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About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd defender Marcos Rojo: I do have white line feverby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Marcos Rojo says he enjoys the physical style of the Premier League.Rojo has become popular among supports for his robust style of defending.He told manutd.com: “That’s the way I play my football. That is me on the field. If you see me off the field, I’m the most laid back guy – laughing, joking all day and having fun but, as soon as I cross that white line and go on to the field, I don’t know what happens! “I’m a different person. Something happens inside me and I change. If the ball is there to be won, I go for it and give it everything I’ve got. Individual battles, individual duels, I am always up for them.”
Andros Townsend scored a sensational goal-of-the-season contender as Crystal Palace dealt Manchester City’s Premier League title defence a body blow with a stunning 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.City enjoyed a regal dominance up until Ilkay Gundogan’s 26th-minute opener but Jeffrey Schlupp levelled six minutes later before Townsend turned the contest on its head with an outstanding long-range volley.Luka Milivojevic increased City’s misery and delight at Anfield with a 51st-minute penalty that means Liverpool will celebrate Christmas with a four-point lead at the Premier League summit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Kevin De Bruyne’s overhit cross sailed in five minutes from time but Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to undo the damage in the late rally that followed.Gundogan was involved alongside Bernardo Silva in carving through Palace for Leroy Sane to shoot wastefully into the side-netting in the 10th minute.The Germany midfielder showed his countryman how it was done when he eased into the box to head home Fabian Delph’s searching cross.Schlupp allowed Gundogan to run off him for the opener but more than atoned by shifting outside a tired Kyle Walker challenge and arrowing a strike into the bottom right corner.If that finish was impressive, Townsend’s remarkable goal 10 minutes before half-time was something else altogether as he put his left foot sweetly through an audacious volley, leaving Ederson with no chance.Unreal.@andros_townsend #MCICRY pic.twitter.com/Tu80gBXpMC— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018Pep Guardiola introduced City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for centre-back Nicolas Otamendi early in the second half but the reshuffle led to confused defending as Townsend headed Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross against the post.Walker made a dreadfully rash challenge as Max Meyer sought to retrieve the rebound to concede a penalty and Milivojevic, who had a penalty saved by Ederson in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park last season, made no mistake.City’s response was disjointed before Sane cracked the outside of the right post with a 77th-minute free-kick.De Bruyne’s freak goal then set nerves jangling and Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus spurned free-headed chances for Palace to hold on.What does it mean? Advantage LiverpoolThere is still a long way to go in the title race but City now have two defeats to set against Liverpool’s unbeaten record. Back-to-back away games are on the horizon and they cannot afford to lose any more ground before hosting Jurgen Klopp’s men in a blockbuster clash on January 3. The “can City be stopped?” fatalism of a couple of weeks ago now feels preposterous. Talking of fatalism, many Palace fans would have dismissed the notion of sitting six points clear of the drop zone at Christmas. Combative and composed Wan-Bissaka stars for PalaceTownsend will rightfully hog the headlines but Wan-Bissaka did much to enhance his burgeoning reputation, keeping the in-form Sane on a short leash and making a succession of brave challenges. The 21-year-old’s teasing cross also paved the way for Palace’s game-sealing third goal.Landmark 2018 takes toll on ragged WalkerA key figure in City’s record-breaking Premier League campaign last season and England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, Walker looked to be running on empty as he was at fault for the two avoidable Palace goals. Danilo is back to fitness as an unused substitute and it feels like time for Guardiola to take an often excellent performer out of the firing line.Key Opta Facts- City have lost two of their last three Premier League games (W1) – as many as in their previous 61 combined.- Palace registered their first away league win at City since December 1990, having drawn three and lost nine since then before today.2010 – Roy Hodgson is the first English manager to win a Premier League game at the Etihad since Harry Redknapp in May 2010 (P39 W0 D3 L36, before today). Jungle. pic.twitter.com/Txlw2eKNVz— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018- This was City’s first home Premier League defeat against a non-big six side since February 2016, when they lost 1-3 to Leicester City under Manuel Pellegrini.- Townsend has scored 17 Premier League goals – with 10 of those coming from outside the box.- Since his Premier League debut, Milivojevic has scored 13 penalties – five more than any other player in that time.What’s nextGuardiola’s men travel to Leicester City on Boxing Day, a week on from winning a penalty shoot-out in the EFL Cup quarter-final at the King Power Stadium. Palace return to Selhurst Park for a potentially pivotal clash against Cardiff City. read more
It took just three minutes for Manchester United to take their first steps toward banishing the dark clouds of the end of the Jose Mourinho era as Marcus Rashford delivered a free-kick to put his side on top.After a sluggish start that saw the Red Devils mired on just 26 points, the club finally made the move to part ways with Mourinho after nearly two and half seasons.Former United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed to the interim role, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s old charge tasked with salvaging something from a campaign that appeared to drift dangerously off course. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? United entered their match in Wales against Solskjaer’s former side 22 points behind table-topping Liverpool and 11 behind Chelsea in fourth place as the new boss made four changes to his lineup.One of those changes was Paul Pogba, who had been dropped by Mourinho for the club’s last three Premier League fixtures, and did not play at all in the last two, against Fulham and the defeat to Liverpool.But it was Pogba who earned the first opportunity, as he won a free-kick just outside the Cardiff area minutes into the contest.Pogba and Rashford lined up over the ball, with Pogba faking as if he was going to take it before letting the forward run up and hit it.Rashford hit a low drive that went through the Cardiff wall and left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rooted to the spot.What a start to the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era! Get in Rashford! pic.twitter.com/b20Ct2jzaI— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 22, 2018GOALRashford’s free kick gives the new #MUFC boss the perfect start….Follow live: https://t.co/CNM3VdNsIT pic.twitter.com/PuHJTxku83— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2018The goal was Rashford’s fourth of the Premier League season and third in four games across all competitions, having scored against Fulham and Valencia in the past two weeks.The forward has now been involved in more Premier League goals than any of his team-mates this season, scoring four times and adding five assists.Pogba would later earn himself an assist as he found Ander Herrera in space with the Spanish midfielder then hitting a wicked strike from distance which deflected past Etheridge to double the United advantage.Rashford, however, would have his night dampened late in the first half as the forward was flagged for a handball in his area, giving Cardiff a penalty that was converted by Víctor Camarasa to make it 2-1. But moments later, Pogba was involved in the build-up with Jesse Lingard playing in Anthony Martial, who restored United’s two-goal advantage.
Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to start Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero on the bench as Manchester City fell further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.De Bruyne came on to score a fortuitous 85th-minute goal on Saturday, but the damage had already been done. Jeffrey Schlupp’s first-half goal cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s opener and an Andros Townsend wonder strike was added to by Luka Milivojevic’s penalty.The result means City are four points behind Liverpool at the summit, with back-to-back trips to Leicester City and Southampton to come before they host Jurgen Klopp’s side on January 3. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Aguero, who replaced Nicolas Otamendi as Guardiola chased the game at 2-1, and De Bruyne started the midweek Carabao Cup triumph at Leicester City following recent lay-offs, while Guardiola watched John Stones turn in a mixed performance at the base of his midfield in Fernandinho’s injury-enforced absence.”When you win I am a genius, when you lose I am not good,” City’s manager told a post-match news conference.”I don’t know what would happen if Kevin starts or Sergio starts. Dinho is injured, yesterday he felt that problem. John played so good in Leicester [in the unfamiliar position] so I wanted to give another option for [defending] long balls.”He played good except for one ball. I admire and give credit to people who try and adapt to positions they are not used to.”With a hectic and now pivotal period to come in his team’s title defence, Guardiola denied he was being overly cautious with two of his prized assets.”Of course he could have played – I decide to play the other ones,” he said of De Bruyne, whose action has been limited by a pair of medial knee ligament injuries this season, although the Belgium star now has two goals in as many appearances.”Gabriel [Jesus] scored two goals in the last game here versus Everton. Sergio needs more time to get rhythm.”Kevin’s condition is better. We put in six or seven players with fresh legs. That is going to happen in the future.”When you have a lot of games, everyone has to play. The guys who played did absolutely everything.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Manchester United cruised to an impressive 5-1 Premier League victory over Cardiff City on Saturday in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match in charge.Three goals in the first half from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial and a brace from Jesse Lingard earned all three points at Cardiff City Stadium, with Victor Camaras’ penalty proving little consolation.United stay sixth in the table, but the manner of the performance, as well as the result – the first time the side have scored five times in the league since Alex Ferguson’s final game – will have been a welcome sight for the travelling fans at the end of a week that saw Jose Mourinho’s contentious time in charge come to an end. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The new United era got off to a stunning start when Rashford blasted home a free-kick from 30 yards out that left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rooted to the spot.Almost 81 per cent of possession underlined United’s early control, and the scoreline reflected their dominance when Herrera’s strike looped off Greg Cunningham’s shoulder and into the net 29 minutes in.Cardiff were gifted a lifeline when Camarasa fired high into the net from the spot, but United’s two-goal lead was restored three minutes later, when Martial slotted beneath Etheridge after a sublime one-touch passing move involving Lingard and Paul Pogba, restored to the starting line-up.3 – Man Utd have scored three first half goals in a Premier League away game for the first time since November 2017 v Watford. Reaction. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/ENU4COALZJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018And any hope of a Cardiff comeback was promptly extinguished 11 minutes into the second half, when Lingard dispatched a confident penalty after he had been bundled to the ground by Sol Bamba.Pogba and Phil Jones were each denied by good Etheridge saves, while David de Gea kept out a good Kenneth Zohore attempt. It was 5-1 when Lingard rounded the keeper and slotted home from Pogba’s pass in the 90th minute to secure a first away league win since November 3 in style and give Solskjaer extra cause for celebration against the club he used the manage. 500/100 – Anthony Martial’s strike vs Cardiff was the 500th goal scored in the Premier League this season, in what was his 100th league game for Man Utd. Milestones. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/y8fs7lJ9En— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Solskjaer has lifted the gloom’You make me happy, when skies are grey’ goes the song sung in Solskjaer’s honour by United fans, and that certainly seems to be the case at the end of a week that started with Mourinho apparently looking likely to stay in the job.United looked liberated in south Wales, playing expressive, attacking football and scoring the goals to go with it, while much-maligned players like Victor Lindelof seemed to exude confidence.Yes, Cardiff were undeniably poor and, yes, United are still sixth, but this was a match where the manner of the performance was arguably more important for the visitors than the result itself.Lingard given a licence to thrillLingard epitomised the freedom with which United’s attacking players performed. His assist for Martial’s goal and his well-taken penalty were the high points of a display full of verve, and Cardiff never quite got to grips with him.Bumbling Bamba a burdenBamba was dispossessed too easily by Pogba in the build-up to Herrera’s goal, his clumsy foul allowed Lingard to make it 4-1 and he missed a good chance for a goal. It was not his finest outing.Key Opta Facts- Since Alex Ferguson left the club, four of the five different managers to take charge of Manchester United have seen their side score 3+ goals in their first Premier League game (Moyes 4, Mourinho 3, Giggs 4 and Solskjaer 5). – Cardiff manager Neil Warnock suffered his 50th Premier League defeat, in what was his 92nd game in the competition – only Mick McCarthy (79), Danny Wilson (87) and Gary Megson (91) have reached 50 defeats in fewer games managed.- Anthony Martial has been directly involved in 70 goals for Manchester United in all competitions (45 goals, 25 assists); the most of any player for the club since his debut in September 2015.- Manchester United’s third goal against Cardiff – scored by Anthony Martial – was the 500th netted in the Premier League this season. What’s next?Huddersfield Town visit Old Trafford for the first home game of the Solskjaer era, while Cardiff head to Crystal Palace, both on December 26. read more
Manchester City’s commitment to pressing persuaded Andros Townsend to smash in his goal of the season contender.Crystal Palace claimed a shock 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium to land a telling blow against City’s Premier League title defence.Jeffrey Schlupp cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s opener and Luka Milivojevic’s penalty 10 minutes into the second half ultimately proved decisive after Kevin De Bruyne reduced the arrears late on. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But it is Townsend’s sumptuous volley from 30 yards after City only partially cleared a set-piece that will live long in the memory.”It sat up for me. I knew if I took a touch, the way Man City press the ball they would have been all over me,” the Eagles forward told Sky Sports.”I knew I had to take it first time and as soon as it left my foot I knew it had a chance.”Townsend conceded Palace had to dig in for victory against Pep Guardiola’s side, making his goal all the sweeter.”Having watched it back I think it was the best goal of my career, given the circumstances and given the opposition – probably the best side I’ve ever played against in my career,” he added.”They’re incredible. We couldn’t get near them at times. To score against these away from home makes it the best.”Palace are now six points clear of the relegation zone and manager Roy Hodgson wants to ensure they make the most of an unexpected win when they host struggling Cardiff City on Boxing Day.”It’s a good day’s work and three fantastic points that we need to make certain we don’t throw away by not doing the job we need to do against Cardiff,” he told Sky Sports.”We need three points from that game as well and not waste these three ‘bonus’ points that a lot of people didn’t expect us to get today.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened his Manchester United reign with the club’s most productive attacking performance in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson.The Red Devils have endured a rather humbling fall from grace since an iconic manager slipped into retirement back in 2013.David Moyes struggled to fill the shoes of a fellow Scot, while Louis van Gaal won few admirers with his brand of football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Jose Mourinho briefly threatened to return former glories to Old Trafford, as he landed three trophies in his debut campaign, but the Portuguese soon lost his Midas touch.He was relieved of his managerial duties earlier this week, with Solskjaer appointed in his place on an interim basis through to the end of the season.The Norwegian saw his tenure get off to a dream start on Saturday as United swept to a 5-1 victory over Cardiff .Marcus Rashford set the tone with an opening goal inside three minutes , and the Red Devils did not look back from there.Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who bagged a brace, also got in on the act against the Bluebirds.Not since Ferguson’s final game in charge over five years ago have United been so prolific in the final third, with Solskjaer laying down an impressive early marker as he seeks to follow in the footsteps of a coach he tasted Treble success under in 1999.5 – Man Utd have scored 5+ goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge in May 2013 versus West Brom (5-5). Gunnar. #CARMUN pic.twitter.com/uc9jYCKv0C — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018 United and Solskjaer still have plenty of work to do if they are to salvage their season, but they could not have got a new era off to a better start.They remain sixth in the Premier League table for now, but belief and positivity is flooding back.An eight-point gap will need to be bridged if they are to force their way back into the top four, but that challenge now looks slightly less daunting.This is, however, not the first time that a United boss has burst out of the blocks.In fact, four of the five men to have taken the reins since Ferguson left have enjoyed goal-laden openings.Moyes saw United hit four on his bow, Mourinho three, Ryan Giggs four during a brief spell as caretaker and Solskjaer now has five to his name.The Red Devils will be looking to prove that their performance in South Wales was no flash in the pan, while building further momentum, when they play host to Huddersfield on Boxing Day. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Franck Ribery scored twice as Bayern Munich ended 2018 by moving into second place in the Bundesliga with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.On Niko Kovac’s return to his former club, Bayern took the lead midway through the first half when Ribery swept in at the culmination of a slick counter-attack.Bayern could have been ahead earlier on, had Kevin Trapp not pulled off a superb double save to deny Javi Martinez and Thomas Muller, who later hit the woodwork. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Robert Lewandowski should have wrapped up the win early in the second half, but his blushes were spared when Ribery scuffed in a second, with Rafinha’s fortuitous effort adding further gloss to a victory that takes Bayern back to within six points of leaders Borussia Dortmund.Danny da Costa and Luka Jovic both went close as Eintracht started well, but the hosts would have been behind had Trapp not followed up a fantastic save from Martinez’s diving header by denying Muller on the rebound.Trapp was beaten in the 35th minute, though. Muller played in Lewandowski, who squared a wonderful reverse pass into the centre of the box, with Ribery on hand to tuck home.3 – @FranckRibery scores in 3 consecutive games in the Bundesliga for the first time since February 2015, after not scoring in his first 11 games in the Bundesliga in this season. Form. @FCBayernEN #SGEFCB — OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018 Lewandowski almost turned provider again on the stroke of half-time, but Muller could only direct his header onto the bar.Ribery should have had an assist when he teed up Lewandowski, though the striker’s first touch let him down, and that profligacy might have proved costly had Jovic connected with Da Costa’s cross.But any lingering hopes of an Eintracht comeback were ended when Ribery’s mishit clipped in off the woodwork, with Rafinha’s cross-shot then getting the better of Trapp as Bayern cruised to a fifth successive Bundesliga win. What does it mean? Kovac keeps the bragging rights Kovac has now come out as the winning manager in the last three meetings between these sides, once as Eintracht boss in the DFB-Pokal final, and now twice during his time in charge of Bayern.It also means that Bayern ensure that they stay within touching distance of Dortmund heading into the winter break, while Eintracht sit in fifth.Ribery’s scoring run rolls on It took until December 8 for Ribery to open his account for the season, but the winger has not looked back since then, and has now netted four times in his last three Bundesliga appearances.Haller, Jovic left isolated After initially struggling to cope with Eintracht’s high press, Bayern managed to stem the service into the hosts’ forward pair, and neither Sebastien Haller or Jovic had much to go off.Key Opta facts: – Thomas Muller played his 50th competitive game for Bayern in 2018 – no other player made so many appearances for Bayern in all competitions this year.- Franck Ribery scored in his third consecutive Bundesliga game – the last time he achieved this was in February 2015.- Robert Lewandowski had a hand in a goal for Bayern for the 50th time in all competitions in 2018 – tying his personal record for a single calendar year (50 goals scored/assisted in 2017).- Ribery (35 years, 259 days) became the oldest Bayern player ever to score at least two goals in a single Bundesliga game.- Niko Kovac has won five consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time as a coach – he also did not achieved this in his career as a Bayern player.2 – @FranckRibery is the oldest player of @FCBayernEN (35 years, 259 days) to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. Grandseigneur. #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/g2zyFpL2O7— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018What’s next? With the Bundesliga taking a winter break, Bayern face Fortuna Dusseldorf in a friendly before restarting league duties away at Hoffenheim on January 18. read more
Everton will host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday evening in both sides’ final fixture before Christmas.The Blues currently languish in eighth place after falling to defeat twice in their last five league fixtures, while Spurs have bounced back from their devastating 4-2 loss to crosstown rivals Arsenal and have registered three consecutive victories in their last three games.Spurs can cement their spot in third place should they beat the Toffees, and a win will ensure that they remain above Chelsea in the table for Christmas. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Everton vs Tottenham Date Sunday, December 23 Time 4pm GMT / 11am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live on NBCSN and livestreamed on NBC Sports Live. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN NBC Sports Live In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports Main Event and livestreamed on Sky GO Extra. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Main Event Sky GO Extra Squads & Team News Position Everton players Goalkeepers Pickford, Stekelenburg Defenders Holgate, Baines, Keane, Zouma, Jagielka, Digne, Mina, Coleman, Browning, Kenny Midfielders Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, McCarthy, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Bernard, Davies Forwards Tosun, Niasse, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Lookman Potential Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gomes, Davies; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin Position Tottenham players Goalkeepers Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga Defenders Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Aurier, Davies Midfielders Son, Winks, Lamela, Nkoudou, Dier, Sissoko, Alli, Eriksen, Moura Forwards Kane, Llorente Potential Tottenham XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Winks, Sissoko; Eriksen, Dele, Son; KaneBetting & Match Odds Everton are priced at odds of winning 2/1 according to bet 365 , while a draw is available at 13/5. A win for the Lilywhites is priced at 5/4.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Young Brazil ace Richarlison is expected to make a huge impact for the home side after having scored four goals in his last four Premier League home games, though Spurs striker Kane will be eager to place more pressure on Mohamed Salah to remain in contention to win the Golden Boot.The England captain has scored a brace in each of his last three league appearances against the Merseysiders, and should he net again on Sunday, he could join the illustrious ranks of Michael Owen – against Newcastle – to have ever scored two or more goals in four successive league games against a particular team.Spurs are currently part of a three-horse race with Chelsea and Arsenal for a spot in the top four, with just five points separating all three sides, though an away win at Goodison Park could also put them as a potential title challenger alongside table-toppers Liverpool and Man City.The North London side are currently in a precarious position regarding their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, who has been the subject of keen interest by Manchester United as they search for a long-term managerial replacement to succeed Jose Mourinho.Pochettino appeared to commit his long-term future to the North Londoners amid the reported interest from the Red Devils, telling reporters earlier in the week:”We are going to have one of the best facilities in the world, the training ground with the new stadium,” he told Sky Sports.”On the football side, all that we are building here will be in the same level. When you add and mix it all together it is going to be the time to win titles and deliver what the people expect.”We still have not won a trophy, but I think we have won more than that, because after four-and-a-half-years’ work together, to have a contract for another four-and-a-half years is a massive achievement in the current climate. To create that is a massive achievement for us.”Everton, meanwhile, are on a miserable run of form against the “top six” sides of the Premier League, unable to register a victory in their last 22 league outings against them Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko has claimed he never considered leaving the club, despite struggling to make an impact during his first two seasons.Sissoko joined Tottenham on deadline day in August 2016, having been on the verge of a move to Everton before Spurs secured his signing from Newcastle United for a reported £30 million ($38m).The midfielder initially failed to cement a place in Mauricio Pochettino’s side and was often criticised by Tottenham’s fans following the big-money move, but he has become a first-team regular this term. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Sissoko has revealed that, despite his struggles, he never considered pushing for a move away from Tottenham.”The best thing I have done is to be strong mentally.” he told the Guardian. “I never give up. In life, you never have to go with your head down. You have to look forward, try to improve, keep fighting and one day things will change.”I never wanted to leave Spurs. I knew that I could have success here.”I don’t know if the criticism was unfair. Football is like that. It’s why I wasn’t upset by it. I was upset because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing. “I had to keep working and I believe I can do better than what I am doing now.”This one is for our fansLet’s go to the semi finals ! #COYS #MS17 #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/f1JfMj1ehb— Moussa Sissoko (@MoussaSissoko) December 19, 2018Sissoko signed for Tottenham on the back of an impressive string of performances in France’s run to the final of Euro 2016, but the 29-year-old missed out on Didier Deschamps’ squad for Les Bleus’ triumphant World Cup 2018 campaign.”I won’t lie and say it wasn’t painful not to be part of the squad,” Sissoko said. “So it was extra motivation to perform and show I could be in the squad. I played a lot of games with them and then not to be in the World Cup – it was painful.”But it’s like that. I’m not regretting. It’s gone. You have to accept the manager has made his choice, and I was very happy when they won.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed that former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz has been appointed as the Bundesliga club’s next coach.Leverkusen sit ninth in the Bundesliga table heading into the winter break and, despite securing a third win in four league games by beating Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his duties.And the club have revealed that Bosz, whose successful 2016-17 campaign with Ajax led to a short-lived stint at Dortmund, which came to an end in December 2017, will take over in the new year, having signed a contract until 2020. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Heiko Herrlich gave our team an important boost last year after a very difficult season,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said in a statement.”Until the end we had the conviction and the will to make it with him as head coach. Unfortunately, a stagnation in the development of the team is no longer deniable.”Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes added: “Bosz stands for offensive, fast-paced and inspiring football.”He has always shown a special passion for working with young players, that’s why he fits in very well with us.”Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his coaching duties at #Bayer04.Peter Bosz will take over in January. pic.twitter.com/Hrtoy8CJ9J— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) December 23, 2018Bosz took charge of Ajax in July 2016, and guided the Eredivisie club to the Europa League final – where they were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United – and a second-placed finish in the Dutch top flight, before taking over at Dortmund.A seven-match unbeaten run in the league saw Dortmund flying at the start of the campaign, but an eight-game winless streak and no victories in the Champions League group stage resulted in Bosz losing his job at Signal Iduna Park.
Samuel Umtiti will return to Barcelona on December 30 for further “conservative treatment” on his knee after undergoing therapy in Qatar.The France international last featured for Barca almost a month ago in Barca’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on November 24, but a persistent knee issue has troubled him ever since.Umtiti had been having treatment with specialists in Qatar ever since the end of November. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He has played just seven times in La Liga this term, having also missed two months when the knee injury first flared up in September.Barca have been severely impacted by injuries at centre-back this term, with Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique the only fit senior players for the position in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.The club are yet to give a return date for Umtiti, though they will be helped by the loan signing of Jeison Murillo in January.A club statement on Umtiti’s return to Spain read: “Samuel Umtiti was evaluated by the club’s medical services staff at the team’s training centre this morning due to the discomfort in his left knee.”Samuel Umtiti will return on December 30 to continue undergoing conservative treatment on his knee.”This conservative treatment plan was announced on December 2, with the goal of allowing him to heal his left knee discomfort.”The player was in Doha, Qatar in recent weeks for physical therapy treatment under the supervision of the club’s medical services staff.”
Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel is considering putting himself forward for the proposed director of football role at the Premier League club.Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as caretaker United manager got off to a fine start on Saturday, as the Red Devils thrashed Cardiff City 5-1.But Mourinho’s dismissal has also reportedly seen United restart their search for a director of football, a role the Portuguese coach was said to have opposed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Schmeichel, who enjoyed eight years at the club until 1999, believes the successful candidate must have a clear idea of United’s identity, and suggested he could submit an application despite having very little football involvement since retiring in 2003. “I’m actually thinking about putting my name in there,” Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live .”I really want to get involved in football again at some point. I know I’m getting older, but my life has just turned out a different way after I retired from football.”What’s really important is to get the United culture and identity back.What a difference a smile make Well done Ole and Team, the United spirit was back in the performance today @ManUtd #CARMUN — Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) December 22, 2018 “I would like to see [the job go to] someone who has played there, and can bring some of that Alex Ferguson mentality back in the whole of the football club.”I’m considering if I have the qualities, and if I come up to an answer to that question, then I will put my name in the hat.”I’ll have a good think about this over Christmas and make a decision about it.”Schmeichel spent eight seasons at United, winning five league titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup and the Champions League during his spell at the club. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Son Heung-Min surpassed 50 goal involvements for Tottenham in the Premier League as Christmas came early for Mauricio Pochettino’s men at Everton.The South Korea international netted a double for Spurs and laid on another for Harry Kane as the visitors ran out 6-2 victors at Goodison Park.Kane netted a double of his own, with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen capping off the final win which takes the north Londoners within six points of leaders Liverpool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But thrusting themselves into the title picture was not the only achievement to take from the afternoon on Merseyside.Twenty-six-year-old Son led the way with two goals and an assist, meaning he has contributed to 51 goals in the English top flight since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2015.In 112 appearances, Son has scored 35 times and laid on 16 for his Tottenham teammates, to underline his status as a front-line star of Pochettino’s side.That was not the end of the landmarks reached by Tottenham’s players on a thoroughly successful weekend, as they extended their lead over fourth place Chelsea to five points.England captain Kane went to 11 Premier League goals for the season, scoring in the ninth different match of the 2018-19 campaign.Only Mohamed Salah of league leaders Liverpool has netted in as many separate games this term.4 – Harry Kane has become only the second player to score 2+ goals in four consecutive Premier League appearances against a single opponent, after Michael Owen against Newcastle United (Aug 1998 to May 2001). Bracing. #EVETOT pic.twitter.com/4auUYAG3so— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018Furthermore, the former Millwall and Leicester loanee became only the second player to score two or more goals in four consecutive top flight appearances against a single opponent.Only Michael Owen’s run against Newcastle during his days with Liverpool rivals the latest record registered by Kane.9 – This is the 9th different Premier League match that Harry Kane has scored in during 2018-19; the most in the competition alongside Mohamed Salah. Collection. pic.twitter.com/FpPona5BsF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018Goal of the afternoon went to Eriksen, whose rasping strike extinguished any hope of a second half Everton comeback.And since the Denmark international arrived in England in August 2013, no player has scored more goals from outside the penalty area in the Premier League.17 – Only Coutinho (18) has scored more goals from outside the box in the Premier League than Christian Eriksen (17) since his debut in September 2013. Range. #EVETOT pic.twitter.com/f6CYahIUWP— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 23, 2018He surpassed Philippe Coutinho with his 18th goal from range, as Tottenham kicked off the festive period in ideal fashion.
Manchester City will be hoping to recall some key players to the starting line-up as they look to get back to winning ways at Leicester City on Boxing Day.Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne were not fit enough to start the 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace, and David Silva had returned to training but was not ready to feature in the squad.MAN CITY INJURIES David Silva and Vincent Kompany have progressed well from their recent lay-offs but were not ready for Saturday’s game. Neither are likely to start in Leicester but Silva, at least, could make the bench. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Danilo was among the substitutes on Saturday and he could come into the line-up for Kyle Walker, who has struggled of late.Fernandinho was not fully fit on Saturday but could well feature on Boxing Day.Benjamin Mendy (knee) and Claudio Bravo (Achilles) are definitely out.MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS Neither side have any suspensions.MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP Danilo could come in at right-back for Walker, while John Stones could drop back into defence if Fernandinho is fit enough to return to the midfield.De Bruyne is likely to come back into the midfield, and he would be partnered by either Ilkay Gundogan or Bernardo Silva.Sergio Aguero is a candidate to replace Gabriel Jesus up front, while Riyad Mahrez may be selected to start at his former club. LEICESTER TEAM NEWS Under-fire Leicester boss Claude Puel, who eased some of the pressure on him with a shock win at Chelsea on Saturday, has no new injury worries for the game.Daniel Amartey and Matthew James are long-term absentees.OPTA MATCH FACTS Leicester are winless in their last four games in all competitions against Manchester City (D1 L3), with each of the three defeats coming in the Premier League. Manchester City are looking for their fourth consecutive win against Leicester in the Premier League – prior to this run, they had won just four of their first 11 games against the Foxes in the competition (D2 L5). Leicester have won just two of their last 15 games against Manchester City in all competitions (D5 L8), with both of those victories coming under Claudio Ranieri. Manchester City have lost just one of their seven away games against Leicester in the Premier League (W4 D2), with that defeat coming in December 2016 (4-2). Since they were promoted back to the top-flight in 2014-15, Leicester City have lost all four of their Premier League Boxing Day games. Manchester City have won eight of their last 10 Premier League Boxing Day games (D1 L1), winning the last four in a row. Their only defeat in that run came against Sunderland in 2012-13 (0-1).TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME Kick off is 15:00 GMT (10 ET) on Wednesday. The game will not be shown on TV in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on NBC in the United States, and on various channels around the world. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing for his first game back at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager having won his first game in charge of the club. On Saturday, United scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in charge in 2013. Shorn of ex-manager Jose Mourinho, United were far too powerful for Cardiff City, who succumbed to goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.Huddersfield provide the second of four extremely winnable league games in a row for United. As well as Cardiff and the Terriers, United will play Bournemouth on December 30 and Newcastle on January 2. Solskjaer therefore has a strong chance of taking 12 points from 12 and re-aligning United’s season, which was becoming listless under the Special One.Man Utd Injuries United will be without their highest wage earner Alexis Sanchez, who former manager Mourinho ruled out until the new year with a hamstring problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Chris Smalling was a late withdrawal for the loss against Liverpool at Anfield and is not expected to return to the starting line-up.Fellow centre-back Marcos Rojo has only started one game all season and has been absent from the last two matches due to injury.Scott McTominay meanwhile has missed the last couple of games due to a knock.Romelu Lukaku has been absent due to a personal issue and is not expected to be back in time for the game against Huddersfield.Man Utd Suspensions Neither side is missing any player due to suspension. Midfielder Nemanja Matic is one caution away from a domestic ban having picked up four yellow cards to this point.Man Utd Starting Line-UpThe handbrake was off during the Cardiff game with United playing fluently and with pace.Against a relegation candidate at home, Solskjaer will be expected to take the game to the opposition and deliver better performances than Mourinho produced during the end of his reign.The temptation to persist with the same XI, fitness permitting, will be strong.Therefore he could well persist with the front three he picked in Cardiff, having seen all three score, and Paul Pogba will keep his place in the team with Mourinho now banished.Depending on fitness, United could opt to shuffle the pack at the back too.Huddersfield Team News Aaron Mooy heads Huddersfield’s list of injured players. He tore a knee ligament in early December against Arsenal and is at the centre of a club versus country row with Australia over his potential to play in January’s Asian Cup.Captain and midfield tempo-setter Jonathan Hogg missed the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton on Saturday with a knee injury of his own but manager David Wagner hopes to have him available at Old Trafford.Likewise Rajiv Van La Parra could come back into contention.Danny Williams, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Tommy Smith are all listed injured while Ramadan Sobhi also missed out against the Saints for a Huddersfield side now on track for relegation.TV Channel & Kick-off time The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 15:00pm GMT (09:00am ET) on Wednesday, December 26. No live coverage is available in the UK. In the US, the game will be shown on NBC Sports Gold.Best Opta Match facts Manchester United have lost just one of their previous 14 games against Huddersfield in all competitions (W10 D3), with that one defeat coming away from home (1-2 in October 2017). Huddersfield are looking for their first away win against Manchester United since September 1930, when they won 6-0 in a top-flight clash. They’ve failed to win any of their last 15 trips in all competitions since then (D5 L10). Huddersfield have failed to score in seven of their last 10 games against Manchester United in all competitions, netting just four goals in total in this period. Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game at Old Trafford against Yorkshire opposition (W26 D6). The last Yorkshire side to win away against Manchester United in the top-flight were Sheffield Wednesday in April 1986. Manchester United haven’t lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1978-79 (0-3 versus Liverpool), winning 14 and drawing three since. Manchester United find themselves outside the top five positions of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the third time in six seasons since Alex Ferguson retired (also in 2013-14 and 2016-17). Under Ferguson, United were never outside the top five places on Xmas Day in any of the 21 Premier League seasons. Premier League games involving Manchester United have seen 64 goals this season; no club have witnessed more goals in their matches (scoring 34, conceding 30). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to become just the fifth Manchester United manager to win both of his first two league matches in charge, after TJ Wallworth, Matt Busby, Dave Sexton and Jose Mourinho. After going 19 Premier League games without a goal, Jesse Lingard has scored four goals in his last four games for Manchester United, including a brace last time out against Cardiff City. Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has scored three goals in three appearances against Huddersfield Town in all competitions, with all three being scored last season. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Barcelona midfielder Arthur has said he is praying that Neymar will return to the Camp Nou. The Brazilian star made a world-record €222 million transfer from Barcelona to PSG in the summer of 2017, and helped his side to a domestic treble in his first season at the club. However, there have been persistent rumours that the 26-year-old is unhappy in France and could be in line for a quick exit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Real Madrid are reportedly tracking Neymar’s situation, and a sensational return to Barca has also been mooted. And Neymar’s international team-mate, who himself made a €40 million move from Gremio in the summer, is hoping to one day see him return to the Camp Nou. “I personally am praying for him to come because he is a superstar, it is indisputable,” Arthur told Mundo Deportivo.”I think that the more great players the team has, the better.”The 22-year-old has also revealed that, more than just praying, he is also doing work behind the scenes to convince Neymar that he should move back to Catalonia. “Personally, I’m doing a lot of work to get him back, but he has his life, he knows what he’s doing and I do not know how deep those negotiations are, if there are options for him to come or not.”But he is a personal friend and a professional that I admire a lot and would be very happy if he could come back here.”Neymar has been in sensational form again with PSG in 2018-19, scoring 16 goals in 18 total appearances for the club so far this season.
TORONTO – Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne switched gears Sunday, from pushing for her party to be re-elected to instead using the last few days of the election campaign to try to save what Liberal seats she can.Wynne admitted Saturday that her party won’t form government after Thursday’s election, but pleaded with voters to at least elect some Liberals. She warned about what an NDP or Progressive Conservative majority government would bring, and pitched votes for the Liberals as a way to keep either of those parties in check.Standing behind a sign reading simply, “Vote Liberal,” instead of her usual sign with her campaign slogan of “Care Over Cuts,” Wynne said it’s important to return as many Liberals as possible to the legislature to avoid having a majority government.The Liberals under Wynne won a majority in 2014.“I know that there are people who are trying to decide how to vote on June 7 and they are worried about a majority (Progressive Conservative) Doug Ford government,” Wynne said.“They are worried about a majority NDP government, and they want to know what it would mean to cast their vote for Liberal and what I’m saying is, ‘Yeah, it looks like I’m not going to be the premier. It looks like we’re not going to have a Liberal government. But you better believe having more Liberals at Queen’s Park to fend off whatever extreme policies a Doug Ford or an NDP government would bring forward, that’s important.”Wynne began her day today in Richmond Hill, Ont., where she is trying to help Liberal Reza Moridi get re-elected, and was also campaigning in Scarborough North, Toronto-St. Paul’s, and her own riding of Don Valley West.But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Sunday that she would not accept help from the Liberals to prop up an NDP government.“People have rejected Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals,” she said after a rally in downtown Toronto. “It is apparent. Even Kathleen Wynne is not supporting Kathleen Wynne this time around by the looks of it.”Liberals say that now their focus is on trying to maintain official party status in the legislature, which requires at least eight seats. A Liberal source told The Canadian Press about a dozen ridings in which the party thinks they have a reasonable shot at winning, but Wynne’s own riding was not among them.On Sunday, Wynne said she is still pushing to represent her riding again.“I’m running hard in my own riding, Don Valley West, because I want to go back to Queen’s Park to continue to work for you, bringing our Liberal values to Queen’s Park,” she said.Ford, meanwhile, was campaigning in Kingston, focusing his attacks on the NDP.He said they would drive Ontario deeper into debt, but when asked if he had a plan to pay down Ontario’s more than $300-billion debt, Ford promised to find efficiencies of four per cent in the provincial budget.Ford has said a Tory government would run deficits for the first two or three years, but his plan doesn’t spell out the size of those deficits, a path to balance or a way to start paying down the debt.“We’re going to bring an outside auditing firm in to go line item by line item to drive efficiencies,” Ford said.Ford was also asked by a reporter for the Queen’s University student newspaper if he had a plan to address tuition fees. Ford responded by saying he had met with 40 Queen’s students and their biggest concern was the job market.— with files from Salmaan Farooqui in Kingston