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Euro Papers: Barca's Coutinho back-up?

Sat, 18/11/2017 - 14:13
By Andrew Gibney, Football Whispers

Last Updated: 18/11/17 11:47am

Philippe Coutinho continues to be linked with a move to BarcelonaPhilippe Coutinho continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona Philippe Coutinho continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona

The winter transfer window does not open until January 1, but clubs across Europe are busy planning and tentative negotiations will have begun in preparation.

Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European newspapers and websites to bring you the latest transfer gossip and news from the continent.

Spain

Discussed as a potential Arsenal and Liverpool transfer target, Barcelona have thrown their hat into the Nabil Fekir ring.

It's understood the Catalan club see the Frenchman as an alternative to Philippe Coutinho, if they can't land the Brazilian from the Merseyside club. (Sport)

Barcelona have thrown their hat into the Nabil Fekir ringBarcelona have thrown their hat into the Nabil Fekir ring Barcelona have thrown their hat into the Nabil Fekir ring

Javier Pastore, a known Chelsea and Liverpool transfer target, is now wanted by Sevilla. Inter Milan have been keen on the Argentine international for some time, but with Paris Saint-Germain only demanding €20million for the 28-year-old, the list of interested clubs will continue to grow. (Sport)

Barcelona are looking to continue to rebuild their team with Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt the newest name linked with the Catalan club. The Dutchman has commented on the story, admitting: "My favourite team in Spain in Barcelona, because of the connection they have with Ajax and beautiful football." (AS)

Ahead of the Madrid derby, Diego Simeone has spoken out about Real Madrid's stockpiling of young Spanish talent. "They have taken all of the good kids from all of the different Spanish teams. They keep making sure the others can't get to these kids."

Diego Simeone has spoken out about Real Madrid's stockpiling of young Spanish talentDiego Simeone has spoken out about Real Madrid's stockpiling of young Spanish talent Diego Simeone has spoken out about Real Madrid's stockpiling of young Spanish talent

Simeone would have had Isco, Dani Ceballos and Arsenal transfer target Marco Asensio in mind when making his comments. Not all of them will make their mark in the Spanish capital, perhaps then the Argentine coach would get another chance to sign them up. (Marca)

Italy

Chelsea will take in Inter Milan's game with Atalanta this weekend to watch both Milan Skrinar and Antonio Candreva. The Slovak defender recently dismissed reports linking him with Barcelona, but Antonio Conte is believed to be a big fan of the former Sampdoria centre-back. (Tuttosport)

Watford striker Stefano Okaka could be on the move this winter. Rarely used by Marco Silva, the former Sampdoria forward has been linked with a return to Italy with AC Milan. He has also been mentioned as a Marseille transfer target too.

Despite only making two starts in the Premier League this term, it's expected the Hornets will demand €20m (£17.8m) for the forward. (TuttoMercatoWeb)

France

Chelsea were reported to be interested in signing Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain this week. The Brazilian was also linked with making a return to Palmeiras in his home country, but he took to Twitter to deny these rumours.

The 25-year-old has only played 76 minutes for the Parisians this term and is likely to favour a move this winter. (UOL)

Chelsea were reported to be interested in signing Lucas Moura (R)  from Paris Saint-Germain this weekChelsea were reported to be interested in signing Lucas Moura (R)  from Paris Saint-Germain this week Chelsea were reported to be interested in signing Lucas Moura (R) from Paris Saint-Germain this week

Saint-Etienne forward Jonathan Bamba, tracked by Newcastle United and Huddersfield, is out of contract in the summer, and is no closer to signing a new deal. Óscar García resigned as head coach this week and the club are hoping to have someone new in place come the end of November. It's most likely the 21-year-old will go into the New Year without a new deal. (L'Equipe)

After being mentioned as a potential Liverpool transfer target in the summer, it was a surprise Ivorian forward Maxwel Cornet stayed at Lyon. With just one start to his name this term, questions have been asked over his future. "After talking to the coach, I was happy to stay." With no goals in 237 minutes, his future is unclear again. (Foot01)

Germany

Benjamin Pavard, after making his France debut against Wales and Germany has become a transfer target for Roma, Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The defender joined Stuttgart from Lille in 2016. (SFR Sport)

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Ox exclusive: 'I've had to adapt'

Fri, 17/11/2017 - 20:20

Last Updated: 17/11/17 10:23pm

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to push on at Liverpool Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to push on at Liverpool

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to push on at Liverpool after admitting he has had to adapt to a change in management style following his move from Arsenal.

Liverpool host Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon with Oxlade-Chamberlain hoping to pick up where he left off prior to the international break, against his former club.

The 24-year-old marked his first Premier League start for Liverpool with a goal in the 4-1 win over West Ham, helping Jurgen Klopp's side to a third straight victory in all competitions, and Oxlade-Chamberlain believes he has now adapted to life on Merseyside.

"It's been a change for me," he exclusively told Sky Sports. "You want to come to a new club and hit the ground running straightaway and maybe I didn't do that as quickly as I would have liked.

"Obviously, competition for places is really high here, as I expected, but you're always eager to be playing straightaway and starting as many games as possible.

The versatile midfielder has had to wait for opportunities at LiverpoolThe versatile midfielder has had to wait for opportunities at Liverpool The versatile midfielder has had to wait for opportunities at Liverpool

"That hasn't been the case as much but I've learnt a lot and I feel like I've adapted well to the requirements of the manager, the coaches and the boys as well.

"But it's been a good integration into this team, and I'm happy with the way it's gone. It's just important now that I push on. I learned a big change in the style of play under a new manager.

"Arsene [Wenger] is a great manager and he's proved that for many years. His philosophy and style of play is based on the 'Arsenal way' of playing, with his passing game, which is brilliant and works very well for him.

"Jurgen is very demanding and he makes clear to us our roles and responsibilities, and the intensity that he wants out of us."

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for £35m after expressing a desire to play more in his preferred position of central midfield, having spent six seasons at the Emirates.

He has had to bide his time for opportunities from the start under Klopp, with nine of his 12 appearances coming from off the bench.

With just 255 Premier League minutes under his belt so far this term for his new club, England manager Gareth Southgate opted against selecting Oxlade-Chamberlain for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

But having been forced to watch the draws at Wembley, Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to fight his way back into contention in the build-up to a hectic Christmas schedule.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was left out of the recent England squad Oxlade-Chamberlain was left out of the recent England squad Oxlade-Chamberlain was left out of the recent England squad

"My focus is mainly getting my head down here at Liverpool, and producing the performances here to deserve England call-ups," he added. "I understand that we're all under that pressure all the time so that's what I'm focused on, just staying in the fold this season for England.

"Obviously with it being a World Cup year, it's important to be a part of as many England squads as you can be, so that's my task going forward. I need to be creating goals, and scoring goals as an attacking player."

Liverpool are three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea heading into the weekend's action, and Klopp can pick from a fully-fit squad after Adam Lallana returned to the fold following a three-month lay-off with a thigh injury.

The 24-year-old's final game for Arsenal came against Liverpool in AugustThe 24-year-old's final game for Arsenal came against Liverpool in August The 24-year-old's final game for Arsenal came against Liverpool in August

Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane are also in contention to face their former club, and Oxlade-Chamberlain anticipates a stiff challenge from Mauricio Pellegrino's men.

He said: "It's always a special game for me, playing against Southampton. They always seem to do really well when I play against them, they always seem to be Barcelona on the day, but they're a great side with a great set-up.

"I haven't seen too much of what they're like under the new manager, but I'm sure they're going to be a tough side. We're all expecting a tough game, and we'll be right up for it."

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool join LGBT initiative

Fri, 17/11/2017 - 15:20
By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 17/11/17 12:28pm

Liverpool will receive consultation and advice from Stonewall in order to encourage LGBT people to get involved in footballLiverpool will receive consultation and advice from Stonewall in order to encourage LGBT people to get involved in football Liverpool will receive consultation and advice from Stonewall in order to encourage LGBT people to get involved in football

Liverpool have become the first Premier League club to sign up to Stonewall's Diversity Champion programme.

Stonewall recently announced a three-year partnership with the Premier League to help further promote LGBT equality in football.

As a Diversity Champion, Liverpool will receive consultation and advice from the charity in order to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to get involved in football.

The Reds have also pledged to further promote equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the club.

The Premier League and Scottish Professional Football League have backed Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaignThe Premier League and Scottish Professional Football League have backed Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign The Premier League and Scottish Professional Football League have backed Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said: "Liverpool FC has long been committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and to ensuring that it is embedded in all areas across the club and we are delighted to be spearheading Stonewall's Diversity Champion programme.

"We believe that sport should be inclusive and that nobody should miss out simply because of who they are.

"From our club charity's inclusive sports programmes to achieving the Premier League's Advanced Equality Standard this year, we are proud to keep striving to make sport for everyone."

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore gave the initiative his backingLiverpool chief executive Peter Moore gave the initiative his backing Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore gave the initiative his backing

Stonewall's chief executive Ruth Hunt added: 'It's so important for organisations to actively work towards making sport everyone's game.

"Many LGBT people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but at the moment not everyone feels welcome. We also know that most sports fans want a better, more inclusive game.

"To make this happen, we need individuals and organisations to step up to show their support for LGBT people and that's what Liverpool FC have done today.

"We're excited they've joined us as a Diversity Champion and we look forward to working with them to help further LGBT equality in football."

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Klopp returns to training

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 17:30
By Declan Olley

Last Updated: 16/11/17 2:31pm

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Southampton at Anfield this weekendJurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Southampton at Anfield this weekend Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Southampton at Anfield this weekend

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp returned to work on Thursday, a day after admitting himself to hospital.

The 50-year-old, who missed Wednesday's training session after feeling unwell, is back at Melwood.

He was discharged from hospital on Wednesday evening having been admitted for tests earlier in the day and spent the night at home.

Klopp is scheduled to face the media tomorrow for his pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's home game against Southampton.

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The German's only doubt for that match is Sadio Mane who picked up a hamstring injury on international duty with Senegal.

All players including Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and Marko Grujic have now returned to Liverpool from international duty.

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LISTEN: Stat Attack

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 13:50

Last Updated: 16/11/17 11:06am

We're back with Premier League predictions and heaps of north London derby stats on the Stat Attack podcast.

Host Max Rushden and head of Sky Data Harry Carr bring you stacks of stats and heaps of facts each week, as well as making their predictions for the upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Will Max's gut-instinct picks beat Harry's statistical algorithm?

LISTEN: Stat Attack podcast

Click here to listen to this week's Stat Attack podcast

The guys will also be joined each week by a special guest, delivering in-depth analysis on a key talking point each week.

Click here to listen to the Sky Sports Stat Attack podcast

This week, Max and Harry are joined by Sky Sports data journalist Adam Smith, who has data on the impact of sacking a manager.

Can all these stats help the boys with their weekly Premier League predictions? Check out the podcast to find out...

You can get involved, too, by tweeting @MaxRushden and @harrydcarr the questions you need to know the answers to.

Click here to download the Sky Sports Stat Attack podcast from iTunes

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League LIVE!

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 09:08

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League build-up LIVE!

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 09:08

'DEFOE CAN MAKE WORLD CUP SQUAD'

“I think Jermain [Defoe]has started the season well for us. People will judge on goals but I think there’s a lot more to a centre-forward’s performance than just the actual stat," said Eddie Howe.

“We need to get to know how to get the best out of Jermain in terms of our players getting used to the runs he makes, where he wants the ball.

“I believe that Jermain can make the World Cup squad. I think he can have an impact at the World Cup for sure. Obviously it will be defined by how well he does for us between now and then.

“I think you need a mix of players to take to the World Cup. I’m not trying to tell Gareth anything, he will make his own decisions but I think everyone will recognise that you need leadership and experience and from Jermain’s perspective someone who can change a game, come on and nick a goal, and who better than him?

“I think Jermain will be in his [Southgate’s] thinking, no doubt about that.”

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'Gomez is Liverpool's best CB'

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 02:10

Last Updated: 16/11/17 8:26am

Tim Sherwood believes Joe Gomez proved he is Liverpool's best centre-back from his performances for England against Germany and Brazil Tim Sherwood believes Joe Gomez proved he is Liverpool's best centre-back from his performances for England against Germany and Brazil

Tim Sherwood thinks Joe Gomez is Liverpool’s best centre-back but is worried he will be overlooked in that position by Jurgen Klopp.

Gomez defied his years with an outstanding full debut for England against Brazil on Tuesday as he kept Neymar quiet for the large majority of the game.

Despite being only 20-years-old with only 14 Premier League appearances under his belt, Sherwood thought his performance showed he should be the first-choice centre-back at Liverpool ahead of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip while also praising Gareth Southgate's decision to blood the youngsters.

"Normally you have to play for your clubs to play for England, but Gareth is doing it the other way," Sherwood told The Debate.

Joe Gomez is Liverpool's best centre-back, says Tim SherwoodJoe Gomez is Liverpool's best centre-back, says Tim Sherwood Joe Gomez is Liverpool's best centre-back, says Tim Sherwood

"He knows the players better than their club managers know them, which is strange.

"He recognises the boys aren't getting opportunities but he knows their good enough from working at the U21s.

"He's having to put them in the England squad to embarrass those clubs, who will then put them in their starting line-up.

"Every young English player will be encouraged by the fact the manager is taking note if they perform. It doesn't matter if you haven't played 200 games - you can only play three or four.

"If you asked me who the best centre-half is at Liverpool at the moment, I'd tell you Joe Gomez. But is he going to get an opportunity to play ahead of some other players - I'd suggest he's going to get limited game time."

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Former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy was also a guest on The Debate and he believes Gomez has sent a message to people at the club that he could be the answer to the team's defensive problems.

"Gomez has put himself into a good position following these internationals," he said.

"Liverpool supporters will be thinking they've got a player here. Defending-wise, he looks comfortable in a two or a three. But what I like about him is the pressure he puts on forwards - he was up against Neymar, who is an incredible footballer.

"But Gomez put good distances between him and the front players, plus he has pace to burn too. He looks like he enjoys defending which is rare in young footballers."

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Unwell Klopp misses training

Wed, 15/11/2017 - 20:40

Last Updated: 15/11/17 11:12pm

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted himself to hospital after feeling unwellReds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted himself to hospital after feeling unwell Reds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted himself to hospital after feeling unwell

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp missed training on Wednesday after feeling unwell and admitting himself to hospital.

Klopp had undergone checks by medical staff and was due to be released in the evening so would not require an overnight stay.

The full Liverpool squad returned to Melwood from international duty to train late on Wednesday afternoon but it was without the German, who by then was already at hospital.

"He is being assessed by doctors and will be absent from training on Wednesday as a result," said a statement from Liverpool.

"There are currently no plans for Jurgen to remain in hospital beyond his appointment and he will therefore return home this evening; however, he may require further check-ups in the coming days.

"The club urges that the privacy of Jurgen, his family and other patients is respected while attending hospital visits."

The Reds welcome Southampton on Saturday but there is no indication yet when Klopp, who is scheduled to face the media on Friday for his pre-match news conference, will return to training or whether he will be in charge for the Anfield fixture.

Peter Krawietz (L)  and Zeljko Buvac (R) could have to step in again for an ill KloppPeter Krawietz (L)  and Zeljko Buvac (R) could have to step in again for an ill Klopp Peter Krawietz (L) and Zeljko Buvac (R) could have to step in again for an ill Klopp

The 50-year-old, who last week made a trip to South Africa for a charity event, has missed a game before back in February 2016 at home to Sunderland, when he spent a short spell in hospital after suffering appendicitis.

On that occasion assistants Peter Krawietz and Zeljko Buvac oversaw the team's 2-2 draw and they, plus coach Pepijn Lijnders, took training in the manager's absence.

Among those who were back at Melwood were Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, back from Brazil duty at Wembley, while Simon Mignolet returned from Belgium to join his club-mates.

Captain Jordan Henderson also returned to full training after recovering from a thigh injury which forced him to miss the 4-1 win over West Ham before the international break and pull out of England's friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

Dominic Solanke, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold arrived back after representing England at senior and U21 level respectively, with Ben Woodburn and Danny Ward also returning following their inclusion in the senior Wales squad.

Forward Sadio Mane also returned from action with Senegal on Tuesday, alongside Dejan Lovren after the centre-half helped Croatia secure World Cup qualification and midfielder Adam Lallana played in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Left-back Andy Robertson was back on Monday following Scotland international duty.

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WATCH: Carragher's own goal howler

Wed, 15/11/2017 - 13:52

Last Updated: 15/11/17 11:58am

Jamie Carragher fails to clear his lines as the Class of ’92 & Friends took on Salford Jamie Carragher fails to clear his lines as the Class of ’92 & Friends took on Salford

Jamie Carragher was never in for an easy time after agreeing to take part in Class of ’92 & Friends v Salford City, but he gave the fans exactly what they wanted with this howler.

The Liverpool legend was drafted in for the opening of Salford City's new Peninsula Stadium and, after his side of former Premier League stars established a 2-0 lead, he let the National League North side back into the game with some catastrophic defending.

Referee Mark Halsey wore a GoPro throughout the game, which ended 4-4, and captured Carragher's howler up close on camera.

Hit the video above to watch, while you can see Carragher return to his punditry duties on Monday Night Football from 7pm as Brighton host Stoke, live on Sky Sports Premier League

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Gomez takes his chance

Wed, 15/11/2017 - 11:50
By Nick Wright at Wembley Stadium

Last Updated: 15/11/17 11:11am

Joe Gomez was England's man of the match against BrazilJoe Gomez was England's man of the match against Brazil Joe Gomez was England's man of the match against Brazil

Liverpool's Joe Gomez defied his years with an outstanding full debut for England against Brazil, writes Nick Wright at Wembley.

For the yellow-clad Brazil supporters clustered in the away end at Wembley and the thousands more dotted around every corner of the stadium, it was not quite the party they came for. The drums were loud and the shrieks almost deafening whenever the ball found its way to Neymar, but out on the pitch England were determined to dampen their mood.

Time and again Brazil came forward and time and again they were repelled. A second consecutive 0-0 draw might not usually be viewed positively for England, but it only took a cursory glance at the team-sheet to see the gulf between the sides. Brazil had the luxury of leaving Thiago Silva and Roberto Firmino on the bench; England named Lewis Cook and Jack Cork on theirs.

England hold Brazil to draw

England's young side were put to the test but earned a credible 0-0 draw with Brazil.

Injuries had reduced Gareth Southgate's options but they also opened the door for Joe Gomez to become England's next young star after Ruben Loftus-Cheek shone so brightly against Germany on Friday. Gomez was thrown on for his debut when Phil Jones pulled up with a calf problem in that game, and the Liverpool youngster kept his place ahead of Gary Cahill against Brazil.

An evening up against Neymar is about as tough as a full debut can get for a 20-year-old with only 14 Premier League appearances under his belt, but watching Gomez you wouldn't have known it. On the right of John Stones and Harry Maguire in a youthful back three, he barely put a foot wrong.

The pre-match pyrotechnics were still cooling down when he set the tone for his performance, rising for a high ball with Gabriel Jesus and sending the Manchester City striker sprawling to the turf as he won it. Any fears that he may be overawed by the occasion immediately disappeared.

Gareth Southgate was full of praise for Joe Gomez after the gameGareth Southgate was full of praise for Joe Gomez after the game Gareth Southgate was full of praise for Joe Gomez after the game

With support from Kyle Walker outside of him and a steady stream of instructions from Stones to his left, Gomez looked assured from the outset. A few minutes before half-time, he even had the confidence to execute a Cruyff turn up against Neymar, sending the £200m man the wrong way as he nonchalantly stroked the ball onto a team-mate.

Southgate had called on his defenders to be brave and Gomez did not let him down. There was a misplaced pass in his own half which almost landed England in trouble shortly after the break, but it was a rare lapse. He finished the game with an 87 per cent passing accuracy and his defensive contribution was even more impressive.

His best moments came in the closing stages. The game was becoming stretched and Brazil were threatening to overrun the hosts, but Gomez was alert when it mattered. An outstanding covering tackle on his Liverpool team-mate Firmino drew a roar of appreciation from the home fans in the 82nd minute, and shortly after that there was a crucial block to stop a Neymar through ball.

"Joe has been given the man-of-the-match award and rightly so," said Southgate in his post-match press conference. "We know his athleticism is a real asset, but there was also his decision-making and his calmness in the face of the high-quality movement and the high-quality through passes that he had to read."

Neymar and Kyle Walker in action during the 0-0 draw at WembleyNeymar and Kyle Walker in action during the 0-0 draw at Wembley Neymar and Kyle Walker in action during the 0-0 draw at Wembley

Reading those passes was an area in which he excelled. The former Charlton youngster has played exclusively at right-back this season for Liverpool, but his positioning was impeccable in Southgate's back three. The statistics showed Gomez made eight interceptions in total - more than the rest of his team combined and twice as many as any Brazil player.

Gomez described it as a "great experience" after the game and Southgate agreed. "We can look at areas to improve but we have found so many positives in terms of players who have performed at this level for the first time," he said. "It's not going to get much tougher for them that it was tonight. They will gain huge confidence."

England do not return to action until March but Gomez will have opportunities to build on that confidence at Liverpool, where Nathaniel Clyne has just been ruled out for a further three months. Gomez is already a favourite with Jurgen Klopp having started eight of their 11 Premier League games so far, and it now seems Southgate is similarly enamoured.

It is not difficult to understand why. With fearsome physicality and maturity beyond his years, Gomez is suddenly an England centre-back with a bright future. And on Tuesday night, as the drums died down and the shrieks fell silent, his performance was instrumental in ensuring it was the England supporters who went home happier.

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Problems for Keita?

Wed, 15/11/2017 - 09:00
Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Last Updated: 15/11/17 9:13am

Liverpool-bound Naby Keita has been sent off three times this seasonLiverpool-bound Naby Keita has been sent off three times this season Liverpool-bound Naby Keita has been sent off three times this season

​​​​​​​The Anfield-bound Naby Keita was outstanding for RB Leipzig last season but his form and discipline have come under scrutiny after three red cards in his last 10 appearances for club and country. So what's going on? And should Liverpool be worried?

It has been an eventful few months for Naby Keita. A summer of intense transfer speculation was interrupted by the dangerous tackle on RB Leipzig team-mate Diego Demme which caused a training session to be abandoned in July, and there has been more drama both on and off the pitch since his club-record move to Liverpool was finally confirmed at the end of August.

Red cards against Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich came either side of another sending off during an international appearance for Guinea, and last week German authorities hit him with a six-figure fine for allegedly using a forged driving licence. From quietly inspiring RB Leipzig's unexpected success last season, Keita is now attracting headlines for the wrong reasons.

Naby Keita's latest red card came in a German Cup game against Bayern MunichNaby Keita's latest red card came in a German Cup game against Bayern Munich Naby Keita's latest red card came in a German Cup game against Bayern Munich

There have been highlights amid the controversy - most notably his stunning long-range goal against Hamburg in September - but according to Ronald Tenbusch, a football journalist who covers RB Leipzig for the newspaper Die Welt, the general consensus in Germany is that Keita's performances have dipped from the heights of last season.

"So far this season everyone here feels that Naby has performed on a slightly lower level," Tenbusch tells Sky Sports. "Most likely it is because expectations have become bigger after his outstanding breakthrough season. But people have also had the feeling, especially in the early weeks of the season, that his upcoming move to Liverpool has influenced his performances."

Keita’s red cards

RB Leipzig v Borussia Monchengladbach, September 16: A straight red card for a dangerous high boot on Gladbach's Chrisoph Kramer in the 83rd minute.

Guinea v Tunisia, October 7: Another straight red card, this time for raising an arm to the face of Tunisia player Ben Amor in injury time.

RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich, October 25: Two bookings, the first for a lunge on Thiago Alcantara before half-time, the second for pulling back Robert Lewandowski after the break.

Keita could be forgiven for feeling a little distracted. It has, after all, been an extraordinary rise for a player who only turned professional with French minnows FC Istres four years ago. What is a little more troubling, however, is that the midfielder's recent disciplinary problems could easily have been even worse.

Keita has already received five yellow cards in addition to his reds - only three fewer than in the whole of last season - with head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl forced to substitute him early during RB Leipzig's recent meetings with Besiktas and Borussia Dortmund. Hasenhuttl insisted Keita had "learned his lesson" last month, but the problems have persisted.

It points to a lack of focus, but are there other factors at play? Keita was a relative unknown when he arrived in the Bundesliga from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg last summer, but these days he is a marked man. "He's now a player who others try to provoke," said Hasenhuttl last month. "He's on the receiving end a lot," added team-mate Yussuf Poulsen.

Naby Keita is being fouled far more than last season in the BundesligaNaby Keita is being fouled far more than last season in the Bundesliga Naby Keita is being fouled far more than last season in the Bundesliga

The statistics prove it. Keita's reputation follows him everywhere and so too do opposition defenders. In fact, Keita has been one of the Bundesliga's most fouled players this season. The 22-year-old is being fouled 3.1 times per 90 minutes compared to 1.9 times per 90 minutes in 2016/17. He is being dispossessed more frequently too.

It has proved frustrating for Keita, who, Tenbusch says, is also having to throw himself into more challenges. "He is involved in more duels than last season. So on one hand, opponents are more aggressive towards him. But on the other, his game has changed. Why? Because RB is pressing a little bit less this season, so Naby has to compete in more duels to win possession in midfield."

The rise of Naby Keita

How an unknown teenager facing relegation from France's second tier became Liverpool's record signing.

It's borne out in the numbers. Keita has gone from competing in 18.1 duels per 90 minutes last season to 25.7 per 90 minutes in the new campaign. And with his tackles also on the up, Keita now finds himself in more situations where a simple misjudgement can prompt a referee to reach for his cards.

But should Liverpool really be worried? "I don't think he has problems with discipline," says Tenbusch. "The only thing I have recognised is that he has changed his style a bit, he is wearing more extravagant clothes, but he is certainly not a diva."

RB Leipzig's Naby Keita rises for a header against Borussia DortmundRB Leipzig's Naby Keita rises for a header against Borussia Dortmund RB Leipzig's Naby Keita rises for a header against Borussia Dortmund

Those who know Keita best are similarly unconcerned. "Naby is easy-going," said Ralf Rangnick, the RB Leipzig sporting director who oversaw his transfer to Red Bull Salzburg two years before taking him to Germany. "It's hard not to get on well with him. Naby trains well, plays well, and is always on time. He's popular in the team."

Frederic Arpinon, the former FC Istres sporting director who gave Keita his chance in France, described him as a "great character" in conversation with Sky Sports in July, while Hasenhuttl has conveyed the same kind of message. "This is nothing that worries me," he said recently.

It is only natural for Keita's temperament to be questioned in light of his recent misdemeanours, but rather than being a cause for concern, his attitude - all humility and determination - is clearly a strength. Keita's disciplinary issues are those of a young player adapting to new circumstances. The under-the-radar star has become the centre of attention. It's not an easy transition.

Naby Keita is mobbed by team-mates after his recent goal against HamburgNaby Keita is mobbed by team-mates after his recent goal against Hamburg Naby Keita is mobbed by team-mates after his recent goal against Hamburg

"Of course he needs to learn how to handle aggressive opponents but I don't think he has a problem controlling his emotions," says Tenbusch. "He is not like Franck Ribery, who reacts with physical assaults when someone provokes him. From my point of view, Naby just needs to find the right balance in his style of play."

There have been signs that he is beginning do just that. Keita has not been shown a card in any of his last three appearances, and against Hannover last weekend his eye-catching display from the bench helped RB Leipzig overturn a one-goal deficit to win 2-1. For all the unwanted attention on the pitch, he is in fact creating more scoring chances and completing more dribbles than last season.

It's good news for RB Leipzig as they chase Bundesliga and Champions League success, and it's encouraging for his next club too. "He is looking more and more like the dominant central midfielder we used to know," says Tenbusch. Keita is still young and still learning, but Liverpool can look forward to getting to know him too.

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'Coutinho style suits Barca'

Tue, 14/11/2017 - 10:09

Last Updated: 14/11/17 9:09am

Ronaldinho hopes Philippe Coutinho will join his former club Barcelona Ronaldinho hopes Philippe Coutinho will join his former club Barcelona

Ronaldinho believes Philippe Coutinho is a perfect fit for Barcelona and hopes he can eventually secure a move to the Nou Camp from Liverpool.

Coutinho, who has scored four goals in his last five games, was the subject of three failed summer bids from Barcelona, the last of which was worth an initial £113m.

Barca are expected to renew their interest in the 25-year-old in January and Ronaldinho told Sky Sports News he would like to see Coutinho lining up for his former club.

I believe the way he plays will perfectly suit Barcelona and would be delighted to see a player of such quality wear the shirt.

Ronaldinho on Philippe Coutinho

"I would be very happy to see such a talented player wear the shirt I wore for so many years," said Ronaldinho, who is in London this week as a Football for Peace ambassador.

"I believe the way he plays will perfectly suit Barcelona and would be delighted to see a player of such quality wear the shirt.

"I like the way Coutinho plays and the type of football he brings. Those types of qualities will hopefully help Brazil win the next World Cup."

Coutinho will face England with Brazil on TuesdayCoutinho will face England with Brazil on Tuesday Coutinho will face England with Brazil on Tuesday

Brazil face England at Wembley on Tuesday evening and Ronaldinho believes Gareth Southgate is building a side that can compete in major tournaments.

"I follow them closely and you can see a lot of young players coming into the team," he said.

"Even though they're not very well known right now, they've got talent and will only get better.

"This England team won't be about individuals but about the strength of the group. I think they'll have a good World Cup."

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Clyne faces three months out

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 21:50
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 13/11/17 8:05pm

Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne could be out for up to three months after undergoing back surgery, according to Sky sources.

The former Southampton defender has not played since sustaining the injury in a pre-season match against Tranmere and now could be out until February.

He did resume light training in September, but the 26-year-old has since suffered a setback and has now undergone 'minor, corrective surgery' in a bid to rectify the problem.

Speaking on November 3, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: "He was in a good way and then had a little setback. That's how back problems are.

"We showed him to specialists all over the world and it is not a big problem, it just needs time, that is all."

Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been deployed at right-back by Klopp in his absence while Tottenham's Kieran Trippier has been favoured by Gareth Southgate in the England set-up.

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Klopp concerned by Mane setback

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 15:39
By Matthew Treadwell

Last Updated: 13/11/17 5:06pm

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has returned to the club for assessmentLiverpool striker Sadio Mane has returned to the club for assessment Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has returned to the club for assessment

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is concerned by Sadio Mane's injury relapse and says the club will monitor him closely in the coming days.

Mane was released by Senegal and is on his way back to Merseyside to be assessed by Liverpool medical staff after complaining of a slight niggle relating to a previous problem, also picked up while on international duty in October.

The forward played a key role in helping his country seal their place at the World Cup for the first time in 16 years as they beat South Africa 2-0 but Klopp must now wait to see if Mane can play any part against Southampton at Anfield when the Premier League returns on Saturday.

Mane suffers injury relapse

Sadio Mane has returned to Liverpool early from international duty after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

"First and foremost, I have to say big congratulations to Senegal on the achievement of qualifying for the World Cup; this is fantastic news for their country and the players - Sadio included," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"Specifically on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days.

"At this stage we haven't seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him.

Mane helped Senegal to World Cup qualification with a 2-0 win over South AfricaMane helped Senegal to World Cup qualification with a 2-0 win over South Africa Mane helped Senegal to World Cup qualification with a 2-0 win over South Africa

"There has been really strong communication between ourselves and the Senegal team management to ensure the player is properly protected and looked after.

"We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care.

Klopp's team take on Southampton at Anfield on SaturdayKlopp's team take on Southampton at Anfield on Saturday Klopp's team take on Southampton at Anfield on Saturday

"It should not be forgotten in Liverpool, either, how important it is to Sadio that he represents his country whenever he is fit enough to do so. He is so proud of his country and recognises what a role model he is for them.

"So, in this moment all I can really say with certainty is that we will assess Sadio as soon as he lands back in the country and make decisions on what rehab and treatment gives him the best chance of being back fit and strong for the important fixtures we have coming."

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Mane suffers injury relapse

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 13:00
By Zinny Boswell

Last Updated: 13/11/17 10:09am

Sadio Mane suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury while on international duty with SenegalSadio Mane suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury while on international duty with Senegal Sadio Mane suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury while on international duty with Senegal

Sadio Mane has returned to Liverpool early from international duty after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury, the Senegalese Football Federation has announced.

The 24-year-old had spent almost a month on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury while playing for Senegal in October.

Mane had appeared to make a full recovery from his injury after returning to first-team action for Liverpool in their 4-1 victory over West Ham on November 4.

West Ham 1-4 Liverpool West Ham 1-4 Liverpool

But it seems he has aggravated his injury after the Senegalese Football Federation announced the winger would be allowed to return to Merseyside for treatment following conversations with Liverpool's medical staff.

While away on international duty, Mane played a key role in helping Senegal secure qualification to the World Cup for the first time in 16 years with a 2-0 win over South Africa.

The statement from the Senegalese FA read: "The Senegalese Football Federation informs the national and international opinion that, following the match South Africa against Senegal on Friday, November 10, 2017, in Polokwane, the player Sadio Mane was slightly felt (sic) from his old injury.

"After consultations between the medical staff of the national team of Senegal and Liverpool, it was decided by mutual agreement to make it available to his club to continue treatment until full recovery."

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Coutinho 'happy' at Liverpool

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 05:00
By Calum Wilson

Last Updated: 13/11/17 10:10am

Philippe Coutinho has dampened rumours linking him with a January move to Barcelona, insisting he's happy playing in the Premier League Philippe Coutinho has dampened rumours linking him with a January move to Barcelona, insisting he's happy playing in the Premier League

Philippe Coutinho says he is happy at Liverpool, amid reports linking him with a move to Barcelona in January.

The Catalan club tried to sign Coutinho last summer and are thought to be planning a new effort to bring the midfielder to the Nou Camp in the January transfer window.

However, the Brazilian insists he is happy with life on Merseyside and is enjoying playing in the Premier League.

"I'm playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world," said Coutinho, who is currently on international duty with Brazil ahead of the friendly against England at Wembley on Tuesday.

"I'm always happy. But now it's important to concentrate on the national team. At the moment I am very happy with my life."

Coutinho has been out injured since October 22 with a leg injury but the 25-year-old says he has recovered and is available to play against England.

Coutinho has not played for Liverpool since OctoberCoutinho has not played for Liverpool since October Coutinho has not played for Liverpool since October

"I'm 100% fit," he said. "I had an injury and I missed three matches but now I'm coming back and I'm 100% ready for this match.

"Wearing the yellow shirt is always a real honour. It will be an honour to play in this game. We're expecting to put on a great show in this match."

Coutinho's Liverpool team-mate Dominic Solanke could also feature after being brought up from the England U21 squad by Gareth Southgate.

Coutinho could face Liverpool team-mate Dominic Solanke at Wembley on TuesdayCoutinho could face Liverpool team-mate Dominic Solanke at Wembley on Tuesday Coutinho could face Liverpool team-mate Dominic Solanke at Wembley on Tuesday

Southgate named an inexperienced side, including three debutants, for Friday's goalless draw with Germany, but Coutinho says the young players have earned their call-ups.

"They haven't been picked because they're young, they deserve their places," said Coutinho. "They will be really motivated. They will give their best. They have some great players. It will be a great game.

"It's a great challenge to play against England and this game is great preparation for the World Cup."

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How did your internationals do?

Sun, 12/11/2017 - 01:20

Last Updated: 12/11/17 6:21am

A host of Premier League players have been on international duty, featuring in friendlies and crucial World Cup qualifiersA host of Premier League players have been on international duty, featuring in friendlies and crucial World Cup qualifiers A host of Premier League players have been on international duty, featuring in friendlies and crucial World Cup qualifiers

With World Cup qualifiers and friendlies taking place across the globe, we look at how Premier League players got on during the international break.

There were plenty of players on international duty as the Premier League took a weekend off, with some important goals scored alongside some significant injuries.

Here's a round-up of how players from your Premier League team got on...

Arsenal

Olivier Giroud scored in France's 2-0 friendly win over Wales at the Stade De France, with Laurent Koscielny helping the hosts keep a clean sheet. Alexandre Lacazette was a second-half substitute, while Aaron Ramsey started for Wales.

Granit Xhaka started for Swizterland as they took a 1-0 first-leg lead against Northern Ireland in the World Cup play-offs.

Mesut Ozil played all 90 minutes as Germany were held to a 0-0 draw by England at Wembley.

Eddie Nketiah scored the winner as England Under-19s beat Iceland 2-1 in European U19 Championship qualifying.

Bournemouth

Nathan Ake started in defence as the Netherlands beat Scotland 1-0 in a friendly. Ryan Fraser came off the bench for Scotland.

Harrt Arter started for the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

Highlights of the friendly between Scotland and the Netherlands Highlights of the friendly between Scotland and the Netherlands Brighton

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan kept a clean sheet as Australia drew 0-0 at Honduras in their World Cup play-off first leg. Victory on Wednesday will see the Socceroos book a spot in Russia next summer.

Shane Duffy started for the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

Burnley

Jack Cork made his senior debut for England after coming on as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw with Germany at Wembley.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson played the first half of Iceland's 2-1 friendly loss at home to Czech Republic. Sam Vokes played the majority of Wales' 2-0 defeat to France on Friday.

Stephen Ward, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady all started for the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

Chelsea

Chelsea suffered a double blow as Tiemoue Bakayoko (France) and Michy Batshuayi (Belgium) were sent home after injuries in training.

Willian celebrates with his Brazil team-mates after Marcelo scored their second goalWillian celebrates with his Brazil team-mates after Marcelo scored their second goal Willian celebrates with his Brazil team-mates after Marcelo scored their second goal

Eden Hazard scored Belgium's opening goal in a 3-3 friendly draw with Mexico, with Thibaut Courtois also starting in goal.

Alvaro Morata netted for Spain as they beat Costa Rica 5-0 in a friendly.

Willian captained Brazil and was involved the third goal finished off by Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus in a 3-1 friendly win over Japan. Antonio Rudiger started for Germany in their 0-0 draw with England at Wembley.

Mason Mount scored the opening goal from a free-kick as England Under-19s beat Iceland 2-1 in European U19 Championship qualifying.

Crystal Palace

Ruben Loftus-Cheek put in a man-of-the-match performance as England held world champions Germany to a goalless draw on Friday evening.

Crystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who put in a man-of-the-match performance for England, pictured battling with Manchester City's IIkay Gundogan of GermanyCrystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who put in a man-of-the-match performance for England, pictured battling with Manchester City's IIkay Gundogan of Germany Crystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who put in a man-of-the-match performance for England, pictured battling with Manchester City's IIkay Gundogan of Germany

On-loan defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah started for the Netherlands as they beat Scotland 1-0 in a friendly. Wayne Hennessey started in goal for Wales as they lost 2-0 to France.

Wilfried Zaha will not be playing at the World Cup after Ivory Coast failed to qualify following a 2-0 defeat to Morocco.

Everton

Jordan Pickford started for England ahead of Joe Hart in their friendly with Germany on Friday, playing all 90 minutes and keeping a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw.

Ashley Williams captained Wales as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at France on Friday evening.

Huddersfield Town

Aaron Mooy played all 90 minutes in Australia's 0-0 first-leg draw away to Honduras - victory on Wednesday will see the Socceroos book a spot in the World Cup finals.

Leicester City

Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy both started in England's 0-0 friendly draw at home to Germany. Andy King started for Wales in their 2-0 defeat away to France.

Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet for Denmark, but they could not make home advantage count as the Republic of Ireland secured a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen.

Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Croatia and Greece Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Croatia and Greece Liverpool

Joe Gomez replaced the injured Phil Jones after 25 minutes to make his senior England debut in the 0-0 draw with Germany. Emre Can also came off the bench for the world champions.

Dejan Lovren played all 90 minutes at the heart of Croatia's defence as they took a commanding 4-1 first-leg lead over Greece in the World Cup play-offs.

Memphis Depay (R) celebrates scoring the only goal of the game with Liverpool's Georginio WijnaldumMemphis Depay (R) celebrates scoring the only goal of the game with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum Memphis Depay (R) celebrates scoring the only goal of the game with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum

Andrew Robertson played 90 minutes for Scotland in their 1-0 friendly defeat to the Netherlands, who had Georginio Wijnaldum in their starting line-up. Ben Woodburn was a second-half substitute for Wales in their 2-0 loss to France on Friday.

Manchester City

Three City players started in the England v Germany friendly at Wembley on Friday, John Stones got the nod in defence for the hosts, while Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan were in the visitors' line-up. Kyle Walker also came off the bench in the 0-0 draw.

Danilo's cross was met by City team-mate Gabriel Jesus for Brazil's third goal as they enjoyed a 3-1 friendly win over Japan, with Fernandinho playing 90 minutes.

Sergio Aguero scored a late winner as Argentina beat World Cup hosts Russia 1-0 in a friendly on Saturday. Nicolas Otamendi played all 90 minutes.

David Silva scored twice in Spain's 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.

Kevin De Bruyne played the first half of Belgium's 3-3 draw with Mexico. Bernardo Silva started for Portugal in their 3-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia.

Manchester United

Phil Jones suffered an injury scare after coming off after 25 minutes in England's friendly with Germany, which ended 0-0. Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford both came off the bench for the Three Lions.

Phil Jones was substituted after 25 minutes due to an injury in England's 0-0 draw with GermanyPhil Jones was substituted after 25 minutes due to an injury in England's 0-0 draw with Germany Phil Jones was substituted after 25 minutes due to an injury in England's 0-0 draw with Germany

Victor Lindelof helped Sweden keep a clean sheet as they made home advantage count with a 1-0 first-leg win over Italy in the World Cup play-offs - Matteo Darmian played all 90 minutes for the visitors.

Romelu Lukaku equalled the all-time Belgium goalscoring record after scoring twice against Mexico in Friday night's 3-3 friendly draw.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored Armenia's second goal as they ran out 4-1 winners over Belarus in a friendly. Daley Blind started in midfield for the Netherlands in their 1-0 friendly win in Scotland.

Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Sweden and Italy Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Sweden and Italy Newcastle United

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored Serbia's second goal in their 2-0 friendly victory over China.

Chancel Mbemba played for DR Congo as they finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 win over Guinea. The result was not enough for DR Congo to qualify for the World Cup.

Ciaran Clark captained the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

Stoke City

Xherdan Shaqiri earned a controversial penalty for Switzerland, with the resulting spot-kick handing them a 1-0 advantage over Northern Ireland going into the second leg of the World Cup play-offs. Joe Allen started for Wales in their 2-0 loss to France on Friday.

Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland is awarded a penalty after alleged handball by Corry Evans of Northern IrelandXherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland is awarded a penalty after alleged handball by Corry Evans of Northern Ireland Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland is awarded a penalty after alleged handball by Corry Evans of Northern Ireland Southampton

Steven Davis captained Northern Ireland in their 1-0 defeat at home to Switzerland in the World Cup play-off first leg.

Ryan Bertrand was a second-half substitute in England's 0-0 draw with Germany.

Virgil van Dijk played the full match as the Netherlands beat Scotland 1-0 in a friendly on Thursday. Dusan Tadic played all 90 minutes as Serbia recorded a 2-0 win over China in a friendly.

Shane Long was a late sub for the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

Swansea City

Ki Sung-yueng captained South Korea in a 2-1 friendly victory over Colombia.

Tottenham

Heung-min Son scored both goals as South Korea ran out 2-1 winners in a friendly against Colombia, who had Davinson Sanchez in their starting line-up.

Tottenham's Heung-min Son scored twice for South KoreaTottenham's Heung-min Son scored twice for South Korea Tottenham's Heung-min Son scored twice for South Korea

Eric Dier captained England for the first time in their 0-0 draw at home to Wembley. Kieran Trippier started before being replaced after 72 minutes by former Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker. Danny Rose also started.

Christian Eriksen failed to inspire Denmark to a first-leg advantage as they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Republic of Ireland.

Mousa Dembele played the second half in Belgium's 3-3 friendly draw in Mexico. Jan Vertonghen sat out the game with injury, but could feature against Japan on Tuesday ahead of Spurs' North London derby with Arsenal on Saturday.

Ben Davies started for Wales in their 2-0 friendly defeat at France on Friday.

Serge Aurier will not be playing at the World Cup after Ivory Coast failed to qualify following a 2-0 defeat to Morocco.

Watford

Andre Carrillo played 78 minutes for Peru as their 0-0 draw in New Zealand meant victory at home on Wednesday will book their spot in the World Cup finals.

Orestis Karnezis faces an uphill battle with Greece after they fell to a heavy 4-1 defeat to Croatia.

West Brom

The Baggies trio of Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Chris Brunt started for Northern Ireland in their 1-0 first-leg defeat to Switzerland in the World Cup play-offs.

Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Northern Ireland and Switzerland Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Northern Ireland and Switzerland

Jake Livermore was named in Gareth Southgate's starting XI as England drew 0-0 at Wembley with Germany. Matt Phillips played all 90 minutes for Scotland in their 1-0 friendly defeat to the Netherlands.

Nacer Chadli started for Belgium in their 3-3 friendly draw with Mexico. Grzegorz Krychowiak played for Poland in their goalless draw with Uruguay.

James McClean started for the Republic of Ireland as they held Denmark to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup play-off first leg.

West Ham

Javier Hernandez suffered a suspected hamstring injury during Mexico's 3-3 draw with Belgium on Friday.

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Solanke and Cook called up by England

Sun, 12/11/2017 - 00:22

Last Updated: 12/11/17 9:10am

Striker Dominic Solanke in Liverpool actionStriker Dominic Solanke in Liverpool action Striker Dominic Solanke in Liverpool action

Dominic Solanke and Lewis Cook have been added to Gareth Southgate's England squad ahead of Tuesday's friendly international against Brazil.

The pair will join goalkeeper Angus Gunn who was called up on Friday as a replacement for Jack Butland.

The trio played in Friday's U21 international against Ukraine in Kiev, and have returned to England to join the senior squad on Saturday evening.

Liverpool's Solanke and Bournemouth midfielder Cook were both members of England's U20 squad, which earlier this year were crowned world champions at their age group level.

Striker Solanke has appeared in seven Premier League games this season, while Cook has played in four for the Cherries.

Cook was England's skipper when they lifted the U20 World Cup in Korea, five months ago.

Bournemouth's Lewis Cook has earned a call-up to the England senior squadBournemouth's Lewis Cook has earned a call-up to the England senior squad Bournemouth's Lewis Cook has earned a call-up to the England senior squad

Cook‏ tweeted on Saturday: "Incredibly honoured and proud to be called up for England senior squad. Huge achievement for me and my family."

As for Gunn, he is currently on loan at Norwich City from Manchester City, and has represented England at five different age-group levels.

Meanwhile, Phil Jones has been ruled out of the game against Brazil at Wembley after being substituted during the first half of the match with Germany due to a thigh injury.

Updated England squad for Brazil: Tammy Abraham, Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Lewis Cook, Jack Cork, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Angus Gunn, Joe Hart, Michael Keane, Jesse Lingard, Jake Livermore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Harry Maguire, Jordan Pickford, Marcus Rashford, Danny Rose, Dominic Solanke, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Jamie Vardy, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young.

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Solanke scores in England U21 win

Fri, 10/11/2017 - 21:20

Last Updated: 11/11/17 10:16am

Dominic Solanke scored the opening goal for England U21Dominic Solanke scored the opening goal for England U21 Dominic Solanke scored the opening goal for England U21

Liverpool's Dominic Solanke scored as England U21s continued their unbeaten start to Euro qualifying with a 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Solanke's strike (16), followed by a second-half own goal by Ukraine's Pavlo Lukyanchuk (62) sealed the win for Aidy Boothroyd's side, who are top of Group Four after five games.

They've taken 13 points out of a possible 15, and Boothroyd's England were captained by Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook, with many regulars with the England senior side for their friendly against Germany at Wembley.

Aidy Boothroyd's side are top of Euro Qualifying group fourAidy Boothroyd's side are top of Euro Qualifying group four Aidy Boothroyd's side are top of Euro Qualifying group four

Solanke finished well from the edge of the box from Kieran Dowell's pass after good early pressure from the visitors, before Demarai Gray struck narrowly wide after edging inside from the right.

Cook was involved in England's second after the hour mark, going on a mazy run before feeding Gray via Solanke. Then Gray's cross was turned home at close range by the unfortunate Lukianchuk.

Norwich City's James Maddison made his Under-21 debut late on, coming on for Solanke with 11 minutes remaining.

England U21s' next game will be against Ukraine on March 27.

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