Ferguson fears Chelsea threat


LONDON, AFP

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea will be the biggest threat to his sides hopes of winning a record fourth English Premiership title this seaon. Ferguson has been impressed with Chelsea’s summer signings, in particular French midfielder Emmanuel Petit and Dutchman Boudewijn Zenden, both of whom arrived via Spanish giants Barcelona. “I think the danger this year will be Chelsea,” Ferguson said on United’s satellite channel MUTV. “I think the signing of Petit was a very good signing. “I think I can see a different shape to their side. They have a lot of pace on the sides in (Jesper) Gronkjaer and Zenden so counter-attacking they will be useful.” France bring Zidane back for Denmark friendly

France have recalled playmaker Zinedine Zidane and most of their old guard for a friendly soccer international against Denmark at Nantes next week.

Zidane, transferred from Juventus to Real Madrid in a record US$64.5 million deal last month, has missed half of France’s games last season.

He returns alongside goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, defenders Vincent Candela and Lilian Thuram, midfielders Johan Micoud and Emmanuel Petit, as well as strikers Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet.

Barca insist they have the go-ahead to play Rivaldo Barcelona insist they can play Rivaldo in their Champions League qualifying tie against Wisla Krakow on Wednesday, despite the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF)’s assertion that they have not released him.

“We have all the appropriate permission to allow Rivaldo to play against Krakow,” Barcelona sports director Anton Parera was quoted as saying by the Spanish press on Tuesday. Inexperienced Ajax look to stop Celtic’s run of success Ajax will take on Celtic at home in the first leg of their third round Champions League qualifier on Wednesday as rare underdogs hoping to shake off last season’s disappointing form.

With Czech international midfielder Tomas Galasek out injured and veteran Dutch stars Aron Winter and Richard Witschge set to leave, Ajax will have to rely on coach Co Adriaanse’s blend of young local talent and experienced foreign signings.