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Macintosh: Who can stop Chelsea?

Chelsea 20 hours ago
 By James Dall
3 hours ago

Manchester United out to avoid public humiliation against Chelsea

Chelsea expect Didier Drogba to lead their attack at Old Trafford as Diego Costa sustained another injury while on international duty and Loic Remy suffered a strained groin in their Champions League clash with Maribor.

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

West Ham vs. Man City
Liverpool vs. Hull
Southampton vs. Stoke
Sunderland vs. Arsenal
West Brom vs. Crystal Palace
Swansea vs. Leicester

Burnley vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. Newcastle
Man Utd vs. Chelsea

QPR vs. Aston Villa

Weekend battle: Manchester United vs. Chelsea

There is an apparent inevitability that Manchester United will be shamed at Old Trafford (not for first time in the past year) in Sunday's match against Chelsea. Things could indeed get ugly, for the bigger the club, the harder they fall. It comes down to just how cruel Jose Mourinho wants to be -- certainly,...

14 hours ago

Power Rankings: Bayern Munich leapfrog Chelsea into top spot

German correspondent Raphael Honigstein says Bayern were considered the best in Europe last season as well but ultimately came up short.

The Power Rankings return after a well-earned week off, and the latest edition features a new leader.

1. Bayern Munich (+3)

After a week in which they scored 13 goals in two wins, how could Pep Guardiola's men not top my list? Every superlative they got for winning in Rome on Tuesday was deserved. Quite simply, Bayern were magnificent.

2. Chelsea (-1)

It's a bit harsh to drop the Blues out of first place after they won twice -- scoring eight goals in the process -- but Jose Mourinho's men fall more...

20 hours ago

Flawlessly constructed Chelsea confident ahead of Man United match

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa and Loic Remy are expected to miss their match against Manchester United.

If you were looking for reasons Chelsea won't win the title, their midweek clash with Maribor was not a good place to start the search. It wasn't the scoreline that should chill the rest of the Premier League, it was the manner in which it was secured.

Chelsea aren't just a good team, they're a driven team. They are fully committed, utterly professional and they have very few weaknesses. Manchester United supporters should be rather concerned ahead of this weekend's big game.

Maribor, of course,...

21 hours ago

MLS Eastern Conference analysis: Under-the-radar players to watch

MLS commissioner Don Garber explains that the competition in the professional divisions of the United States is heading in the right direction, but he still sees areas for improvement.

If last weekend's playoff teaser between the L.A. Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders reminded us of one thing, it was that it's not always the marquee players who make the headlines.

Yes, Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey were in typically lively form, but the score sheet also bore the names of Baggio Husidic, Marcelo Sarvas and Lamar Neagle -- all players who have turned out to be key at times for their team this year, if often unheralded beyond their local markets.

With the playoffs beginning next...

 By Nick Ames
1 day ago

Partizan Belgrade illustrates how much Serbia has given football

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains what's next for Serbia and Albania after Tuesday's pitch altercation.

It feels like the worst day for a chat with Momcilo Vukotic, but perhaps it is actually the best. The time is just before 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, just 12 hours since Serbia's match with Albania, a few miles down the road at Partizan Belgrade's own stadium, was abandoned amid barely fathomable scenes of provocation and violence. Nobody has slept much, if at all. But into this smartly appointed room in the fashionable Belgrade suburb of Zemun walks Vukotic, 64 years old now and still Partizan's...

1 day ago

Xabi Alonso provides the tempo that makes Bayern's jazz flow

The ESPN FC team look at the Group E standings after matchday three and take their picks on who will advance to the knockout rounds.
Xabi Alonso was brought in as a stopgap in August but he has quickly become one of Bayern Munich's key players.

Like all the best ideas, this one, too, looks incredibly obvious in hindsight.

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer said they needed someone "to help immediately" when Bastian Schweinsteiger was ruled out for an indefinite period of time at the end of August, a few days after Javier Martinez had ruptured his cruciate ligament. Who were they going to call? The answer, as we know now, was Xabi Alonso.

But first, they called his Real Madrid teammate Sami Khedira. The board did, to be precise....