Atletico’s Filipe Luis sidelined with hamstring injury

Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luis looks set to be out of action for around three weeks after the club confirmed he has suffered a hamstring strain. The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atlético’s dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday. Atlético announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain. Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries. As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday’s visit of Espanyol and…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Manchester United activate one-year extension on David de Gea contract

Manchester United have triggered the one-year option on goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract to avoid any uncertainty over his future heading into the January transfer window, according to a report in the BBC. His contract was due to end in the summer, allowing him to talk to overseas clubs from 1 January and sign a pre-contract agreement. However, United have extended his deal for another year. As manager Jose Mourinho confirmed after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Young Boys, United are keen to hold on to the keeper, who has won…

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Borussia Dortmund bus attacker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A German court has convicted a man on 28 counts of attempted murder during last year’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus. The defendant, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, was sentenced to 14 years by the Dortmund state court on Tuesday. The Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team’s bus as it left a hotel for a Champions League home game on 11 April 2017. Prosecutors alleged that W took out a loan to place a bet that Dortmund’s…

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UEFA president dismisses possibility of breakaway Super League

Proposed plans for a breakaway European Super League are “fiction” – according to the two most powerful officials in European football. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the influential European Club Association (ECA) which represents over 200 leading teams, say they are “united” – despite recently leaked documents claiming secret talks had been held over the creation of a new elite league. “The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream,” said Ceferin. Agnelli, who is also chairman…

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PSG sweat over Neymar and Mbappe fitness ahead of Liverpool clash

Paris St-Germain face an injury crisis after star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe went off injured playing for Brazil and France respectively in Tuesday’s round of international friendlies. Neymar played for only six minutes as Brazil edged out Cameroon in Milton Keynes as he suffered an adductor muscle injury while taking a shot and was replaced by Everton’s Richarlison. Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out…

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Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic open to Premier League move

Christian Pulisic has said he is open to moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea understood to be leading the race to sign the forward from Borussia Dortmund next summer. Pulisic has been linked to several Premier League sides including Liverpool and Tottenham in the past but it is understood that Chelsea have shown most interest in prising him away from the Bundesliga leaders. The 20-year-old – who spent a year in Oxfordshire as a child before moving back to the United States with his family – has so far refused to discuss a…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Cristiano Ronaldo believes Juventus should have easily beaten Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo believes former club Manchester United’s performance was not deserving of victory over Juventus on Wednesday. Ronaldo volleyed Juve into the lead in the second half in Turin – his first Champions League goal for his new club. But his sensational strike counted for nothing as United staged a dramatic late turnaround, snatching three points thanks to Juan Mata’s free-kick and an Alex Sandro own goal in the final four minutes. Ronaldo was pleased with the quality of his goal but felt Juventus should have easily beaten his former club.…

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Injured Romelu Lukaku doubtful for Manchester derby

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku could miss the Manchester derby at the weekend after he was not named in the squad for Wednesday’s trip to Juventus. The 25-year-old Belgian was dropped to the bench for the match against Everton two weeks ago and then missed the win at Bournemouth because of an injury. “He’s injured for tomorrow, I’m not sure for Sunday,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. Lukaku has only scored four goals in 14 matches for United this season. The last of those came in the 2-1 win at…

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Paul Pogba ‘unaffected’ by removal as Manchester United vice captain

Paul Pogba says he has been unaffected by having the Manchester United vice-captaincy stripped from him by manager Jose Mourinho – who he said he plays for with “happiness”. The France World Cup winner, 25, fell out of favour at Old Trafford last season and had his role as deputy taken away in late September, prompting suggestions that fans should snap up a ladbrokes bonus code 2018 and bet on an Old Trafford exit. “If he takes the armband away, it doesn’t change anything,” said Pogba. “I just want to play,…

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Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Red Star Belgrade game in Serbia

Liverpool have left Xherdan Shaqiri out of their squad to face Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday because they want to “avoid any distractions” that may be caused by the midfielder’s Albanian heritage. Shaqiri, 27, is an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population ended with Nato military intervention in 1999. After scoring for Switzerland against Serbia this summer, he celebrated by making a double-headed eagle gesture, which symbolises the Albanian flag. He was fined £7,632 by Fifa for the celebration, which…

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Buffon to face Lille but Tuchel unsure on Cavani’s return

Gianluigi Buffon will start for Paris Saint-Germain against Lille and the veteran goalkeeper is set to make his Champions League debut for the club, says coach Thomas Tuchel. Buffon is yet to appear in European competition for PSG after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Juventus, with Alphonse Areola taking the gloves for all three matches in Group C. A 2-2 home draw with Napoli last time out left PSG’s Champions League qualification in the balance, Tuchel’s men having taken four points from three games to sit in third place And Tuchel…

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Bayern Munich apply to host the Champions League final again

Bayern Munich will apply to host the 2021 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena. The Bundesliga champions and five-time Champions League winners last hosted the final in 2012, losing to Chelsea on penalties. “I am now allowed to confirm that Bayern Munich, along with the city of Munich, will officially apply to host the 2021 Champions League final,” said chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in an statement released on Wednesday. “Despite the defeat and enormous disappointment against Chelsea in 2021, we’d still love to have another ‘Home Final’. München bewirbt…

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Jose Mourinho denies interest in Real Madrid job for a second time

Jose Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid, stating he wishes to stay as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020. Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante. Yet asked about potentially becoming Real manager for a second time having managed the…

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Usain Bolt offered professional football deal by Maltese champions

Usain Bolt has been offered a two-year contract to play for Maltese club Valletta FC and spearhead their charge to the Champions League. Valletta managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen told ESPN on Monday that they hope to sign the eight-time Olympic sprint champion in time for him to participate in their Maltese Super Cup match on Dec. 13 against Balzan. “A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible,” said Slimen, adding that he hoped Bolt could pave the way for more athletes to…

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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to miss six weeks of action with a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Belgium, the club has confirmed. The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. The news comes as a blow to Barcelona with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to…

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French authorities investigate whether PSG game against Red Star was fixed

French authorities are investigating whether a Champions League game involving Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade was fixed. Both clubs have strongly denied wrongdoing after L’Équipe reported that a Red Star official was suspected of betting €5m (£4.4m) on the team losing by five goals in a match PSG won 6-1. It is understood, Uefa passed on suspicions to the French authorities after the 3 October game at the Parc des Princes in Group C, which also includes Liverpool and Napoli. France’s financial prosecutor’s office confirmed an investigation had been…

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Thierry Henry on manager shortlist to replace Leonardo Jardim at Monaco

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry is being considered as a replacement for manager Leonardo Jardim at Monaco. The French club are expected to sack their Portuguese boss, 44, with the team third from bottom in Ligue 1 with six points from nine games. Henry, 41, who is on the shortlist for a similar role at Aston Villa, began his professional career at Monaco and helped them win Ligue 1 in 1997. Jardim led the club to another French title in 2017, their first since 2000. The former Sporting Lisbon manager…

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Valencia apologises after ‘liking’ Instagram post calling for Manchester United to sack their manager

Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has apologised for inadvertently ‘liking’ an Instagram post calling for manager Jose Mourinho to be sacked. The Red Devils manager came under increasing pressure on Tuesday following a 0-0 draw with Spanish club Valencia at Old Trafford in the Champions League, a result that stretches their winless run to four matches after the draw against Wolves and losses to Derby County and West Ham. Fuel was poured on the fire by the 33-year-old, who liked an Instagram post criticising the manager after the draw, spurring new…

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Keylor Navas admits Real Madrid are missing Ronaldo after shock loss

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas admitted the La Liga giants are missing Cristiano Ronaldo after their goalless run continued on Tuesday. Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, extending their winless and goalless streaks to three matches. Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus in July, having scored at an incredible rate at the club, including 44 times last season. While Navas is keen to move on from the Portuguese superstar, he said his team had a big hole to fill following Ronaldo’s departure. “Cristiano left…

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 Why Tottenham can be confident against bad travellers Barcelona

Barcelona’s visit to Wembley to face Spurs is being seen as a tough tie at the wrong time for the home side, up against La Liga league leaders, and having lost in their last euro outing with Inter. Defeats away to Watford, home to fellow Champions League challengers Liverpool, and away at San Siro against Inter, coupled with unconvincing performances in many of their other outings, have resulted in fans being largely disappointed at the start to the campaign, with the sportsbook GiveMeBet among others needing to factor this in to…

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Golden Boy: 40-man shortlist announced with Kylian Mbappe favourite to retain award

Kylian Mbappe is the favourite to become the first two-time winner of the Golden Boy award after being named among the 40-man shortlist by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Phil Foden are on the shortlist for the award established in 2003 given to the best young player in Europe under the age of 21, with people putting their new customer betting offers on the Reds defender. Everton midfielder Tom Davies and Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot also make the 40-man shortlist. Full-back Alexander-Arnold, 19, played in Liverpool’s…

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Guardiola emphatically denies Manchester City move for Kylian Mbappe

Pep Guardiola says there is no chance of Manchester City signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. City had been linked with a fresh, £200 million move for Mbappe over the weekend. The Premier League side have tried to buy the World Cup winner on two previous occasions; Monaco rejected an approach in the summer of 2016 when he was still largely unknown outside of France, while in 2017 they were beaten to his signature by PSG. In the past week UEFA has reopened an investigation into PSG’s finances, and it was subsequently…

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