Ander Herrera

Getty Images

UCL team news: Big calls for all five Premier League clubs

Leave a comment

Three Premier League giants are in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday and below is a roundup of the latest team news from Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

Also, don’t forget Chelsea and Manchester United are both in UCL action on Wednesday as the five PL clubs all aim to remain unbeaten through the opening two weeks of group play.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]   


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that left back Benjamin Mendy will have a late fitness test ahead of City’s clash with Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

City will be looking to win their opening two UEFA Champions League group games for the first time in club history after they beat Feyenoord 4-0 away from home in their Group F opener.

Guardiola also revealed that Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan are back in training but neither play is fit enough to play at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.


Tottenham have plenty of absentees as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men are in Cyprus to face APOEL in Group H.

Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen are both suspended, while Erik Lamela (hip), Mousa Dembele (ankle), Victor Wanyama (knee), Danny Rose (knee), Christian Eriksen (ill) are all out injured.

Pochettino’s men will be hoping to build on their impressive home win against Borussia Dortmund in their group stage opener and Harry Kane will be the main man for Spurs once again as he’s scored six goals in his last four appearances for the north London club.


Manchester United will be without midfielder Marouane Fellaini for their trip to CSKA Moscow in Group A.

Fellaini was injured after a nasty challenge from Shane Long at Southampton in United’s 1-0 win on Saturday and with Paul Pogba also out, Mourinho could turn to either Michael Carrick or Ander Herrera to step in.

The Red Devils boss will face no further action after his sending off at Saints on Saturday and he will be hoping his side can shake off any jet-lag to continue their unbeaten start to the season and make it eight wins from nine.


Liverpool are also in the Russian capital as they play Spartak Moscow in Group E.

Jurgen Klopp is without the suspended Joe Gomez, so Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to slot in at right back, while the big piece of team news is that Loris Karius will start in goal over Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane is also likely to start after he served the final game of his three-match domestic ban during Liverpool’s 3-2 victory at Leicester City on Saturday.


Chelsea have a huge game in Group C as they travel to Atletico Madrid.

Antonio Conte could start captain Gary Cahill on the bench as David Luiz is available after suspension, while Eden Hazard started at Stoke City on Saturday and came through it unscathed.

Quotes from the Italian coach about his future may concern some Chelsea fans though.

Southampton 0-1 Man United: Lukaku wins it

Leave a comment
  • Lukaku has 6 goals in 6 games
  • Saints suffer 2nd defeat of season
  • United remain unbeaten

Manchester United beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary’s on Saturday as Jose Mourinho’s men remain unbeaten.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game and United defended resolutely despite plenty of pressure from Saints.

One negative for United: Jose Mourinho appeared to be sent off in stoppage time by referee Craig Pawson after words on the sidelines with the fourth official.

The victory moves United on to 16 points for the season, while Southampton stay on eight.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

After an even start United took the lead after 20 minutes with Lukaku finishing at the second attempt from Ashley Young‘s cross as Fraser Forster saved his initial header.

It was his eighth goal in his first eight games in all competitions for United and his sixth of the Premier League season as the Red Devils led 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Just before half time United broke free as Henrik Mkhitaryan feed Lukaku but his cross towards Marcus Rashford was cleared by Wesley Hoedt.

As the half time whistle blew United were looking comfortable and Saints’ attack once again lackluster.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Southampton started well in the second half as the excellent Phil Jones made a superb tackle and from the resulting corner Oriol Romeu missed a sitter from close range.

United were under plenty of pressure from Saints as Shane Long went close to getting on the end of two crosses and Nathan Redmond threatened down the left.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Lukaku had a great chance to finish Saints off 25 minutes from time as United launched a counter but Forster saved well down low as Saints chucked plenty of players forward.

Romeu had a goalbound header cleared by Fellaini and Ander Herrera had a decent chance but the Spaniard put it over.

Southampton pushed hard for an equalizer they couldn’t find one as Mourinho seemed to be sent to the stands in the closing stages.

Mourinho: Rooney deserves “legend’s” welcome at Old Trafford

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
1 Comment

Wayne Rooney should — and almost certainly will — be given the warm welcome “he deserves” when he makes his return to Old Trafford on Sunday, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

[ MORE: All eyes on Rooney as he makes his Old Trafford return ]

After 13 years (not to mention 253 goals and 11 major trophies) at Man United, Rooney left for Everton, his boyhood club, in the summer. In Mourinho’s mind, Rooney is a “real legend” of the club, in every sense of the word — quotes from the Guardian:

“I think he’ll get the welcome that he deserves. Sometimes the word legend comes too easily, [but] he’s a real legend of the club. The number of appearances, goals, trophies – clearly he’s one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United. I think the stadium will show him the respect he deserves. I hope before the match and after but not during it.

As for Mourinho’s current crop of players, Paul Pogba is expected to miss a month after suffering a hamstring injury early on in United’s UEFA Champions League victory over Basel on Tuesday. It won’t be a problem for Mourinho, though, as central midfield is arguably his squad’s deepest area:

“We have players waiting for an opportunity. He started the season really well, we’ve had one match per week we’ve been going with the same players. But there are good players more than ready to play. Honestly we miss Pogba and we need him but we have good players. Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellani, Michael Carrick — they’re waiting for a chance and they are ready.

“We lost important players last season and we were not crying or making excuses. That’s football. Squads are there to try to cope with this kind of situations.”

Paul Pogba’s recovery from injury longer than expected

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It seems like Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba longer than initially expected.

[ MORE: Can United cope without Pogba? ]

Pogba, 24, went off injured less than 20 minutes into United’s 3-0 UEFA Champions League win against Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday as the French midfielder suffered a hamstring injury.

Speaking after the game Jose Mourinho thought Pogba could be out for a few weeks: “In my experience, muscular injury stops you from playing for a few weeks, I think.”

But multiple reports suggest the central midfielder, who has been a star for United in the opening weeks of the season, could be out until the end of October.

Such has been Pogba’s influence in the early weeks of the season he was handed the captains armband by Mourinho for United’s return to the Champions League in midweek but he hobbled off early on with an untimely injury.

He could now miss the Premier League games against Everton, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Liverpool, plus a key Champions League group stage match against CSKA Moscow as well as a League Cup clash with Burton Albion. France will also be without Pogba for their key World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus which they need to win to guarantee qualification to Russia 2018.

Luckily Mourinho has other options in central midfield with Nemanja Matic, Michael Carrick, Maroune Fellaini (who came on for Pogba on Tuesday and put in a Man of the Match display) and Ander Herrera all around to soften the blow.

Still, Pogba has been influential early on this season and an extended period on the sidelines is not what Mourinho or United needed after a strong start to the campaign.

How will Man United deal with Paul Pogba’s injury?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

12 months ago Manchester United would have coped just fine when losing Paul Pogba.

Now, not so much.

[ MORE: 3 key battles in Spurs vs. Dortmund ]

Pogba, 24, went off injured just 19 minutes into United’s 3-0 UEFA Champions League win over FC Basel on Tuesday night at Old Trafford and the Frenchman is expected to be out for at least a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

Such has been Pogba’s importance to United so far this season, Jose Mourinho handed him the captains armband for their return to the Champions League. On the pitch Pogba has provided driving runs from midfield, scoring two goals and adding two assists as his offensive output has been cranked up several notches compared to last season.

Who will replace him in United’s lineup on Sunday against Everton (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)?

Marouane Fellaini is the main contender to slot right in for Pogba after his Man of the Match display against Basel in midweek where he scored and set up the third with a commanding display in central midfield. In many ways the role Pogba has been playing is perfect for Fellaini.

The Belgian had been restricted to a deeper central midfield role under David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and even Mourinho last season, but if the Portuguese coach wants to lessen the impact of Pogba’s loss, Fellaini should slot in to start against his former club on Sunday. Mourinho continues to call Fellaini one of his “most important” players and the aggressive midfielder seems to have fed off that confidence given to him by his boss.

However, Mourinho does have options with both Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick waiting in the wings to slot in alongside Nemanja Matic against Everton.

Both would be a safer, more defensive option than Fellaini and given the Belgian midfielder facing his former club, tempers could flare in midfield just like they did last season at Goodison Park when he gave away a penalty kick moments after coming on as a substitute.

Fellaini will probably start but with Everton set to pack the midfield with playmakers like Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and maybe Davy Klaassen, having an extra defensive midfielder may be the smarter move for Mourinho.

With games against Burton Albion in the League Cup, a Premier League clash at Southampton and then a trip to CSKA Moscow in the UCL, Fellaini is likely to have a bigger impact against those teams. Yet with Mourinho’s love for the Belgian midfielder very well, don’t be surprised to see Carrick and Herrera both on the bench this Sunday at Old Trafford.