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Why top clubs shun the FA Cup

FA Cup
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For managers like Ancelotti, Guardiola and Mourinho, training time is limited

Craig Burley assesses why Carlo Ancelotti is thriving at Bayern Munich, while Pep Guardiola struggled.
Carlo Ancelotti has said that he expects his Bayern Munich side to dispatch Schalke tonight in the DFB Cup Quarter-final.

It was in Doha in January, and as Carlo Ancelotti took a sip of his espresso, he pursed his lips and leaned back.

"Guess how many full weeks of normal training we had between the time the season started and Christmas," he told a visitor. "Go on, just guess."

His interlocutor didn't have time to respond before the Bayern Munich manager waved a solitary index finger in the air.

"One," Ancelotti said with a sigh. "Just one."

You'd imagine the situation is similar at most top European clubs. Indeed,...

 By Adam Hurrey

February in review: Chelsea roll on, Leicester lose Ranieri, Ibra superb

Craig Burley breaks down Cesc Fabregas and N'Golo Kante's impact as Chelsea went 11 points clear atop the Premier League.

After yet another chaotic month in the Premier League, ESPN FC writer Adam Hurrey names his winners and losers for the month of February.

Who won the month? Chelsea's unbroken foundations

It speaks volumes that drawing twice away from home -- wastefully at Liverpool, grittily at Burnley -- represents only the second discernible stutter from Chelsea this season. The lack of a continental distraction -- particularly given the roller coasters that Tottenham and Manchester City have been on in Europe...

Shanghai SIPG thrash Western Sydney Wanderers to signal ACL ambitions

Hulk and Oscar appear to be coming into their own in the CSL as they continue their fine form for Shanghai SIPG.
Shanghai SIPG put five past Western Sydney Wanderers to condemn them to a second defeat in two in the AFC Champions League.

Shanghai SIPG made it two wins out of the two in the Group F of the 2017 AFC Champions League (ACL) after a 5-1 thrashing of 2014 winners Western Sydney Wanderers.

Hulk and Oscar both scored within the first 20 minutes as SIPG raced to a 4-1 lead at half-time.

Here are three thoughts on an impressive home performance:

Shanghai SIPGShanghai SIPG
Western Sydney WanderersWestern Sydney Wanderers
5
1
FT
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1. SIPG's foreign players are just too good

It wasn't just Hulk and Oscar -- the club's two big money signings over the last 12 months -- who ran Wanderers ragged in the first 30...

Juventus vs. Napoli a fitting tribute for legendary goalkeeper Dino Zoff

Juventus' Dino Zoff against Borussia Moenchengladbach
Dino Zoff of Juventus going up against Borussia Monchengladbach in 1976.

Dino Zoff is celebrating his 75th birthday on Tuesday, and it is only symbolic that his two beloved teams -- Juventus and Napoli -- face each other in Coppa Italia semifinals.

The legendary goalkeeper is universally identified with Juve, where he spent 11 years, played 330 Serie A games in a row, winning six championship titles, two Coppa Italia, one UEFA Cup and participated in two European Cup finals. And yet, Zoff is arguably not the greatest Juve keeper in history -- he might have lost the crown...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Premier League clubs' foreign training trips can hinder rather than help

The FC crew debate on why Jurgen Klopp hasn't received the criticism that is perhaps due given Liverpool's season so far.

"What were they doing in La Manga?" Sky Sports TV pundit Gary Neville asked at half-time on Monday night, as Liverpool trailed Leicester 2-0, before going on to lose 3-1.

After 16 days without playing a game, Liverpool had showed nowhere near the energy of their 2-0 defeat of top-four rivals Tottenham on Feb. 11.

La Manga is the Spanish Mediterranean resort manager Jurgen Klopp favours for training camps. "I knew it before because I was there five times with [Borussia] Dortmund when we had a winter...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ibrahimovic wins EFL Cup for Man United to top Player Power Rankings

The FC boys praise Zlatan's showing in the EFL Cup and debate whether this is crucial for Man United going forward.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic added an EFL Cup win to his impressive medal collection, but what does he do with them all?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said that even though he talks a big game, he always backs it up on the pitch.

Also receiving votes: Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Kostas Mitroglou (Benfica).

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