Sport Who's strengthened best in the race for European football?

12:10  13 august  2017
12:10  13 august  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Norris completes pole triple sweep

  Norris completes pole triple sweep Lando Norris brought his season tally for European Formula 3 poles up to eight with a double at Circuit Park Zandvoort. The track record set by Maximilian Gunther in yesterday’s practice sessions was beaten, and the championship leader was only fifth fastest in today’s qualifying. However, the second best lap procedure means he lines up in third for the third race of the weekend, only behind Carlin drivers Norris and Ferdinand Habsburg. For the second race of the weekend Gunther will have Callum Ilott, Jake Hughes and Habsburg between himself and Norris, on a track that is difficult to overtake on. The other title contender, Joel Eriksson, had a disappointing session and was only 10th fastest, although he too gains from the way the race 3 grid is drawn and he will start from sixth in that encounter. The session was hit twice by incident. The first, with just over four minutes to go, was caused by Jehan Daruvala crashing heavily on a quick part of the track. The second incident involved David Beckmann, who had a spectacular crash in the race earlier today, going wide and then flicking across the track and into the barriers.

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Ajax v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final © Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Sport Ajax v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final

I’ll be focusing on clubs who I feel are aiming for the Europa league in this coming campaign and comparing how the clubs have done in the transfer market.

Southampton – Mario Lemina is great business by the Saints, the Italian struggled for game time for Juventus but his quality is apparent. A good addition to Southampton’s already solid midfield. However, it must be said losing Virgil van Dijk would be a big loss for them, but Southampton’s recruitment is brilliant in bringing in key players and Polish centre-back Jan Bednarek could be one of those replacements.

Leicester reject £20m Gray bid

  Leicester reject £20m Gray bid Bournemouth have had an offer in the region of £20m for Demarai Gray rejected by Leicester City, according to Sky sources. Gray made 41 appearances in all competitions for Leicester last season, but only nine league starts and he is understood to be angling for more game time.Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare, speaking after the recent 2-1 friendly defeat at Burton, said Gray would get his chance this season."Dimi's representatives came in to have a meeting with the director of football (Jon Rudkin), I wasn't privy to that," Shakespeare said."We've had conversations, myself and Dimi. It is well-documented.

Arsenal are expected to sell players before they strengthen their squad in the remaining month of the summer transfer window. Football . Ronaldo' s best years? Ahead of the UEFA Super Cup final, we reflect on Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho' s time together at Real Madrid. Cycling. Racing .

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Transfer rating: 6.5 – A very solid squad already and sometimes you only need one or two players with real quality to come in to balance things.

Leicester – Signing Kelechi Iheanacho is a fantastic addition for the Foxes. The Nigerian’s goal-to-game ratio is fantastic and could go on to become a star for them. Also, Vicente Iborra was superb the last few seasons for Sevilla in midfield and I think is one of the shrewd buys of the transfer window. Harry Maguire proved his worth in a struggling Hull team in which he made stand-out performances, and is a commanding presence at the back. With Wes Morgan and Robert Huth ageing I think this was a smart move by Leicester. Also, Ron-Robert Zieler being sold to Stuttgart meant Eldin Jakupovic was brought in from Hull who is a decent replacement for a No.2 goalkeeper.

'Horrendous Matic deal favours Utd'

  'Horrendous Matic deal favours Utd' Phil Neville believes Chelsea's "horrendous" decision to sell Nemanja Matic has strengthened Man Utd's title bid.Phil Neville believes Chelsea's "horrendous" decision to sell Nemanja Matic has strengthened Manchester United's Premier League title bid.

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Finally, Welsh 20-year-old, George Thomas really could be one to keep an eye on too after an impressive season for Coventry.

Transfer rating: 7.5 – Iheanacho and Iborra will be massive additions for the club and can seriously help them mount a challenge for the Europa League.

Everton – The Merseyside club have been very busy to say the least. Signing: Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Cuco Martina, Henry Onyekuru, Jordan Pickford, Sandro Ramirez & Wayne Rooney. Bar Onyekuru who has been loaned out to Anderlecht, all the above signings will go into the starting eleven for the Toffees. Klaassen was brilliant for Ajax last season and Pickford shone in an abysmal Sunderland side, as well as Michael Keane who had a quality season for Burnley. The injection of cash from the Lukaku deal has seen Everton operate swiftly in the transfer market and with Gylfi Sigurdsson potentially joining the club it’s fair to say they’ve invested heavily into the team. The only doubt I have is how will Sandro Ramirez fill the big boots that Lukaku left behind.

Manchester City In Waiting Game Over Garre Ruling

  Manchester City In Waiting Game Over Garre Ruling It will be a waiting game now for Manchester City before the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules on the Benjamin Garre case. On the part of City, they feel they acted appropriately in regards the transfer of the player days after his 16th birthday. VelezSarsfield, who once had Nicolas Otamendi on their books, feel very differently on the matter. If found guilty and the ruling comes back against City sanctions imposed could include transfer bans for the next couple of windows. So, for example, if it was to come back in favour of the Argentinian side then City may not be able to register anyone until January 2019. The key word there is register, not sign, but even so it would not be something City want to manoeuvre around. There is always an appeal and that could allow us the January transfer window but City seem confident it will not come to that. Sarsfield contest that Manchester City should not have been able to sign their player because you have to be at least 18 in order to move to a European club. However City, backed by FIFA, argued that because the player held an Italian passport he was free to move to them at 16. Velez dispute that and says that rule only applies from European club to European club and not outside the European Union, no matter what passport he holds. Interestingly though, an article written by the Manchester Evening News over a year ago, states openly that at 15 he had already been courted by City, Manchester United and Barcelona.

Our best bets for Tuesday include a bet for the year' s final golf major as well as a Super Cup dutch and racing tips. Theo Walcott has labelled new Arsenal team-mate Sead Kolasinac an "absolute animal" who will be perfectly at home in the Premier League.

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Transfer rating: 8.5 – Everton have brought in some real talent to their starting eleven not just their squad, and finished comfortably in the Europa league spot last year. Seeing how the team copes without Romelu Lukaku will be interesting.

West Ham – Three problems the Hammers experienced last year were: conceding a lot of goals and not scoring enough, add to that a spanner like Dimitri Payet and there you have a recipe for disaster.

That’s why this season it was important for the manager and chairmen to address that. In terms of the defence bringing in: Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta has been great business by the club. Hart on his day is England’s number one and a born leader but is prone to mistakes. A familiar trait it seems for West Ham goalkeepers if you look back at the likes of Robert Green, David James, Stephen Bywater & Shaka Hislop.

Zabaleta is another leader who brings in experience, albeit not as agile as he once was, but could prove to be a valuable addition.

Since the departure of Dimitri Payet in January the Hammers have lacked goals and seemed to run out of ideas in the final third quite often last season. So, when the club announced the signing of Javier Hernandez it’s no surprise fans got excited. Someone who has played at the highest level of football and is bound to find the net for the club and has a lot of expectation to live up to, starting at Manchester United on the first day of the season.

Cahill: Six clubs can challenge

  Cahill: Six clubs can challenge Chelsea captain Gary Cahill tells Soccer AM's Tubes as many as six teams could challenge for the Premier League title this season. The defender has been handed the captaincy at the Premier League champions for the 2017/18 season following John Terry's departure.With the Blues and Liverpool returning to European football, and all top six clubs strengthening considerably in the transfer market along with Everton, Cahill believes the title race will be more open than ever.

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Marko Arnautovic was Stoke’s star player over the last few seasons and his skill and power on the pitch will most definitely become an asset for the club. The powerful Austrian will look to fill the void Payet has left behind which isn’t an easy task.

Sead Haksabanovic is another interesting one for the future. The highly rated Swedish attacking-midfielder has received high praise from Slaven Bilic and the club has been watching him for quite some time. I can’t say I’ve seen him play very much so it’s hard to say how much of an impact he’ll have so we’ll have to wait and see.

The biggest deal of the window for the Hammers could be yet to happen still. West Ham have been in negotiations with Sporting Lisbon over a deal for Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho. The 25-year-old has been touted as one of the best holding midfielders in Europe, with Arsenal being previously heavily interested in the player but unable to agree a fee. This would be an enormous signing for West Ham and would mean breaking the clubs transfer record fee for the second time this window.

Transfer rating: 8

Alonso's McLaren-Honda misery: Year Three so far .
For the third consecutive season, McLaren Honda has let down star driver Fernando Alonso. The engine manufacturer promised great things for 2017 at the start of the season, having changed its engine design to something a little closer to Mercedes’. Things didn’t exactly go to plan, and Honda seemed to take another step backwards. Four rounds into the season, Alonso had failed to finish a single race. In Russia, the two-time champion hadn’t even managed to make it to the grid, suffering an ERS software fault on the warm up lap. Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne hadn’t fared much better. The rookie managed to take two finishes – a 13th and 14th – but also suffered a retirement and a “DNS”. The disappointing start to the F1 season brought rumours Alonso would be leaving at the end of the year. The announcement he would be missing the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500 only strengthened those rumours. Having completed testing in America ahead of the Russian GP, Alonso was asked many times after the race if he was considering a move to Indy next year. Alonso repeatedly insisted Formula 1 was his life, and the plan was to stay. Alonso was rewarded for his commitment to F1 with his strongest starting position of the season up to that point in Spain. In front of home crowds, he took seventh on the grid, his first appearance in the third part of qualifying in 2017. Things went downhill during the race, though. He fell back to 11th on the opening lap, and eventually finished 12th.

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