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Barcelona predicted lineup vs Cadiz

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Barcelona travel to the home of rock-bottom Cadiz in the Spanish top flight on Saturday evening.

The Catalan giants were one of only two sides – along with Valencia – that didn’t score a single goal against Cadiz last season. Xavi Hernandez, the club’s current manager, actually featured on the pitch the last time Barcelona earned a victory against the Andalusia outfit.

Here’s the XI Xavi may deploy to find the net – and three points – against Cadiz.

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GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – The German custodian has saved an impressive 92% of the La Liga shots that have flown his way this term (12/13).

RB: Jules Kounde – Described as “just a boy that can go back and forth” by his former Sevilla centre-back partner Diego Carlos, Kounde assisted two goals on his return to the Sanchez-Pizjuan last weekend.

CB: Ronald Araujo – 14 minutes into his Barcelona debut, Araujo received his marching orders. He hasn’t been shown a red card since.

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CB: Andreas Christensen – The Dane partnered Eric Garcia during preseason and the opening couple of matches of the current campaign but may replace his Spanish colleague this weekend.

LB: Alejandro Balde – The academy product has appeared to have usurped the stalwart Jordi Alba this season, starting the last three league games on the spin while his senior teammate watches from the unfamiliar position of the bench.

CM: Gavi – Still has a B-team licence, which explains his number 30. In January, after some more financial jiggery-pokery, Gavi is scheduled to get Xavi’s number six.

CM: Sergio Busquets – His father Carles was largely Barcelona’s second-choice goalkeeper in the 1990s but missed a spell warming the bench after – supposedly – burning his hands trying to catch an iron.

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CM: Pedri – Barcelona’s Canary Islands representative has shown few signs of letting his rapid rise get to his head. In fact, quite the reverse. In 2020, Pedri was spotted carrying his personal effects into the stadium inside a plastic bag rather than the designer backpacks his teammates favour.

RW: Raphinha – The Brazilian had already won over one of his new teammates years before joining Barcelona by impressing at Rennes, the club Ousmane Dembele continues to follow.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – The swiftness of Lewandowski’s adaptation to life in Barcelona isn’t outrageously surprising for a player so detail-orientated that he sleeps on his left side to protect his right leg.

LW: Ousmane Dembele – Xavi described Dembele’s dribbling ability as “something that I have seen in very few footballers in my career.” For someone that has played with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Ronaldinho – among others – it’s lofty praise indeed.

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Football

Algeria 2-1 Nigeria: Super Eagles suffer comeback defeat despite Moffi scores

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Fulltime: Algeria 2-1 Nigeria

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EPL

Newcastle set to finalise deal for Garang Kuol

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Australia international Garang Kuol is set to finalise a move to Newcastle United, sources have told 90min.

90min revealed earlier this month that Newcastle were in talks with his club Central Coast Mariners, and now a deal is understood to be in place with Eddie Howe’s side seeing off competition from various clubs, including German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Newcastle were waiting for Kuol to complete his international duty with Australia this month before finalising the deal. The 18-year-old made his debut against New Zealand on Sunday and is now believed to be heading to Europe.

Kuol and his camp have already agreed terms with Newcastle ahead of a move that would be finalised in January – at which point the Magpies will decide on what to do with him in the short-term.

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Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyToby Cudworth and Sean Walsh bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Jude Bellingham’s future, Bayern Munich’s interest in Harry Kane, widespread Premier League interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and plenty more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

As it stands, Kuol would not qualify for a work permit, but that matter could change quickly if he is involved at the World Cup finals. This won’t be known until manager Graham Arnold names his squad in a few weeks.

Newcastle are understood to already have a plan in place to send Kuol on loan to another league in Europe – the length of which will be determined by his work permit standing.

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BUNDESLIGA

Jurgen Klinsmann & Danny Williams on why so many USMNT players succeed in Germany

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Germany has long been a breeding ground for American players, but why do so many success stories from across the pond begin their European adventure there?

The United States men’s national team’s biggest stars first trained in the Bundesliga before making their jump elsewhere, from Christian Pulisic to Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. Giovanni Reyna, meanwhile, is continuing his rapid rise with Borussia Dortmund.

This is nothing new, with the likes of Landon Donovan and Fabian Johnson all using the German top-flight to kick-start successful careers at both club and international levels.

So, is it the similarities in culture between the United States and Germany that makes it such an attractive destination, the style of play, or something else?

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“I think culture-wise, Germany and the US are very similar. They’re two countries that are full of ‘doers’. They don’t want to wait for the other nations, they’re just doing their thing. America is doing its own thing and Germans just like to go ahead and do their thing,” former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told 90min.

“The German culture is very open to young talent coming in and giving it a shot, try it out, see how far you can take it. And if it doesn’t work, you can still go back home, no problem at all. The Bundesliga is known for giving young players chances. 17, 18, 19 years of age. If you’re good, that’s all it takes, the coach will throw you into the cold water and you’ve got to swim, and if the water is too cold, no problem, we can slow down the process.”

As a former US international who was born and raised in Germany, Danny Williams has experienced the pathway between the two countries better than most. The 33-year-old midfielder got his break at Freiburg back in 2010 and also went on to represent Hoffenheim before playing in England with Reading and Huddersfield Town.

He echoed Klinsmann’s sentiments regarding Germany’s willingness to give youth a try, owing – in his opinion – to the country’s much smaller ownership model when compared to clubs in the Premier League.

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“I think Germany is one of the best places to develop as a young player because most of the clubs don’t have big owners and there isn’t as much money around like at Chelsea, Arsenal, or Tottenham,” Williams told 90min.

“That’s fine because they still go on and play for those clubs if they succeed in Germany. The tactical and technical education is very good in Germany. I was fortunate enough to go through my youth in these academies and what you learn there is amazing. What I really like about Bundesliga is these young guys are given a chance and they’re trusted by the coach to make the step into the first team, have game time, and not come and be replaced by a superstar if you don’t perform in one or two games, like at Man Utd. They’re a bit more patient with you.”

Across his time in charge of the USMNT and as head coach of multiple Bundesliga outfits, including Bayern Munich, Klinsmann has seen first-hand just how players can excel in Germany, with so many American stars across Europe owing their success to the country.

“I think over decades now, the Bundesliga has proven that model, that’s why a lot of young players give it a shot,” Klinsmann added.

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“It’s just wonderful to see so many American players fight their way through it. Maybe they end up in another league but at the end of the day, they have their starting point in the Bundesliga where they become really good, especially if you’re talking about players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, or Tyler Adams. It’s a calibre of player that’s rare to have so many of them in the United States.”

Klinsmann and Williams spoke to 90min at the ‘Bundesliga Common Ground Project Event’ in NYC. For information and more from Williams and Klinsmann, check out our latest our article here and more of our video content from the event on our Twitter and Instagram.



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