Manchester United manager Olé Gunnar Solskjær will have a selection headache when his side travel to Spain to take on Granada in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League clash. The manager will particularly be frustrated at how his side crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup after losing 3-1 against fellow Premier League side Leicester City in what was a horror performance from the United players.
Dutch international midfielder Donny Van de Beek was particularly singled out for major criticism after a personal disastrous performance that saw him lose possession a couple of times. The midfielder also misplaced a couope of passes and was a complete shadow of his true self.
Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kanté is one of football’s most quiet, yet most prolific players in his position. The France international defensive midfielder is a quiet man up close but does a lot of work on the pitch and is one of the most important players in the Blues’ team. The fantastic midfielder has a lot of fans across the world who are always impressed by his style of play whenever he steps on to the pitch. He has often been praised by his past and present teammates, pundits, and even rival players.
One of his admirers is a former midfield star of Chelsea, Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas played for Chelsea under José Mourinho and won the Premier League title under the Portuguese coach before leaving the club on a permanent basis. Following Kanté’s recent performances for Chelsea, including the role he played in helping the Blues snatch a win against Liverpool away at Anfield, Fabregas had hailed the Frenchman, insisting that the former Leicester City man is the engine of Chelsea’s midfield and that he deserves a lot of respect.
Tottenham Hotspur are said to be plotting a summer move for Burnley shot stopper Nick Pope. The North Londoners might need a new goalkeeper in between the sticks with current first choice Hugo Lloris set to depart the club in the summer if recent reports are to be believed. The Spurs shot stopper has been heavily criticised for his performances in the league this season.
His shaky form in the Tottenham Hotspur goal has coincided with the poor run of form for the club. Tottenham Hotspur started the season strongly and were at the top of the table until the last three months when the team began to unravel under manager Jose Mourinho. Tottenham Hotspur are down to ninth spot on the league table and are in serious danger of missing out on European football next season via the league route. They might still make European football next season via the cup route.
Christian Pulisic says that Chelsea have to be much smarter when they do not have possession so that they can start getting positive results. The American winger was speaking after the club suffered a 3-1 loss to Manchester City. This was the fifth the defeat of the campaign for the blues, who have been struggling for form in the last few weeks. The alarming dip in form has sparked rumours that Frank Lampard could be relieved from his role just after 18 months after being appointed. The three goals scored from City came in the first half with Callum Hudson-Odoi scoring a late consolation for Chelsea.
The quickfire goals from City did catch Chelsea by surprise, who did improve after the break. A postmatch analysis byPulisic, who has been one of the crucial players for Chelsea in the Lampard regime, reveals that Chelsea should have done a lot more smarter work when they did not have the ball against City. Pep Guardiola’s team were able to show a lot of intelligent movement throughout the first half and it was a crucial factor behind the flurry of goals scored by Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, and Kevin De Bruyne.
Aston Villa have confirmed that their FA Cup third round clash with Liverpool will go ahead as planned despite the absence of manager Dean Smith and his first team players. The former European champions revealed earlier on Friday that the FA Cup third round tie billed for Villa Park on Friday evening will hold as scheduled. The FA Cup tie was initially in danger of being postponed after an outbreak ofCovid-19 at Aston Villa. The club took to Twitter on Friday morning to announce that the Liverpool game will be played later in the evening.
Aston Villa will have to prosecute the FA Cup tie with the Reds with the club’s u-23 and academy players due to the Covid-19 outbreak mentioned earlier. Aston Villa have had to close their training ground at Body moor Heath as a result of the significant Covid-19 outbreak. Aston Villa have been forced to turn to the youth players for the Liverpool game in the third round of the FA Cup as there’s no space for the match to be rescheduled between now and the fourth round ties in two weeks’ time due to fixture congestion.
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has heaped praised on fellow England international Declan Rice, who has established himself as a regular for club and country. The 21-year-old has built up his reputation over the past few years and he is currently one of the first names on the team sheet for the Three Lions under Gareth Southgate.
He has been earning plenty of plaudits of late and Phillips, who only recently broke into the national team setup has hailed his compatriot, he told: “Declan’s obviously a very good player. He is younger than me as well. He has got a lot of experience in the Premier League, as I have not. For him to be playing for England so young is unbelievable for him. It’s very good for him.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is still waiting for the next time when his whole players will be fit and have his full squad at his disposal available for selection. The German coach has endured an injury-plagued season so far as the club continue to wallow deep into injury crises.
However, he may finally have a reason to smile as one of his stand-out performers this season who is sidelined with an injury has provided a positive injury update while away.
When Chelsea paid a club-record and world-record fee to secure the signing of Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from the Spanish La Liga in 2018 under Maurizio Sarri, the feeling around the club was that they had finally laid their hands on a shot-stopper for the next decade.
During his first full season at Chelsea, Kepa impressed the club’s bosses and was then handed an automatic starting role given his good form. But the story began to change for the worse during his second season.
England manager Gareth Southgate has given an update on Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell who picked up an injury in the last game against Belgium. The Blues left-back was subbed off in the first half of the UEFA Nations League clash after picking up a back injury. He was replaced by Arsenal player Bukayo Saka after 38 minutes.
Southgate talked about Chilwell in his pre-match press conference ahead of the UEFA Nations League meeting with Iceland at home. According to him, the Chelsea defender continues to receive treatment on the back problem as he failed toreveal the extent of the injury. Chilwell is facing a spell on the sidelines as a result of the back injury though it must be pointed out that the exact time is unknown.
Petr Cech has revealed that he was the one who recommended Edouard Mendy to the club after keeping close tabs on him for several years. The former Chelsea goalkeeper has described Mendy as one of the best players they had targeted. The Senegal international was signed from Rennes in September for around £ 22 million. He has immediately made his mark in the first team after going on to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is the world’s most expensive goalkeeper at around £75 million. However, a string of poor performances has led to Kepa Arrizabalaga losing his first-team spot.
Mendy was expected to take his time upon coming to a new division, but he has made the number one spot his own in just a few matches. Chelsea have been able to register a string of clean sheets – after previously struggling to even pick up one – in the last few weeks. The latest of those clean sheets came in the 3-0 victory over Burnley. Mendy has now become the first Chelsea goalkeeper since Petr Cech to pick up three successive clean sheets in the Premier League. Cech created this record back in 2004 after similarly signing from Rennes.