Arjen Robben Describes Anfield as the ‘Worst Stadium’ He’s Experienced Ahead of Champions League Tie

?Arjen Robben has admitted that Anfield is ‘the worst stadium’ he has experienced visiting in his career as Bayern Munich prepare to face Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16.

The Dutchman became accustomed with the rigours of playing against the Reds on Merseyside during his spell in the Premier League with Chelsea, at a time when the Blues’ rivalry with Liverpool was one of the hottest contests in the division.


Now into his tenth and final year with ?Bayern, Robben told ?The Guardian ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Anfield: “I think, if you ask [about] the worst stadium for me, it’s probably ?Liverpool. You always have your favourite opponent and there always has to be a negative one.”

Robben referred to Bayern’s upcoming clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side as “the worst possible draw,” based in part on troubled memories of ?Chelsea’s narrow eliminations from the Champions League semi finals at the hands of Liverpool in both 2004/05 and 2006/07.

Asked about the Blues’ exit in the former case, a tie which was decided by Luis Garcia’s infamous ‘ghost goal,’ Robben replied: “We’ll never know [whether it went in].” In the latter tie, Chelsea were eliminated on penalties in what the Dutchman referred to as an “emotional game.”

“At that time [Liverpool] were really capable of being this cup fighter team, also in the FA Cup or [League] Cup,” Robben added. In one or two games they could really live up to it and perform; just not the whole season, which was maybe too much.

“That was their biggest quality; they were there at the moment they needed to be there.

“Now I think it changed and they developed really well. The manager has done a great job. Last year they were in the Champions League final and at the moment they are top [of the Premier League].

“It’s a long, long time ago that they won the league and that’s the one they’re dreaming of.”

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FIFA 19 Winter Upgrades: Premier League Ratings, Ones to Watch & Prime Icon Moments

?EA Sports have released their annual winter refresh for FIFA 19 Ultimate Team, which has seen an increase in the ratings of 23 Premier League players, as well the release of new special cards.

The popular video game franchise has rewarded a number of players who have shown impressive form over the first half of the season, with a number of high-profile stars receiving boosts to their already impressive ratings.

The update from EA Sports also contains new special cards, such as ‘Winter Ones to Watch’ and ‘Prime Icon Moments’, both of which will be highly sought after by players looking to add limited edition items to bolster their Ultimate Team.

Here is 90min’s breakdown of the FIFA 19 Winter Refresh.


Premier League Ratings Refresh

To keep the game as up-to-date as possible and to reward the recent form of many of the Premier League’s established key players and new breakthrough stars, there are 23 upgrades entering the game.

?Liverpool’s defensive solidity this season has seen goalkeeper Alisson, Virgin van Dijk and Andy Robertson all rewarded with improved in-game ratings. Alisson has jumped from an 85 to an 87, Van Dijk from an 85 to an 88 and Robertson has moved from 81 to 83.

?Manchester City’s ?Fernandinho and ?Raheem Sterling are both now 87 rated players thanks to their respective performances in City’s title defence, while Manchester United’s resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not gone unnoticed from EA, as pacey attackers ?Anthony Martial and ?Marcus Rashford are now 84 and 82 rated respectively.

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-WOLVES

?Tottenham attacking duo ?Harry Kane and ?Son Heung-min have been rewarded for their fine attacking displays, with Kane now 90 rated and Son an 85. Meanwhile, across the north London, ?Arsenal strikers ?Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and ?Alexandre Lacazette have both been rewarded with increased ratings – with Aubameyang now an 88 and Lacazette an 85.

The biggest improvement however is at ?Crystal Palace, where right-back Aaron Wan Bissaka has leapfrogged from a silver 70 to a gold 76.


Winter Ones to Watch

This update covers the most notable transfers to take place during the January transfer window, celebrating the moves with new special cards.

Anyone trying to build a Ligue 1 team should look for new Monaco pairing ?Cesc Fabregas and Naldo, who both have 86 ratings. New Marseille forward ?Mario Balotelli also has a new 83 rated special card after his switch from OGC Nice.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MONACO-TOULOUSE

Premier League new boys ?Michy Batshuayi, Nathaniel Clyne, Denis Suarez and Ryan Babel also feature with new cards in the update.


Prime Icon Moments

FIFA 19’s ‘icon’ players have also received an increase in their ratings, coupled with the introduction of new ‘Icon Moments’ cards.?

The new cards have been created to commemorate a special individual moment in the career of an existing FIFA ‘Icon’.

Not every ‘Icon’ has received a new special card, as they will be released in groups, with only group one being revealed so far. There will be a total of 34 special cards released, with group two set to be revealed at a later date – giving Ultimate Team players plenty to look forward too over the coming weeks and months.

Arsenal's Captain, Thierry Henry gesture

For fans of the Premier League, ‘Icons’ to look out for from group one include 92 rated Steven Gerrard, an extremely quick 94 rated Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is 93 rated.

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N’Golo Kante Considering Leaving Chelsea After ‘Strain’ in Relationship With Maurizio Sarri

?Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is reportedly considering potential moves to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich amid struggles in his ‘strained’ relationship with Maurizio Sarri.

Much debate has surrounded the Blues head coach’s use of Kante in a more advanced role in the middle of the park, as opposed to his more defensive base in which he had become one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League.


The Frenchman has remained an integral figure under Sarri this term, but has seen his role in the side change following the summer arrival of Jorginho from ?Napoli. According to ?Le 10 Sport, Kante is enduring a ‘less than idyllic’ relationship with the ?Chelsea boss, alerting PSG to his situation.

The Ligue 1 champions are said to hold a long-standing interest in the World Cup winner and could be set to take advantage of his current position at Chelsea by making a fresh move to bring the 27-year-old to the Parc des Princes.

However, it is suggested that Kante would snub any advances from the Parisians to bring him back to his homeland in favour of a desired switch to other European giants.

It is said that Kante would prefer a move to one of ?Real Madrid, ?Barcelona or ?Bayern Munich should he decide to leave the Premier League at the end of the season.

There is no suggestion as to whether any of the three clubs would be interested in making such a move to sign Kante, though the potential availability of one of the most highly-rated defensive midfielders in Europe would surely spark a great deal of interest from around the continent.


Kante has featured in all 26 of Chelsea’s Premier League games so far this season, registering three goals and four assists for Sarri’s side in the competition.

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Sir Alex Ferguson to Return to Man Utd Dugout to Manage Legends Side in #Treble99 Reunion

?Manchester United have confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson will return to the dugout at Old Trafford as the club host a charity match in May for the Manchester United Foundation – which will celebrate 20 years since their historic treble in 1999.

The game is set to be held on 26 May this year, exactly 20 years since United beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the Champions League final in 1999 to complete an infamous title treble, with a United side set to take on the Bavarians once more to mark the game’s anniversary.

The club have confirmed on their ?official website that legendary boss Ferguson, who oversaw that famous night at Camp Nou in Barcelona 20 years ago, will take charge of a ?Manchester United ’99 Legends side for the commemorative match at Old Trafford.

As quoted by ?Manchester Evening News, Ferguson said ahead of the event: “I’m really looking forward to what will be a special day at Old Trafford. It will be great to catch up with some familiar faces and a great opportunity to support the work of the Manchester United Foundation.”


The players set to feature for the United side are yet to be confirmed, though former Red Devils defender Gary Neville has seemed to confirm his likely involvement in the event.

Responding to a tweet from the club, Neville wrote on ?Twitter: “Me I have to run on that pitch!”

Alex Ferguson,Gary Neville

Current caretaker manager at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is also expected to participate.

Ferguson’s enjoyed an illustrious career as United manager, leading the club to 13 league titles, five FA Cups and tow Champions League triumphs at Old Trafford before retiring in 2013.

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Augsburg 2-3 Bayern Munich: Report, Ratings & Reactions as Coman Sparks Comeback in Bavarian Derby

Bayern Munich moved to within two points of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the league table thanks to a 3-2 win over FC Augsburg in the Bavarian derby, but it was an uphill battle from the outset as Niko Kova?’s side twice had to come from behind.

The hosts had the ball in the back of the net just 15 seconds after kickoff when Philipp Max’s low cross was turned into his own net by Leon Goretzka, with Manuel Neuer helpless to keep out the deflected effort.

Manuel Neuer

Bayern Munich didn’t take long to get the game by the scruff of the neck despite their early setback, and Kingsley Coman pulled the visitors back on level terms with a smart finish underneath goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

But another defensive lapse allowed Augsburg to retake the lead through former Sunderland midfielder Ji Dong-won. His left-footed strike from the edge of the box caught Neuer off guard and smashed into the roof of the net.

Robert Lewandowski’s looping header appeared to travel in slow motion before crashing off the woodwork just after the half-hour mark, but their second equaliser of the game came once again from Coman when the Frenchman fired the ball through Kobel’s legs.

It didn’t take long after the restart for Bayern Munich to go ahead for the first time in the match, with Coman this time turning provider for David Alaba to convert with a powerful shot into the far corner from a tight angle.

David Alaba,Kingsley Coman

Augsburg tried their best to get back into the game but they’d used up all of their attacking threat in the first half, allowing Bayern Munich to cruise to three points throughout the remainder of the second half.


FC Augsburg

Player Ratings

Kobel (5), Schmid (6), Oxford (6), Danso (7), Stafylidis (7); Ji (9*), Morávek (6), Khedira (6), Max (8); Gregoritsch (5), Córdova (6).

Substitutes: Richter (6), Koo (6).


FC Bayern Munich

Key Talking Point

Scoring goals never has and never will be a problem for Bayern Munich (it’s inevitable you’ll find the back of the net with so many world-class attackers in your team) but once again Niko Kova?’s’s side left a lot to be desired at the other end of the pitch.

Even with Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle at the heart of the defence, Bayern Munich’s ability to cruise through a league season leaves them susceptible to lapses in concentration, which were exploited to their fullest against Augsburg.


Player Ratings

Neuer (5), Kimmich (7), Süle (4), Hummels (5), Alaba (7); Goretzka (5), Thiago (6), James (6); Gnabry (6), Coman (10*), Lewandowski (5).

Sergio Cordova,Mats Hummels

Substitutes: Müller (7), Ribéry (6), Martínez (N/A).


STAR MAN – It was a one-man army for Bayern Munich in their local derby on Friday evening, but when Kingsley Coman is in that kind of scintillating form more often than not that’s all you need to get over the line.

The Frenchman twice brought Bayern Munich back on level terms with smart finishes on either foot – he was denied a ‘perfect hat-trick’ by the width of the crossbar late on – and even popped up with the crucial assists for David Alaba’s winning goal.


WORST PLAYER – Liverpool fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing up against Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels in the Champions League knockout stages next week after the pair handed Augsburg a number of chances in their danger area.

Although they were both equally as culpable as each other, more often that not it as the experienced Hummels who had to try and act as Bayern Munich’s get out of jail free card, making up for Süle’s mistakes.

The former TSG Hoffenheim star is one of the most exciting defensive players in the Bundesliga but he was well off the pace at the WWK Arena and offered Bayern’s Bavarian rivals a great chance to take something from the game.

David Alaba,Kingsley Coman,Leon Goretzka


Looking Ahead

Focus now switches to the Champions League where Bayern Munich will travel to face Liverpool in the first leg of their knockout stage game, but they’ll know next week’s Bundesliga clash against Hertha BSC is just as important in their hopes of retaining the league title.

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