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Follow all the build-up to the fight of the year
Sky Sports remembers some stars who have made their names as heroes in European Cup finals.
Jurgen Klopp's praise for Shinji Kagawa proves that Man Utd should show patience with the Japan star.
Watch the videos, vote & have your say on what has been the best Champions League final.
Take a look back at Bayern Munich's road to Wembley for the Champions League final.
A look at the players who topped the Opta stats tables in the Premier League this season.
2013 promises to be a huge year for rugby league and Phil Clarke cannot wait for the action to start.Back to story
Once again the RFL get it totally wrong. The Super League season openers clash with the the start of the six nations competition and as a result there's hardly a mention by the media. All the focus is on the rugby union and we are once more side lined. Did nobody at RL Headquarters think it might have been a good idea to start the season last week. We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot and will always be in the shadow of the other game. I despair.
Posted 19:51 31st January 2013
Hi Phil, First of all belatedly, Happy New Year but also Happy New SL XVIII! I think the usual 4 top teams will be the ones to look out for this year again, i.e. Warrington, Wigan, Leeds & Saints. However, injuries & upsets notwithstanding then my team, the 'Black & Whites' may also be in with a serious shout perhaps with 'Les Dragons' in Steve Menzies apparent 'swansong year' there! 2013 promises to be a super year for Rugby League with the World Cup taking place in the UK in the Autumn & another exciting year also to look forward to in the Aussie NRL. Manly, Melbourne & maybe the Rabbitohs this year there might surprise everyone with another strong showing, building solidly again on their performance last year. This year, I think it might be NSW who could nick the 'State of Origin' over Queensland, to win the trophy for the first time in about seven years or so. I think Steve MacNamara's England could also pull out a few surprises this year as well. I certainly think they beat the 'Exiles' when they play them but also, if they get off to a good start & the 'home crowds' all get fully behind them then they will definitely be in with a shout against the Aussies & Kiwis later on in the WC. On a related subject, Phil, what do you think the chances are for us to have a good, old 'Ashes Series' starting again, in perhaps 2014 or '15? In my opinion, it should always be played every 3 or 4 years as Great Britain (& Ireland, if Irish players are included in the team) v Australia, & not as England v Australia which should be kept for the WC & other yearly competitions. They should also play the Ashes in alternative venues, i.e. the UK (including Wales & Ireland) & Australia of 3 games apiece in each country, & preferably, as in the old days, touring teams should also play games against a number of top-class clubs in each country. The World Club Competition should be played in two legs, one in Oz & one in the UK each year.
Posted 18:59 31st January 2013
I expect some familiarity in that Leeds, Warrington and St Helens will be the teams to beat. I look forward to seeing Hull improve and perhaps along with Catalans battle for that 4th spot. Bradford, Cas, Widnes and HKR are all capable of good performances and winning results on their day. Will be interesting to see if Wakefield carry their end of season form into 2013. Salford, Broncos and Widnes could also get some good results. I think Wigan and Huddersfield could surprise us with poor seasons. Hope I am wrong but Wigan especially have no edge in the centres, new halves and no bite or bulk in the pack - unless they give some of their bigger young lads regular game time, which can be costly in the short term.
Posted 15:25 29th January 2013