Friday 20 April 2018

Stokes carried off at Parkhead

Neil Lennon faces an anxious wait to see if Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes will be fit for Celtic's Champions League qualifying clash against HJK Helsinki at Parkhead on Wednesday night. Commons' fine strike just before the break gave the Hoops the lead in the 1-1 home friendly draw against Inter Milan but he hobbled off near the end leaving Celtic to finish the game with 10 men after they had used all their outfield substitutes.

Ireland striker Stokes was carried off on a stretcher in the first half after blocking a clearance from Esteban Cambiasso. "They both have got badly twisted ankles so the next 24 hours are really important as to how they react," Lennon said.

Despite losing a last-gasp equaliser to Rodrigo Palacio, Celtic's pre-season record is one win in six games.

Shevchenko joins political party

FORMER Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko has quit football to start a career in Ukrainian politics with an independent party, just months ahead of the October parliamentary election.

Shevchenko, 35, has joined 'Ukraine -- Forward!', formed this year by politicians who were expelled by the main opposition coalition. "Perhaps, I will shock everyone: My future has nothing to do with soccer," Shevchenko was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his former club Dynamo Kiev.

Torres ready to fill Drogba boots

Fernando Torres is certain he can fill Didier Drogba's boots for Chelsea following the Ivory Coast international's transfer to Shanghai Shenhua.

Torres, who has had his share of ups and downs since leaving Liverpool for a British record fee of £50 million in January 2011, said he was looking forward to taking on the pressure.

"I like the responsibility and it's a thing I've been doing all my life," the 28-year-old told the club's website. "Didier did everything for this club, scoring the winning goal in the Champions League was an inspiration for us.

"He wished me all the best and hopefully one day, Chelsea fans will remember me as they are going to remember him."

Carroll wants European action

England striker Andy Carroll will only leave Liverpool for a club which can provide him with European football.

The 23-year-old is keen to stay at Liverpool and prove himself to new manager Brendan Rodgers. However, with former club Newcastle and West Ham among the clubs to have been linked with him, the £35million man is not prepared to move on anyone's terms but his own.

Carroll wants to stay and prove himself on Merseyside, but if he has to go, it will only be to a club which can offer him the lure of European action.

Spurs and 'Pool whither in heat

TOTTENHAM and Liverpool played out 0-0 draw in the searing heat of Baltimore last night, in a game that will have done little to enhance both teams' reputation in the US.

Andre Villas Boas and Brendan Rodgers made full use of their benches in the second half to try and produce a goal but apart from an Aaron Lennon effort, which hit the post in the first half, neither goal was tested.

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