Aston Villa appoint Dean Smith as Head Coach with Terry as assistant

Aston Villa have named Dean Smith as their new head coach, with ex-Chelsea defender John Terry as his assistant. Smith, 47, leaves Brentford, who he led to top-10 finishes in the Championship in each of his three seasons as boss. Former England captain Terry, 37 retired on Sunday after leaving Villa in the summer, while Jesus Garcia Pitarch joins as sporting director. Villa sacked Steve Bruce on 3 October after a run of one win in nine Championship games. Former centre-back Smith – whose first managerial role was with Walsall…

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Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho gets England squad call

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho was a surprise selection when England manager Gareth Southgate named a 25-man squad on Thursday for this month’s Nations League matches away to Croatia and Spain. Mason Mount and James Maddison were also given their first senior England call-ups by Southgate as it was announced that the 48-year-old had signed a new contract that will keep him with the national side until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 18-year-old Sancho was called up having already played in the Champions League for German club Dortmund, with…

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‘I did not like my team’: Mourinho questions attitude as United draw

Jose Mourinho was highly critical of the attitude of his Manchester United players after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves at Old Trafford. Mourinho even claimed he was more pleased with their last home display – the 3-0 defeat to Tottenham – than he was this latest effort. The United manager saw a run of three consecutive wins, all of them away from Old Trafford, come to an end in lethargic fashion. “Not a good performance, not a good result but a fair result,” said Mourinho. “Wolves, by the way…

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Joe Hart completes £3.5m Burnley switch from Manchester City

Burnley have completed the signing of Joe Hart from Manchester City on a two-year deal for a fee in the region of £3.5m. The move to Turf Moor ends Hart’s 12-year association with the Premier League champions where he was previously undisputed first choice before Pep Guardiola’s 2016 arrival meant he became surplus to requirements. Hart spent the past two seasons on loan at Torino and West Ham but failed to establish himself at either club, and subsequently missed out on England’s World Cup squad. Burnley manager Sean Dyche did…

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How has the World Cup affected this year’s transfer market?

July is traditionally the time of year when transfer season moves into top gear, and the rumour machine across the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two starts going into overdrive. This year, of course, attention has been focused to lands further east and the events in Russia. It is understandable that with so many Premier League players in action for their countries, the usual transfer frenzy among the giants, both in the UK and Europe, has been deferred till later in the month. But this has also resulted…

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Fulham seal sensational Seri swoop for club record fee

Fulham have completed the signing of Jean Michaël Seri from Nice for a club-record fee in the region of £25m, on an initial four-year contract with a further option for one year. The west London club have beaten off stiff competition from several European clubs to sign Seri, who was on the verge of a move to Barcelona last summer. Chelsea, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal were thought to be interested in the Ivory Coast international but Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have acted decisively to make him their first summer…

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Manchester United complete goalkeeper Lee Grant signing

Manchester United have completed the signing of goalkeeper Lee Grant from Stoke City on a two-year deal. The 35-year-old, who previously had two spells with Derby County and has also kept goal for Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley, had impressed in the Premier League over the past two years with Stoke. The move opens the door for third choice goalkeeper Joel Pereira to leave Old Trafford on loan to gain some experience during the 2018/19 season. Grant only played three league games last season after playing second fiddle to Jack Butland…

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Sheffield Wednesday vs Wolves- Betting Tips and Predictions.

Sheffield Wednesday vs Wolves- Betting Tips and Predictions. Sheffield Wednesday host leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Hillsborough Stadium in this 7:45pm Friday night kick off. The Owls are struggling to get their consistency and have managed just 1 win from the last 6 games. Wolves have been in fine form this season winning 15 out of 21 games so far. The travelling Wolves will be looking to get back into winning ways after the surprise barren draw at home against relegation-threatened Sunderland last weekend. A win here will see Nuno Espirito…

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Reading vs Cardiff City- Betting Tips and Predictions

Third placed Bristol City’s 2-1 away win against Sheffield United on Friday night saw them cut the gap at the top of the table to 3 points. Cardiff City, second in the table, will be out to restore the 6 point cushion between them and third placed Bristol City. The Welsh side face a tricky and tough opponent who has rediscovered their form.  Reading will want to make it three wins in as many games. On their side, Cardiff will try to utilize their defense heading into this game. Cardiff’s…

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Aston Villa vs Millwall- Betting Tips and Predictions

Aston Villa are in the playoff spots and will be looking to close the gap on Cardiff City who occupy the last promotion place. Villa are 5th in the table after gaining 36 points from 20 games, a point above 6th placed Derby County and a point below 3rd and 4th placed Bristol City and Sheffield United. Millwall head into this game after collecting a much needed 3-1 win against Sheffield United to pull out of danger, and are currently 17th. The south-east London club will fancy getting six vital points…

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Barnsley vs Derby-Betting Tips and Predictions

Barnsley are currently 19th in the table and play 6th place Derby County at the Oakwell Stadium. The Tykes have lost their last 4 Championship games heading into this clash and are likely to slip into the relegation spots that manager Paul Heckingbottom has been keen to avoid. Derby recorded a scrappy 1-0 win over bottom placed Burton, and will try to make two wins in as many games when they face Barnsley here. There has been mounting pressure on the home side’s manager to produce an improved performance and results…

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Middlesbrough vs Ipswich- Betting Tips and Predictions

9th placed Middlesbrough take on 7th placed Ipswich at the Riverside Stadium. A win for the Middlesbrough will see them level on points with the travelling Ipswich Town. Ipswich will be looking to close in on 6th placed Derby County who occupy the last playoff spot. The two teams come into this game in contrasting forms. Ipswich have won their last two games, scoring 5 goals in the process. On the other hand, Middlesbrough have lost their last two games and have conceded 5 goals. While Ipswich build on the…

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Wolves vs Sunderland- Betting Tips and Predictions

Championship Leaders Wolves host relegation-threatened Sunderland at the Molineux Stadium. Nunes Espirito Santo’s side will be looking to continue Sunderland’s woes and open the gap at the top of the log. Wolves have 47 points from 20 games, 4 points clear of second-placed Cardiff who travel to Reading on Monday night. Struggling Sunderland find themselves on the wrong end of the table. Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, the Black Cats find themselves caught up in yet another relegation battle. Hopes among the supporters that the club…

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Sheffield United vs Bristol City- Betting Tips and Predictions

Fourth placed Sheffield United take on third placed Bristol City in the Bramall Lane Stadium. It is a clash that will shape up the race for promotion to the Premier League. Both teams are level on points having collected 37 points from 20 games so far this season. A win for either side will see them close in on second places Cardiff City who occupy the last of the two automatic promotion slots. Teams that finish third through sixth have to navigate through play-offs to get promoted. Aston Villa, 36…

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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Middlesbrough predictions, betting tips and preview

Wolves will be aiming to put their disappointing last season behind them when they welcome Middlesbrough at the Molineux Stadium for the opening round of the new Championship season. Wolverhampton come into this tie on the back of an excellent 1-0 home win over the Premier League side Leicester City in a friendly game last weekend thanks to a second-half goal from Ivan Cavaleiro. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough beat Augsburg 2-1 thanks to goals from Martin Braithwaite and Adam Forshaw. Below we will take you through everything you need to know and…

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Championship season review – Rotherham, Sheff Wed, Wigan, Wolves

Rotherham United: 24th (relegated) It is difficult to know where to start with Rotherham. This was simply a season to forget; one which saw the club relegated pretty much before it had even begun. Not for many a year has a side finished with so few points, as a squad packed full of journeymen and loan players found itself truly incapable of competing at Championship level. Having pulled off a magnificent escape from the drop in 2015-16, the following summer was actually sprinkled with hints of optimism, with Alan Stubbs having…

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Championship season review: Nottingham Forest, Preston, QPR, Reading

Nottingham Forest: 21st Yet again, there was a new manager in situ at Nottingham Forest heading into a new season, this time in the shape of Frenchman Philippe Montanier, whose aim was to arrest the club’s downward trend of recent years. It was an unforgiving role that was not made any easier by a lack of summer signings and discontent from the fans towards owner Fawaz Al Hasawi. The team got off to a mixed start, and soon developed a Jekyll and Hyde tendency to win at home – where the…

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Championship season review – Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Norwich

Ipswich Town: 16th There is a very strong argument to suggest that Ipswich have overachieved during Mick McCarthy’s reign as manager, which has lasted since October 2012. Despite a continued lack of investment from the top, play-off challenges had been mounted in each of the previous three seasons, in which a very workmanlike squad probably achieved more than the sum of its parts. Therefore, as few changes were made to the playing staff once again over the summer of 2016, it was reasonable to assume that standards could slip, and there…

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Championship season review – Cardiff, Derby, Fulham, Huddersfield

Cardiff City: 12th Few managers thrive in the Championship more than Neil Warnock. Taking over at Cardiff in October with the club seemingly headed for a serious fight to stay in the division, he drew upon his vast experience to lift them well clear of danger and an eventual top half finish, an achievement which looked way beyond them at the outset. With previous boss Russell Slade having been moved aside in the summer and then choosing to leave his new role as Head of Football, Paul Trollope led the Bluebirds…

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Championship season review – Brentford, Brighton & HA, Bristol City, Burton

Brentford: 10th Although there were never any seriously realistic hopes of reaching the play-offs, or any concern about possibly being drawn into a relegation scrap, it was far from a dull season from Brentford. The reflection of stability, a young side full of technically gifted individuals proved as entertaining as they were inconsistent, in the process doing enough to suggest that promising times lie ahead. One thing that was fairly constant throughout was their strong home form, only dropping two points from their first five outings at Griffin Park in a…

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Championship season review: Aston Villa, Barnsley, Birmingham, Blackburn

Aston Villa: 13th After sinking from the Premier League without trace in 2015-16, a summer of transition inevitably ensued at Aston Villa as this illustrious club aimed to lift itself off the floor. Taken over by the Chinese businessman Tony Xia, former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo was appointed the new manager and although a surprisingly high number of the existing squad remained, hefty sums of money were spent on strikers Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia. Expectations were high, but there was clearly a weak mentality within the squad which showed…

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League Two season review

This was a season that, above all, demonstrated powers of recovery. Three clubs that have undergone some extremely testing times in the recent past emerged from the gloom and disappointment to gain automatic promotion to League One as reward for showing by far the greatest degree of consistency in a highly competitive fourth tier. As recently as 2010, Portsmouth were in the Premier League and participating in the FA Cup final, but a series of financial woes and frequent changes of ownership led to the club suffering a demoralising three…

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League One season review

After five years of seeing pre-season optimism fade away into increasing depths of mediocrity, supporters of Sheffield United awaited 2016-17 with bated breath as their side again approached a campaign as favourites for promotion under another highly regarded new manager. This time it was self-confessed Blades fan Chris Wilder who took over the reins following the bitterly disappointing tenure of Nigel Adkins. Fresh from leading Northampton Town to a storming League Two title success, Wilder soon introduced a 3-4-3 formation, which would eventually turn out to be the most effective…

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Keane not keen on UAE

Earlier today, former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane was pictured taking part in a training session with UAE club Al-Ahli. The images first appeared on the Twitter account of the UAE side. The speculation was rife that the former Republic of Ireland skipper has chosen his next destination following his five-year stint with MLS side LA Galaxy. النجم الايرلندي روبي كين يشارك في تدريبات الفرسان صباح اليوم pic.twitter.com/0S9P4z2yxM — النـــادي الاهــــلي (@AlAhliClub) February 6, 2017 However, according to the Irish Times, Keane is not expected to join the Dubai’s side. The…

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Deadline Day Confirmed Deals- Ranocchia joins Hull City, Pato moves to China and more

With only few hours left in the January Transfer Window, let us take a look at the confirmed deals from the deadline day. Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia joins Hull City on loan Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia joins @HullCity on loan until the end of the season: https://t.co/dPhyWQE6yr pic.twitter.com/PjMp4hnfPt — Premier League (@premierleague) January 31, 2017 On the face of it, Ranocchia (28) looks like a bit of a coup by the Tigers. Ranocchia replaced Zanetti as Inter captain and was a key figure at Inter before Mancini’s arrival in…

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