Sixteen teams remain in the battle to clinch the Premier League’s first European place of next season’s tournament, and we have some tremendous battles on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday in the EFL Cup (formerly the League Cup). Today we focus on the 24 hours ahead of us, focusing on Tuesday’s five matches and allowing the Manchester Derby, West Ham-Chelsea, and Southampton-Sunderland to percolate a bit. That’s not to say we don’t have a pair of giants dueling on Tuesday. Liverpool is three wins away from a return to the final, where the Reds fell in penalties last season. Standing in their way is Tottenham Hotspur, a deep squad which won’t have to worry much about a quick turnaround from Saturday.
FC Barcelona will be disappointed to leave Tarragona tonight on the losing side, as despite dominating possession against their local rivals, RCD Espanyol escaped with the Catalan Super Cup, courtesy of an early goal from Felipe Caicedo. Quique Sanchez Flores will be pleased with the victory, but there are question marks over how his side could allow themselves to be dominated by what was effectively a second-string Barcelona line-up. While the move might land the club in a little bit of hot water with the Catalan Football Federation, Luis Enrique only named six first team players in his squad for the match – and all six started against a very strong Espanyol side. Andre Gomes featured at pivote, while Arda Turan started on the right-hand side of attack – as Luis Enrique looked to experiment with this relatively inexperienced squad.
South American football's governing body CONMEBOL has opened legal proceedings in New York against International Soccer Marketing Inc (ISM) in a bid to recover $18 million paid in commission for exclusive broadcasting rights, it said on Monday. It was the first of several legal actions CONMEBOL was planning after a U.S.-led investigation last year unearthed widespread fraudulent deals at the heart of world soccer body FIFA, the Asuncion-based CONMEBOL said in a statement. CONMEBOL said it based its action on the fact ISM's owners had admitted in a U.S. court they had paid bribes to former CONMEBOL directors over two decades for commercial rights to the Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of Europe's Champions League.