Tag Archives: Players

Chelsea fans urge Antonio Conte to continue without 2 players following West Brom win

Supporters of Chelsea have this evening pleaded with manager Antonio Conte to move forward over the coming weeks with a pair of players omitted from the club’s starting lineup.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Conte’s men desperate for all 3 points following a dismal run of form which saw the Blues fall to consecutive 3-goal defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Watford.

West Brom, meanwhile, had fallen to defeats in their last 2 Premier League outings, the latter of which came in hugely disappointing fashion at home to fellow strugglers Southampton.

Ahead of tonight, the Baggies sat rock bottom of the English top-flight table, a full 5 points behind 19th-placed Stoke City.

Teams

The lineups for tonight’s crucial matchup were announced an hour prior to kick-off, with a number of notable inclusions and absences for hosts Chelsea.

Andreas Christensen returned to the heart of the Blues’ defence following a spell on the sidelines, while Olivier Giroud earned his first start for the Premier League champions up front.

Cesc Fabregas was also included from the start, stepping in for the suspended Tiemoue Bakayoko, while Alvaro Morata was fit enough for a place on the Chelsea bench.

However, Marcos Alonso was a notable absentee, with the Spaniard having been a surprise late scratch from the Blues’ squad for their clash with Watford last week as a ‘precautionary measure’.

West Brom boss Alan Pardew, meanwhile, opted for the following, with Daniel Sturridge joining Salomon Rondon in a dangerous-looking forward line for the Baggies:

Crocked

However, in a massive blow for the visitors with just 2 minutes on the clock, Danny Sturridge went to ground clutching his hamstring following an innocuous challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta, with the 28-year-old eventually succumbing to the problem and making his way down the Stamford Bridge tunnel with frustration etched across his face.

In front

Following a shaky opening quarter of an hour for Chelsea, the Blues began to take firm control of proceedings as the half wore on, with Eden Hazard looking particularly dangerous.

And it was the brilliant Belgian who went on to break the deadlock with 25 minutes on the clock, playing a neat one-two with Olivier Giroud on the edge of the West Brom box before rifling home a perfect finish into the bottom-left corner of Ben Foster’s goal.

3-0

The second-half saw the home side maintain their dominance, with Victor Moses handing the Premier League champions a deserved second after Cesc Fabregas’ pass landed fortuitously at the feet of the Nigerian inside the West Brom box.

And Eden Hazard soon put the game firmly to bed with his brace and Chelsea’s 3rd of the night, picking up the ball on the right corner of the Baggies’ box before cutting inside and drilling a wonderful finish with his left foot past the wrong-footed Ben Foster.

Reaction

It was a much-needed performance and result for Antonio Conte’s men, with droves of Chelsea’s fans having since taken to social media to point to the fact that neither Gary Cahill or Tiemoue Bakayoko were included from the start this evening, a factor which many believe played a huge part in the Blues’ change of fortunes.

As such, with Spanish giants Barcelona set to travel to Stamford Bridge next week in the last 16 of the Champions League, the Blues’ faithful have pleaded with their manager to continue without the duo moving forward:

Alan Shearer: ‘Stupid’ Chelsea right to follow Watford’s model

Why Borussia Dortmund don’t have an option on Chelsea’s Batshuayi

Tottenham boost: Numerous key players left out of Juventus’ Champions League squad

Juventus have not named a number of key players in their Champions League squad to face Tottenham Hotspur at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday in Turin.

Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Blaise Matuidi, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Andrea Barzagli are absent from the two-time competition winners’ squad.

Spurs face a few troubles of their own also, with Toby Alderweirled and Harry Winks both missing the trip to Turin.

Juventus’ squad

Key players out

Dybala, Cuadrado, Matuidi, Lichtsteiner and Barzagli deal the Old Lady a huge blow ahead of the visit of Tottenham in the Champions League.

These absentees leave Juve light in squad options, particularly in defence with no Lichtsteiner and Barzagli.

Dybala is no doubt a massive blow for Juventus, but such is the quality of their squad the other four are players not usually in the starting eleven.

Tottenham’s Toby troubles

Alderweirled was a notable absentee from Tottenham’s North London derby squad that beat Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday.

Having completed 90 minutes against Newport during the week, it seemed likely he would return against the Gunners.

The 29-year-old has been dealt yet another setback, being left at Hotspur Way to work on fitness, having met with manager Mauricio Pochettino and his assistant Jesus Perez after Liverpool.

Juventus vs Tottenham preview

For Juve, it has been a spell of utter dominance, winning all 11 of their last fixtures in Serie A, including a 2-0 victory at Fiorentina last time out.

Despite so many impressive displays, the Old Lady still find themselves sat second, behind leaders Napoli, in what has been quite an enthralling race for the title in Italy this season.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side reached this stage of the competition after finishing runners-up to Barcelona in Group D.

For Tottenham Hotspur, this game concludes what has been a tough run of fixtures; but also a period in which they have really flourished.

Taking seven points from their last three league games, coming up against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, they travel to Italy at just the right moment in time.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side made it to the last-16 of the competition having taken a joint-English record tally of 16 points to top a group containing both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Read 101 Great Goals’ full preview line-ups & football betting tips for Juventus vs Tottenham here.

 

Jose Mourinho confirms injuries to two important Man United players

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera both missed Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United with muscle injuries.

Reports claimed during the week that Rashford had picked up an injury during last weekend’s win over Huddersfield Town and would be closely monitored by medical staff.

The source of Herrera’s injury is less clear but the Spaniard, following a 20 minute cameo against Tottenham Hotspur a few days earlier, wasn’t included in the squad against Huddersfield.

And Mourinho has confirmed that the pair were absent at St James’ Park as they continue to recover full fitness, noting he didn’t know when they would return.

Herrera’s performances have mainly frustrated supporters this season but his tenacious, warrior-like influence in the middle would have come in handy against Jonjo Shelvey, who was fantastic for the hosts, as Paul Pogba sauntered around the pitch with an injury clearly holding back and Nemanja Matic was left stranded.

United have proven time and time again this season that their best performances come with a midfield trio and Herrera, with Marouane Fellaini injured until late March, needs to prove to his boss that he can consistently deliver alongside Matic and Pogba, giving the latter a chance to play down the left channel and impact games going forward.

Man Utd star admits players weren't good enough vs Newcastle

Manchester United’s Phil Jones has admitted that his teammates and himself were not good enough vs Newcastle as they fell to a 1-0 defeat.

Jose Mourinho’s men were expected to get a routine win over the Magpies and perhaps complacency was one of the factors in the loss.

No one was blameless after such a result and it now leaves United 16 points behind fierce rivals and league leaders Manchester City.

Worse though is that the teams below the club can now catch up to them such as Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea and risk kicking them out of the Champions League spots.

The Red Devils will even face both the Reds and the Blues in two of their next three upcoming fixtures in a time that will surely test the club’s ability.

Whilst Phil Jones wasn’t particularly poor during the loss to Newcastle, recent performances have called into question whether he’s a true Manchester United centre-back.

Chris Smalling has also frustrated fans hugely and it’s tough to see both of them remaining at the club next season with surely at least one being sold.

The competition for spots in the centre of defence has never been higher with Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof also all fighting for just two starting positions.

If one counts youngster Axel Tuanzebe that makes it six centre-backs competing for two spots- surely one or two players have to go.

One gets the feeling that the only reason Mourinho hasn’t sold any of them already is due to the injury crisis the club’s defenders seem to go through every season but perhaps this will be their last straw.

Chelsea and Real Madrid set for £100M transfer talks, Real could send star players to Blues

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Mourinho calls on his players to fight for second place

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho attempted to discuss the club’s position in the Premier League following their loss to Newcastle.

The Magpies managed to grab a single goal which was enough to secure them all three points in their bid to avoid relegation this season.

United meanwhile failed to not only close the gap on fierce rivals and league leaders Manchester City but also failed to open up a gap on the teams below them.

Mourinho will certainly be furious with his players following the result, particularly as they struggled to even score a single goal.

Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez were guilty of missing chances at crucial moments and the Portuguese manager warned his players about the future.

The Red Devils face both Chelsea and Liverpool in their next three Premier League matches in what will surely prove a difficult period to navigate through.

Jose will certainly aim to improve his record with the club vs opponents in the top six as he has been disappointing so far since arriving at Old Trafford.

Manchester United fans are yet to see their players truly dominate one of their title rivals under the Portuguese boss’s management.

Wins against both teams will be crucial if Jose Mourinho wishes to build up a gap on the teams below them and secure second place.

Should the results go against his favour, United could suddenly find themselves out of the Champions League spots in what will certainly be considered a disaster.

The Red Devils have been in second place for much of the season and anything less will represent regression in a manner similar to what Louis Van Gaal experienced in his second campaign in charge of the club.

4-3-3 v Leicester: Guardiola could be without these 6 Man City players for today's game; Stats & Predictions

4-3-3 v Leicester: Guardiola could be without these 6 Man City players for today’s game; Stats & Predictions – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Manchester City vs Leicester
English Premier League 2017/18
10th February, 17:30 pm BST
Etihad, Manchester
Live Stream: Watch Manchester City vs Leicester live on Sky GO

Manchester City vs Leicester Preview

Manchester City host Leicester in the Premier League this weekend and the league leaders will be looking to get back to winning ways here.

They were held to a draw last weekend and Guardiola’s men will be fired up for this one.

Meanwhile, the Foxes are on the up and they will aim to finish seventh this season. If they can improve their away record, Leicester should be able to leapfrog Burnley with ease.

The Foxes have lost three of their last four away league matches. On the other hand, City have won 12 of 13 Premier League home matches this season and they are favourites to win here.

Manchester City vs Leicester Team News

Mendy, Jesus, Delph and Sane are ruled out for the home side. David Silva and John Stones are doubts for this game.

As for Leicester, Wes Morgan and Robert Huth are not likely to feature.

Predicted Manchester City Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, Aguero, Silva

Predicted Leicester Starting Lineup (4-4-1-1): Schmeichel; Simpson, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs; Diabate, Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton; Mahrez; Vardy

Manchester City vs Leicester Betting Tips

Manchester City have won their last 12 home matches in the Premier League. Bet on the home side to win here.

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 12 home games in the Premier League.

Manchester City vs Leicester Prediction

Manchester City are firm favourites to win here. They have the best team in the league despite all the injuries.

Leicester are simply out of their depth here. Also, their away form has been quite poor.

A comfortable home win is on the cards here.

Manchester City 3-1 Leicester

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

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