Pup Predictions: Croatia versus England

By July 10, 2018
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Xavi insists a 48-team World Cup in Qatar 'will not be good' Xavi insists a 48-team World Cup in Qatar 'will not be good'

    Spain legend and World Cup 2022 global ambassador Xavi believes a 48-team tournament in Qatar 'will not be good'.

    In 2017, FIFA voted to add an extra 16 teams to the 2026 competition, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

    The Qatar tournament is currently scheduled to take place between November 21 and December 18 2022 with 32 teams, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino is pushing to bring forward the expansion.

    At a FIFA Council meeting in Miami on Monday, the governing body decided to defer the final expansion decision.

    Official Statement from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on the ongoing discussions around the possible expansion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar pic.twitter.com/Y8vexGRJXd

    — Qatar Football Association (@QFA_EN) March 15, 2019

    Xavi, a 2010 World Cup winner who now plays in the Qatar Stars League for Al Sadd, believes 32 teams is 'more than enough' for Qatar.

    "It's too much and too long," said Xavi.

    "Imagine 48 teams in Qatar, it will not be good in my opinion.

    "It's still for the organisers to decide, but for now Qatar is doing everything to prepare for 32 teams and it will be difficult to change it for more teams.

    "Also, it's good for football to have 32. That's more than enough."

  • Casillas convinced Porto team-mate Militao will succeed at Real Madrid Casillas convinced Porto team-mate Militao will succeed at Real Madrid

    Eder Militao will prove to be an exceptional signing for Real Madrid, according to former Los Blancos stalwart Iker Casillas.

    Madrid announced the signing of the 21-year-old defender on March 14, for a reported €50million, with the transfer to officially go through on July 1.

    Militao only signed for Porto in August 2018, but goalkeeper Casillas has no doubt that his team-mate will go on to be a success at his former club.

    "It's fantastic management by Real Madrid," Casillas told reporters at a 'LaLiga Icons' event.

    "They've taken a very good player with a huge future. I'm convinced he'll succeed at Real Madrid."

    But while harbouring no doubts over Militao's ability to play at the highest level, Casillas warned that Madrid fans may have to show the youngster patience as he adapts to a new league.

    "Porto gambled on him when he was very young and he showed a big personality," Casillas added.

    "He's very noble and wants to do things the right way, I'm just a little afraid for his adaptation because in Spain it's different.

    "I always tell him that when he arrives in Madrid, he'll realise what it means."

    Brazil centre-back Militao has made 34 appearances for Porto across all competitions this season, and will have another chance to impress when the Primeira Liga giants take on Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals in April.

  • Inter general manager Marotta hopeful on Icardi's stand-off Inter general manager Marotta hopeful on Icardi's stand-off

    Mauro Icardi's stand-off with Inter could soon be resolved, according to the Serie A club's general manager Giuseppe Marotta.

    Icardi has not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in February, as talks over a new contract reportedly broke down.

    Marotta has since held positive talks with Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara, although the Inters striker remains sidelined with a supposed knee injury.

    But Marotta believes that the situation is close to a resolution, insisting that the decision to hand the captain's armband to Samir Handanovic was not a punishment for Icardi.

    "I hope the situation can mend itself," Marotta told reporters.

    "We're a family and parents must make decisions for the sake of their children, but they're not punishments. They're made so the kids can grow and get better.

    "That's how our decision should be interpreted. I hope we can mend this rift as quickly as possible because Icardi is a good lad who has given a lot to Inter and can still give us so much.

    "Now he's struggling with a knee problem. We hope it heals as quickly as possible and that he returns to the group after rehabilitation."

    Icardi's absence was felt by Inter as they went out of the Europa League on Thursday, but Luciano Spalletti's side responded in style by beating rivals AC Milan 3-2 in a thrilling Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, moving them up to third place in Serie A.

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