Top Turkish club Galatasaray are rumoured to be interested in acquiring the services of Jamaica international Shamar Nicholson.

The 25-year-old forward only recently secured a move to Russian club Spartak Moscow last summer from Belgian team Charleroi FC for 8m euros and has a contract until 2026.

The current situation with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, which has led to the club being suspended from all European competition, could see the player being allowed to leave the team.

Initially, the club had expressed an interest in both Mauro Icardi, who was expected to leave PSG, and Andrea Belotti, who left Torino, but either deal materialised.  So far this season, Nicholson has played 98 minutes in 3 games but failed to score a goal.

Last season, Nicholson, who played a total of 34 matches with Charleroi and Spartak Moscow jerseys, scored 21 goals and made 7 assists.

Poland have dropped Maciej Rybus and will not consider him for their World Cup squad following his transfer to Spartak Moscow.

The defender, who has 66 caps to his name, has spent the past five years in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow and has moved to their city rivals on a free transfer.

While Rybus has decided to remain in Russia, compatriots Grzegorz Krychowiak and Sebastian Szymanski are both set to leave the nation – with the former joining AEK Athens in March on a short-term loan until the end of the season.

The decision comes following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, which led Poland to refuse to play their scheduled World Cup play-off semi-final in March – with FIFA then booting Russia out of qualification altogether.

A statement from the Polish FA read: "The coach of the Polish national team, Czeslaw Michniewicz, talked to Maciej Rybus, who was staying in Poland, after the training camp of the national team ended last week.

"The coach informed the player that, due to his current club situation, he would not be called up for the September training camp of the national team and would not be considered for the team that would go to the World Cup in Qatar when determining the composition of the team."

Poland are in Group C for the World Cup later this year, opening their group stage campaign on November 22 against Mexico before facing off with Saudi Arabia and Argentina.

The European Clubs' Association (ECA) has elected to suspend its seven Russian member teams with immediate effect.

CSKA Moscow, Krasnodar, Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Rostov, Rubin Kazan, Spartak Moscow and Zenit are the teams who have been suspended.

On Monday, FIFA responded to Russia's invasion of Ukraine by banning all of the country's national teams and club teams from their competitions. Russian clubs, similarly, have been banned from UEFA tournaments. St Petersburg had already been stripped of this season's Champions League final.

Now the ECA has followed suit, with the seven clubs ceasing to have any involvement with the organisation until further notice.

A statement released by the ECA following a meeting held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday read: "Over the past week, ECA has acted swiftly and firmly in both endorsing and participating in the decisions of UEFA to suspend all Russian clubs from participating in UEFA competitions, together with UEFA's decision to end its commercial partnership with Gazprom.

"ECA also strongly endorsed the decision of UEFA's executive committee to move the Champions League final.

"In addition, today, the executive board specifically resolved that all Russian members will cease to be involved in ECA activities with immediate effect until further notice."

Barcelona will face Galatasaray in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Xavi's side were 4-2 winners on aggregate over Napoli in the round of 32 after dropping into the competition from the Champions League.

They will now meet the Turkish Super Lig giants, with the first leg at Camp Nou to be played on March 10.

Sevilla, winners of a record six trophies, will face David Moyes' West Ham, while rivals Real Betis will play Eintracht Frankfurt.

Rangers, who shocked Borussia Dortmund in the previous round, take on Red Star and RB Leipzig will play Spartak Moscow. Spartak's home leg must be played at a neutral venue due to the military invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The first legs will be played on March 10, with the exception of Porto versus Lyon and Betis' game with Frankfurt, which will be held a day earlier. The second legs are a week later.

Europa League last 16:

Rangers v Red Star
Braga v Monaco
Porto v Lyon
Atalanta v Bayer Leverkusen
Sevilla v West Ham
Barcelona v Galatasaray
RB Leipzig v Spartak Moscow
Real Betis v Eintracht Frankfurt

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel confessed he is at a loss to explain the club's poor defensive record.

The Foxes came from behind to claim a point against Spartak Moscow in Europa League Group C on Thursday after Daniel Amartey cancelled out Victor Moses' opener.

Leicester had a chance to secure victory when Moses gave away a penalty but substitute Jamie Vardy saw his spot-kick saved.

Moses' goal meant Brendan Rodgers' side have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine games in all competitions, and have only managed one in their last 15.

Schmeichel told BT Sport: "We are conceding too many goals at the moment but had enough chances to win it.

"Why are we conceding? If I knew it wouldn't be happening. It is something we are working on every single day but is not working too well at the minute.

"The game was there to be won. We dominated most of the game and they had a couple of chances and scored. We are conceding too many goals at the moment but had enough chances to win it.

"When you are not getting the luck you have to dig in and work harder. We have to look at ourselves, we cannot blame anyone else and have a massive Premier League game coming up against Leeds United."

Leicester have won just one of their last six games in the Europa League (drawn three, lost two), while failing to keep a clean sheet in each of the last five.

They were poor in front of goal against the Russian side, with just three of their 13 attempts on target despite enjoying 76.9 per cent of possession.

Group C is wide open, though, with third-placed Leicester a point behind second-placed Legia Warsaw and two behind leaders Napoli.

The Foxes play both sides in their remaining two fixtures which means their fate is in their own hands.

Kelechi Iheanacho acknowledged Leicester's forward players were equally culpable as their defensive colleagues for the draw with Spartak and they must improve in front of goal to qualify for the knockout phase.

"It was a frustrating game, we conceded a sloppy goal but got back into the game," added the Foxes striker.

"We were on them for the last 10 minutes, tried every means to score but we have to focus on the next two games now. Hopefully we will win and go through.

"The first half we kept the ball well and moved it quickly, in the second half we came out well but it was one of those games. We have to do a bit more.

"We missed a couple, we need to do more in the offensive side. It didn't come tonight.

"Everyone is down at the moment, we need to now focus on the next games. The Premier League first then look to progress in the Europa League."

Jamie Vardy missed a second-half penalty as Leicester City could only draw 1-1 with Spartak Moscow on Thursday to leave Europa League Group C wide open.

Victor Moses put Spartak ahead early in the second half when he escaped the attentions of Leicester's defence and planted a firm header low into the corner of the net.

The Foxes equalised shortly afterwards when Daniel Amartey headed in from a corner, before Moses gave away a penalty when he hauled down Ademola Lookman.

Substitute Vardy stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Spartak goalkeeper Alexander Selikhov guessed correctly and saved well.

Leicester's positive intent almost brought an early opener as Ayoze Perez headed wide from a good position, before Selikhov saved well from Kelechi Iheanacho.

Spartak were content to sit deep, giving Boubakary Soumare the time to shoot from distance as he struck the underside of the bar with a spectacular effort.

Despite enjoying 73.7 per cent of possession in the first half, that was as close as the Foxes went before the interval and Spartak took the lead six minutes into the second half – Mikhail Ignatov's right-wing cross allowing the unmarked Moses to guide a header beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester levelled just before the hour when Perez flicked on Ryan Bertrand's in-swinging corner and Amartey outmuscled Roman Zobnin to head in.

Shortly after replacing Patson Daka, Vardy was presented with a chance from the penalty spot with 14 minutes left after Moses felled Lookman, but Selikhov dived low to his left to save superbly.

Leicester had a final chance through Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's saved header, with Iheanacho unable to pounce on the rebound.

Leicester City came back from two goals down to beat Spartak Moscow 4-3 in Russia, with Patson Daka incredibly scoring all four goals in a Europa League classic.

The hosts took the lead through Alexander Sobolev's deflected opener, with Jordan Larsson finishing calmly in the 44th minute to double their advantage.

Daka scored his first almost immediately after, however, and then grabbed a second just after the break before tucking home the crucial third goal in the 54th minute to complete a nine-minute treble.

The Zambian striker was not done there, however, lashing in his fourth with 12 minutes of normal time remaining - a necessary goal for the Foxes as Sobolev set up a nervy finish with an 86th-minute strike.

 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.