Predicted Spurs starting XI: Mourinho to make four changes, 27-year-old int'l returns


Predicted Spurs starting XI: Mourinho to make four changes, 27-year-old int'l returns – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Tottenham Hotspur will head into the New Year’s day with a trip to Southampton, looking to shrug off the disappointment they faced at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Spurs managed a 2-2 draw against the rock-bottom Norwich City that saw them dropping behind Manchester United in sixth. With London rivals Chelsea enjoying a five-point lead over Spurs for the Champions League spot, Jose Mourinho’s side cannot afford to drop points against the Saints.
With the club taking on their fourth game in 11 days, Mourinho will be looking to make a few changes to his squad. The former Real Madrid boss has options in midfield with both Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks now back from suspension.
The versatile Sissoko could start in midfield for the trip to St Mary’s alongside Tanguy Ndombele, with Giovani Lo Celso making way for him.
Erik Lamela is fit again and Mourinho could be tempted to start with him after his cameo role against Norwich. However, the Argentine needs to be eased in at present before including him in the starting line-up, and it could see Lucas Moura being reinstated in the front three.
The 27-year-old Brazilian winger has scored four goals this season in the Premier League, and he would be looking to improve his goal tally against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side.
It is at the back where there are problems. Mourinho vented his frustration with his side’s defensive lapses in the last match, and the Portuguese could shake up the back-line by bringing in fresh legs.
Juan Foyth hasn’t played much this season, but he seems a better fit than Serge Aurier who is proving to be an enigma for his manager. Jan Vertonghen perhaps needs some rest with Danny Rose likely to start at left-back.
Predicted Tottenham starting line-up: Gazzaniga; Foyth, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Sissoko, Ndombele; Moura, Alli, Eriksen; Kane.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Report claims Aston Villa are keen on signing former PL winner in January


Report claims Aston Villa are keen on signing former PL winner in January – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Aston Villa are interested in signing the Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater on loan for the remainder of the season.
According to Sky Sports, the Villans want to sign him once his loan deal with Burnley expires on the 6th of January.
Drinkwater joined Chelsea after a successful season with Leicester City back in 2017. However, the Premier League winning midfielder never quite managed to hold down a regular starting berth at Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old needs to play more often at this stage of his career and the loan spell at Burnley hasn’t worked out so far. He has made just one Premier League appearance with the Clarets.
If Aston Villa can offer him more first-team chances, he should look to make the move.
Dean Smith is without a key player in John McGinn due to an injury and Aston Villa need to add to their midfield. Drinkwater on loan could prove to be an intelligent piece of business for them.
If he manages to regain his form and sharpness at Aston Villa, he could be a key player for them during the second half of the season.
McGinn is out for around three months and this could be a golden opportunity for Drinkwater to prove himself once again.
The 29-year-old would add composure and control to Aston Villa’s midfield. During Leicester’s title-winning season, Drinkwater played a key role alongside Kante in the midfield. He was instrumental in controlling the play and setting the tempo for the Foxes.
Aston Villa could do with an experienced player like him and the fact that he could be snapped up on a loan deal makes the transfer a no-brainer.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Report: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is top target for West Ham


Report: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is top target for West Ham – originally posted on Sportslens.com
With only two wins in the last 13 games, and flirting just around the relegation zone, West Ham felt the time was right to part ways with Manuel Pellegrini.
But it certainly came as a shock for the fan base as they went back to square one to seek help from David Moyes to take them out of the mire. It was only 19 months ago, the Hammers board opted against extending Moyes’s contract as they wanted “to move in a different direction” and “recruit a manager in line with” their ambitions.
The squad that aimed for a top-half finish is still good enough for a strong comeback, and it remains to be seen how far Moyes can inject a sense of belief in the side that is bereft of confidence at the moment.
For a side that broke club transfer records on last two summer transfer windows to add quality players like Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson, a mere return of 21 goals in 20 Premier League games clearly lays out what Moyes’ first assignment at the London club should be.
With that in mind, the Hammers are eyeing a short-term solution by signing a striker in January. According to reports from The Sun, Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has emerged as a target for the Hammers.
The 33-year-old has dropped down the pecking order at the club with Frank Lampard trusting his young brigade to lead the front line. With only two starts in the Premier League in 2019-20, Giroud has become surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and a move away from the club is highly likely.
Giroud may have lost his sharpness a bit but the former Arsenal striker is still capable of making valuable contributions. And it seems, he has no shortage of admirers, with Glasgow Rangers having been reportedly linked with a move for the French player earlier this month.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


The 10 games that could determine Chelsea’s top-four chances


The 10 games that could determine Chelsea’s top-four chances – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Chelsea bounced back from their boxing day defeat at the hands of Southampton – their seventh Premier League loss of the campaign – at the Emirates on Sunday, coming from behind to secure a 2-1 victory against Arsenal.
Their loss to the Saints saw them miss out on a huge chance to close in on Manchester City and Leicester City at the top of the table, with fifth-place Manchester United just four points behind the Blues.
Frank Lampard’s side cannot afford to drop more points with a chasing pack breathing down their neck.
Chelsea are hoping to finish in top-four this term, and they have to win against teams like Southampton to have a chance.
How the Stamford Bridge outfit fare in their remaining 18 league games of the campaign will be crucial to their chances, and here are 10 games that could have a huge say on their top-four aspirations:
 
Newcastle United vs Chelsea
18-01-2020
The Blues narrowly won their last three games against the Magpies, and next month’s visit to Saint James’ Park will be a tough test for Lampard’s youngsters.
Newcastle have only lost twice at SJP this term, and they remain a tough side to break down.
 
Chelsea vs Arsenal
21-01-2020
Mikel Arteta will hope to avenge his side’s loss when the Gunners visit Stamford Bridge next month.
Both sides are likely to make a few additions to their squad in January, and that could have a huge say on their respective fortunes going forward.
 
Leicester vs Chelsea
01-02-2019
The Foxes have lost just four times in 20 games so far, and there will be all to play for when Chelsea visit King Power Stadium in February.
The result will be crucial to the hosts’ chances of remaining in the title race and the Blues’ top-four chances.
 
Chelsea vs Manchester United
17-02-2020
Chelsea opened their campaign with a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Red Devils at Old Trafford in August, and the second leg will be more than about revenge.
Lampard’s men have to prove they have grown since that debacle, and a fierce clash definitely awaits.
 
Chelsea vs Tottenham
22-02-2020
Jose Mourinho was outwitted by his former charge a few days ago, and the Portuguese will be more than keen to prove that he is still the master when both teams meet at Stamford Bridge.
 
Chelsea vs Manchester City
21-03-2020
Pep Guardiola’s side have had a stuttering campaign, but they remain a force to reckon with.
Nevertheless, the Blues will fancy their chances against them at the Etihad.
 
West Ham vs Chelsea
04-04-2020
The Hammers secured a 1-0 win at Chelsea’s expense at Stamford Bridge a month ago, and will hope to complete a league double in April.
These are games David Moyes has to win to endear himself to West Ham fans.
 
Sheffield United vs Chelsea
25-04-2020
The Blades have taken the English top-flight by storm, and they came from two goals down to hold Chelsea to a draw back in August.
With a top-seven finish within reach for Chris Wilder’s men, April’s game could be very crucial to both sides’ European aspirations.
 
Liverpool vs Chelsea
09-05-2020
Given their current form, Jurgen Klopp’s men would have likely wrapped things up and won the league before matchday 37, but the race for finish in fourth place could still be on, and Chelsea might need to leave Anfield with all three points.
 
Chelsea vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
17-05-2020
Wolves are currently five points behind the Blues and they will fancy their top-four chances.
Could this game determine which of the two will clinch a Champions League spot?
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Report: Liverpool keen to sign Victor Osimhen


Report: Liverpool keen to sign Victor Osimhen – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Liverpool are presenting themselves as an ideal example of how a club should be run, both on and off the pitch.
With 18 wins and a draw out of 19 Premier League games, the Reds have already created such a big gap with the other rivals that talks of landing the league title for the first time in 30 years don’t look premature anymore.
Off the pitch, while mega-rich Premier League clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly ready to spend £120 million on Jadon Sancho, Liverpool quietly secured a bargain signing in the form of Takumi Minamino, with the Reds paying only £7.25 million for the versatile Japanese playmaker.
The Reds are still looking to bolster their attacking department, and have reportedly earmarked Lille striker Victor Osimhen in the January transfer window.
According to reports from the Sunday Express, Jurgen Klopp is keen to land the Nigerian international who has been in outstanding form for the Ligue 1 club this season.
The 21-year-old has already scored 10 Ligue 1 goals in 2019-20 and is a key player for the French outfit. Lille are reluctant to sell their prized asset who is also attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
The highly-rated young forward signed a five-year deal at the club in August, and therefore Lille are expected to demand a high transfer fee.
Liverpool do have Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi as the two main strikers at the club, and it remains to be seen whether the Reds make any concrete offer for Osimhen next month.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Manchester City vs Sheffield United confirmed starting line-ups


Manchester City vs Sheffield United confirmed starting line-ups – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Manchester City welcome Sheffield United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday aiming to keep their faint hopes of winning the Premier League title alive.
City head into the game third in the standings and with a mountain to climb if they are to overhaul Liverpool in the second half of the season.
They are unbeaten in 37 Premier League home fixtures against promoted sides since a 2-0 defeat against Reading back in 2007.
They have won 33 and drawn four of those matches and are strongly fancied to enhance that record against the Blades.
Chris Wilder’s side have been the surprise package in the league this season, losing just four of their 19 matches to date.
However, City can ill-afford another slip-up and should pick up three points from this match.
Confirmed starting line-ups:

For the final time of the decade…your City line-up!
XI | Bravo, Walker, Garcia, Fernandinho (C), Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero.
SUBS | Carson, Gundogan, G Jesus, Mendy, Cancelo, Otamendi, Foden.
@HaysWorldwide #MCISHU #ManCity pic.twitter.com/9U6VAOPSM6
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 29, 2019

Blades manager Chris Wilder has made three changes from the side which drew with Watford on Boxing Day.
Mo Besic replaces John Lundstram, who failed a late fitness test. Robinson & Mousset come in for Didzy and Oli McBurnie.#MCISHU
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) December 29, 2019

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers confirmed starting line-ups


Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers confirmed starting line-ups – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Liverpool go head-to-head with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday aiming to continue their relentless march towards the Premier League title.
The Reds’ 4-0 triumph over Leicester City on Boxing Day strengthened their grip on top spot and they are big favourites to follow up against Wolves.
However, the visitors recorded a 3-2 win against Manchester City in their most recent outing and will believe they can take something from the game at Anfield.
Liverpool have won their last 16 home matches in the top flight and have scored at least twice in each of those outings.
They face a Wolves side that have been in good form on the road, with their last away defeat coming at Everton back in September.
Liverpool have lost just once against Wolves in the Premier League and are fully expected to enhance that record this weekend.
Confirmed starting line-ups:

Today's #LIVWOL team news… https://t.co/hVyFySi1dg
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 29, 2019

Here's how Wolves line-up for tonight's @premierleague fixture against @LFC. #LIVWOL
pic.twitter.com/BWvxPOKkFL
— Wolves (@Wolves) December 29, 2019

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Celtic vs Rangers: Predicted starting line-ups


Celtic vs Rangers: Predicted starting line-ups – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Celtic vs Rangers. What a grand fixture we have on our hands to end the year, and it can’t get bigger than this. And yet, it is not just the excitement that is grappling both sets of fans, but there’s something more than that.
Despite Celtic’s impressive dominance once more, Glasgow Rangers have shown they are ready to take the title race to the wire. A victory at Parkhead will see the Bhoys stretch the lead to eight points, although Rangers have played a game less.
Most importantly, having lost the previous two derbies, another defeat will inflict a psychological blow that the Gers may struggle to recover from. It was around this time last year that they started to crumble, and eventually drifted out of the picture despite showing early promise.
Can Rangers end the year within touching distance of their fierce rivals? Steven Gerrard’s side has asserted a doughty refusal to wilt under pressure this season. And they’ve shown great mental fortitude to bounce back, be it domestically or in Europe.
But this could be the defining game of the season. They are up against a side that has won 11 league matches in a row. A first victory at Celtic Park since 2010 should be on Gerrard’s mind, but even a draw would not be a catastrophe.
Celtic team news: Mohamed Elyounoussi (foot), Hatem Abd Elhamed (abductor) and Jozo Simunovic (knee) still out alongside Daniel Arzani (knee). However, Jonny Hayes is available after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Predicted Celtic line-up: Forster, Boli, Jullien, Ajer, Frimpong, Forrest, McGregor, Brown, Christie, Ntcham, Edouard.
Rangers team news: Filip Helander (foot) is the only absentee for the Gers.
Predicted Rangers line-up: McGregor, Barisic, Katic, Goldson, Tavernier, Kamara, Jack, Arfield, Kent, Morelos, Aribo.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Manchester City vs Sheffield United injury update & predicted starting line-ups


Manchester City vs Sheffield United injury update & predicted starting line-ups – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Manchester City host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to return to winning ways.
City blew a two-goal lead at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday to lose 3-2 and they will be eager to bounce back at the Etihad Stadium.
Goalkeeper Ederson is suspended after being sent-off at Wolves, with Claudio Bravo set to deputise.
Sergio Aguero is likely to start for City after being taken off at Molineux following Ederson’s dismissal.
Gabriel Jesus, John Stones and David Silva will be assessed ahead of the game.
Chris Wilder is expected to rotate his squad as he bids to guide the Blades to their first-ever Premier League victory over City.
They have lost just one of their last 12 outings in the top flight and are unbeaten away from home in 18 games since January.
However, City will be eager to keep their faint title hopes alive and are strongly fancied to pick up three points in this one.
Predicted starting line-ups:
Man City: Bravo, Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling.
Sheff Utd: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, Mousset.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers injury update & predicted starting line-ups


Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers injury update & predicted starting line-ups – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Liverpool host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday aiming to retain their unbeaten record in the Premier League.
The Reds have dropped just two points this season and are overwhelming favourites to end their long wait to win the title.
They were hugely impressive in their most recent outing, recording an emphatic 4-0 victory at Leicester City.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Rhian Brewster will all miss out for the home side.
Wolves have almost a full squad to choose from, with just Willy Boly and Morgan Gibbs-White currently on the sidelines.
They head into the game on the back of an impressive 3-2 home win over Manchester City.
Liverpool have an excellent record against Wolves in the Premier League, winning seven and drawing two of their 10 previous meetings.
They completed the double over Nuno’s side last term and are strongly fancied to pick up three points this weekend.
Predicted starting line-ups:
Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri, Origi.
Wolves: Patricio, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre, Traore, Jimenez, Cutrone.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog