Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho is set to miss the EFL Cup quarterfinal clash with Leeds United due to ankle injury.
Liverpool have quite a challenge on their hands as Daniel Sturridge is sidelined with calf injury and Coach Jurgen Klopp most likely will not risk Roberto Firmino. Simon Mignolet will be in action instead of Loris Karius going into the game as Liverpool reveal game plans. Klopp’s counterpart Garry Monk has not revealed his plan for the game. Monk used to make changes in previous rounds but might name his strongest squad for a chance at a cup semi final.
“It’s a historic fixture in English football and we have to respect that. We’re under no illusions. It’s a very difficult game for us. It’s a great challenge, that’s how we have to look at it Our young players have a bit of freedom to go there. We’re under no pressure. The odds are against us, but we have good belief in ourselves,” Monk said.
Klopp could not hide his fears going into the game as he said “it is about having a line-up which can stand the intensity of the game because Leeds are in a really good moment.”
His comments reveal Firmino might not start the game, even as he tried not to reveal his cards.
He said, “We don’t want to rest somebody who doesn’t need a rest. It is possible we will make a few changes. It is possible we will play nearly the same team.
Liverpool would play Leeds on Tuesday for the fourth time, having won two in the past and playing a draw. Leeds have been losing against most Premier League side and would face a tough challenge against the Reds which might force Monk to play a strong side. Klopp would be gunning for his second semi final in the League Cup in two years.
John Motson, BBC commentator had said that the 5-0 win by Chelsea over Everton was the best 90 minutes of football he has ever seen all through his career as a commentator.
He made the comments on BBC 5 Live where he claimed that the game was a “football on another planet.”
Chelsea made an excellent performance at Stamford Bridge, thrashing Everton 5 goals to nil in a match where 25-year old Eden Hazard came off as the star of the show. The Belgian forward scored a brace during the game, with goals from Marcos Alonso, Diego Costa and Pedro adding up to make it five.
Blues boss Antonio Conte used the 3-4-3 formation, which he had also once used whilst at Juventus, and with the Italian National team. The formation ensured that Chelsea also had a non-porous defence.
While speaking about the game, Motson had said,
“This was the best 90 minute performance I have ever seen in the Premier League.
“I put it above anything I ever saw from Arsenal when they were at their best and I put it above anything I saw from Manchester United. This was football on another planet.”
Motson went on to praise Chelsea’s dominance of the game, their movement and finishing prowess while also claiming that the Blues showed no sign of weakness as they showed all of their strength within the 90 minutes of the game.
Also, he opined that Chelsea might just come off as the Premier League champions if Conte maintains the tempo, whilst training with his boys four or five days every week.
Chelsea are currently 2nd on the league table, just a point below first-placed Liverpool who also tore Watford apart at the Anfield stadium, winning 6-1. They have also won their last five Premier league games without conceding any goals but garnering a total of 16 goals in the process.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has stated that Chelsea is a fitter team under Antonio Conte than they were under Jose Mourinho.
He said that he has not run that much during a pre-season with any other teams. He said that Antonio Conte is a manager that place a lot of emphasis on fitness and that he wants to make sure that his players are ready for physical battles.
John Obi Mikel said that Antonio Conte makes use of double training sessions in order to improve the fitness levels of the players and this is definitely helping the team. He said that Antonio Conte has brought many changes to the team and that he has also changed the way the players eat. John Obi Mikel believes that this will improve the way the team plays and that the benefit will be seen during the course of the season.
John Obi Mikel admitted that Chelsea was not fit enough last season and this was evident in the way the players perform on the pitch. He said that some players lack energy last season and this was one of the reasons why the team performs poorly. He believes that things have changed for the better this season and that the players have become fitter. Read more
Philipp Lahm doesn’t appreciate and is not in agreement of the decision of the European Football Associations’ Union to increase the representation of the bigger competitions in the main draw of the European Cup.
Premiership, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A are the four biggest competitions in the continent at the moment and while, they already have quite a big representation in the main draw, UEFA reckons it needs to be increased.
Earlier, the teams finishing first, second and third in the Premiership, Bundesliga and La Liga respectively and those finishing first and second in the Serie A would make it to the main draw.
However, now there would be four representatives in the main draw from each of those competitions which means the title holders of the top divisions of some of the other countries would have to miss out and it seems unfair to Lahm.
Lahm’s side had just completed a 5-0 annihilation of a top division team from Russia, but, he still voiced support for smaller teams.
Derbies remain one of the highlights of the Premier League with the excitement it offers.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City meeting is one of such, and it is coming early in the season – fourth EPL game. The pedigree of the two managers, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola brings more to the table as the expectations from both ends are very high. One Derby United would not forget in a hurry is the 6-1 demolition by City in 2011 – making Man United’s biggest loss in half a century.
Sergio Aguero has been suspended from the game, leaving Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho as the lead striker. There is the option of Nolito though. United have a strong attack this term, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in front, leaving Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial as support in the flanks. There’s also wonderboy Marcus Rashford as super sub. There’s an in-form David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and a revitalized Raheem Sterling to do the job in the absence of Aguero.
Manchester United are reported to open to allow Matteo Darmian leave during the January transfer window with interests in the player piling up.
Despite the additions this summer, Juventus are reported to be keen on adding Darmian to their squad. Inter Milan is still following up on the player with the hopes of landing the Premier League player. French media say Coach Jose Mourinho has set his sight for Monaco player Fabinho during the next transfer window in January.
Fabinho is believed would be the replacement for Darmian, meaning the former Torino man could exit the Premier League sooner than expected. Darmian joined for £15.3 million, and has played 18 months so far, but could make a return to the Serie A. Other sides rumoured to be interested in the player include Fiorentina, Rome, and Napoli.
Manchester United summer target Jose Fonte was linked with a move to the club, but couldn’t complete it before the transfer deadline. “Was I disappointed the Man United move didn’t happen? Let’s leave that for another time. Now I’m focused on Southampton. I’ve lots of targets: to play in the Champions League, to play in a World Cup, to win a trophy in England,” Fonte said recently. The player was in action for Portugal at the Euro 2016, and was poised to link with his countryman Mourinho as coach.
Liverpool made the perfect start to their Premier League campaign by beating Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium by 4-3.
This will boost their confidence ahead of a Premier League season that sees them start as one of the outsiders to win the trophy. This will be the first season in charge for Jurgen Klopp, and he will be hoping that the can get Liverpool at least back in the Champions League places.
Things did not start well for Liverpool though as they conceded a goal to Arsenal. In fairness, Arsenal was the better team in the first half where they control the game better. They restricted Liverpool to only one shot on target, and they kept possession well. The Gunners obtained a penalty in the first half when Moreno committed a foul on England international Theo Walcott. However, the latter will be denied by Simon Mignolet.
However, Arsenal will keep pushing and will be rewarded with a goal. This time, Theo Walcott did not miss the target after some good work by Alex Iwobi. However, Liverpool will manage to come back into the game on a free-kick. Coutinho will score a brilliant goal that did not give Petr Cech any chance. The goal will allow Liverpool to get to half-time with the score level.
The head coach of Leicester City Claudio Ranieri says the primary target of the club this season is again to avoid being relegated from top flight football.
In the last campaign they defied the odds to lift the Premier League title and even have worse stats at retaining the title this forthcoming season. The odds last season was 5000-1 but its 6000-1 now and the coach says that’s not his concern.
“The fundamental concept is to start from scratch. We’ve won the title and it was beautiful and fantastic, it was maybe an unrepeatable achievement but now we turn the page.
“If at start of last season the bookmakers had us down 5000-1 shots, then this time we start at 6000-1. Our objective to start the season with is to reach 40 points and stay up,” the Italian tactician said. Read more
Seemingly not content with having already secured the signings of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito for his new Manchester City side, Pep Guardiola is now leading the chase for a further three transfers, as he looks to inject some youthful exuberance into the club.
Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Marlos Moreno are all understood to be closing in on moves to The Etihad, with the youngsters clearly attracted by the opportunity of working for a manager of Guardiola’s calibre. Read more
Now the dust has settled on the European Championships, the summer transfer window looks set to explode into action. With this in mind, here are five top talents that could be winging their way to the Premier League in the coming weeks.
Paul Pogba – Juventus
The worst kept secret in world football surrounds the departure of Paul Pogba from Juventus this summer – but where will he end up? Read more