Van Gaal backs Man Utd youngster Blackett for success

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United youngster Tyler Blackett can reach the very top of the game after the defender signed a new contract, tying him to the Premier League club until 2017, ESPN has reported. Blackett was promoted to the first team at the start of the season by van Gaal and has gone on to make 10 appearances for United, most recently in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford by Southampton in mid-January. The two-and-a-half year contract is the latest awarded to the crop of fresh faces at…

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West Ham’s Mark Noble signs new long-term with the Londoners

According to Sky Sports, West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has signed a long term deal, keeping him at Upton Park until 2012. The long-serving player has been consistent in the side, and was somewhat close to getting an England call-up last season due to his fine form. Noble has been a mainstay at the heart of the midfield due to his combative displays and impressive wide range of passing. The 27-year-old is vice captain of the London club, and is a two-time Hammer of the year. West Ham co-owner David…

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confident of Besiktas win despite injury-hit side

Despite Liverpool having many players injured ahead of their Europa League clash against Besiktas tonight, manager Brendan Rodgers is still confident his men can get the job done, reports Sky Sports. The Reds have Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Glen Johnson, Mamadou Sakho, Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Lazar Markovic all set to miss the clash against Beskitas, which makes their task of getting a result on the road even harder. Their Turkish opponents are strong playing on home soil, but they are 1-0 down on aggregate. As a result, Liverpool are…

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez unhappy with Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku criticism

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has defended midfielder Ross Barkley and striker Romelu Lukaku following criticism of the duo this season. He feels his young stars are being harshly treated by “cheap talk from the outside”, and remains confident things can turn around for his side, reports Sky Sports. The Toffees have struggled for results this season, and personal performances from a number of their players have also come under criticism as a result. Everton are still in the bottom-half of the Premier League, but the likes of Ross Barkley and…

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a selection problem with important double header to come

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted he has somewhat of a selection headache ahead of two important games in the coming days, with Spurs having a second leg Europa League clash, and Capital One Cup final bout days later to prepare for, reports Sky Sports. The Lilywhites face Fiorentina tonight in the second leg of the Europa League last 32, with the two sides having drawn the first leg. Tottenham have just a few days until they have to face Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. It gives them little time…

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “We were suicidal defensively”

After watching his side lose 3-1 at home to AS Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League second round, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was critical of his side’s mental capabilities, and said the defending was suicidal, reports BBC Sport. Arsenal fell behind in the first-half, and then saw the task made even harder when Monaco doubled their lead after the break. They even saw a consolation goal cancelled out at the death, meaning Monaco ran out 3-1 winners at the Emirates stadium. There was questionable defending all night…

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Arsenal 1-3 AS Monaco: Gunners stunned as Monaco win at the Emirates

Arsenal were humiliated on home soil against an injury-hit AS Monaco side who hit the Londoners on the break to score three goals, putting Arsenal’s Champions League quarter-final hopes in jeopardy, reports BBC Sport. AS Monaco took the lead in the 38th minute through influential midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. The former Arsenal-target hit a long range striker that deflected off Gunners’ defender Per Mertesacker and into the back of the net. It stunned the stadium, but Arsenal failed to fight back before half-time, and went into the break behind. They start…

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Burnley striker Ings set to choose Liverpool over Sociedad

Burnley striker Danny Ings will decide to join Premier League rivals Liverpool rather than move to Spain and sign for David Moyes’ Real Sociedad, according to the Metro. The 22-year-old has held talks with Sociedad in recent weeks, with Moyes extremely keen to bring him to the Basque country, but despite being offered lucrative terms, he has decided to go to Merseyside in what he has described as his ‘dream’ move. Liverpool attempted to sign Ings towards the end of the January transfer window, but the player was convinced to…

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Arsenal striker Giroud motivated by transfer rumours

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that rumours linking the club with a new striker only serve to motivate him to perform better, ESPN has reported. Last time out, the Frenchman netted his 50th goal in all competitions for the Gunners, scoring the second in their 2-1 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday. It was his eighth of what has been a season tormented by injury, having spent three months out with a broken ankle sustained at Everton in August. Signed from Montpellier in the summer of 2012,…

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Osman and Pienaar close to Everton return

Everton midfield duo Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are on the brink of making their long-awaited return from injury and could feature against Young Boys on Thursday evening, the Liverpool Echo has reported. The Merseyside club currently have several key players on the sidelines, with Aiden McGeady and Bryan Oviedo the latest names to be added to their injury list, so the impending comeback of two of their most experienced players will come as a major boost for manager Roberto Martinez. Both Osman and Pienaar have not featured since December,…

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Man Utd plot summer move for Clyne

Manchester United are preparing to make a bid for Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne when the transfer window re-opens in the summer, according to the Daily Mirror. The 20-time league champions have been heavily linked with the 23-year-old in recent months, and their increased interest reportedly comes as he stalls over a proposed new contract at the St. Mary’s Stadium. His current deal expires in the summer of 2016, meaning that United are likely to be able to purchase him for less than the £27m they spent to sign Luke Shaw…

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Ivanovic issues warning to Tottenham

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has warned Capital One Cup final opponents Tottenham that his side’s previous experience of winning the biggest games will give them an advantage in Sunday’s showdown at Wembley, reports the Daily Express. The Premier League leaders are yet to win a trophy since Jose Mourinho returned to the club as manager in the summer of 2013, but Ivanovic has won every major trophy in England and in Europe since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2008, scoring the winning goal in the 2013 Europa League final against…

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Silva: Man City lucky to avoid Barcelona rout

Manchester City playmaker David Silva has admitted that his side were lucky that they still have a chance of turning their Champions League tie against Barcelona around, Goal.com is reporting. The Premier League champions were second best throughout against a side boasting a front three of four-time Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi, Brazil star Neymar and the 2013-14 PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Luis Suarez. The former Liverpool man opened the scoring inside 16 minutes as he fired past Joe Hart after Messi’s cross had deflected into…

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Arsenal vs Monaco – Match preview and team news

Arsenal begin their attempts to make the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010 as they take on Monaco in the Round of 16 on Wednesday. They will have been delighted to avoid Barcelona and Bayern Munich in December’s draw, having gone out to either of those two sides in four of the last five seasons. While the French side cannot be taken lightly, this is a very winnable tie for the Gunners, who return to the European stage full of confidence after a fine run…

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Mourinho: Tottenham have Capital One Cup final advantage over Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham Hotspur have the advantage over his side for the Capital One Cup final, in part because Nemanja Matic is, as it stands, suspended for the match, the Daily Mail has reported. Matic was sent off in Chelsea’s Saturday draw with Burnley for his retaliation to an incident with Ashley Barnes, who, Matic felt, had made a dangerous, studs-up tackle. The Serbian midfielder responded by shoving Barnes to the ground and received a straight red card, with Mourinho later complaining about the officiating of Martin…

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Qatar World Cup should be in winter, report finds

A report into the staging of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has stated that the tournament should be held in either November or December, BBC Sport has reported. The report is the work of a FIFA commission and forms a recommendation to the world governing body on the timetable of the tournament, with the decision to be confirmed at a meeting of FIFA’s executive committee in March. Temperatures of more than 40c in the summer, as compared to closer to 25c in the winter months, have led the commission…

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Herrera ‘wants to emulate Scholes at Man Utd’

Ander Herrera has pointed to the example of Paul Scholes as the kind of player he wants to be for Manchester United, according to ESPN. Herrera, a summer signing from La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao, fell out of Louis van Gaal’s favour earlier in the season but upon regaining his place in the manager’s starting XI, has scored two goals in as many games. The Spain youth international netted in the FA Cup win over Preston North End and the Premier League defeat to Swansea City, having previously scored against…

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Wilshere expected to miss Arsenal’s Champions League return

Arsenal are likely to be without midfielder Jack Wilshere for the first leg of their Champions League game against Monaco, ESPN has reported. Wilshere underwent ankle surgery in November and has yet to make a full return to action. He was part of the squad that on Saturday beat Crystal Palace but remained an unused substitute, with the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat against Manchester United his last appearance. Manager Arsene Wenger denied Wilshere had suffered a recurrence of his injury but confirmed the player missed training ahead of the meeting with…

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Man City vs Barcelona – Match preview and team news

Manchester City will be determined to right the wrongs of last season’s Champions League meeting with Barcelona as they face them again in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. This time in 2014, Manuel Pellegrini opted for a more defensive system, and it backfired as Martin Demichelis was sent off in a 2-0 victory for the Catalans at the Etihad Stadium, all but ensuring their place in the quarter-finals. As they showed against Newcastle United on Saturday, City are at their best when on the attack, so…

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Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confident of beating Barcelona without Yaya Toure

Ahead of their Champions League second round clash against Barcelona, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his side can beat the Catalan giants without influential midfielder Yaya Toure, who is suspended, reports Sky Sports. The Ivorian international, 31, will miss the first leg of the second round meeting against Barcelona tonight as a result of his suspension, and while Manchester City’s form suffered in the Premier League without Toure in the midfield, Pellegrini feels the Sky Blues can shine in European in his absence. Toure missed the last two group…

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Man City’s Samir Nasri believes “inexperienced” City showed Barcelona “too much respect”last year

With Premier League holders Manchester City locking horns with La Liga giants Barcelona in the Champions League for the second time in as many seasons, winger Samir Nasri believes the Sky Blues won’t make the same mistakes as last time by showing “too much respect” due to their “inexperience”, reports Sky Sports. Manchester City lost the home leg of their clash against the Catalans 2-0, and lost the away tie 2-1. But tonight’s meeting has a different feeling within the City camp, with many believing Barcelona can be beaten following…

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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says Nene will make debut against Crystal Palace

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed that new signing Nene will make his debut on Saturday when the Londoners face Crystal Palace, reports Sky Sports. The Brazilian forward, 33, was signed on a free transfer to provide cover for the current United attackers, as Andy Carroll recently suffered injury that will keep him out for a lengthy period, while Carlton Cole has endured questionable form. He’s now also injured, which means Nene is in line to spearhead the attack, with Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho potentially operating in a…

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Everton’s James McCarthy urges patience from angry supporters

With Everton currently struggling in the bottom-half of the Premier League table at the business end to the season, while having won just six games from their 26 played, midfielder James McCarthy understands why supporters are frustrated, but pleads for patience, reports Sky Sports. The Toffees are currently 12th in the table, and have picked up just one league win in 2015. They scraped a draw at home to Leicester City after being 2-1 down in the final few minutes of the game, and they are eight points adrift of…

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Manchester United’s Juan Mata: “Top-four is crucial”

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata believes finishing in the Champions League is the most important objective of their season, despite being on course for a deep run in the FA Cup, reports Sky Sports. With Manchester United having missed out on a Champions League place last season, the Red Devils acted swiftly in hiring former Barcelona & Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal, and gave him lucrative resources to get the club back in the top-four. While enduring a recent stumble, they are on course to achieve their goals. But…

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Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez thanks fans for support during his recovery

Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez has praised the fans’ response during his time recovering from cancer. He’s completed his treatment, and has been training with the Magpies’ U21s, and spoke about the support received by the club’s fans, reports Sky Sports. The 31-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but has made a successful recovery. He admitted that the treatment has been difficult, but the support received has given him the strength to continue. Gutierrez was a popular player during his time on Tyneside, but his form dipped and he eventually lost…

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