STERLING’S EVENTFUL ANFIELD WEEK / MUNDIAL MORNINGS

TUESDAY 14 APRIL  2015

Raheem Sterling had an interesting night at Anfield last night, in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United. After a week of controversy surrounding a video which appears to show the midfielder inhaling ‘laughing gas’ and turbulent contract negotiations – a ninth minute strike quickly put this weeks woes behind him.

Starting the game at a high tempo, Sterling began in fine form, sidestepping defenders in the box and tapping the ball open for his right foot to curve the ball into the net for the Reds opener.

The England player continued his high intensity, to create a number of chances and eventually assist Joe Allen in scoring his first goal for the club. But not before a dreadful mis-hit himself which he should have put away from the five-yard line.

Sterling has faced criticism in the English Press this week an image appearing to show him sucking on a shisha pipe became public, infuriating Liverpool fans as he continues to stall on a new 100,000 GBP a week contract deal.

Liverpool and manager Brendon Rodgers are said to be frustrated by Sterling’s actions, recent mediocre performances, contract negotiations and this latest scandal has left Rodgers to question his professionalism.

Premier League clubs have previously found themselves in hot water around players smoking – Jack Wilshire was caught over the pat off-season enjoying a shisha.

VAN GAAL CELEBRATES WITH CITY WOMENS PLAYERS

Louis Van Gaal rightly headed out to celebrate after his Manchester United squad put to bed Manchester City with ease, 4-2 on Sunday night. During these post-game celebrations, LVG was approached by two members of Manchester City women’s team who proceeded to take a happy snap for Instagram and enjoy a drink or two…

With City fans still sour from the disappointing derby performance, this lead to a trail of abusive comments – which eventually forced Toni Duggan to delete the photo (but not before we got a screenshot).

All in all, it wasn’t a great day to be in the Blue in Manchester.

SOCCEROOS ROAD TO RUSSIA – DRAW TONIGHT

Later this evening (around 7pm) the Socceroos will find out who they’ll first be up against on their road to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

The way the draw will work is that the 40 qualified teams will be split into eight groups of five – who will play a home & away fixture against each other, the winner of the group after 10 match-days proceeds to the next round. Each team has been split into 5 POTS of eight nations based on FIFA rankings, with one of each pot being allocated to each group.

Australia is ranked in Pot 1 against all the top 8 ranked teams in Asia, alongside UAE, Japan, Korea and China, so Postecoglou’s men can rest assured they SHOULD have a straight forward passage into the next round.

However, that doesn’t mean it will be easy; the toughest group Australia could draw would be Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, North Korea and Malaysia. 

We’ll be doing some LIVE COVERAGE of the draw tonight from 6.45PM AEST over on Twitter & theturf.com.au.

WORTH A WATCH…

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RETURNS TOMORROW! YES TOMORROW!

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – WEDNESDAY 4.45AM on SBS & ESPN. 

(Don’t miss this one, a cracking Madrid Derby for a spot in the UCL semi-finals)

PSG v FC BARCELONA – THURSDAY 4.45AM on SBS & ESPN

(This will be awesome too!)

MAKING NEWS TODAY…

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery are out for Bayern Munich’s Champions League clash with FC Porto on Thursday, reports ESPN FC

The Perth Glory salary cap saga continues as more details begin to emerge about the details of their cap rough, writes Davutovic in the Herald Sun.

Didier Drogba says he won’t be retiring at the end of this Premier League season. (Telegraph)

Soccer Gods in the America wrote this great long read on Serie A’s battle to remain relevant in Europe.

Mundial Mornings is your daily wrap of world football. Every morning, check in for all the major matches, rumours and miscellaneous goings across the globe all wrapped up in a snack sized read.

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By JACOB ARNOTT.

Ari Charilaou