Nobby Stiles talking about one of his most infamous tackles.
A few Opta stats to peruse ahead of the Man Utd v Arsenal showdown – historical head-to-heads, Sundays, home stutters and what has happened to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 13 home league games against Arsenal (W8 D5) since a 0-1 loss in September 2006.
- Manchester United have the best win percentage (54% – 152 of 280) and points-per-game ratio (1.9) of any Premier League team when playing on Sunday (min. 3 games).
- Manchester United are winless in their three home league games so far this season (D1 L2), last failing to win any of their first four at Old Trafford in 1972-73. In fact, the Red Devils are winless in their last five league games at home, their longest such run since February 1990 (6).
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone five league matches without a goal for the first time since November 2014, while playing for Borussia Dortmund. During this five-game streak, the striker has attempted only five shots in total and failed to land a shot on target on three occasions.
Real Madrid have lost their last two homes games – a 1-0 reverse to Cadiz and a 3-2 Champions League game loss to Shakhtar. No wonder Zinedine Zidane sounds rather cautious for the visit of newly-promoted and winless Huesca on Saturday.
Match preview of Sheffield United v Manchester City. Looks like Raheem Sterling will be used as a central striker again…
Another picture of Nobby Stiles. The highlight of his time at Old Trafford where he spent 11 seasons and made 311 league appearances.
Nobby Stiles celebrating England’s World Cup win…
Sad news to report. Nobby Stiles, one of England’s 1966 World Cup winning heroes, has died aged 78 after a long period with prostate cancer and advanced dementia.
Our Andy Hunter has slotted in Rhys Williams to play alongside Joe Gomez in his match preview of Liverpool v West Ham.
Here’s what Jurgen Klopp said about the teenage centre-back in his press conference today: “I cannot say too much about his progress in the last few years, to be 100 per cent honest. But I can say a lot about his progress in the last few weeks or months since he was with us [the first team]. This is pretty exceptional, but he was already a really good kid when he arrived here. The situation was one of the benefits of having Vitor Matos in the coaching staff because he made us aware of him and said, ‘He is really good, take him in training.’ So that’s what we did and he looked good.”
Stat: Arsenal have won as many league titles in the last 40 years as they have won league games away at Manchester United. Steven Pye investigates…
And now some quotes from Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Here he is revealing that Moussa Djenepo, Will Smallbone and Mohammed Salisu will miss the Villa trip.
“They are all back in team sessions so far but not back fit to play. For this game it is a little bit early, I think, but they are on a good way. It’s not so easy to come into the team at the moment, but that raises the quality of the sessions and this is what we want to see.”
And a few lines on Theo Walcott’s return: “I’m very happy to hear that he likes it here and enjoys what we are doing here. I think it is the same in what I have seen so far on the pitch – normally you get a feeling for how much a player enjoys his play here. I’m happy he is available again for the weekend. It’s important that he steps into the team, learns very quick and is open-minded for this new stuff we try to implement. Let’s have a look at how much he helps us. I’m very positive that he will.”
Thanks Luke. Hello again. Aston Villa are third in the table although boast a better points-per-match ratio than top two Everton and Liverpool. Boss Dean Smith has been talking about the home game with Southampton on Sunday.
On team news: “The idea of the game is making sure players are all pushing for a place in the team. We’ve started the season really well and had a 40-minute blip against Leeds last Friday. I’m sure the players who haven’t been in the starting line-up will smell a little bit of blood and want to get into that starting line-up. Everyone who was fit for Leeds is fit for Sunday.”
On responding to 3-0 defeat by Leeds: “They were disappointed obviously. We’d spoken in the days before about how we didn’t want to turn it into a game that favoured Leeds – end-to-end. They’re renowned for their intensity and their fitness levels and as soon as they scored that first goal, we got drawn into the trap of going toe-to-toe with them. There was no getting high and no getting low. We haven’t been too high after the four straight wins at the start of the season and we won’t get too low over a poor 40 minutes.”
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter says there is ‘an outside chance’ that Davy Pröpper will be involved with the squad this weekend for Sunday’s encounter against Spurs.
Potter said yesterday: “He is getting better and better, closer and closer.
“There is an outside chance of him being involved at the weekend.”
Thanks Dave. Hello again everyone. Now, some news about the Premier League league leaders, hot off the news wires:
Everton will be without James Rodriguez for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle as the Premier League leaders look to return to winning ways. Carlo Ancelotti speaks: “We have back Jonjoe Kenny and (Jarrad) Branthwaite. James will not be available, and we have (Seamus) Coleman out and Richarlison and Lucas Digne suspended. He (Rodriguez) has played all the games. He had a little problem, so he needs to rest for this game and he will be available for the next game.” (PA)
And now a musical interlude. Here’s a song about birthday boy Diego Maradona. Kicks in at 0:47s if you’re thinking it’s just a man talking over a drum. While it plays, I’ll hand back to Luke…
If you’ve not read Marcus Rashford’s Twitter page today, here’s a highlight.
Another quote from the Pep Guardiola press conference. City’s social media team are so pleased they’ve even used a jaunty font.
Some Pep Guardiola now as he discusses Manchester City team news for the game against Sheffield United.
It seems as if Gabriel Jesus and Nathan Ake are nearing a return but Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy are still sidelined.
“They are getting better. Now we have a training session, so we will have an update after. Gabriel is getting better, Nathan is getting better, Mendy hasn’t started training with the squad. Sergio is progressing. Still not available to train with us but progressing.”
Excellent piece here from Bill Hern and David Gleave on Dennis Walker.
Sheffield United mean business against Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime. And to prove it, they’ve put a pic of Chris Wilder looking determined in a tweet. With some quotes.
More Diego Maradona. Seen here meeting a fan backstage after watching 808 State support the Happy Mondays at The Hacienda.
Here’s Barca boss Ronald Koeman being very diplomatic over the Maradona v Messi debate.
Nuno Espirito Santo comes up against Roy Hodgson tonight as Wolves and Crystal Palace kick off the weekend Premier League action. He has some nice words to say…
“Crystal Palace are a very good team, fully of talented players. Roy is a gentleman that I really admire. It will be a pleasure to be with him tomorrow again. I can learn a lot of things [from Hodgson]. I wish I had the chance to have a proper dinner, hours to speak and to share with Roy. He’s been a manager in so many countries, he’s seen and worked with so many different players. He managed big clubs; Inter, he’s managed national teams; England, Switzerland, so he has such a rich experience, I wish I could have time to share. But sometimes it’s not easy, even before and after the games, all these regulations are there, so it’s not easy for us as managers to share with an open mind. It has to be in a proper place with silence, and a good conversation would be amazing.”
And a final bit of Klopp on the fitness of midfield duo Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita.
“Both are on a good way, that’s how it is with rehab or recovery. You saw the incident, how it happened, with Thiago so that obviously needs now a little bit of time to settle. Nobody can say exactly how long because nothing is ruptured and nothing is broken or stuff like this. He’s desperate to make the next steps. If he will be ready for tomorrow, we will see. Same with Naby, just a different kind of injury I would say.”
More from Jurgen Klopp as he explains away Jordan Henderson’s half-time withdrawal against FC Midtjylland.
“Jordan Henderson did not have a fitness problem. Responsible is maybe the better word for [the substitution]. I can count a little bit and so I can count the games we played, I can count all the games the players played and we have to try to get through this period. If you have a look at the schedule then you see the month like October is a month like a usual December and November is a month like a usual December. Then December is still December, so that means we have the intensity of the most hectic schedule, which we have every year in December [but] we have it now already and that’s why we have to make these kind of decisions. We will make them as long as we can make them. The boys are ready to go.”
Mourinho was also asked about Gareth Bale, and has reiterated that the Welshman cannot be expected to replicate the form that initially earned him a move to Real Madrid:
“I repeat the same – seven years is a long, long, long gap,” Mourinho said. “So which player in the world is the same as he was seven years ago? Sometimes they’re not better or worse, they’re just different players. For example you look to Ronaldo and Messi, and compare them with seven years ago. They play in different areas, different positions. They transform their qualities to try and explore their qualities in other responsibilities in the tactical system of their teams. I think it happens with the majority of the players, so for sure he is a different player. Every word that I told on Wednesday I believe in them because he is working very, very hard. He is improving. He doesn’t have one single injury since he came back from the last one. He didn’t miss one single training session. To play 90 minutes is still hard, to play high intensity is still difficult, but he is improving. He is improving, and hopefully he will be back to a better level soon.”
The Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says his side missed Tanguy Ndombele during the 1-0 Europa League defeat by Royal Antwerp, reports PA. “Tanguy felt just a little sign of fatigue in a muscular area and he was also protected,” Mourinho said. “Normally Friday he is training as normal and is ready to play Sunday, and to be honest we missed him – because he gives speed to the team. Thinking quick, thinking fast, moving the ball quick and fast, we missed him.”
Hello again, Luke here, briefly … How is this for a warm-up, from John Burridge, via Crystal Palace, who are getting in on the Diego Maradona social media love-in?
A haunting stat from Opta for the Liverpool v West Ham game.
- Liverpool have received more red cards on Halloween than any other side in the Premier League (3) – Jason McAteer v Leicester City in 1998, Jamie Carragher and Philipp Degen v Fulham in 2009.
And continuing the horror theme…
- West Ham have won just one of their last 47 away league games against Liverpool (D12 L34), winning 3-0 in August 2015.
- West Ham have lost 21 of their 24 Premier League away games against reigning champions (W1 D2), with their only victory coming in December 2001 against Manchester United at Old Trafford (1-0).
- West Ham boss David Moyes has never won in 15 previous Premier League away games against Liverpool (D6 L9) – only Moyes himself (17 v Arsenal) has overseen more away games against a side without victory in the competition.
Saturday’s £14.95er is Burnley v Chelsea. No, me neither. Here’s the match preview. Absorb the likely line-ups and maybe imagine the game in your head.
Jürgen Klopp speaking now and he confirms that Fabinho will miss the West Ham game.
“He’s got a little injury. Out for the weekend and probably slightly longer.” Not too bad then.
On the current injury problems: “I realised long ago that life is a challenge. This is a challenge 100%. We will deal with the situation and make the best of it.”
Maradona v Pele? Comparison categories… Appeared in Escape to Victory: Pele – Yes, Maradona – No. I wonder if Maradona came close to selection. After all, it was released in 1981 so kind of in his ball park. Anyway, why you enjoy a lunchtime sandwich, this is rather lovely…
Here’s Barcelona with their own nod to Maradona’s 60th birthday. Check the poor defender he bamboozles on the line though. That’s a full Phil Babb.
Some David Moyes here and Jürgen Klopp is about to speak too.
“They might look at it the same as us being without Michail Antonio but obviously you’d rather play Liverpool without Virgil van Dijk. But probably the biggest thing going up to play Liverpool is without supporters. Their support makes such a difference. With no crowd behind them hopefully that might make a difference as well.”
Aphrodite, now Mick McCarthy. More history being written in Cyprus today with the former Barnsley boss about to take charge of Apoel Nicosia.
It’s Wolves v Crystal Palace in the Premier League tonight. According to the Opta stats, don’t bother tuning into the first half and then focus on Wilfried Zaha after the break.
- Since returning to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season, Wolves have failed to score a first half goal in 58 of their 82 matches, the most of any side in the competition over this period. Indeed, Wolves have failed to score a first half goal in each of their last five Premier League games.
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has netted five goals in six Premier League games this season, one more than he managed in 38 in 2019-20. With five goals and one assist this term, the attacker is just one goal/assist off his total goal involvement tally from last season.
Maradona v Messi – who wins? However you compare them, Maradona will always score 10 out of 10 in the ‘World Cup performance’ category for his efforts in 1986. Messi’s best? A 6 maybe?
A Virgil van Dijk update. The report on the official Liverpool website concludes: “No timeframe has been placed on the Dutchman’s return to action.”
Maradona turning 60. Ole Gunnar Solskjær about to take charge of his 100th Man Utd game. Yep, it’s a weekend of milestones.
Burnley are getting in on the act too as it’s officially eight years of Sean Dyche. Here’s a collage of his best bits.
Here’s Frank Lampard with some team news on football’s new clean-sheet kings. Basically, no new injury concerns for Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s trip to Burnley, with Thiago Silva ready to go again.
“Thiago is fit. Taking him out of the trip to Russia was more of a maintenance issue for him and I spoke to him about it. We’re just trying to make sure we get the best out of him over the course of a season and in this schedule where we have game after game after game, it made sense [for him not to be involved] in a game which involved a lot of travelling.
“If he had to play that game then of course he could have done but we have to put it in context of what we’ve got ahead of us. In the end it was a nice exercise with the fact we got a result and Toni Rudiger came into the team and played really well, which is the competition we need.
On overall fitness/energy levels: “In terms of the rest of the squad, we don’t have any clear injuries but we do have a bit of a tired group. We arrived back quite late, in the early hours of this morning, so I’ll have to assess everybody today and tomorrow to see how they’ve settled down and we’ll see where we’re at.”
It’s the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley on Sunday as Manchester City take on Everton.
Louise Taylor has been speaking to City’s Chloe Kelly.
WOODSMANUTD7 comments –
(On Solskjær’s record)
“Mad that he’s beaten Pep, Poch, Sarri, Tuchel, Nagelsmann, Mourinho in his first 100 games and yet if he left today not sure if he would get a job at another Premier League club.
“I think part of the issue is that he’s obsessed with playing 4-2-3-1 against deep teams which doesn’t really suit the players Utd have in their squad. Of course when he asked the board to sign him some players to play that system, they responded with more players that suit playing a back three or a diamond in midfield which didn’t help.
“He is a least rotating properly now and hopefully he will stick to playing formations that suit the players. Fair play against Leipzig though, the tactics were superb. Leipzig had two shots on target.”
To celebrate his special day, we’ll also be posting some great Maradona goals shortly.
Liverpool v West Ham is one of just three Saturday Premier League fixtures. The LFC twitter page has dusted this one off. Surely deserving of the Partridge commentary, “Shit, did you see that? He must have a foot like a traction engine.”
There’s a lot of conversation to be had around the basic numbers but here they are anyway. Good material for a
99 matches – Ole Gunnar Solskjær: Won 55, Drawn 21, Lost 23
100 matches – Sir Alex Ferguson: Won 48, Drawn 31, Lost 21
Win rates of past Man Utd managers after 100 matches (99 in Solskjær’s case):
64% Ernest Mangnall
62% Jose Mourinho
56% Ole Gunnar Solskjær
52% Sir Matt Busby
52% Louis van Gaal
Thanks Luke. So, where do we stand on Ole Gunnar Solskjær? He seems to lurch from triumph to disaster an awful lot. Sometimes he looks comfortable at the wheel but often he gives the impression he shouldn’t be anywhere near it.
Here’s Jamie Jackson to throw some more light on it all…
And that will be all from me … I’ll hand you over to David Tindall, who’ll keep the football news coming. Bye for now.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United manager, is speaking right now. He’s asked about Paul Pogba, who impressed in that 5-0 drubbing of RB Leipzig: “Paul can do everything … he can play long passes, he can get in the box, he can play combinations outside the box. We love to see it when he’s driving forward, affecting the game … it’s about getting fitness, getting the sharpness back.”
On squad depth: “At the moment we are looking like a Man United squad. I’ve got opportunities, I’ve got competition for places, and any successful team in modern football is able to rotate. That’s the only way in this league which is so intense, and in Europe.”
On Fred: “Fred has incredible attributes and we are seeing the better side of him definitely. I think he played a fantastic season last season … he works really hard … it’s in his genes to always want to improve and look at his own performance.”
On his 100th game in charge: “Arsenal is always going to be difficult with a very good team, a very good manager who has some great ideas on how football should be played. I am really suprised actually it’s my 100th game [in charge of Manchester United] … it’s gone really quickly even though a lot has happened. I hope I’m celebrating a victory.”
SaintGeorge2012 comments –
“Whilst some of the scores have been astounding at the start of this season, it is not unusual, for the ‘big six’ to be spread through the table at this time after six games. It is on a weekend like this they normally start to assert themselves, with all having winnable games. There is always the hype about them failing but unfortunately by February the table normally has a very predictable look. It would be nice if this season was the start of something different, but it is most unlikely.”
“I had to channel that anger into the game. I feel I would have been given a proper chance to prove myself if I was playing now but that shows how far we have come.”
Dave Busby, Brighton & Hove Albion’s first black player who made his debut as a 17-year-old in 1973, talks about the discrimination and abuse he suffered during his football career in this interview on the club website.
It’s all good news for Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace on the fitness front for tonight’s trip to Wolves.
From the horse’s mouth, cpfc.co.uk: “James McCarthy has returned to training this week, plus Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are fully fit for the Wolves game.
“Furthermore, following positive Covid-19 tests, Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are both available and amongst the squad following their periods of self-isolation.”
Diego Maradona is 60 today! Happy Birthday to the greatest ever.
Here’s Emmet Gates on six of his greatest goals for Napoli:
If you missed any of last night’s Europa League action, naturally, we’ve got you covered.
And a round-up, featuring Celtic, Rangers and many more:
Via the magic of Twitter, the Premier League have shared this Loïc Rémy banger for QPR from back in April 2013. Why not?
As reported last night by Jacob Steinberg, Michail Antonio of West Ham looks set to be out for a month with the hamstring injury he sustained in last weekend’s draw against Manchester City.
That leaves David Moyes short of attacking options for tomorrow’s trip to Liverpool and beyond:
Fulham don’t face West Bromwich Albion until Monday evening but the Cottagers boss Scott Parker got his pre-match press conference in early doors, speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of what looks to be a good old-fashioned relegation battle six-pointer, even at this early stage of the season.
“We sit on one point, West Brom sit on three, and there are other teams who are in and around it down there, so of course this is a huge game for us … Every game is massive for us, but this one has got a little bit extra,” Parker said.
Before his side’s meeting with Palace this evening, Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo has joined the chorus of criticism over the current pay-per-view charges in place for certain top-flight matches.
“They should find a better solution,” Nuno is quoted as saying, via Reuters. “Unfortunately we don’t have the perfect one, so let’s hope the intention is there. I think that’s the only thing that can help us. What I see is from the numbers that the fans are not engaging to what’s happening now.”
The Premier League says the PPV scheme has been extended to matches on Nov. 6-8. “In consultation with clubs, all elements of the pay-per-view service, including the price, will be reviewed ahead of Premier League matches returning after the international break later next month,” it said.
Good morning and a warm welcome to our weekend football countdown, in which we’ll bring you team news, press conference quotes and all the latest news ahead of this weekend’s football action.
Wolverhampton Wanderers host Crystal Palace tonight, kicking off the seventh week of Premier League fixtures, while Coventry take on Reading in the Championship.
Sheffield United host Manchester City tomorrow, before Burnley v Chelsea, with the champions Liverpool in action against West Ham in the evening kick-off. On Sunday in the top flight, it’s Aston Villa v Southampton and Newcastle v Everton before the bona fide Super Sunday clash of Manchester United and Arsenal, who both won handsomely in Europe this week. Spurs v Brighton rounds off Sunday’s menu before Fulham v West Brom and Leeds v Leicester on Monday.
Leaders Everton set the pace at this early stage in the Premier League, against many people’s pre-season expectations, and with Aston Villa and Leeds United also in the top six, it will be interesting to see if those somewhat less-fancied sides can continue their impressive starts to the campaign this weekend. Let’s start with 10 things to look out for in the Premier League this weekend: