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The European transfer is open once more as teams across the BPL look to solidify title charges, keep up the fight for European places and avoid the drop at all costs. TSN.ca brings you an overview of what each team in the BPL needs in January, who they could look to target and which players could be departing their current clubs. Arsenal (9-6-5, sixth in BPL) What do they need?: A top-four place and passage to an 18th-consecutive Champions League isnt a given just yet for Arsene Wengers side. The club is arguably at its healthiest right now ( thats not saying a lot) this season with only Jack Wilshere (out with an ankle injury until February) out for the long term, but that doesnt mean reinforcements wouldnt be welcome. Laurent Koscielny returned from a lengthy absence (Achilles) in last Sundays 2-1 win over West Ham, yet it might be foolish to count on the oft-injured Frenchman to stay fit for the duration of the season and it wouldnt be prudent to expect him to play in every game, considering that the Gunners remain alive in three competitions. Combine that with concerns over Mathieu Debuchys health, as well as some questionable decision-making as of late from the likes of Per Mertesacker and its easy to see that some incoming defensive help would be high on Wengers list of priorities. Like they did in the summer, Arsenal could still use a big presence in the centre of midfield, but that would appear to be an area better addressed at the end of the season based upon the scarcity of options in the winter. Whos of interest?: Winston Reids name is one that is constantly attached to the Gunners and the New Zealand international certainly fits the bill as somebody who plugs a hole in the back. Hes out of contract in the spring, but with West Ham challenging for Europe and the fact that selling to a derby rival is never something a team likes to do, it could take some magic for Wenger to reel in the 26-year-old. Tires should be kicked on Aston Villas Ron Vlaar, but there will be competition for his signature and Villas willingness to part with their captain seems lukewarm at best. Mats Hummels will obviously be on Arsenals radar, as well, but if the German international were to leave his beloved Borussia Dortmund, it would be in the summer. As for that midfield problem, Sami Khedira would be one of the best solutions out there. While theres no indication that Real Madrid has any intentions of selling the 27-year-old World Cup winner in January, hes become a fixture on Carlo Ancelottis bench and hes also out of contract in the summer. As for luxury additions, Edinson Cavani could be arriving at the Emirates. Its become increasingly obvious that the Uruguayans days at PSG are numbered and a move appears to be in the cards sooner than later. Goal-scoring has not been a problem for the Gunners (their 34 goals this season sit only behind joint goals leaders Chelsea and City at 41), but it would be hard to resist the allure of a player like Cavani if he were to become available. Who could leave?: Lukas Podolski has left for Inter. There was some speculation that Arsenal would insist on a sale to drum up funds for other January moves, but the German international striker, who didnt start a single game for Arsenal this season, is he. Speaking of loans, both Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo could be farmed out in the New Year in hopes of more playing time for both of the young strikers. Bordeaux is a potential destination for the latter, but there is some talk that Wenger would prefer if the Frenchman stayed in the BPL. Aston Villa (5-7-8, 12th in BPL) What do they need?: Rather than adding players, Paul Lambert needs to be concerned about retaining them, namely captain Ron Vlaar and, arguably, his best player in Fabian Delph. And its not that Villa wants to sell either man in the slightest, either. Its their contract situations that make this a crucial window for Villa when it comes to both men. Vlaar and Delph are out of contract in the summer and Villa are at a bit of a crossroads: Do you cash in on the pair now and face a relegation battle or do you retain them for the rest of the season at the cost of losing them for nothing? Lambert and Villa must tread cautiously here, but its going to be very hard for the Birmingham club to turn down a lucrative offer from the likes of Manchester United for Vlaar and Liverpool for Delph. While the safe money has Lambert keeping the pair, lets wait and see how intently Louis van Gaal wants a reunion with Vlaar. This is not to say that the team doesnt have other needs to address in, say, some defensive cover and an attacker for their anemic offence (theyve scored a league-worst 11 goals). The likelihood of arrivals at Villa Park just isnt very high right now. Whos of interest?: While nobody of note might be arriving, Villa will push to make Tom Cleverleys loan deal from Manchester United into a permanent. Should that occur, expect a total of zero tears to be shed by United supporters. Who could leave?: Outside of Vlaar and Delph, the current crop of players, including a reinvigorated Christian Benteke, appears to be the one that Lambert will have at his disposal to keep Villa afloat. Burnley (3-8-9, 19th in BPL) What do they need? Like any modestly budgeted promoted team, Burnley needs depth and quality across the board. Whether Sean Dyche will actually have the funds to improve at all in January is another matter, altogether. One thing is for certain, no game changers are headed to Turf Moor in the next month. Burnley will likely have to avoid the drop with the current hands on deck. That said, as witnessed by the Clarets two-goal fight back last Sunday against City, Burnley doesnt intend to head back to the Championship without a fight. If Dyche can bring in a player to help, hell certainly try, but it needs to make sense financially. With staying up an uphill battle, it would be absolutely foolish for Dyche to bring in an expensive (relative to Burnley, at least) player and then get stuck with an enormous wage bill as a Championship side. Never mind attempting to secure a return to the Prem, when a situation like that happens, another relegation is a more likely scenario as weve seen so many times in the past. Whos of interest?: If Burnley were going to bring in a single player, Dyches highest priority would be a forward. Dwight Gayle is out of favour at Crystal Palace (but that could change with Alan Pardews arrival) and could be an ideal pick-up for Burnley, but again, it comes back to cost. Watfords Troy Deeney could be another option. Who could leave?: Striker Danny Ings has attracted interest from a number of teams including Saints, Newcastle and Liverpool. Hes out of contract in the summer and Burnley is stuck in a catch-22 because of it: His sale would represent an injection of sorely needed money into the club, but losing his goal-scoring prowess could condemn the Clarets to the drop. You never want to see an asset leave with no return, but in the case of Ings, Burnley cannot be blamed for taking the risk. Chelsea (14-4-2, first in BPL) What do they need?: In all honesty? Nothing. This is the deepest and best quality side in the Prem by a good margin with history on its side - every time a Jose Mourinho-led team has been at the top of the table on Christmas Day, its won the league. Defeat at Spurs side, this bodes well for Chelsea heading into the the New Year and its clear that, Chelsea were to add to the team during this window, it would be out of luxury and not out of need. Whos of interest?: The only scenario in which Chelsea might have to act out of need would be if Petr Cech sought first-team football elsewhere. Firmly entrenched as the back-up behind Thibault Courtois, Cech is unlikely to be turned to going forward outside of injury, maybe games in the same week as a Champions League tie or, perhaps, an FA Cup tie. If the match is meaningful, Courtois is in goal. Though having won everything in the BPL with , including a Champions League title, the 32-year-old still believes himself to be a number-one stopper, but would need to leave Chelsea to be that. Who could go?: Outside of a Cech departure, the other name to watch out for is Mohamed Salah. The 23-year-old Egyptian international has appeared just five times for the Blues this season and will likely be loaned out somewhere on the continent. The winger has been attached to Inter in recent days, but so has just about every other player rumoured to be a loan candidate. Crystal Palace (3-8-9, 18th in BPL) What do they need?: Goals and lots of them if Palace wants to be a Prem team come next season. Currently, Palaces leading scorer is captain Mile Jedinak with five. Three of those came on penalties and Jedinak is a defensive midfielder. It doesnt take Bob Paisley to understand that this is not good. If incoming manager Alan Pardew can guide the Eagles to safety, it will cap quite the season for a gaffer who went from Newcastle scapegoat to savior and then somewhere in between, all over the course of a couple of months before walking out on the job last week. Pardew is not a miracle worker, though, and will need help from existing forwards in Frazier Campbell and Marouane Chamakh and from whomever he can convince to join him at Selhurst Park during the next month. Whos of interest?: Like other relegation-threatened teams, Palace knows that any transfer has to be mindful of what could happen if the team is sent down come May. You simply cannot spend a large sum of money on a player whose big wages could still be on your books as a Championship side next summer. Neil Warnock, when he was still manager last week, confirmed that the team had interest in Jermain Defoe, but that the Toronto FC striker was too rich for their blood. Loan moves or signings on the cheap will be the name of the game for Pardew. Its believed that French international Bafetimbi Gomis is on the clubs radar, but Swansea could be asking too much for the forward. Arsenal pair Campbell and Sanogo certainly fit the bill for the type of player that Palace is looking for and an intra-London loan could make sense. Though goal-scoring is Palaces clear focus, Pardew wouldnt turn down the opportunity to shore up at the back for the right price. Who could go?: Dwight Gayle wasnt a favourite of Warnocks and the feeling was that he could be shipped out during the window, but Pardew might decide to see what he has in the player before selling. Winger Yanick Bolasies name has come up in rumours over the course of the last few weeks, with the likes of Newcastle and Liverpool said to be monitoring the Congolese international. Bolasie is unlikely to move unless a team is willing to pay heavily for the player. Everton (5-6-9, 13th in BPL) What do they need?: Still alive in Europa, Everton might not be in the position to compete on three fronts at this point, considering the injury crisis at the club. With keeper and club talisman Tim Howard the highest profile of the casualties, Roberto Martinez would be wise to consider additions in an attempt to get the time out of the midtable wasteland the club currently finds itself in. The Toffees are hemorrhaging goals right now, having conceded nine goals in their last four matches, all four of them losses. Everton currently sits 13 points out of a European place and likely wont make a run in this incarnation. While Martinez is unlikely to consider anything close to wholesale changes in this window, help right now would be welcomed at almost every position on the pitch. Whos of interest?: Martinez would love to get his hands on monstrous Celtic centre back Virgil van Dijk, but they are only one of several teams in the queue for the impressive Dutchman. Evertons loan deal with Barcelona last season for Gerard Deulofeu proved to be a great success, so the Toffees could turn to the Blaugrana for help again, this time at the back. Martin Montoya, frustrated with a lack of opportunity at Camp Nou, is reportedly interested in a move, while Barca is interested in loaning out young Brazilian right-back, Douglas. While reinforcements in defence are of the highest priority, Evertons offence has gone cold as of late, so a reported deal for Marseille striker Andre Ayew would be welcome right now. Who could go?: Martinez has indicated in recent days that he doesnt think there will be any departures from Goodison Park in January, but Louis van Gaal and Manchester United could test his resolve with a big offer for Ireland international defender Seamus Coleman. Hull City (4-7-9, 15th in BPL) What do they need?: Last years FA Cup final was the first final appearance in the clubs 100-year history and it was a great run for the Tigers, but crashing out of this years tournament on the weekend to last years champions, Arsenal, could be a blessing in disguise. The Tigers arent really equipped to compete on two fronts right now (let alone three, as the teams brief foray into the Europa League proved earlier in the season, crashing out in the playoff round to Belgian side, Lokeren), so focusing on survival in the Prem is all they need to be doing right now. The Tigers could use an injection across the board, but Steve Bruce will let his finances dictate where improvements can realistically be made. If there is one really pressing need for Hull, its some help in attack. Whos of interest?: Aaron Lennon is exactly the type of player Bruce could use at his disposal right now - a pacey winger, also capable of making runs up the gut and a good distributor of the ball. Spurs would probably be willing to let the one-time England international go for the right price and thats where the problem starts for Hull. That price could be too rich for the Tigers blood. Toronto FCs Jermain Defoe is also a player who interests Bruce, but the former Manchester United star admitted last week that he doesnt think that he has the funds to get a deal done with the MLS side. A potential cheaper option for Bruce could be Udineses Ghana international Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu. A more central player than Lennon, Agyemang-Badu could bring the same type of impact, but for less of a pocketbook hit. Who could go?: Well, Hatem Ben Arfa is already gone. With his loan cancelled by Bruce after less than six months, the days when Ben Arfa was one of French footballs most promising young talents is long gone and it became almost comical to watch Hull and Newcastle both attempt to wash their hands of this former cant-miss star. Hell try to rebuild his reputation at Nice. If anybody else is to leave KC Stadium, it could be the captain. Curtis Davies is said to be unhappy with the club dragging its feet on a new extension for the defender. 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The Red Sox maintained a share of the AL wild-card lead Tuesday night, using four home runs to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 and set up a dramatic conclusion to the regular season. The skidding Red Sox were 6-19 this month before rebounding to edge the last-place Orioles.BATA, Equatorial Guinea - Republic of Congo snatched a late 1-1 draw against host Equatorial Guinea in the opening game of the African Cup of Nations on Saturday, muting a packed stadium of lively red-shirted home fans who thought they were on their way to a surprise win.Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue scored in the 16th minute to kick off the soccer celebrations at Bata Stadium after the crowd had already been treated to a performance by American singer Akon during the opening ceremony. But Thievy Bifouma equalized with three minutes to go, sliding a low shot in from a tough angle to spoil the hosts opening night.Equatorial Guinea had missed a series of good chances in the second half to stretch its lead before the Congolese hit back.Im happy that the team left a good impression, but obviously there were moments to win it, said new Equatorial Guinea coach Esteban Becker.Worries over attendances at this African Cup were temporarily pushed aside as the supporters crowded in. Equatorial Guinea stepped in to stage the tournament at the last minute in place of Morocco. Its team had also initially been disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in qualifying, but was allowed back in as the new host.Nsue rewarded the fans early on when he hit his shot under Congolese goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi from close range following a slick run and pass from winger Kike Boula. Nsue sprinted toward one section of supporters, punching his chest and shouting out in celebration, and some fans spilled out onto the running track on the edge of the field to join him.Higher-ranked Republic of Congo under veteran French coach Claude Le Roy was expected to win the opening game in Group A, but it didnt find any rhythm in the first half as the home team fed off its noisy support.Young goalkeeper Felipe Ovono saved Equatorial Guineea in the second half when he dived and pushed away a shot by Ladislas Douniama that looked certain to be the equalizer.dddddddddddd A late free kick from Republic of Congo also rebounded off the post.Equatorial Guinea also had chances, with Iban Edu sending a swerving shot from 40 yards (meters) out that Mafoumbi scrambled to stop late in the first half. Javier Balboa had a golden chance to make it 2-0 in the 61st as he broke clear of the defence, then hit a low shot straight at Mafoumbi.Nsue also missed when one-on-one with the keeper and had a goal disallowed in the 73rd.The equalizing blow came for the home fans in the 87th minute when Bifouma made the late pressure from Republic of Congo pay.The players fought until the end and we drew. Its not so bad, said coach Le Roy.Le Roy did complain about the 65-minute drive he says his squad had to make to get to the stadium in sweltering equatorial heat and without air conditioning in its bus.Its not possible to disrespect players like that, Le Roy said, telling organizing body the Confederation of African Football to sort it out.The organizers are under pressure after the tournament was only switched to the small Central African nation two months before kickoff, and there have been teething problems.They had also expected a capacity crowd of over 35,000 for the opener, but it was probably more. With all the seats taken, fans appeared to be still flocking in. Many crammed together to stand and watch from the walkways behind the seats. They had roared and danced, waving bright orange inflatable hands as Akon performed on the running track wearing a long black coat in the 30-plus Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) temperatures.The president of the country, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, also attended to officially open the 16-team, three-week African soccer championship. ' ' '
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