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Torres Says Liverpool Turned Fans Against Him, Sun Says: Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

Turning on Torres

Fernando Torres says Liverpool turned its fans against him when he was sold to Chelsea, the Sun reports.

Torres is expecting plenty abuse from travelling supporters when the clubs meet at Stamford Bridge this weekend. The Spaniard moved to Chelsea in a 50 million-pound ($79 million) deal in January after handing in a transfer request.

“The Liverpool fans have only paid attention to what the club made them see and they didn’t know the true story of my transfer to Chelsea,” the Sun quoted Torres as saying. “That’s why I don’t hold any grudges, they will always be special to me.”

Quick Return?

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could return sooner than expected from his ankle injury, the Sun said.

Wilshere was originally ruled out for five months after surgery for a stress fracture in his ankle in September. However, the 19-year-old is now off his crutches and been given clearance to start light training, the newspaper said.

Personal Appeal

Wayne Rooney’s appeal hearing against his three-match European Championship ban, has been brought forward a day in order for the England striker to personally attend, the Independent said.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 9 at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland, but was moved up as Rooney and Manchester United will be in the country after playing a Champions League match on Nov. 7, the Independent said. England manager Fabio Capello will also be in attendance, the newspaper said.

Rooney was banned by UEFA on Oct. 13 for kicking out at Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudivoc during a Euro 2012 qualifier. The suspension will cause him to miss the group stage of the championship next summer.

New Hammer?

Former Real Madrid defender Francisco Pavon has been training with West Ham, the Mirror said.

Pavon, 31, is a free agent after leaving French club Arles-Avignon. Hammers manager Sam Allardyce is looking to bolster the Championship club’s defense after failing in a loan move for Arsenal’s Sebastien Squillaci, the Mirror said.

Superstitious Jones

Manchester United’s Phil Jones admitted a strange superstition ritual he goes through before every game, the Daily Express said.

Jones said he puts a different sock on first depending on whether United, which is at Swansea tomorrow, is home or away.

“The fixtures list puts United on the left when we’re at home and on the right when we’re away,” the newspaper quoted Jones as saying. “So this weekend I’ll put my right sock on first because it will be away. Next week, if I play against Benfica at Old Trafford, I’ll put my left sock on first.”

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