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Morning Ticker: Injuries plague Chelsea, Man. City; Hargreaves nears return and more



When Chelsea and Manchester City face each other on Saturday, both teams figure to be a bit shorthanded.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been ruled out for the match along with the in-form Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun. Lampard suffered a setback in training while recovering from a hernia operation and is expected to miss the Blues' next three matches. Kalou and Benayoun picked up injuries in Carling Cup play this week.

Manchester City, meanwhile, is facing a defensive crisis. If Micah Richards (hamstring) can't go, Roberto Mancini's side will be down to three fit starting defenders, as Jerome Boateng, Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov all are hurt.

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday started:


Owen Hargreaves hasn't played for Manchester United in about two years, but his long-awaited return appears to be on the horizon.

Hargreaves, 29, has resumed training with the first team as he attempts to come back from chronic knee tendinitis that has sidetracked his career.

It will be weeks before Hargreaves achieves game fitness, but Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly impressed with how he looks in training, saying, "If he continues that way, he's going to give me another selection problem."


Tottenham and South African club Supersport have agreed to terms on a £1.5 million fee that will allow South African international defender Bongani Khumalo to join Spurs when the winter transfer window opens.

Khumalo, who scored in the Bafana Bafana's win over France in the World Cup, should help provide depth at centerback at White Hart Lane.


Olimpia held off Toluca, 2-1, to pull into a tie for first place in Group D. The Honduran side passed the Puerto Rico Islanders with the victory in San Pedro Sula and is level with Toluca with seven points and two games remaining.

In Group B, Municipal's Sergio Guevara scored in injury time to give his side a 3-2 victory and deliver the knockout punch to Joe Public, which has one point through four matches. Municipal trails first-place Columbus by four points and second-place Santos by two with two matches left in group play.


Who do you think will win the Chelsea-Manchester City match? What do you think about Hargreaves' comeback? Like the signing of Khumalo for Tottenham? Who do you see winning Group D in the CCL?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I wouldn’t be too quick to dump Demerit. There are a lot of prospects for the US defense but a sensible person would realize they are just that…..prospects. And prospects often don’t pan out.

    34 is hardly too old for a center back especially if he moves to the Bundesliga and does well. US players genraly are in excellent shape.

    You might have noticed that Uruguay, Germany, Spain and Holland featured guys like Lugano, (29) Freidrich (31), Puyol (32) and Mathijsen (31) at centerback. They were paired with a younger guy (who did the running).

    Mostly the US needs a Pique, a young, speedy, mobile, center back to pair with one of these wily, older geezers. That could be Jay, Boca or Gooch.

  2. I love Jay, but he is REALLY close to irrelevant to the NT at this point. Not going to use him in Brazil if we qualify, so we probably get one more year out of him before we absolutely have to shuffle him off.

    That leaves the Gold cup on the near horizon. In late June. He’d have to play continuously before that for months to be ready! Not good odds that happens.

  3. As cheap as our boys are, I’m sure a player from SA comes with far less demand on a salary cost and at 23, this new defender has loads of time left in him.

    I’m very concerned about DeMerit now. He needs to start playing as he’s one of our best defenders and we can’t afford to have any of them out of shape. With him and Gooch (my favorite pairing) seeing no game time, how will we line up?


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