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Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Friday, January 12, 2018

Liverpool Fc news:Mohamed Salah speaks out on Liverpool future amid Real Madrid rumours


Liverpool star says he is not bothered by speculation.

Barcelona's swoop for Coutinho has led to speculation Real Madrid will push for his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah. Spanish newspaper Sport reported this week Real have made Salah their top target for the summer. Salah is the reigning African Footballer of the Year and is set to star for Egypt at the upcoming World Cup. The Premier League sensation has responded to the speculation and insists he is not concerned with such talk. Quoted by Marca, Salah said: "I have heard so many rumours that it doesn't bother me anymore. They have treated me very well in Liverpool and at this moment, I belong to Liverpool and I am happy at Anfield." Salah is the Premier League's second highest goalscorer behind Harry Kane after a blistering start to the season. The £36 million Liverpool paid to sign Salah in the summer from Roma is already looking like a bargain, but the Reds are unlikely to be willing to entertain any approach from Real Madrid, especially just months into his spell at Anfield. Liverpool need to make a stand after letting Coutinho leave this January, and a major sale in the summer would ask major questions about the club's direction, no matter how much money is on offer.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Stoke v Liverpool – Confirmed lineup

Stoke confirmed XI: Grant, Zouma, Shawcross, Indi, Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters, Shaqiri, Crouch, Chuopo-Moting Subs: Haugaard, Wimmer, Berahino, Jese, Afellay, Adam, Ramadan Liverpool confirmed XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Solanke, Firmino Subs: Karius, Milner, Coutinho, Salah, Henderson, Sturridge, Alexander-Arnold.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Watford vs Manchester United, LIVE: Jose Mourinho's side aim to keep up Premier League title push




Manchester United will hope to apply the pressure on local rivals Manchester City when they visit Watford in their midweek Premier League clash. The Red Devils trail the league leaders by eight points heading into the midweek set of top flight fixtures but will have to be wary of a Hornets side flying high under Marco Silva. Jose Mourinho's team have lost their previous two Premier League games on the road and fell to a 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road last season. Follow all the action here as it happens.
And so it's back to Premier League duty for Manchester United. Watford the hosts, as Jose Mourinho's men arrive at Vicarage Road knowing a win is vital if they are to stay on the tail of runaway leaders Manchester City. Following their less than convincing victory over Brighton on Saturday, the pressure is on. Watford enter the tie on the back of their commanding 3-0 win over Newcastle at St James' Park, hoping to carry that form into tonight's clash. Team line up to come soon...

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Wenger Rules Out Sanchez, Ozil Exits In January





Arsene Wenger has ruled out January departures for Arsenal pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil unless “something unbelievable” happens even as the clock ticks down on their contracts. The players are out of contract at the end of the season as both have so far refused to sign new deals at the Emirates. Ozil has been linked with a move to Barcelona while Sanchez almost joined Manchester City on the final day of the summer transfer window, only for Arsenal to pull the plug when they failed to land Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as his replacement. Wenger says he has no concerns over the commitment of the pair, with Sanchez scoring a last-gasp penalty as the Gunners won 1-0 at Burnley on Sunday to move into the Premier League top four.
Arsenal host Huddersfield on Wednesday, with Ozil likely to be missing because of the illness that ruled him out at Turf Moor but Wenger believes the influential pair will not be sold in January — even though they could then walk away from the club for free six months later. “Yes, I rule it out,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference when asked about potential departures. “I do not think about that every day. At the moment, as long as they are here, they have to give their best for the team and for the club. “In my head, they stay until the end of the season and that’s a decision that was taken at the start of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens, I can’t see why that would change.”

No Assurances


However, Wenger could not offer Arsenal supporters assurances that either player would be tempted to sign new deals and extend their stays beyond 2018. “They’re into the final year of their contract,” he said. “Will they stay longer? That’s impossible to answer today because I don’t know. They have a contract until the end of the season. “I am not the only one who can decide that. They have a part to play in that as well. If it’s my decision, yes (they would stay longer).”
Another player whose contract expires at the end of the season is England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has been restricted to just three substitute appearances in the Premier League. “He’s a football man and I will always decide what is best for him. That is my first priority no matter what kind of decision I make,” Wenger said. “I have to consider the interests of Jack Wilshere and Arsenal Football Club together.”
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Watford vs Manchester United LIVE updates: Team news, latest updates and more from Vicarage Road





A win tonight would see Manchester United close the gap on leaders Manchester City to five points. Jose Mourinho's men travel to Vicarage Road knowing they cannot afford another slip up at this early stage in the title race. But they face a tough test against high-flying Watford. The Hornets, who have kept hold of manager Marco Silva despite strong interest from Everton, have won back-to-back Premier League games and are sitting comfortably in eighth place. Will Watford make it three wins in a row this evening - or will United keep the pressure on their title rivals with a victory? Don't miss a kick and join us for all the action as it happens.

Mourinho ready for tough test

Jose Mourinho believes Marco Silva’s Watford are a far better side than the one that gave Manchester United a bloody nose last season. The Red Devils were condemned to their third defeat in a week in September 2016 as late goals from Juan Zuniga and Troy Deeney gave the Hornets a 3-1 win. That period remains the lowest ebb of Mourinho’s Old Trafford reign and the United boss is aware just how hard it will be to exact revenge on Tuesday evening. Watford are eighth in the Premier League after their impressive 3-0 win at Newcastle, with manager Silva’s fine work leading to admiring glances from rudderless Everton. “Against Watford I was very upset with Watford’s first goal after some guy sent (Anthony) Martial to the hospital and the referee let it go,” Mourinho said. “That is the reason why I was very, very upset at Watford. I think Watford made also progress. “They have an unusual squad for a mid-table team.1
“They have a squad full of very good players who are not normal to be in these mid-table teams. They have a good coach. “They have improved a lot from last season too.”
Mourinho failed to get the better of Silva in their last two meetings, with his Hull side holding United to a goalless draw in the league at Old Trafford just a week after beating them 2-1 in the EFL Cup semi-finals in January - albeit a scoreline that did not prevent the Old Trafford giants from progressing. Zlatan Ibrahimovic starred as the Red Devils went onto triumph at Wembley and is now pushing for his first start since April, having made three substitute appearances after returning from serious knee ligament damage. Marcos Rojo has started the last two matches after being sidelined by a knee issue of his own, although should Phil Jones or Eric Bailly return from injury the Argentina international could be protected. As soon as we get the teams, we’ll let you know. Keep track of all the build-up and latest action here.




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Eden Hazard reveals why he dribbled so much against Liverpool




Chelsea were not the most dominant team this weekend in the Premier League, as their opponents, Liverpool rode on their recent attack minded philosophy to cause some fears in the technical minds at Chelsea prior to the game. Antonio Conte chose to drop Cesc Fabregas, maintaining afterwards that it was to rest the Spaniard rather than play defensively. The decision seemed almost a masterstroke, had Danny Drinkwater scored when he was put through on goal in the first half. After a 1-1 result at Anfield, several Chelsea players were rather satisfied after the dizzying flight their players had to endure in the Champions League in midweek.
Star man Eden Hazard started the game but could not shine the entire 90 minutes after he claimed he was isolated with Alvaro Morata up field. He however, was one of the best performers on the day with a record nine dribbles in the game, according to Whoscored. Hazard says he decided to dribble as much against a quality opposition because of how Conte lined up.
 It is a good point because when you are 1-0 down at Anfield, it is not easy to score. We should have scored more, but one point at Liverpool is satisfying. We changed the system, Danny Drinkwater was on the pitch and then we were a bit more defensive. The only player around me was Alvaro Morata, so if we wanted to win we had to do something together, just me and him. That’s why I tried to pass my opponent every time, and in the first half we did well. ‘In the second half it was more complicated but we scored so I am happy.

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Chelsea News:Antonio Conte fires warning at Eden Hazard ahead of Chelsea v Swansea


Antonio Conte has warned Eden Hazard that he will need to continue to step his game up for Chelsea in the coming weeks and months.

The Belgian playmaker has been earning plenty of praise in recent weeks following his recent good form for the west London side. The 26-year-old seems to have regained full fitness after having missed the first few games of the season while recovering from a serious ankle injury. Hazard was in fine form in the first half of Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool FC on Sunday as the Blues ended up settling for a 1-1 draw. The midfielder has scored three goals and made two assists in the Premier League for Chelsea so far this season.
But although Conte has clearly been pleased by Hazard’s recent good form, the Chelsea manager admits that he’d like to see the playmaker continue to step his game up. Speaking in an interview with

Chelsea’s website,

Conte said: “Eden is an important player for us. “When he has more freedom to play as a second striker, he is very dangerous. At the same time, last season he played as a No.10 with Willian or Pedro and a striker. He is in really good form. “After surgery this summer he recovered very well. Now he is 100 per cent fit. He has to continue in this way.” Hazard will be expecting to start for Chelsea when the Blues return to Premier League action with a home clash against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

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Man Utd team news: Three big names don’t make squad for Watford





Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly dropped three players from his squad to face Watford in midweek, as he continues to rotate at a busy time in the fixture schedule. The Red Devils secured a 1-0 win over Brighton at Old Trafford at the weekend, but they now face Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night, before heading to the Emirates on Saturday.

In turn, it will be crucial for Mourinho to find the right balance and pick the players who will be most effective in each game, while also rotating to offer his key individuals rest along the way. According to the Manchester Evening News, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini and Henrikh Mkhitaryan haven’t travelled with the rest of the squad, which could be part of bigger issues for Shaw and Mkhitaryan in particular as they’ve struggled to break into the starting line-up.
In contrast, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind and Jesse Lingard have all been recalled, and Mourinho will hope that his side can pick up another crucial win ahead of huge games against Arsenal and Man City to start December as they look to avoid seeing the eight-point gap between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s side increase further at the top of the table. It’s arguably no real surprise that Shaw is left out though as even when included, he’s managed just 47 minutes of football so far this season with two brief appearances in the League Cup, while Mkhitaryan was also left out of the squads to face Basel and Newcastle United in recent weeks which will be a concern for him.

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Jose Mourinho: I don’t care if Lukaku doesn’t score


Jose Mourinho has insisted that Romelu Lukaku’s recent lack of goals is made up for by his tireless work-rate at Manchester United.

The Belgian striker has been getting used to life at Old Trafford since signing for the Red Devils from Everton in the summer transfer window. Lukaku initially made a strong start to life for the Red Devils but his goals have dried up in recent weeks, with the Belgian having only scored once in his last 10 appearances in all competitions. The 24-year-old drew another blank on Saturday as Manchester United laboured to a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford. But despite Lukaku’s lack of goals in recent weeks, Mourinho insists that he has been delighted by the striker’s application.
Mourinho is quoted as saying by Sky Sports: “In the last minute he was fighting and running back like he was in the first minute, so I think it is also a mentality question. “The way Romelu wins the corner for the goal, the way Romelu ends the game making tackles in the left-back position – that is the mentality I want. “Unfortunately, not every player is the same. Players are men, men are different. Men are unique cases. “Some guys are capable to go into the limits of their efforts and some other guys even with a lot of talent, they don’t manage to do that. “So Romelu, for me, [is] fantastic. Didn’t score, I don’t care.”
Lukaku will be hoping to find the net for the Red Devils when they take on Watford in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night. Manchester United are currently in second place in the Premier League table and eight points behind leaders Manchester City as they look to catch Pep Guardiola’s men in the race for the title.

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Liverpool News:'There was no problem' –Mane Said




Sadio Mane dismissed suggestions he had an issue with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.following Saturday's draw with Chelsea Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane insisted he had no issues with Jurgen Klopp despite appearing to argue with his manager after a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Mane came on in the closing stages of the draw at Anfield on Saturday before having a discussion with Klopp after the final whistle. However, the Senegal international played down the incident, saying it was a "friendly" conversation.
"He asked me to play on the right side and one time I tried to ask for the ball in the number nine position," Mane told Sky Sports News. "Mo [Salah] was on my side and the coach was shouting, 'Sadio come onto the right side'. "After the game I told the coach it was easier if you told Mo to come in because he was close to you. "But it was friendly, it was not because I was unhappy or something else. There was no problem, I was just communicating and explaining that to him after the game." Mane was surprisingly dropped from the starting line-up for the crucial Premier League clash as his team were left in sixth in the table.
The 25-year-old, who has three goals and two assists in the league this season, said it was tough to accept being on the bench. "It was not easy for me. It was a difficult moment, but it’s part of football and it can happen," Mane said. "It's important for me to come back now. I'm feeling very well."
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Man Utd news: Nemanja Matic aims dig at Chelsea - it’s my dream to play for United




The Serb swapped Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford in the summer in a deal worth £40million. Matic had a highly successful spell wth the Blues, clinching two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup. But he claims that is was always his desire to swap west London for Manchester and when Jose Mourinho came knocking it was too good an opportunity to turn down. Matic has already played 20 games this season and has embedded into the United midfield seamlessly.
"To play for Manchester United has always been a dream of mine,” Matic told Scandinavian supporters' magazine United-Supporteren. "I'm living my dream now, and of course I have a dream about winning the league with United. "I still remember I watched the Champions League final in 1999 on the television. “I know everything, or at least almost everything, about Manchester United.
"United was a big team back then.” Matic won the Premier league title with Chelsea last season and is hoping to complete the same feat with the Red Devils this campaign. However, United trail league-leaders Manchester City by eight points. His side return to action against Watford tonight (8pm).
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Chelsea News:Morata And Hazard To Start Up front – Strongest 3-4-1-2 Chelsea Line-up To Face Swansea City In Premier League



Predicted Chelsea Line-up To Face Swansea City In The Premier League

Chelsea, the English champions, clinched a late equaliser against Liverpool on Saturday evening when Willian scored a bizarre goal at Anfield to cancel out Mohamed Salah’s second-half strike. Antonio Conte’s men have grabbed the momentum in recent weeks and are now a confident bunch, as the Blues host 19th-placed Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. Pressure is piling on Swans boss Paul Clement who will miss his star striker Tammy Abraham, currently on loan from Chelsea, as he is ineligible to feature against his parent club this Wednesday night. The game should be a cakewalk for the London heavyweights considering their current run and Chelsea should grab three points from this fixture in order to make their presence known in the title hunt.

Team News

Chelsea do not have any significant injury concerns except Michy Batshuayi, as the young Belgian forward is ruled out with an ankle injury. Musonda and Kenedy, the youngster duo, is also unlikely to feature with their respective knee injury and muscular strain. Eden Hazard is back in form, whereas Alvaro Morata will be looking to bag a few more goals to keep pace alongside the league’s top scorers this season.

Expected Formation (3-4-1-2)

Conte’s ‘back three’ formation is pretty obvious, but the Italian opted to field a defensive looking set-up against Liverpool, a 3-5-1-1, where N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko, and Danny Drinkwater – three central midfielders started together in the middle of the park. This, however, might not be the case against the struggling Swans and the Blues boss is expected to field a more attack-oriented line-up at home to seize a thumping win.

Manager: Antonio Conte Thibaut Courtois (GK)

The Belgian has been the Blues’ first-choice custodian for the past few campaigns and will be looking forward to continuing his remarkable run between the sticks.

Cesar Azpilicueta (RCB)

Probably the best defender in Premier League so far as his leadership and majestic defensive traits allowed the Blues to maintain discipline and resilience in back-line against Liverpool’s lethal attacking threat.


Andreas Christensen (CB)

The youngster has earned Conte’s trust with solid defensive displays and is being preferred over the likes of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger to feature in Chelsea’s defence.

Gary Cahill (LCB)

The skipper might not have shown consistency yet, but his experience will be crucial against the Swans who will be desperate to hit back on the counter with a view to gain something from the outing.

Davide Zappacosta (RWB)

The Italian has become a regular in the place of Victor Moses, who was out injured for a few weeks. Although the Nigerian is now back and fit again to feature for the Blues, Conte might not rush his return and should play Zappacosta in his starting lineup.

N’Golo Kante (CM)

Kante has been pivotal in the Chelsea midfield and the 2016-17 Premier League Player of the Year played a crucial role in the Blues’ title triumph last season. His holding ability, his ability to win possession, runs down the middle and passing traits will create chances up front for the Chelsea attackers.

Tiemoue Bakayoko (CM)

Although his mistake proved costly for Chelsea where Mo Salah made no mistake to score against his former employers, the Frenchman has shown glimpses of his quality in the past outings and is expected to retain his place in the Chelsea midfield.

Marcos Alonso (LWB)

Alonso has been instrumental in such outings where the Blues are tipped to score at least a couple of goals against the Premier League relegation battlers. The Spaniard, known for his attacking flair, will be a threat down the left flank.

Cesc Fabregas (CAM)

The Spaniard was introduced late from the bench against the Reds on Saturday evening but is expected to start the game, replacing Danny Drinkwater, who, despite being handed a start against Liverpool, failed to impress the gaffer.

Eden Hazard (RS)

The Belgian wingman is back in business and is enjoying a stupendous run of form in front of goal. He is being played in a much-advanced role and the attacker is tipped to find the back of the net against the Swans on Wednesday night.

Alvaro Morata (LS)

Although the Spaniard was unimpressive against the Reds this weekend, he will be determined to be back among the goals and his aerial ability will trouble a vulnerable Swans backline at Stamford Bridge.

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Thibaut Courtois: Hazard is the best in England




Thibaut Courtois has lavished praise on Eden Hazard following his strong performance for Chelsea against Liverpool FC on Saturday. Hazard earned plenty of praise for his performance for the west London club, especially in the first half against the Reds. Chelsea ended up having to come from a goal down to earn a point against Liverpool FC as Willian came off the bench to cancel out Mohamed Salah’s opener late on. Hazard looks to be rediscovering his top form for Chelsea this season after having recovered from a serious ankle injury. And his Belgium and Chelsea team-mate Courtois has been very impressed by what he has seen from Hazard so far this season.

“I think Eden is a wonderful player and maybe the best in the league. “If you saw, in the first half especially, how easy he gets past three or four people like they are cones it is amazing. “We are not speaking about players who play on a lower level, like if you play in the FA Cup or League Cup, we play against Liverpool with top players and he passed them like it was nothing.” Both Hazard and Courtois will be expecting to start for Chelsea when the Blues return to Premier League action on Wednesday night with a home clash against Swansea City.
Their draw with Liverpool FC left Chelsea in third place in the Premier League table and 11 points behind leaders Manchester City after 13 games of the season. Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League last week when they beat Qarabag 4-0 in Baku.
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Monday, November 27, 2017

Confirmed: Chelsea’s former technical director Michael Emenalo joins Monaco as their sporting director.



Monaco have announced the appointment of former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo as their new sporting director. The 52-year-old resigned from his post at Stamford Bridge earlier this month and has now taken on a similar role at the Ligue 1 club. Emenalo, who will work under vice president Vadim Vasilyev, said on the Monaco website: "This is a wonderful opportunity for me at a high-quality project.
"Monaco have shown great progress for several seasons and I am convinced that the future will be just as ambitious. "Vadim Vasilyev's desire for me to join Monaco was decisive and, for me, the choice was natural after my decision to leave Chelsea." Vasilyev praised Emenalo's track record in the "identification and recruitment" of talent.

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Chelsea want more protection for Eden Hazard as Belgian reveals he's being forced to take it easy in training


Chelsea want Premier League referees to offer Eden Hazard more protection, after the Belgian ace revealed he is having to take it easy in training to allow his body to recover from the kicks he takes. Hazard, ranks among the league’s most fouled players once more this season, having been the Premier League’s most fouled player since 2014. Blues bosses are increasingly worried that Hazard is being targeted by opponents and it could lead to a serious injury.

The 26-year-old was the game’s outstanding player during the first half of Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. But having taken a kick on the ankle from Mohamed Salah early in the second period, Hazard had far less influence on proceedings. A week earlier, Hazard was left furious with referee Jon Moss, after the official’s decision to wave play on after Gareth Barry’s late challenge on the Belgian during Chelsea’s 4-0 win over West Brom. Towards the back end of last season Antonio Conte called for more protection for Hazard. He avoided the question when asked at the Hawthorns nine days ago, but is understood to be unhappy with some of the leniency shown by officials.
Hazard is refusing to complain himself, but at Anfield made a point of asking referee Michael Oliver how many fouls he had to suffer before an opponent was reprimanded; Oliver didn't show a singled yellow card throughout. And speaking after the draw at Anfield, he revealed he is having to rest more during training. "Do I protect my legs in training? Yes, yes, yes!” said Hazard. "To be fair, in training I don’t give everything. "When we have drills, some people go crazy, but I don’t want to be kicked in training. I try to have a break. "We don’t have many breaks in the season, so I try in training to have more of a rest, and then in the games I give everything. "Do I get a lot of bruises? Yes. Sometimes I’m feeling a lot. I get a lot of fouls, a lot on my ankle.

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Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku escapes FA ban for alleged Brighton kick; free to face Arsenal, Manchester City




The FA investigated claims the Manchester United striker kicked out at Gaeteng Bong during the clash at Old Trafford on Saturday. The incident during United's 1-0 win over Brighton appeared to go unseen by the match officials. Television replays appeared to show Lukaku kicking Bong during the second half corner which led to United's winning goal from Ashley Young. The incident was referred to an independent panel of ex-referees because match official Neil Swarbrick and his colleagues missed it. But the panel failed to reach a unanimous decision that it was a straight red card offence after studying video footage.

It means Lukaku will not be suspended and the news is a huge boost for United boss Jose Mourinho. If the panel had all agreed it was a red card offence then Lukaku would have been hit with a three match ban. The Belgium ace would have missed tomorrow's trip to Watford, Saturday's clash with Arsenal at the Emirates and the explosive derby showdown with City at Old Trafford on December 10. Losing Lukaku for crunch games with the Gunners and Pep Guardiola's league leaders would have been a massive setback to Mourinho.
United are clinging to the coat tails of their bitter-rivals and neighbours and the Portuguese knows losing the derby would all-but end their title challenge before Christmas. Lukaku has made an impressive start to life at United following his £90m summer switch from Everton, plundering 12 goals in all competitions to be their leading scorer.
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Salah v Hazard: Liverpool and Chelsea players assessed on skill, finishing and team work



FINISHING

Salah: "He has a great ability to create chances for himself. He gets in behind defences and is very good at working space to get a shot away. But he can improve his finishing — if anything he should have scored more than 15 this season. Also his confidence is high given his start and that always helps your ability to finish chances." 7.5 Hazard: "Like the Liverpool man, he can improve in this area. He’ll often score wonder goals, as he did against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in recent seasons but he needs to score more simple goals and get into the box more often." 7
SKILL Salah: "He’s not superb technically but he’s got very quick feet and is very good at bursting past the opposition. He will keep things simple, wait until the defender is static and just drop the shoulder and he’s away." 7 Hazard: "Exceptional — he’s so gifted. I think Hazard is the best in Europe at getting the ball in tight areas and then spinning away into space. On his day his skill levels and dribbling can match Lionel Messi." 9

TEAM PLAY

Salah: "His work rate is exceptional. His fitness levels must be remarkable; he covers all areas of the pitch. That’s why he played on Saturday and Sadio ManĂ© didn’t despite both playing in the Champions League in the week. He’s very useful man to have as a team-mate — he’s always an option to receive the ball and often drops into midfield to link up play and start attacks." 9
Hazard: "He is 5ft 8in but he has great upper-body strength and is so good at holding people off — he very rarely loses the ball. In terms of his link-up play he’s excellent — sometimes too good. He’s always looking to play quick one-touch football and sometimes his team-mates aren’t on the same wavelength. What would be a great through-ball ends up looking like a wasted pass." 8.5

OVERALL

Salah: "He can play almost anywhere and is perfect for Liverpool’s constantly mobile team. He was good at Roma and, at only 25, he can play at the top for a good while yet. I just think he will have to adapt his game as he gets older given his work rate." 8.5 Hazard: "A fit and firing Eden Hazard is up there with the best ten players in the world. Sometimes I question his attitude but he seems up for it now and is revelling in his role as Chelsea’s main man." 9.5
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Transfer report: Alex Sandro set for Chelsea? Juventus planning for star’s departure as they eye replacement



Juventus are tracking Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis as they fear Alex Sandro is set on joining Chelsea. Sandro, 26, was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer as part of a deal worth around £60million. However, Juve held firm and managed to keep hold of the left-back despite Chelsea's advances.

The Italian champions, though, are now worried Sandro will leave in January for Stamford Bridge and – according to Tuttosport – they are tracking Luis as a result. The 32-year-old has been impressing at Atletico after returning to the club in 2015 following one disappointing season at Chelsea. Juve reportedly see him as the ideal replacement for Sandro and believe he could be snapped up for around £15m.

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Courtois: Hazard on a high

Thibaut Courtois has spoken about the quality of team-mate Eden Hazard following another eye-catching performance by the forward in Saturday’s draw at Liverpool.

It was Willian, a second-half substitute, who scored a late equaliser for the Blues but much of our impressive attacking play went through Hazard, who looked a huge threat every time he was in possession. The Belgian scored three goals in our previous two games, against Qarabag and West Bromwich Albion, and looks back to his very best, which is good news for the Blues, according to Courtois.

‘He was brilliant,’ said the Chelsea goalkeeper. ‘I think Eden is a wonderful player, maybe the best in the league. You could see, in the first half especially, how he gets past three or four people as if they are cones and that’s amazing. ‘We are not speaking about players at a lower level, that maybe you play against in the League Cup or FA Cup, but against Liverpool who have top players. He was going past them like it was nothing. Eden is doing great for us. He’s in great form and hopefully he continues like that.’ Courtois was pleased with the team's performance on Saturday, particularly given the fact we had little time to prepare for the game after only arriving back in London on Thursday morning following the midweek Champions League trip to Azerbaijan.
‘Obviously now we go from one game to another, last season we had more time to prepare which was good, but everybody wants to play in the Champions League because it’s the best level you can play at,’ he explained. ‘It was a bit unfortunate we had the Man City game after a big match against Atletico. Okay, City are in great form but I think if we’d had the extra day’s rest and played on the Sunday, like we did against United, you would have seen a different game.

‘We’ve had three big games after Champions League matches, we drew one, won one and lost one, so I don’t think it has an influence. But I agree with the manager, going from Azerbaijan on Wednesday, arriving home at 6am and then having to play a big game at Liverpool, it’s not the best planning from the Premier League. But that’s what we’re supposed to do, we tried to make the best of it and we proved we felt good. We tried to show a great mentality to win.’
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Milan sacks Vincenzo Montella, appoints Gennaro Gattuso as interim coach




Serie A giants, AC Milan have sacked head coach, Vincenzo Montella and replaced him with former midfielder and captain, Gennaro Gattuso. The Italian club made the announcement on Monday through their official club website as Gattuso was appointed interim coach. The sacking of Montella came as a result of Milan’s 0-0 home draw to Torino at the San Siro stadium on Sunday. Montella was appointed Milan’s manager in the summer of 2016 and led the team to sixth in his first season in charge, also winning the Supercoppa Italiana.

He is the fifth coach sacked by the Italian club since Clarence Seedorf took over in January 2014. Milan is currently sitting in seventh position, 18 points behind league leaders, Napoli. Until his appointment, Gattuso was in charge of the club’s youth team and has now taken over the senior side.

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