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2018 FIFA World Cup; Socceroos v Denmark; Socceroos v France; Samara Arena; Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk

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FIFA has urged Russia to speed up World Cup preparations at a stadium which needs “a huge amount of work” to be ready on time.

With less than three months to go until the World Cup, the 45,000-seat Samara Arena – where the Socceroos play Denmark on June 21 – is the only one of 12 stadiums which doesn’t yet have a pitch installed.

The stadium in the Volga River city of Samara was already badly delayed due to a complex roof design, but now cold weather in the Russian spring is causing further problems.

The pressure in on to get the Samra Arena up to scratch.
The pressure in on to get the Samra Arena up to scratch.Source: AP

‘JUST LIKE HITLER’: Brit concerns over Putin’s World Cup

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Barcelona vs Real Madrid 2020, El Clasico, news, kick off time, how to watch Australia, Zinedine Zidane, team news, transfers

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This weekend, the two biggest clubs in world football collide in one of the most-watched games globally every year.

But this time, the narrative is a very different one.

When Real Madrid head to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season they won’t be greeting with the usual fiery welcome from thousands of fierce Catalans draped in maroon and blue.

In fact, they won’t be greeted by anyone at all. The Nou Camp will have 99,000 empty seats watching these two giants, both currently fighting on one knee.

Rarely have either of these two sides come into this famous fixture in so much turmoil, one of them off the pitch and the other on it.

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Football news: Cristiano Ronaldo, COVID, Juventus vs Barcelona, Messi Champions League 2020

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Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for coronavirus for the second time as Juventus prepares for next week’s Champions League clash against Barcelona, according to reports in Italy on Thursday.

Ronaldo is currently isolating at his home in Turin after testing positive for COVID-19 on October 13 while with the Portuguese national team for Nations League matches.

The 35-year-old again received a positive result after a test carried out on Wednesday, Sky Sport Italia and Gazzetta Dello Sport reported.

The Portuguese forward could still be available for Sunday’s Serie A game against Hellas Verona, and the clash against great rival Lionel Messi’s Barcelona on October 28.

Under UEFA rules the five-time Ballon d’Or winner needs to test negative 24 hours before the Barcelona game in Turin to be included in the squad.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp handed welcome Alisson injury boost as return date set

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is closing in on his return to action following an injury in training.

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