Champions League draw starts Madrid’s defense of title
The Champions League chase for 2018-2019 is all but upon us as a new wacky race begins to stop Real Madrid's footballing pigeon winning the title for a fourth year in a row and keep the title in Spain for a sixth. The fact that the final is being played in Atletico Madrid's stadium is a bit of an omen, already.
Most of the usual suspects are present and correct in the 32-team draw taking place in Monaco on Thursday - luxury locations are always preferred - at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.
Monaco... ☀️🌴😍— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 30, 2018
Today the #UCL group stage is set AND we announce...
... Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder & Forward of the Season 🙌
... Men's Player of the Year 🙆♂️
... Women's Player of the Year 🙆♀️#UCLdraw #UEFAawards pic.twitter.com/i4TkdDYDOe
Three oddities to look out - the first is the appearance of legendary Swiss outfit, Young Boys, in the group stages. The second is the sight of Russian team, Lokomotiv Moscow up in Pot One with the big cheeses.
And lastly, watch out for Inter Milan being lumped into the Pot Four bottom seeds to cause all kinds of carnage.
Sport's Burst's own Group of Death prediction is Real Madrid, Manchester United, Lyon and Inter.
Enjoy probably the best analysis and prediction punditry in the world live on our Youtube channel at 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT. Or watch back at your leisure. S’all good.
United enforce Martial law on Mourinho
Transfer Tracker time!
Room for any more with just a couple of days left on the clock for the latest transfer market?
Real Madrid squeezed in Lyon's Mariano for $26 million on Wednesday to boost the forward line a little bit. The returning Madrid player popped in 18 Ligue 1 goals last season.
The footballer was due to be going to Sevilla but to fill that gap, Madrid might allow forward, Borja Mayoral, to head to the city of Seville, although not everyone at the southern club is convinced the Spaniard is made of the right stuff.
The complete opposite of what was expected appears to be happening to Anthony Martial at Manchester United. Rather than being sold - the wishes of Jose Mourinho - the club is reportedly negotiating a new contract with the French winger. Curiouser and curiouser.
Get the latest news from Transfer Window Closing Day Eve - it's officially a thing - by joining our Facebook USA page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT for the latest hot gossip.
Molde and Sheriff fight for Arsenal honor
Games, Games, Games!
Jostling for attention with the Champions League draw and the transfer market news are a whole gaggle of games in Europe.
Leading the way are 21 Europa League play-off second-leg clashes as Molde, Sheriff, and Ufa fight for the chance to play Arsenal's second-team this season in the group stages.
However, some bigger fishes are in danger of being snared in the net of elimination with Atalanta, Burnley, RB Leipzig, and Celtic in various stages of peril. The group stage draw is taking place on Friday – also in Monaco – and features so many teams that it is due to end on Tuesday.
NY Red Bulls take charge as Boca looks for Libertadores launch
But Sports Burst is getting a little bit ahead there as there were some matches played on Wednesday night on this side of the Atlantic. The NY Red Bulls moved to the top of the Eastern Conference with a win over Houston Dynamo. A recent bounce for DC United ended at the feet of visiting Philadelphia Union. San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers were the other two winners on the night.
The Copa Libertadores continued as well - without a riot this time - with Wednesday's action seeing Colo-Colo, Cruzeiro and River Plate making it through to the quarterfinals. There are two more games on Thursday with Boca Juniors looking to finish off Libertad of Paraguay and Palmeiras passing through against Cerro Porteno.
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