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Mid-Day Ticker: Premier League schedule released, Leonardo leaves Inter and more


Manchester United will begin its Premier League title defense on the road at West Brom.

The Red Devils and the other 19 teams in the Premier League found out their 2011-2012 paths as the league released its schedule for the upcoming season on Friday.

United's schedule doesn't get any easier after its season opener, as the club faces Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea within the first five weeks. All of those games will be played at Old Trafford, though.

The Tottenham-Everton clash during the opening weekend should be one of the more enticing season-opening matchups, as it could feature a head-to-head matchup of new Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Everton backstop Tim Howard.

Promoted teams Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Swansea City open up their Premier League campaigns vs. Bolton, at Wigan and at Manchester City, respectively.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Inter Milan is in need of a coach again.

Leonardo has left Inter for French power Paris-St. Germain, according to Inter's CEO Ernesto Paolillo, leaving a vacancy at one of the world's top clubs.

The Brazilian coach took over for the fired Rafa Benitez at Inter in Decemeber, just months after Benitez replaced Jose Mourinho in the aftermath of Inter's 2010 UEFA Champions League championship run.

He righted the ship somewhat, guiding Inter to the Coppa Italia, UCL quarterfinals and second place in Serie A behind the team he used to manage, AC Milan.


Malaga continues to make transfer moves in hopes of improving on last season's 11th-place finish in La Liga.

The club's latest signing is French international and former Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who joins the Spanish club on a four-year deal.

Malaga has also signed Dutchmen Ruud van Nistelrooy and Joris Mathijsen and Spanish defender Nacho Monreal.


Demba Ba has joined Newcastle United on a three-year deal, ensuring that he stays in the Premier League after being part of a West Ham side that got relegated last season.

Ba showed well for West Ham, scoring seven times in 12 games


Manchester United has loaned Portuguese striker Bebe to Turkish club Besiktas for the 2011-2012 season.

Bebe failed to make a strong impression in his first season in England, falling way down on the depth chart at forward and only making seven appearances.


Which Premier League teams do you see starting off strong, given the schedule? Do you see Leonardo finding success at PSG? Who do you think would be a good fit at Inter? Expect Malaga to compete in La Liga with its new signings? Do you like the signing for Newcastle? Do you see Bebe faring well in Turkey?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The main reason Liverpool had such a poor 09-10 season was in part contributed by a seemingly endless list of injuries, the lack of any real transfer funds, the departure of a player that made the team run, and off-the-pitch issues which cast a dark cloud above Anfield as the club was drowning in debt.

    Benitez revitalized the Liverpool squad, fully utilizing each player to their strength and in turn made one of the best Liverpool squad in years, including the infamous “Best midfield in the world” during the best part of 07-09. By the way, Mascherano was rotting away on the West Ham bench when he was picked up. A few years under Rafas guidance now Mascherano is playing in, arguably, the best team to play the game – ever.

    One thing I’ll agree on is yes, he did spend a lot of money on players who weren’t good enough, or players that failed to live up to their potential

  2. You have your facts straight but your opinion of Benitez could use some fine tuning.

    He didn’t have one half of a bad season. He couldn’t get it done in the EPL. Don’t know Xabi’s history but Macherano was highly rated before signing. Rafa splashed the cash on too many flops.

    So to answer HoboMike. Yes Rafa is good, but good shouldn’t earn you a contract with a top club.

  3. Wow! I really didnt think it was possible to be so incredibly ignorant. Oh well, guess all people need to be informed somehow. Benitez has achieved 2 La Liga titles and a UEFA cup with Valencia as well as an FA cup and Champions League title with Liverpool, and was very unlucky to not win the Premier League. On top of that, he made players into relative average footballers to some of the best in the world like Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, as well as winning numerous managerial awards.

    But then one bad half-season and all of a sudden he “sucks” and was “never good”. No, he just didn’t *fit* at Inter and had a fallout with their back room staff over transfers and funds, etc.

  4. That’s across all competitions. Anyway, he’s only 20 and won’t get more than the occasional mop-up duty at Utd so why not send him on loan.

  5. Zimbabwean dollars maybe. PSG doesn’t have that type of money and no sports executive in the world makes 70 mil a year. Check your sources.

  6. Norwich just brought in a loanee from Man Utd that plays as a central defender. I hope Whitbread can hold onto his place in the starting lineup.

  7. Friedel to Spurs is a done deal. That said, they haven’t unloaded Gomes yet, and Cudicini signed a 1-year extension, so Friedel may have a fight to be number 1.

  8. I was just answering his first question dude. He may suck now, but at one point he had a very successful run. Valencia had no real stars at the time, not like the other two powers in Spain, so you have to give him some credit for that success.

  9. Yeah, but he sucks. Like, for example, Mike Holmgren, who didn’t win anything with the Seahawks, even though he won at Green Bay.

  10. Ba’s a beast.

    Is there any question that Benitez is not, nor has ever been, a good manager? He took over an Inter team that lost absolutely no one a year after it won the Treble, and managed them to 11th place before he was fired.


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