Premier League injury report: Manchester clubs hit hard

1 Comment

Premier League managers would have been watching international games nervously over the last 10 days, as they hoped players representing their nations would return home fit ahead of Week 9.

[ MORE: U.S. lose to Costa Rica ]

Two teams were hit particularly hard by injuries, with Manchester City and Manchester United both suffering several setbacks to star names. PL fantasy players, adjust your lineups accordingly.

[ MORE: United to spend big again ]

Here’s a list of injuries to PL players during the international break and a look at how long they could be out for.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – The Argentine striker suffered yet another hamstring issue and could be out for up to five weeks. Shame, as he scored five times in one game before the break. Big blow for City in the PL and UEFA Champions League.

David Silva (Manchester City) – Aguero’s teammate and another key cog in City’s attack, Silva could be missing for quite some time after suffering an ankle injury in Spain’s win over Luxembourg. No official update has been given on Silva — although three to four weeks out has been mentioned in the latest reports — and losing him and Aguero would be a big hit for Manuel Pellegrini to manage.

Tim Krul (Newcastle United) – Devastating blow for the big Dutch goalkeeper, as Newcastle will be without their star stopper for the rest of the season after he ruptured the ACL in his right knee. Krul suffered the injury in Holland’s 2-1 win away at Kazakhstan as he was caught by his own defender and landed awkwardly.

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – The Serbian skipper limped off during their win over Albania with a hamstring issue and is a doubt for Chelsea’s game against Aston Villa. Could be out for three weeks.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) – Another Serbian defender is struggling with injury, as Kolarov was sent off against Portugal from the bench after he suffered a hamstring issue. He is unlikely to feature against Bournemouth this weekend and with Gael Clichy also injured, Pellegrini has problems at left back too.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – The England and United skipper pulled out of Roy Hodgson’s squad with an ankle injury he suffered in training with the Three Lions. It is not deemed serious, as Rooney could well start for United at his former club Everton this weekend.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) – Another mild injury concern for United, as Schweinsteiger opted to not play in Germany’s 1-0 defeat to Ireland or the 2-1 victory over Georgia with a thigh complaint. He is expected to be back in action this weekend.

Paddy McNair (Manchester United) – A worrying injury for McNair looks to be under control as the Northern Ireland defender spent three nights in hospital in Helsinki after a challenge left him with a suspected ruptured liver. The youngster is set to be out for at least two weeks and with Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo already missing, Louis Van Gaal‘s strength at the back will be tested.

Shane Long (Southampton) – Ireland’s hero against Germany last week won a penalty kick against Poland in their crucial EURO 2016 qualifier but was carried off on a stretcher in the second half in Warsaw. He suffered a hefty blow to his right ankle but scans have shown no significant ligament damage and he could be back in action in two to three weeks time.

La Liga: Real Madrid disappoint in home draw with Valladolid

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Liverpool bests wobbly Arsenal at Anfield | Player ratings ]

Real Madrid 1-1 Real Valladolid

With Barcelona losing on the season’s opening day, and now Real Madrid dropping points on Saturday to the side that finished 16th last season, the 2019 La Liga title race appears to be wide open.

Karim Benzema put Real Madrid 1-0 up after 82 minutes, and Los Blancos appeared to have avoided a disappointing start to their home campaign. However, Sergi Guardiola (no relation to Pep) had other ideas when he bagged an unlikely equalizer in the 88th minute.

Eden Hazard remained out with a thigh injury and the $113-million Belgian isn’t expected to make his Madrid debut until after the season’s international break which takes place the first full weekend of September. James Rodriguez made his return to Real Madrid after two seasons on loan to Bayern Munich, but the Colombian was subbed off after 57 minutes to be replaced by Vinicius Junior.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Celta Vigo 1-0 Valencia
Getafe 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Osasuna 0-0 Eibar

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Mallorca v. Real Sociedad — 11 a.m. ET
Alaves v. Espanyol — 11 a.m. ET
Leganes v. Atletico Madrid — 1 p.m. ET
Barcelona v. Real Betis — 3 p.m. ET

Serie A: Juventus edge past Parma; Napoli-Fiorentina thriller (video)

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Liverpool bests wobbly Arsenal at Anfield | Player ratings ]

Parma 0-1 Juventus

Juventus’ quest to win a ninth straight Serie A title began with a win away to Parma on Saturday, but only just barely. Giorgio Chiellini scored the game’s only goal in the 21st minute, redirecting Alex Sandro’s half-volley past the goalkeeper after a corner kick wasn’t fully cleared. The victory sets Maurizio Sarri‘s side (Sarri wasn’t in charge of the team on Saturday as he continues to recover from pneumonia) on its way in a season that figures to feature multiple challengers to the throne, with Napoli and Inter Milan each strengthening their squads considerably in the summer. Sarri will also miss out on next weekend’s heavyweight clash between Juve and last season’s runners-up Napoli at Allianz Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal taken off the board after the video-assistant referee picked up on the narrowest of offside calls.

$85-million center back Matthijs de Ligt was named to the bench, where he remained for the entirety of 90 minutes, with veterans Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci preferred to the 20-year-old. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon joined De Ligt on the bench in his return to Juve after spending last season at Paris Saint-Germain.

Fiorentina 3-4 Napoli

Napoli’s 4-3 victory over Fiorentina was a truly wild ride. There is no other way to describe it.

Napoli went from a goal down inside the first 10 minutes, to 2-1 up just before halftime, level at 2-2 in the 52nd minute, 3-2 ahead just four minutes later, level at 3-3 in the 65th, and finally 4-3 ahead just two minutes later.

Dries Mertens (38th), Lorenzo Insigne (43rd and 67th) and Jose Callejon (56th) got the goals for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Hirving Lozano, who joined Napoli for $44 million on Friday, wasn’t yet available to make his debut but will only add another level of quality to what has proven to be an already impressive attacking unit.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Udinese v. AC Milan — 12 p.m. ET
Roma v. Genoa — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sampdoria v. Lazio — 2:45 p.m. ET
Cagliari v. Brescia — 2:45 p.m. ET
Verona v. Bologna — 2:45 p.m. ET
SPAL v. Atalanta — 2:45 p.m. ET
Torino v. Sassuolo — 2:45 p.m. ET

Messi to miss Barcelona’s next game; Suarez, Dembele also out

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona’s squad to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

[ MORE: Liverpool bests wobbly Arsenal at Anfield | Player ratings ]

Messi returned to training this week after recovering from a right calf injury picked up in preseason, but the Argentina star was not included in the list of players available for the team’s home opener at Camp Nou Stadium.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener last weekend.

Coach Ernesto Valverde is also without forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele because of injuries.

Klopp preens after Liverpool win: ‘Our identity is intensity’

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool and Arsenal entertained on Saturday, with the Reds earning a deserved 3-1 win and keeping the Gunners off-kilter for most of the day.

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds pushed the tempo for much of the match and overcame some wobbly moments at the back to cruise to the win.

[ MORE: Liverpool-Arsenal recap | 3 things ]

They were tough, fiery, and deserved every bit of the win. And Klopp knows it, and knows that you know it. From the BBC:

“Our identity is intensity, and we showed that today. … We were a bit surprised by their system. We couldn’t know that they would play a diamond, but we switched things around and coped very well.

“The last 10 minutes I saw the possession – 53 to 47 or something like that – but over 80 minutes it must have been completely different. For 80 minutes we were completely in charge of the game. We are not Disneyland, we do not need to excite everyone in every second.”

This guy is an absolute beauty. Even those who despise him have to admit that we are lucky to have him.

Klopp’s men lapsed late and allowed a Lucas Torreira goal. The defense has been wobbly over the first three weeks of the season, and preseason was just as rough. Klopp would’ve loved a clean sheet for the first time since the first week of preseason, but he’s happy with the performance.

“I would have loved to have it, but things can happen. They’re a quality side, Arsenal. I didn’t see that many chances, but we were really in charge today and completely deserved the win.”

Liverpool is off to Burnley next, and then will enjoy the international break.