Ashley Williams

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Man Utd legend Giggs beams after Wales hiring

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Ryan Giggs has accepted an offer to coach the Wales men’s national team, calling it “an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

His unveiling comes a day after reports he’d be hired by Wales for his first full-time managerial gig. The 44-year-old had a 2-1-1 record as interim boss of Manchester United.

“I want to get the fans off their seats,” Giggs said. “I’m going to give it my all like I did when I played. It is probably the proudest moment of my life to lead my country.”

[ MORE: Stoke fills manager post ]

Giggs made nearly 1000 appearances for Manchester United and 64 more for Wales in a glittering 23-year playing career. He won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and two UEFA Champions League trophies.

From the BBC:

“I’m not on social media so I haven’t seen much of the criticism. I know the criticism is going to come but the way to combat that is to win games.

“The beauty of football is everyone has an opinion. It’s about striking that balance. All I can do is work as hard as I can to produce a winning team.”

Wales missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after a dramatic run to the semifinals of EURO 2016. The side has Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Ashley Williams, and Ben Davies amongst its assets.

Everton 0-0 Chelsea: Stalemate at Goodison

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  • Everton unbeaten in six
  • Chelsea could fall 16 points behind Man City
  • 25-5 attempts at goal in favor of Chelsea

Everton battled to a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday, with the Toffees riding their luck but staying unbeaten under new manager Sam Allardyce.

Chelsea had two efforts cleared off the line early on, while Eden Hazard went close twice in the second half and the Blues also hit the woodwork with Everton not having a single shot on target during the game.

With the point Everton move on to 26 for the season, while Chelsea move to 39 points but lose further ground on leaders Manchester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea started on top and Phil Jagielka cleared twice off his own line in quick succession early on to deny Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian an opener.

Everton battled their way back into the game after plenty of Chelsea pressure but the Toffees found it tough to carve out any real chances in the first half. Tom Davies dragged an effort wide after a rare Everton break as Chelsea controlled the ball and came close to taking the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Pedro got in behind the stubborn Everton defense but his powerful blast was pushed away by Jordan Pickford and Andreas Christensen nodded a header wide from the subsequent corner.

Right on half time Dominic Calvert-Lewin bullied Christensen into a mistake but he failed to get a shot on goal with other attackers supporting him and in better positions. A huge chance squandered.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Everton brought on Ashley Williams and Beni Baningime at half time as Allardyce switched up Everton’s formation to a 3-5-2.

At the start of the second half Chelsea started well with Hazard’s effort saved well by Pickford and Alonso’s follow-up blocked by the Toffees defense.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard forced Pickford into another fine stop as Chelsea pushed hard for the winner late on and they came agonizingly close. A cross from the right from was headed against his own bar by Williams but the ball bounced clear.

An unmarked Michael Keane then headed over from a corner in stoppage time as Everton could’ve nicked all three points, but Big Sam will be more than happy with a point to continue his unbeaten run as Everton boss.

Watch Live: Everton v. Chelsea

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Everton host Chelsea on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and via NBCSports.com) in a tasty clash at Goodison Park.

Big Sam Allardyce has won four games from five since taking charge of Everton as they’ve turned their season around, while Chelsea sit in third place and are aiming to keep chipping away at Manchester City atop the PL table.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

In team news Everton’s Wayne Rooney, Ashley Williams and Mason Holgate have been suffering from a flu impacting the squad with Rooney not in the 18, with Michael Keane, Phil Jagielka and Tom Davies starting.

Chelsea start Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian up top in the absence of Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi on the bench.


LINEUPS

Everton: Pickford; Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Martina; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Sigurdsson, Davies, Lennon; Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Robles, Williams, Bolasie, Sandro, Niasse, Holgate, Baningme

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro. Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Hudson-Odoi, Basthuayi

WATCH LIVE: Everton vs. Swansea City

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Everton looks to continue its upswing while reversing the hoodoo of Swansea City when it hosts the Welsh side at Goodison Park on Monday (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Swans have not lost to Everton in three seasons, but sit bottom of the Premier League table.

Sam Allardyce started Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ashley Williams against the former side, while Paul Clement will hope to get an upset with Wilfried Bony up top.

LINEUPS

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Schneiderlin, Gana Gueye, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Robles, Keane, Jagielka, Ramirez, Davies, Vlasic, Lookman.

Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Roque Mesa, Fer, Carroll, Dyer, Narsingh, Bony. Subs: Nordfeldt, van der Hoorn, Rangel, Clucas, Sanches, Ayew, Abraham.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Everton

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The 229th Merseyside Derby features some interesting lineup selections from the bosses of Liverpool and Everton (Watch live at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Anfield is the scene for Jurgen Klopp‘s choice of Dominic Solanke up top, Ragnar Klavan in the back, and both Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho on the bench.

As for Everton, it’ll be Cuco Martina, Jonjoe Kenny, and Mason Holgate in a speedy back line with bed rock Ashley Williams. Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka both take seats on the bench.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold.

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gana Gueye, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse. Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman.