Podcast Ep 14: Sam Blakey from Roker Report is on the pod to talk about Sunderland

Sam and Craig discuss derby days, that famous Netflix documentary, the immortal Aiden McGeady and everything in between On the fourteenth episode of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Sam Blakey, a Sunderland fan and podcaster who appears on the Roker Rapport, the podcast arm of popular fanzine Roker Report, which is part of the SB Nation family. The boys discuss Sam's childhood memories of Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, his views on the controversial Jack Rodwell saga, what he thinks this season has in store for The Black Cats and much more. Sam's seen the highs and...

Who will win the 2021/22 German Bundesliga - Bookies Favourites to lift the trophy

Champions Bayern Munich are in search of a 10th league crown in a row this season After running away with the title again last season and strengthening in the summer, Germany's most dominant side show no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of a tenth consecutive triumph. Bayern have started the season well and predictably sit top of the Bundesliga after five games but it looks as though they may have some real competition this season. Wolfsburg currently sit in second and level on points, a rejuvenated Dortmund under new man Marco Rose are a point behind in third,...

Who will win the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League - Bookies Favourites to lift the trophy

Jose Mourinho's former and current clubs both highly expected to win the inaugural final in Albania next May The first ever edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League may not seem like the most glamorous of midweek European competitions to be a part of, because it isn't, but it will certainly offer more entertainment than it's currently being given credit for in the football press. The Europa League was rubbished in its inception and just a few short years later the final is usually contested by clubs the size of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid with fans and players...

DAZN could buy BT Sport before the end of this month

The streaming only service continues to rock the boat in sports broadcasting Global OTT streaming subscription service DAZN is said to be in advanced talks with BT to purchase the company's sports arm in a move which would have large scale effects on the sector and also the consumer. BT have been exploring options to release the BT Sport division for some months now as they intend to focus more heavily on their broadband and 5G activities. If DAZN were to pick up the business they would inherit the broadcasting rights to some cricket, rugby union and some other sporting...

Podcast Ep 13: Scott McCarthy from We Are Brighton joins Craig to talk Brighton & Hove Albion

Scott and Craig discuss everything from lower league away days and waterlogged pitches to Premier League progress On the thirteenth edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Scott McCarthy, a Brighton fan and football writer who is a contributor to We Are Brighton and has also written for various news outlets. The boys discuss Scott's experiences watching his local team in all four divisions of the football league, in four different home grounds, from almost going out of business to targeting a top half finish in the Premier League. Scott has a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm...

Interview: Man City fans discuss Guardiola, Grealish and much more

This looks to be another big season for the Premier League Champions from the blue side of Manchester Once dubbed Manchester United's "noisy neighbours", Pep Guardiola's side are gunning for a fourth Premier League title in five years - how things change. The Sky Blues will also be keen to do one better than they did last season by capturing their first ever Champions League crown. They will face fierce competition on both fronts. The only team which could match them last season was Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea. The German seemed to get inside Pep's head and was able to defeat...

How to watch the UEFA Champions League on TV and live stream

European football's biggest competition returns tonight to plasma TVs and laptop screens everywhere Continental nights are upon us once more as the UEFA Champions League returns to our living rooms tonight. Depending on the location, packed stadiums will welcome Europe's elite as they battle it out for the ultimate football prize. Last year's winners Chelsea host Russian side Zenit St Petersburg at what is sure to be a raucous Stamford Bridge. Crisis stricken Barcelona face a baptism of fire when they play 2020 Champions Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou. Juventus have made a slow start to the season under...

Podcast Ep 12: Danny Penza from Black & White & Read All Over joins Craig to talk Juventus

Danny and Craig discuss the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, his thoughts on Andrea Agnelli, expectations for this season and much more On the twelfth edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Danny Penza, a Juventus fan and Chief Blogger of the SB Nation fan page Black & White & Read All Over. The boys discuss Danny's childhood obsession with Gigi Buffon, the controversial comments of Andrea Agnelli, two heartbreaking Champions League final exits and much more. Danny is well versed in matters on and off the pitch in Turin and makes for a wonderful guest to talk...

Interview: The thoughts of Chelsea fans on Tuchel, Lukaku and this upcoming season

The Blues are looking stronger than ever and many fans will be hoping they can take City's league title crown Few could have foreseen the dramatic impact Thomas Tuchel would have on Chelsea upon his arrival. The German took over a dressing room full of talent but low on confidence and crucially one which he didn't assemble. Without the luxury of a rebuilding window, he quickly transformed the team into an impenetrable defensive unit and took them on a run of 14 games unbeaten. Come the end of the season, Tuchel had achieved a top four finish and most crucially...

How to watch Poland vs England on TV or live stream

The Three Lions end the international break away a second placed Poland It's been a predictably easy return to the fray for Gareth Southgate's side as emphatic 4-0 victories over Hungary and Andorra pre-empt the only real challenge in this group, an away fixture against Poland. The Poles crashed out of Euro 2020 at the group stage but have bounced back rather well with a 4-1 win over Albania and 7-1 drubbing of San Marino last week. Paulo Sousa will be disappointed that his men allowed the minnows to score their first World Cup qualifying goal in eight years due...

Exciting Free agents that your Premier League club could sign today

The transfer window may be closed but there are plenty of experienced, top level players available for free Many fans of English top flight clubs are disappointed with their activity, or lack thereof, in the market this summer. Liverpool only signed a backup centre back. Newcastle made only one real acquisition of note. Burnley left it late to make their only significant signing of the window. The market has been complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic and even in the richest league in the world, many clubs have been hit hard. What if your club could bring in some experienced, top...

Podcast Ep 11: Om Arvind from Managing Madrid joins Craig to talk Real Madrid

Om and Craig discuss the Mbappe saga, the European Super League, La Liga and much, much more On the eleventh edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Om Arvind, a Real Madrid fan and Editor of the SB Nation fan page Managing Madrid. The boys discuss Om's first days as a Madridista, the financial state of Real Madrid and La Liga, the failed move for Kylian Mbappe and much more. Om is not only a fan but a tactical analyst. He knows more than most about matters on and off the pitch at the Bernabeu and we hope you'll...

Interview: Arsenal fans open up about Arteta, Saka, and expectations for this season

It's been a torrid start to their Premier League campaign as the Gunners ponder what could be on the horizon Mikel Arteta's time as Arsenal boss started very well. He seemed to bring some spirit and identity back to a grand old club which had looked lost for a while. He brought silverware in the shape of the FA Cup and Community Shield, winning finals against Chelsea and Liverpool in the process. The Spaniard, who earned his stripes coaching at Man City under Pep Guardiola, looked to be the right man to take the club forward. Unfortunately, much of that...

How to watch Hungary vs England on TV or live stream

The Three Lions return to action in World Cup 2022 Group I qualifying against second placed Hungary The emotional rollercoaster that was the Euro 2020 Final between England and Italy may feel like it was only yesterday but it was actually almost two months ago. Football has a habit of distorting time. One chaotic transfer window and several domestic league games later and England fans will need to steel themselves again for the return of their beloved Three Lions. Thursday's opponents in World Cup 2022 Qualifying, Hungary, may not represent quite the same daunting task as Roberto Mancini's indomitable Italy,...

How to watch La Liga Highlights in the UK

Full shows and clips from the Spanish top flight available to British football fans for free Life goes on for La Liga after losing one of the most iconic football players in history, Lionel Messi. There are rumblings that Kylian Mbappe could be moving to Real Madrid to fill that void, a move which would surely delight broadcasters. The big hitters in the league are paying the price for their reckless overspending and financial mismanagement as great players from both Real Madrid and Barcelona are shipped off to competing leagues. Nonetheless, Spain's premier football competition still has a lot of...

Podcast Ep 10: Thomas Duck from Bitter And Blue joins Craig to talk Manchester City

Thomas and Craig discuss the great David Silva, City's controversial spending, Pep's tinkering and much more On the tenth edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Thomas Duck, a Man City fan from Fort Worth, Texas and writer for the SB Nation fan page Bitter And Blue. The boys discuss the emergence of the club as a force to be reckoned with under Roberto Mancini, controversial spending, the Pep Guardiola era and much, much more. Thomas is a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guest who just loves to talk about his beloved Manchester City. We hope you'll enjoy...

Interview: Juventus fans give their views on Agnelli, Cristiano and the upcoming season

As Inter Milan seem to be weakening, the Turin side will hope to capitalise and return to the top of Serie A It's been a fascinating year in the world of football. We've witnessed the financial and logistical disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Super League debacle, spats involving players, coaches, executives, and this summer some of the most newsworthy transfers in history. Juventus, like many top clubs, have been embroiled in various dramas and the subject of many headlines. More and more people now know the name Andrea Agnelli. Everybody is talking about Cristiano Ronaldo and his next...

The Single Best Transfer So Far From Each Premier League Club

As the window comes to a close, we look at the best business done by each team until now Despite the warnings of a pandemic stricken market, transfer window hysteria is in the air as always. Irresponsible spending, untenable wage demands and earth shaking transfers litter the back pages on a daily basis. It's business as usual. Some teams have been busier than others. Some have spent more than others. One consistent thing is that almost every football fan in the country is clamouring for their club to bring in more shiny new toys who will undoubtedly bring them the...

Who will win the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League - Bookies Favourites to lift the trophy

Villarreal boss Unai Emery won a record fourth crown last season beating Manchester United in the final The Europa League qualifying playoffs are still ongoing and the final draw for Europe's second most prestigious club competition won't be decided until August 27. Nonetheless, bookies are already laying out their expectations for this season's edition. There are some fantastic teams with their places already booked for the group stage and they will represent the favourites to lift the trophy. It is of course important to bear in mind the Champions League teams who will fall into this tournament at the second...

Interview: What Real Madrid fans think about the current state of their club

A lot is going on at the Bernabeu right now, on the pitch, in the dugout and in the boardroom Real Madrid have four points from their opening two games. It's hardly a crisis but it's also not ideal to be dropping points at such an early stage of the season. The good news is that Los Blancos have already smashed home seven goals in only 180 minutes. Vinicius Jr already has three to his name. However, slumping to a 3-3 draw against Levante last time out will have fans scratching their heads about a defence which has lost the...

Podcast Ep 9: Marc Walker from Saints Marching joins Craig to talk Southampton

Marc and Craig discuss Gordon Strachan, Ralph Hasenhuttl and all the good and bad in between On the ninth edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Marc Walker, a lifelong Southampton, about his first experiences at The Dell and St Mary's, to childhood heroes like James Beattie, to the performances of the team on the pitch last season. Marc works on a casual basis for Southampton Football Club and is also a regular contributor to the wonderful Saints Marching fan page. He's knowledgeable and passionate in equal measure and made for a fantastic guest on the show....

The Return of the 3pm Blackout will cause a "massive spike" in illegal live streaming

Experts believe the Premier League and EFL are no closer to curbing the spread of online piracy Football is back with a bang. Last weekend's Premier League action saw 34 goals scored across the 10 opening games of the season. Only once before has such a barrage of goals been scored in an opening weekend, back in 2003-04 when 36 were scored. The fun wasn't just had in England, major leagues returned across the world and fans seem more than ready to resume their obsessions, whether they be in the stadium or at home. Another thing which returned last weekend...

Who will win the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League - Bookies Favourites to lift the trophy

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea look to become only ninth ever club to retain the biggest prize in European football The new season is well and truly underway as fans across the continent are enjoying the return of the beautiful game, many of them in stadiums. The transfer window remains open and thus players are moving to new clubs. The inflation of already ridiculous transfer fees and wages shows no sign of stopping despite the global pandemic. News outlets are breaking their necks to link elite players with as many clubs as possible. Coaches are trying to navigate this craziness and...

Interview: Thoughts of Barcelona fans on the situation currently unfolding at the club

Lionel Messi has finally left the Camp Nou and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the crisis in Catalonia Things haven't looked this bad for one of football's most storied clubs in a very long time. Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently revealed that the club's debt stands at £1.15bn. Financial rules put in place by La Liga meant that Barca were unable to resign Lionel Messi despite both parties reaching an agreement to do so. Gerard Pique took a huge pay cut to enable them to finally register new signings Eric Garcia and Memphis...

Podcast Ep 8: Phil Roberts from the Across The Park podcast joins Craig to talk Liverpool

Phil shares stories good and bad from going into Anfield as a kid to watching his team win the Premier League On the eighth edition of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast Craig chats to Phil Roberts, a lifelong Liverpool fan and Kop season ticket holder, about his childhood heroes, the dark days under Roy Hodgson and the glories of Rafa Benitez and Jurgen Klopp, as well as much, much more. Phil is a regular contributor on the Across The Park pod, a unique show which features both Liverpool and Everton fans talking football. He's knowledgeable and passionate in equal measure...