Daily Football Round-Up Wednesday 19th December

Good evening,


FC Barcelona have confirmed that manager Tito Vilanova will have surgery on Thursday after a recurrence of a problem with a throat gland. The Spaniard had a tumour removed last November but has suffered a relapse in his recovery program. Fierce rivals Real Madrid issued a statement that echoes the feelings of the football world offering support to him and his family.


Tottenham Hotspur have received a boost today as Gareth Bale and Michael Dawson are expected to recover from hamstring injuries in time to face Stoke on Saturday. Meanwhile at White Hart Lane William Gallas has revealed he has had a meeting with manager Andre Villas Boas with the aim of tackling the problem of conceding late goals this season.


Mario Balotelli has today dropped his appeal against Manchester City and agreed to pay the two-week fine imposed for missing 11 games last season through suspension.


Arsenal have confirmed the postponement of their Boxing Day clash against West Ham United due to the planned tube strikes on the day. The fixture has initially been pencilled in to take place on Wednesday 23rd of January subject to both clubs involvement in the FA Cup.


West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie has blamed the club’s four game winless run on more cautious tactics being deployed by opponents. He said the players need to adjust to the respect they are now being shown and the wins will follow.


Adel Taraabt has praised Harry Redknapp’s motivational skill saying that he sends his players on to the pitch fearing nothing and believing they are the best in the world. For this reason the young Frenchman is certain QPR will avoid relegation this season.


Swansea City are set to make a shock swoop for Barcelona superstar David Villa in January on a three month loan deal. Sky Bet have revealed they have cut the odds of the transfer from 40/1 to 8/1 following a sudden flurry of bets.


Liverpool are close to signing Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Blackpool’s Tom Ince in January for £12 million and £6 million respectively.


AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed that the club have received an offer for Brazilian Alexandre Pato ahead of the transfer window next month. He also conceded the club may struggle to keep Robinho as the player wants to move back home to Brazil with his family. On a positive note striker M'Baye Niang has signed a new two-year deal at the Italian giants.


Roberto Di Matteo is apparently attracting interest from German clubs Schalke and Werder Bremen. The manager was sacked earlier this month by Chelsea but is evidently not short of admirers across the continent.


Follow: @andrew_willcox