Loftus-Cheek won’t let injury dampen positives from England bow

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will remain positive after a back injury cruely cut short his second appearance for the England national team, during the goalless draw with Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday.

Loftus-Cheek, who is currently on loan with Crystal Palace from Chelsea, put in an eye-catching performance on his debut for the national side against Germany last week.

The 21-year-old was then rewarded for that positive display by being given the chance to start for England when they faced Brazil.

However, the midfielder was only able to complete 35 minutes of the game with the South Americans, when a lower back problem flared up.

After the match, Southgate said he expected the issue to “settle down fairly quickly” and praised the contribution of Loftus-Cheek, whom he coached in the under-21s, as “absolutely outstanding”.

In a post on his personal Twitter account after the game, Loftus-Cheek wrote: “Disappointing to have my night cut short after being on the pitch with some amazing players. Will stay positive after a good week.”

An update on whether Loftus-Cheek will be available for Palace’s upcoming Premier League match is expected when Roy Hodgson holds a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles currently sit bottom of the table, and have picked up just one point since recording their first and only league win of the season, when they defeated Chelsea on October 14.

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‘I’m a work in progress’ – Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has sent a message directly to any of his critics, saying he should not be judged right now as the ‘finished article’.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was left gobsmacked by the lack of support for his striker following last weekend’s vital victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

The £75m price that the forward cost United has clearly left some of the fanbase expecting more, despite Lukaku having scored 12 goals in his first 11 games.

Despite the electric start, the Belgian has, however, gone six games without scoring. That shouldn’t stop punters from backing the striker to find the net on Sunday against his old club Chelsea, which means it could be a good time to use betulator.com to work out your maximum winnings.

During an interview with Sky Sports, Lukaku asked for the patience of United fans, and insisted he wasn’t close to being the finished product.

“I’m just focused on improving year in, year out. That’s the most important thing. Every time I try to add something to my game that wasn’t there.

“I think a lot of people are judging me as the finished article. I’m 24. You can’t judge me as the finished article. I’d rather have a career where year after year I improve rather than going to the top and decline.

“I know I have a lot of talent, I know I can do a lot of stuff. I can score goals with my left, with my right, with the head but I want to be a creator, I want to have more assists, I want to make sure that when my team is in difficulties that they can count on me.

“I want to be a winner. It’s not about me as an individual, I want to win, and I think here I’m at the perfect stage and at the perfect age where I can take my career to the next level.”

Sunday sees United head to Stamford Bridge to face the Premier League champions Chelsea, as they look to prevent allowing leaders Manchester City from opening a larger gap at the top than the five-point advantage they already possess.

Mourinho won’t be the only familiar face to make a return to Chelsea, with Nemanja Matic set to play against his former side.

The Portuguese manager admitted he was surprised when he was given the opportunity to sign the midfielder, during an interview with Sky Sports.

“I was surprised when (Matic’s) agent called me to say, ‘Do you want him?’

“I was surprised, but he’s an agent I know well. Normally he’s very direct and objective, he doesn’t waste time, he doesn’t try to get people to be interested in his players to improve their situation at their club.

“So when he told me, ‘You can have him if you want’, of course I want.”

Third-bottom Everton sack Koeman

Everton have announced today that they have relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as Everton manager.

The Toffees are currently sitting third bottom in the Premier League, after winning only two of their opening nine league games.

Koeman had led Everton to a seventh-place finish last season, securing Europa League football, but has paid the price for their disastrous start.

A statement from the club read: “Chairman Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the club over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.”

Mane injury is a huge blow to Liverpool

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 Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Liverpool have suffered another major setback in their quest for a top-four finish, after dynamic winger Sadio Mane was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Even more frustrating for the Anfield outfit is the fact that Mane suffered the injury whilst away on international duty with Senegal. It’s a major blow for the club, who rely heavily on his creative attacking runs down the flanks and his lightning pace in the final third of the pitch.

He was substituted in the 89th minute of Senegal’s win over Cape Verde and Liverpool have now confirmed the injury to the press.

The exciting forward was named in the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or on Monday, but unfortunately, he is now set to sit out even more games on the bench. The injury blow comes having just returned from a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes in their clash back in September.

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario for Reds fans, who will remember him playing in the African Cup of Nations last season and subsequently missing the whole of January. Liverpool failed to cope with his loss sufficiently and slumped to their worst month of the 2016/17 campaign.

Despite being absent for that entire month, as well as another six weeks at the end of the year because of a knee injury, Mane still managed to score 13 goals last season.

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Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Coach Jurgen Klopp now faces a massive challenge to keep the club moving forward in its push for a top-four finish. Big-spending Manchester City have set the pace so far and are the favourites to win the title, with Premier League betting sites pricing them at 4/6. Manchester United are hot on their heels at 11/4, and Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal seem to be the remaining teams who will fight it out for the remaining Champions League places.

Attention will now no doubt turn to who can replace Mane on the wing during the player’s absence. It could mean a first Liverpool start for new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined the club in a £40 million deadline-day deal.

The Senegal could miss as many as eight games for the Reds, including three of the club’s critical Champions League clashes, with a potential return against Chelsea at Anfield late November.

Adam Lallana is another player that could fill the void if he can get back to match fitness sooner than expected. The England International recently travelled to Qatar where he is trying to speed up his rehabilitation at the Aspetar Sorting Clinic. He is still recovering from a ruptured tendon in his left thigh which he sustained in a training exercise at the beginning of August. The club said that they weren’t expecting him back in October, but are hopeful he could make an earlier return.

Liverpool will hope that they can find someone to fill the vacant forward position without too much trouble, and that it doesn’t impact on the clubs attacking style of play.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton ‘out for months’

Burnley manager Sean Dyche revealed on Thursday that Tom Heaton is expected to be missing “for months”, after suffering a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old – who has been capped by England three times – suffered the injury after landing awkwardly during the first half of his side’s victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend, and went under the knife on Wednesday.

After the 1-0 defeat of Palace Dyche had mentioned how he suspected Heaton would be missing for a lengthy period, and when asked whether this was the confirmed case at a press conference on Thursday, he said: “Yes, It won’t be weeks, it will be a longer period.”

Burnley face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday at 3pm, as they look to continue their good start to the Premier League season, after securing seven points from the opening four matches.

Atletico Madrid manager Simeone signs new deal

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has signed a two-year contract extension with the LaLiga club, it has been announced.

The 47-year-old first took control of the Spanish outfit in December 2011, and will now remain with Atleti until the end of June 2020.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Our manager signed the new contract that ties him to Atletico Madrid for two more seasons, until June 30th, 2020.

“The much-awaited news by the Atletico fans is thus confirmed, something that Enrique Cerezo, Miguel Angel Gil and Simeone himself have always hinted at in their public statements.”

Simeone – who also played for the club as a midfielder – led Atleti to Europa League success during his first season with the team.

He would then win the European Super Cup and Copa del Rey the following season.

Atleti secured their 10th league title in 2013/14 with Simeone in charge, and they also reached the final of the Champions League that term, before being beaten to close rivals Real Madrid.

Last season saw Simeone win more silverware with the club, guiding them to another Copa del Rey triumph – and the team currently sit fourth in the league so far this campaign, but remain unbeaten ahead of a trip to Valencia on Saturday.

Leicester back Ranieri despite relegation threat

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 With their recent defeat at home to Manchester United leaving them just a point above the relegation zone, manager Claudio Ranieri is coming under severe pressure from supporters as the Foxes look to rediscover their form of last season. However, despite their recent struggles, the Italian boss has received the backing from the club, with the club set to fight in both the Champions League and Premier League over the coming weeks.

Just over six months ago, Leicester were celebrating the biggest day in their history, with Captain Wes Morgan lifting the Premier League trophy for the first time after a remarkable campaign. However, with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez failing to rediscover their form from last year, as well as N’Golo Kante continuing to show just how much of an asset he is with league leaders Chelsea, the Foxes are now among the favourites for relegation. For those of you wishing to back Ranieri’s men to steer clear of the drop zone, you can find all football competitions at one place including UK, International, European and other Leagues.

 Wins for fellow strugglers Hull City and Sunderland last time around only compounded Leicester’s misery, with just two points separating the bottom six in the Premier League table. Relegation for the Foxes would make them the first club to drop down to the Championship having won the title the previous year, with Rainieri keen to justify his winning of the FIFA Coach of the Year Award in 2016.

With a Champions League Round of 16 tie against Spanish La Liga side Sevilla to look forward to, Claudio Ranieri would likely trade wins against Swansea City and Liverpool in the coming weeks with European progression. Leicester’s players have been criticised widely in the press, with Arsenal’s legendary striker Ian Wright calling them “lazy”. Other reports suggest that the Italian boss has lost the support of his dressing room, with a reported ban on chicken burgers upsetting some of the players.

The former Chelsea boss, previously known as the “tinkerman”, will be hoping that his latest idea will get the players motivated, with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr set to meet the Leicester squad during his time in the UK. With just five wins from their 24 Premier League fixtures to date, the presence of the unbeaten American can certainly not have a negative effect on the team.

Ivanovic leaves Chelsea after nine years

Бранислав Иванович продолжит карьеру в «Зените»
Credit: Zenit St Petersburg

Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has left Chelsea after nine years with the Blues, having signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg for an undisclosed fee.

Ivanovic joined Chelsea in 2008 from Lokomotiv Moscow, and went on to feature in over 350 first team games for the team.

Chelsea fans can look back fondly on his impressive career with the club, which included an medals list of the following: Champions League winners, Premier League title x2, FA Cup winners x3, League Cup winners, Community Shield and their Europa League success in 2013.

First team opportunities had become increasingly sparse, and the 32-year-old had only made six starts for table-topping Chelsea so far this season.

Ivanovic managed mark what was his final appearance for the Blues with a goal, as he scored in the 4-0 victory over Brentford in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Another club stalwart in John Terry was one of the first players to make a tribute to ‘Brana’, who he described as a ‘legend’.

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday night, but should have taken all three points if not for a missed penalty by Diego Costa.

The Blues host Arsenal this Saturday at 12:30, and this along with the rest of the Premier League scores are available to be followed at popular site SBAT.com.

Bruce: “I left for the sake of the club.”

Photo credit: Mirror.co.uk

Former-Hull City manager Steve Bruce has claimed he left his position at the Tigers for the “sake of the club”, and proclaimed his delight at the “unwavering” support the fans have given him since he took up the difficult decision to resign.

Bruce will go down as one of the, if not the, most successful manager in Hull’s history, after he twice led them to the Premier League, including a Championship Play Off final victory over Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the summer.

The 55-year-old also led the Tigers to their first ever FA Cup final back in May 2014, but despite taking a two-goal lead their opponents on the day, Arsenal, fought back to eventually take a 3-2 victory in extra-time.

It has been reported that his decision to leave the club despite having just gotten them back into the Premier League was due to a ‘break-down in relations’ with the clubs vice-chairman Ehab Allam.

The latest statements from Bruce himself have come in an open letter he penned for the Hull Daily Mail.

“It was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club.

“The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.

“It is rare for a manager to have the backing I’ve had from fans. It’s been unwavering. One of the abiding memories was the reaction of supporters the day we were relegated on the final day of the 2014-15 season.

“They applauded us off the pitch when you’d expect them to have been ripping the roof off.” He concluded.

Hull City stepped up their preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign when they defeated local rivals Scunthorpe United 2-0 at Glanford Park on Saturday, with Shaun Maloney and Mo Diame the goal scorers.

Despite an impressive pre-season so far, the club are heavily backed to be in a relegation battle once the season begins. You can get the best football betting advice from football-bookmakers.com to help you decide who you will be making you bets for the season with.

Danny Welbeck suffers yet more injury heartache

Photo credit: @Arsenal on Twitter

Poor Danny Welbeck will once again disappear under the radar for a substantial amount of time, after the striker was ruled out for around nine months following a knee injury suffered during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal today announced that tests following the injury showed “significant cartilage damage”, and the 25-year-old has now had surgery too.

However, the injury is not the same that the unlucky former-Manchester United star suffered earlier in the season, which saw him miss a total of seven months of this campaign.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had admitted after Sunday’s game that he was “worried” by the injury, and his fears have become a reality sadly.

There had been calls for Welbeck to be chosen by Roy Hodgson for the 23-man England squad in France this summer, after he came back from his previous injury to score five times in the second half of the season.

Due to the length of his previous knee injury, many had forgotten just how lethal he can be, but he showed his worth to the Arsenal side as his goal saw his side on their way to a 2-1 defeat of eventual champions Leicester City back in February on his return.

The good news though, is that Welbeck seems to be in good spirits and confident that he can bounce back from this huge set as he posted this update to his 20,000 Twitter followers:

Arsenal’s Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain was also ruled out last week with a knee injury, and like Welbeck, will miss England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

All the best for your recovery Danny.