By Tim Stannard
1) Barça suffer at hands of critical local media in maudlin Monday
In many ways, Lady Luck was smiling on both Real Madrid and Barcelona this weekend.
The former benefited from a disastrous penalty miss by Sporting whilst the latter probably should be have beaten by a very hefty margin in San Sebastian. That was even the opinion of both Gerard Pique and Luis Enrique, who was delighted with the “best result” of the campaign, if not exactly the best performance.
Monday sees the powerful local media in Barcelona in an understandably unforgiving mood. ‘Sport’ references Enrique by talking of a “miracle point” on the day’s front page with ‘La Vanguardia’ claiming that the performance in the 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad was “shameful.”
There was more bad news to start the week with Jordi Alba reportedly a major doubt for Saturday’s Clasico with a knee injury, however Arda Turan has recovered from an illness. Tune into the XTRA from 7PM ET / 4PM PT followed by the Locker Room for the start of a whole week of special Clasico coverage.
2) Kroos confirms no Barca move after zero speculation
Toni Kroos has given two shocking revelations to the media ahead of the El Clasico clash, which the German won’t be fit for. Actually, they are not that shocking. First off, Kroos says that he would never join Barcelona out of “respect” for Real Madrid. And secondly, the midfielder might retire once his current contract runs out at the age of 32 in six years’ time. Then again, he might not.
The final match of the La Liga weekend is taking place on Monday and it sees the pleasing-on-the-eye, but struggling Las Palmas hosting Athletic Bilbao.
3) Bacca craving Sevilla return after Milan walkabout
You don’t have to be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes to surmise that Carlos Bacca wants out of Milan and a return to Sevilla in January. Not only has the Colombian striker been catching the Spanish club’s games rather than those of his own team, as happened on Saturday in Sevilla’s clash against Valencia, but Bacca was hanging out on the training ground with his former club on Monday.
The Milan man was freed up from Serie A duties over the weekend with an injury, but has undergone criticism for his decision to hop across the Med. Monday’s images from Sevilla’s training ground won’t help Bacca’s case any further.
4) Napoli looks to gain ground after Juve stumble
There are a couple of stragglers in Serie A in terms of matches, but they are whoopers. At 12.55PM ET / 8.55AM PT, Napoli have the chance to close down the gap on the league leaders with a home clash against Sassoulo. That is followed by Inter taking on a stubborn Fiorentina, another test for Stefano Pioli on the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza bench. Both games are live on beIN SPORTS with full highlights on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.
Meanwhile, Dani Alves has posted on his Instagram that media reports are over exaggerating a reported broken leg for the Brazilian fullback suffered in Juve’s defeat at Genoa on Sunday. However, tests on Monday should reveal the true damage and recovering time for Alves.
5) Tiger Woods “ready to go” in new comeback attempt
After 16-months out of the game, Tiger Woods is on the brink of another attempt at a comeback. After pulling out of a PGA tournament in October, the former world number one is in Nassau and playing the host in the Hero World Challenge. “I’m not dead. I’m ready to go,” says Woods who is now ranked 879th in the world
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.