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Blog - ESPN FC United

 By Tony Mabert

Mourinho sparks Matic row, Qatari Christmas, Premier League humbled

The ESPN FC crew give their take as to why some of the top Premier League clubs are struggling in European competition.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley criticises Jose Mourinho's latest comments on a conspiracy against Chelsea.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti answers what would happen if clubs fight FIFA and refuse to release their players for a winter World Cup.
Fabio Cannavaro will appeal a 10-month prison sentence for breaching orders to keep out of his house after it was seized by authorities.
Alessandro Lucarelli says that the Parma team will pay the coach and hotel for the away game against Genoa as computers are removed from the training centre in Parma, Italy.

This week's roundup of the biggest news stories features Jose Mourinho starting another row, a potentially unconventional festive season and the Premier League being put in its place.

1. Christmas in Qatar

Another step in the agonising process toward football's first winter World Cup was made on Tuesday when a FIFA task force recommended that the 2022 tournament in Qatar be held in November and December of that year, with some reports suggesting the event would only end two days before Christmas.

That...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Should Man City sack Manuel Pellegrini? This week's #FCDebate

The FC TV panel have their say. What do you think? Vote now!

Manchester City have a star-studded squad yet seem to be stuck in a rut near the top of the Premier League. They face an uphill battle to defend their league title, while their hopes of finally making significant progress in the Champions League took a serious hit in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona at the Etihad.

How much of that is down to the manager? And is Manuel Pellegrini really the right man to push this team over the top?

Should Manchester City sack Manuel Pellegrini?

Watch the FC TV discussion and then vote. Plus, let us know...

English football's arrogance explains failure in Champions League, Europa

The ESPN FC crew give their take as to why some of the top Premier League clubs are struggling in European competition.

The TV revenues are skyrocketing; the transfer fees and wage bills will surely follow this summer. English football has never had it so good. But despite all their wealth, the Premier League's European representatives have endured a humiliating week. Is anyone really getting what they paid for?

In the Champions League, Liverpool were knocked out in the group stage, while Manchester City and Arsenal are unlikely to last much longer in the knockouts. Chelsea will be quietly satisfied with their away...

Prince Ali, Figo and Van Praag hit campaign trail against Sepp Blatter

It has been one month since the race for the FIFA presidency got underway, with three candidates looking to unseat incumbent Sepp Blatter. Here we take a look at what these three have been doing and what they will need to do over the coming weeks to win the election in Zurich on May 29th when FIFA's 209 member countries will decide who should lead them.

Prince Ali needs to make inroads in Asia to gain more support.
Prince Ali needs to make inroads in Asia to gain more support.

Name: Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein

Policies: The prince has employed the services of a PR company and set up a sleek website to get his message across,...

 By Kevin Palmer

Liverpool and Manchester City can declare Premier League intentions

Jordan Henderson makes a special appearance in the latest HWTLU to announce his name change. Also, the very angry Alan Tikitally continues his reign of Scottish terror.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday
West Ham vs. Crystal Palace
Burnley vs. Swansea City
Manchester United vs. Sunderland
Newcastle vs. Aston Villa
Stoke City vs. Hull City
West Brom vs. Southampton

Sunday
Liverpool vs. Manchester City
Arsenal vs. Everton

Battle of the Weekend: Liverpool vs. Manchester City

The fixture that was promoted -- incorrectly as it transpired -- as a title decider when these two sides met at Anfield last April carries almost as much significance this time around. A resurgent Liverpool are presented with the chance to conclusively confirm they are ready to mix it up with the Premier...

Barcelona stay top as Juventus take advantage of Chelsea's slip

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings for this week, which feature Barcelona on top despite a 1-0 loss to Malaga.
The ESPN FC crew discusses the potential backlash from a winter World Cup, why English teams aren't thriving in European competition and whether Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet in the Champions League final.

It's been a week of little movement in the Power Rankings. Barcelona stay on top but there is a jump for Juventus, who leapfrog the Premier League leaders.

1. Barcelona (no change)

The Catalan giants retain top spot despite losing in the league last weekend. That's because they then went out and taught Manchester City a footballing lesson with a supreme Champions League performance. Sure, Lionel Messi missed a last-minute penalty but, that aside, Barca's display was as professional as they come.

2....