PM

Kieran Gibbs will miss yet another Arsenal match due to injury with the ankle injury that kept him out of the Everton and West Ham matches persisting for one more week.

With Gibbs out and Nacho Monreal nursing a minor knock Arsenal's left back position continues to be a source of concern. Gibbs' frequent injury troubles and Monreal's lack of pace (along with Wenger's refusal to play a midfielder who can spell defense in front of his left back) has seen Arsenal's left flank be a consistent problem. With the summer transfer window looming you have to wonder where left back and a more two-way left sided midfielder sit in Arsenal's list of priorities.
Source: @Physioroom
Apr 19 - 6:42 AM

Rafael's hamstring injury has persisted with the right back to miss Manchester United's match with Champions League hopefuls Everton.

Manchester United's back line has been hard hit by injuries in recent months and Rafael's lingering hamstring injury has been no exception. Like teammate Jonny Evans, Rafael's return to the line-up has been expected for a number of weeks but it seems highly unlikely to actually happen this week. While reports have the Brazilian close to returning it would be foolish to put too much stock into a Week 36 return given the reported probability of return for the last couple weeks.
Apr 19 - 7:43 AM

Christian Eriksen registered two assists, both from set pieces, to help propel Tottenham over Fulham 3-1.

Eriksen continued to add to his case as one of the most dynamic young players in the Premier League by again providing the heartbeat of the Spurs attack. After an uneventful opening half hour, Eriksen delivered a free kick which Paulinho met at the back post after he sneaked behind the entire Fulham defense. Early in the second half, Harry Kane scored what proved to be the game-winner with a header of an Aaron Lennon cross to give him three goals in his first three PL starts. Eriksen then would put it to bed with another well placed free kick that met the knee of Younes Kaboul and caromed in. Eriksen now has eight assists on the season to go along with his seven goals.
Apr 19 - 9:46 AM

Steve Sidwell added to his team leading goal total by scoring his seventh of the season today, but it was not enough to get a positive result as Fulham lost to Tottenham 3-1.

Spurs were caught napping a bit, allowing Fulham to level just moments after Paulinho scored the opener. It was a nice move from Sidwell who, while charging into the box, caught up to his own attempted pass and pushed through the center of the Spurs defense to beat Hugo Lloris for his seventh league goal this season. After then falling behind, the Cottagers had a chance to get back in it when they were awarded a penalty due to a Christian Eriksen handball. Sidwell took it, much to the dismay of teammate Hugo Rodallega, and did not manage to get it past Lloris, who was top class today. Fulham will look to bounce back next week in a must win against Hull City.
Apr 19 - 9:57 AM

Mile Jedinak converted a penalty drawn by Cameron Jerome for the only goal in Crystal Palace's 1-0 win against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.

Crystal Palace have been a very strong team since Tony Pulis took over the club. Today's win, fueled by Mile Jedinak's penalty goal took the club to 43 points for the season and officially safe from relegation with three matches remaining. The goal also underscored Jedinak's impressive fantasy debut season. Jedinak has been a "phantom point" monster all season piling up tackles, passes intercepted and blocked shots to soar up the ranks of fantasy midfielders. Adding goals to his methods of scoring fantasy points would make for an extremely impressive fantasy option next season indeed.
Apr 19 - 11:54 AM

Pablo Armero failed to take advantage of his starting opportunity as he was at fault in the match's key moment as he conceded a penalty to Cameron Jerome that Mile Jedinak conceded.

Deputizing for George McCarthy, Pablo Armero had been solid. An interesting option for fantasy managers given his low price over the last couple of weeks, the defender showed why he was so cheap when he conceded a penalty to Cameron Jerome. When Armero's West Ham teammates failed to score it turned the defender's error into the decisive event of the match. Given the outcome, it seems likely that George McCarthy will get the next start.
Apr 19 - 11:54 AM

Brad Guzan kept a clean sheet on way to a 0-0 draw against Southampton.

The point was extremely important to Aston Villa as they are trying to stay out of the relegation battle. They are now in 15 place with 35 points, 5 ahead of Cardiff and Fulham. The match was quite uneventful as both teams struggled to create chances and fantasy managers who invested in defense in this match came out satisfied. Marc Albrighton was the only positive in the VIlla attack and he is bound to feature again next week. Include him in your fantasy squad if you're feeling adventurous.
Source: Sky Sports
Apr 19 - 12:02 PM

Peter Whittingham converted an early second half penalty to earn Cardiff City a 1-1 draw with Stoke City in Week 35 action on Saturday.

With a shocking 43% of possession against a Stoke team that is notorious for not winning the possession battle, the penalty was Cardiff's best form of attack and in the 51st minute, Frazier Campbell successfully drew a penalty from Steven N'Zonzi. Peter Whittingham converted the spot kick and gave Cardiff City a hard-earned point. The problem is that time is running short and a single point really didn't move Cardiff City much closer to their goal of getting out of the relegation zone. With Norwich City and West Brom within striking distance, they needed three points at home. They still have a fighter's chance given Norwich's brutal upcoming schedule but they aren't making it easy on themselves.
Apr 19 - 12:03 PM

It was the battle of the penalty takers as Marko Arnautovic and Peter Whittingham both scored from the spot for the only goals in the 1-1 draw between Cardiff City and Stoke City.

Peter Odemwingie has been a man reborn since his move to Stoke City and while he didn't score himself in Week 35, he was a provider of sorts as he drew the penalty that Marko Arnautovic scored for Stoke's lone tally. Stoke had a rare dominant match from a possession standpoint but they couldn't turn it into much from open play but when Odemwingie drew a penalty from Kim Bo-Kyung in first half stoppage time, Mark Hughes' men had the opportunity they needed. The lead only lasted six minutes into the second half as Steven N'zonzi conceded a penalty that was converted for the final 1-1 scoreline.
Apr 19 - 12:08 PM




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