Hakim Ziyech told to leave Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech has been urged to quit Chelsea by Dutch legend Marco van Basten.

Van Basten, 58, told Ziggo Sport: “Ziyech was on the bench yet again against West Ham. When he does come on they use him as a striker. He can operate in that role too, as he is a good player.

“But I find it sad to see. The system that Thomas Tuchel employs is simply not good for Ziyech.

“If I was Hakim I would say to myself: ‘You know what, I’m going to leave.’

“I’d say: ‘Listen, I’ve got no rapport with the guy [Tuchel] – I’ve got to get out of here.’ There is no sense in him staying put.”

Zidane explains Eden Hazard inclusion in Real Madrid squad to face Chelsea

Eden Hazard is fit and ready for Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final first-leg against old club Chelsea on Tuesday.

The Belgian has had a torrid time with form and fitness since fulfilling his ambition of moving to the Bernabeu in a £130million deal in 2019.

But he came off the bench in the 77th minute of Madrid’s 0-0 draw against Real Betis on Saturday.

And boss Zinedine Zidane says the forward came through unscathed and is in contention to play when the Blues visit the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

The Frenchman said: “He played 20 minutes the other day and he felt quite good.

“The most important thing is that he doesn’t feel anything about his problem.

“He’s quite well, he’s with us, he’s happy to be with us and contribute to the team a lot.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in trouble as UEFA open investigation on betting company

UEFA have officially opened a disciplinary investigation into Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company.’

And, if he is found guilty it could cost him his place at Euro 2020.

Uefa disciplinary chiefs announced the former inquiry into the Swedish superstar’s links with a betting company.

Ibrahimovic is part-owner of Malta-based Bethard, seemingly in direct contravention of both Uefa and Fifa regulations.

A statement was released by UEFA this afternoon and it could lead to some very serious repercussions for the Sweden international.

“In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations by Mr. Zlatan Ibrahimović for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company.

“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet had reported that a company Ibrahimovic holds shares in had also invested in a betting company.

It leaves the AC Milan and Sweden star facing a massive fine and potential ban – which may spell the end of his chances of appearing at this summer’s Euro.

Fifa’s ethics code, which is shared by Uefa, prevents players or others in football from having “any interests, either directly or indirectly” in companies that “promote, arrange or conduct betting”.

The maximum penalty is a three YEAR ban and fine of £85,000.

Real Madrid confirm squad to face Chelsea on Tuesday (Check list here)

Monday afternoon has seen the confirmed Real Madrid squad for the first leg of their Champions League semi final game against Chelsea.

The big team news for Madrid is that left-back Ferland Mendy has missed the matchday squad due to injury and he has not been included for selection.

The unavailability of Mendy means that veteran Brazilian Marcelo is almost certainly going to come into the starting line-up in place of the Frenchman.

There are three more Madrid stars unavailable: Sergio Ramos and Fede Valverde – who both have Covid-19 – while Lucas Vazquez is out for the season through injury.

Despite an injury ravaged season in the Spanish capital and multiple setbacks since joining Madrid from the Blues in the summer of 2019, Eden Hazard is available to face his former club.

The Belgian star will be competing for a starting spot alongside Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio.

Andrea Pirlo’s son hits back after receiving death threat over Juventus poor form

Andrea Pirlo’s son Niccolo has hit back at the death threats he receives due to Juventus’ poor form.

The Serie A giants are out of this year’s title race and could miss out on a top-four finish.

On Monday, Niccolo, 17, posted a picture of himself and dad Andrea, 41, on to Instagram with a statement against the threats, stating that he receives them daily.

The Bianconeri coach has struggled in his first season at the Allianz Stadium and the issues continued in a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina last weekend.

He wrote: “I’m not a person who judges, I don’t like doing it.

“Everyone has the right to be able to say what they want, I’m the first to do it and I would never want someone to take away my freedom of speech.

“My parents taught me to have thoughts and above all to listen to those of others.

“But I believe that there is a limit to everything and this limit has been exceeded for some time.

“I am 17 years old and every day I receive messages of this kind (here I show you the last one, received a little while ago).”

An attached screenshot showed a direct message from one account that declared: “You must die together with your father.”

Zidane faces selection headache ahead of Chelsea clash as FOUR key Real Madrid players are out

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is reportedly having selection headache as four key players have been ruled out of the first leg of the Champions League semi finals against Chelsea.

Left-back Ferland Mendy is among the absentees for Madrid along with Sergio Ramos and Fede Valverde – who both have Covid-19 – while Lucas Vazquez is out for the season through injury.

A report in Diario AS now outlines how there is only one big selection headache for Los Blancos – who to select in the attacking trident.

Toni Kroos is available again for Madrid and will form a midfield trio with Casemiro and Luka Modric, but the return of Eden Hazard could potentially freshen up the top three.

Karim Benzema will undoubtedly start as the central striker and it remains likely that Vinicius Junior will maintain his place in the side.

However, Marco Asensio may have his place under vulnerability due to Hazard’s return, the report adds.

Ben Chilwell explains why win over West Ham “was massive” for Chelsea

Chelsea star Ben Chilwell suggested the Blues now have a “good chance” of finishing in the top four after Saturday’s win at West Ham.

Chilwell told talkSPORT: “It was massive. Both teams are fighting for top four.

“We’re roughly on the same number of points, so we knew whoever won would have a good chance of getting in the top four.

“Thankfully we won and we knew before the game the importance of it.

“The clean sheet is massive and to get the goal we were happy for Timo”

(Watch Highlights) Atletico Madrid dealt major title blow after loss to Athletic Bilbao (Match Report)

Atletico Madrid‘s La Liga title bid has been dealt a major blow as they lost 2-1 away at Athletic Bilbao.

Diego Simeone‘s side have seen their title tilt falter in recent weeks with inconsistent results allow both Real Madrid and Barcelona to chip away at their lead at the top.

Los Rojiblancos do remain on top at the end of the weekend, however, Ronald Koeman‘s side can overtake them if they win their game in hand against Granada in midweek.

The visitors struggled to get going in the opening 45 minutes with Alex Berneguer deservedly putting the hosts in front before the break.

Simeone reacted by bringing on his returning trio of Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar for the final half hour and they hauled themselves level with ten minutes to go as Stefan Savic headed home from a corner.

But the late drama was to come at the other end in Bilbao as Inigo Martinez powered home Ibai Gomez’s delivery.

Photo Credit: atletienglish/Twitter

Real Madrid boss confirms two key players will return against Chelsea

Zinedine Zidane has given injury update with regards to his key players who have been sidelined for a while, stating that two of them will feature against Chelsea on Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

The La Liga giants have been suffering from somewhat of an injury crisis of late.

Captain Sergio Ramos, left-back Ferland Mendy, and midfielder Toni Kroos all missed Saturday’s goalless draw against Real Betis as Madrid dropped two costly points in the title race.

With attentions now shifting towards the Chelsea clash, reports in Spain have revealed that Ramos – who has been spotted back in training – will miss the first leg but could return in the decider at Stamford Bridge on May 5.

However, the good news for Zidane and Real Madrid is that Mendy and Kroos are in line to be available for selection.

Well, at least that’s what the Frenchman is hopeful of.

“The intention is that Mendy and Kroos return (for Chelsea), but we have to see,” Zidane told reporters. “We have to recover as Tuesday is going to be the most difficult of the season.”

(Watch Highlights) Griezmann nets brace in Barcelona comeback victory after Chukwueze gives Villarreal lead (Match Report)

Barcelona secured a 2-1 comeback victory over Villarreal at La Ceramica in La Liga on Sunday afternoon.

The result means that the Blaugrana move level on points with Real Madrid with a game in hand, four points clear of Sevilla with the same number of games played and just two points behind Atletico Madrid, who play Athletic Bilbao tonight.

Villarreal have their Europa League semi-final first leg with Arsenal coming this Thursday, but Unai Emery insisted pre-game that his team’s focus was on Barcelona only.

They’re in a fight with Real Betis and Real Sociedad for a European place for next season, after all, now a point behind each in seventh with a game more played than the latter.

Villarreal took the lead in the 27th minute through the in-form Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze, who converted neatly after superb work from the highly-rated La Roja centre-back Pau Torres in the buildup through an incisive defence-splitting pass.

Barcelona got back on level terms two minutes later, when Antoine Griezmann scored courtesy of a delicious little dink over Sergio Asenjo, before completing the remontada in the 36th minute when he seized on an error from Juan Foyth.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona/Twitter