By Tim Stannard
1) Higuain warns of embattled Barcelona
Two great sporting debates come head to head on Tuesday in the Champions League. Who are the biggest chokers? Barcelona for repeatedly blowing chances this season to overhaul Real Madrid at the top of the table. Or Gonzalo Higuain, the apparent big game bottler but also free-scoring Serie A sensation? A conundrum for the ages.
The Argentinean record-ruiner who has single-handedly prevented Leo Messi from being branded GOAT has been speaking to UEFA about Tuesday’s massive match-up against Barcelona and has given a warning to his Juventus teammates ahead of the clash. “Barça had an off-day [in Paris] and I don't think they'll have another quite like that.” As Barcelona never have regular off days. Oh no.
Barcelona are now in Turin ahead of the clash and even travelled with the injured and suspended players with Sergio Busquets being included in the former group.
Tune into the Locker Room from 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT for the Champions League predictions of our crack team of panelists.
2) Pepe talks to restart in possible Madrid make-up
Pepe’s broken ribs suffered at Atletico Madrid might well have seen the Real Madrid man playing his last game for the club with the footballer out of contract this summer and rumors of a move to Manchester City.
But hold those thoughts as Marca is reporting that talks will be back underway this week at the Santiago Bernabeu to extend the Portuguese man’s deal with Madrid. The current sticking point seems to be a battle over whether any potential deal for the 34-year-old will be a one or two season affair.
Tune into the XTRA from 7PM ET / 4PM PT for all the latest news from both the Madrid and Barcelona camps.
3) Rossi suffers another injury setback
Very bad news indeed for Giuseppe Rossi who has suffered a fourth major injury in his footballing career. The former Manchester United man was forced out of Celta Vigo’s weekend loss to Eibar in La Liga and the club confirmed on Monday that the striker had suffered a cruciate ligament tear to his left knee.
The Fiorentina man has previously torn the cruciate ligament in his right knee on two occasions. The latest setback sees Rossi set to be out on the sidelines for the next seven months.
In other La Liga news, Valencia have announced the official signing of Simone Zaza from July 1st after a successful loan spell with the Mestalla club since January.
The latest round of La Liga – a humdinger so far – wraps up on Monday with Real Sociedad hoping to return to the top six with a home win over struggling Sporting. That clash is live on our beIN SPORTS sister channel from 2:45PM ET / 11:45AM PT.
4) Tony Adams to take over Granada. Yep.
Oh hang on, here’s a weird one that has just crept into the news world. Actually – it deserves a BREAKING NEWS!
After the huge success of Gary Neville’s adventure with Valencia, another La Liga club has decided to opt for another former England international with little experience of managing in La Liga or as a coach full stop.
Tony Adams is taking over struggling Granada as coach until the end of the season, having only just been put in place as sporting director. The Englishman has a close relationship with Chinese owner Jiang Lizhang. Which really does explain a lot. Granada are currently second-from-bottom of the table, seven points from safety.
5) Sergio Garcia revels in planetary pleasantries
Most of the sporting papers around the globe are leading with a theme for 2017 – that everything is all with the flashback, especially in tennis. Sergio Garcia is the man of the moment after the Spaniard won his first ever major win after an 18-year wait. And to be fair, everyone seems to be very happy about that indeed.
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