Maurizio Sarri keen to see out his contract with Juventus

Maurizio Sarri keen to see out his contract with Juventus
Maurizio Sarri keen to see out his contract with Juventus

Maurizio Sarri keen to see out his contract with Juventus. “Have you ever asked a Formula 1 driver if he is afraid of speed? No.”

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri insists he is not afraid of being sacked and is keen to see out his contract with the Serie A leaders. The Italian champions hold a six point advantage over Inter Milan and Atalanta, while Lazio trail by six points back in fourth place.

Juventus face Lazio on Monday night and a win would take them to within six points of the title.

Asked if he is scared of being sacked, Sarri said: “Have you ever asked a Formula 1 driver if he is afraid of speed? No. There are risks which come with this job, if you are afraid of these risks you shouldn’t do this job.

“So, I am living this situation with ease, knowing that this is my job. E everything is good if you win, everything is bad if you lose. And the logic consequence is the criticism of the coach. It’s part and parcel of this job.”

“Look, I have a contract and as far as I am concerned I want to honour it at all costs. My future is tomorrow, meaning that we have to think about the single matches without thinking about the next 12 months.”

Credit: Sky Sports

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits team selection in FA Cup defeat didn’t work

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits team selection in FA Cup defeat didn't work
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits team selection in FA Cup defeat didn't work

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits team selection in FA Cup defeat didn’t work. “We picked a team to go through in cup and ready for Wednesday. It didn’t work.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits his team selection against Chelsea “didn’t work” as resting key players backfired in the FA Cup semi-final defeat.

United – on a 19-match unbeaten run in all competitions – started without Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. Solskjaer made four changes from the victory over Crystal Palace, switching to play a back three.

He was forced into a change just before Chelsea took the lead when Eric Bailly had to be stretchered off with a serious-looking head injury, a moment Solskjaer thought had a “massive impact” on the game.

The United boss also admitted he had one eye on United’s Premier League clash with West Ham on Wednesday night when selecting his XI.

He said: “We picked a team to give us a best possible opportunity to go through in the cup and be ready for Wednesday. It didn’t work today.”

“We had to change things at half-time when Eric came off. But that will stand us in good stead for Wednesday. I picked the team today to go through.”

Credit: Sky Sports

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Granada secure first European qualification with dramatic end to 2019-20

Granada secure first European qualification with dramatic end to 2019-20
Granada secure first European qualification with dramatic end to 2019-20

Granada secure first European qualification with dramatic end to 2019-20. Diego Martinez’s side have impressed on their return to the top-flight.

Granada have secured a dramatic place in next season’s Europa League after a final day 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao clinched 7th place in La Liga.

Diego Martinez’s side have impressed on their return to the Spanish top-flight at the start of the 2019-20 season, and their post lockdown form put them in the running for a European spot.

Five wins and three draws since the middle of June has seen them move away from the drop zone and into the top half.

A final day defeat for Getafe edges them out of a second successive Europa League qualification, with a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid enough to see Real Sociedad 6th place finish.

Fifth place Villarreal make up the La Liga sides heading into the competition next season. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla assured of Champions League qualification.

Fellow promoted side Real Mallorca have returned immediately to the Segunda Division, alongside Espanyol and Leganes – who drew with Real Madrid on the final day.

Credit: Football Espana

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Lionel Messi secures record seventh Pichichi Trophy in La Liga

Lionel Messi secures record seventh Pichichi Trophy in La Liga
Lionel Messi secures record seventh Pichichi Trophy in La Liga

Lionel Messi secures record seventh Pichichi Trophy in La Liga after netting 25 La Liga goals in 2019-20, and breaking a 67-year record for the award.

The Pichichi Trophy awarded to the top scorer in an individual La Liga campaign, with Messi now winning it seven times in the last 11 seasons.

Two goals in Barcelona’s 5-0 final day win at Alaves ensured there was no last minute challenge from Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. Messi broke the 20+ league goal mark for the 12th consecutive season.

The win moves him ahead of Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra, who won six Pichichi Trophies between 1944 and 1953.

Zarra’s exploits for the Basque club were so famous in the post war era, La Liga opted to rename their award for the highest Spanish scorer to the Zarra Trophy in 2005.

Credit: Football Espana

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Premier League transfer market news update 20 July 2020

Premier League transfer market news update 20 July 2020
Premier League transfer market news update 20 July 2020

Premier League transfer market news update 20 July 2020. Jadon Sancho will have to push through a move to Manchester United.

Juventus are looking to sell Douglas Costa and bring in Wolves forward Raul Jimenez in replacement. (Daily Mail)

Adam Lallana is rumoured to be at the heart of a transfer tug-of-war between Brighton, Burnley, Everton, and Leicester. (The Sun)

Manchester United are still interested in signing Sporting Lisbon teenager Nuno Mendes, reports claim, with Liverpool also keen. (Daily Express)

Andy Carroll has offered to play centre-back for Newcastle when they face Brighton on Monday. (The Sun)

Jadon Sancho will have to push through a move to Manchester United with Borussia Dortmund demanding at least £100m. (Daily Mail)

Credit: Sky Sports

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Italian Serie A match preview 20 July 2020 Juventus vs Lazio

Italian Serie A match preview 20 July 2020 Juventus vs Lazio
Italian Serie A match preview 20 July 2020 Juventus vs Lazio

Italian Serie A match preview 20 July 2020 Juventus vs Lazio. This was meant to be the Scudetto showdown but Lazio have dropped to fourth place.

Italian Serie A match preview 20 July 2020 Juventus vs Lazio

It has been a very different season since the restart, when only one point separated these teams in a two-horse race, with Inter lagging a little behind. While the Bianconeri have been poor and scraped two points from the last three rounds, Lazio are so much worse, a 0-0 draw with Udinese interrupting three consecutive defeats.

Simone Inzaghi can at least blame a thin squad and injuries for giving him few options, and Stefan Radu was another addition to the absentee list in Udine with a calf problem.

Juve’s Federico Bernardeschi is suspended, so expect Douglas Costa to step into the trident attack with Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Leonardo Bonucci returns and Matthijs de Ligt plays on through shoulder pain.

This is also a fascinating head-to-head for the Capocannoniere title, as only one goal separates Ciro Immobile from Ronaldo. Once again, the Lazio striker looked to have that title all sewn up before losing his mojo during the lockdown.

Despite the recent form, the fact remains Lazio have beaten Juve twice already this season, 3-1 in Serie A and with the same result to win the Italian Supercup in December.

Stat fact: Lazio have not beaten Juventus home and away in a single Serie A season since 1942-43.

Form Guide: Juventus (D D L W W) Lazio (D L L L W)

Probable line-ups

Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Douglas Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo

Suspended: Bernardeschi

Injured: De Sciglio, Khedira

On a yellow card: Bentancur, Rabiot

Lazio (3-5-2): Strakosha; Bastos, Acerbi, Luiz Felipe; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, Luis Alberto, Jony; Immobile, Caicedo

Suspended: Patric

Injured: Marusic, Correa, Lulic, Leiva, Radu

On a yellow card: Acerbi, Bastos, Cataldi, Lazzari, Leiva

Credit: Football Italia

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Barcelona squad want Patrick Kluivert to replace Quique Setien

Barcelona squad want Patrick Kluivert to replace Quique Setien
Barcelona squad want Patrick Kluivert to replace Quique Setien

Barcelona squad want Patrick Kluivert to replace Quique Setien as the Dutchman is a popular figure with the first-team players.

The details are outlined in a report from El Mundo Deportivo, who say the Dutchman is a popular figure with the first-team players. And he would be a popular successor to the under-fire Setien.

The former striker netted 122 goals in 257 games for the Catalan giants. And he is currently the director of youth football at the club.

Kluivert was appointed in the role last summer having previously been the number two to his former Dutch international teammate Clarence Seedorf at the helm of the Cameroon international side.

He is said to be regarded in a similar mould to Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. He demands authority due to his playing career whilst also being popular and knowing how to handle a dressing room at the elite level.

Kluivert speaks Dutch, German, English, French, Italian and Portuguese. While he have played a key role in attracting youth players to the club over the past year.

The Blaugrana conclude their La Liga campaign against Alaves on Sunday before hosting Napoli in the second leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie next month.

It has been suggested Setien may be removed from his position before the European tie. And Kluivert could be an ideal continuity replacement.

Credit: Football Espana

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Mikel Arteta hopes FA Cup can help convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta hopes FA Cup can help convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta hopes FA Cup can help convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta hopes FA Cup can help convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. “Hopefully it will help him to be more convinced we are going in right direction.”

Arteta hopes such “beautiful moments” like Arsenal’s FA Cup semi final win over Manchester City can convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club.

The Gunners secured a 2-0 victory over holders Man City to reach a record 21st FA Cup final after Aubameyang struck in either half.

Fine displays throughout the team ensured a win against the odds for Arteta’s side, who also beat new Premier League champions Liverpool earlier this week.

Aubameyang was rested for that game but returned to the side at Wembley with devastating effect, a fine first-half finish added to with a coolly taken second with 20 minutes remaining.

The 31-year-old is out of contract next summer. And he is yet to agree fresh terms as Arsenal languish 10th in the Premier League.

“Good and beautiful moments, they are always better than the bad ones,” Arteta said.

“As I told you, the way I look at him when I speak with him, he sounds pretty convinced.”

“But obviously if he can see that success and the direction we are taking is the right one. I think he will be more positive about it, yes. Hopefully it will help him to be more convinced we are going in the right direction.”

Credit: Sky Sports

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Spanish La Liga match preview 19 July 2020 Leganes vs Real Madrid

Spanish La Liga match preview 19 July 2020 Leganes vs Real Madrid
Spanish La Liga match preview 19 July 2020 Leganes vs Real Madrid

Spanish La Liga match preview 19 July 2020 Leganes vs Real Madrid. Leganes vs Real Madrid will be held at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

Spanish La Liga match preview Leganes vs Real Madrid

20.00 BST time

Head to Head current season

Madrid 5-0 Leganes

Recent Form

Leganes: WWDWL

Madrid: WWWWW

Team News

Leganes

Jonathan Silva returns from suspension and will be deployed at left wing-back immediately.

Ruben Perez is absent due to a ban, however, with Roque Mesa and Ibrahim Amadou expected to partner up in the middle of midfield.

Aitor Ruibal and Bryan Gil are expected to provide the energy and work rate in behind lone striker Miguel Angel Guerrero.

Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane is expected to ring the changes after his side secured the league title last time out vs. Villarreal, but Gareth Bale starting won’t be one of them.

Nacho should feature at left-back, while Eder Militao is expected to start at centre-back. Lucas Vazquez could even feature as a make-shift full-back.

Karim Benzema is expected to start, however, as the Frenchman looks to hunt down Lionel Messi at the top of the league’s scoring charts.

Score Prediction

Leganes 2-2 Real Madrid

Credit: Whoscored

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FA Cup match preview 19 July 2020 Manchester United vs Chelsea

FA Cup match preview 19 July 2020 Manchester United vs Chelsea
FA Cup match preview 19 July 2020 Manchester United vs Chelsea

FA Cup match preview 19 July 2020 Manchester United vs Chelsea. Team news, stats and prediction ahead of FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

FA Cup match preview Manchester United vs Chelsea

Kick-off: 18.00 BST time

Recent Form

Utd: WDWWW

Chelsea: WLWWL

Team news

Left-backs Luke Shaw (ankle) and Brandon Williams (head) are doubts for Manchester United. Neither featured in Thursday’s Premier League win at Crystal Palace, where Timothy Fosu-Mensah made a first appearance since May 2017. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones remain out.

N’Golo Kante will miss out for Chelsea after failing to beat a hamstring injury and will not be ready to take on United. Billy Gilmour remains sidelined after knee surgery.

Possible Line-up

Score Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

Credit: Sky Sports

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