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 By John Duerden
about an hour ago

Japan's veterans find harmony to sound Asian Cup warning

Midfielder Shinji Kagawa played a vital role in Japan's impressive second half against Australia in Osaka.

After indifferent performances with experimental teams, Japan boss Javier Aguirre decided to get the band back together last Tuesday. A lineup that wouldn't have been out of place at the 2011 Asian Cup final against Australia saw the Samurai Blue again singing from the same songbook and hitting those familiar notes in the second half of a friendly against the same opposition in Osaka. At the end of a 2-1 win, the fact that everything seemed so much better with the old guard in place was a source...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
10 hours ago

Is Shaqiri about to swap Munich for Manchester?

Thumbs up to a Premier League move? Xherdan Shaqiri is a man in demand.

With just over a month to go until the transfer window opens, the chatter and gossip continues. Transfer Talk brings you the latest reports.

Shaq to pack for Old Trafford?

Manchester United are set to raid one of Louis van Gaal's old clubs, according to The Express. Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri is a target for the Old Trafford boss, who is willing to let Ander Herrera leave in exchange for the Swiss international. Meanwhile, the same report claims United are also keen on Fabio Coentrao, Pepe...

 By Chris Rann
10 hours ago

Saints must make the most of Villa clash before crucial stretch

Ronald Koeman's high-flying Southampton next bring their goal-scoring roadshow to Villa Park.
Ronald Koeman's high-flying Southampton next bring their goal-scoring roadshow to Villa Park.

If there is one club who really didn't want an international break at the moment, it is Southampton, and so they will be raring to get back into the swing of the Premier League at Villa Park on Monday night.

Saints are flying, and a visit to Birmingham represents the last 'golden' opportunity for another three points before a tricky run of fixtures. Villa will be no pushovers of course, but with their ever declining form and a nasty growing injury list, Southampton boss Ronald Koeman and his team...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
10 hours ago

Jores Okore set for a delayed return for Villa

Jores Okore's absence this season has puzzled many an Aston Villa supporter.
Jores Okore's absence this season has puzzled many an Aston Villa supporter.

Aston Villa fans may finally get to see Jores Okore in action on Monday night, although the circumstances are far from ideal. With a trio of centre backs in Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Nathan Baker all ruled out for the visit of Southampton, Okore's comeback will be a fierce examination of his fitness and ability.

The Dane hasn't played a single minute of competitive football for Villa's senior team since last September, the day he sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury against Newcastle....

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
12 hours ago

Excuses aplenty for Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger

ESPN FC's Craig Burley wasn't impressed by either Arsenal or Manchester United in Saturday's feature match.

A common complaint about Arsene Wenger is that he makes too many excuses. This time, Wenger admitted that the fault lay within his own team's inability to convert territorial dominance into goals. As Arsenal suffered once more at the hands of Manchester United on Saturday, he might have recognised that United won with far more excuses in hand.

"It's a game that we dominated for 80 percent of the time," Wenger suggested. "We have not had many games against Man United like today, but we were...

 By Sid Lowe
13 hours ago

Telmo Zarra was La Liga's undisputed goal king -- until now

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Lionel Messi breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record with a hat-trick against Sevilla.

The station master at Asua station in the province of Vizcaya, northern Spain, was handing out tickets when he heard the fireworks go off. He looked up from his desk and asked, "What was that?" Was there some kind of local fiesta going on? No, he was told, Spain had just scored against England at the World Cup, thousands of miles away in Brazil. The man who scored the goal was his son. "Ah, Telmo," the station master said and carried on what he was doing. Or so it goes. It was July 2, 1950.

On the...