1st January 2018 at 1:17 pm #126668
Burnley v Liverpool
Mohamed Salah is a doubt for Liverpool’s trip to Turf Moor as they take on Burnley in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.
Liverpool’s current leading scorer limped off in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Leicester after scoring both goals, with manager Jurgen Klopp set to assess his fitness ahead of the game.
“I don’t know in this moment exactly (what it is) but he was limping. That’s never a good sign, to be honest,” said the Liverpool boss. “We have to see what his problem was. We will see what he can do for the next game.
“For me it is the most strange situation. It is the third time this year (playing twice in three days) and people think ‘Wow, how will you do that?’.
“The good news is Burnley had to play Saturday as well. I don’t think they got the point (in the goalless draw against Huddersfield) without running so they have the same thing to do and that is then fair play.”
Burnley have been one of the surprises of the season, currently sitting in seventh place on 34 points, and will be looking to get back to winning ways after two successive draws, including a goalless meeting with Huddersfield on Saturday.
“The goal still, is to build on last season,” said manager Sean Dyche. “Now we’re doing that, obviously, but we’ve got to physically do that.
“So when you get that goal achieved, whenever that day comes when we get the same points or more, hopefully, then how do you move forward from there? Then we’ll reassess.”
Although Salah could be sidelined, Simon Mignolet will return at Turf Moor as Klopp continues to rotate his goalkeepers with the manager confirming he would make at least one change.
Defender Alberto Moreno (ankle) could be fit for Friday’s Merseyside derby FA Cup tie but as the transfer window does not open until the day of the game, new signing Virgil van Dijk cannot be registered in time to play.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski returns from a ban. The player has served a three-game suspension and the Clarets must decide whether to recall him to the starting line-up or retain Kevin Long and Ben Mee in central defence.
Left-back Stephen Ward (knee) and striker Chris Wood (leg) remain doubtful, while Robbie Brady (knee) and Tom Heaton (shoulder) are long-term absentees.
1st January 2018 at 1:18 pm #126670
Leicester v Huddersfield
Claude Puel has labelled Leicester’s New Year’s Day clash at Huddersfield as “crucial”, with the Foxes looking to end their winless run.
Since claiming victory four times in a row in the Premier League, Leicester have taken only one point from the four games that have followed and the Frenchman is targeting Monday’s game as a must win.
“This is a crucial game for us,” Puel said. “We need to build new momentum. It is not a good period for the results. We need to make progress with our quality, after we regain possession for example.
“There is fantastic hard work from all the team, with togetherness and a positive outlook. We were leading a lot in these last few away games but often the team can come back against us. We need to have more control of the game.”
Eighth-placed Leicester face a Huddersfield outfit who they lead by three places and three points in the table, but the Terriers are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games (W1 D3) – their longest streak in the competition.
“It’s all about survival,” Wagner said of staying in England’s top flight. “This chapter we started with the first game of the Premier League, I think we are on track, not more.
“We know we have to improve. We’re on a good starting point to achieve our target, to survive in the Premier League, not more, not less. Anything else is totally irrelevant.”
Leicester will assess Ben Chilwell ahead of the game after the defender missed Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Liverpool due to illness.
Robert Huth, sidelined since the summer by an ankle injury, has been nearing a first-team return but is not set to make it in this contest and Danny Simpson (hamstring) is still out.
While Adrien Silva will be registered for the Foxes in January, it will not be in time for him to be involved in the game against the Terriers.
Huddersfield will assess defender Florent Hadergjonaj after he took a knock during Saturday’s goalless home draw against Burnley, so skipper Tommy Smith could return to the starting line-up.
Centre-half Michael Hefele returned to the bench on Saturday after a long-term Achilles injury, but still needs game time with the U23s. Philip Billing (ankle) and Jon Gorenc Stankovic (knee) are still unavailable.
1st January 2018 at 1:20 pm #126671
Stoke v Newcastle
Stoke and Newcastle will both be aiming for maximum points when they meet in the Premier League on New Year’s Day after struggling in recent weeks.
The Magpies have won just one of their last 12 matches in the top flight, and ground out a 0-0 draw against Brighton on Saturday, but goalkeeper Karl Darlow says the team are keeping their spirits up.
“We have stayed fairly positive throughout. We have been through a bad patch, but that can happen in the Premier League with the quality you are up against,” he said.
“It will be tough – Stoke away is never easy is it? It’s one of those games that we need to mentally prepare for. We are professional and we have to make sure we are fit and ready to go for that. We have to be in the best possible shape to go there and get three points.”
Stoke are one place and one point ahead of Newcastle in 15th, and will be looking for three points after being thrashed 5-0 by Chelsea on Saturday.
They could make a bit of history too, having won their last four home Premier League meetings with the Magpies and never winning five consecutively against a single opponent in the competition.
Newcastle will make a series of late checks before naming his team to face Stoke. Rafa Benitez will assess the bumps and bruises picked up on Saturday and is hoping he will have no further absentees.
Rob Elliot (thigh), Jesus Gamez (ankle), Florian Lejeune (foot) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (back) all missed out against Brighton, a game for which the Spaniard made seven changes.
Stoke are set to recall a handful of players for Monday’s game. Mark Hughes fielded a weakened side on Saturday but is expected to bring Xherdan Shaqiri, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joe Allen back into his starting line-up.
Kurt Zouma, ineligible to face Chelsea, could also return along with Eric Pieters but Ryan Shawcross (calf), Glen Johnson (knee) and Bruno Martins Indi (groin) remain unavailable.
1st January 2018 at 1:21 pm #126673
Everton v Man Utd
Jose Mourinho will be without Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Manchester United travel to Everton on New Year’s Day, live on Sky Sports.
Lukaku will miss at least two games after suffering a head injury against Southampton, while Ibrahimovic faces a month out with a recurrence of his knee problems.
Paul Pogba says that Manchester United will feel the omission of Lukaku in particular and has urged the side to get back on track after drawing their last three Premier League games.
“When we have Romelu, he makes it difficult for defenders and creates so much space as well. He’s a big miss for us but we have the team to fill the gap of Romelu,” he told MUTV.
“We didn’t lose [against Southampton] but we have to wake up, bounce back and get back to winning. We drew again. Three draws we have to win, something has to change and we have to change to win.
“It’s only one day and then we have to play against Everton – that’s football. Tomorrow’s another day and we have to go out there and win.”
Sam Allardyce has shored up Everton’s defence and guided the Toffees out of the relegation zone, but the ex-Crystal Palace manager has insisted the Merseysiders cannot relax yet.
“The lads have done exceptionally well by turning around a leaky team,” he said. “It’s four goals in nine games, and it’s allowed us to escape what was a team threatened with relegation.
“Now the players in their response have done absolutely magnificent in turning that around and into a positive situation to be able to move forward. But we’ve just got to keep working at all of that.”
Elsewhere for Man Utd, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly remain sidelined, with question marks over Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian.
Everton will monitor James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie before deciding whether to start the duo at Goodison Park with McCarthy lasting just half the game during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Bournemouth.
Idrissa Gueye should feature again after recovering from hamstring trouble, with Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley still sidelined.
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