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Tuesday Kickoff: World Cup, Coutinho, Lacazette and more

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Major changes are coming for the World Cup, while Liverpool insist they won’t sell one of their biggest stars.

The FIFA council unanimously approved a plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams starting with the 2026 tournament. (REPORT)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Phillipe Coutinho will not leave the club. (REPORT)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says the club has received a €70 million offer for star striker Alexandre Lacazette, but he insists the club will not sell. (REPORT)

Olivier Giroud is nearing a new deal with Arsenal ahead of his current contract’s expiration in 18 months. (REPORT)

Jerome Boateng may not be cleared to return from pectoral surgery in time for March’s Champions League clash with Arsenal. (REPORT)

Real Madrid prospect Martin Odegaard has joined Heerenveen on loan until June 2018. (REPORT)

Peter Crouch signed a new deal with Stoke City that will keep him at the club until 2018. (REPORT)

5 comments
  • RK

    16 groups of 3. What a joke. I liked the groups of 5 idea — more matches, and a couple more countries, but this format is awful.

    Like

    • Dave

      This isn’t about soccer or evening out the field, it is about a crapton of television money and the lucre that will flow to FIFA

      Like

    • SilverRey

      Looking at the 3-team group, it really will be do or die in your second game if you don’t win your first. Any win guarantees your through. Two ties gets you through. Only get one tie and your going home. The only tie-breaker would come if you have all three teams tie. Who knows what happens if you have three 1-1 ties. Or you have each team winning one game 1-0. Or if one team wins both their games 1-0 and the other teams tie.

      It breaks down to the extra 16 teams getting two games guaranteed. The other 32 teams would play at least 3, which they have now anyway.

      The only downside I see is that there will be the opportunity for collusion during the last games of the group. If one team is already through (won their first game) and the other team tied their first game, they could keep the third team (1L 1T) out with just a tie.

      I enjoy the 4-team dynamic with crunch time and nail biting for the third game. It’s currently more complex than the 3-Team, but I’m not sure that it’s better. You’re still going to get the anxiety up for that last group game, and you get one more knock-out game which is theoretically better than a group game (more on the line).

      Like

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