‘I’m so proud’ – Guardiola praises Man City players despite loss against Liverpool

Pep Guardiola lavished praise on Manchester City despite their 2-1 International Champions Cup loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.

An undermanned City fell to back-to-back ICC defeats after succumbing to a 94th-minute Sadio Mane penalty in New Jersey midweek.

Missing a host of World Cup stars, City opened the scoring approaching the hour mark via Leroy Sane’s brilliance after the Germany star outpaced Virgil van Dijk and Nathaniel Clyne.

But City were pegged back within six minutes after Mohamed Salah came off the bench and equalised, before Mane converted a spot-kick at the death.

City manager Guardiola, however, could not be prouder of the record-setting Premier League champions post-match.

“It’s incredible what we have done,” Guardiola said. “The first 75 minutes, against this team which fought for the Champions League last season, I am so, so proud. I am happy to be manager of these guys for this reason.

“For 75 incredible minutes, the players were so tired but worked so hard and for the last part of the game Liverpool brought on incredible quality and deserved to score the goals in the end.

“But our performance was incredible; first half, players with an average age of 18, 19 years old, it was so good.”

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Sergio Aguero have enjoyed extended breaks following the World Cup.

Daniel Sturridge Brahim Diaz Liverpool Manchester City ICC 2018

Club-record signing Riyad Mahrez headlined Wednesday’s starting XI, with Sane and Bernardo Silva on the bench.

“We don’t think about that, we just try to make the best of it. It is what it is; I learned that when I was a little boy in Barcelona, you don’t find excuses, you just play,” Guardiola added when asked about City’s preparations with their regular starters. “We are happy. We have 16 players out because our players play for the best international teams in the world. That is a good example for the club.

“We are going to adapt, simple as that. We will see which players we have for the final against Chelsea, how many players and in which condition, we will see, and then comes the start. We are late, we know it, but if we play like we did today, with this spirit against an amazing team, the future will be so good.”

Meanwhile, the state of the pitch in New Jersey scuppered Guardiola’s plans of fielding centre-back Aymeric Laporte, with the City boss saying: “Laporte, the second day in Manchester he had a little problem with a sore wrist.

“Now he’s in perfect condition, he trains with us but we didn’t want to take a risk with him on this pitch because we need players for the beginning of the season.”

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Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

Unai Emery will look to kick off his Arsenal reign in earnest on Thursday as his side face Europa League champions Atletico Madrid at the National Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, in their opening game of the 2018 International Champions Cup.

The Spaniards, under Diego Simeone, knocked out their English opponents in the semi-finals of last year’s Europa League 2-1 on aggregate, thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa.

Now, with a new coach at the helm and following on from an 8-0 dispatch of Boreham Wood to kick off pre-season, the Gunners will look to serve up some revenge at the start of their ICC campaign.

The game is one of two both Arsenal and Atletico will play in Kallang, with the pair to face off against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday and Monday respectively before each returning to Europe.

Game Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal
Date Thursday, July 26
Time 12:30pm BST / 7:30am ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US) the game will be not be shown live on television, but it will be available to stream live online via ESPN+ and ESPNU.

US TV channel Online stream

In the United Kingdom (UK), too, the game will be aired on Premier Sports as well as streamed online by the channel.

UK TV channel Online stream
Premier Sports Premier Sports

Squads & Team News

Position Atletico Madrid squad
Goalkeepers Oblak, Adan, dos Santos
Defenders Juanfran, Aitor, Solano, Montero, Tachi, Carlos Isaac
Midfielders Rodrigo, Thomas, Vitolo, Carro, Oscar, Joaquin, Moya, Olabe
Forwards Mollejo, Correa, Gameiro, Vietto, Borja

Atletico have travelled to Singapore without a host of key names, with World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann among those absent from the 23-man party.

Uruguay defensive pair Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez are also missing as they are rested following their participation in Russia, as is Croatia’s Sime Vrsaljko.

Potential Atletico Madrid XI: Adan; Juanfran, Solano, Tachi, Aitor; Rodrigo, Joaquin, Thomas; Mollejo, Correa; Vietto.

Position Arsenal squad
Goalkeepers Cech, Leno, Martinez
Defenders Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Osei-Tutu, Sokratis
Midfielders Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock, Guendouzi, Nelson, Smith Rowe, Iwobi
Forwards Nketiah, Perez, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Arsenal have much more illustrious talent to call upon, including the trio of Mesut Ozil, Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi who all return to the fold following their World Cup participation.

Unai Emery has also included new signings Bernd Leno, Sokratis and Matteo Guendouzi alongside a host of first-team regulars for the Gunners.

Potential Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Sokratis, Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu; Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Iwobi; Perez, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Betting & Match Odds

Arsenal are marginal favourites with dabblebet, with the north Londoners priced at 11/10 to win the game. Atletico can be found at 9/4 to secure victory while a draw is 5/2.

Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Unai Emery Arsenal ICC 2018 Singapore

Unai Emery will be able to get a proper measure of his squad for the first time as Arsenal look to kick off their South-East Asian stopover in the 2018 International Champions Cup with a win against Atletico Madrid in Singapore.

The Gunners dismantled Boreham Wood 8-0 before they left, but against such inferior opposition, it is unlikely their new manager will have seen it as a gauge of his team’s potential.

Though depleted by the absence of squad members who played in the latter stages of the World Cup, Atletico will pose a sterner test.

Ahead of their opening game of the ICC at the National Stadium in Kallang, though, Emery is satisfied with the way his side have prepared so far for the 2018/19 campaign since arriving in Singapore.

“I am very happy with the work every day and with the performance of the players,” he said.

“For us it is hot, but it is nice. We are settling in very well.”

Arsenal follow their encounter with the Europa League champions with a clash against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday in Kallang before flying back to Europe.

They then wrap up their ICC campaign in a London derby with Chelsea in Dublin on Wednesday, August 1.

Atletico, meanwhile, lock horns with Paris Saint-Germain on Monday before they finish their pre-season campaign off with a clash against Inter.

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Osijek vs Rangers: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

Rangers continue their quest to qualify for the 2018-19 Europa League with a trip to Croatia to take on Osijek.

Steven Gerrard’s side will be hoping for an improvement on their last away performance, being held to a scoreless draw by Macedonian side Shkupi. Luckily a 2-0 win at Ibrox in the first leg was enough to see them progress to the second qualifying round.

Osijek also entered the competition at the same stage, facing Romania’s Petrocub Hincesti. They also scraped into the next round, drawing 1-1 away and then securing a 2-1 home victory thanks to a second-half Borna Barisic goal.

Rangers have scored just one goal from open play so far in the competition, with their second strike coming from a James Tavernier penalty in stoppage time against Shkupi. Osijek should provide a more difficult challenge as they head to eastern Croatia for the first leg.

Game Osijek vs Rangers
Date Thursday, July 26
Time 19:45pm BST / 14:45am ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US) the game will be not be shown live on television, but it will be available to stream live online via Rangers’ in-house TV channel, Rangers TV.

US TV channel Online stream
N/A Rangers TV

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Premier Sports and streamed on the Premier Player app.

UK TV channel Online stream
Premier Sports Premier Player

Squads & Team News

Position Osijek players
Goalkeepers Ivusic, Malenica, Santini
Defenders Loncar, Barisic, Tomelin, Radeljic, Simunec, Skoric, Janza, Sorsa
Midfielders Mioc, Kamenar, Lepa, Bockaj, Spoljaric, Zaper, Mudrazija, Puisc, Grgic, Pilj, Pervan, Hajradinovic
Forwards Strkalj, Maric, Henty

Striker Gabrijel Boban has been ruled out of both legs due to an ankle ligament injury, meaning that manager Zoran Zekic will have to plan without last season’s club Player of the Year. Eros Grezda is also a long-term absentee up front, meaning Ezekiel Henty could be forced into a No. 9 spot.

Alen Grgic is a doubt, but Zekic is hopeful he will have recovered in time to feature in the first leg.

Potential Osijek XI: Malenica, Sorsa, Loncar, Radeljic, Barisic, Mudrazija, Lepa, Mioc, Skoric, Bockaj, Maric.

Position Rangers squad
Goalkeepers Foderingham, McGregor, Alnwick
Defenders Tavernier, John, Wallace, Goldson, Hodson, Flanagan, Katic, Wilson, Beerman, Cardoso
Midfielders Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Ross McCrorie, Candeias, Docherty, Forrester, Barjonas, Arfield, Burt, Middleton, Coulibaly, Kent
Forwards Murphy, Windass, Morelos, Rudden, Atakayi, Herrera, Sadiq

New signing Scott Arfield is a doubt, while Lee Wallace, Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter will also sit out the first leg through injury. Gerrard has added Lassana Coulibaly into the European squad, having signed him earlier this month.

Ryan Kent arrived on loan from Gerrard’s former club Liverpool, and received late clearance to join the travelling panel. Umar Sadiq has not been included as he looks to build fitness ahead of the new season.

Potential Rangers XI: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Flanagan, Coulibaly, McCrorie, Windass, Murphy, Candeias, Morelos.

Betting & Match Odds

Unlike in the last round, Rangers are not favourites to win the game, with dabblebet offering odds of 21/10 on the Scottish side to come out on top. Osijek’s chances of winning are rated at 6/5 and a draw is available at 11/5.

Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

James Tavernier Rangers Europa League 2018-19

Rangers’ task of reaching the third qualifying round is a difficult one, with the odds reflecting the fact that they are underdogs going into the away leg.

Defender Barisic scored the crucial goal as Osijek advanced to the second qualifying round, having been named in Croatia’s preliminary squad for the World Cup before being cut from Zlatko Dalic’s final panel who went all the way to the final.

Osijek returned to Europe last season after five years watching from the outside, but put in numerous impressive performances, including wins over Swiss side Luzern and 1-0 wins both at home and away against PSV.

They were only knocked out of the Europa League thanks to away goals against Austria Vienna and will be confident of going as far as the play-offs again this season by beating Rangers en route.

Gerrard is looking to lay down a marker ahead of his debut domestic season in the Scottish Premiership, so will be hoping to use the Europa League as a platform to build from before trying to unseat Celtic and Aberdeen at the top table in Scotland.

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African All Stars Transfer News & Rumours: Leicester in talks for Jordan Ayew

Leicester in talks for Jordan Ayew

Leicester City have opened talks with Swansea City over the transfer of Jordan Ayew, The Times reports.

Claude Puel is keen on strengthening his squad with the versatile forward who scored seven goals in Swansea City’s underwhelming Premier League campaign last term.

Ayew has attracted lots of interests this summer, notable was Fulham’s £8 million offer that was rejected by Graham Potter’s side.

Nottingham Forest want Sheyi Ojo

Nottingham Forest have been linked with a move for £10m-rated Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo, according to the Sun .

Ojo is currently on tour with Liverpool in USA but the Reds are ready to cash in on the winger as he is nowhere near the first-team set-up.

The 21-year-old scored four times in 24 appearances during his last loan spell in the Championship and helped Fulham win promotion to English top-flight last season.

Ayew set for Fenerbahce medical

Andre Ayew is set to have medical at Fenerbahce today after agreeing terms with the Turkish Super Lig club, Goal understands.

The forward will leave the Liberty Stadium after six months for Turkey following the Swans’ relegation to the Championship.

Fenerbahce have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Check out the full story on Goal right here! 

Essien completes Uefa B coaching license

Chelsea legend Michael Essien is close to becoming a football manager after completing Uefa B coaching license, according to Ghana Soccernet .

The 35-year-old is now eligible to coach in Ghana Premier League but needs a Pro License to qualify for a coaching job in the English Premier League.

Alex Iwobi agrees new Arsenal deal

Arsenal star Alex Iwobi has agreed a new five-year contract worth around £70,000-a-week, according to the Sun .

Talks over a new deal began in December 2017 before Arsene Wenger’s exit but Unai Emery has assured the 22-year-old that he is in his plans at the Emirates Stadium despite interest from Lazio this summer.

The Nigeria international is expected to put pen to paper when the Gunners return from their pre-season trip to Singapore on Saturday.

Ayew set to leave Swansea for Fenerbahce

Andre Ayew is set to leave relegated Premier League club Swansea City for Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce, the Sun claims.

The Swans are set to offload the Ghana international who earns around £60,000-a-week in an effort to offload their books for the 2018-19 Championship season.

Ayew rejoined Swansea City on a club-record fee in January after a one-and-a-half-year stint with West Ham United.

Crystal Palace & Porto in talks for Kouyate

According to  SkySports News , Crystal Palace are discussing a £10 million summer move for Cheikhou Kouyate as they look to bolster their midfield following the departure of Yohan Cabaye.

The 28-year-old who joined the Hammers from Anderlecht in 2014 is reportedly not in Manuel Pellegrini’s plans following the arrival of Jack Wilshere.

And the Hammers are ready to cash in on the Senegal international this summer even though he still has three years left on his contract.

The Sun claims that Porto are also holding talks to sign the midfielder.

Dortmund eye Belhanda

Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Morocco international Younes Belhanda from Galatasaray, Get Football News claims.

Dortmund coach Lucian Favre is plotting a reunion with his former Nice midfielder at the Signal Iduna Park.

Belhanda could become the second Moroccan to join the Bundesliga club this summer after Achraf Hakimi completed a two-year loan move from Real Madrid.

‘Zaha perfect for Chelsea, Arsenal or Spurs’ 

Former Crystal Palace winger John Salako believes Wilfried Zaha will be a great addition for Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur. 

The Cote d’Ivoire international previously flopped at Manchester United back in 2013 before switching back to Selhurst Park where he has rebuilt his game and reputation.

See what Salako had to say on Goal!

Napoli reject €100m bid for Koulibaly

Napoli have turned down an offer worth €100 million by an unnamed English Premier League club for Kalidou Koulibaly, Calciomercato reports.

The Senegal international has attracted lots of interests from big European clubs with Chelsea being the closest but they were blocked following the capture of Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho.

The report claims that the unnamed club could have been Manchester United who possess such financial resources as they are currently in search for defensive reinforcement.

West Ham turn to Lemina

West Ham are considering a move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina as replacement for Pedro Obiang, according to SkySports News .

Obiang is closing in on a return to his former club Sampdoria after spending three years with the Hammers.

Lemina joined the the Saints from Juventus last summer for €17 million.

Juventus & Barcelona eye Sarr

Barcelona, Juventus and some clubs in the English Premier League have registered their interest in signing Senegal’s World Cup Ismaila Sarr, agent Thierno Seydi revealed.

The 20-year-old’s impressive showings at the world stage in Russia have drawn top European scouts to monitor and request for his availability this summer.

Check out his agent’s full comments on Goal!

Crystal Palace prepare Yaya Toure offer

Crystal Palace are interested in signing free agent Yaya Toure who left Manchester City at the end of last season, claims 90min via the Sun.

The Eagles are willing to pay the 35-year-old £100,000-a-week in an attempt to lure him to Selhurst Park.

Toure endured a torrid spell in Pep Guardiola’s squad last season and he is willing to take a pay cut in order to prove the Citizens’ boss wrong .

Barcelona eye Moussa Wague

Barcelona are plotting a swoop for Senegal international Moussa Wague following his exploits at the 2018 World Cup, Mundo Deportivo .

The Spanish La Liga champions are working to bring the 19-year-old defender from Belgian outfit Eupen to Camp Nou.

Samassekou on Lyon’s radar

Lyon are monitoring Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Diadie Samassekou over a potential transfer this summer, according to Lequipe .

The 22-year-old Mali international caught the eye of the French Ligue 1 club during last season’s Europa League semi-final fixture against Marseille.

Samassekou is expected to compete with Lucas Tousart in the Kids’ set-up.

Peter Olayinka joins Slavia Prague

Nigerian forward Peter Olayinka has joined Czech top-flight club Slavia Prague on a four-year contract from Gent.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Zulte-Waregem where he returned 11 goals and 15 assists.

Check out the full story on Goal !

Chuba Akpom set for Arsenal exit

Chuba is set to leave Arsenal this summer and join Belgian top-flight club Sint-Truiden permanently in a deal worth £2 million, Mirror reports.

Akpom is one of the five players dropped by Unai Emery for the Gunners’ pre-season trip to Singapore.

The 22-year-old is in the final year of his Arsenal contract and has struggled to establish himself in the Gunners’ first-team since his competitive debut against Sunderland back in September 2013.

Leicester City target Rachid Ghezzal

Leicester City are weighing up a £4 million move for Monaco winger Rachid Ghezzal, according to Le10Sport .

The Algeria international moved to the Stade Louis II last summer but has struggled for form having managed just two goals in 35 appearances last season.

However, Leicester City’s Claude Puel is set to reunite with the 26-year-old  he coached for three seasons when he was in Lyon Academy.

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Allegri confirms Favilli loan to Genoa after ICC heroics

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Andrea Favilli will be sent out on loan to Genoa this season. 

The Italian striker took advantage of the absences of every member of Juventus strike force – including newly-acquired superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, World Cup star Mario Mandzukic and Argentina duo Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain – by scoring a pair of first-half goals to help Juve earn a 2-0 victory over Bayern at Lincoln Financial Field on Wednesday, with his manager confirming after the match the the young forward would be loaned out. 

Acquired by Juventus in a €7.5 million (£7m/$m) transfer from Serie B side Ascoli earlier this summer, Allegri confirmed that a loan deal has been struck with Genoa for his services. 

“Favilli is a good player,” Allegri said after the match. “He has good potential and capabilities, but he’s going to go to Genoa.

“We are going to loan him out to Genoa this year.”

The 21-year-old took advantage of some shaky play from young Bayern defender Josip Stanicic and goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to net his double on Wednesday. It was an ill-advised Ulreich save of a bad Stanisic back-pass that found Juventus veteran Claudio Marchisio, who fed Favilli’s for the night’s opening goal.

Favili struck again eight minutes later when he ran onto a perfectly-timed pass from Alex Sandro pass to slip behind the Bayern defense and beat an indecisive Ulreich, who was caught off his line.

Favili was always going to find minutes tough to come by given the Turin club’s embarrassment of riches at striker, with the club having added Ronaldo into what was already a crowded group. 

But his showing against Bayern bodes well for the 21-year-old, who is primed to experience his first full season in Serie A with Genoa. 

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