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.

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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.

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.)

De Bruyne faces up to six weeks out

de Bruyne in action for Belgium

When Manchester City fans saw the discomfort their impressive midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was in during their 3-1 victory over Everton on Wednesday night, they had every right to assume the worst. Thankfully, though, the injury is not as bad as first feared.

The Belgian was taken off on a stretcher with his right knee fully strapped up after having scored the second goal and set up the third for his side on their way to winning the second leg on aggregate, securing a Wembley day out with Liverpool in the Capital One cup final.

The injury happened in injury time, and some had thought it may see de Bruyne out for the remainder of the season. But since then it has been announce he may only be missing for up to six weeks.

When speaking to Sky, de Bruyne’s agent Patrick de Koster said his client would work hard to come back stronger.

“Kevin told me the only thing he can do is work hard and come back.

“Kevin is sad. His dream is to always be playing football. He will miss games like the League Cup final and in the Champions League, which are important.”

Despite helping his side make it to Wembley, de Bruyne is almost certainly going to miss the final with Liverpool on February 28th.

The injury was the only downer on a big night for City, but manager Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic he’ll have de Bruyne back before the end of the campaign.

“We’ll see how important the damage is. It’s not the cruciate ligament.

“The doctor thinks, but he cannot be sure, that it’s a problem in his medial ligament.”

The good news for City fans is they are being seen by the bookies as the favourite going into the match with Liverpool. This guide to online sports betting available at online-betting.me.uk will have all of the relevant information ahead of the big tie at the end of February.

Everton keeper Joel Robles tried to lift the injured de Bruyne repeatedly as he lay injured on the ground, but has since taken to social media to apologise to the Belgian.

Which Premier League team travels the most this season?

The Premier League is the most watched football league around the world. Watched across the globe by millions and loyal fans, it also is the highest paid league with footballers paid wages that we can only dream of.

The Premier League season 2015/2016 has been a turbulent one so far, with Leicester surprising us all. It has been great to see the underdog lead the pack, but could this be because they don’t travel far to matches on average? Compared to teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United?

Harrison and Rowley have done the number crunching figures and bring to you an infographic showing how much each Premier League travels over the course of the 2015/2016 season and the results we found were surprising. Newcastle, Sunderland and Swansea lead the top 3 positions as the most travelling teams. As they are situated far in the North it is understandable that they have to travel more then central teams. The teams in the bottom 3 that travel the least are Aston Villa, Leicester and West Brom, the Midlands teams.

Could travelling less be the reason why Leicester City are top of the league? With Newcastle the most travelling team could this be the reason why they are at the bottom of the league? Well we shall let you decide for yourself, in the meantime how does you team rank? Let us know!

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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.

Liverpool sack manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool will be on the hunt for a new manager from tonight onwards after the club announced the sacking of Brendan Rodgers with immediate effect, just a few hours after their 1-1 draw with rivals Everton.

Rodgers took Liverpool to within a whisker of the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season, but having lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona, and then Daniel Sturridge to injury for large parts of last season, the club failed to live up to the hype they built the previous season.

Liverpool sit 10th in the league after today’s draw, with the club statement stating the decision had been a difficult one.

“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.

“The search for a new manager is underway and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”

The Northern Irish manager was told just under an hour after the final whistle had gone at Goodison Park that he would be leaving the club.

Principal owner John W Henry, President Mike Gordon and Chairman Tom Werner released a press statement of their own following the dismissal.

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.

“All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.”

“Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.”

Swindon cut short Liverpool goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux’s loan spell

In what will probably be the greatest, and funniest story you’ll read today – Swindon have sent on loan Liverpool goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux back to Merseyside, after the joker paid a £50 club fine in pennies.

Vigouroux was fined for turning up to training late, and told to £50 so to set an example – and in hope the player would not make the same mistake again.

Sadly for Swindon, the 21-year-old clearly felt hard done by. Either that, or what may have been a joke was taken completely the wrong way by the Robins – but I doubt that was the case.

Signed by Liverpool from Tottenham last year, manager Brendan Rodgers sent the youngster out on loan to gain some first team experience, and had been performing well for Swindon before the incident.

Robins manager Mark Cooper, who is already working with a small squad, wouldn’t give too much away to the press following the revelation – but did say the matter had been dealt with, and he was unsure whether the player would be available on Tuesday.

“It’s a disciplinary internal matter. I’m not sure if he is (available on Tuesday).

“It’s come from me and the rest of the players. It won’t (cause an issue now) it’s been dealt with.”

With the departure of Vigouroux Swindon now face the problem of only having one senior keeper on the books, in the form of Ty Belford. Belford will now be favourite to start tomorrow night’s match when the club face Doncaster Rovers – but you would assume Cooper will be scrambling around to bring in another senior keeper on loan.