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Paul Pogba reveals injury update

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Paul Pogba has revealed he will be missing until at least December.

[ MORE: New reality for Man United ]

The French midfielder, 26, has been out of action for Manchester United since the end of September with an ongoing foot injury and he won’t return anytime soon.

Speaking to a French outlet, Pogba has revealed the latest timetable for his return.

“I will still be under plaster for 10 days,” Pogba told RMC Sport. “After, I still have two weeks of rehabilitation.”

Pogba’s absence is really being felt in United’s midfield.

Scott McTominay and Fred are doing a pretty decent job on the defensive side of things in central midfield but there is a real lack of creativity and attacking prowess from central areas.

That is where Pogba comes in.

No matter what United’s fans think of Pogba for his previous inconsistent displays, there’s no doubt he would make a big difference in this United side being deployed in an attacking central midfield role.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lamented United’s lack of creativity in central areas and the final third in their 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth as Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were making good runs up top but they McTominay, Fred and in particular Andreas Pereira just couldn’t find them.

Pogba’s flair on the ball and penchant for the spectacular means that when he’s back fit he should slot straight into that attacking midfield role centrally.

Previously Pogba has played in a deeper central midfield role alongside McTominay, but Fred has done enough to suggest he should continue in that role.

When Pogba’s back fit, Solskjaer should hand him the keys to their attack so he can unleash the pace of James, Rashford and Martial on the break. It really should be as simple as that for United.

EURO 2020 qualifying: Portugal edges Serbia, France batters Albania

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With four goals each, France and Portugal were in no need of favors as they comfortable cruised by their opponents in Saturday’s EURO 2020 qualifying action.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]


Serbia 2-4 Portugal

The Serbians were no match for the Portuguese.

Portugal, trailing an unbeaten Ukraine in Group B by eight points, were more than ready to cut the deficit on Saturday night in Belgrade. And despite taking 42 minutes to get the engine going, the goals, eventually, poured in.

William Carvalho broke deadlock minutes before halftime, tapping in the ball into the back of net following a lack of chemistry between Serbia’s goalkeeper and defense inside the six-yard box.

Gonçalo Guedes added one of his own to put the visitors up two goals early into the second half. More than twenty minutes later, with Serbia back into the game through a Nikola Milenković goal, Cristiano Ronaldo, as always, made sure to make his presence known.

Goals galore followed shortly, with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bernando Silva scoring within two minutes.

Portugal, with a lot of ground to make up, now sets its sights on Lithuania, while Serbia travels to Luxembourg.

France 4-1 Albania

Is this the year that Kingsley Coman separates himself from everyone else in the elite category? So far, it’s looking like it and France – like Bayern Munich – are gladly benefiting from it.

With a brace from the winger, France cruised past Albania in Paris.

The 23-year-old scored first in the eight minute, following a sublime back from Raphaël Varane. In the 68th minute, with France up by two, Coman recorded his second of the night.

 

Albania spoiled Hugo Lloris‘ clean sheet following a converted penalty from Sokol Cikalleshiu.

Despite an unbeaten record through five matches, the pressure on France remains intact with Turkey and Iceland, who only trail by goal differentials, as they take on Andorra next. Albania, on the side, host Iceland.

Elsewhere

Kosovo 2-1 Czech Republic
Lithuania 0-3 Ukraine
England 4-0 Bulgaria
Iceland 3-0 Moldova
Scotland 1-2 Russia
Slovenia 2-0 Poland
Turkey 1-0 Andorra

PHOTOS: France’s World Cup winners get glitzy rings

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The 2018 World Cup winners have a very special ring to commemorate their achievement.

Paul Pogba is the man they have to thank, as he paid for them.

France’s World Cup heroes have already received the customary winners medal after winning it all in Russia last summer, but now in true U.S. sports fashion they have been handed diamond-encrusted, customized rings to remember their success with Pogba and Antoine Griezmann designing the rings and Pogba then bought them for this teammates.

“It’s a small gesture after winning a World Cup with great players,” Pogba said. “I consider them my family. It’s a small gift from me.”

Take a look at the photos and video below to see the incredible rings.


Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin to miss rest of season through injury

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Morgan Schneiderlin may well have played his last game for Southampton.

The French international midfielder hobbled off in the dying stages of Saints’ 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and the knee injury he suffered will rule him out for up to five weeks, meaning his season is over.

[ RELATED: Saints’ five-year plan ]

Saints’ boss Ronald Koeman confirmed the news in his pre-match press conference before his side head north to face relegation-haunted Sunderland on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra) at the Stadium of Light.

“Morgan will be out until the end of the season,” Koeman said. “He has [injured] the ligaments in his left knee and he will be out for four, five weeks and that means until the end of the season.”

Schneiderlin, 25, has had another stellar campaign in the engine room for Southampton and has been a driving force in their highest ever points total as they aim to clinch a spot in the top six (that would be their best position in Premier League history) and qualify for the Europa League.

His injury means that he will now miss Saints’ four remaining games of the season away at Sunderland and Leicester City, a home game against Aston Villa and the final match of the campaign away at Manchester City.

It also means that after a seven-year stay at St Mary’s, which has seen him rise with the team from League One to the upper echelons of the Premier League, Schneiderlin may well be on his way to a new club. Last summer he publicly displayed his unrest at not being able to leave Saints when a host of others players did and he has since expressed his desire to only remain with Southampton if they qualified for the UEFA Champions League this season.

That was always going to be a long shot, even if Saints still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top four, so Schneiderlin could be on his way with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United all rumored to be interested in his services.

Koeman calmed any talk of him leaving and said that there were “no serious bids” for any of his players. He also said that Schneiderlin was happy but that the decision about sticking around is “up to the player.”

With a price tag in excess of $30 million, let’s see if anyone plumps for the two-way French midfielder this summer.

Ribery could face suspension if he denies France call-up

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Franck Ribery could be in for a very short retirement.

After calling it quits from international football earlier this summer, Ribery could be forced to suit up for France if called upon by manger Didier Deschamps.

Ribery, 31, missed the World Cup with a back injury and retired from France in August. It was a decision that shocked many, considering Ribery is still one of the best players in the world and has been in good form with Bayern Munich. With Euro 2016 coming up in France, it seemed like an odd time for Ribery to hang up his boots.

But now fellow-Frenchman and UEFA President Michel Platini says Ribery would face a suspension if he did not play for France.

“If (coach) Didier Deschamps picks him, he must come. That’s the FIFA rule. If he doesn’t come, he will be suspended for three Bayern Munich games.”

FIFA rules stipulate that a player must accept call-ups from their national teams, in an effort to prevent clubs from picking and choosing which players can go out on international duty.

It is rare that a manager would select a player who has announced his retirement, but it could happen. And if Didier Deschamps is trying to put together France’s best possible squad, Ribery’s name would be at the top of the list.

However unlikely any of this is to happen, it’s always fun to hear about the roller-coaster ride of representing France.