Moses sets Liverpool goal target

Victor Moses, the Chelsea winger on loan at Liverpool, has revealed he has set a goal target for himself during his year-long stay at Anfield, Sky Sports has reported. Moses moved to the Reds in the summer transfer window and scored on his debut against Swansea City. He hasn’t added to his tally since then but the Nigeria international is aiming to score 20 times before returning to Stamford Bridge. Moses notched 10 times last season for Chelsea – claiming another two for his country – but has fallen out…

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Man Utd’s Giggs plans to play past 40

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has rejected the suggestion he is close to retirement, according to BBC Sport, despite Friday being his 40th birthday. Giggs has made more than 950 appearances for the Premier League champions since his debut in 1991 against Everton, winning 13 league titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues in that time. He was also crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009, the same year he won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. A former Wales international, Giggs…

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FIFA to review World Cup stadium safety after Sao Paolo deaths

FIFA will urgently investigate the safety of the World Cup stadium in Sao Paolo after two construction workers were killed when a crane collapsed, Sky Sports has reported. The stadium is due to host the tournament’s opening game on June 12, as well as one of the semi-finals, and will be home to local club Corinthians after the competition is concluded. FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) will explore the circumstances of the accident, which is believed to have occurred as the crane put into place a part of…

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Everton can cope without Baines, insists Jagielka

Everton captain Phil Jagielka is confident the Toffees can cope without the services of left-back Leighton Baines, who is facing an indeterminate amount of time on the sidelines after fracturing his toe in the Merseyside derby, the Guardian has reported. Baines could be missing for up to six weeks, the newspaper adds, although his recovery period could also be much shorter than that. Jagielka admits that not having Baines on the left of the defence will take some getting used to, as the England international has been one of the…

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Whelan surprised Man Utd didn’t approach Wigan for Martinez

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has said he believes Manchester United should have appointed former Latics boss Roberto Martinez to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson, rather than Everton manager David Moyes, Sky Sports has reported. Martinez instead replaced Moyes at Goodison Park but Whelan feels the Spaniard would have been ideally suited for the position at Old Trafford. “I think he’s the best manager in the world and I was a little surprised that Man U didn’t come for him because I knew that Alex was going to retire,” Whelan said.…

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Mignolet impressed by Sturridge-Suarez partnership at Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes the partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez is the most dangerous in the entire Premier League, ESPN has reported. The strikers have helped Brendan Rodgers’ side into second place in the Premier League, level on points with Chelsea – but ahead on goals scored – and four points behind the league leaders, Arsenal. Between them, Suarez and Sturridge have scored 20 league goals, and Mignolet rates them higher than any other combination in the division. “I come across them every day in training and…

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Mertesacker wants to see more from Arsenal teammate Ozil

Per Mertesacker has called on his Arsenal and Germany teammate Mesut Ozil to improve his performances, ESPN has reported, with the centre-back believing there is more to come from the playmaker. Ozil moved to Arsenal late in the transfer window, signing in at the Emirates Stadium in a club record transfer from Real Madrid. He lined up for the Gunners in the Champions League against Marseille on Tuesday and created Jack Wilshere’s second goal in the 2-0 win, but missed a penalty that Mertesacker admits could have hampered his subsequent…

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Milner praises Man City teammate Hart after Champions League return

James Milner praised the performance of Joe Hart as the goalkeeper returned to the Manchester City side for the 4-2 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen, Sky Sports has reported. Milner believes Hart entered an accomplished performance despite conceding two goals on his first appearance for his club in a month. Hart was dropped by manager Manuel Pellegrini after an error against Chelsea gave Jose Mourinho’s side the three points when the teams met at Stamford Bridge. Costel Pantilimon has worn the gloves since but Pellegrini restored Hart to the…

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Moyes pleased as Man Utd record big Champions League win

Manchester United manager David Moyes has praised his players after a resounding 5-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen sealed the Premier League champions’ place in the next round of the Champions League, Sky Sports has reported. United romped to victory in Germany with goals from Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Luis Nani and an Emir Spahic own goal. The result was United’s biggest away win in the competition and extended this season’s unbeaten run to 11 games. Moyes said after the final whistle that he has been waiting for his…

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Villas-Boas rejects suggestions of Tottenham sack

Andre Villas-Boas has insisted his future at Tottenham Hotspur is secure after reports suggested he was under intense pressure at White Hart Lane following the 6-0 defeat in the Premier League against Manchester City on Sunday, according to the Daily Telegraph. Spurs are in Europa League action on Thursday as they travel to Norway to play Tromso, in a match that will be held so far north as to be in the Arctic Circle. Tottenham go into the game top of Group K, five points clear of Anzhi Makhachkala, with…

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Six arrests in match-fixing probe

Six men have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing in English football, the BBC has reported, with at least three of the group said to be professional footballers. The arrests were made by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), who said the focus of the operation was a suspected international illegal betting syndicate. None of the players arrested are thought to be affiliated with professional clubs. A statement from the Football Association said: “We have worked closely with the authorities in relation to these allegations.…

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Man City vs Viktoria Plzen – Match preview and team news

Manchester City take on Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening with their place in the Champions League knockout stages already secured. Despite defeat to Bayern Munich in early November, two wins for Manuel Pellegrini’s side over CSKA Moscow has assured them of their progress at the third time of asking, having failed to make it past the group stage in the previous two seasons. Man City look set to finish second in Group D, with Bayern three points above them and needing to lose both of their…

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Bayer Leverkusen vs Man Utd – Match preview and team news

Victory for Manchester United away to Bayer Leverkusen will guarantee their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Man Utd currently lie a point clear of their opponents at the top of Group A, with Shakhtar Donetsk – who are at home to Real Sociedad – a further two points back, meaning defeat at the BayArena will make things very nervy when the Ukrainian champions visit Old Trafford on match day six. Sunday’s performance in the 2-2 draw away to Cardiff City in the Premier League suggested that…

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Cole considering West Ham exit after first-half substitution

Joe Cole could attempt to leave West Ham in January after he was substituted in the first-half of the weekend’s Premier League defeat to Chelsea, the Daily Mail has reported. Cole was withdrawn before half-time as manager Sam Allardyce attempted to pull back a Chelsea side that strolled into an early two-goal lead. Jack Collison was also given the hook, in favour of Modibo Maiga, while Cole was replaced by Mohamed Diame. The Mail claims Cole reacted angrily to Allardyce’s decision, “ripping off his shirt and storming down the tunnel”…

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Toure claims Man City should regret letting him leave for Liverpool

Kolo Toure believes Manchester City will kick themselves for allowing him to leave the club this summer, Sky Sports has reported, after the former Arsenal centre-back moved to Liverpool on a free transfer. Toure’s contract at the Etihad Stadium was not renewed and he was able to move as a free agent to Anfield, where he has featured regularly under Brendan Rodgers this season. Toure was a bit-part player in his final season at City, with then-manager Roberto Mancini only giving him 15 appearances in the Premier League. Mancini favoured…

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Defoe ready to quit Tottenham for Toronto move

Out-of-favour striker Jermain Defoe is ready to quit Tottenham Hotspur in favour of a lucrative move to MLS side Toronto, the Daily Mail has reported. Toronto are coached by Defoe’s former Tottenham teammate Ryan Nelsen and the Canadian club will offer the England striker £90,000 per week to call time on his Premier League career, having offered Spurs £6m for the England international. Defoe has featured sparingly under Andre Villas-Boas this season, with his appearances largely restricted to the Europa League. Defoe has nevertheless been prolific, notching nine goals in…

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Pardew refuses to comment on permanent Newcastle move for Remy

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has declined to be drawn on the future of striker Loic Remy, Sky Sports has reported, with the Magpies boss insisting the club has to see what the future brings with regards to the on-loan forward. Remy joined Newcastle on a season-long deal from relegated Queens Park Rangers and has scored eight goals so far this season. But the loan agreement does not include an option for Newcastle to sign the former Marseille player permanently, with Pardew previously conceding that a full-time switch would be a…

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Man Utd boss Moyes relishing fired-up Rooney

Manchester United manager David Moyes has rejected the suggestion that a fired-up Wayne Rooney is proving hard to handle, ESPN has reported, with Moyes insisting that this is how he wants the England international to be. Rooney appeared to lash out at Cardiff City midfielder Jordon Mutch when the sides met in Wales on Sunday, and was booked for his part in the altercation, but Moyes wants his former Everton charge to continue playing with the kind of attitude that has this season delivered eight goals in 16 games for…

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Man City midfielder Nasri reveals torment of last season

Samir Nasri has spoken of the problems that plagued him last season, the Daily Telegraph has reported, with the Manchester City midfielder revealing his unhappy relationship with former manager Roberto Mancini. Nasri adds that he was also disturbed by the breakdown in his relationship with the French press due to the struggles of the national team – and that he felt he couldn’t share his problems with anyone, not even his parents. But Nasri absolved Mancini of blame, taking responsibility for the way he handled the matter. “Everything he was…

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Wilshere following Ramsey example, believes Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere is following the example of his teammate Aaron Ramsey after the England international scored twice in the Gunners’ 2-0 Champions League win over Marseille, ESPN has reported. It was the first brace of Wilshere’s senior career and took Arsenal to the brink of qualification – but despite having claimed four wins in five games in Group F, they still require a point against Napoli at the San Paolo in their final fixture to be sure of progress to the next round. Wenger revealed…

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Mourinho takes the blame as Chelsea crash to Basle defeat

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted to getting his team selection wrong as the Blues crashed to a second Champions League defeat to Basle, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Mourinho revealed that he had checked with the players in the XI picked to see if they felt fit enough to play, and was told that they did. He now feels, however, that he should have seen the warning signs that they weren’t really fit enough – and Chelsea – who have qualified for the next stage regardless – suffered because…

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Villas-Boas close to Tottenham exit

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas is under increasing pressure at White Hart Lane, the Guardian has reported, as a series of disappointing results, combined with the Portuguese’s attitude to the reverses, has caused the club’s hierarchy to consider his position. The newspaper claims the heavy defeat against Manchester City on Sunday brought into focus problems that had been bubbling under the surface since the start of the season. There is consternation that an expensively assembled team has scored only nine league goals all season and frustration over Villas-Boas’ perceived…

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Basel vs Chelsea – Match preview and team news

Victory for Chelsea in Switzerland will see them make up for the disappointment of last season and qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. The Blues have made an impressive recovery in Europe since Tuesday’s opponents caused a shock in September by pulling off a deserved win at Stamford Bridge on match day one. Shaken by that defeat, Chelsea have responded by winning away to Steaua Bucherest, and beating Schalke twice, scoring 10 goals without reply. A comfortable victory at West Ham United on Saturday saw Jose Mourinho’s…

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Arsenal vs Marseille – Match preview and team news

Arsenal can potentially qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 14th season in succession with victory over Marseille at the Emirates Stadium. In addition to that, they need Borussia Dortmund to fail to defeat Rafael Benitez’ Napoli in the other game in Group F to be assured of their progress. Marseille, out of the running at the bottom of the group, seemingly provide the perfect opposition, with Arsenal currently sitting top with nine points, having won in Dortmund on match day four. Things are also going…

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Vertonghen denies fall out between Tottenham players and Villas-Boas

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has dismissed suggestions that a fall out between the players and Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas was the cause of their heavy defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, the Guardian has reported. Spurs were hammered 6-0 by City, falling behind within seconds of the kick-off after a Hugo Lloris miskick, as Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero claimed doubles and Alvaro Negredo notched one for himself. Tottenham midfielder Sandro suffered the ignominy of scoring an own goal but Vertonghen denies there is any problem between the squad…

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