Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is looking forward to stopping the run of Wolves and their manager Paul Lambert when both sides clash in the FA Cup.

The pair are set to meet again after their earlier clash in Italy.

When Conte used to play football, he was sidelined so he could not appear, as Juventus were defeated 3-1 by rivals Borussia Dortmund in the 1996 /97 Champions League final. Lambert lined up for Dortmund so emotions could be stirred up when they meet this time as managers, however with both present.

Also, Lambert has ended the run of two Premier League sides Stoke City and Liverpool in the tournament this term. They would be looking at another upset – a major one if they can push out the Premier League leaders who are beaming with confidence.

“This is one of the three finals I lost. We were favourites. I remember that they were the underdog before the game, but they won very well against us. He was a good player. I remember very well,” Conte said of the time they met as players.

“Revenge is not a good word. Now we started a new career me and Lambert, as coaches. I wish for him the best for his career – after the game. For me it will be a great pleasure to shake his hand,” Conte added.

Both sides will go head to head at Molineux in the evening. Chelsea are the favourites ahead of the clash but the coach would likely rest a few senior players whilst giving the youngsters time to shine.

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It is the hope of Mikkel Beck, Lucas Digne’s agent, that his client can go on to take over from Jordi Alba as Barcelona’s first choice in the left-back position, and as a legendary player as well.


Last summer saw Digne in a move from Paris St. Germain to the Catalonian Giants for a fee of €16.5 million.

With the kind of injury problems besotting Alba, the new left-back has gone on to make no less than 15 appearances with the club. However, Luis Enrique always picks Alba as his first choice whenever he is fit, but Beck hopes this can change in no distant time.

Speaking to Get French Football News, Digne’s agent said:
“In time we hope that [Digne] will take over from Alba and become a Barca legend in years to come.

“That is the reason why we signed [for Barca]. He respects Alba for being a great player and he has a really good relationship with him and for the moment they have shared the playing time very well.

“I think that Luis Enrique is very happy to have two left-backs who can play whenever he needs them to.”

The agent of the 23-year old also mentioned that a top club like Barcelona always needs no less than two players in each position, so as to sharply fill up any vacuums, if they wish to continue picking up the titles they have been getting in a while.

Last season, Digne was on a loan spell with Roma but the Italian club decided to sign him off in the summer. Also, they got an interest from a club in the Premier League, but according to Beck, choosing to move to Barca wasn’t a difficult decision.

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Barcelona were hoping Jordi Alba’s injury would not be that serious to some level after he was forced off in the first half of Spain’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, he was immediately replaced by Riccardo Montolivo.

The 24-time Spanish La Liga winner later announced that the left-back Jordi Alba will be sidelined for 10 days due to a thigh injury, which means he is expected be ready for the crunch clash with England Side, Manchester City.

The 27-year old was medically attended to before limping off the pitch in the 22nd minute of Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Turin to be replaced by Real Madrid stopper, Nacho.

The Barcelona defender, Alba, was the subject of medical tests on Friday morning which confirmed a muscular injury on his left thigh, which insinuates he will return home.
“The RFEF’s medical services have contacted FC Barcelona to inform them of the diagnostics,”a statement culled from Spain’s press release.

The Spain international was forced off the pitch in the first half of Spain’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Italy in Turin on Thursday after pulling up in an unpleasant physical discomfort.

The former Valencia full-back has gone through different medical tests which the outcome proved that the defender has sustained minor injury to his left thigh, which was said to keep him out of the clash forthcoming between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna next Saturday in Spanish La Liga.

Jordi Alba is however expected to be fit enough for the UEFA Champions’ League group game-stage against Pep Guardiola’s men at Camp Nou the following Wednesday after league game.

“Medical tests have confirmed that Jordi Alba has an elongation of the femoral biceps in his left thigh,” a Barca statement said. “The approximate time out will be 10 days.”

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Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique hailed the Barcelona team that defeated Real Betis 6-2 despite the injury concerns ahead of the game.

Lionel Messi tried getting his third after hitting a brace but couldn’t. However, Luis Suarez got his with Messi assisting him. Ardan Turan was the one who opened scoring in the first half before Ruben Castro equalised through a free kick for the visitors. The 1-1 scoreline quickly changed with a Barca team that was missing seven first team players scoring goal after goal with Messi being the clear star in the match. The second goal for Betis came in the final minutes of the game.

Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Javier Mascherano , Jeremy Mathieu, Andre Gomes, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Rafinha were not on the list for the game due to injury, suspension or being in another event (Neymar). Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique were in defence leaving Ivan Rakitic, Turan, Sergio Busquets in the middle as they started their La Liga title defence.

“The players were very motivated and very active both in attack and defence. We were brave and very effective. A complete game,” Enrique told the club’s official website.

Sergi Roberto received a lot of acclaim for his effort in the game as full back. “Sergio Roberto, down the flank as always, very attentive in his defensive aspect of his game, and showed good anticipation. In attack, he was very good, looking for space and creating chances,” Enrique added.
Claudio Bravo was in front of goal but may felt he could have done more to stop the two goals from Real Betis. After the game, it was announced that he would be moving to Manchester City to join former coach Pep Guardiola. Guardiola benched former No 1 Joe Hart with the hope of bring in another, so may would wonder if Bravo is supposed to be the upgrade.

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Often the choice of a player for a team is best judged by others who have played with him.

This is the case for Andres Iniesta who has been taken up by Barcelona team and Jordi Alba has been vouched for his talents. He states that Spain will definitely be able to benefit from this player’s contribution. Andres has a good reputation and achievements to showcase as well. He was the star player for Spain when they won the game against the Czech Republic. The midfielder is known to have been pivotal for many crucial goals for the team. His team mates vouches for his skills as Jordi feels that his skills are definitely different from others.

The midfielder of Barcelona was made man of the match in the Group D win that the country had over the Czech Republic. Iniesta has several achievements under his belt like being a World Cup winner as well as a winner of the European Championship two times. Alba is his team mate, he is able to point out the ways this player is special for the team. He states that Andres is the man they turn to when they face difficult situations.

Many people would admit the same when they have seen Andres in action in the opening game of Euro 2016. He provided the cross for Gerard Pique and proved his creative skills on the field. Alba admitted to the influence Andres can wield on the field and how the team is dependent on his skills. Alba states that he helps the team when they are put in a difficult situation. Indeed, the country had gone on to defend their title against Turkey. Alba feels that the team took the right decision when they decided to take him on and he has definitely proved himself to be an asset for the team.

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It is understood that Roque Santa Cruz would bid good bye to the international game with Copa America being his last assignment with his national team, Paraguay.

The striker has served Paraguay to the maximum of his strength scoring more times than anybody else for La Albirroja.

But, other than his success, what makes Santa Cruz to be held in high regard in the Football world is his simplicity.

It doesn’t take long for a player to change his lifestyle considerably when he comes from a poor background and starts having a lot of money playing in overseas leagues.

But, for Santa Cruz, his motherland always remained in his heart in spite of the fact that he earned big.

There was an interesting thing that he had said in an interview 4-5 years back regarding a not so flamboyant car that he used back then.

Being a Manchester City player, he would have been earning enough to afford a more expensive car, but, he didn’t buy one because he thought using such a car in a country, where the lives of the most of the people are nothing less than misery, would be unbefitting.

His words in that interview were, “Considering the kind of situation in Paraguay in terms of the standard of living of a large part of the population, the moral sense in me doesn’t allow me to have a highly expensive car.”

“Of course, the reason you earn is to lead a good life, but, my theory is that you should only have as much as your requirements, not in surplus.”

The words themselves show his greatness, there is no need to add to that and Santa Cruz has not changed since then, he is still like that, very down to earth and always humble.

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Barcelona players Jordi Alba and Neymar Jr. are in good spirit according to reports, after the duo had clashed in the 2-1 loss to Valencia.

The players were involved in a clash during an goal-bound attack from the Catalan giant. The Brazilian was asking for the ball but Jordi Alba chose to ignore the call. This infuriated the Neymar who insulted Jordi Alba shouting: “Go fuck yourself! What? What? You got a problem?”

This drew attention to the Spanish team that had been having poor results especially in the Spanish La Liga league. After the outburst from Neymar, both players stood their ground, but the brief moment ended with Alba extending his right hand, rebuking the words thrown at him by his team-mate. Jordi Alba is also one of the players with a strong character in the dressing room based on various reports in the past.

After the showing from both players of the Catalan side, during the training session the following week, the players seemed to be in good spirits as they prepared for the trip to Deportivo La Coruna. Barcelona won the game by 8-0 and even won the next league game against Sporting Gijon by 6-0.

The 27-year old Left-Back played in both games and could easily be seen laughing around with the Brazilian star. Barcelona have three more games to execute before being handed the Spanish La Liga title again, after their string of poor run that also included being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by fellow Spanish side, Atletico Madrid. The Catalan giant had hoped to repeat the treble they achieved last season but the poor run during that period killed that dream. Many analysts attributed the break in form to fatigue, as the forwards in Messi, Suarez and Nerymar had played more minutes that the forwards of other clubs.

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Jordi Alba will be on the pitch against Real Madrid in Saturday’s La Liga match.

The left-back who was expected to be out longer with an injury has recovered just time to boost his team chances against their fierce rivals.

Jordi Alba picked up an injury when playing for his national team, Spain in a game against Romania. There were fears that the ankle injury was a serious one and would require a lengthy treatment. However, Alba recovered quicker than expected and should be declared fit to play against Real Madrid.

Jordi Alba played the full 90 minutes of the friendly against Romania in a game that finished 0-0.

Alba joined Barcelona in 2012 from Valencia for a €14 million transfer fee after having made some great performances in La Liga. Indeed, he managed 110 appearances for Valencia and scored 6 goals along the way.

He started his Barcelona career with a game against Real Sociedad in a game where his team won 5-1. His first goal for his new club came in a game against Deportivo La Coruna. So far he has made 148 appearances for Barcelona and has scored 7 goals.

On the international front, Jordi Alba has represented Spain 41 times and has scored 6 goals for his country. He was part of the team that won the Euros 2012.

Another player that has returned quickly to the Barcelona team is Neymar. It was believed that the Brazilian player will stay back a little longer in Brazil after his international duties, but he made it back to the Nou Camp on Tuesday for the training sessions. He is also expected to be on the pitch against Real Madrid as Barcelona will want to take a decisive lead for the Spanish title.

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Barcelona have received bad news in the form of a new injury to defender Jordi Alba, who is expected to miss the next 10 days of action.

The defender suffered the problem while playing in the league match against Athletic Bilbao. Hamstring injuries are often very serious and it takes several weeks for a player to recuperate. However, Barcelona believe that the injury suffered by Alba is just the start of a major tear. Since they have found the issue much sooner, they expect the player to miss only a few weeks of action.

Even though the transfer embargo was recently lifted on the Catalan club, they still remain short on players. The decision by manager Luis Enrique to go for a small squad means that the club cannot afford too many injuries at the same time. They have already had their fair share of injuries to important players like Lionel Messi, who rarely gets injured. Left back is one of the positions where Enrique has a couple of options to choose from. The 26-year-old defender has made just 15 appearances this season. Interestingly, the matches that he misses the not count much for the club and they can certainly cope with his absence during this period.

Alba is expected to be unavailable for the league match against Malaga while he is also going to miss the return leg against Espanyol at the Camp Nou. The return leg in the Copa del Rey quarter-final has little significance since Barcelona have already asserted their superiority by getting a 2-0 win in the first leg away from home. This victory against their arch rivals was then followed by a 6-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao. Despite the win, Barcelona remain second in the table since Atletico Madrid continued their winning run after having played one game more.

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Jose Mourinho is regarded to be one of the best managers in the world and the Portuguese tactician has proved it by the amount of major pieces of silverware that he has won.

One of the most impressive accomplishments that Mourinho has achieved as a manager is winning the Champions League title on 3 different occasions with distinct clubs.

In the latest season where Mourinho has been in charge of a club, he managed to push Chelsea to the Premier League title in stellar form as the English club only lost 3 matches 38 games and had more than 7 points of advantage over their nearest rivals, Manchester City who finished the season with 79 points while Chelsea gathered a total of 87 points.

The head chiefs of Chelsea have been so impressed by what Jose Mourinho has accomplished that they are negotiating a contract with the Portuguese coach where he will be earning £7.5m a year.

Negotiations are believed to be taking place and if everything goes according to plan, Mourinho is expected to sign a new contract with Chelsea that will allow him to stay as the head coach until 2019 in a contract which is worth €30 million.

Mourinho managed to lift the Champions League title with his former clubs: Porto and Inter Milan but hasn’t been able to do it with the Premier League club Chelsea. Winning this major European silverware is something that Mourinho wants to accomplish and by signing the new contract with Chelsea, he has the motivation and time to do it.

One of the things that Jose Mourinho wants to do besides winning the Champions League title with Chelsea is to reinforce his squad and turn it even better and one of the players who is on the verge of being signed by the Premier League club is RadamelFalcao.

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