ANALYSE THIS: Big Spanish clubs almost certain of CL last 16

FOOTBALL – The Champions League kicks off this week and the big three Spanish clubs in Euro Club Index terms are all but certain of making the second round of the competition. The fourth Spanish team, Athletic Bilbao, have profited more than most from the draw which has increased their chances of joining the other La Liga clubs in the last 16.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Race for Raúl’s records

FOOTBALL – On Tuesday, 16 September the 2014/15 Champions League season will kick off and two major records are about to be broken. Raúl is still leader in most appearances and has scored the most goals in the main tournament. See the infographic below to find out more. You can click on the infographic for a bigger version. Continue reading

REVIEW: Sixth Grand tour victory is Contador’s to lose

CYCLING –  Barring injury or an unusual turn of events, Alberto Contador will scoop up his sixth Grand Tour General Classification victory on Sunday. He will become the sixth cyclist to have won more than five joining Eddy Merckx (11), Bernard Hinault (10), Jacques Anquetil (8), Fausto Coppi (7) and Miguel Induráin (7).

FIVE FAST FACTS: The Rugby Championship Week 4

RUGBY UNION – Below are Five Fast Facts on Week 4 of the 2014 The Rugby Championship, in which New Zealand host South Africa and Argentina travel to Australia.

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ANALYSE THIS: Is the ‘Big Four’ dominance over?

TENNIS: Marin Cilic won his first Grand Slam title last Monday by beating Kei Nishikori in the 2014 US Open. This was the first Grand Slam in nine years (since 2005 Australian Open) no member of the ‘Big Four’ reached the final. Since that final in Melbourne four players have been dominating men’s tennis: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. In only three of the last 39 Grand Slams the title has NOT been won by a ‘Big Four’ player: Juan Martin Del Potro (2009 US Open), Stanislas Wawrinka (2014 Australian Open) and Marin Cilic (2014 US Open). It is remarkable that two of those wins came in 2014 which raises the question if the dominant spell of the ‘Big Four’ is over. Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: Germany lose number one spot, Dutch in freefall

FOOTBALL – Now that the dust has settled on the week’s international matches in Europe, a glance at the Infostrada Sports’ National Team Ranking reveals a few major changes since the World Cup  including Germany’s loss of the top spot to Argentina after losing at home to their World Cup final opponents and the Dutch national team dropping from third to ninth after two defeats. There is now just one European team, Germany, in the top five as Spain have dropped a place.

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