Romelu Lukaku expected to be fit to face Chelsea in FA Cup final

• Manchester United striker underwent scan on ankle on Monday
• Medical department optimistic over injury

Romelu Lukaku had a scan on his injured ankle on Monday, with the hope being that the Manchester United No 9 should be fit for the FA Cup final against Chelsea on 19 May.

While the Belgian is expected to discover the scan results on Tuesday, the initial diagnosis from the club’s medical department allowing optimism that the problem is minor and Lukaku can recover in time to face Antonio Conte’s team.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Jupp Heynckes denies Real Madrid ‘complex’ but calls for Bayern ‘efficiency’ | Sid Lowe

The German manager says he doesn’t fear the reigning champions, despite Franz Beckenbauer suggesting the Spaniards have a mental advantage

At the end of the final session at Bayern Munich’s Säbener Strasse training ground their players took penalties but Jupp Heynckes said it had nothing to do with the prospect of a shootout at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night.

Instead, their manager claimed, the explanation was simpler than that: the practice match had finished in a draw. Heynckes said there was no way to recreate the pressure and tension of penalties and dismissed Franz Beckenbauer’s suggestion that Bayern have a “complex” when it comes to Real Madrid but he did appeal for his side to seek “inner peace” as they arrived in Spain looking to reach the Champions League final on 26 May.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Match programme under threat from falling sales and social media

• Football League to vote on keeping programmes compulsory
• Declining sales and increasing costs are a burden for some clubs

The traditional matchday programme could disappear with the Football League voting on whether its production should continue to be compulsory.

It is a commercial obligation of all 72 Football League teams to have a printed programme for every home game. But declining sales and increased costs have become a burden for some clubs and at their June meeting they will vote on whether it should continue to be a requirement next season.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

‘We will be watching’: Trump defies Fifa with repeat threat over World Cup bid

  • USA aiming to co-host 2026 tournament with Mexico and Canada
  • Trump says US ‘will be watching very closely’ at foreign supporters
  • Fifa had warned against political influence over bids in statement

Donald Trump repeated his appeal to foreign nations to support the United States’ joint bid with Canada and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup during a press conference on Monday in defiance of Fifa’s warning against the use of political influence during the bidding process.

“I hope all African countries and countries throughout the world, that we also will be supporting you and they will likewise support us in our bid, along with Canada and Mexico, for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump said. “We will be watching very closely and any help that they could give us in that bid we would appreciate.”

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian

Tottenham v Watford: Premier League – live!

After Watford’s first ever promotion to the top flight under Graham Taylor, they took nine points from their first three visits to White Hart Lane. But since May 1985 the Hornets have travelled to Spurs seven times for league combat and lost seven times, by an aggregate scoreline of 20-3.

Back, then, to May 1985. Everton, with four games to play, had the league title wrapped up, sitting as they were 14 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United, with two games in hand. Spurs were two points further back, with Liverpool just behind them. Places in Europe were at stake, though the season ended with the Heysel disaster and as it turned out there would be no English teams in European competition the following season. Still, Tottenham were in a similar position to the one they find themselves in now, with similar motivation. Watford, meanwhile, were 15th, enjoying a healthy buffer from the relegation places but not entirely free of all concern, with a difficult run-in also featuring a game against Manchester United. They were also, in other words, in a similar position to the one they find themselves in now.

Continue reading…

via Football | The Guardian