Sky Sports Football – Observing The Sky Wed, 05 Jan 2022 10:21:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sky Sports Football – Observing The Sky 32 32 Liverpool Carabao Cup match with Arsenal in doubt as Pep Lijnders tests positive for Covid | Football news Wed, 05 Jan 2022 09:38:53 +0000

Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders tested positive for Covid-19, putting Thursday’s game against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in doubt.

Lijnders has been in charge of Liverpool on an interim basis while Jurgen Klopp is isolating himself and was due to hold a press conference on Wednesday morning in the absence of the Liverpool manager.

That press conference was called off, with Liverpool confirming that Lijnders had returned a positive test.

Liverpool have officially requested a postponement of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Thursday at Arsenal after other cases of Covid-19 within the squad forced training to be canceled on Tuesday.

A statement from Liverpool said on Wednesday: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm that Pepijn Lijnders returned a presumed positive test for COVID-19, which has a further impact on the club’s preparations for Thursday’s Carabao Cup game with Arsenal.

“As a result, the press conference scheduled for this morning to preview the game has been canceled.

“The deputy manager was to take over pre-match media duties at the AXA training center in place of Jürgen Klopp, who continues to self-isolate after testing positive for the virus last week.

“However, Lijnders also recorded a positive test late on Tuesday evening, which means he is now also in isolation.

“The 38-year-old had taken over interim Liverpool in the weekend draw at Chelsea in Klopp’s absence and was due to continue directing the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Lijnders’ test result comes on top of a number of suspected positive cases among football players and staff recorded earlier Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of the scheduled training session for the day.

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Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders said Jurgen Klopp was giving all his support and energy from home ahead of Liverpool’s Super Sunday clash against Chelsea.

“Due to the outbreak and the suspension of preparations, as well as other illnesses and injuries recorded within the squad, the club have submitted a request to the EFL for the postponement of Thursday’s game with Arsenal, with the news of Lijnders’ positive result after the filing of the claim.

“The outcome of this request is still pending.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and three players – Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip – were forced to miss Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea after testing positive.

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Jamie Carragher, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Graeme Souness wonder if Chelsea or Liverpool, after their 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, can still win the Premier League title, or if Man City are already too far ahead of the table.

Liverpool were deprived of a total of nine players for the game at Chelsea due to illness and injury, and subsequently lost Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of Nations.

The postponement request will also raise a question about Sunday’s FA Cup third round game at home against Shrewsbury.

The Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Anfield is scheduled for January 13.

Should Liverpool forfeit?

In September 2020, Leyton Orient was forced to forgo their Carabao Cup third round match against Tottenham due to 18 of their players and first-team staff testing positive for Covid-19.

An order from the local health authority also meant that Orient was unable to play the third round match before the fourth round match, which was due a week later.

Carabao Cup competition rule 5.1 states that a club must forfeit a match if they are unable to complete it before the next round.

However, Liverpool are expected to avoid forfeiting as the final is set for February 27. Indeed, Arsenal and Liverpool have until that date to play the two semi-finals.

Liverpool’s next six matches

January 6: Arsenal (A) – Carabao Cup, live on Sky Sports

January 9: Shrewsbury (H) – FA Cup Third Round

January 13: Arsenal (M) – Carabao Cup

January 16: Brentford (H) – Premier League

January 23: Crystal Palace (A) – Premier League, live on Sky Sports

Which Premier League matches have been called off?

Brighton v Tottenham – Sunday 12 December

Brentford v Man Utd – Tuesday December 14

Burnley vs. Watford – Wednesday December 15

Leicester v Tottenham – Thursday December 16

Manchester United v Brighton – Saturday December 18

Southampton v Brentford – Saturday December 18

Watford v Crystal Palace – Saturday December 18

West Ham vs. Norwich – Saturday December 18

Aston Villa vs. Burnley – Saturday December 18

Everton v Leicester – Sunday December 19

Liverpool v Leeds – Sunday 26 December

Wolves vs. Watford Sunday 26 December

Burnley vs. Everton Sunday 26 December

Leeds v Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28

Arsenal vs. Wolves – Tuesday December 28

Everton v Newcastle – Thursday December 30

Southampton v Newcastle – Sunday January 2

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Arsenal transfers: Middlesbrough wants Folarin Balogun; Eddie Nketiah’s Position Unchanged | Football news Sat, 01 Jan 2022 17:43:45 +0000

Middlesbrough is one of several clubs in the Sky Bet Championship interested in loaning Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun on loan.

Balogun has not been in the Premier League since August, but is still part of Arsenal’s long-term plans and signed a new contract in April which binds him to the club until 2025.

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Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder tried to sign the 20-year-old New York-born player in 2020 while in charge of Sheffield United.

Balogun is also attracting interest from Europe, with the French Ligue 1 team Saint-Etienne monitoring its situation.

Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker hinted last month that Balogun, who has made a total of 10 first-team appearances in all competitions, would be on loan in January.

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The Soccer Special panel is embarking on a heated debate over the future of Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah, the 22-year-old due to be out of contract this summer.

Nketiah free to talk with foreign clubs

Meanwhile, there is no change in the situation for forward Eddie Nketiah at Emirates Stadium.

Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup win over Sunderland last month, turned down the club’s latest contract offer and is now able to negotiate a pre-contract with a foreign club.

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Highlights of the Carabao Cup quarter-final match between Arsenal and Sunderland.

January is Arsenal’s last chance to cash in on the 22-year-old, although he would receive compensation even if he left with a free transfer.

A permanent sale in January has not been ruled out, although Nketiah’s services may be required as disgraced former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already left on an African Cup of Nations mission with Gabon.

Follow Arsenal with Sky Sports

Follow every Arsenal game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly thereafter full-time.

Want the latest Arsenal? Mark our Arsenal news page, to verify Arsenal matches and Arsenal’s latest results, Look Arsenal goals and video, keep track of Premier League table and see which Arsenal matches are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more – including notifications sent straight to your phone – by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and set Arsenal as your favorite team.

Hear Premier League’s best reaction and expert analysis with the Essential football and Gary Neville podcasts, stay informed with our Transfer center, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, and find out how get Sky Sports.

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Joao Cancelo: Manchester City full-back suffers facial injuries after assault and theft allegations | Football news Fri, 31 Dec 2021 00:07:05 +0000

Joao Cancelo says he was assaulted by four assailants who stole jewelry and tried to hurt his family.

The Manchester City full-back revealed facial injuries in an Instagram story on Thursday night, claiming they were sustained as a result of the attack.

The Portuguese defender, 27, did not say where the attack occurred, but City later said it was during a burglary at the player’s home.

“Unfortunately, today I was assaulted by four cowards who hurt me and tried to hurt my family. When you show resistance, that’s what happens,” Cancelo said.

The photo he shared showed a deep cut above his right eye.

“I don’t know how there are people with such meanness,” he added. “The most important thing for me is my family and luckily they are all doing well.

“After so many obstacles in my life, this is just one more that I will overcome. Firm and strong, as always.”

A Manchester City statement on Thursday evening said: “We are shocked and dismayed that Joao Cancelo and his family were the victims of a burglary at their home this evening in which Joao was also assaulted.

“Joao and his family are supported by the Club and he is assisting the police with their investigations as they investigate this very serious matter.”

Cancelo played the full 90 minutes of Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Brentford on Wednesday night as City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points.

He joined City in a money transfer from Juventus in August 2019, which saw Danilo go the other way as part of the deal.

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Kylian Mbappe: PSG striker says he will finish the season at the club “100%” and aims for the Champions League trophy | Football news Wed, 29 Dec 2021 07:32:46 +0000

Kylian Mbappe says he will finish the season “100%” at Paris Saint-Germain despite speculation about his future and he hopes to add to his record by winning the Champions League.

In the summer transfer window, PSG have turned down several offers from Real Madrid for the 23-year-old, who can leave as a free agent at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Mbappe is free to negotiate with Real and other clubs next month, but says he is focused on winning the Spanish side when they face off in the Champions League last 16 in February.

Mbappé said CNN: ““I’m at PSG, I’m really happy. I’m going to finish the season [here], 100 per cent.

“I will give everything I have to win the Champions League, the league and the cup. And to give the fans all the fun because they deserve it.”

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Robert Lewandowski says he’s not sure what’s going on regarding his future, while Mbappe aims to win the World Cup and Champions League in 2022

“I was honest. I gave a feeling, I gave what I have in my heart,” he said of his decision to tell PSG he wanted to leave this summer, adding: “I’m happy to stay.”

On his Champions League ambitions, Mbappe added: “We have to be ready. It’s about time. It’s the most important part of the season. Of course we want to take it to the next level now. It’s been two years. that we do finals, semi-finals, finals, but now we want to win. “

Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi
Mbappe and Messi have forged a solid partnership within Mauricio Pochettino

Mbappe says he enjoyed playing alongside Lionel Messi, who joined Barcelona in August.

The duo have scored 21 goals in total and provided 20 assists in all competitions so far this season, helping the Parisians establish a 13-point lead at the top of Ligue 1.

“It is a great pleasure for me to tell my children, my friends, I play with him,” he said.

“We must take pleasure in seeing him in Paris … It’s an incredible moment in the history of the game.”

Actor Tom Holland recently asked Mbappe if he would be interested in joining Tottenham, the club backed by the Netherlands.

“I don’t think I will play for Tottenham in my life,” Mbappe said. “He [Tom Holland] asked me about it, but no, no. It’s a great club … and I’m sure they will do something good this season with [Antonio] Tale.”

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Mbappe, Lewandowksi voice concerns over World Cup held every two years

Mbappe and Lewandowski worried about World Cup every two years

Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski have raised concerns over FIFA’s proposal to host a World Cup every two years, citing the physical strain the move could have on the players participating in it.

Speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Mbappe, who scored four goals to help his country win the tournament in Russia three and a half years ago, said that the proposal could undermine the prestige of the competition and put additional pressure on players.

Mbappe said: “My opinion is that the World Cup is the World Cup, it’s a special thing because it’s every four years. If you have it every two years, it can start to be normal. and I mean it’s not normal.

The winner of Kylian Mbappe has caused controversy
Mbappe believes player well-being should be taken into account with any potential change in international fixture list

“It’s something amazing, maybe you play [in a World Cup] once in your life. I agree with Robert when we talk about performance, we already play 60 games a year, you have the Euros, you have the World Cup, we now have the Nations League, so many competitions.

“We are happy to play but when it’s too much is too much. We have to recover, we have to stay relaxed.

“If people want quality in the game… if they just want to see games on TV, of course we’re going to play.

“But if they want to see quality games, to see emotion, to see this kind of thing which is also the beauty of football, we have to respect the health of the players.”

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Southampton vs Tottenham: Premier League preview, squad news, stats, predictions, kick off time | Football news Mon, 27 Dec 2021 13:25:11 +0000

Team news, stats and predictions ahead of Southampton v Tottenham in the Premier League on Tuesday; kick off at 3 p.m.

Team news

Nathan Tella could return to Southampton squad for the visit to Tottenham.

The young attacker will have completed his period of isolation after a recent positive test for Covid-19. Defenders Jack Stephens and Lyanco are still absent due to the virus.

Southampton provisional team: Forster, Caballero, Lewis, Walker-Peters, Perraud, Livramento, Salisu, Bednarek, Valery, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Djenepo, Smallbone, Tella, Elyounoussi, Diallo, S. Armstrong, Long, A.Armstrong, Adams, Broja, Walcott.

Tottenham have a doubt about Giovani Lo Celso for the trip to the south coast.

The Argentine suffered a calf injury during the warm-up following Wednesday’s Carabao Cup victory over West Ham and was not involved against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Antonio Conte says he will assess the players who played against Palace ahead of the quick 48-hour turnaround, with Ryan Sessegnon (hamstrings) and Cristian Romero (hamstrings) both missing.

Tottenham provisional squad: Lloris, Gollini, Emerson, Sanchez, Tanganga, Doherty, Davies, Dier, Rodon, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Winks, Skipp, Alli, Moura, Gil, Bergwijn, Kane, Lo Celso, Son, Scarlett.

How to follow

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A look at some of the stats for the Premier League matches in the week 20.

Follow Southampton vs Tottenham on our live match blog. Highlights will also be posted on Sky Sports digital platforms and Sky Sports Football’s YouTube channel shortly thereafter on a full-time basis.

The last time…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win over Crystal Palace

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s win at West Ham

Opta Statistics

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Antonio Conte told Sky Sports he believes his Tottenham side have started slowly, but is happy with his side’s 3-0 result against Crystal Palace and his ability to keep another clean sheet.

  • Since returning to the Premier League in 2012, no Southampton team has lost more matches in the competition than against Tottenham (13).
  • Spurs have lost two of their last three Premier League away games to Southampton, following a six-game unbeaten streak at St Mary’s in the competition (W4, D2). They did, however, win that exact game 5-2 last season.
  • Southampton haven’t won their last league game in any of the past 10 calendar years (D5 L5), since defeating Huddersfield 4-1 in League One in 2010.
  • Spurs have lost their last league game in just one of the past 12 calendar years (W7 D4), losing 3-1 at home to Wolves in 2018. Spurs have not had a win in their Last three games (D2 L1), although their last two wins in those games have both come against Southampton (4-1 in 2016, 5-2 in 2017).
  • Southampton have lost only once at home in the Premier League this season (W2 D5) and are undefeated in their last five games at St Mary’s (W2 D3). They last had a longer undefeated homerun in the competition between March and October 2016 (9 games).
  • Tottenham Hotspur have failed to score in any of their last two Premier League away games, having only managed 15 combined shots in those games. They haven’t gone three scoreless on the road since March 2014 under Tim Sherwood.
  • This is Tottenham’s first away game in the Premier League in 51 days, since a 0-0 draw at Everton on 7 November. With the exception of the 2019-20 season (with the forced lockdown break), this is the longest gap a team has had between away games in a single campaign of the competition.
  • Tottenham are unbeaten in their six Premier League appearances under Antonio Conte (W4 D2), and they could become the first manager in club history to come without a defeat in their opening seven league appearances at head of the club.
  • Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been involved in 16 goals in 11 Premier League starts against Southampton (10 goals, 6 assists). Kane was involved in Spurs’ five goals in their 5-2 win at St Mary’s last season, scoring one goal and assisting each of Son Heung-min’s four goals.
  • Son Heung-min has been involved in 12 goals in 11 Premier League games for Spurs against Southampton (9 goals, 3 assists), more than he has against any other team in the competition.
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Five NBA Games Live on Christmas Day: Countdown to Clashes in Sky Sports’ Festive Basketball Manna | NBA News Sat, 25 Dec 2021 21:30:19 +0000

Christmas Day and the NBA: The two go together like mistletoe and wine. It’s a sporting holiday to rival Thanksgiving and the NFL.

The season is long, but Christmas is a great time for more casual fans. You already have an idea of ​​who has been nice so far this season (and who has been mean). There are five games in a row and they are played at friendly times in the UK. The only problem you face is balancing all of that with family, food, and at some point, sleep.

Full NBA Christmas Day Schedule

  • Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks – Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix at 5 p.m.
  • Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks – Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix at 7:30 p.m.
  • Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns – Sky Sports Mix at 10 p.m.
  • Brooklyn Nets vs LA Lakers – Sky Sports Mix at 1 a.m.
  • Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz – Sky Sports Mix at 3:30

This is why a ranking of the least important games to the most important of Christmas Day is necessary. You might not be able to watch them all, but knowing which games to tune in for can help you plan the rest of your party fun. There are, of course, caveats – you might be a fan of the specific teams that play – but in terms of significance for the rest of the season, playoff positioning and momentum building, the standings works like this:

5. Celtics vs Bucks, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix – 7:30 p.m.

Despite a slow start, defending champions Milwaukee Bucks are back to fight for a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings, thanks to a return to decent health. No one expected the Bucks to come out of the gates after a final victory anyway, and even after losing eight of their first 14 games of the season, few worried about where they would be by the time. end of the season.

Boston Celtics will need Jayson Tatum to be in good shape if they are to claim victory on Christmas Day

In the opposite position are the Boston Celtics. They need this victory. A lot of people had high hopes for the Celtics at the start of the season, but new coach Ime Udoka has his work cut out for him. They have also faced injuries and issues related to Covid, and Jayson Tatum is one of them, now having to use inhalers during some matches. This means he has irregular periods or passive play on the perimeter – despite being one of the game’s top scorers in the fourth quarter – and teammate Jaylen Brown has been in and out of the roster with hamstring injuries.

It feels like a lost season for Boston. There is still time to turn the tide, but they were below .500 and came out of the playoff race more than they were. The Eastern Conference is better than it has been in previous years, and the Celtics just haven’t improved to keep pace.

For this reason, the Celtics-Bucks match is a game that can take place in the background of all the festive fun. It’s the second game on Christmas Day, so if someone wants to watch a movie or if you’re in the kitchen mopping up some gravy, you can second screen or keep tabs on the score on Twitter.

4. Hawks vs Knicks, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix – 5pm

Following last year’s respective playoffs, the 2021-22 season was a disappointment for the New York Knicks – who missed out on the off-season acquisitions of Kemba Walker and, to a lesser extent, Evan Fournier – while that the appearance of the Atlanta Hawks Conference Finals looks a bit like fluke.

What keeps this game from being at the bottom of the Christmas game standings is the rivalry these teams built up last season. That alone should make it an entertaining game, even if it isn’t as important as it might have been had they kept the 2020-21 momentum going.

Right now, the two teams are competing for a spot in the play-in playoff game at the end of the regular season. Hopefully health will be on their side, but the truth is, the Hawks have rotation issues – too many good players can be a tough thing to deal with – and the Knicks are just worse off than last year.

If you watch this one you’re going to have some feast and hopefully fireworks, although the game can be a bit meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

3. Mavericks vs Jazz, Sky Sports Mix – 3h30

The Utah Jazz may be the best team in the NBA, but we’ve heard it all before. It was about time they showed it on a big stage.

For several seasons now, the Jazz have been one of the best contenders, or the team with the best track record, or the group ready to take the next step … it’s getting boring. So a big win on a milestone date in the calendar could help generate the buzz their record deserves.

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Jordan Clarkson provided the lob pass to Donovan Mitchell to hit home for the Utah Jazz against the Washington Wizards

To be fair, people were saying similar things about the Milwaukee Bucks before they won a championship. That’s just how people talk about teams that are contenders for multiple seasons in a row – we just want more.

But Utah has allowed one of the fewest points per game this year, so they do it on defense – thanks to Rudy Gobert and a good system built around his strengths and weaknesses. And they are scoring some of the most points in the league thanks to Donovan Mitchell becoming a superstar, backed by a strong and diverse roster backing him.

They will face a team that is arguably underperforming. Much has been written about Luka Doncic’s lack of fitness heading into the season, but the Dallas Mavericks just don’t have a team around him to win 50 games.

Luka Doncic kind of beat the shot clock with an incredible three as Dallas came in at halftime with a 12 point lead over Brooklyn.
Luka Doncic and Dallas Mavericks struggled to click under new head coach Jason Kidd

They’re floating down the playoff hunt and it’s probably time to make some sort of move if they want to move up the standings – they’ll need this win to help them stay close to the playoffs. The second half of the season should be better, just for health and hopefully improvement under new coach Jason Kidd – which has had virtually no impact so far. But if they can bring in a player who can help relieve Doncic, it could help the Mavericks have a playoff run.

Both teams have something to play here, and if you’re a fan of either team, this could be the second most important game on Christmas Day.

2. Nets vs Lakers, Sky Sports Mix – 1 a.m.

Remember when we thought seeing Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James finally join forces as a team would be a dream come true after 19 seasons? Well, it’s more like the time James teamed up with his other Banana Boat friend, Dwyane Wade – the second time in Cleveland: The dream was better than the reality.

Part of this is because Anthony was also joined by other alumni Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Trevor Ariza, DeAndre Jordan and traded all of their youth and perimeter defense for a Russell Westbrook. , rapidly aging and declining. They look old and without much structure, so the trade deadline and redemption period will be interesting now that the Lakers have no more assets to trade.

After a slow start, there was a general acceptance that no one should really judge how good the LA Lakers are until 2022, so a game on Christmas Day would be a good time to make a statement.

The only problem is that the Lakers face the Brooklyn Nets. They were also slow at the start, but they still spent much of the season at the top of the Eastern Conference – top talent being at the peak of their careers, rather than at the end, making the difference. . Even without Kyrie Irving and not 100% James Harden – along with the poor performance of an old Blake Griffin and injuries to Joe Harris – the Nets still show an ability to flip the switch, thanks to Kevin Durant and, strangely enough, LaMarcus Aldridge – who has had a drink at the Fountain of Youth since retiring for health reasons last year.

Brooklyn needs those wins to maintain momentum and stay ahead of the rising Milwaukee Bucks if they are to secure a field advantage throughout the playoffs. And a partial return Irving could help them maintain that buffer, but for now – for both teams – every game counts.

1. Warriors vs Suns, Sky Sports Mix – 10pm

Phoenix Suns goalie Devin Booker and Golden State Warriors goalie Stephen Curry
Phoenix Suns goalie Devin Booker and Golden State Warriors goalie Stephen Curry

The two games the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns have played so far this season have been worth every penny, even with Suns shooting guard Devin Booker sitting on one.

These teams are vying for a seed in the Western Conference, and each having won a game each, the winner of the Christmas Day game could therefore benefit from a much-needed tie-breaker at the end of the season.

Stephen Curry and Chris Paul will be on many people’s MVP ballots so far, and they have led their teams to long winning streaks and elite records.

They have contrasting styles: the Warriors lead shooters across screens and still play relatively small with Draymond Green in the middle when it counts; the Suns have two midrange assassins and a traditional big one that can roll to the edge and play back to the basket in DeAndre Ayton. This will help make it one of the most entertaining Christmas games.

For UK-based NBA fans this will start around 10 p.m. which is pretty much manageable, but after a long day of eating and socializing you might want to take a nap at the in advance in case the overtime is exceeded, as this will be a must. TV.

Enjoy a Christmas Day deal of five live NBA games on Sky Sports – click here for a full list of games and start times.

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Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick explains why a sports psychologist is essential to solving the Old Trafford ‘puzzle’ | Football news Thu, 23 Dec 2021 19:51:13 +0000

Ralf Rangnick’s revolution at Manchester United is barely a month old, but his fingerprints are already visible everywhere you look at the club.

Two Premier League games and a week of training may have fallen victim to a coronavirus outbreak, but not a second has been lost in Rangnick’s hands. Areas for improvement have been identified; swift and decisive decisions followed.

One of Rangnick’s first acts was to bring a sports psychologist to Old Trafford, with Sascha Lense, a close confidante during his tenure at RB Leipzig, joining the staff at United’s backroom.

Lense’s appointment raised a number of relevant questions, ranging from the benefits of employing a sports psychologist, to the overall goal, to the willingness or reluctance of players to get involved.

But above all, the burning question is why was a sports psychologist not a position of unquantifiable importance to Rangnick and which he believes will be commonplace in all sports for the foreseeable future. – in situ at Manchester United in the first place?

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Monday December 27 7:00 p.m.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” Rangnick told Sky Sports exclusively. “I know that in Germany there are quite a few clubs that don’t work with a sports psychologist. But for me that makes perfect sense.

“Each club has different experts for the goalkeeper, for physical performance, for different areas of the pitch – defense, midfield, attack. The team of experts in some teams is probably bigger than the number of players. in a team.

Man Utd results under Rangnick

Opponent Competetion Results
Crystal Palace PL 1-0
Young boys CL 1-1
Norwich PL 1-0
Brentford PL PP
Brighton PL PP

“If you then consider that the brain, the head, the way players, staff or coaches think is the most relevant, then for me it makes sense to have the best possible expert in this area in your area. staff.

“That’s what it’s all about, helping players think the good things and not think the bad. To develop players, the brain has to help the body perform at the highest level possible.

“It’s part of the puzzle, of the puzzle. It’s important for any top club, and Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world – having the best people possible, and they should at least have all these little ones. parts available.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is full of praise for Ralf Rangnick who he says will host Manchester United if he is named interim manager.

“It shouldn’t be the case in some areas, we don’t have anyone. I firmly believe that every club in the future should have someone in this department.”

It would be misleading to pin Manchester United’s reluctance under Rangnick’s predecessor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, or throughout the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, on the absence of a sports psychologist at Old Trafford, but so that ‘it is neglected, especially nowadays and age, suggests a lack of forethought on the part of previous regimes.

While this appointment won’t make United title contenders overnight, it does provide Rangnick players with the tools to meet the high expectations that come with playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and focuses, first and foremost, on a personal rather than professional level.

“Players at this level are under pressure to deliver and perform at the highest level possible,” Rangnick added. “Sometimes they may need help and may need someone to talk to.

“It shouldn’t always be just the manager or the head coach. It is important for players to know that there is a neutral person, an expert, who they can turn to in situations where they might need. a helping hand, or even someone to just listen for them.

“In Germany we had the case of Robert Enke, who committed suicide while still the goalkeeper for the German national team. If you look at that aspect of the game, it’s important to have someone ‘one in your staff. “

As for Lense himself, the 43-year-old has moved as much as possible to the United Carrington training complex, which has just reopened after being closed for eight days due to a Covid outbreak. .

“Sascha watches every training session, he is part of every meeting, he is part of the staff and he speaks regularly with the players,” said Rangnick.

“Of course it doesn’t have to be, we don’t force the players to talk to Sascha, but they know he’s there. He’s a smart and decent guy, and he’s the best at his job, I Know this because we worked together in Leipzig for three years and the players will find out very soon, if they haven’t already.

Rangnick’s sentiment about Lense could quite easily apply to his tenure at Manchester United.

The first steps have been taken and a long road of discovery awaits us, but his first steps in the Manchester United hotseat speak of a manager with a solid understanding of the big picture, if we hadn’t already realized it. .

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Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick wants the five-substitute rule restored in the Premier League.

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Real Madrid hunt down Liverpool defender Joe Gomez – Paper Talk | News transfer center Tue, 21 Dec 2021 23:30:20 +0000

All the front-page stories and transfer rumors from Wednesday’s national newspapers …


Real Madrid are watching Liverpool defender Joe Gomez ahead of a possible transfer next summer.

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has reportedly spoken to Erling Haaland’s father Alf-Inge as he pushes to sign the Borussia Dortmund hitman.

Tottenham are reportedly keen to sign Barcelona center-back Clement Lenglet in January.

Premier League stars fear club executives have secretly ignored their health concerns as acrimony over the decision not to apply a Covid ‘circuit breaker’ intensifies.

Joe Gomez is followed by Real Madrid, according to reports

Premier League clubs are lining up to recruit Nottingham Forest talent Brennan Johnson, Everton and Newcastle preparing to fight their top rivals.

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has claimed he will be fit to play in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) next month, despite a horrific facial injury while playing for Napoli last month.


Newcastle United are among the clubs looking to sign Tottenham center-back Joe Rodon on loan during the January transfer window.

Watford’s search for a center-back also led them to look to Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac.

Jorginho set to play for Chelsea despite back injury
Jorginho set to play against Brentford after returning to Chelsea training, Sun say

Scottish rivals Celtic and Rangers face Icelandic winger Albert Gudmundsson, who is available for a free transfer next summer.

England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone increasingly looks like the end of his contract at West Brom, with West Ham leading the queue to give him a free transfer this summer.

Premier League clubs feared they would be forced behind closed doors after Boxing Day, with the PM refusing to provide crowd guarantees beyond Christmas.

Almost 200 former and current players, including Gary Lineker, Frank Lampard, Andy Cole, Kevin Keegan, Edwin van der Sar and Fabian Delph have asked the Professional Footballers Association to publish what would be a very critical report on how the union was Course.

Haaland has scored 13 goals in just 10 Bundesliga appearances this season
Erling Haaland’s agent says he could stay at Borussia Dortmund until 2023


Arsenal were without Albert Sambi Lokonga, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers against Sunderland after the trio tested positive for Covid-19.

Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola has hinted that the goal machine could remain at Borussia Dortmund in a blow to Manchester United.

Chelsea have received a huge boost with Jorginho’s return to training on the eve of his Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford.


Every club sponsorship deal worth more than £ 1million per year will need to be submitted to the Premier League to verify that it is not an ‘associated party’ transaction, under the new regulations sent to high level clubs.

Liverpool have called the schedule of matches in which they will play twice in 55 hours “absurd” and explained why they have asked for a break in the Premier League season.

Celtic have called for the Scottish Premiership’s winter break to be brought forward to minimize the effect of new Covid-19 restrictions on crowd numbers.

The Welsh government’s decision to ban fans from sporting events has been called “devastating” for professional rugby by David Buttress, chairman of the Dragons.

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Antonio Conte: Tottenham manager on transfer investment, form and chaos of Covid-19 | Football news Mon, 20 Dec 2021 01:56:18 +0000

Tottenham have produced a clear return to form since Antonio Conte took the reins last month, but how will the Italian approach his most difficult test yet when his side host Liverpool in front of Sky cameras this weekend ?

Three wins and a draw in four league games under Conte saw Spurs go through murky waters to seventh in the weekend standings, with three games in hand against all but one above them – potentially nine more points, which as it stands would leave Spurs just three points behind third-placed Chelsea.

This scenario arose against the backdrop of a new wave of Covid-19 cases, with the London club having a game with Burnley postponed due to snow, the game with Brighton canceled due to a Covid outbreak in club and an eleventh hour cancellation at Leicester on Thursday.

Moreover, the fate of Spurs in the first Europa League Conference remains uncertain after the club were forced to call off their game with Rennes due to the virus – a game they had to play and win to secure qualifying for the round. following. .

Addressed exclusively to Air sports, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte explains how the current crisis has rocked the club, the importance of his team behind the scenes, the source of his passion, why he put Spurs back on track and how Liverpool are the model for success …

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Sunday 19 December 4:00 p.m.

Settle in troubling times

“Honestly, it’s not easy right now,” Conte says. “We have three games that we have to play, we don’t know when, and we don’t know if in the future other games will be postponed. With the Covid problem, it’s very difficult for us to think about what will happen.

“We worked really well for two weeks and then the Covid problems started. Now we played the last game two weeks ago. We had three days at the closed training ground and we didn’t have of workout.


“And then a lot of players have been affected by the Covid, and for that reason we have had a lot of training with only 11 or 12 players. It’s not easy: you need the whole team. [in order] to work.”

Despite the current complexities, when asked about his general first impressions of the team, he nods in approval. “The players have been working, to try to improve – to follow our tactical idea. I found that at Tottenham and I think it is very important.”

Antonio Conte poses with his brother Gianluca during FC Internazionale's first training session after winning the Serie A title at Appiano Gentile on May 05, 2021
Antonio Conte with his brother Gianluca in the first training session with Inter Milan after winning the Serie A title last season

The backroom team also took shape, comprising Cristian Stellini, Costantino Coratti, Gian Piero Ventrone, Stefano Bruno and his brother Gianluca Conte – an assistant and analyst with a coaching CV spanning 15 years – working exclusively alongside his younger brother. in Bari, Siena, Juventus, the Italian national team, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

“I have an important relationship with my brother. Of course we have many meetings to discuss the analysis of the team that we are going to play, and sometimes he gives me important advice during the match, between the first and the second half. He has an important role in my team. “

Fire and ice

In the usual way, Conte seems cool and serene when answering questions – but where does his passion on the fringes come from? “I like to play with my players,” he said. “I live very intensely.

“When you start playing against your opponent, I want my players to know that I am with them on the pitch and also try to help them if they don’t find a good solution.”


This energy reflects his style of play, with his teams frequently covering above-average distances. Indeed, Conte lifted Chelsea from 17th to seventh in that metric in his first season and to third place in his second term.

However, Tottenham had run less than any other Premier League team when Conte was appointed. Indeed, the team ran considerably less than their opponents in six out of 10 games before Conte’s arrival.


Since his appointment, Spurs have recorded greater distances than their opponents in all four matches, peaking with a record 121km against Norwich last time around – far from 95km against Crystal Palace in September.

“I think that if you want to have a good team, the ambition to work on many aspects [is necessary] – and not only the tactical aspects but also the physical aspects. [In the Premier League], you must have a good physical condition.

“We want to bring intensity and to have intensity in the training sessions. For this reason, it is very important that the team [work with staff on this]. “

The Italian has become almost synonymous with a three-sided system, which he successfully deployed in his first tenure at Chelsea. But, of course, there is a lot more to his preferred playstyle than a choice of system.


“I started my career with four behind, with a 4-2-4 in Serie B, in Italy,” added Conte. “When I started my journey with Juventus and Chelsea, I started playing with a 4-2-4 or a 4-2-3-1, but it depends on the characteristics of the players.

“When I arrived at Tottenham I thought it was very important to find a solution and to play three at the back [because] characteristics of the players. I think the most important thing for a team is to find the balance between attack and defense. “

Expectations: A trophy? The four first ?

Conte entered the dazzling arena of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a line of command to President Daniel Levy, who has built a reputation as a savvy and tough businessman, with a vision for the team both on and off the field.

So what is the measure of success for Levy and the club – who have now gone 14 years without a major trophy? “Honestly, we haven’t talked about it [target], says Conté.

We have just started our work. We need patience.

Antonio Conté

“I wanted to come to Tottenham because I found their characteristics to be what I love working with: a fantastic training ground and stadium. Me and the people know very well that at the moment we are coming. to start our work.We need patience.

“When you start to work, you have to work on many aspects, there are also psychological aspects.”

Liverpool model for success

Question marks remain about the future of Harry Kane – who has scored just one league goal in 13 appearances this season after his transfer to Manchester City collapsed in the summer – and Conte is likely to make its mark on the team when the transfer window opens in two weeks.

Indeed, Conte has been referring to future visitors to Liverpool as a model of success since the club appointed Jurgen Klopp in 2015.

“Sunday we play against a team that can teach us a lot, because I think Jurgen Klopp, when he came to Liverpool he started a fantastic job. But the first season they didn’t. [achieve] so much, but the work has started.

“If you want to reach this level, you need work, time, patience and investment. [on transfers]. “

How to stop Liverpool?

The guide to form bodes well for Spurs, but the possible 10 out of 12 points under Conte met with opposition from the bottom half. So are Liverpool surely the biggest test yet for the 52-year-old?

If you want to reach this level, you need work, time, patience, and investment.

Antonio Conté

“Yes, Liverpool have a lot of solutions during the game. It won’t be easy but we have to work as a team. We are preparing for the game.

“We know very well that we are up against one of the best teams in the world, but at the same time, I think it’s good to have this type of game, because we want to understand [how to face] these top teams. “

Watch Tottenham vs. Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4:15 pm Sunday; kick off 4.30 p.m.

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Exclusive Marcelo Bielsa: Leeds boss on 7-0 loss to Man City, why his team are in trouble and financial disparities in football | Football news Sat, 18 Dec 2021 11:47:56 +0000

Marcelo Bielsa did not fire any punches.

The Leeds United manager lamented his side’s worst performance since taking charge of the club in 2018, as Manchester City scored seven unanswered goals at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Yorkshire club suffered the heaviest defeat in their history in all competitions, alongside seven losses to Stoke (1-8 in August 1934), West Ham (0-7 in November 1966) and Arsenal (0-7 in September 1979).

Saturday December 18 5:00 p.m.

Kick-off at 5.30 p.m.

Despite all the optimism that swirled around Elland Road at the start of the campaign, with supporters returning to the stands for the first time ahead of a top-level season in 17 years, Bielsa is in a battle to fight a winter of dissatisfaction.

“It was the worst performance in four years,” he repeats to Air sports. “At no point were we able to balance the game. The feeling we got was that whatever they tried we couldn’t stop. We have to go back to the mistakes we made and look for to eradicate them.

“We need to be self-critical and not look beyond ourselves for answers. It’s about not repeating the same mistakes…. The solutions are within us and we need to bring them to life.”

It was also the first time the Argentine had conceded seven goals in a single game in his 568-game club management career. The challenge now for Bielsa is to get a response from his players before the Saturday night football clash with Arsenal back at home.

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Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa has said his side’s performance in their 7-0 loss to Manchester City was the worst of their four years at the helm.

Despite all of Leeds’ problems this quarter keeping key players off the treatment table, Bielsa has managed to prevent any sense of crisis from setting in at the club by responding to setbacks. Losing to City, the Whites have lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season, having last done so between February and March last season.

Bielsa said there was nothing positive to be learned from his trip to Manchester, but days after the humiliating loss he looks forward to his side rediscovering the same level shown in the controversial 3-2 loss to Chelsea last weekend.

“It wasn’t just another loss,” admits the Leeds boss, reflecting on Tuesday’s events. “We have won two of the last 10, but it can always be turned out in a more favorable way. When you cut the results, you can take a closer look at how the progress is going and it is natural to do that to get there. reasons for defeat.

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WATCH FOR FREE: Highlights of Manchester City’s win over Leeds

“But ahead of City’s loss, this is the most productive segment of the season so far. It is only natural that a 7-0 result generates negative repercussions and there is every reason for it to be so. We haven’t really learned anything new from the loss because since I’ve been in charge we’ve suffered heavy losses of this nature.

“Looking back on the Chelsea game, we gave the best impression of ourselves with our most valuable characteristics on display – we brought the game to them, our possession was controlled in the opposing half of the field and we recovered well. balloon These are the aspects I want us to pick up on this weekend.

“In any adversity, you have to face difficulties and face them head-on. I do not delegate responsibility elsewhere or blame others. That is what we have to do.”


Leeds have collected 16 points in their 17 Premier League games this season; in the three-point adjustment for an all-time win, it wasn’t until 1930/31 that they had fewer points at this point in any Championship campaign (14).

“Last season, we were more stable and more consistent in what we were trying to achieve,” concedes Bielsa. “We were able to have more pace with a more consistent selection of teams. From that starting position, greater consistency is easier to generate.

“We were able to gain confidence last season, but this time around we couldn’t find the same consistency that improves overall performance.”

How can Leeds bridge the gap with the elite?

Bielsa had never conceded seven goals in a game
Bielsa had never conceded seven goals in a game

Having spent £ 130million on the current squad, Bielsa is aware of the wealth disparity that permeates even the highest rungs of the English football pyramid – as evidenced by Manchester City’s starting lineup costing a total combined of £ 528.5million.

The financial divide between the elite and the rest of football seems to be widening, but that’s not something the Leeds manager is too concerned about – referring to the fact that his side have taken four points from City in the last season.

“It’s not something that worries me because last year we had the opportunity to compete in better conditions than we are experiencing this season,” he said. “The league shows what can happen when you have strong teams with greater resources.

“In turn, I understand that in every league in the world there are teams that have the capacity to generate more resources, and this difference is impossible to avoid.

Every league in the world has teams that have the capacity to generate more resources, and this difference is impossible to avoid.

Marcelo Bielsa

“Building a good team can take years, and it requires building players up as part of a project. For example, concerns about the lack of resources we have had this season have led some people to claim that it is. related to the need to seek to recruit new players – that did not give rise to the idea of ​​strengthening the young players that we already have at the club.

“Buying players will also block the path of the academy players to the first team or at least limit their minutes. So it’s very difficult to reconcile those two things. [Patrick] Bamford or Rodrigo are missing, people will ask me why Joe Gelhardt is not playing. Yes [Kalvin] Phillips is out, does that mean we should run the risk of speeding up Adam Forshaw’s path to recovery?

“You can see, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account when it comes to the project outlined in consolidating the team structure. It is certainly not easy to achieve and it doesn’t also is not easy to require patience in the process. “

The quality of Leeds' odds were better last season
Leeds’ quality of chances were better last season
There is a more scattergun approach this season
There is a more scattergun approach this season

Bielsa is trying to get Leeds back on track, but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will feel his side are doing just that after entering the top four for the first time this season. Arteta knows all about the need for patience and confidence in the process.

Back-to-back home wins without conceding have given his young side back confidence, and while Manchester United and Tottenham have games in hand in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League, there is nothing to be sure about. such as applying a dashboard. pressure on these rivals.

Despite all the lingering uncertainty surrounding the continuation of the season and suggestions that a firewall is needed to stop the spread of Omicron, Bielsa continues to make preparations for Arsenal’s visit to Elland Road, live Sky sports.

Leeds suffered the heaviest defeat in history
Leeds suffered the heaviest defeat in history

“Every game is a chance to return to the image we showed before the previous game,” adds Bielsa. “Arsenal are one of the most prestigious teams in the league and we need to focus on our best version rather than focusing too much on them.

“The character and strength of the players is tied to what they produce on the pitch and most importantly recently against Chelsea we played our best game of the season and then showed our worst face against City.

“We showed our best and our worst in just three days. It is my responsibility to make us repeat what we saw at Stamford Bridge and not what we saw at the Etihad.


“Arsenal are an established team that are getting stronger. They always play the same way but they are able to change things if necessary. They play overall in a defined style and there is individuality in them.

“In the past they went through a period of turbulence and they are becoming more cohesive. What is happening now is that they are evolving into a more established, more stable, more traditional way of playing and closer to their image. natural. “

How to follow Leeds vs Arsenal on Sky Sports

Leeds v Arsenal

Leeds vs Arsenal is live Sky Sports Premier League from 5 p.m. on Saturday; kick off at 5.30 p.m. Air sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Air sports website and app. Highlights will also be posted on the Air sports digital platforms and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Follow Leeds United with Sky Sports

Follow every Leeds game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly thereafter full-time.

Want the latest version of Leeds? Mark our Leeds news page, to verify Leeds mountains and Leeds latest results, Look Leeds Goals and Video, keep track of Premier League table and see which Leeds games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more – including notifications sent straight to your phone – by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and set Leeds as your favorite team.

Hear Premier League’s best reaction and expert analysis with the Essential football and Gary Neville podcasts, stay informed with our Transfer center, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, and find out how get Sky Sports.

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