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.

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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.

Black Cats sack Adam Johnson

28-year-old winger Adam Johnson has today been sacked by Sunderland AFC after the footballer pleaded guilty to one charge of grooming and one count of participating in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 years.

The Black Cats had announced earlier in the day that Johnson would be unavailable for their Premier League match on Saturday with Manchester United.

There could still be parts of the story to unfold as the midfielder will face two further counts of sexual activity with a child on Friday – but this is something he currently denies.

Sunderland released a club statement 7:35pm which read as follows:

“In light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect.

The club will make no further comment.”

The Sunderland born player has also had his boot sponsorship deal with Nike severed today too, as many of those who were closely linked to him look to distance themselves from association quickly.

“Adidas can confirm that it has terminated its contract with footballer Adam Johnson with immediate effect.

“This follows his guilty pleas entered earlier this week.” A statement read.

Johnson had enjoyed his final game in Sunderland’s red and white having been a major part of the club’s fight back from 2-0 down at Liverpool, as he scored direct from a free kick to make the scores 2-1 – before Jermaine Defoe equalised seven minutes later to finish the game at 2-2.

Let’s take a look at how Twitter reacted (Including an old one from another Adam Johnson from around the time the story first unfolded):

(The views in the tweets do not necessarily match mine. Just thought they were share worthy.)

Cherries suffer more injury woes

On a large, it hasn’t been too bad a start to the season for AFC Bournemouth, who are enjoying life in their first year in the big flight of English football. – But the club have had yet another set back today, as club Captain Tommy Elphick has been ruled out until 2016 at the earliest.

Above reigning champions Chelsea, and eight points from eight games, – that would have probably pleased fans of the Cherries before the season started, with the club more importantly three places above the dreaded relegation zone – which swallows up and spits out three unlucky clubs each season.

However it’s not all been fairytales for the club thus far. Striker Callum Wilson picked up where he left off from the previous season, scoring for fun – and this time at a higher level. Five goals from the opening seven games left Wilson on England manager Roy Hodgson’s mind, that is until he suffered a rupture to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a match against Stoke City in late September, ruling him out for up to six months.

The injury curse seems to be sticking with the club, as Elphick has been ruled out until the New Year after surgery on an ankle injury that has plagued him since August.

Elphick hasn’t appeared for the club since the 3-1 loss to Norwich last month, with Cherries boss Eddie Howe telling the press of the bad news earlier on today, whilst given an update on Wilson too.

“Tommy has had surgery on his ankle and could face 10 weeks out. It could be shorter.

“He (Wilson) has had surgery on his knee and he’s in good form.

“Callum is a guy who has got a great mentality. Whether he’s playing or he’s injured, that doesn’t really change.

“He’s focused on his rehab and coming back stronger than ever. Although he faces a long recovery time, he’s in good mental shape.”

Bournemouth face the difficult task of a trip to the Etihad on Saturday to face Manchester Cuty in a 3pm kick off against the league leaders.

Klopp must change Liverpool from doubters to believers

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Liverpool unveiled Jurgen Klopp as their new manager on Friday morning, following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with inner-city rivals Everton, and described himself jokingly as ‘The normal one’.

The 48-year-old German signed a three-year deal reported to be worth in the region of £15,000,000, and has been out of work after ending his seven year stay with Borussia Dortmund in May to take a sabbatical.

Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz are expected to quickly follow Klopp to Anfield, as the two were his assistants during his time with Dortmund in Germany.

Klopp has been talking to the press this morning following the unveiling, and described himself as “The normal ‘one'”, after a question related to Jose Mourinho being the ‘Special one’.

“I don’t want to describe myself,

“I am a totally normal guy. I am the normal one maybe? I had a great opportunity to take Dortmund for seven years. And now I am here. I want to enjoy my work. People have told me a lot about the English press. It is up to you to show me they are all liars.”

The new Liverpool manager told of how he needed to work with his squad to bring the belief back to their game.

“At the moment, the LFC family is a bit too nervous and pessimistic. It is a great atmosphere in the stadium but they don’t believe right now. History is great but only to remember. We need to be as successful as we can be.

“The message to the Liverpool supporters: we have to change from doubters to believers, now.”

With the international break this weekend Liverpool are without a game, but will have the chance to climb from their current position of 10th when they travel to Spurs a week tomorrow.