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The thrilla at the Villa: Benteke will give Stoke’s bruisers a game predicts Lambert

Paul Lambert insists Aston Villa's Belgian bully-boy Christian Benteke is primed for a bruising battle with Stoke’s twin towers. Potters powerhouses Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross are part of the Premier League’s second meanest defence – only champions Manchester City have let in fewer goals this term. Centre-backs Huth and Shawcross are famous for their physicality, but Villa boss Lambert insists . “It will be a physical gaRakitic, according to the Daily Record.The Red Devils want to sign the World Cup finalist for a fee of around £30m.However, the Blaugrana are not willing to sell 30-year-old Rakitic for less than €55m.There is still hope of a deal getting done as me for him, that’s for sure,” Lambert said of the five-goal ace. “But I don’t think that physical side of the game will faze him one bit – he knows it’s coming. “Hture. The content_imgtalented RB Salzburg striker has attracted the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.”I just focus on my job, playing football, and to enjoy what I do every day and to go in with a clee gives as hard as he gets and he’ll be able to handle himself. “He’s still 21 and I don’t know if he will physically get any bigger – but heaven help us if he does!” Villa are up to 15th in the table after a three-game unbeaten run but Lambert admits they have fallen behind their nearby ­neighbours in the Premier League pecking order. The former Norwich boss added: “Stoke are well ahead of us in terms of stability – the way they have built their squad – and longevity. “Tony has been there a long time and they were in Europe not long ago. “They are more established at the minute in terms of their squad and what they have done. “We will try to keep moving up the table. It will be difficult but we are certainly playing well enough.” Simon Bird gazes into his crystal ball ahead of Villa vs Stoke and the rest of the weekend's top flight fixtures.

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Newcastle’s French stars warned by Alan Pardew to avoid a World Cup hangover

Alan Pardew has told his jubilant French stars to avoid a World Cup party hangover. reckons France's dramatic comeback , was one of the best results of the season for the Geordies. Pardew is convinced he'll see the best of Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and co with World Cup squad berths and starting places up for grabs. But he has warned against the euphoria of their Paris victory on Tuesday night causing a hangover ahead of the home clash with Norwich on Saturday, fearing his side could "shoot themselves in the foot." Cabaye was one of the stars of the show against Ukraine, showing why Newcastle , and Moussa Sisoko, Remy, Matthieu Debuchy are likely to be on the plane, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Yoan Gouffran pushing for squad places. Pardew said: "Can you imagine the celebrations after the France game? I know what I would have done. I don't expect them to have done any different in the circumstances, but it's very important we get them focused before kick-off. "I don't want to say to them at half time, our focus is wrong, we're 2-0 down and now we've got a mountain to climb. We need to be at it right from the off. Norwich have had a great win, they probably haven't had as many international players away as us. "My coaching staff have been concentrating with them (French players) on letting that one go. They can look forward to the draw and the World Cup. For us, Norwich is the most important game now. "They can enjoy the thought of what lies ahead. I think Yohan Cabaye was called Le Petit Prince after the game because of what he did. He sat in front of their back four and pulled .Hated rivals Liverpool are European champions and United are struggling to recapture past glories — the same situation Jordan faced during his Old Trafford career.Jordan told The Sun: “Liverpool in that era got it right, not just in the dressingthecontent_img strings. He has an important role for France in the World Cup and we are an important group for them." Newcastle have beaten Chelsea and Spurs in their last two games and are in ninth spot, three points off fifth. Pardew wants the decent form reinforcing. He added: "There's many times even before I was manager here that this club has shot itself in the foot when it gets in a great position and it's very important we show the consistency back here in front of our fans with the kind of performance we showed against Chelsea and Spurs, very important. "We'd get into a position where we could really affect the top and we'd lose that game, then it's difficult to get that momentum again. We've got momentum with us after Chelsea and Tottenham, now we have a game against Norwich at home, and we lose? "It&apsenal are attempting to recoup some much-needed cash by putting three squad members up for sale.Arsenal will try and sell Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Carl Jenkinson.Mkhitaryan is one of the Gunners’ highest earners, while Jenkinson and Elnos;s very important that we win that game. That's more important in some ways and I've been reminding my staff all week how important it is, when the players get back, that we focus their minds."

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David Moyes warns Manchester United squad they are ALL playing for their places

David Moyes has told his Manchester United stars they must raise their game or nchester United legends Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel while Liverpool manager.Souness explained to the Liverpool-boss.html”>Daily MailLiverpool-boss.html”> why he turned down the opportunity to do it in his first full season in charge at Anfield.lose their place. He issued the stark warning following United’s last Sunday. The boss made wholesale changes for the 1-0 Capital One Cup win over Liverpool in midweek and warned his senior men they are playing for their places. “There is a squad,” said Moyes, whose United play host to West Bromwich today. “You use the word rotation, but I want to see good form. “If you play, it makes the job much easier. You’ve got to play and you’ve got to play well. “Whatever Sir Alex Ferguson had done before, you had tcontent_imgo perform. He used players aaking Dwight Gayle available for loan this month.The Mirror says Newcastle have offered Gayle on loan to a number of Championship clubs.The 29-year-old has made nine appearances in the Premier League this season but has failed to find the net, and Mat the right time and I will try and do the same. “But our performance against City didn’t merit people necessarily thinking they would play in the next game.”

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Scot free: United boss Fergie escapes punishment for rant at referee

The Football Association has confirmed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will not face punishment for confronting referee Mike Dean at Old Trafford yesterday. Read Daily Mirror match report – The Scot was furious aftcontent_imger Dean overruled assistant Jake Collin and awarded Newcastle's second goal in the Red Devils' 4-3 win. The FA today confirmed no action would be taken against the Red Devils boss as Dean made no reference to Ferguson confronting him in his report. Ferguson approached Dean as he made his way out for the second half, before rounding on the fourth official Neil Swarbrick and Collin. Dean did not send Ferguson off during the match, which ended with United going seven points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to their win and Manchester City's 1-0 defeat at Sunderland. after Collin had flagged for offside against Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. Ferguson said: "The referee changed the linesman's mind. "He said it was an own goal. But if you see it again, and the referee can't, the guy is in an offside position, then he pulls Evans' arm. "If that is not interfering, what is? I think it waia Dortmund, refused to say he would directly replace Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid this summer.But the 20-year-old thinks he has the abilities to excel at Stamford Bridge.”I think I have a lot of speed and creativity that I can bring to the gas a bad decision." The Premier League issued a clarification, backing Dean's decision, confirming that "as Cisse did not play the ball, then he was not interfering with play". The ll with Southend United.The two clubs have activated the recall clause in the agreement by mutual consent, ending the midfielder’s temporary stint with the League One side.The 21-year-old made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Shrimpers, afteeague also stated that: "It is also the case that Cisse didn't interfere with the opponent." Javier Hernandez's 90th-minute winner gave United the spoils as they fought back three times from a goal down to edge out Newcastle in an enthralling encounter.

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11-year-old Celtic fan Jay Beatty nominated for SPL goal of the month

Last month 's big day out at Hamilton Academical. Jay first came into the limelight when former striker Georgio Samaras plucked the young supporter fd for big things at Borussia Dortmund, having been snapped from City’s MLS partners New York Ccontent_imgity FC.BVB No2 Jorg Heinrich said, “Gio is a fantastic talent. We must be careful about his development. We do not want him to play regularly before he is rrom the crowd to celebrate winning the league title. Since then Jay has become a favourite among the staff, the fans and the players of everybody associated with the Scottish Premier League. by his new best friend Samaras along with being honoured by Greek journalists before joining the Celtic first team on the team bus. Yet Celtic's opposition at the time, Hamilton, treated Jay to anchance.Willians has impressed since getting the call this season from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Ryan said, “I just think Brandon is another inspiration for all the players. You’re always looking at the players ahead of you and, if you see someon all inclusion VIP day at their ground which included scoring a goal to rapturous applause from both sets of fans. That goal has now been included as part of the league's Goal of the Month competition. Well played SPL, well played. Should Jay win Goal of the Month?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers ‘intimidated’ by big personalities like Steven Gerrard claims Andy Gray

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is intimidated by the dressing-room presence of Steven Gerrard, according to Andy Gray. believes that would prefer developing younger talent from the club's academy rather than working alongside established superstars such as legendary skipper Gerrard. recently revealed that by moving to Major League Soccer at the end of the season. The former England skipper confirmed that he will be joining Los Angeles Galaxy in July on Wednesday and speaking on talkSPORT, Gray feels that Rodgers may be glad to see the back of the talismanic Gerrard. “I don’t know whether Brendan quite likecontent_imgs the fact that he has got young players who are not really what I would call household names," said the Scot. "I think he quite likes controlling young players, working with younger players, making them better. I’m not too sure he likes the big personalities around him. “I really feel that Brendan is one of these coaches where big players intimidate him a little bit. Steven certainly does, and I think Brendan would rather work with younger players. “I think certain things have upset him. The contract negotiations haven’t gone the way they should when you are Steven Gerrard. When people say he is just another player, he is not – he is Steven Gerrard. What he has done for that club is incredible." Gray also claimed was the tipping point for Gerrard's decision to seek pastures new. Rodgers controversially opted to field a side more akin to a League Cup tie in the Bernabeu as went down 1-0 in their Champions League group. Gallery: Gerrard's career in pictures Gray added: “I also think Real Madrid was a ed by injuries having sealed a £13million move to join Cherries from Bristol City back in May. Howe told the Daily Echo: “Lloyd is a huge player for us.“I’m really, really disappointed that the Bournemouth supporters haven’t seen more of him, bewatershed for him. Steven gave up playing for England to play in Liverpool’s big games. Now, at 34 years of age, there is very little chance Steven, unless he goes to one of the big European clubs, at at Liverpool on Sunday.The Norwegian has also pointed to “long balls” that he suggests make the Reds the most direct team in the Premier League.Goals in either half from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah sent the Carabao Cup semi-finalists tumblwill play in the Bernabeu again – and Brendan Rodgers didn’t pick him. “I know Steven would always toe the party line and wouldn’t publicly say how he felt but I think, privately, he would have been absolutely fuming that he missed out on that occasion to play Real Madrid at the Bernabeu." Gerrard recently revealed that if it had been put his way after he retired from England duty in the summer. Is Steven Gerrard STILL Liverpool's best player?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praises Olivier Giroud after his match-winning brace against Middlesbrough

Arsene Wenger singled out Olivier Giroud for individual praise after he netted both goals in . The Frenchman scored twice in three first-half minutes to seal the Gunners' progression into the last eight of the FA Cup. "Olivier Giroud was very sharp. He has improved a lot compared to the player he was when we he arrived here," Wenger told BBC Sport. "He is mobile, technically good, and he works with great focus in training. He has become a top player." The Gunners boss also praised his side's overall performance as they made look ordinary at the Emirates. "We started well with a good pace and we controlled the game wellhave identified five new transfer targets for 2020.The London Evening Standard says Scott McTominay has been identified in a report as the type of player and character that United need to acquire more of. With the club also said to be targeting playe with our movement and technical quality," Wenger added. In pictures – Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough: "We had good team focus overall, we maybe lost our cohesion a little bit at 2-0 but I am happy. Overall we were serious and focused over the whole game. "We had a good day but Middlesbrough are a good side, it was important for us not to let them come back to 2-1 because they are good technically and are organised, they are a good team. Opta Wenger was also pleased with the performance of . He said: "Gabriel Paulista made a great recovery tackle in the box. He wants to defend, he has good urgency levels and a good physique and technical qualities. "He is short laona hacontent_imgve agreed to make a €15m one-off payment to Atletico Madrid.AS says the money has changed hands in order to give Barca first refusal on five young players.However, it’s suggested the real reason for the payment is to settle their dispute withnguage-wise but the intelligent players compensate with vision. He looks at what his partners are doing, and he did that well." Will Arsenal win the FA Cup?3000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Jordan Henderson deal is Liverpool’s best business of the summer – even if Raheem Sterling stays

Already the sniping has started (on Twitter, where else) at Liverpool's understandably upbeat presentation The tone of the dissent is depressingly predictably, and varies along the theme of “how can such an average player be given so much money?” Here's how. is one of the two best central midfielders England have got right now, and so the hundred grand a week or so he's earning is simple has been to offer Real Betis 15 million euros for Loren. The Catalans have made their move as they seek an emergency replacement for injured striker Ousmane Dembele.Any club which allows one of their players to leave would not be able to sign theiry the going rate for such a 'rare' commodity. And decent English midfielders are certainly a rare commodity. But there's more. He's also likely to be next captain, and quite possibly England's too, should Wayne Rooney get injured, or lose his place in the national side (which will happen at some point in the not too distant future). He's 24 too, and has the best years of his career to come. He is the same age Luis Suarez was when he arrived at Anfield, but further ahead in his experience of the Premier League and his tactical development…if not in natural talent. Of course. And that is why securing their vice captain on a contract until 2020 is probably the most important bit of business Liverpool will do this summer, You don't want Henderson going to Manchester City or Chelsea, which given his position as one of the few decent English midfielders around at the moment, is a possibility, no matter what his detractors say. It's not his fault he is paid the going rate. It's the going rate, just like everyone else is basically paid the going rate for the job they do. It's not his fault he's not Iniesta or James Rodriguez either. But then their going rate is greater than his. , he may not have the ability to drag teams kicking and screaming to victory single-handed, but he has real talent. Look at his stats this season to prove it. He's said himself he would like to score more goals, though seven so far is a perfectly respectable total for a central midfielder with certain defensive duties. But it is his assists column that is even more significant. In addition to the one's he has scored, he's had a direct hand in 15 Liverpool goals this season, which it better than Sterling. And he's scored almost as many goals as Stercontent_imgling, despite playing deeper. What he has developed too, is an ability to pass creatively into a crowded penalty area, which his assists against the likes of Southampton and Burnley at Anfield this season proved beyond doubt. That skill is hard one and few many midfielders can actually do. It is the is not distracted by rumours of a move to Real Madrid.That is according to his Denmark coach Age Hareide.Eriksen was disappointing in the Champions League final and Danish fans will hope he can help the team with their Euro 2020 qualifiers.His managepreserve of the likes of Iniesta or Rodriguez, of Luca Modric. That finely crafted pass which everyone else failed to see is the mark of a top class player, and Henderson can do it. He is 24, so he has plenty of developing still to do, and most certainly he needs to be more consistent, especially in the bigger games. But if he can develop that creativity around the box in terms of even more goals and assists, then even 100 grand a week will look cheap, and people may not obsess quite so much about Sterling's contract. Is Jordan Henderson worth the money?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Tottenham should SELL Emmanuel Adebayor this summer – before he loses interest again

I’ve interviewed Emmanuel Adebayor a couple of times and he is a lovely man as well as being a very good footballer. He has everything you want in a . But I don’t think those managers who got six months out of him and then saw him fall woefully short were wrong to get rid of him. If I were I would be thinking about milking every last drop out of him at this season before flogging him to whoever is willing to pay the most in the summer. Adebayor always seems to need an arm around him and that worries me. If you look at a player like Wayne Rooney, whatever he has going on off the field – personal problems, contract wrangles – you are still guaranteed the same commitment. To get the best out of Adebayor, you have to make a specise for.The €120m signing from Atletico Madrid was unveiled boss Chris Wilder blew a fuse over VAR after their 1-1 draw with Tottenham yesterday.Wilder called for a major review of VAR after Jon Moss failed to follow the Premier League’s OWN guidelines to deny Sheffield United a famous victory.After video reby Barcelona on Sunday.The Frenchman said in a documentary a year ago that he would be staying at Atletico Madrid – and there’s allegations from his former club that Barcelona should pay mial case of him and that is not good for the dressing room. If I were Sherwcontent_imgood I would be wondering if he could cost me my job as soon as he goes back to not fancying it again.

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FA must reclaim English football back from the Premier League, MP Andy Burnham insists

Labour MP Andy Burnham ­yesterday made an impassioned plea for the FA to reclaim English football back from the Premier League. Burnham, speaking in front of at the Supporters ­Summit being held at St George’s Park, e state of the pitch against AZ Alkmaar.United had to endure a poor quality artificial turf in their Europa League group stages game on Thursday.They emerged with a 0-0 draw, and Dalot spoke about the condition of the pitch after the game.”It’s a lotpulled no punches as he criticised the way that top-flight clubs have been allowed to run the game over the past 23 years. He warned that the FA would become an irrelevance if the power shift was not reversed – and that a new generation of fans is being priced out of ­attending matches by greedy clubs. “The founding of the Premier League was the moment when power was given away,” said ­Burnham, the MP for Leigh, who played aente is ready to return to Italy.The former Juventus centre-forward has agreed terms with Napoli and his agent Frank Trimboli is in Florence today for talks wcontent_imgith Fiorentina.Yesterday, Trimboli met with Viola directors Joe Barone and Daniele Pradè.Fi key role in the Hillsborough Justice ­Campaign. “I want the FA to reassert its authority over the game. I don’t want the government to become a regulator, I want the FA to be the body that runs the game. “I received a letter from (former FA chairman) David Triesman in 2009 that admitted the FA had surrendered control and authority. “The most fundamental problem is the loss of competitive balance and the gap between the Premier League and the rest. Look at the failure of the Under-21 team in the ­European Championships. “That is the loudest ­warning that we’re not giving young English players the ­opportunity to come through. “The FA will drift into irrelevance if we continue.” And Burnham added: “It can’t be right that so few kids are going to Premier League grounds. “No Premier League game is worth £60. It just isn’t that good. “It’s greed that makes tickets cost that much.”

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John Terry’s daughter Summer signs for Chelsea and scores on debut for Under-9 side

Chelseandre ter Stegen won’t rule outhe Hornets lost 2-1 on Saturday at home to the Blues, with Foster being denied in injury time by a wonder save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.He said later, “If I score at the end that’s me retiring. Fair play to Kepa – that was some save.”Chelsea are a very leaving Barcelona.The Germany goalkeeper insists nothing is set in stone in terms of his future at the Nou Camp.Ter Stegen, 27, made the admission when discussing tonight’s El Clasico: “In football, you never know what captain John Tercontent_imgry's daughter Summer has followed in her father's footsteps and signed for took to Instagram to post a picture of his daughter, who had just made her debut for the club's Under-9 side. And while her dad is known for stopping goals, Summer proved she is handy at the other end of the field as she hit the target in a 12-2 win. Terry posted: "I am so PROUD of Summer for signing for Chelsea U9s and playing her first game in a Chelsea shirt just like Daddy. Chelsea won 12-2 and Summer scored to top off a great day." Summer's move to Stamford Bridge comes earlier than her dad – who trained with the club's academy system at the age of 14 before signing YTS forms two years later.

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Roll up! Roll up! Most managers hate the January transfer window but I love it, and here’s why..

It's not just the drama I love about the transfer window. It's the brinkmanship, the fact that it has us all gripped. The usual suspects doing the usual things. Arsene Wenger stringing fans along by pretending he will spend Spurs chairman Daniel Levy waiting until midday on Deadline Day before deciding to do any deals. Any side managed by Harry Redknapp snapping up anything that moves. Then there are the clubs whose left-field transfer activity always tends to make news. West Ham did it with Andy Carroll in the summer, Newcastle are doing this time around by signing as many players as they can find with a French passport. Kevin Nolan, who has played for both clubs, wants the mid-season feeding frenzy axed. The Hammers midfielder said: “I don’t like the January window. It disrupts everything. During the summer I’m like all football fans — the TV is always on and I’m checking on who has gone where. “This month, though, in the middle of the season, it’s different and I tend not to take much notice of the rumours. Mo Diame is an example — he’s going here, there and everywhere. It’s so disruptive for the players involved. “It needs looking at — it may be exciting for the fans and the media but I sense this time that managers are getting sick and tired of it all. “Even sitting with the gaffer for half an hour, you hear his phone ringing constantly. It must be a nightmare for him.” But I have to admit – I love the transfer window because it gives clubs a chance. A chance for clubs like cash-strapped Birmingham to sell players and stay afloat. A chance for clubs like Newcastle, dropping line a stone before this week, to gain a renewed impetus with the fresh blood their Frenchmen have injected into the squad. A chance for clubs like QPR to slash the wage bill by farming out some players on loan and cancelling the contracts of others. Harry Redknapp said in the wake of his side's excellent point at home to Manchester City on Tuesday night: "Signing no-one would leave us in trouble, that's for sure." And whatever you think of Redknapp, his success at saving Portsmouth from relegation in 2006 owed much to the club being able to sign a string of players in mid-season. Redknapp may have likened the agents scrambling to a slice of a huge financial pie but the clubs in turn are desperate to get their slice of the new, monster TV deal that kicks in next season. If nobody triggers Diame's £3.5million release clause by tocontent_imgmorrow night, he stays at Upton Park until the summer. Surely Nolan would prefer that to Diame being pinched at a moment's notice in late February or March. Liverpool may be outsiders for the top four but, had they not had the chance to bring in Daniel Sturridge this month, their chances would have been non-existent. this month removes much of the circus that had been overshadowing the team and the club this season. Norwich have the chance to address their mid-season dip by scouring the market for more fireptract them from their Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa.The Reds face Villa in the quarter-finals less than 24 hours before travelling to Qatar for the semi-final of the Club World Cup.”It is important with a ‘culture of victory’ because each prize ower up front. Arsenal would be favourites for a top-four finish with a defensive midfielder, another centre-half and maybe another striker. The January transfer window allows clubs the option of addressing all of the above. To keep the market open all year round would be crazy. Imagine having a star striker, banging the goals in, who could simply be poached at a moment's notice by a bigger club. That, remember, was why FIFA cut a deal with the European Union a decade ago – to bring some stability to an otherwise unfettered free market. Here's an example. Last season Robin van Persie scored eight goals in his final 13come true”.The highly-rated teenage defender completed a switch from Boavista for €3m on Tuesday.”I am very excited and it’s a dream come true,” the teenager told the Hammers official website.”I always dreamt of coming to England and now I’m here a matches to help Arsenal into the Champions League. Of those goals, two helped Arsenal to come back from a goal down to beat Liverpool. One helped the Gunners to recover from going a goal down at home to Newcastle. Another rescued a point at Stoke in late April. And his final two in Arsenal colours rescued a point at home to Norwich. The north Londoners ended up beating Spurs to third place (and claiming the final Champions League spot as Chelsea went on to win the competition) by a single point. Suppose, however, Manchester United had decided they wanted him in early February? Or mid-March? With the window open all year round what would have stopped them from spiriting the flying Dutchman away from their London rivals? Nothing. It may seem like anarchy over the next 24 hours as some clubs use a scattergun technique, some leave it far too late and others fight furiously to protect their assets (and in turn their seasons). The alternative, however, is year-long chaos and anxiety. Surely we don't want to go back to that?

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Mauricio Pochettino says if Chelsea had Tottenham’s pre-cup final fixture congestion Jose Mourinho would be complaining!

Mauricio Pochettino has fired the first shots in his battle with Jose Mourinho claiming the Blues will benefit from the fixture congestion facing Spurs. The two teams meet at Wembley on Sunday March 1. But while Chelsea have over a week off before the showpiece, from from the second leg of their Europa League knockout tie against Fiorentina just two days before. Pochettino quipped: "Maybe if Jose were in my phe play of Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka in the Nations League finals.The pair endured a difficult season at club level for Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.But Petkovic hopes they can put their form behind them when the Swiss take on Portugal iosition now he would be complaining about the situation!" The Spurs boss added: "It is not fair to play a final on the Sunday after you play in another ‘final’ in Florence on the Thursday. Chelsea play Burnley on the Saturday and then they have a clean week to prepare for the final. "It is not fair but then we have to understand this is the competition. We are in the Europa League, the Capital One final and the Premier League. "But it is no problem. We are strong. We believe in our way and will be sure to be ready for the final. Chelsea, who have won their last ten Premier League home games, play Burnley at Stamford Bridge on February 21, a week before the facing Spurs. After this Saturday's trip to West Brom, Spurs face a fearsome run of fixtures with the north London derby against Arsenal coming before a trip to Liverpool and then the first leg of their Europa League tie against Fiorentina. West Ham are up next before Spurs go out to Florence and return to play Chelsea. Pochettino went on: "We need to understand that that’s football. It is not the best situation, but we need to prepare every game like a final because we have important games in the mean time." Pochettino revealed Tottenham will now change their plans ahead of the Fiorentina tie and could now train in Italy before their flight back the day after the tie. He added: "We have a is a target for Manchester United and Juventus ahead of the January market. He has also been linked with Bayern Munich.However, Alf Ingve Berntsen, who coached Haaland as a junior with Byrne, told Goal: “The tactical requirements in Bayern and Liver very tough game against Arsenal next week and then Fiorentina in London. Then West Ham and Florence after that. Then the final. It is football, we need to accept that and be ready for every game. In pictures – Sheffield United vs Tottenham in the Capital One Cup: "Maybe we will change the plan and stay in Florence after the game to try to recover better and train there on Friday morning because for the game on Sunday. "But always it is difficult. We have all games like a final until we play the final." Pochettino refused to comment on the club's pursuit of Everton's Kevin Mirallas or the possibility of Emmanuel Adebayor leaving for PSG on loan. He conceded, howevecontent_imgr, that Tottenham could yet be active in the transfer market before Monday's deadline. He went on: "I am very happy with my squad but you never know." Who will win the Capital One Cup?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Vincent Tan ‘in the running’ to become Cardiff boss with odds as low as 33-1

Vincent Tan is 'in the running' for with bookmakers giving odds opt for Everton boss Marco Silva.O Jogo says he’s been approached about a move to Sporting, just like Portugal U21 manager Rui Jorge. But their past links with the Lions didn’t count in the club’s favour, since both of them rejected the chance.The samn him taking the role himself. has created waves since entering English football, And with the job seemingly seen as a poisoned chalice by some, punters are accontent_imgtually putting money on Tan himself being installed as the new manager. Betting comparison website Oddschecker has the 51-year-old as low as 33-1 in places, despite the fact he has never had a hands on job in the game. with Sven Goran Eriksson, Yilmaz Vural and Robert Jarni ald Everton are close to landing the Mainz midfielder.Bernard Collignon, speaking with Le Parisien, has revealed Everton are a step away from signing Gbamin.He revealed, “Jean-Philippe (Gbamin) is seduced by the idea of joining Everton. “To discover thl in with a shout. .

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Official: The Yaya Toure birthday cake gag is no longer funny

Today is 's 32nd birthday. And you know what that means… YAYA TOURE BIRTHDAY CAKES JOKES! We get it. Honestly, we do. We love a daft gag. Hell, if you look through 's recent articles, you will find a whole collection of features based on silly, ridiculous, childish jokes. Hence, when , we laughed for several days. In fact, if you look at the Chelsea are prepared to offer Tammy Abraham a new contract.The 21-year-old scored twice in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Norwich City, his first goals for the club.Abraham currently earns £50,000-a-wcontent_imgeek with the Blues.The Telegraphsays Chelsea are willing to double those wages.Fellow youngster Mason Mount, who also scored against the Canaries, recently signed an extension worth £77,000-a-week. logo, you'll even see a little party hat on Yaya's head in tribute. The thing is, that story came out just after Yaya's 31st birthday. It was a year ago, folks. A WHOLE YEAR. So while we understand the temptation to make reference to Yaya's birthday today, can we all just agree that the gag has worn thin? Let's work together and implement a ban on Yayaptain Conor Coady is grateful to manager Nuno for playing him in his natural position at centre-half.Before Nuno’s arrival, Coady was regarded as an average right-back.He told Sky Sports: “I am not a right-back. “I was just filling in there and, I wi cake gags across football. That means no more of this: Or this: Or this: Or this: Or this: Or, indeed, this: In summary, to paraphrase John Cleese: "This CAKE GAG is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late CAKE GAG. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. This is an ex-CAKE GAG.” P.S. If you don't get that last reference, that means you've not seen Monty Python's Dead Parrot – and thus you can't be considered a complete human being until you've watched this: