MANCHESTER UNITED UPDATE

Ibrahimovic and Pogba

MANCHESTER UNITED UPDATE

Manchester United v Newcastle United

Manchester United superstars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba will return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday's Premier League game against Newcastle at Old Trafford. Striker Ibrahimovic, 36, is yet to play this season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in April. Pogba is back after two months on the sidelines with hamstring trouble. Phil Jones looks certain to miss out after being injured in England's friendly against Germany.

Provisional Man Utd squad: De Gea, Romero, Pereira, Valencia, Darmian, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Lindelof, Rojo, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Young, Pogba, Matic, Herrera, McTominay, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Ibrahimovic, Rashford, Martial.

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Going into Premier League matchweek 12, after the international break, Manchester United host Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday, November 18. Man United manager Jose Mourinho's team went into the international break following a 1-0 league defeat by holding England Premier League champions Chelsea which left them second in the standings, eight points behind leaders and cross-town rivals Manchester City.

 

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Today Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed that Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all in contention to face Newcastle in the Premier League at the Aon Training Complex on Friday afternoon. Asked specifically which players with long-term injuries are set to return against the Magpies at Old Trafford, Mourinho response was surprising to the press. 

 

“The players that stayed here and were recovering from injuries, even the ones that are recovering from big injuries, they are ready to play,” declared United boss Mourinho. “Pogba, Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.”

 

Rojo has not played a senior match since the UEFA Europa League tie against Anderlecht on 20 April, but the Argentina international made an appearance for United's Under-23s on Wednesday night. Ibrahimovic has not featured since the same European game with Anderlecht. 

 

"He made a full recovery," Jose told reporters in his Friday pre-match press conference. "Now you cannot expect him to be ready to play 90 minutes or to be ready to play consecutive matches like he did all his career. Now he needs time to be back to his level, his fitness, his confidence, his sharpness, his everything. But, from the clinical point of view, to be good and ready is fantastic."

 

Pogba has been out since the opening UEFA Champions League Group A clash against Basel on 12 September.

 

"You can clearly see Manchester United this season before Paul's injury and after Paul's injury. It's as simple as that," added Mourinho.

 

Manchester United's injured players took advantage of the international break to regain fitness and key squad members got much-needed rest. United midfielders Michael Carrick (calf) and Paul Pogba (hamstring) have been out with injury since September while long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo, who sustained knee injuries last season, are still recovering.

 

“We have the group of players which are the ones that we hope will recover as soon as possible,” Mourinho said. “They have to work every day but they are in a good position now. Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Rojo, Fellaini. They are in good positions so I think we can go into this part of the season, the Christmas period, and after, in a strong position.”

 

United have won all four of their Champions League games and are close to qualifying for the knockout stages while also competing to retain the League Cup title. With nine matches to be played across all competitions in December, Mourinho said that his key players that were not selected for their national teams for this month's friendlies would get a well-earned break.

 

“The international players all disappear and then we have a couple like Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera and they really deserve, after so many matches, to have a week off which I'm going to give them,” said Mourinho.

 

Reportedly, both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba may return to the Man United squad after resuming full training after recovering from their injuries. Both players are in contention for a spot on the bench when Jose Mourinho's men host Newcastle United on this weekend. Pogba has not played since September 12 in a Champions League clash with Basle. Ibrahimovic has been out since April with a cruciate ligament injury. The return to action of the two superstars is a major boost for their boss Mourinho. Manchester United are eight points off Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and host Basle in the Champions League next week, needing only a point to reach the knock-out stage. Pogba, United's record signing at £89million in the summer of 2016, has been a made a strong start to the season before his injury - limping off in a Champions League clash. Pogba was dangerous in the opening four league games of the league campaign, partnering well with new signing Nemanja Matic. Ibrahimovic was released in the summer after his injury looked to have terminated his Manchester United career when his one-year contract expired. Ibra has re-signed at Old Trafford and could make an appearance on Saturday ahead of his scheduled recovery.

 

Looking forward to his Manchester United return after a torn cruciate knee ligament, thirty-six-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic will surprise anyone who thinks the injury will have robbed him of his scoring powers in a serious setback. However, Ibra has lost none of his confidence and swagger, seven months after landing awkwardly trying to control a pass with his chest against Anderlecht in the Europa League in April. Ibrahimovic may be named as a sub at Old Trafford against Newcastle on Saturday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he will be better than before when he returns to Manchester United after being sidelined for seven months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

 

“I’m determined to return better and stronger than before,” Ibrahimovic said. “That is my goal and it will happen. There are no other options. When I’ve decided to do something, nothing is going to change my mind. I said I would take over Sweden. At breakfast, I had already taken over Sweden. At lunch, I took over Europe. At dinner, I took over the world. That was my plan. And that is exactly what happened.”

 

Upon being diagnosed with a torn cruciate, Ibracadebra was originally expected to be out until 2018, however his Manchester United return will almost certainly be way ahead of schedule whether or not he plays against Newcastle. Zlatan said he was stunned after being injured and wondered if he would be able to make it back. He felt 'paralyzed' after being confined to his bed.

 

“I have never been hurt but then I felt I swallowed my tongue. It was a strange feeling I had never known before,” said Zlatan. “Thoughts started spinning in my head. What’s happening? I am 36 what can I do? What does the future hold? Instead of focusing one thing at a time, like normally, a lot of things were spinning around in my mind. The first thing I said to myself was "giving up is not an alternative". I have come this far and will finish on my terms, not anyone else's. I’ve got new scars that could be called tattoos. They will be memories for life. I’ll always remember what happened, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve been fighting for.

 

'I remember being on crutches and lying in bed for 12 hours a day, feeling paralyzed when you are used to playing and exercising every day. I am the kind of person who is always training a lot. Hard work gives you something in return, that is my philosophy.'

Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is not giving up on twenty-nine-year-old Marouane Fellaini despite him not renewing his contract extension on a £120,000-a-week deal. United hope to tempt Marouane Fellaini to remain at Old Trafford after United activated the Belgian midfielder's 12-month contract option last year. Fellaini refused to sign a contract extension and will be free to talk to foreign clubs in January. The 29-year-old midfielder could leave United as a free agent next summer. Man United does not plan on selling Fellaini in January even though the Belgium midfielder rejected a new contract at Old Trafford. Fellaini who turns 30 next week, only has seven-and-a-half months left on his current £120,000-a-week deal for the former Everton star in the next transfer window. United triggered the 12-month option on Fellaini's deal a year ago but he refused their offer of new terms in September. Popular Fellaini is in a strong position at United, a notable turnaround for the footballer who became a symbol of the failed manager David Moyes era after joining his old boss Moyes at United when he moved from Everton for £27.5million in 2013. At his lowest point, Fellaini was even booed by some supporters who refused to accept him as a United player possibly due to his size and playing style. In contrast, the Belgian has become a key part of Jose Mourinho's side after re-establishing himself under Moyes’ replacement, Louis van Gaal. Fellaini has taken his game to an even higher level under his new boss Jose Mourinho who has praised the player's strength of character.

 

“I always trusted Marouane since day one and try to give him confidence and show him how useful he is for the team,' said Mourinho. “I think only a strong character could resist the difficulties here. He had some difficult times when people didn't recognize his qualities when other managers didn't like so much the qualities he has. He is a fighter, a guy with lots of pride and I am really pleased I helped him reach this level and change the perception the fans have now.” 

 

Surprisingly, Marouane Fellaini is suing New Balance for £2.1million claiming their boots are causing 'considerable damage' to his feet. The Belgium international signed a four-year deal with the sportswear giants back in 2012 but has taken them to court following the pain he claims the boots have caused his feet and has now walked away from the £600,000-a-year deal with New Balance and changing to Nike footwear before last season. Fellaini appeared in London's High Court to demand damages. Fellaini issued a writ which stated the 'poor quality' boots needed to be 'steamed and stretched' by the kitman before the midfielder was able to play in them. The United striker claimed his feet were subjected to 'considerable damage' when he wore the boots and he 'repeatedly communicated his frustration' to the manufacturers. Fellaini's legal team have said that they are also suing for 'loss of employment, inconvenience and impact on performance' due to the damage the boots are claimed to have inflicted. In response, the boot-makers claim in court papers that their client, Fellaini, once described the boots as 'perfect' and ordered 12 more pairs. 

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez will be without two key men. Central defender Jamaal Lascelles (ankle) and winger Christian Atsu (thigh) are both sidelined, with the latter likely to be out of action for at least two weeks. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who sat out the Republic of Ireland's play-off against Denmark because of a family bereavement, is available, while full-back Paul Dummett (hamstring) is back in training and midfielder Mikel Merino is due to return from a back problem.

Provisional Newcastle squad: Elliot, Darlow, Yedlin, Manquillo, Mbemba, Gamez, Haidara, Clark, Lejeune, Hayden, Shelvey, Saivet, Ritchie, Murphy, Aarons, Diame, Perez, Joselu, Gayle, Mitrovic.

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LIVERPOOL UPDATE

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

LIVERPOOL UPDATE

Liverpool in third place on England Premier League Table

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp returned to the Reds’ Melwood training ground today after being passed fit following a health scare earlier this week. The Merseyside club trained on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Premier League meeting with Southampton, with Klopp able to resume his duties. Klopp spent much of Wednesday in hospital after reporting ill to Liverpool’s medical staff, who in turn insisted he undergo further tests. He was released within a few hours, relieved there was no serious problem. Fifty-year-old Klopp was forced to cancel his appearance at the star-studded premiere for the movie ‘Kenny’ – a tribute to former Liverpool star and coach Kenny Dalglish – which was held in the city on Wednesday evening.

Klopp will have his strongest line-up against Southampton on Saturday since he became the Liverpool manager with Adam Lallana the latest high profile player to return. Lallana has not played since pre-season due to a thigh problem but will be pushing for a place in the squad. Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho made his return to action for Brazil during the international break, and despite returning from the Senegal squad early with a slight hamstring issue, Sadio Mane is also expected to be available. Klopp will have more options than at any time during this campaign, or during his two years in charge – with dynamic quartet Mane, Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah fit at the same time. Liverpool are just four points behind second-placed Manchester United on the England Premier League Table. Last minute Liverpool tickets for the Premier League and Champions League are available securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com!

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Sir Alex Ferguson, left, and Kenny Dalglish before an FA Cup tie between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in January 2011

ARSENAL UPDATE

Arsenal FC v Crvena Zvezda - UEFA Europa League

ARSENAL UPDATE

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger v Tottenham Hotspur

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side return to England Premier League action on Saturday after the international break as they host Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in the first North London Derby of the season. The veteran Gunners boss signed a two-year deal with Arsenal at the end of last season but remarked that he could leave before his contract runs out in 2019. Wenger has conceded that he might not see out the end of his two-year contract with the Gunners and says his situation will be discussed with Arsenal’s board at the end of the season. The Frenchman's lengthy term at the Emirates Stadium came under severe criticism as the Gunners lost to Bundesliga titan team Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16. Arsenal finished in fifth-place on the Premier League Table with the result that Arsenal missed out on Europe's premier competition for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Wenger led his side to FA Cup success and penned a new two-year deal. The uncertainty over Wenger's future last season will hopefully be avoided this time around. However, Arsenal are currently 6th on the table, 12 points off leaders Manchester City. And Wenger gave no assurances that he would be at the helm next term when asked about it.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

"That's as well sometimes you know, you make a sentence and people turn it the way they would like to see it,” said Wenger. "That's what I said - I have a two-year contract, I will always try to go to the end of my contract but always have the honesty to sit down with the board and see where we go from there. So that's quite simple."

Arsène continues to set records as the club’s longest-serving manager - this is his 20th season of a hugely-successful era at the helm. The Frenchman took the reins on October 1, 1996, and since then has presided over more victories, posted a higher win ratio and brought home more trophies than any of his predecessors. Last season, he became the most successful manager in FA Cup history as he lifted the trophy for the seventh time. His first silverware with the club came in the form of a domestic ‘double’ in 1997-98, a feat matched in 2001-02. Memorably, he then guided the team to a remarkable unbeaten league title - the only one achieved in the modern era - in 2003-04. On top of this, there have been five more FA Cup wins during his reign and a Champions League final appearance in 2006. Renowned as a true footballing innovator both stylistically and behind the scenes - to the latter end, he played a big part in the conception and design of Emirates Stadium and the Training Ground - Arsène has stamped his own brand of attacking football on the club, one that is now acknowledged worldwide as being synonymous with the Gunners’ name. He is also well known for his development of young players, and his commitment towards preparing them for football careers in the best way possible. An economics graduate from Strasbourg University, multilingual Arsène has also received an honorary DSc from the University of Hertfordshire - as well as the French Legion D’Honneur, an honorary OBE in this country and the Freedom of the Borough of Islington according to Arsenal.com.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he may not see out his current contract as end-of-season talks with the board are revealed The Gunners boss only penned a lucrative new deal last summer and is tied down to the Emirates until 2019. However recently Wenger has admitted he may not see out the remainder of his Arsenal contract. The Frenchman penned a new two-year deal during the summer despite calls from fans for his resignation. Wenger admits he may not see out the remainder of his Arsenal deal after Arsenal failed to reach the Champions League for the first time under Wenger’s guidance. And the Gunners could be in for another tough season, with at the top 5 other clubs battling for a top 4 finish. However, there’s now further uncertainty over Wenger’s long-term commitment at the Etihad. He’s previously hinted at leaving north London with a year remaining on his deal.  Wenger is tied down to the Emirates club until the summer of 2019. And Wenger has fanned the flames by revealing he will sit down at the end of the season with the board to discuss his future.

“I sit down with the board at the end of every season and see where we go from there,” repeated Wenger. “I have a two-year contract and will always try to reach the end of it. But I always have the honesty to sit down with the board and to see where we go from there.”

Arsenal FC v Crvena Zvezda - UEFA Europa League

ARSENE WENGER STATS

Current Position: Arsenal Manager

Born: October 22nd, 1949, Strasbourg, France

Previous clubs as player: Mutzig, Mulhouse, Strasbourg

Clubs as manager-coach: Strasbourg (youth), Cannes (assistant), Nancy, AS Monaco, Grampus Eight Nagoya

Joined Arsenal: October 1, 1996

First match as manager: Blackburn Rovers (a), Premier League, October 12, 1996, Won 2-0

Honors (Monaco): French League championship 1988, French Cup winners 1991, French 'Manager of the Year' 1988

Honors (Grampus EIght): Japan's 'Manager of the Year' 1995, Emperor's Cup winner 1996, Japanese Super Cup winner 1996

Honors (Arsenal): League championship 1998, 2002, 2004, FA Cup winners 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2017 Voted 'Manager of the Year' 1998, 2002, 2004

Chelsea v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield

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Gunner’s star goalkeeper Petr Cech

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Spurs star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris 

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The North London Derby will be a battle of superstar goalies, Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris and Arsenal's Petr Cech. As Arsenal prepare for Saturday’s mouth-watering North London Derby, Arsenal goalie Petr Cech dismissed suggestions that Arsenal should measure their season on whether they finish above Tottenham Hotspur.

“There is always one odd year where things can change, but the most important thing for us is competing against the other teams for the Premier League title and for the glory,” said Gunner’s star goalkeeper Petr Cech. “We are not competing against Tottenham Hotspur. Two years ago when we finished above them we were disappointed because we didn’t win the title. Our target is to win the title and be successful during the season, not necessarily looking at what Tottenham are doing.”

Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League

Arsenal star goalkeeper Petr Cech

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Tottenham Hotsur star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

Even with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino at the helm of the London club, Tottenham Hotspur have failed to win a single trophy since the League Cup in 2008. Cech believes only silverware will satisfy the Tottenham fans.

“There was always something missing," continued Cech. "They’ve been there in the last few years so now I think they have to make sure they win something to show the progression.”

Arsene Wenger

Arsène Wenger recently said that he is tempted by a chance to manage for a top national team at a World Cup. The veteran French Gunners manager had previously admitted he could take up the manager’s role with England once his contract is up at London club Arsenal. Wenger still has 18 months to go on his contract at Arsenal, where he has been manager since 1996. Wenger previously has talked about the possibility of him moving into international football and being involved at the 2022 World Cup. According to some reports Wenger was the Football Association’s first choice for the England manager’s post after the departure of previous Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson in 2016. Wenger has 18 months to run on his contract at the Emirates and says the prospect of managing at a World Cup is tempting. When asked about the possibility of moving into international management, Wenger had a positive response.

“Maybe, yes, I will do it at some stage but until now I like to be involved every day in the life of a club because the real test is there. Four or five weeks is a different experience, it’s more concentrated, but I believe the real experience of managing a team is on a daily basis,” said Wenger. “But I will not always have the physical strength to do that so maybe I will move into international coaching. It’s a fact my life is linked with football, in what way will be linked to my physical state. I will always be in football. I don’t know as a director or as a manager – as long as possible as a manager. But one day that will stop. But I will stay in football of course.”

Wenger was asked whether he could be on the bench at the World Cup in Qatar.

“Maybe, you never know,” added Wenger.

Wenger who has also been linked to a manager’s job with the France national team commented on the speculation about his taking the England post last year.

“My priority is to do well here at Arsenal. If I am free one day why not, but at the moment my focus is on my job.”

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ENGLAND V BRAZIL

England vs Brazil - International Friendly

England goalkeeper Joe Hart stops Brazil's Gabriel Jesus

Brazil v Chile - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier

Brazil's Neymar

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ENGLAND V BRAZIL

World Cup: England v Brazil

Gareth Southgate's side were solid in the opening 45 minutes as England faced their second big test on the Road to Russia hosting mighty Brazil in a World Cup warm-up at Wembley with their fans strongly supporting their team. South American's dangerous triple-pronged attack trio of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, PSG's Neymar and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus were held from scoring goals. England captain Dani Alves warned in the build-up to the game that Man City's twenty-year-old Jesus was the 'new Ronaldo'. Although Jesus has been outstanding in the England Premier League, he was kept quiet in the opening period against England.England vs Brazil - International Friendly

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was forced off with an injury early on. Eric Dier had a calming influence on Jake Livermore and Joe Gomez was steady as well. After a hard-fought battle, England was able to keep Brazil from scoring in the first half. The score at half-time was England 0-0 Brazil.

In the second half, the Three Lions defended well against the dynamic skills of Brazil and kept another clean sheet with Joe Hart getting the credit after England held Germany 0-0 last Friday. Southgate was pleased with how his team fared, considering that Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Raheem Sterling were out in the match that resulted in a 0-0 goalless draw.

England Training and Press Conference

Three Lions Eric Dier with England manager, Gareth Southgate

England manager, Gareth Southgate was interviewed before the start of his side's friendly match against Brazil and asked to comment on the fitness of Brazil. 

“They’re the best team in the World Cup,” replied Southgate. “They annihilated everyone in South America. But it’s always our intention to test ourselves against the very best and let’s see what’s possible. We’ve got to dream of what’s possible, not be a team that worries about what they’ve got to lose. To have success next summer, we’ve got to beat these probably. It’s a good opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are.”

England vs Brazil - International Friendly

Squads

England stayed with the same three at the back, but they make five changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Germany. Joe Hart, Joe Gomez, Kyle Walker, Ryan Bertrand and Marcus Rashford started, Jordan Pickford, Phil Jones, Kieran Trippier, Ryan Bertrand and Tammy Abraham are out. Dominic Solanke and Lewis Cook are on the bench, but may make their debuts.

England 

Hart; Gomez, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Dier, Livermore, Bertrand; Loftus-Cheek; Vardy, Rashford.

Brazil

Allison; Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto; Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.

Russia vs Argentina - International Friendly

Argentina and Manchester City superstar striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero

Nigeria 4-2 Argentina

Argentina and Manchester City superstar striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero was taken to a hospital after he fainted during half-time of Argentina’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Nigeria. The Argentine FA said reported that the Man City forward “had a blackout and was taken to hospital for routine examinations were made only as a precaution”. The incident occurred after Agüero had scored in the first half. In the match, Argentina without Lionel Messi wasted a two-goal lead and slipped to a shocking 4-2 defeat. Ever Banega and Agüero gave Argentina the lead, with Agüero’s Manc City team-mate Kelechi Iheanacho scoring for Nigeria just before half-time with a free-kick. Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored twice and Brian Idowu also found the net for Nigeria in the second half.

Argentina defender Javier Mascherano said, “Playing against a team of such physical strength you pay the price. They walked all over us and when we tried to get back on the match we couldn’t.”

Argentina secured its spot at the World Cup in the last round of South American qualifiers but has not fared as well as expected without superstar Lionel Messi.

Plan ahead to buy World Cup tickets to watch your national team in live action against the top national teams in the world!

International Friendlies Results

South Korea 1-1 Serbia

China 0-4 Columbia

Argentina 2-4 Nigeria

Qatar 1-1 Iceland

Slovakia 1-0 Norway

Russia 3-3 Spain

Romania 0-0 Holland

Hungary 1-0 Costa Rica

Austria 2-1 Uruguay

Belgium 1-0 Japan

Germany 1-2 France

Wales 1-0 Panama

England 0-0 Brazil

Portugal 1-1 USA

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England vs Brazil - International Friendly

England vs Brazil - International Friendly

Brazil v Chile - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier