Tito Vilanova will find it difficult to repeat Pep's achievements – Sacchi

Former Italy national boss Arrigo Sacchi believes that Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will have a hard time living up to what Pep Guardiola achieved at Camp Nou.

The 66-year-old has given his endorsement to the new man at the helm of the Catalan side, but insists it will be very tough to be as successful as his predecessor.

“I like Tito Vilanova, but, I think it will be difficult for him to repeat what Pep did,” said Sacchi in an interview with Esports COPE.

“Going after a coach like Guardiola is very complicated.”

Sacchi then went on to talk about a number of players that have been on the move in this summer’s transfer window, including Bojan Krkic who has just signed with AC Milan.

“I hope things go well for him at Milan. For both his sake and the team’s,” he continued.

“He started as one of the most promising young players, but then he lost the way a little. Hopefully he can get his career back on track at the Rossoneri.

“At Barcelona, after failing to adapt, he was moved on to Roma. I have confidence in him and think that at Milan he can succeed.”

A one-time sporting director at Real Madrid, Sacchi also gaves his views on the capital side’s latest signing, Luka Modric.

“He is a great signing for Madrid. He is very much a modern footballer, good both on and off the ball. I really like him,” he said.

While he praised Real’s latest acquisition, he questioned Barcelona’s signing of Alex Song.

“He [Song] is a very good player, but Barca already have Busquets and Mascherano who can play in the same position, so I am not sure about this signing.”

The former Italy boss then concluded with some thoughts on the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva from Milan this summer.

“It is clear that Milan have lost important players. In recent years the team has been planned around the strength of these two players.

“Now that they have lost them both, the side will have to play more like a team, without focusing on the particular strengths of a certain few. Allegri has much work ahead of him,” he concluded.

Coentrao handed four-match ban, misses Supercopa Clasico

Fabio Coentrao - Real Madrid

Fabio Coentrao – Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will have to make do without the services of left-back Fabio Coentrao tonight as the Spanish football federation has handed the defender a four-match ban following his red card in the 2-1 loss against Getafe on Sunday.

The Portugal international did not feature during Madrid’s surprise loss, but was dismissed in the closing stages of the encounter after insulting the match official while being seated on the bench.

Coentrao called referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa ‘a son of a wh**e’ during the encounter, and the disciplinary committee has not taken the wing-back’s outburst lightly as they’ve banned him for four matchdays.

The 24-year-old will consequently miss the Liga games against Granada, Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano as well as Wednesday’s Spanish Supercopa second leg.

Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has been suspended for two games following his dismissal against Osasuna on Sunday.

Vilanova was sent to the stands in the 70th minute of overseeing his third consecutive win in charge of the Catalan giants, with the match referee reporting that the 42-year-old ‘angrily protested a sequence of play during the match after being warned by the assistant referee’.

The former assistant of Pep Guardiola will miss the matches against Valencia and Getafe due to the ban but is available to coach his side tonight because his transgression was deemed not as serious as Coentrao’s.

Real Madrid – Barcelona Betting Preview: Why another high-scoring Clasico looks likely

Victor Valdes Error- spanish supercup- (barcelona-real madrid)

Victor Valdes Error- spanish supercup- (barcelona-real madrid)

With so many Clasicos being played in recent seasons – this will be the 13th in under two years – punters have had an excellent opportunity to make some profit by backing goals to be scored in these matches.

Over 2.5 goals has paid out in each of the last seven meetings, while both teams to score has proved to be a correct selection in the last eight encounters.


For those looking for solid, but short-priced selections, this is where the big money will go once again, with over 2.5 goals offered at 11/25 (1.44) by and both teams to score available at 2/5 (1.40).

The odds are of course short, but only because both of these bets are extremely likely to pay out. However, the majority of people will be looking for a bit more value, and the price of 5/4 (2.25) on over 3.5 goals looks tempting.

This bet has paid out in five of the last seven Clasicos, and with Real Madrid trailing 3-2 on aggregate they
know they must score.

This should lead to an open game, meaning plenty of goals and backing at least four to be scored makes sense.

There are no prizes for guessing which two players lead the goalscorer markets. Lionel Messi scored a penalty in the first leg as well as two vital goals against Osasuna in La Liga on Sunday, he is a 4/1 (5.0) shot with to break the deadlock.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in last week’s encounter and he too, is a 4/1 (5.0) play to score first. Those wanting to back either player to find the net anytime can do so at 4/5 (1.80) with .

In the outright market, Madrid are priced at 3/2 (2.50) while Barca can be backed at 13/10 (2.30) and the draw is offered at 5/2 (3.50).

Backing a draw between the two sides could be a worthy of a small value bet, with last year’s Spanish Super Cup game at the Bernabeu finishing 2-2, a repeat of which would also see a pay out on our initial selection of over 3.5 goals.

Sign up with for a £25 free bet and back Phil’s selections for this game

Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

Follow the Champions League draw LIVE! with Goal.com

It is that time of the year again and the draw for the Champions League is almost upon us.

Goal.com will bring you all the coverage you need as we find out how the group stages in Europe’s elite club competition will look between now and December.

Our LIVE! blog will be running from Thursday morning and is set to take you through all the build-up, the draw as it happens and extensive reaction, including exclusive contributions from our team experts.

Click here to follow all the coverage of the draw, which will take place from 17:00BST on Thursday.

Who will holders Chelsea draw as they look to be the first side to successful retain the competition in its current form? How about fellow English sides Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City?

Which sides will face daunting home and away ties against Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid? Teams will also be hoping to avoid Juventus, who look to be Serie A’s best chance of success, while Bayern Munich and PSG are also lurking in the draw.

Goal.com is the only place you need for full coverage of the Champions League draw, follow it all LIVE! on Thursday and look out for all our news and features before and after the event.

Mourinho: Carvalho's career is over if he stays at Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho has insisted that Ricardo Carvalho does not have a future at Real Madrid, and has urged his compatriot to move on.

The centre-back moved to the Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea in the summer of 2010 and quickly became an important first team member.

However, the 34-year-old lost his starting berth amid a string of injuries last season, and Mourinho is eager to offload Carvalho this summer.

“Ricardo is not part of our plans for the season,” Mourinho stated at a press conference.

“It is up to him whether he wants to continue playing football or stay at Real Madrid and meet his contractual obligations and practically end his sporting career.

“A lot of teams are interested in Ricardo. He is a quality player and there is interest in him. There are various teams from different leagues who have shown an interest in him.”

Carvalho, who has recently been linked with a move to QPR, has a contract with Madrid until June 2013.