Cech returns for Arsenal at Hull
PETR Cech will return in goal for Arsenal at Hull City today after missing the 1-1 Champions League draw at Paris St Germain in midweek. Colombian David Ospina was selected in Paris and made some fine saves but manager Arsene Wenger told a news conference yesterday that Cech would be back at Hull. He added that Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey was still unfit and would also miss the League Cup game at second-tier Nottingham Forest on Tuesday. "We are cautious with him, we do not want a setback with his hamstring," Wenger said.
Striker Olivier Giroud, sent off after going on from the bench in Paris, is doubtful because of a toe injury.
Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka was also a substitute in midweek but Wenger has tipped him to "have a huge impact" at the club.
"Xhaka is adapting to the pace of the English game... he has the engine power, a long pass and likes to come deep," said the Frenchman.
Wenger, who celebrates 20 years at Arsenal next week, was complimentary about Hull's interim manager Mike Phelan.
"He's done really well," said Wenger. "He's a real football man who's given some stability to Hull who are difficult to beat."
Meanwhile, Manchester City could be without playmaker David Silva for today’s home game against Bournemouth while midfielder Ilkay Guendogan may make his Premier League debut.
Silva has featured in all of City’s Premier League games this season but was rested for Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over Borussia Moenchengladbach as a precaution after developing a minor injury in training.
“I don’t think it’s a big problem but it happened two days ago so I don’t think he’ll be able to play,” manager Pep Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
New signing Guendogan replaced Silva against Moenchengladbach, making his first appearance for the club following a dislocated knee.
“I am thinking about it (playing Guendogan),” said Guardiola. “He played good but we cannot forget he comes from a long-term injury.— Reuters THE Ballon d’Or deal between France Football and Fifa has ended, the French publication and football’s governing body announced on Friday.
The coveted award will from now on return to its original home after France Football’s agreement with Fifa finished. The next recipient will be determined by a vote of journalists — players (national team captains) and managers will no longer have a say.
“The contractual agreement between Fifa and France Football expired in January. We told France Football in early August that the contract would not be renewed,” the game’s governing body declared.
Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the award for a record fifth time in 2015.
Fifa plans to continue its annual best player award to male and female players.
Fifa and France Football teamed up in 2010 since when only two players have been nominated for the title known as the Fifa Ballon d’Or — Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The first Ballon d’Or was won by Stanley Matthews, at the time with Blackpool, who beat Alfredo Di Stefano for the inaugural title in 1956. Up to 1994 only European players were eligible. The first non-European to win it was the following year, AC Milan’s Liberian star George Weah.
From 2007 it honoured the world’s best player, with Fifa under former president Sepp Blatter entering into a deal with France Football in 2010 to merge the Ballon d’Or with Fifa’s best world player honour. — AFP.