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Arsenal Face Italy's Udinese in Play-Offs

Arsenal must overcome Serie A opposition in the shape of Udinese if Arsene Wenger's team is to make it to the Champions League group stages for the 14th successive season.

The Gunners were pitted against the Italian side in the draw for the Champions league play-offs held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Friday.

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China Expels Wang Meng from Team for Drunken Brawl

China's most decorated Winter Olympic athlete has been expelled from the national team for a drunken brawl with an official, throwing the successful short track speed skating program into disarray.

Wang Meng went out drinking and failed to return to the team hotel before a curfew, China's sports governing body said in a statement released late Thursday. When she was confronted by the team manager Wang Chunlu, she punched her, it said.

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Federer at Peace with Age and Ranking

Roger Federer is relaxed about turning 30 on Monday, having slid to third in the world rankings and the chance that this will be the first year since 2002 in which he does not win a Grand Slam title.

The 16-time Grand Slam singles champion told reporters on a teleconference Wednesday that he still has the competitive fire to challenge Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for tennis supremacy.

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No Fears as Bayern Await CL Play-off Draw

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger says the Bavarian giants have nothing to fear on Friday when they learn who they will face in the Champions League play-off.

"Whichever opponent we draw out of the pot will take a deeper swallow than us," joked Germany star Schweinsteiger, Bayern's vice-captain, after his side reached the 2010 Champions League final.

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Loew Calls up Uncapped German Pair to Face Brazil

Germany coach Joachim Loew on Thursday called up uncapped midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus and eight Bayern Munich players in his squad for next week's friendly against Brazil.

Germany face the south American giants in Stuttgart next Wednesday and Loew has summoned up rising 20-year-old star Gundogan, who is set to make his Bundesliga debut for German champions Borussia Dortmund on Friday.

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Chelsea Sign Barca's Romeu

Chelsea on Thursday signed midfielder Oriol Romeu on a four-year contract from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced.

The fee was agreed 11 days ago for the midfielder.

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Pastore: 'I am Going to be a PSG Player'

Argentine international Javier Pastore's protracted transfer to Paris Saint-Germain seems finally set to go through after the player announced the move on his own website.

"It can now officially be said that I am going to be a Paris Saint-Germain player, all that remains is for me to have my medical and sort out some other details," the 22-year-old told

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Real Madrid Agree Tie-up with China's Evergrande

Real Madrid and Chinese Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande have agreed to a tie-up that could see player exchanges and the Spanish giants opening an academy in China.

Madrid, who play Evergrande later Wednesday in a pre-season friendly in Guangzhou, are striving to promote their brand in fast-developing China, as are a host of other top European sides.

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New Juve Stadium Inspires Fans to Sign Up

Juventus fans have been flocking in their thousands to snap up season tickets for the upcoming campaign in the club's new stadium.

Juve spent the last five years playing at the Stadio Olympico in Turin since leaving their former Stadio delle Alpi home, which they bought from the local council in 2003, in order to rebuild a stadium on that site.

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Blake Upsets Defending Champion Nalbandian

U.S. veteran James Blake upset defending champion David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the third round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Once ranked as high as No. 4, Blake won the hard-court U.S. Open tuneup in 2002 and was the runner-up in 2005. But beset by a series of injuries, most recently a bad right knee, he dropped to 173rd in the rankings in March and began this week at 90th.

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