The United manager Louis Van Gaal has prepared a new side and his team will be desperate to avoid a second successive opening-day defeat at Old Trafford when Tottenham Hotspur visit for the inaugural match in the English Premier League 2015/16 season. One year ago, Manchester United started their season by a 2-1 defeat with Swansea City, which triggered an immense upset among the Red Devils. Van Gaal’s side recovered from their and steered his club back into the UEFA Champions League. The first match in the premier league bears a huge significance for both the players and the manager.
Manchester United was able to finish 4th in the last season of EPL. Van Gaal has overseen an extensive squad overhaul, which would grab the spotlight firmly on him. Besides his new recruits are desperate to win United’s first English Premier League title since 2012/13.
Manchester United New Side:
Dutch forward Memphis Depay joined Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven on 12th June 2015, in a four-year contract. United’s midfield is enriched with Bastian Schweinsteiger, who won FIFA World Cup with Germany. Bastian has collected every major honour with his previous club Bayern Munich.
Another new additions are Matteo Darmain, Morgan Schneiderlin and lastly Sergio Romero in the Manchester United squad. It was a busy transfer window for Louis Van Gaal, with United attempting to bridge the 17-point gap that existed last EPL season with the Champions Chelsea.
On the contrary, Angel Di Maria, who joined Manchester United last season from Real Madrid for a record transfer fee, has reportedly left the side for Paris Saint Germain. Robin Van Persie, Luis Nani and Rafael da Silva also left Manchester United for a better side.
Manchester United will be devoid of Marouane Fellaini, who’ll miss the game for a temporary suspension, in the first game of EPL on coming Saturday against Tottenham.
The Spur’s head coach Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to break into the top four in the Premier league table. It will be his second season with the Spurs as a head coach and this time he would be approaching with a definite target. In the last EPL season, Tottenham shipped a total 53 goals in the last season. This could a main reason, why Pochettino has strengthened his defence line by signing Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer. They have showed some positive signs in the Audi Cup this week by defeating AC Milan in 2-0. Although they lost the 1st game with Real Madrid by 2-0 in Munich.
The Head Coach Pochettino said after the 2-0 victory over the Serie A side,
“We need to believe in these players. My sides need time and love. We need to improve more because it’s only the beginning of the season and now we have to compete against Premier League teams. I think we are ready to face the challenge.”
Tottenham hotspur have doubt over playing Andros Townsend and Roberto Soldado due to injuries. Manchester United on the other hand, are likely to play without Javier Hernandez and Marcos Rojo as they returned late in the training session after playing Copa America in Chile.
Manchester United Vs Tottenham Hotspur : EPL Match Facts
1. Manchester United started their last season of EPL at Old Trafford with a 2-1 defeat against Swansea City. It was the first time since 1972/73 that Red Devils have lost at their home ground on the opening weekend of premier league.
2. United striker Wayne Rooney is the only to score more goals (6) on the opening weekend of EPL than any other current footballers.
3. Manchester United are the only team in the history of EPL to lose on the opening weekend, but ultimately go on to win the Premier League title as in 1992/93, 1995/96 and 2012/13 season.
4. Tottenham Hotspur have lost 18 games of their 23 trips to Old Trafford since 1992/93. But the Spurs have won at the Old Trafford in two of the last three seasons of English Premier League.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the top football competitions in the world. The tournament is simply known as the Champions League. It is largely organized by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) since 1955 and is regarded as the most prestigious football competition in Europe. The competition was officially known as European Champion Clubs’ Cup prior to 1992, when it was initially a straight knock out competition, which was opened only to the champion club of each European country. Afterwards the Champions League began to be expanded including a round-robin group stage and more teams.
The UEFA Champions League has able to draw huge popularity throughout the world. Most notably, the 2012-13 Champions League final achieved the status of most watched annual sporting event in the world, which drew over 360 million television viewers in 2013.
10 Goal scorers in UEFA Champions League of All time:
The Sporty Ghost desk, hereby took an initiative to enlist the top 10 goal scorers in UEFA Champions League of All time. Footballers all over the world in their respective clubs always try their utmost level in this ultimate stage of European club football. It is a dream for any footballer to score in a champions league match. Great players compete each other to be the top scorer of champions league. Here is the list of champions league top scorers of all time.
10. Filippo Inzaghi, Italy
UCL matches: 81
Years active: 1997-2012
Clubs: Juventus, Milan
The Italian striker spent most of his life time in Juventus and Milan. Inzaghi won two Champions League titles (2003, 2007) and three Serie A titles (1998, 2004, and 2011). He scored a total 46 goals including a penalty in the UEFA Champions League. Most notably, in the final of 2007 champions league, Inzaghi was voted as the Man of the match for his overwhelming performance. In the European club competitions, he made his place at 4th highest goal scorer with 70 goals, behind only Raul, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Inzaghi also holds the record of scoring most hat-tricks (10) in the history of Serie A.
For the Italian National team, he earned a total 57 caps and scored 25 goals. He represented his country in three occasions of FIFA World Cup, and winning the 2006 edition. Now, he stands at no. 10 in the list of top 10 goal scorers in UEFA champions League of All time.
9. Karim Benzema, France
UCL matches: 77
Years active: 2006- present
Clubs: Lyon, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema is a French professional footballer who also plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid. He has been regarded as one of the most talented footballers and a potent finisher from inside the box. In the champions league, Karim Benzema has crowned with 46 goals in his 77 UCL appearances. His contribution is remarkable in Real Madrid when they won Copa del Rey in 2011, scoring stunning 32 goals for his club. The three times French Player of the Year winner, Karim Benzema is truly an asset for Real Madrid in their Champions League campaign.
He appeared in 81 games for France and scored a total 27 goals. He represented his country two times in UEFA European Football Championship and once in FIFA World Cup in 2014. His astonishing hat-trick against Malmo in the Champions League this season was one of his amazing displays.
8. Eusebio, Portugal
UCL matches: 65
Years active: 1961-1974
Eusebio, commonly nicknamed as “The Black Panther”, is one of the greatest footballers of all time in the history. The Portuguese striker scored a stunning total 749 goals in 745 matches at the club level. He also scored 41 goals for his national side in his 64 appearances.
Eusebio is a prolific goal scorer, who has a very ferocious right foot. Besides, his speed, technique and passion for football made him a world class player. In the season of 1961-62, Eusebio won the European Cup for his club Benfica by scoring two goals in the final against Real Madrid. Benfica won the final by 5-3. He was awarded the 2nd place in 1962 FIFA Ballon d’Or for his remarkable performance. He is truly a gem in the Champions League history. His place has been untouched for many years in the champions league top goal scorers list.
7. Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine
UCL matches: 100
Years active: 1994-2012
Clubs: Dynamo Kyiv, Milan, Chelsea
Andriy Shevchenko is now a retired Ukrainian national team striker. He also played for Dynamo Kyiv, Milan and Chelsea. He is at no 7 position in our list of Top 10 Goal scorers in UEFA Champions League of All time. His football career has been highlighted by many awards. The most prestigious was that he won the 2004 FIFA Ballon d’Or. He also won the Champions League title in 2003 with Italian club Milan and became runner-up in 2005 and 2008 Champions league.
He scored an amazing 48 goals in his 100 champions league matches. He is one of the most eminent players for Milan, where he scored a tally of 175 goals. In addition with his bright club career, he also led Ukraine in the quarter-finals of 2006 FIFA World Cup. He is well known for his powerful and accurate shots and his unparallel skills with the ball.
6. Alfredo Di Stefano, Spain
UCL matches: 58
Years active: 1955-1964
Club: Real Madrid
Alfredo Di Stefano is regarded as one of the most complete and influential footballer of all time in the football history. He was best during his time, winning numerous trophies for his team. The Real Madrid legend won the champions league trophies for the five consecutive season, from 1956. Di Stefano made history by scoring goals in each of the champions league finals for Real Madrid.
This powerful, quick and prolific forward scored a total 49 goals in his 58 champions league appearances. Not only as a forward, he could play anywhere in the pitch. During his period in Real Madrid, he marked his name as the highest goal scorer for them with 216 goals in just 282 matches. The 1957 and 1959 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, Alfredo Di Stefano remains at no 6 in the list of top 10 goal scorers in UEFA Champions league of all time.
5. Thierry Henry, France
UCL matches: 112
Years active: 1997-2010
Clubs: Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona
The French striker, Thierry Henry spent most of his career in Arsenal FC and became the club’s all-time top goal scorer. Henry contributed to win two premier league titles and three FA cups for the Gunners. He played as Arsenal captain when he led them to 2006 champions league finals. This world class player spent eight years in Arsenal before moving to Barcelona in 2007.
Thierry Henry scored 50 goals in his 112 UCL appearances. He played an integral part in Barcelona FC in their historic treble in 2009, La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. His name was included in the UEFA Team of the Year five times. As a France national team player he also won the prestigious FIFA world cup in 1998 and UEFA European Championship in 2000. Thierry Henry is ranked at no 5 in our list of top 10 goal scorers in UEFA champions league of all time.
4. Ruud van Nistelrooy, Netherlands
UCL matches: 73
Years active: 1998-2009
Clubs: PSV, Manchester United, Real Madrid
With 56 goals in 73 champions league appearances, Ruud van Nistelrooy stands at no 4 spot in the list of top 10 goal scorers in UEFA champions league of all time. The former Dutch international is a three-time champions league top scorer and also became top goal scorer in three different European domestic leagues.
Nistelrooy scored a total 150 goals in 219 matches for the Manchester United before securing his position at Real Madrid in 2006. The most successful period was at United, achieving Premier league, FA Cup, Football league cup and FA Community Shield. His playing style and his aggressiveness in the box made him one of the lethal strikers in the football world.
3. Raul Gonzales, Spain
UCL matches: 142
Years active: 1995-2011
Clubs: Real Madrid, Schalke 04
The retired Spanish footballer and former Real Madrid striker, Raul Gonzales is one of the most valuable players in the history of Real Madrid. During his 16 years in Real, he scored a total of 323 goals, which made him the 2nd all-time top goal scorer, just behind Cristiano Ronaldo. With Real Madrid, Raul won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions league titles, one UEFA Super Cup, and two Intercontinental Cup. He stands at no. 3 in the list of top 10 goal scorers in UEFA champions league of all time.
Raul became the first player to score in two champions league finals, in 2000 and 2002. His football career was flourished with many awards. He received the Best striker award by IFFHS in 1999, became the only player to be included in UEFA Club forward of the year three times, placed 2nd in 2001 FIFA Ballon d’Or, award for champions league top goal scorer, five Don Balon awards and so many.
2. Lionel Messi, Argentina
UCL matches: 102 (Till date)
Years active: 2005-present
Lionel Messi, the magician of football is truly a goal machine for both the Argentina national team and the Spanish club Barcelona. The Barcelona forward is a four time Ballon d’Or winner. Messi is considered as the best player of the world by many. As a Barcelona forward, he won seven La Liga titles, four champions league titles and three Copa del Rey titles so far. Messi has scored 292 goals for Barcelona in his 326 matches and still counting.
Last year in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich, Messi scored twice and made an assist in their 3-0 win. His 2nd goal which came as a chip over the Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after he dribbled past Jerome Boateng, was named the best goal of the season by UEFA. There are many more mesmerizing goals that came through his feet. After the end of this season of Champions league, you could see more that you expect from the mighty Leo.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
UCL matches: 121 (Till date)
Years active: 2003-present
Clubs: Manchester United, Real Madrid
The Real Madrid star and Portuguese national team captain, Cristiano Ronaldo is the champions league top goalscorer with 88 goals in 121 matches. Cristiano won Ballon d’Or three times and FIFA World player of the year in 2008. He is often regarded as the best Portuguese footballer of all time. His career has been enlightened with many achievements. He attained three Premier league titles, one FA Cup and two football league cups with Manchester United. With Real Madrid, he won one La Liga, two Copa del Rey, two UEFA Champions league, one UEFA Super Cup and two FIFA Club world cups.
He holds the record for the most goal scorer in a single UEFA champions league season, which is 17 in 2013-14 season. He is now the top goal scorer for Real Madrid with 239 goals in his 217 matches. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stage match of 2015-16 Champions league, to be the all time top goal scorer in UEFA Champions League, making the tally 80, ahead of Lionel Messi (77).
He is fast, he is aggressive and he is a prolific goal scorer. There is always a hidden rivalry between Cristiano and Leo in regard of breaking records after records. May be we are luckiest to see the beautiful game of football becoming more astonishing.
The Los Blancos’ have been claimed optimistic of suspending their impending transfer ban. They are most likely looking for including David De Gea from Manchester United and Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. Real Madrid seems very confident that their transfer ban will be suspended and along with those above two choices they are even interested in Eden Hazard.
Los Blancos rivals Atletico Madrid are also banned from registering new players until the summer of 2017. Though Real are hoping to appeal the sanction in order to at least suspend it to 2017 and not to endure like Barcelona in 2015. Actually they should have their summer plan ready to recruit heavily. Like the way, Barcelona did so well in 2014. That time they brought the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Claudio Bravo.
Los Blancos’ Rumors on Summer Plans:
Here comes the transfer rumors for the Los Blancos. We all admit that Keylor Navas is undoubtedly an able stopper, but surely a goalkeeper needs to be in their priority list for the upcoming season. The Madrid camp are clearly pinning their hopes on landing De Gea, probably as a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas.
Clearly Real had less need for another goalscorer. The creative playmakers like Lewandowski and Hazard, firmly fit their preferred galactico requirements of marquee signings. May be you just can expect, both are capable of adding further quality to the team.
Lewandowski has scored a staggering 23 goals and four assists this season. On the other hand, Eden Hazard was seen winning the player of the year award with 19 goals and 10 assists for Chelsea.
There not all good news for the Real fans, you should also consider possible outgoings in the summer, though it all depends on whether they are able push back the transfer ban. We all know, Zinedine Zidane likes Isco. Yet again he has spoken of inconsistent behavior from isco as a Real Madrid player. So there breathes a mere possibility that either he or James Rodriguez gets sold in the summer.
Owing to injury, James has just made 13 appearances for Los Blancos under Zidane’s predecessor Rafa Benitez. Despite featuring for just 770 minutes, the Colombian has scored three times and assisted six. Yes of course, Isco can create such contrast here with his 22 appearances in which he has also been concrete with three goals and nine assists. For now a time, Zidane expects the two players to be used interchangeably this season.
May be this situation is not that good for James. So definitely he could seek a move away from the Spanish giant club. Again we need to consider these all topics just boils down to their transfer situation, which could prove difficult anyway. None of these players may not arrive at or depart the Bernabeu in the summer, who knows!
In the past, Barcelona were able to recruit Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal while banned. They agreed to wait half a season in order to register. But probably you must not expect the likes of De Gea, Lewandowski and Hazard to accept so. And definitely Real won’t allow any players of James’ or Isco’s quality to leave the camp, while they can’t make immediate replacements.
James Rodriguez finally declared his intentions. A few days ago, there has been a slight possibilities for the Colombian forward to move for English Premier League giant Manchester United. But the statement – “future lies at Real Madrid,” may scupper the reported transfer hopes of Manchester United right now.
James was speaking after Real Madrid’s 4-2 win over Athletic Bilbao, 13th February 2016 in La Liga. Like a few other Madrid footballers, the ex-Porto man also admitted that Zinedine Zidane’s promotion to manager has helped improve their game. Of course, and yet James blinked like a real Colombian sticker at the game.
James’s future lies at Real Madrid:
As per Spanish publication Marca, James stated that he is doing much better. Not only, everyone in the team Real Madrid feeling positive about their new manager, former Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane. According to the Colombian, Zidane speaks to everyone and shows real character when match day comes. Well, he claimed not to reproach anyone. Definitely it takes relative time for everyone, but getting chance you just need to be on top of the game.
Again, Zidane’s influence has certainly been obvious on Real Madrid team. Unbelievably they have managed to score 20 goals in the last four league games at home. However, the Frenchman receiving an endorsement from James is quite surprising.
There has been issues recently, an apparent bust-up between manager and player involving James’ warm-up routine as a substitute. Those reports probably prompted speculation the 24-year-old might move to Premier league in the summer. Previously the Red Devils were reported to bid £64.7 million for him back in January. Some also suggested that James’ agent, Jorge Mendes, had spoken to United about a possible deal with Manchester united.
But there have been some credible performances from the Colombian playmaker in recent games. Though it was not still clear about his attitude problem and relationship with Zidane. Now he details, how effective Zidane can be for them.
James has reaffirmed his desire to succeed in the Spanish capital. He said per Marca,
“I think my future lies at Real Madrid. I want to be here for many years to come and that’s my dream.”
Probably Zidane likes the Los Blancos to emphasize on flair and creative verve. Definitely this intention can best fit for some of the best soccer players in the world like Cristiano, Bale and of course James. Oh, forgot to mention, Cristiano Ronaldo also getting back to his own form day by day and last match was a complete flashback for both these Worthy players.
James’s goal threat and eye for a pass are attributes that work best in a more creative system. That might have been one problem had he made his way to Premier League. According to B/R’s Dean Jones, a wandering playmaker like James could hardly fit in Reds boss Louis van Gaal‘s strict structure of play. Undoubtedly Madrid is best place for the sticker and may be Zidane can be the perfect guide to his glory.