Sports Burst – All Hands On Deck For Madrid


By Tim Stannard
While the likes of Isco and Dani Ceballos might not be feeling the tactical love of Coach Zizou at Real Madrid this season, the same cannot be said for Nacho Fernandez – the least glamorous member of the squad, but a footballer who is on track to end up in the ranks of the most decorated Spaniards in the history of the game. Nacho was forced to leave Saturday’s Las Palmas game early due to a leg injury that reportedly sees the footballer out for a month.
But such was the distress on the face on the stopper on the bench at Las Palmas that Zidane has apparently taken pity, shown a softer side and included the player in the match-day squad that is travelling to Turin for Tuesday’s quarter-final Champions League clash against Juventus. And what a clash that is set to be with Real Madrid needing to find a way past the Italian champions in Europe’s top tier competition in order to make up for a rather calamitous league campaign.

Both Zidane and Massimo Allegri are expected to talk to the media later on Monday as are the coaches of Tuesday’s other big Champions League clash, Sevilla and Bayern Munich with the Germans heading to the Sanchez Pizjuan as huge favorites in the double-header, but also wary of a Sevilla side that almost inflicted a first league defeat on Barcelona this weekend.
Tune into the Locker Room at 7:30PM ET / 4PM PT for a full preview and predictions for this week’s Champions League games.

West ‘Gone-ich’ Albion for Pardew as Conte counts days
Rather forlorn Premier League outfit, WBA, have got with the program and begun preparing for life in England’s second tier by firing one of the managers who plonked the club in that Championship pickle in the first place. Alan Pardew has gone after being appointed in November and being wholly useless. The bottom-dwellers are currently enjoying a streak of eight defeats.

In further Premier League sack race news, Antonio Conte’s departure at Chelsea is not a case of ‘if’ but when after Sunday’s home defeat against Tottenham which largely rules out any chance of Champions League football next season. The response from Conte on whether his bosses will jettison him before the end of the season was an indifferent “I’m not worried.” That’s mainly because he stopped caring sometime mid-September. “Conte can’t wait to leave Chelsea,” was the affirmation from former Chelsea boss, Gianluca Vialli, to Italian TV.

Umtiti says happy at Barcelona despite rumors of Man Utd move
It always felt like one of those transfer rumors that didn’t make a huge amount of sense, and that appears to the be the case with Barcelona’s stopper extraordinaire, Samuel Umtiti, coming out and claiming that he is perfectly happy at the Camp Nou with no intention of moving to Manchester United over the summer, the story that has been the paper talk in the Catalan capital.


The player is reportedly looking for an improved contract to reflect his sterling performances since his arrival in La Liga but is claiming that “I have so many objectives to reach with Barcelona that for the moment the question does not arise.” But of course, as all footballers do, there’s a little bit of wiggle room left in his assertion of complete happiness at his current club. "In this world, it goes very fast. But what I can say is that I am very happy."

Cavani sale rumors as PSG look to balance the books
Monday’s Le Parisen has some bold predictions to kick the week off with the paper being a Debbie Downer soon after the club’s League Cup win over Monaco
Financial Fair Play regulations are set to play hardball with the club’s accounts with speculation that Edinson Cavani might be sold over the summer. This is despite the fact that the Uruguayan is having another sterling campaign with 24 goals scored in the league this season.
But that is not all. Javier Pastore is also expected to leave - not too much of a blow - but so is Adrien Rabiot, one of the rising stars of the team and a definite face for the future. This leaves PSG with only one option - poach the best players from the rest of Ligue Un Kylian Mbappe-style. PSG will be back on beIN SPORTS screens on Friday at 2:40PM ET / 11:40AM PT.


The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst 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.