Crystal Palace target Tony Popovic given green light to move if club approach him

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer has said he won’t stand in manager Tony Popovic’s way if Crystal Palace look to appoint him to replace the sacked Neil Warnock, reports Sky Sports. Reports have suggested Crystal Palace are holding talks with Popovic, a former Eagles players, and he has his chairman’s blessing to leave the Australian club if offered the managerial vacancy. “If he was bettering himself and went to the EPL and he got the top job, I’d be wishing him all the best and good luck to him.…

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Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal: “We struggled for life” following stalemate against Tottenham

After seeing his side play out a physical stalemate against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon, Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal feels his men were “struggling for life”, reports BBC Sport. “We had our best performance this season in the first half, we could have scored four or five goals. But you could see the difference in the second half, we struggled for life. We played within 48 hours and bodies were tired. We do not have the fittest players in the world,” he said. Manchester United were by far…

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England manager Roy Hodgson to hold team meeting early in the New Year

England manager Roy Hodgson has said he will hold a team meeting with the players near the end of January to review the year, as well as discussing plans for the New Year, reports BBC Sport. BBC Sport “We’ve all agreed we’re going to get together. Unfortunately, my time with them won’t really begin again until March. I am looking forward to seeing the team qualify for France in Euro 2016, for constant progression, and for us to be a better team at the end of 2015 than we are…

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West Brom may wait until New Year’s before deciding Alan Irvine’s future

According to BBC Sport, West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace may wait until the Baggies’ New Year clash against West Ham before making a decision on manager Alan Irvine’s future. The 56-year-old, appointed in the summer, was not a popular choice pending his initial arrival, and things haven’t gone too well mid-way through his debut campaign. The Midlands club are currently just one point above the drop zone, while coming off the back of three consecutive Premier League defeats. Albion have lost seven of their previous nine games in the…

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Wenger plotting cut price Arsenal move for Winston Reid

Arsene Wenger will be looking to solve his defensive headaches in January and could look towards a cut price deal to bring West Ham’s Winston Reid to Arsenal, according to the Daily Mail. Arsenal have been plagued with injuries this season and in defence they have employed Callum Chambers, Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy all as emergency centre backs following injury to Laurent Koscielny – with no centre half cover available. Reid’s current deal with the Hammers expires at the end of the season and with no signs of a…

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Liverpool close to £23.5m deal for West Brom’s Berahino

The Metro has claimed that Liverpool are closing in on sealing a £23.5m move for West Brom striker Saido Berahino. A lack of goals has been chronic for the Anfield side this season with the injury to Daniel Sturridge and £75m departure of Luis Suarez – who scored 55 goals between them last season. Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini have just one league goal between them, Lambert the scorer, and Rodgers will be actively seeking a remedy to the situation. Berahino has taken huge strides this season in…

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Newcastle boss Pardew avoids press after becoming Palace hotseat favourite

Having been backed to odds on favourite to succeed Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace Newcastle boss Alan Pardew chose to not face the press following his side’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday, Sky Sports is reporting. Despite a win that halted a run of three straight league defeats Pardew decided to leave the post-match questions to his assistant John Carver. Carver insisted all was well with the Newcastle manager and he had simply asked his number two to take the questions for him. He said: “He just said ‘will…

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Man Utd to battle Chelsea for Seamus Coleman in January

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is preparing a January showdown with Chelsea to sign Everton right back Seamus Coleman, the Daily Star is reporting. The United manager has identified Coleman as the perfect addition to the right hand side of either of his two favoured formations and will go head to head with Mourinho to secure his signature. Reports had claimed that United wanted the Irishman back in the summer when they tried to lure Everton into a swap deal with their former star Marouane Fellani but it was…

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Arsenal readying £20m move for William Carvalho

Arsenal are said to be ready to reignite their interest in defensive midfielder William Carvalho with a £20m bid, according to the Independent. The summer saw Arsenal fail in their efforts to persuade Sporting Lisbon to sell one of their prized assets after talks broke down – before renewed attempts of a deal in the Autumn also failed. Injuries have hit the Gunners hard all season long with Mikel Arteta ruled out for a spell alongside Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil in terms of central midfielders alone –…

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Liverpool’s Mignolet believes being dropped will improve him

Having been dropped by manager Brendan Rodgers Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet believes he can learn from the experience and become a better player as a result, according to Sky Sports. The Belgian keeper was dropped “indefinitely” by his manager ahead of their crunch clash with Manchester united this month and only featured in their Boxing Day win over Burnley due to injury to deputy Brad Jones. Despite some nervy and bizarre moments Mignolet managed a clean sheet for the Reds and is expected to start against Swansea in Monday night’s…

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Mourinho adamant ‘Chelsea campaign’ influencing referees

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is adamant a ‘campaign’ against Chelsea is now starting to influence referees on match day, Sky Sports is reporting. The Portuguese thought there was a clear foul on Cesc Fabregas when Southampton youngster Matthew Targett tripped the Spaniard inside the box with the game at 1-1 – only for the referee to book the Chelsea man for diving. The Blues were unable to find a winner and despite Mourinho’s happiness with the performance, was incensed with the referee’s decision. In particular he highlighted incidents where Gary…

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Newcastle 3-2 Everton: Everton suffer fourth defeat in five league games courtesy of rampant Newcastle

Newcastle got back to winning ways, with goals from Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback sealing all three points at St James’ Park, reports BBC Sport. Everton took the lead minutes into the game, with returning striker Arouna Kone scoring his first goal for the club. Newcastle fought back after the half hour mark, with Papiss Cisse scoring from close range. After elbowing Everton’s Seamus Coleman, Cisse was perhaps fortunate to have been on the pitch to score the equalising goal. After the break, Ayoze Perez put Newcastle into…

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West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: Arsenal fight off West Ham resurgence to win at Upton Park

First-half goals from Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck were enough to earn Arsenal a win in controversial circumstances away to West Ham, reports BBC Sport. West Ham had a goal ruled out in the first-half, with Alex Song’s brilliant effort from distance being chalked off, as the referee deemed another player to be disrupting the goalkeeper from an offside position. Arsenal took advantage, with Santi Cazorla netting a penalty for a foul by Hammers defender Winston Reid, before Danny Welbeck scored before the break to make it 2-0. Cheikhou Kouyate…

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Stoke City 2-0 West Brom: Fortunate Diouf brace piles misery on West Brom manager Alan Irvine

Stoke City moved into the top-11 of the Premier League table, with striker Mame Diouf scoring twice in the second-half to put the pressure on West Brom manager Alan Irvine, reports BBC Sport. There was little between the two clubs in the first 45 minutes of football, with goalscoring chances at a premium, but after the break the game came to life. Diouf converted a cross from Stoke fullback Erik Pieters to give Stoke the lead in the 51st minute, before an Marco Arnautovic shot deflected off Diouf and went…

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Queens Park Rangers 0-0 Crystal Palace: Caretaker manager Keith Millen earns credible draw away to the Hoops

Crystal Palace earned a scoreless draw in the first game since manager Neil Warnock’s sacking, as the Eagles held the Hoops to a stalemate at Loftus Road, reports BBC Sport. Palace lined up with winger Wilfried Zaha playing as a makeshift deep-lying forward, and it saw the Eagles keeping solid in the middle of the park. It also enabled Palace to keep QPR’s in-form striker Charlie Austin quiet, with the England forward having scored in his last five home games before this afternoon’s stalemate. Crystal Palace came close to going…

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Manchester City 2-2 Burnley: Clarets come from behind to rescue an unlikely point at the Etihad

Manchester City threw away a two-goal lead against Burnley to hamper their title hopes, while the Clarets boost their survival chances, reports BBC Sport. City took the lead in the 23rd minute through David Silva. The Spanish playmaker scored his fourth goal in three games, finishing from close range to give the Sky Blues a deserved opener. 10 minutes later, midfielder Fernandinho doubled City’s lea d. The Brazilian international hit a curled effort to make it 2-0 just after half an hour. After the break, George Boyd halved the deficit…

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Hull City 0-1 Leicester City: Mahrez goal ends Foxes long winless run

Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game, as Leicester City finally saw their 13-game winless run come to an end, reports BBC Sport. Leicester took the lead in the 32nd minute through the tricky winger Mahrez. The Algerian hit a strike from the edge of the area to give the Foxes a much-needed goal to hold on to. With Nigel Pearson’s side rock bottom of the table ahead of the game, Leicester could ill-afford to through their lead away. Ahmed Elmohamady came close to equalising for Hull, but…

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Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland: 10-Man Villa take a share of the spoils against Sunderland

Aston Villa once again finished the game with 10-men, but earned another draw on home soil, this time against Sunderland, reports BBC Sport. The first-half had few chances of real quality, but Aston Villa striker Andreas Weimann will feel he should have put the home side ahead, but he opted to beat a defender instead of looking to get a shot away fro close range. After the break, Villa went down to 10 men, with Fabian Delph given a straight red card for a late tackle. The man advantage saw…

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Southampton 1-1 Chelsea: Rearguard sees the Saints hold on for a draw against the Premier League leaders

Southampton were somewhat dominated in the latter stages of their meeting against Chelsea, but held on to secure a well-earned point, reports BBC Sport. The hosts started strongly against Chelsea, and took the lead following a mistake from John Terry. The Blues’ centre-back failed in his attempt to play an offside trap, and Southampton forward Saido Mane capitalised, before lifting the ball over the onrushing Thibaut Courtois. Before the break, a moment of magic from the impressive Eden Hazard saw Chelsea level the game. The Belgian cut inside from the…

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Tottenham 0-0 Manchester United: Hugo Lloris heroics earn Tottenham a share of the spoils

Tottenham have goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank, as the Londoners kept an impressive Manchester United at bay at White Hart Lane, reports BBC Sport. Manchester United were by far the dominant side in the first-half, but couldn’t make their chances count. Robin Van Persie will have felt he should have scored at least once against the Londoners, but his finishing touch had deserted him. Hugo Lloris was in fantastic form for Tottenham, keeping out everything that was in his way. Spurs did create opportunities, but were also guilty of being…

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Newcastle vs Everton – Premier League preview and team news

Newcastle United and Everton will both be striving to return to form and achieve their first wins on the festive programme as they meet at St. James’ Park. Suddenly, after an amazing run of form which took them well into the top half of the Premier League, concern has engulfed Tyneside as the result of Newcastle suffering four straight defeats in all competitions, three of which have been fairly comprehensive. The last of those was at Manchester United on Boxing Day, where they got off to a decent start but…

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Aston Villa vs Sunderland – Premier League preview and team news

Separated by only a point and a place in the Premier League table, Aston Villa and Sunderland meet in the West Midlands with the visitors hoping to extend their unbeaten away run to five games. Only a superb free-kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson saw Villa edged out in their last game at Swansea City, and they will count themselves unlucky to have come away with nothing having piled on the pressure in the second half and come close to scoring on more than one occasion. As ever, Christian Benteke will provide…

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Man City vs Burnley – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester City will be searching for their 10th win in a row in all competitions when they welcome struggling Burnley to the Etihad Stadium. The champions wasted little time on getting the business done on Boxing Day as West Bromwich Albion were ruthlessly swept aside, largely thanks to the immense technique and guile of David Silva, whose presence has more than made up for the lack of a recognised striker in recent games. It has been a superb run of form for City, but they must keep it going to…

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West Ham vs Arsenal – Premier League preview and team news

Arsenal will move above London rivals West Ham United in the race for a top four spot if they can come out on top when the two sides meet on Sunday. Notwithstanding a late rally which almost brought a goal, the Hammers were thoroughly outclassed by a fine Chelsea performance last time out, but with this the first of two home games in five days, they will be confident of remaining in the mix going into the New Year. Manager Sam Allardyce chose to manage his players carefully at Stamford…

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QPR vs Crystal Palace – Premier League preview and team news

Queens Park Rangers will be hoping to extend their recent run of home wins by seeing off a Crystal Palace team that now occupies a place in the bottom three and are now without a manager. It looked extremely unlikely after a one-sided first half, but QPR came agonisingly close to earning their first away point of the season at Arsenal. The final ball was lacking in quality and as a result they came away with nothing, but they are beginning to show that Premier League survival is a realistic…

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