Reina rules out Liverpool return

Former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina has denied that he will ever pull on the Liverpool shirt again and reveals that a trace of bitterness lingers about the nature of his exit from Anfield, reports the Daily Mail. Reina, who is reunited with Rafa Benitez in Italy, has been key in their impressive start to the season and became the first goalkeeper to ever save a Mario Balotelli penalty last weekend as Napoli won in the San Siro for the first time in 27 years. Reina revealed he was almost pushed…

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Michael Dawson thrilled with Tottenham’s Joe Lewis for making title challenge possible

Tottenham centre-back Michael Dawson was left excited following a meeting with billionaire Joe Lewis on a £220m yacht, reports the Mirror. The 29-year-old was invited, along with the rest of the Spurs squad, aboard Lewis’s yacht in the Bahamas at the start of the summer. It was Dawson’s first-ever meeting with the man behind Tottenham’s transformation from an average squad into title contenders. Dawson said: “It was unreal. It was great for someone like me, who has been here a long time now, to actually meet Joe and know what…

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Chelsea set to pip Arsenal for Marseille’s Giannelli Imbula

Chelsea are lining up a £25m bid in order to fight off competition from Arsenal for Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula in January, reports the Express. Both London clubs were linked with a move for Imbula during the previous transfer window, but the France Under-21 international joined Marseille instead. Despite only recently joining the Ligue 1 club, reports in France suggest that the 21-year-old remains near the top of Jose Mourinho’s list of priorities. Alike Didier Drogba, Imbula moved to Marseille from Guingamp in July for a £6.3m fee, but the…

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Rose set for Spurs return against Chelsea

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose is expected to return to action against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea on Saturday after overcoming his toe injury, reports The Daily Mirror. After spending time out on loan at four Football League clubs over the past four years, the Spurs full-back is now looking to establish himself in the manager’s first team plans. Andre Villas-Boas expressed his delight at the prospect of having Rose back in contention: “He gives us more options and the depth that he provides down the flank is excellent.” Speaking ahead of the…

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Wenger ready to sign new Arsenal deal

Arsene Wenger is ready to pen a new deal at Arsenal and says he wants to finish his career at the club he loves, Sky Sports has reported. The Gunners boss has been at the helm of the club since 1996, but has now gone eight years without a trophy, causing heightened speculation that he could walk away when his current deal expires next summer. Wenger has previously kept coy on his contractual situation, admitting this campaign could govern his fate. But the Frenchman says the support shown by majority…

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Keane wants O’Neill to be new Ireland boss

Roy Keane has backed former Aston Villa and Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill to replace Giovanni Trapattoni as the manager of the Republic of Ireland, Sky Sports has reported. Trapattoni left the position he had held since 2008 earlier in September, following World Cup qualifying defeats to Austria and Sweden which left Ireland a very remote chance of making it to Brazil in 2014. During his five years in charge, his biggest achievement was guiding Ireland to the finals of Euro 2012. Since the Italian departed, O’Neill, who was sacked by…

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Man Utd interested in signing Porto’s Mangala

Manchester United have entered the race to sign FC Porto’s 22-year-old defender Eliaquim Mangala, as they look for a long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand, according to the Guardian. United currently have several options in central defence, but first-choice pairing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are both over 30 and both have suffered issues with their fitness in the past few years. There is also speculation that this could be Ferdinand’s final season at Old Trafford. Mangala, who has a £37.8m buyout clause, has just left his agent and is highly…

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Fans backing Chelsea more when Mata plays

Betfair has announced news of data which suggests that fans have more faith in Chelsea to win matches when Juan Mata is on the pitch, despite him not being first choice under manager Jose Mourinho. While he has received the club’s Player of the Year award in each of the past two seasons since joining Chelsea in the summer of 2011, Mata has made just three starts so far this season in all competitions, and he was left out of the squad altogether by Mourinho for their most recent Premier…

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Tottenham boss Villas-Boas expects Mata to return to Chelsea starting XI

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he expects Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata, currently out-of-favour at Stamford Bridge, to force his way back into the Blues’ first-choice starting XI, reports ESPN. Mata has only made three starts so far this season in all competitions, the latest of them being in Chelsea’s victory over Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Manager Jose Mourinho has called for the Spaniard to adapt to his playing style, while he currently prefers Eden Hazard, Oscar and Andre Schurrle to play behind…

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Week 6 Premier League Predictions – AVB to prove point to Jose?

With both of the North London clubs currently on top of the Premier League the focus will be on them as they face very different challenges this weekend – William Hill take a look at who to put your money on this weekend. Arsenal lead on goal difference from neighbours Tottenham Hotspur, and will travel to an inform Swansea who will still be on a high following their 3-0 demolition of Valencia last Thursday. Arsene Wenger has overseen eight straight wins in all competitions after their opening day nightmare against…

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Tottenham vs Chelsea – Premier League preview and team news

Andre Villas-Boas takes on his former mentor, Jose Mourinho, for the first time as a manager when his in-form Tottenham Hotspur team take on Chelsea at White Hart Lane. Tottenham sit second in the Premier League behind rivals Arsenal on goal difference, and they look to have found an extra dimension with the impressive form of new signing Christian Eriksen, while Paulinho is also beginning to shine. Since the international break, Tottenham have won four consecutive games without conceding, so confidence should be high for the visit of the Blues.…

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Sunderland vs Liverpool – Premier League preview and team news

Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from two straight defeats when they travel to Wearside to take on managerless Sunderland. Another eventful week at Sunderland ended on Sunday evening with the sacking of Paulo Di Canio, who left after five and-a-half months in charge. Kevin Ball, who took charge on Tuesday’s morale-boosting Capital One Cup win over Peterborough United, will again be in the dugout as the search for a new manager continues, hoping to help the Black Cats move off the foot of the Premier League table. Top…

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Stoke vs Norwich – Premier League preview and team news

Stoke welcome Norwich City to the Britannia Stadium this weekend hoping to take advantage of their opponent’s recent poor run of form. No one quite knew what to predict for Stoke after long serving Tony Pulis stepped down as manager, but new man Mark Hughes seems to be winning over any critics with his attempts at transforming the style of football on offer from the Potters. They impressed at home to Manchester City, spurning several great chances to win, and if they can carry this performance over to this week…

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Swansea vs Arsenal – Premier League preview and team news

Arsene Wenger sees his Arsenal side sit atop the Premier League and will hope they can overcome a tough test as they travel to Wales to face Swansea. Early critics pointed to an opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa as the beginning of the end to Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, but the turnaround in form has been nothing short of remarkable. Eight straight wins have seen a great start to their Champions League campaign, the club haul themselves to the top of the league and through to the…

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Everton Focus – Naismith showing signs of recovery under Martinez

Much has changed at Everton in the time since Roberto Martinez became manager and while some have been quite obvious, a change that has slipped under the radar somewhat has been the form of Steven Naismith. Signed on a free transfer by David Moyes, Naismith arrived from Rangers last summer with a reputation as a utility man, able to play in attack or midfield with equal competence. And that proved true, in that Naismith rarely impressed in either position last season – his touch was heavy, his passing wasteful and…

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Southampton vs Crystal Palace – Premier League preview and team news

After an impressive win at Anfield Mauricio Pochettino will want to see his Southampton add more misery on Crystal Palace’s tough start to life back in the top flight. Having been the last side to beat Liverpool way back in March the Saints put in an equally solid performance to see off the inform Reds. Pochettino would have been encouraged by the rigid defending displayed by his side, especially having seen them only score two league goals before last weekend’s game. A solid defence will mean their goal shy strike…

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Chelsea Focus – Tottenham clash about more than Mourinho vs. Villas-Boas

It’s been predictably, and somewhat tediously, billed as ‘the master versus the apprentice’, but Saturday’s London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane has plenty of sub-plots apart from the banal focus on Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas. Spurs manager Villas-Boas left Stamford Bridge in acrimonious circumstances in March 2012, after his insistence on blending in the club’s young blood backfired when senior players reportedly staged a mini mutiny. Previously, he had worked under Mourinho during the ex-Real Madrid manager’s successful first stint at the Blues. This…

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Man Utd vs West Brom – Premier League preview and team news

After their defeat in the Manchester derby on Sunday, Manchester United return to Premier League action with a home clash against West Bromwich Albion. It was a difficult few days for Man Utd following their painful 4-1 loss at the Etihad Stadium, with several questions asked of manager David Moyes. However, the Capital One Cup tie against Liverpool on Wednesday produced a morale-boosting win, and a big one for Moyes in particular, as he gained his first triumph over a major rival as Old Trafford boss. West Brom got their…

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Aston Villa Focus – Villa outclassed as Albrighton returns

Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa were taught a harsh lesson by Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening, as Andre Villas-Boas’ side romped to a 4-0 victory in the Capital One Cup. It was a result that highlighted the true gulf in quality between the two sides, particularly without the injured Christian Benteke. On positive, however, was the return of Marc Albrighton, one of Villa’s better performers on the night. The Tamworth-born winger has become rather a forgotten man at Villa Park, due to hardly featuring during Lambert’s reign. Between making his debut…

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Hull vs West Ham – Premier League preview and team news

Hull will look to extend an impressive run to four games unbeaten this weekend and will hope home advantage will be enough to see off travelling West Ham. Having sealed dramatic victory against Newcastle thanks to a Sone Aluko beauty, Hull have also drawn with Cardiff while seeing off Huddersfield midweek. What is even more encouraging for the club are the measly two losses they boast up to this point. Hull fans will be hoping their good form will carry on with games against West Ham and Aston Villa coming…

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Fulham vs Cardiff – Premier League preview and team news

With both teams coming off the back of differing Capital One Cup results a close encounter can be expected as Cardiff travel to the capital to face Fulham. Having overcome Everton 2-1 midweek Martin Jol moved to rally supporters behind Fulham after seeing his side go without a win since the opening game of the season. Jol believes his side do have enough goals in them to put a string of results together, and a glance at his team sheet will tell you there is quality in the side. Dimitar…

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Aston Villa vs Man City – Premier League preview and team news

Free-scoring Manchester City will bid for their first away win in the Premier League this season at Aston Villa on Saturday. It has been an inconsistent start for Paul Lambert’s side so far. Villa are looking a much stronger proposition when they play away, mainly due to their pace on the counter-attack. Despite getting a monkey off their back last week by keeping a clean sheet at Norwich City, they came crashing down with a heavy defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, so Lambert will be looking for his players…

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Arsenal owner Kroenke admits move for Liverpool’s Suarez was always doomed to failure

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has admitted there was little chance Liverpool would have agreed to sell striker Luis Suarez to their Premier League rivals this summer, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Kroenke has met with his Liverpool counterpart and compatriot John W. Henry at a conference in the United States, where the frosty relationship between the two clubs was a source of amusement for the other attendees. And Kroenke says now that while every player has their price, Liverpool were entrenched in not releasing Suarez for a fee the Gunners…

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Jol turns to ex-Man Utd coach Meulensteen to improve Fulham campaign

Fulham manager Martin Jol will turn to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen in an effort to improve the Cottagers’ fortunes, the Daily Mail has reported. Jol has come under pressure in west London after Fulham made a stuttering start to the season, taking only four points from five games thus far. They currently sit in the bottom three of the early Premier League table and face a potentially season-defining month to come, with games against Cardiff, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Southampton. If Fulham do not pick up points from…

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Man Utd boss Moyes maintaining interest in Herrera

Manchester United manager David Moyes has not lost interest in Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera, the Daily Telegraph has reported, despite a failed attempt to sign the midfielder late in the transfer window. Herrera has a £30.5m release clause in his contract but Moyes was unwilling to pay the fee, while the complex nature of La Liga’s release clause – and the short time left to complete the deal – was also a factor in the move breaking down. The newspaper also claims there was doubt at Old Trafford over Herrera’s…

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