Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 21st 2014 Contents A57
Friday, November 21, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MANCHESTER---It wasn t so
long ago that Arsenal vs. Man-
chester United was one of the
marquee matches in the English
Premier League, a fixture that
went a long way to deciding
which team won the title.
Now, it pits two sides strug-
gling to even get in the top four.
Arsenal is sixth and 20-time
champion United is seventh
heading into tomorrow s game
at Emirates Stadium, with both
clubs having had a tough start
to the season mainly because of
injury problems and suspect
They have already been cut
adrift by Chelsea, which is the
unbeaten leader after 11 games
and showing the kind of form
that is making pundits wonder
whether it can go through the
season without losing.
Here are some things to know
about the upcoming matches
after the international break:
UNITED S INJURIES:
United manager Louis van Gaal
is counting the cost of the recent
batch of international games,
with defender Luke Shaw
(unspecified) and midfielder
Daley Blind (knee) joining an
already-lengthy injury list at Old
Angel Di Maria and Michael
Carrick should shrug off knocks
and be fit to play against Arsenal,
while goalkeeper David de Gea
is available despite dislocating
his finger on duty with Spain.
Van Gaal has been blighted by
injuries, his defense regularly
short of its best players and
Colombia striker Radamel Falcao
starting just three times following
his expensive loan move from
Monaco. Falcao will miss at least
two more weeks because of a
United said yesterday that 12
members of its squad had been
Van Gaal s side hasn t won
any of its five away matches in
WELBECK FACES OLD
TEAM: Danny Welbeck will
look to show United was wrong
to sell him on transfer deadline
day this summer when he lines
up for Arsenal against his old
club for the first time.
The England striker has five
goals in 12 games for Arsenal
since leaving his boyhood team,
where he rarely got a start or
was played out of position on
the left wing.
"Personally I have been sur-
prised by his technical capacity,
the way he understands the
game, his work rate," Arsenal
midfielder Mikel Arteta said. "I
rate him more now than I used
to, and this is a good sign
because normally the opposite
is true when you watch a player
on a daily basis."
While Welbeck and fellow
summer signing Alexis Sanchez,
who has six goals in his last four
league starts, have been the pos-
itives for Arsenal, the defence
remains a worry for manager
Arsenal has thrown away a
lead in its last two matches,
drawing 3-3 against Anderlecht
in the Champions League after
being 3-0 ahead, and conceding
two late goals to lose 2-1 at
Swansea in the Premier League.
NO STOPPING CHELSEA:
Chelsea is turning the title race
into a procession, with only sur-
prising Southampton in touching
distance of the leader ahead of
its home match against West
Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Chelsea holds a four-point lead
and has played arguably its four
toughest matches---away games
at Everton, Liverpool, and the
two Manchester clubs---without
losing. Its biggest title rival,
defending champion Man City,
is eight points behind in third.
"We don t have the title in the
bag," goalkeeper Thibaut Cour-
tois said. "We are trying to win
every game, but there is still a
long way to win the title."
Top-scorer Diego Costa
should be refreshed after being
rested by Spain over the inter-
LIVERPOOL S ATTACK-
ING WOES: Liverpool s strike-
force was the main reason why
the team finished second in the
league last season. This time
round, it s proving Liverpool s
In the absence of the injured
Daniel Sturridge since early Sep-
tember, Mario Balotelli, Rickie
Lambert and Fabio Borini---the
other three strikers in the squad---
have not scored between them
in the league.
Like Arsenal and Man United,
Liverpool s objective is simply
finishing in the top four to secure
a place in the Champions League,
but it is in 11th place. Balotelli
injured his hamstring on inter-
national duty with Italy and is a
doubt for Liverpool s match at
Crystal Palace on Sunday.
ELSEWHERE: Looking to
maintain its stunning start,
Southampton goes for a fifth
straight win when it visits Aston
Villa on Monday. Man City hosts
Swansea while fourth-place West
Ham is away to Everton.
GENEVA---Fifa will further review the 2018 and 2022
World Cup corruption investigation, putting the status
of hosts Russia and Qatar back in question.
The head of Fifa s auditing committee will examine
the full 430-page confidential report by American pros-
ecutor Michael Garcia into impropriety during the bid
process, reviving a probe which seemed closed one
Domenico Scala, a Swiss businessman who serves
as the soccer body s audit panel chairman, will then
decide whether to turn over any evidence to Fifa s exec-
The decision to hand over the documents to Scala
came a week after Fifa ethics judge Joachim Eckert
ruled that the case against Russia and Qatar was closed.
Within hours of the German judge s decision being
published, Garcia appealed to Fifa, objecting to "numer-
ous materially incomplete and erroneous representations"
of his work.
That led to a meeting in Zurich yesterday between
Eckert and Garcia, whose appeal appears to still be
The pair "agreed that it is of major importance that
the Fifa Executive Committee has the information nec-
essary to evaluate which steps are required based on
the work done by the Fifa Ethics Committee," they said
in the statement.
The Fifa executive committee will next meet December
18-19 in Marrakech, Morocco, with 12 of its 25 elected
members having voted in the scandal-plagued December
2010 hosting elections.
Some of those 12 have been formally charged by
Garcia with wrongdoing linked to campaigns dogged
by allegations of bribery, favour-seeking and collusion,
and an investigation hampered by uncooperative wit-
"The investigatory chamber has already opened a
number of formal cases against individuals," the joint
statement from Garcia and Eckert said, without iden-
tifying names or detailed allegations.
The suspects could include staffers from the nine
In Morocco, the board chaired by Fifa President Sepp
Blatter could discuss relaxing secrecy rules and the
strength of evidence presented by Garcia.
Last Thursday, Eckert s summary of the investigative
report judged that any corrupt acts did not justify re-
opening the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022
Fifa at first welcomed a "degree of closure" in Eckert s
ruling that corruption across the 11 bidding nations
was "of very limited scope."
However, Fifa stepped up scrutiny of the case Tuesday
by filing a criminal complaint with Switzerland s attorney
general against possible law-breaking by unnamed indi-
Swiss federal prosecutors are now studying Garcia s
investigation report, which remains sealed by Fifa s
code of ethics.
TURIN---Gianluigi Buffon and
Giorgio Chiellini have extend-
ed their contracts with Juven-
tus, keeping them at the Serie
A club through 2017 and 2018,
Buffon, who is the captain of
Juventus and the Italian national
team, will be 39 when his new
deal expires and will have spent
16 years as the club s goalkeep-
"As both parties wished to
continue, it was the natural
choice to extend my contract
for another two years," Buffon
said yesterday. "The fact that
it could be my last contract
should be taken into consider-
ation, but it doesn t worry me.
I think about the present and
then we ll see if the future will
give me something unexpect-
"I need energy and courage
to make my career last even
longer. The praise from the club
makes me proud of the choices
I made 14 years ago."
Juventus is sure to keep hold
of Chiellini at least until the
Italy defender is 33, at which
time he will have been with the
club for 13 years.
"Being here makes me emo-
tional," Chiellini said. "It makes
me think back to all the people
who helped me grow and
become a man in Turin.
"It makes me proud to know
that, in years to come, when
people talk about Gigi and Gior-
gio, they ll think of Juventus."
Both players stayed with the
club when it was relegated to
Serie B for match-fixing and
have been a key part of its
resurgence, helping it to three
straight Serie A titles.
The duo have won almost
every honor in club football
together, with Buffon also win-
ning the World Cup in 2006,
but a Champions League win-
ners medal is still missing from
their trophy collection.
"Winning the Champions
League is not just a personal
dream," Buffon said. "The best
thing would be lifting it and
"We don t set limits on our-
selves but we know it s a big
target that s difficult to achieve."
SAO PAULO---The 44-year-old son of soccer great
Pele has been released from jail and will remain free
while he appeals a conviction in a money laundering
case that involved a drug gang.
Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, known as Edinho, was
released late Wednesday, a day after he was taken into
custody in the coastal city of Santos. A judge had said
he had to stay in jail during the appeal process, but his
lawyers obtained a petition to free the former goal-
Edinho was handed a 33-year prison sentenced this
year after being found guilty of laundering money to
a drug gang.
The 74-year-old Pele, who underwent surgery to
remove kidney stones last week, said he will not com-
ment on the case. Edinho played for Santos in the
Arsenal's Welbeck faces
old mates at United
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, left, scores his side's
third goal during their English Premier League
soccer match against Burnley at the Emirates
stadium, London, November 1. AP PHOTO
Fifa to review
Pele's son released from jail
Buffon, Chiellini sign new deals at Juventus
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