Daily Ticker: Championship Playoff Schedule Set, Chelsea Move On Torres, More
Playoff Schedule For Premier League Promotion Set
Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion have already booked their tickets to the top flight next season but the EPL still has room for one more club. Teams that finished 3-6 will compete in a playoff for that final promotion spot in the Coca-Cola Championship Playoff. The fixtures have officially been announced and will follow the typical home-and-away format.
#3 Nottingham Forest vs. #6 Blackpool
First Leg: Saturday, May 8, at Blackpool, 12:45 GMT
Return Leg: Tuesday, May 11, at Nottingham Forest, 7:45 GMT
#4 Cardiff City vs. #5 Leicester City
First Leg: Sunday , May 9, at Leicester City, 1:15 GMT
Return Leg: Wednesday, May 12, at Cardiff City, 7:45 GMT
Rob McCuskey from our sister-site Championship Talk has an in-depth analysis of the matchups. Give it a read and tune in over the next two weeks to see who will be enjoying the riches of the EPL next season.
Chelsea Make £70 Million Bid For Torres
Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich is looking to take advantage of the vunerable Liverpool FC and poach star-striker Fernando Torres on a reported £70 million fee, according to Sportsmail. Chelsea has been relatively quiet in the last few transfer windows while Manchester City and Real Madrid have gone on a spending spree. In 2006, Chelsea made an unsuccessful bid for Liverpool captain Stephen Gerrard but the recent turmoil at Anfield makes Torres seem a lot more accessible. Liverpool officials have said Torres is not for sale but Abramovich, a Russian billionaire, has very deep pockets and Torres is not satisfied at Anfield. The Spaniard is currently working through an injury and his World Cup may be in jeopardy.
Capello Send Medical Personnel To Assess Ferdinand And Rooney
With about a month until the World Cup England fans are understandably concerned about the lingering health problems of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand. Manager Fabio Capello has sent Dr. Ian Beasley, senior medical officer for the national team, to Manchester to assess the health of the two stars. The stop in Machester is only the first for Beasley, who will travel to all the EPL clubs to assess potential England players ahead of Capello’s announcement of his 30-man provisional roster. The 30-man provisional squad will compete against Mexico at Wembley on May 24 and against Japan in Austria on May 30.
Wenger Interested In Joe Hart
Aresnal’s goalkeeping troubles this season have been well documented with Manuel Almunia receiving a great deal of criticism for his play. Arsene Wenger is readying a bid for Birmingham keeper Joe Hart, who is on loan from Manchester City. Hart, who has impressed so much this season that he’s challenging for a ticket to South Africa with England, struggled for playing time at City but has been one of the cornerstone’s of Brimingham’s successful EPL campaign. City are not likely to give up the keeper without a fight due to Shay Given’s long-term injury and lack of viable keeping options behind him. Arsenal have also been linked with Lyon and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. It may come down to whether or not Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon makes the jump to Manchester City and the prognosis of Shay’s rehabilitation.