Sala funeral to take place in Argentina

Emiliano Sala’s funeral will take place in Argentina on Saturday in a private ceremony in his hometown of Progreso.

The Cardiff City striker’s body was found in the wreckage of the plane that had gone missing and was eventually found to have crashed over the English Channel on January 21.

Sala had been travelling back from Nantes after saying goodbye to his team-mates as he headed to Cardiff, along with pilot David Ibbotson, who remains missing, to link up with his new team following his club-record transfer.

The 28-year-old’s body was recovered from the plane and identified on February 7, with the football world having been paying tribute to Sala following the confirmation of his tragic death.

A post-mortem examination later concluded that Sala’s passing was caused by injuries to his head and trunk, with the striker having to be identified by means of fingerprint evidence analyses.

Sala’s body was flown to Buenos Aires on Friday afternoon ahead of the funeral on Saturday, which is scheduled to take place at 10:00 GMT (07:00 local time).

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo are both expected to attend the private ceremony.

The BBC reports that Sala’s body will then be taken 44 miles to Santa Fe, where it will be cremated at around 15:30 GMT (12:30 local time).

Emiliano Sala Funeral

Emiliano Sala Funeral

Emiliano Sala Funeral

Ahead of the arrival of Sala’s body, his boyhood club San Martin de Progreso posted an emotional tribute on Facebook on Tuesday, writing: “We are waiting for you…like the first day you left but this time to stay with us forever.

“You went and you are an example for everyone. Eternally in our hearts.”

Another of Sala’s former clubs Nantes also paid tribute to the Argentine as they wore an all-black kit for their Ligue 1 clash with Nimes on February 10, with Sala’s name printed on the back of every shirt.

They had also previously announced that they will retire their No.9 shirt in his honour.

With pilot David Ibbotson remaining missing, the 59-year-old’s family are still hopeful of resuming the search to locate his body.

A  GoFundMe page is accepting donations, with the family stating they “are relying on the kindness of the good hearted people to help us raise the much needed funds to help us find our beloved Dad, Husband and Son”.


Newport County vs Manchester City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

Having reasserted their lead at the top of the Premier League table in dominant fashion against Chelsea, Manchester City turn their eye back to knockout football with a trip to Newport Country in the FA Cup fifth round.

Pep Guardiola’s side head to Rodney Parade to kick off a run of three games across three different competitions, with Champions League and Carabao Cup encounters against Schalke and the Blues on the horizon.

As such, their League Two hosts may seem like small opposition in comparison – but City will be wary of something a potential giant-killing at the hands of the Welsh outfit, having slipped up to Wigan at the same stage last season.

With Leicester already dismissed in the third round, Michael Flynn’s side will be chasing a second top-flight scalp – and arguably the biggest of them all in the history of the club.

Game Newport County vs Manchester City
Date Saturday, February 16
Time 5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US), the game will not be broadcast on television but will be available for streaming on the ESPN+ service.

US TV channel Online stream

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown on BT Sport 2 and streamed on the BT Sport Live app.

UK TV channel Online stream
BT Sport 2 BT Sport Live

Squads & Team News

Position Newport County squad
Goalkeepers Day, Townsend
Defenders Poole, Franks, Demetriou, O’Brien, Neufville, Pipe, Hornby-Forbes
Midfielders Willmott, Bakinson, Bennett, Butler, Dolan, Crofts, Labadie, Sheehan
Forwards Kennedy, Amond, Matt, Marsh-Brown, Ayeez, McKirdy

Having been unlucky to slip to defeat against MK Dons last time out, Michael Flynn may keep faith with the same side for the visit of the Citizens.

Padraig Amond will lead the attack in a potential 3-4-1-2 formation as the hosts look to unlock their top-flight opponents.

Potential Newport County starting XI: Day; Poole, Franks, Demetriou; Willmott, Bakinson, Bennett, Butler; Kennedy; Amond, Matt.

Position Manchester City players
Goalkeepers Ederson, Muric
Defenders Stones, Laporte, Otamendi, Mangala, Sandler, Zinchenko, Walker, Danilo
Midfielders Fernandinho, Gundogan, Foden, Delph, De Bruyne, D. Silva
Forwards Sane, Sterling, B. Silva, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus

With two arguably more vital encounters in the next few days, Pep Guardiola is likely to rotate his side in order to reduce the chance of any injuries to key players.

Claudio Bravo and Vincent Kompany, however, remain sidelined, while Benjamin Mendy is still a doubt.

Potential Manchester City starting XI: Muric; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Gundogan, Foden, D. Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sane

Betting & Match Odds

City are overwhelming favourites to progress and are odds-on at 1/20 with . Newport are priced at a very distant 33/1 while a draw is available at 14/1.

Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2018-19

With their grasp on the summit of the Premier League restored following a 6-0 humiliation of Chelsea, Manchester City look to have overcome their brief blip and are firing on all cylinders once more.

The Sky Blues remain in contention for all three major domestic honours and the Champions League – and it is to those knockout competitions that their attention now turns as they travel to Newport County in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

With defences of their top flight and Carabao Cup titles well on track and the final of the latter against Maurizio Sarri’s Blues in only a matter of days, Pep Guardiola’s dream of a treble or even a quadruple remains alive.

But with football’s oldest competition the only key English trophy he is yet to lift, the Spaniard will be wary of falling foul of another giant-killing.

Article continues below

It was at this very stage last season that Wigan Athletic delivered an upset to knock the Citizens out of the running, and they will be determined to not let lightning strike twice.

Michael Flynn and his League Two hosts, however, will have something different in mind as they look to claim their visitors as the second Premier League scalp of their season.

A third-round win over Leicester City upset the bookmakers and, having overcome Middlesbrough since to reach the last 16, the Welsh outfit will be determined to write a little bit of history of their own.


Barcelona vs Real Valladolid: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

After going three matches without a victory in all competitions, Barcelona are looking to get back on track against Valladolid on Saturday.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn three tricky fixtures in succession, held twice at Camp Nou – 2-2 in La Liga by Valencia and 1-1 by Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey – before a goalless draw away to Athletic Club last weekend.

Their weekend opponents, meanwhile, are floating precariously above the relegation zone, having drawn 0-0 with Villarreal a week ago.

Game Barcelona vs Real Valladolid
Date Saturday, February 16
Time 7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET
Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial)

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .

New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.

US TV channel Online stream
beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol fubo TV (7-day free trial)

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be streamed via Eleven Sports 1.

UK TV channel Online stream
N/A Eleven Sports 1

Squads & Team News

Position Barcelona squad
Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Pena
Defenders Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda, Gonzalez, Chumi, Murillo, Vermaelen
Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Boateng, Alena, Roberto
Forwards Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Malcom

Barcelona have a familiar collection of injury problems for head coach Ernesto Valverde ahead of this encounter.

Second-string goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is still out along with long-term victim Rafinha and Arthur Melo.

Samuel Umtiti is nearing a return to action but the odds are this game will come too soon for him.

Possible Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez, Dembele

Position Real Valladolid squad
Goalkeepers Masip, Yoel
Defenders Calero, Joaquin, Kiko, Moyano, Angulo, Nacho
Midfielders Borja Fernandez, Anuar, Keko, Herrero, Villa, Verde
Forwards Guardiola, Unal, Cop, Plaza

Real Valladolid lost winger Pablo Hervias, who signed on loan in January from Eibar, due to a knee problem, while Luismi is still sidelined with a long-term ankle concern.

Oscar Plano is banned, while Ruben Alcaraz is also out.

Possible Valladolid starting XI: Masip; Moyano, Olivas, Calero, Martinez; Borja Fernandez, Anuar; Keko, Herrero, Villa; Unal

Betting & Match Odds

Barcelona are hot 1/7 favourites with , while Real Valladolid are 14/1 to cause a huge upset. A draw is priced aat 8/1.

Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Luis Suarea Barcelona La Liga 2018-19

With no midweek action and the return of the Champions League, it’s been a relatively low-key build up for Barcelona ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Real Valladolid.

During this quiet period, Barca have started to look to the future, tying down coach Valverde to a one-year contract extension.

However, things are about to take a step up in intensity for Ernesto Valverde’s side over the coming days, with a trip to Lyon in Europe set to follow quickly on the heels of this encounter.

Nevertheless, having seen their lead at the summit of La Liga cut to six points by in-form Real Madrid, it is one that they cannot afford to falter in.

Meanwhile, Ajax’s encounter against Real Madrid gave fans a glimpse of Frenkie de Jong, who will join the squad in the summer.

The midfielder has been dubbed “perfect” for the Catalans by Patrick Kluivert.

“When he receives the ball, he already knows where to play it, he always looks for vertical passes towards other central midfielders or strikers,” the Dutchman said.

That will be music to the ears of Lionel Messi, who is expected to stay at the club “forever”, according to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“He has told us that he wants to continue. We have offered him a new contract over five years and I hope we will continue discussing the deal,” he told RKB.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Argentine has been to the forefront of Valladolid’s thinking over the course of the last week to, although Sergio Gonzalez has warned there is far more to Barca than the diminutive Argentine, who may even be rotated out of the team given his recent injury concerns.

“It would be wrong for us to focus on Messi,” Gonzalez said. “We do everything as a squad, and if we have to stop Messi, we will also do it as a squad.”

Article continues below

He even hinted he would be rather relieved not to see the 29-goal forward on the field.

“I always think the best players have to be on the park, but if Ernesto decides to give him a rest it would not be bad,” he conceded. “Messi is the best and deep down I want him to play, but at the same time if he has to rest then this would be the time.”

After a scoreless draw against Villarreal and an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Huesca, the pressure is on the strugglers to bounce back but it promises to be an immense test.


Kovac: Bayern can’t afford defensive mistake against Liverpool

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac warned his team they would find themselves under heavy pressure against Liverpool unless they improved defensively.

The Bundesliga giants came from behind twice before claiming a 3-2 victory over Augsburg on Friday.

But Bayern’s defending concerned Kovac ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, with his side having now failed to keep a clean sheet in six games in 2019.

“This [defensive mistakes] cannot happen to us at Liverpool,” the Croatian told a news conference.

“When my players at Liverpool start letting people go, especially with the front three there [Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino], then we will find ourselves in a very dangerous situation every minute.

“That’s why it’s important to have the ball to take responsibility and act in a disciplined way.

“Then you can defend something, but if you let the opponents run, then every team in the Bundesliga has the quality to score.”

Kingsley Coman scored a brace for Bayern and set up David Alaba’s winner, before coming off with an ankle injury.

The 22-year-old twice drew his team level after a Leon Goretzka own goal and Ji Dong-won strike for Augsburg.

Kovac, who is hopeful over Coman’s availability for the trip to Anfield, said Bayern were still not where he wanted them to be when out of possession.

Article continues below

“I think it felt like three shots from Augsburg and two of them scored. That’s what basically haunts us throughout the season – every shot is a goal,” he said.

“And if we don’t have the ball, we don’t act as I imagine. We know that our individual mistakes mostly result in goals.”

Bayern’s win moved them to within two points of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, who visit Nurnberg on Monday.


Koulibaly ‘pleased’ with mounting transfer interest but wants to prove his value with Napoli

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is pleased to be attracting interest from elsewhere, but says he is happy to continue his growth with the Serie A club. 

Koulibaly, 27, is consistently linked with a move away from Napoli, where he arrived from Genk in 2014. 

Manchester United are among a host of clubs to have been linked with the defender in recent weeks as the centre-back continues to impress in Serie A.  

And while the Senegal international said he appreciated the interest from other clubs, he claims to still have a high level of motivation to prove himself at Napoli. 

“My future? I don’t know if I’m one of the strongest defenders. I always try to give my best,” Koulibaly told Rai Sport on Friday. 

“Since I’m here, I always try to grow with Napoli. I have a lot of motivation to go on and I want to keep doing this.” 

While the defender says he’s happy to go on at Napoli, he may have also offered a hint at wanting something bigger in the future.  

“I am pleased that many teams follow me, but I want to demonstrate on the field that I am at the level of the greatest and I want to show it in the future,” he said.  

Koulibaly has made 30 appearances in all competitions for Napoli this season, with the club currently sitting second in the league table.  

Article continues below

Friday’s win for Juventus leaves Napoli 14 points back of the league leaders, though they can close that gap when they take on Torino on Sunday.  

The club are also alive and well in the Europa League, where they claimed a 3-1 win over Zurich in the first leg of their round of 32 clash on Thursday.  

Napoli will be hoping to hold onto their star centre-back, especially with the club having recently lost long-time hero Marek Hamsik to Chinese outfit Dalian Yifang.