Release Clause paid – Adama Traore joins Wolves

 

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Image from Wolves twitter: @Wolves

Wolves have signed the winger Adama Traore for a club record fee of £18m. The Spanish will have his third experience in the Premier League, after making part of the Aston Villa squad that was relegated in 2015/2016 and Middlesbrough, who had the same destination one year after.

International U21 for Spain, Traore is a product of the famous Barcelona La Masia but it was last year with Tony Pulis that he finally exploded with the Middlesbrough jersey. Now at Wolves we still have to understand where he will play, but most probably will share time with the Portuguese Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa.

Russian Premier League – Zenit and Rostov are leaders. Slow start of the season for CSKA and Lokomotiv

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The 2nd round of the Russian Premier League is completed and Rostov surprisingly joined Zenit in the top of the league. The team from the south of Russia surprised CSKA with an early goal by Parshivlyuk and despite the pressure from the home team the result did not change. CSKA has only 1 point in 2 matches and even with the signing of Abel Hernandez the team looks short in options when comparing with other of the favorites.

Highlight to the surprising home defeat of Krylya Sovetov against Orenburg (0-3) and Ufa’s dominant home win against Anzhi (3-0).

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The 3rd round starts this Friday with the match between Ural and Dynamo Moscow. On Monday we have the top match of the week, when Zenit travels to Kazan to play against Rubin. The match between Ufa and Krasnodar should be postponed as UEFA moved their game of the Europa League from Thursday to Tuesday.

 

Champions League – Fenerbahce outclassed by Benfica, Ajax allowed late equalizer

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The road to the Champions League group stage continues and today we had 7 exciting games. In Lisbon we had the top match of the day between Benfica and Fenerbahce, in a game where the Turkish side was completely outclassed and must feel satisfied with this 1-0 defeat. The Argentinean Emanuel Cervi scored the winning goal in the 69th minute after an assist from Eduardo Salvio.

In Liege we saw Ajax having an impressive start, scoring 2 goals in the first half (Huntelaar and Tadic) but St. Liege reacted in the second half. Carcela-Gonzalez scored in the 67th minute and a penalty score by Renaud Emond gave the home side more hopes of qualifying.

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In the other games highlight to the 0-2 away victory from Dinamo Zagreb against Astana and one more impressive result from the Hungarians MOL Vidi, who got a 1-1 draw away from home against Malmo. BATE Borisov is also in good shape to qualify after beating Qarabag in Azerbaijan by a single goal.

Tomorrow we have more 3 games. PAOK receives the Russians Spartak Moscow, Shkendija travels to Austria to play against Red Bull Salzburg and Celtic plays at home against AEK Athens

Path to the Champions League group stage known

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In the first year where teams from Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France do not need to go through the qualifiers, we have 6 open spots for the group stage.

In the League path we have 3 of the top teams in the same bracket, as from Benfica, Fenerbahce and Spartak Moscow only one team might reach the group stage. PAOK was also quite impressive in the last qualifying so is not out of question they can upset two of those teams.

In the Champions Path everything looks quite open, with only PSV looking to be a clear favorite. Celtic has a complicated way to the group stage as they have to face AEK Athens and most probably Malmo.

The 3rd qualifying stage will be played on 7/8 August and 14 August. The final playoff will be on 21 and 28 August.

Super Cups across Europe. England and Turkey are the next.

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Yesterday we saw PSG, Feyenoord and FC Porto winning the Super Cup of their countries and today we have Chelsea – Manchester City for the Community Shield and Galatasary – Akhisarspor for the Turkish Super Cup.

For the first game we have already the starting 11s and both team start the game with a British teenager.  Sarri makes it clear that he trusts the 17 years old Callum Hudson-Odoi and he is starting on the left side of the attack. Guardiola also gives a place in the midfield to Phil Foden.

In Turkey we have Galatasaray as a clear favorite but Akhisarspor surprised Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup final and they will do their best to repeat it today.

Next weekend we have the Spanish Super Cup that will be played in Morocco. Super Cups in another countries is more and more an option and this year, France, Spain and Italy had/will have this trophy played outside their countries.

Russian Premier League – No goals in the Moscow derby. Zenit wins again

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The second round of the Russian Premier League is underway and yesterday we had a 0-0 tie between Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow. The away side was always on the top and was the only team trying to win this match. The champions Lokomotiv are having a slow start of the season with a sequence of poor matches.

On the other hand Semak is having a good start with Zenit. The team from St. Petersburg won 1-0 against Arsenal Tula and is leader with 6 points. Shatov is having an impressive start of the season and will not be a surprise if we see him back to the national team very soon.

Today we have the last of the candidates playing, with CSKA receiving Rostov. Tomorrow Ufa plays at home against Anzhi, in the game that closes the 2nd round.

Saturday of Super Cups – PSG wins in France, Feynoord in Netherlands

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Some of the best European leagues are almost starting and this during this weekend he have the Super Cup in France, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and England.

This afternoon PSG destroyed the rivals Monaco 4-0 with Di Maria scoring twice. With Cavani and Mbappe still on holidays and Neymar on the bench, the French champions made it visible of how deep is their squad as Nkunku and Timothy Weah also scored today.

In the Netherlands we also had two of the top teams facing each other, with Feyenoord beating PSV in the penalty shootout after a 0-0 in the 120 minutes. The goalkeeper Justin Bijlow had a huge game, saved Feyenoord from the defeat several times and is a name that you should keep an eye this season.

This evening in Portugal we have a match between FC Porto and Desportivo das Aves. Porto is a clear favorite here but after defeating Sporting in the Portuguese Cup final, Aves will want to surprise other of the Portuguese top teams.