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Soccer

Liverpool suffer yet another injury blow as Naby Keita limps off against Leicester

Liverpool suffered yet another injury in the Premier League this evening as Naby Keita limped off with a muscle injury in the match against Leicester. The Reds were 2-0 up when Keita pulled something in his leg and was replaced by Neco Williams.

That meant James Milner moved from right-back into midfield as Liverpool looked to hold onto the victory.

A Jonny Evans own goal had given Liverpool the lead before Diogo Jota netted in his fourth straight match at Anfield to continue his fine start at the club.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher indicated he thought it was a hamstring injury suffered by Keita.

He said: “He’s stretching his hamstring. It certainly wouldn’t be cramp at this stage. I think he knows he has done something.”

JUST IN: Diogo Jota tipped for Liverpool transfer exit after impressive start for Reds

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Soccer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp drops January transfer hint despite backing academy stars

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool will look at potential options in the January transfer market to solve their defensive crisis. The Reds boss refused to rule out signing a replacement for Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, should the Premier League champions struggle in their absence between now and the New Year.

Klopp is under no illusions that Liverpool have a tricky six weeks to navigate before then, with league and European matches coming thick and fast.

Liverpool were rocked with yet another devastating blow last week, when Gomez suffered a serious knee injury in England training.

The 23-year-old has since undergone successful surgery like fellow centre-back partner Van Dijk and the pair remain unlikely to play again this season.

Klopp has now conceded that the club may have to flex their muscle in the market in order to continue challenging on all fronts.

JUST IN: Liverpool star Fabinho hands Jurgen Klopp injury boost ahead of Leicester clash

“We will see. I don’t know what we can do in January. I have no idea,” Klopp said ahead of the visit of Leicester.

“That we look for solutions and the transfer market – that is clear. But in the moment we have the situation we have.

“If we can do something in January I have no idea. If we want to do something in January I have no idea. We’ll just have to see.”

Klopp has been in this position before though during his time at Borussia Dortmund, when he was forced to call upon two of the club’s youngest centre-backs.

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What followed was one of the finest pairings in world football, as Klopp explained: “I don’t want to compare situations but when I came to Dortmund in 2008, my two centre-halves were 19 and turned 20 that winter, and we played with them for that entire time. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic.

“We have talent here. They are young – 18, 19, 23 – and we have more experienced players, so we will see. Now everybody has a chance. What we do in January I have no idea – If we can do something in January I have no idea.

“We’ll just have to see. But these are the situations we have in this moment, we use the boys we have… and for the moment we are fine.”

Klopp is relishing the challenge ahead and has shown on several occasions during his Liverpool tenure that he can find solutions from within his squad.

The emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold only came about after the Reds decided against signing additional cover for Nathaniel Clyne.

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Fellow academy stars Curtis Jones and Neco Williams have already made a huge impression behind the scenes and now the likes of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are aspiring to follow in their footsteps.

“We speak constantly about injuries, but I am all about the chance they have now,” Klopp said, paying tribute to the club’s young players.

“I am really happy, even though it’s not easy for me to be happy in these press conferences because it is always about injuries. But you should see them in training. They can smell the chance and they step up.

“They want to show they are ready and that’s good and we will see. I’m really confident it will work out with the boys and then hopefully we can convince the rest of the world as well.”

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Soccer

Arsenal backed to sign ‘serial winner’ to help Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba

Arsenal should sign Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng to help out the younger members of Mikel Arteta’s backline, according to former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell. Boateng has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent transfer windows. The 32-year-old is out of contract at Bayern at the end of the season, so would be able to speak to clubs in January regarding a free transfer next summer.

Arsenal have three defenders out of contract themselves next summer in David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

And Campbell believes bringing in someone like Boateng would only be a good thing for the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba.

“You can never have enough quality and you can never have enough players who have done it at the top level,” Campbell told Football Insider.

“Looking to maybe recruit someone like Jerome Boateng shows where the club is at.

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“Gabriel and Saliba would benefit from having somebody like Boateng at the club.

“I am not sure how long David Luiz will be at the club so Jerome Boateng could be that experienced player who helps others fulfil their potential.

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“Arsenal need characters. They need strong characters who have been there and done it at the top level. Jerome Boateng is certainly one.

“If you put it out to the Arsenal fan base they will say, ‘Oh he is too old.’

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“But beggars can’t be choosers and we need experience. He is a serial winner.”

Gabriel has had a fine start to life in England following his initial £22million move from Lille in the summer.

However, Saliba is yet to make a first-team appearance since returning from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne.

The Frenchman was left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad, a decision Arteta now regrets.

“I feel really bad for William Saliba,” Arteta said.

“Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.

“I was hoping that Pablo [Mari] would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don’t have Pablo and we don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play, but when you make those decisions, you can’t always think about every possible outcome.”

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Soccer

Jack Grealish’s three-word verdict of Bukayo Saka amid Arsenal transfer rumours

Jack Grealish has delivered his verdict on Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saka, as speculation continues to link the Aston Villa star with a move to the Emirates.

Grealish put in a stunning performance for England on Sunday.

The playmaker was given his first competitive start for the senior side against Belgium and didn’t disappoint, as he moved around the pitch with ease and created some good chances.

England were ultimately beaten 2-0 by the Red Devils, but Grealish impressed regardless.

He played in an attacking midfield position on the left, with Saka in a left wing-back position when he came on for Ben Chilwell.

The pair linked up well in the second half of the game, and Grealish was clearly impressed with the youngster.

Saka took to Instagram afterwards to post an image from the game with the caption: “Didn’t go the way we wanted it to last night but lots of positives to take from the game! On a personal note I’m very happy to play my first competitive game for England which I hope is the first of many to come!”

Grealish commented: “What a player” with three heart-eye emojis.

The Villa man’s performance was widely regarded as England’s best, and the playmaker has subsequently been urged to sign for a top-six club.

Having been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, he subsequently signed a new five-year deal worth a reported £120,000 per-week.

But now, Arsenal appear to have overtaken them in the race for the 25-year-old and have been urged to make a move.

Gunners hero Gilberto Silva predicted he will become a future leader for Mikel Arteta’s side if he were to make the move.

Manchester City are also said to be interested, and there have been suggestions that there could be a bidding war for him next summer.

Saka heaped praise on Grealish before coming up against him in the league earlier this month, and gave an indication over Arteta’s view on the star.

He explained that – as he would be directly lining up against him – he was asked to watch footage of Grealish in order to know how he plays.

“Before we played against Villa at the weekend we did analyse him and picked him out as one of their main threats and he showed it in the game,” Saka said.

“He was amazing from start to finish so it will be good to play with him and not against him this week.”

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Tennis

ATP Finals prize money: How much can Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem earn?

The ATP Finals is one of the most lucrative events on the tennis circuit. Stefanos Tsitsipas is the defending champion after his thrilling victory over Dominic Thiem in last year’s final to take home a prize of $2,656,000 (£2million).

“It’s been a rollercoaster. Holding this trophy is amazing,” Tsitsipas said after the final.

“It is a dream come true and the best way to end this match.

“I did get nervous at some points in the match but I managed to forget about how I felt and I had momentum in the tie-break, which was really tight.

“My fighting spirit and me constantly trying to push myself to do better got me there in the end.”

Due to issues caused by coronavirus pandemic, this year’s prize money has been reduced.

The ATP say this event normally attracts “more than 260,000 fans a year”, but current restrictions mean it has to take place behind closed doors at the O2 Arena in London.

In 2019, the total prize fund was $9m (£6.8m), which has been cut to $5.7m (£4.33m) in 2020.

Had Tsitsipas gone through last season’s tournament undefeated, he would have received the top prize of $2,871,000 (£2.2m).

If this year’s winner is undefeated across the week, they will earn $1,564,000 (£1.2m).

Tsitsipas has been grouped with Rafael Nadal, Thiem and Andrey Rublev for the round-robin stage.

The other group is headed by Novak Djokovic and also includes Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman

The full prize money breakdown for the ATP Finals can be found below.

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ATP Finals singles prize money

ALTERNATE: $73,000

PARTICIPATION FEE: $153,000

ROUND-ROBIN MATCH WIN: $153,000

SEMI-FINAL MATCH WIN: $402,000

FINAL WIN: $550,000

UNDEFEATED CHAMPION: $1,564,000

ATP Finals Doubles prize money

ALTERNATE: $25,000

PARTICIPATION FEE: $68,500

ROUND-ROBIN MATCH WIN: $30,000

SEMI-FINAL MATCH WIN: $56,000

FINAL WIN: $70,000

UNDEFEATED CHAMPION: $284,500

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Soccer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told how to get best of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amid struggles

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to change his tactical approach in order to unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after the forward failed to register a shot against Aston Villa. Aubameyang barely had a sniff against Dean Smith’s side as the Gunners were battered 3-0 at the Emirates.

Aubameyang has struggled since signing his new contract.

He had an impressive end to last season, while there was constant speculation surrounding his future.

With reports linking him with a move away from the club, he scored twice in both their FA Cup semi-final and final victories as Arteta lifted his first trophy as the club’s manager.

He was rewarded with his fine form with a new contract worth a reported £250,000 per week.

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Since then, however, he has struggled in front of goal and has only scored twice in the Premier League.

He found the net on the opening day of the season – just days before his new contract was signed – and then went five games without finding the net before scoring a penalty against Manchester United.

Aubameyang has predominantly been used on the left-hand-side of a front three, with Alexandre Lacazette through the middle and Willian on the right.

But with Arsenal adopting a counter-attacking style of play recently, the Arsenal front three have often been starved of chances.

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The absence of a creative midfielder has led to a lack of balls being played forward past the opposition defences.

And Watford captain Troy Deeney believes it could be time for Arteta to change his approach in order to create more chances for the front three and get the best out of Aubameyang.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I’m starting to think, do they need to change formation to probably get Aubameyang in better situations?

“I know it’s very easy as we are pundits who sit here and watch and think we know everything about coaching, but he doesn’t seem to be getting in the same positions he once was and the goal threat he had before as well.”

Deeney went on to explain that part of the reason for Aubameyang’s sluggish start could be the lack of a proper pre-season.

Arsenal won the FA Cup on August 1st, and barely had time to recover before starting the new season on September 12th.

Deeney continued: “I think we’ve all got to remember it’s been a very short pre-season with no real rest.

“Especially for those Arsenal guys who played the last game in the FA Cup and with the Community Shield as well.

“They are probably tired; people don’t like to hear sportsmen get tired but they do. Mentally as well as physically.

“He’s just having a bit of a slow start.

“Would you still think he’s going to score 20 goals this season? I think he would score that many. When he gets going he’ll be right up there.”

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Soccer

FA Cup second round draw: When is it? Start time, how to watch, ball numbers confirmed

The first round proper of the FA Cup saw League One and League Two clubs joined the 32 non-league sides who came through the qualifying rounds. The ties unfolded across the weekend, with 40 places available in the draw for the second round.

Clubs will earn £22,629 for their first-round wins, while victories in the second round are worth £34,000.

Former Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley, who led the Imps into the quarter-finals in the 2016/2017 competition, will be drawing the balls.

The second round of the FA Cup will be held across the weekend of November 27-30.

Premier League and Championship sides will enter the competition in the third round.

When is the FA Cup second round draw?

The draw will take place on Monday, November 9.

What time is the FA Cup second round draw?

The draw is due to be held at 7.10pm GMT.

How can I watch the FA Cup second round draw?

There are several ways fans can follow the FA Cup draw.

TV coverage of the draw can be found on BT Sport 1 in the UK.

BT Sport will also be televising the first-round match between Oxford City and Northampton Town, which kicks off at 7.45pm.

Those wishing to live stream the draw can do so via BT Sport app.

Online streams will also be available on the FA Cup’s official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

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FA Cup second round draw ball numbers

1 Newport County

2 Havant & Waterlooville or Cray Valley (PM)

3 Mansfield Town

4 Crewe Alexandra

5 Peterborough United

6 Exeter City

7 Bradford City

8 Bristol Rovers

9 Stockport County

10 Darlington

11 Barnet or Burton Albion

12 Wigan Athletic or Chorley

13 Tranmere Rovers

14 Oxford City or Northampton Town

15 Maldon & Tiptree or Morecambe

16 Yeovil Town

17 Torquay United or Crawley Town

18 Eastbourne Borough or Blackpool

19 Cheltenham Town

20 Stevenage

21 Harrogate Town

22 Gillingham

23 Plymouth Argyle

24 Hayes & Yeading United or Carlisle United

25 Doncaster Rovers

26 Salford City

27 Solihull Moors

28 Hull City

29 Marine

30 Barrow or AFC Wimbledon

31 Dagenham & Redbridge

32 Shrewsbury Town

33 Brackley Town

34 Eastleigh or Milton Keynes Dons

35 Hampton & Richmond or Oldham Athletic

36 Boreham Wood

37 Portsmouth

38 King’s Lynn Town

39 Lincoln City

40 Canvey Island

FA Cup 2020/21 prize money breakdown

First round: £22,629

Second round: £34,000

Third round: £82,000

Fourth round: £90,000

Fifth round: £180,000

Quarter-finals: £360,000

Semi-finals: £900,000 (losers receive £450,000)

Final: £1,800,000 (runners-up receive £900,000)

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Soccer

Liverpool ace Roberto Firmino backed to send Klopp message after Diogo Jota hat-trick

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino will be keen to remind Jurgen Klopp of his ability after seeing Diogo Jota bag a hat-trick against Atalanta on Friday night, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Jota scored his first hat-trick for Liverpool on Tuesday night as the Reds thrashed Atalanta 5-0 away from home.

The Portuguese put in a flawless performance as he helped Liverpool on their way to their third straight win in the competition, as Klopp’s side put one foot into the knockout stage.

He started the scoring after 15 minutes by racing through on goal and chipping Marco Sportiello with a delicate flick.

Jota made it two after the half-hour mark as he smashed home from inside the box after bringing the ball down from a Joe Gomez pass.

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In the second-half, he made it three after rounding Sportiello and slotting home from outside the box with his left foot.

His incredible performance has given Klopp a lot to think about ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Manchester City, with Firmino dropped for the Atalanta tie.

And Ferdinand believes the Brazilian forward will be eager to prove his worth to the side to Klopp, and will feel under huge pressure due to Jota’s form.

“The forwards, you couldn’t have asked for more,” he said to BT Sport after the match.

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“The recruitment team have done fantastically well, Klopp, bedding him in the way he has.

“And him showing his character and personality to really go in there and take it by storm amongst the front three who are looked around Europe as one of the best front threes.

“I’m sure Firmino will be sitting there compiling a little playback list to give to Klopp to remind him of what he’s capable of doing.

“Firmino, like it or not, will want to start and this guy’s putting him under huge pressure.”

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Speaking after the game, Jota expressed he feels this current Liverpool side is the best team he’s been a part of.

He said: “I’m playing in the best team of my career so far.

“I don’t know if it’s the best moment of my career but obviously scoring goals is my way of playing football.

“I’m happy with this, a great win away in the Champions League, a good moment and a good night.”

But Klopp insisted that without Firmino, Liverpool wouldn’t be in the Champions League in the first place, and insisted he isn’t worried about his selection issues.

The German boss said: “The world is sometimes a bad place, in the moment when somebody is shining we immediately speak about another player who played what feels like 500 games in a row. Without Bobby Firmino we would not even be in the CL.

“For us it is important that we have more than 11. Tonight, Diogo played a super, super game but that says nothing about Bobby, and has nothing to do with me causing headaches.

“I am more than happy that the boys played like they played tonight.”

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Soccer

Man Utd icon Peter Schmeichel sends January transfer window demand to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United need to be active in the January transfer window and sign players who can improve the first-team squad at Old Trafford, claims club icon Peter Schmeichel.

United are still reeling from Sunday’s 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils face Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League this week as they look to recover from the loss.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faced hefty criticism in light of United’s start to the season, with some suggesting he could be sacked before long if results don’t improve.

But Schmeichel believes the club is still suffering from the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013, and are still a developing team.

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Speaking to beIN Sports after the Arsenal match, the former goalkeeper explained that he feels the club needs a new identity, and that Solskjaer needs to continue spending this January.

Schmeichel explained that there was a clear contrast between the two sides because Arsenal had a recognisable style of play, whereas United did not.

He said: “They are inconsistent. Make no mistake, this is still a team in transition and a developing team. They still need to bring new players in.

“It’s still a team that needs to find its identity and to find the main characters of the team.

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“That was evident [against Arsenal].

“It was very hard to see what we were trying to do.

“I have to say, it was made fairly easy for Arsenal. It’s something that needs to be worked at.

“I still think we’re trying to recover from the 27 years of one manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] and finding a new identity.

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“I think some of the big players need to improve.

“There are a few players in there that are recovering from a lot of unwanted media attention that has nothing to do with football.

“A few big players are under pressure from external things, like Maguire and Greenwood.

“You have to be happy, the camp has to be happy, to challenge for titles.”

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Soccer

Man Utd player ratings vs Arsenal: Rashford and Fernandes disappointing as Gunners win

Manchester United lost 1-0 to Arsenal on Sunday night, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal from the penalty spot. The Gabon international converted from 12 yards after Paul Pogba fouled Hector Bellerin in the box. And Express Sport will now rate and slate the players from the showdown at Old Trafford.

Man Utd player ratings vs Arsenal – Premier League

David De Gea – 6

Despite Arsenal dominating the first half, the Spain international wasn’t tested. Couldn’t keep a clean sheet, however, with Aubameyang beating him from the penalty spot.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6

Was solid defensively against Aubameyang but barely got forward. Still an area in his game he must improve on.

Harry Maguire – 6

Stood tall against Alexandre Lacazette and led with authority throughout the contest. Appears to be back in form following a difficult start to the new season.

Victor Lindelof – 7

Another player who looks back to his best, Victor Lindelof was a good presence at the back for United. His faint touch stopped Lacazette from finding the net in the first half.

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Luke Shaw – 6

Solid but unspectacular from the England international.

Scott McTominay – 5

Didn’t seem to strike up much of a rapport with Wan-Bissaka after being selected in a diamond formation. Was potentially the worst player on the pitch.

Fred – 6

Kept things ticking over in the middle of the park. Continues to grow in stature and another good performance suggests he might now be undroppable.

Paul Pogba – 6

Looks to have rediscovered his mojo going forward but, defensively, leaves much to be desired. A reckless tackle for the penalty. 

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Bruno Fernandes – 6

Made a sensational impact against RB Leipzig in midweek but wasn’t at his best against Arsenal.

Marcus Rashford – 6

Tried to stretch Arsenal with his speed but the Gunners were able to nullify the England international. Admittedly starved of service throughout the match at Old Trafford.

Mason Greenwood – 7

Tested Bernd Leno in the first half with a powerful low drive and looked bright playing up top. May have to make way for Anthony Martial once the France international’s suspension is over, however.

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Nemanja Matic – 6

Didn’t make much of an impact after coming on.

Edinson Cavani – 6

Quiet from the Uruguay international, who wasn’t given much time to change the game.

Donny van de Beek – 6

Like Matic and Cavani, didn’t do enough after entering the fray.

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