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<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez’s long-term knee injury is likely to keep him out for at least another six weeks, according to boss Ronald Koeman.</strong></p>
<p>Rodriguez, 25, ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in a Premier League game against Manchester City in April.</p>
<p>"He had to make a step back in his recovery," said Koeman.</p>
<p>"That was a pity as when we spoke about the squad in the pre-season I said Jay will be like a fantastic signing for December or January, and he isn’t."</p>
<p>Southampton have lost their last five games, including a shock 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.</p>
<p>They are fifth in the Premier League table, 13 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.</p>
<p>He added: “All these kind of unlucky moments are part of the difficult time we are having.”</p>

Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez’s long-term knee injury is likely to keep him out for at least another six weeks, according to boss Ronald Koeman.

Rodriguez, 25, ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in a Premier League game against Manchester City in April.

"He had to make a step back in his recovery," said Koeman.

"That was a pity as when we spoke about the squad in the pre-season I said Jay will be like a fantastic signing for December or January, and he isn’t."

Southampton have lost their last five games, including a shock 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

They are fifth in the Premier League table, 13 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

He added: “All these kind of unlucky moments are part of the difficult time we are having.”

Posted less than a minute ago
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has warned his Merseyside rival Simon Mignolet faces a “hard road back” to regain his Liverpool starting place.</strong></p>
<p>Mignolet, 26, has been dropped “indefinitely” by manager Brendan Rodgers following a poor run of form.</p>
<p>Howard is concerned that taking the Belgium international out of the team could cause him longer-term problems.</p>
<p>"I think it’s a hard road back when you get taken out of the team. Sometimes there is no way back," said Howard.</p>
<p>United States international Howard, 35, experienced a drop in form and time out of contention for the first-choice goalkeeper role when he played for Manchester United.</p>
<p>"It’s not easy. It’s a confidence position," he added.</p>
<p>"When you take him [Mignolet] out of the team and then bring him back, do the team and fans have confidence in him?</p>
<p>"With goalkeepers the next mistake is only just around the corner. If you worry about that you will crumble.</p>
<p>"I think a good goalkeeper always has to have a manager who believes in him."</p>

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has warned his Merseyside rival Simon Mignolet faces a “hard road back” to regain his Liverpool starting place.

Mignolet, 26, has been dropped “indefinitely” by manager Brendan Rodgers following a poor run of form.

Howard is concerned that taking the Belgium international out of the team could cause him longer-term problems.

"I think it’s a hard road back when you get taken out of the team. Sometimes there is no way back," said Howard.

United States international Howard, 35, experienced a drop in form and time out of contention for the first-choice goalkeeper role when he played for Manchester United.

"It’s not easy. It’s a confidence position," he added.

"When you take him [Mignolet] out of the team and then bring him back, do the team and fans have confidence in him?

"With goalkeepers the next mistake is only just around the corner. If you worry about that you will crumble.

"I think a good goalkeeper always has to have a manager who believes in him."

Posted less than a minute ago
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>The FA Cup third-round tie between Liverpool and League Two AFC Wimbledon will be screened live on the BBC.</strong></p>
<p>The match at Kingsmeadow will take place on Monday, 5 January with kick-off at 19:55 GMT.</p>
<p>The BBC will also screen live the tie between Arsenal and Hull City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, 4 January (kick-off 17:30).</p>

The FA Cup third-round tie between Liverpool and League Two AFC Wimbledon will be screened live on the BBC.

The match at Kingsmeadow will take place on Monday, 5 January with kick-off at 19:55 GMT.

The BBC will also screen live the tie between Arsenal and Hull City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, 4 January (kick-off 17:30).

Posted 6 days ago
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has been charged by the Football Association after an incident with a fan during their 3-1 loss to Liverpool.</strong></p>
<p>An <span class="text">FA statement</span><span class="external-link-icon"> </span> said that Pearson was alleged to have “used abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator”.</p>
<p>The 51-year-old was last week labelled arrogant by the chairman of a Leicester supporters group after he refused to apologise for his part in the spat.</p>
<p>Pearson has until 18.00 GMT on 16 December 2014 to respond to the charge.</p>
<p>Leicester are bottom of the table after failing to win since beating Manchester United 5-3 in September.</p>
<p>Supporters’ groups have urged Pearson to say sorry, but he said: “I’ve had run-ins with fans in the past and sometimes, in the heat of the moment, these things happen.</p>
<p>"But there certainly won’t be any apology, let’s put it like that."</p>
<p>Leicester host Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday.</p>

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has been charged by the Football Association after an incident with a fan during their 3-1 loss to Liverpool.

An FA statement  said that Pearson was alleged to have “used abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator”.

The 51-year-old was last week labelled arrogant by the chairman of a Leicester supporters group after he refused to apologise for his part in the spat.

Pearson has until 18.00 GMT on 16 December 2014 to respond to the charge.

Leicester are bottom of the table after failing to win since beating Manchester United 5-3 in September.

Supporters’ groups have urged Pearson to say sorry, but he said: “I’ve had run-ins with fans in the past and sometimes, in the heat of the moment, these things happen.

"But there certainly won’t be any apology, let’s put it like that."

Leicester host Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Posted 1 week ago
<p class="art-txt-first"><strong>Burnley manager Sean Dyche is ready to spend in January as he looks to ensure the club’s Premier League survival, with midfield top of his priority list.</strong></p>
<p>The Clarets currently sit 19th in the table, two points from safety, but last Saturday’s defeat to QPR was their first in five games and there are signs the team is improving.</p>
<p>Now Dyche has revealed he is ready to enter the market in the January transfer window and he has identified central midfield as the area he is most keen to strengthen.</p>
<p>"We’re looking to strengthen with the right players," Dyche said. "There’s certain areas that we possibly need to build further than others. We’ve not got great depth in central midfield.</p>

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is ready to spend in January as he looks to ensure the club’s Premier League survival, with midfield top of his priority list.

The Clarets currently sit 19th in the table, two points from safety, but last Saturday’s defeat to QPR was their first in five games and there are signs the team is improving.

Now Dyche has revealed he is ready to enter the market in the January transfer window and he has identified central midfield as the area he is most keen to strengthen.

"We’re looking to strengthen with the right players," Dyche said. "There’s certain areas that we possibly need to build further than others. We’ve not got great depth in central midfield.

<p class="art-txt-first"><strong>Head coach Alan Irvine has vowed West Brom will not sell star striker Saido Berahino in the January transfer window.</strong></p>
<p>The Hawthorns boss insists their eight-goal striker is going nowhere next month as the Baggies fight relegation.</p>
<p>Berahino has failed to scored in his last seven games but was linked with a move to Inter Milan in the Italian media this week.</p>
<p>Chairman Jeremy Peace has also said Berahino will stay with the Baggies and Irvine has now reiterated that stance.</p>
<p>He said: “You certainly can’t stop people looking, but the chairman has come out and said Saido won’t be sold in January and I would imagine, as the chairman has said that, that he won’t be sold.</p>

Head coach Alan Irvine has vowed West Brom will not sell star striker Saido Berahino in the January transfer window.

The Hawthorns boss insists their eight-goal striker is going nowhere next month as the Baggies fight relegation.

Berahino has failed to scored in his last seven games but was linked with a move to Inter Milan in the Italian media this week.

Chairman Jeremy Peace has also said Berahino will stay with the Baggies and Irvine has now reiterated that stance.

He said: “You certainly can’t stop people looking, but the chairman has come out and said Saido won’t be sold in January and I would imagine, as the chairman has said that, that he won’t be sold.

<p><strong>Europa Cup</strong></p>
<p><strong>Right-back Kyle Walker could be set for a first appearance for nine months.</strong></p>
<p>Mauricio Pochettino’s side have already qualified for the last 32, but know a draw in Istanbul will see them finish top of the group and be seeded.</p>
<p>Second-placed Besiktas, managed by former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, are also assured of qualification.</p>
<p>The 12 clubs who finish top of the Europa League groups will join the four highest seeds from the teams who drop out of the Champions League. They will be drawn against the 12 second-placed teams and the four lowest seeds from the Champions League qualifiers.</p>
<p>England international Walker, 24, has not played for Tottenham since the first leg of the club’s Europa League last-16 match against Benfica in March.</p>
<p>He developed an abdominal issue which saw him miss out on a place in England’s World Cup squad and undergo surgery in September.</p>
<p>Former Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba, 29, is ruled out for Besiktas with a broken toe.</p>
<p>Fellow striker Mustafa Pektemek is also absent.</p>

Europa Cup

Right-back Kyle Walker could be set for a first appearance for nine months.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have already qualified for the last 32, but know a draw in Istanbul will see them finish top of the group and be seeded.

Second-placed Besiktas, managed by former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, are also assured of qualification.

The 12 clubs who finish top of the Europa League groups will join the four highest seeds from the teams who drop out of the Champions League. They will be drawn against the 12 second-placed teams and the four lowest seeds from the Champions League qualifiers.

England international Walker, 24, has not played for Tottenham since the first leg of the club’s Europa League last-16 match against Benfica in March.

He developed an abdominal issue which saw him miss out on a place in England’s World Cup squad and undergo surgery in September.

Former Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba, 29, is ruled out for Besiktas with a broken toe.

Fellow striker Mustafa Pektemek is also absent.

<p class="introduction"><strong>Premier League</strong></p>
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been given permission by Tottenham to return to Togo for personal reasons.</strong></p>
<p>This means the 30-year-old will miss Thursday’s Europa League tie at Besiktas, although he was already a doubt because of fitness issues.</p>
<p>Tottenham did not divulge any further details, stating in a tweet it was a “private matter”.</p>
<p>The former Arsenal player has made 12 appearances for Spurs this season and has scored twice.</p>
<p>Adebayor has not played for Tottenham since the November international break when Togo failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.</p>
<p>Hamstring and back injuries followed by a virus have delayed his return, while last week manager Mauricio Pochettino dismissed suggestions the forward might leave in the January transfer window.</p>
<p>"All players that we have in the squad are part of the plans for the future," the Argentine said.</p>
<p>The Togo international was also given a <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_city/8454978.stm" target="_blank">spell of compassionate leave</a>by former club Manchester City in 2010 following a deadly gun attack on the national team bus at the Africa Cup of Nations.</p>

Premier League

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been given permission by Tottenham to return to Togo for personal reasons.

This means the 30-year-old will miss Thursday’s Europa League tie at Besiktas, although he was already a doubt because of fitness issues.

Tottenham did not divulge any further details, stating in a tweet it was a “private matter”.

The former Arsenal player has made 12 appearances for Spurs this season and has scored twice.

Adebayor has not played for Tottenham since the November international break when Togo failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Hamstring and back injuries followed by a virus have delayed his return, while last week manager Mauricio Pochettino dismissed suggestions the forward might leave in the January transfer window.

"All players that we have in the squad are part of the plans for the future," the Argentine said.

The Togo international was also given a spell of compassionate leaveby former club Manchester City in 2010 following a deadly gun attack on the national team bus at the Africa Cup of Nations.

<p><strong>Premier League</strong></p>
<p class="art-txt-first"><strong>Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam says he would “love the experience of playing abroad” after being linked with a move to Real Sociedad.</strong></p>
<p>Adam, who has also previously been linked with Turkish club Galatasaray, has found himself out of the Stoke team in recent weeks but insists he is happy to remain at the Britannia Stadium for the time being.</p>
<p>He does admit, however, that a move overseas would appeal to him in the future.</p>

Premier League

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam says he would “love the experience of playing abroad” after being linked with a move to Real Sociedad.

Adam, who has also previously been linked with Turkish club Galatasaray, has found himself out of the Stoke team in recent weeks but insists he is happy to remain at the Britannia Stadium for the time being.

He does admit, however, that a move overseas would appeal to him in the future.

<p><strong>Premier League</strong></p>
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is set to miss between four and six weeks with a knee ligament injury, manager Manuel Pellegrini says.</strong></p>
<p>The Argentine, 26, was injured in the third minute of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton after a challenge with Muhamed Besic, and left the pitch in tears.</p>
<p>"He will be out for four to six weeks," said Pellegrini, whose side face Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday.</p>
<p>"It will depend on his recovery. But our team doesn’t depend on one player."</p>
<p>City are trying to avoid Champions League elimination in Rome, and the absence of Aguero - the Premier League’s top scorer with 14 goals - is a big blow.</p>
<p>Pellegrini’s side will be knocked out if Group E rivals CSKA Moscow win away to Bayern Munich.</p>
<p>A draw for Leonid Slutsky’s side in Munich would mean City need to win in Rome to go through. But a score draw would be enough for Pellegrini’s team if CSKA lost.</p>
<p>Aguero has earned widespread acclaim for his performances this season, with Pellegrini hailing the striker as “one of the best players in the world”.</p>

Premier League

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is set to miss between four and six weeks with a knee ligament injury, manager Manuel Pellegrini says.

The Argentine, 26, was injured in the third minute of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton after a challenge with Muhamed Besic, and left the pitch in tears.

"He will be out for four to six weeks," said Pellegrini, whose side face Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"It will depend on his recovery. But our team doesn’t depend on one player."

City are trying to avoid Champions League elimination in Rome, and the absence of Aguero - the Premier League’s top scorer with 14 goals - is a big blow.

Pellegrini’s side will be knocked out if Group E rivals CSKA Moscow win away to Bayern Munich.

A draw for Leonid Slutsky’s side in Munich would mean City need to win in Rome to go through. But a score draw would be enough for Pellegrini’s team if CSKA lost.

Aguero has earned widespread acclaim for his performances this season, with Pellegrini hailing the striker as “one of the best players in the world”.

<p class="introduction"><strong>Europa League</strong></p>
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned two “laughable” stoppages due to floodlight failure as his side slipped to a decisive defeat against Besiktas.</strong></p>
<p>The 1-0 loss relegated Spurs to second place in their Europa League group and means they face a tougher draw in the next round.</p>
<p>Pochettino described the stoppages as “difficult to explain”, adding: “We had a chat with the referee and you need to accept the situation.</p>
<p>"It’s frustrating if that happens, it was laughable. It’s not good for reputation of the competition."</p>
<p>Spurs dominated the first period, with Nacer Chadli having a goal ruled out and Roberto Soldado missing an excellent chance.</p>
<p>But the hosts improved in the second half and Cenk Tosun scored the decisive goal from Olcay Sahan’s low cross.</p>
<p>It was the second straight Europa League match in which Spurs have had to contend with temporary abandonments, after their game against Partizan was halted three times due to pitch invasions.</p>
<p>On that occasion, Tottenham kept their composure to win, but in Istanbul they could not find the goals needed to retain their advantage at the top of the group.</p>
<p>It means they could face one of the Europa League group winners or seeded Champions League teams in the next round - including Zenit St Petersburg, managed by former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.</p>

Europa League

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned two “laughable” stoppages due to floodlight failure as his side slipped to a decisive defeat against Besiktas.

The 1-0 loss relegated Spurs to second place in their Europa League group and means they face a tougher draw in the next round.

Pochettino described the stoppages as “difficult to explain”, adding: “We had a chat with the referee and you need to accept the situation.

"It’s frustrating if that happens, it was laughable. It’s not good for reputation of the competition."

Spurs dominated the first period, with Nacer Chadli having a goal ruled out and Roberto Soldado missing an excellent chance.

But the hosts improved in the second half and Cenk Tosun scored the decisive goal from Olcay Sahan’s low cross.

It was the second straight Europa League match in which Spurs have had to contend with temporary abandonments, after their game against Partizan was halted three times due to pitch invasions.

On that occasion, Tottenham kept their composure to win, but in Istanbul they could not find the goals needed to retain their advantage at the top of the group.

It means they could face one of the Europa League group winners or seeded Champions League teams in the next round - including Zenit St Petersburg, managed by former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Posted 1 week ago
<p class="introduction"><strong>Europa League</strong></p>
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Everton’s much-changed side fell to a Europa League defeat as Krasnodar’s Ricardo Laborde took advantage of a Joel Robles error to score the winner.</strong></p>
<p>England Under-18 captain Ryan Ledson was one of four debutants as Roberto Martinez - whose side had already won Group H - gave his youngsters a chance.</p>
<p>Laborde ran on to a through ball and checked to score at the near post, with keeper Joel badly positioned.</p>
<p>Striker Arouna Kone played 90 minutes as he ended a 14-month injury absence.</p>
<p>Kone’s inclusion in the Everton line-up was one of 10 changes Martinez made to the side beaten 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League last Saturday, with only Gareth Barry retaining his place, as 17-year-old midfielder Ledson made a solid impression.</p>
<p>Forward Kieran Dowell - capped by England at Under-18 level along with Ledson - also made his first senior appearance as an early substitute for hamstring injury victim Christian Atsu, while striker Chris Long and midfielder Gethin Jones came on late in the game.</p>
<p>But the most impressive of the young players given a chance by Martinez was left-back Luke Garbutt, making only his third Everton start as Leighton Baines was rested.</p>

Europa League

Everton’s much-changed side fell to a Europa League defeat as Krasnodar’s Ricardo Laborde took advantage of a Joel Robles error to score the winner.

England Under-18 captain Ryan Ledson was one of four debutants as Roberto Martinez - whose side had already won Group H - gave his youngsters a chance.

Laborde ran on to a through ball and checked to score at the near post, with keeper Joel badly positioned.

Striker Arouna Kone played 90 minutes as he ended a 14-month injury absence.

Kone’s inclusion in the Everton line-up was one of 10 changes Martinez made to the side beaten 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League last Saturday, with only Gareth Barry retaining his place, as 17-year-old midfielder Ledson made a solid impression.

Forward Kieran Dowell - capped by England at Under-18 level along with Ledson - also made his first senior appearance as an early substitute for hamstring injury victim Christian Atsu, while striker Chris Long and midfielder Gethin Jones came on late in the game.

But the most impressive of the young players given a chance by Martinez was left-back Luke Garbutt, making only his third Everton start as Leighton Baines was rested.

Posted 1 week ago
<p class="introduction"><strong>Champions League</strong></p>
<p class="introduction" id="story_continues_1"><strong>Neymar scored a spectacular goal as Barcelona came from behind to defeat Paris St-Germain at the Nou Camp and finish top of Group F.</strong></p>
<p>Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave PSG the lead with a low finish from 10 yards after being teed up by Blaise Matuidi.</p>
<p>But Barcelona equalised through Lionel Messi, his 75th goal in the competition coming after Luis Suarez’s low cross.</p>
<p>Neymar’s sublime 25-yard finish and Suarez’s close-range effort sealed PSG’s fate, but they still go through.</p>

Champions League

Neymar scored a spectacular goal as Barcelona came from behind to defeat Paris St-Germain at the Nou Camp and finish top of Group F.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave PSG the lead with a low finish from 10 yards after being teed up by Blaise Matuidi.

But Barcelona equalised through Lionel Messi, his 75th goal in the competition coming after Luis Suarez’s low cross.

Neymar’s sublime 25-yard finish and Suarez’s close-range effort sealed PSG’s fate, but they still go through.

Posted 1 week ago
<p class="art-txt-first"><strong>Champions League</strong></p>
<p class="art-txt-first"><strong>Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has credited his side’s determination after seeing them cruise to a 19th straight victory.</strong></p>
<p>The European champions beat Ludogorets Razgrad 4-0 on Tuesday night to set a Spanish record and finish their Champions League Group B campaign with a 100 per cent record.</p>
<p>"It is not easy preparing for each game with the same levels of motivation and eagerness that these players are showing", Ancelotti told Real’s official website.</p>
<p>"After losing to Atletico (Madrid on September 13), I couldn’t have imagined stringing together 19 consecutive wins.</p>

<p>"I was sure that the things that weren’t going well would be fixed, but not to this extent.</p>

Champions League

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has credited his side’s determination after seeing them cruise to a 19th straight victory.

The European champions beat Ludogorets Razgrad 4-0 on Tuesday night to set a Spanish record and finish their Champions League Group B campaign with a 100 per cent record.

"It is not easy preparing for each game with the same levels of motivation and eagerness that these players are showing", Ancelotti told Real’s official website.

"After losing to Atletico (Madrid on September 13), I couldn’t have imagined stringing together 19 consecutive wins.

"I was sure that the things that weren’t going well would be fixed, but not to this extent.

Posted 1 week ago
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