Nigel Clough: Wants one more striker in his squad Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Nigel Clough would like to bolster his Derby squad with another striker this summer.
The Rams boss has already signed Chris Martin on a free transfer after his successful loan spell from Norwich this season but he wants another forward ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.
“We’re trying to get four strikers of a good quality on the books and with Chris Martin, Jamie Ward and Conor Sammon here for next season, we are now looking to bring one more in,” Clough told the club’s official website.
“We have four or five names on our list and we’re looking to get one of those through the door this summer.
“We’ll work our way through those and but there’s no timeframe on it, we may well have to be patient.
“A few players we are talking to want to see what’s out there first and they’re entitled to do that.
We are in there competing though and can offer them a good deal, as well as Moor Farm (training facilities) and a great set of lads.” Clough added: “The plan is to rotate our forwards a little bit more next season to make sure they’re a bit fresher and allow them to have a greater impact in matches, whether that’s from the start or coming off the bench.”
Sprinter Sacre: The top chaser Sprinter Sacre has achieved a rating of 188 as the top chaser from the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications.
Nicky Henderson’s outstanding seven-year-old is now just 2lb shy of the 190 reached by Kauto Star in the 2009-10 season, the highest rating in the 14 years of the classifications.
The now-retired Kauto Star was also the top chaser for the fourth and final time 12 months ago, but he was only rated 180 then.
Sprinter Sacre, who put in top performances in both the two-mile and two-and-a-half-mile category, is a full 8lb ahead of the next best, his stablemate and Cheltenham Gold Cup star Bobs Worth.
Hurricane Fly, who regained his Champion Hurdle crown, has been rated 175, which makes him the second-best hurdler in classification history and just 1lb behind Istabraq.
Willie Mullins’ gelding was 1lb ahead of the supreme staying hurdler Big Buck’s, who only ran once last season because of injury and has now been rated 174 for five years in a row.
Liam Ridehalgh: Pictured on loan at Chesterfield Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Huddersfield defender Liam Ridehalgh has signed a new one-year contract at the Galpharm Stadium.
The 22-year-old left-back spent last season on loan at Chesterfield and Rotherham but Town boss Mark Robins wants him to challenge for a first-team spot next term.
“The next year is potentially very important for Liam’s development and I’m looking forward to getting a close look at him during pre-season, as during my time he has been gaining experience through his most recent loan spell at Rotherham,” Robins told the club’s official website.
“We have very good competition for places at left-back thanks to the likes of Calum Woods, Paul Dixon and new recruit Jake Carroll and Liam’s challenge is to come back to the club and put his marker down.”
Equatorial Guinea has been named as the replacement for Tanzania in the COSAFA Cup Zambia 2013 field after the latter were forced to withdraw. The Taifa Stars became ineligible for the tournament as it clashed with a revised date for their African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Uganda in July.
The East African nation was set to make their second visit to the Southern African regional championship that runs from July 6-20 after appearing in the inaugural tournament in 1997. But a change in date for their CHAN qualifier has meant there is a clash of schedules and they have had to decline their invitation. Instead their place will be taken by Equatorial Guinea, who played at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as co-hosts.
“We asked Uganda to reschedule the games but they refused.
We therefore have no option but to withdraw from the COSAFA outing,” Tanzania Football Federation secretary general Angetile Osiah said. We are disappointed to lose Tanzania for this event because they are an exciting team which has achieved a lot in the last few years. But we understand their reasons and wish them well in their CHAN qualifier. We are, however, delighted to have Equatorial Guinea as part of the field.
They will add another exciting element to the competition, says COSAFA President, Mr Sukethu Patel.
Equatorial Guinea will take Tanzania s place in Group A alongside Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles. There will be another East African guest nation at the tournament though with Kenya set to take part in Group B alongside Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The COSAFA Cup makes a return to the international football calendar for the first time in four years after the last event that was staged and won by Zimbabwe in 2009.
Zimbabwe heads the honours list with four titles, while Zambia, South Africa and Angola have three each.
They are the only countries to have won the event.
Norbert Meier: Final-day misery for Fortuna Dusseldorf Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Fortuna Dusseldorf coach Norbert Meier looks set to keep his job despite the club’s relegation to the second division after only one season in the Bundesliga.
A 12-game winless streak cost Fortuna dearly as they went down after a 3-0 defeat to Hannover on the final day of the league season, but Meier, who took charge of the club in 2008, is likely to be given the chance to lead them back up again.
“Norbert Meier has a contract until 2014 and we have no intention, either today or tomorrow, of making any other decision, contrary to reports,” the club’s president Peter Freymuth said.
“There is not going to be any knee-jerk reaction.” Freymuth will hold talks with Meier and the club’s director of sport Wolf Werner in the coming days to resolve the coach’s future and he understands the calls for a change to be made.
“That’s perfectly normal,” he said.
“When you only get nine points in the second half of the season, then there is bound to be lots of discussion and criticism.
“You have just got to live with that.” And Meier says he has no intention of abandoning a sinking ship.
“Fortuna is far more for me than just a football club,” he is quoted as telling sport.de.
“When you see the fans here and experience this, then that (resigning) does not even cross your mind.”
AC Milan: Coach Allegri celebrates with players Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri thanked his players for firing the club into the Champions League qualifying round at the end of a rollercoaster Serie A season.
The Rossoneri were hovering above the relegation zone after losing five of their first eight league games but, having received the backing of the club’s board, Allegri steadily steered his side into European contention.
Indeed, a fine run including just one defeat in 2013 left Milan best placed to take third spot on the final day, a mission they completed with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Siena authored by a Mario Balotelli penalty and Philippe Mexes’ late strike.
Allegri told acmilan.com: “In the 20-odd years of the (Silvio) Berlusconi presidency third place has always been the minimum objective set down for Milan.
“After a disastrous start to the season the team put in a marvellous second half and only lost one match so I have to thank the players for what they have done.
“I am very pleased with them and they had to battle hard.
It was an important win which means we are in the preliminary round of the Champions League.
“The club stuck by me in the difficult times so I have to thank them and I have to thank the fans who always got behind the team.” Claudio Terzi’s opener in the 25th minute left Milan fans listening nervously to events at Pescara, where fourth-placed Fiorentina were cruising to a 5-1 win.
The pressure was really on when midfielder Massimo Ambrosini was sent off for a second bookable offence but Christian Terlizzi swiftly followed him down the tunnel to even up the teams, before Balotelli levelled with an 84th-minute spot-kick.
And three minutes later, Mexes was on hand to bundle home a rather unattractive winner.
Reports in Italy have suggested Allegri could now opt to end his three-year association with the San Siro outfit in pursuit of a new role, but vice-president Adriano Galliani is keen to retain his services.
He said: “We have been to hell and back and six minutes from time we were out of the Champions League.
It looked all over when Ambrosini was sent off but no one takes a penalty like Balotelli.
“Over the last three years Allegri has earned us more points than Juventus.
On net points, we are on top and hopefully we will continue with him.
We will sit down and talk.” Siena, meanwhile, head into Serie B after collecting only 30 points, eight short of 17th-placed Genoa’s tally, meaning the six points deducted for match-fixing at the start of the campaign were not a decisive factor.
Coach Giuseppe Iachini told acsiena.it: “There is a great deal of regret after this defeat, we certainly deserved to leave the pitch with a positive result.
“The team fought with pride, as they should have, but we were unlucky with certain incidents.
“We finished with professionalism and in the end other teams’ rankings would not have affected us in any way.”
James McPake: doubtful for Hibernian’s game with Dundee Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Hibernian will be without captain James McPake and fellow defender Tim Clancy for Saturday’s SPL match with Dundee.
McPake has been struggling with a hip problem and Clancy has been troubled by groin and stomach injuries this season.
Hibs boss Pat Fenlon is hoping to welcome the duo back to full training next week ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Celtic on Sunday 26 May.
Leigh Griffiths is just two goals away from becoming the first Hibernian player since Alan Gordon and Jimmy O’Rourke to score 30 goals in a season.
The Wolves player, on loan at Easter Road, was rested for the midweek win against Kilmarnock but could return against the Dark Blues.
Dundee team news to follow…
Mads Korneliussen: Injured early on (Pic credit speedway365) Title chasing King’s Lynn Stars suffered a shock home loss to Poole Pirates, who climbed off the bottom of the Elite League table.
Poole boss Matt Ford has opened criticised his squad and confirmed he was ready to make at least two changes, but he was giving them the meeting in Norfolk first.
Score and scorers: KING’S LYNN 39 Niels Kristian Iversen 12, Josh Grajczonek 9+1, Richie Worrall 7+1, Rory Schlein 5, David Howe 2+2, Seb Alden 2+1 Mads Korneliussen 2 POOLE 50 Tai Woffinden 14, Maciej Janowski 11, Rohan Tungate 10+1, Chris Holder 9, Dawid Stachyra 5+3, Kyle Howarth 1, Robert Miskowiak 0n And The Pirates responded in fine style with a 50-39 success – although lost Mads Korneliussen and Seb Alden to early injuries, and that left them just too weak to cope with Poole.
The Pirates had in-form Tai Woffinden guesting for the injured Darcy Ward and the newly crowned British champion did not disappoint with a brilliant 14, out-gunning home favourite Niels Kristian Iversen (12).
Former Star Maciej Janowski looked to have shrugged off question marks about his future with an excellent 11, whilst Rohan Tungate also hit double figures – whilst world champion claimed 9.
Due to their injuries, King’s Lynn’s reserves Richie Worrall and Josh Grajczonek took on extra duties and they performed admirably – but David Howe and particularly Rory Schlein were well down on where they could be expected.
Jeremie Aliadiere: Ruled out for the rest of the season Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Lorient striker Jeremie Aliadiere has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury.
The former Middlesbrough man aggravated the injury in the 4-0 Coupe de France defeat to Evian last week and did not feature in the league win over St Etienne at the weekend.
It has now been revealed that the 30-year-old will miss the remaining games against Reims and Paris St Germain and may be ruled out for France’s friendlies against Uruguay and Brazil in June.
Aliadiere’s form this season has led to speculation that he may be called up by Didier Deschamps but that chance now looks remote.
“I’ve had pain in my hip for some time now,” he told ligue1.com.
“I fell awkwardly in the match against Toulouse and since then I’ve been playing through the pain.
“Since that last match, the pain has been a lot worse and I haven’t been able to train – I’ve just been receiving treatment.
“In my opinion, I won’t play again before next season.”