By Tim Stannard
1) PSG pondering Unai upgrade after Bayern Munich battering
France is one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t jumped the shark in terms of international adulthood.
Britain’s Brexit, Spain’s split and the USA’s….aaaaaannnnd, hard to know where to start on that one.
So, when one of the France’s most august media outlets plonks something provocative on its front page on Thursday, then the football planet should take notice.
L’Equipe is suggesting that PSG manager, Unai Emery, is on borrowed time…thin ice…sitting in a bath where the water is getting colder…spinning his legs like Wile E Coyote realizing he has just run off a cliff. And why? It seems that the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, which may be negligible in terms of the Champions League group which PSG won, was a critical setback in terms of confidence the fans, players and bosses have in the Spanish manager.
All this is especially the case when placed in conjunction with THAT NIGHT against Barcelona last season (and failing to win Ligue Un last year). With the array of talent that PSG have, winning the domestic league is not enough. And PSG might well be making a move to find the right manager to lead them to the Champions League crown. While the end of the season is the current theory, don’t bet against a sneaky mid-campaign move for a manager to deal with the PSG heavyweights in the locker room and lift the club into another dimension.
You can catch PSG in action on Saturday in a clash against Lille on beIN CONNECT from 10:45AM ET / 7:45AM PT.
2) Ronaldo on brink of fifth Ballon d’Or
Another day, another reward for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fresh from continuing his Stranger Things adventures in the The Upside Down which sees the footballer rampant in the Champions League – nine goals in the group stages alone – and unable to hit a barn door with a banjo in La Liga (2 goals all year), Ronaldo has another trophy to pick up.
CR7 is set to be awarded his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy by France Football magazine on Thursday after a year that saw him win both the Champions League and also La Liga.
A fifth trinket will see the footballer tie with Leo Messi and leaves the universe wondering if that prize will be the last to be won by either, to leave the eternal question of who is better being discussed by multi-dimensional historians at intergalactic watercoolers in the 56th century. Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT to find out.
3) Europa League reached end of group stages road
Amazing news for Thursday. The Europa League group stages are almost over. Woo hoo!
The tournament is about to get properly fun, especially with the likes of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund being flushed down the Champions League U-bend into the knockout phase.
But there is some business to attend to on the final Thursday. Seven of the 12 – yes, 12 – groups are still open in terms of selecting the two teams that ascend to a higher plane. The big cheeses of the competition – Villarreal, Arsenal, Milan, Lazio, and Lyon are safely through. Now Sports Burst has everything crossed that the intriguingly-named Sheriff can at least get a point against Copenhagen
Viewers in beIN SPORTS CANADA have a veritable buffet of games to choose from across all our platforms. Check beIN SPORTS.com for details. And tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for the best action for Thursday’s finale.
4) Doubts cast over US team at Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics continues to make the news for very much the wrong reasons. First it was the banning of Russian allegations due to doping, and now there is a chance that US athletes may not be participating in South Korea in February due to security concerns over ongoing tensions with North Korea.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that participation of the US will “depend on what’s going on at the time in the country.”
Elsewhere, the NFL returns to action on Thursday with hopes that the clash between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons avoids the slugfest controversy of Monday’s encounter which further put the sport under pressure in terms to the head injury risk to players.
Before we leave you, if you want an early take on the day’s sporting sizzlers, then tune into the XTRA Social by heading to the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook site at 1PM ET / 10AM PT or watch it back at your leisure.
WHAT IS SPORTS BURST?
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.