Stoke City

Stoke City – 22 Oct 11:08

Paper Talk: Liverpool want Williams; Bale and Ronaldo latest

Liverpool are said to be willing to pay almost £45million for Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams, while Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have yet to agree Real Madrid deals.


Liverpool are ready to pay the buyout clause in Inaki Williams’ Athletic Bilbao contract, according to reports.

The Sun repeats a story from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claiming the 22-year-old has risen to the top of Jurgen Klopp’s wanted list ahead of the January transfer window.

The Reds are said to be prepared to meet the full cost of releasing him from his current deal, which is 50million euros – £44.6million.

The Spain Under-21 international, who has already made his senior bow, has scored 10 goals in 52 games for Bilbao.

Gareth Bale: Faces team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday


Cristiano Ronaldo is stalling on a new contract at Real Madrid because he is holding out for a longer deal.

The Mirror reports that the financial framework of a deal is in place, with the superstar set to earn £18.5million a year after tax, plus a range of add-ons.

But Ronaldo, who has often stated his desire to play into his forties, wants a five-year extension but club officials are said to be only willing to offer terms until 2020.

In other news that is no doubt likely to be labelled ‘a boost for Manchester United’, Gareth Bale is also said to be in no rush to sign a new deal at the Bernabeu.

Bale is in discussions with the Champions League winners and the Welshman is said to be happy where he is, but the 27-year-old is still some way off committing to a new contract that would see him earn £250,000 a week after tax and become the club’s second-highest earner.

Pablo Zabaleta: Believes Guardiola is one of greatest


Inter Milan are interested in Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta and would like to get a deal done in January (The Sun)

Yannick Carrasco has signed a bumper new contract tying him down to Atletico Madrid until 2022 (The Sun)

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck could return to action ahead of schedule (The Sun)

Everton are plotting a potential January move for Sporting Lisbon’s star defender Ruben Semedo (The Sun)

Sergio Aguero has been told by Pep Guardiola he can leave Manchester City when he wants to (Daily Mirror)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract extension at Real Madrid is still waiting to be finalised due to a row over its length (Daily Mirror)

Gareth Bale would like to stay at Real Madrid but is in no rush to sign a new deal as negotiations continue (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea scouts will run the rule over potential January transfer target Ben Gibson on Saturday when Middlesbrough travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal (Daily Mirror)

Ben Gibson, Middlesbrough

Peter Odemwingie is set to join Bolton Wanderers. The former West Brom forward is a free agent after being released by Stoke in the summer (Daily Mirror)

Liverpool defensive starlet Joe Gomez is a loan target for fellow Premier League side Bournemouth as well as Championship high-fliers Huddersfield (Daily Mirror)

Pep Guardiola has revealed Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany’s head is not right after two years of injury hell (Daily Mirror)

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has directed stinging criticism at English clubs as he claimed academies are “kidnapping” young foreign talent instead of promoting local youth. (Daily Mail)

Vincent Kompany is set to become the latest high-profile casualty of Pep Guardiola’s reign after the Manchester City captain was left out in Barcelona (Daily Mail)

Sunderland players will have their wages halved if they are relegated from the Premier League (Daily Mail)

Everton No 1 Maarten Stekelenburg says that a keeper’s ‘priority is to save balls not kick them (Daily Mail)

Arsenal are finally in a position to win the Premier League, says Arsene Wenger: “There’s more to come from our team… the confidence is there” (Daily Mail)

Tony Pulis has revealed that Saido Berahino will be offered a new deal, despite confirming the forward has been placed on a special weight-loss programme (Daily Telegraph)

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has shrugged off concerns about Daniel Sturridge’s goal drought and assured the Liverpool striker “even Gerd Muller had streaks like this” (Daily Telegraph)

Manchester giants United and City are set to go head-to-head in the race to snap up Monaco defender Fabinho (Daily Star)

Chelsea want to sign highly-rated defender Alessio Romagnoli in January – but Milan will snub their advances (Daily Star)

Jose Mourinho has admitted he has never been close to Roman Abramovich despite Chelsea’s owner twice appointing him and the Portuguese being the most successful manager in the club’s history (The Guardian)

Chelsea are close to agreeing a new contract with Dominic Solanke after the England Under-21 striker lowered his wage demands (The Times)

Former Celtic and Scotland keeper Rab Douglas has signed for Arbroath – at the grand old age of 44 (Daily Record)

Rangers ace Niko Kranjcar could be facing months on the sidelines with a knee injury (Daily Record)

The post Paper Talk: Liverpool want Williams; Bale and Ronaldo latest appeared first on

Stoke City – 21 Oct 14:49

PL team news: Full-strength Reds, United worry over skipper

Check out all the weekend’s Premier League team news, with Liverpool in good shape, but Man Utd are sweating on a key defender.

Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday 22 October 2016 (12:30) Vitality Stadium

Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter is rated 50-50 because of a knee injury.

Arter left the Vitality Stadium on crutches following a man-of-the-match display in last weekend’s 6-1 win over Hull, and has not been training with the rest of the squad this week.

Midfielder Max Gradel (hamstring) could be back in contention, but Australia defender Brad Smith (foot) and midfielders Lewis Cook (ankle) and Marc Pugh (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Danny Rose: Set for new deal

Tottenham’s Danny Rose is struggling with a foot injury ahead.

Rose’s foot is heavily bruised after he took a kick against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, meaning Ben Davies is likely to start at left-back against the Cherries.

Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld are still out as they recover from ankle and leg injuries respectively, but Kyle Walker is expected to return after being rested in midweek.


Arsenal v Middlesbrough

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Emirates Stadium

Arsenal are missing the suspended Granit Xhaka at the Emirates Stadium.

Santi Cazorla is a doubt after taking a kick against Ludogorets on Wednesday, but the Gunners otherwise have no fresh injury concerns.

Olivier Giroud (toe), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are still missing.

Granit Xhaka: Recipient of 'harsh' red card

Skipper Grant Leadbitter is close to a return as Middlesbrough attempt to end a six-game wait for a second Premier League victory of the season.

The midfielder is yet to feature this season after undergoing hernia surgery during the summer, but is back in training and working his way towards full match fitness, although Saturday’s trip to Arsenal is likely to come too soon for him.

Head coach Aitor Karanka otherwise has no fresh injury concerns ahead of a game in which his side will attempt to arrest its slide down the table after a return of just two points from the last 18 on offer.


Burnley v Everton

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Turf Moor

Burnley will be without Belgian midfielder Steven Defour.

Defour injured a hamstring in last week’s defeat at Southampton, although the Clarets are hopeful there is no long-term damage.

Ashley Barnes (hamstring) is still out while Andre Gray serves the final game of his four-match suspension for historic social media posts.

Ross Barkley: Earns praise from manager

Everton are expected to recall Ross Barkley.

The attacking midfielder was an unused substitute in last week’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City but should return at Turf Moor.

Left-back Leighton Baines has suffered a fresh setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury, but Aaron Lennon is ready for duty.


Hull City v Stoke City

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) KC Stadium

Hull captain Michael Dawson is poised for his first appearance of the season.

The central defender has been sidelined with medial knee ligament damage since the summer but will be included in boss Mike Phelan’s squad.

Andy Robertson will play no part after being ruled out for eight weeks with a calf injury, Dieumerci Mbokani (hamstring) is still out and Moses Odubajo faces an extended spell on the sidelines after fracturing his patella during a non-contact incident in training.

Michael Dawson: Out for three months

Stoke boss Mark Hughes will check on the fitness of Phil Bardsley.

A hamstring injury saw Bardsley substituted against Sunderland and he has not trained this week. However, Hughes hopes the 31-year-old will train on Friday after having an injection in his lower back to help ease the problem.

With Glen Johnson ruled out for at least three to four weeks because of a thigh injury it would leave Hughes with a problem at right-back should Bardsley not be fit.


Leicester City v Crystal Palace

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) King Power Stadium

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri will check on the fitness of captain Wes Morgan (hip), midfielder Andy King (shin) and striker Jamie Vardy (groin) before finalising his plans.

All three players are nursing knocks following the Champions League victory against Copenhagen on Tuesday night, but Ranieri thinks they should all be available.

Nampalys Mendy’s ankle injury has kept him out for two months, but he will soon be ready to return to contention, while fellow midfielder Matty James continues to make progress in his recovery from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in May 2015 and can see light at the end of the tunnel as regards his first-team return.

Wes Morgan: Celebrates winner against Swansea

Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann is expected to be back in the squad.

Dann, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury for the last month, has trained this week and will travel to the King Power Stadium but looks likely to start on the bench.

Forward Loic Remy is progressing well from a thigh injury sustained soon after his summer arrival on loan from Chelsea and should be back in action in December, while defender Pape Souare remains sidelined after breaking his leg in a car crash in September.


Swansea City v Watford

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Liberty Stadium

Fernando Llorente returns for Swansea.

The Spain striker has missed the last two games with rib and knee injuries, but winger Jefferson Montero is still sidelined with a calf problem.

Modou Barrow has recovered from a knock which forced him off during last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal and is available for new manager Bob Bradley’s first game at the Liberty Stadium.

Fernando Llorente Swansea

Isaac Success remains doubtful for Watford after suffering another leg muscle problem.

The £12.5million record signing has struggled for full fitness with the Hornets, and has not trained so far this week after picking up another injury in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

Jerome Sinclair should beat his hamstring injury to contest selection, but Craig Cathcart is another doubt with a groin problem and Daryl Janmaat is still missing with a shoulder issue.


West Ham United v Sunderland

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) London Stadium

West Ham are without Aaron Cresswell through suspension following his controversial red card against Crystal Palace.

Fellow left-back Arthur Masuaku (knee) is still sidelined, along with right-back Sam Byram (hamstring), winger Gokhan Tore (thigh) and strikers Andy Carroll (knee) and Diafra Sakho (back).

But club-record signing Andre Ayew has an outside chance of making the squad after recovering from the thigh injury he suffered on the opening day of the season.

Lamine Kone Sunderland

Defenders Lamine Kone and Patrick van Aanholt are fit for Sunderland as manager David Moyes’ injury problems ease.

Kone missed last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke with a hamstring problem, while Van Aanholt lasted just 40 minutes before having to leave the field with an adductor strain, but both are fit for the trip to the London Stadium.

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone (fractured elbow) and midfielder Sebastian Larsson (knee) are back in light training, while winger Adnan Januzaj is expected to join them next week and Jason Denayer, Jan Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole are not far behind, leaving striker Fabio Borini (groin) as the only long-term absentee.


Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

Saturday 22 October 2016 (17:30) Anfield

Jurgen Klopp could have a full-strength Liverpool squad at his disposal.

The German admitted “nobody is ruled out at this moment” at his press conference on Thursday and that means Georginio Wijnaldum could be back in the fold following a hip problem sustained on international duty.

Adam Lallana (groin) is fully fit again having only been used as a substitute in the draw against Manchester United while James Milner (head) is also available.

Georginio Wijnaldum

Saido Berahino will not play for West Brom after being placed on a personal fitness plan.

The 23-year-old striker, who has not scored since February, is overweight and the Baggies are hoping extra training will help him regain fitness and form.

Jonny Evans is banned for Albion and Jonas Olsson is likely to replace him while Chris Brunt is available after making his return from eight months out with a knee injury in last week’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham.


Manchester City v Southampton

Sunday 23 October 2016 (13:30) Etihad Stadium

Manchester City will be without both of their senior right-backs for Sunday’s Premier League visit of Southampton.

Pablo Zabaleta is out following the blow to the foot that forced him off at Barcelona in midweek while Bacary Sagna is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Captain Vincent Kompany, who briefly returned from a groin injury against Everton last week, could again be doubtful after being unable to feature at the Nou Camp. The fitness of midfielder Fabian Delph remains unclear after a muscle problem.

Manager Pep Guardiola will keep faith in goalkeeper Claudio Bravo despite his sending off in the Champions League defeat by Barca.

Jay Rodriguez Shane Long Southampton

Southampton striker Shane Long is out of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.

The Republic of Ireland international suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday night’s Europa League defeat at Inter Milan and although Saints have yet to discover the extent of the damage, he will not be available against City.

Full-backs Ryan Bertrand, Matt Targett and Cedric Soares will be assessed after missing the trip to Milan. Nathan Redmond returns to the squad after being rested.


Chelsea v Manchester United

Sunday 23 October 2016 (16:00) Stamford Bridge

Chelsea will make a late decision over whether to field Willian following the death of his mother.

Midfielder Willian returned from compassionate leave on Thursday, while Oscar has also been away following a family bereavement, but defender John Terry could return after another full week of training following an ankle injury.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas (thigh) and defender Branislav Ivanovic, who has a minor injury to an undisclosed muscle, are out, while defender Kurt Zouma is set to return to first-team training next week following his long-term knee injury.

Chris Smalling: Insists Rooney will still get games for Man Utd

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling will be assessed ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

The centre-back came off at half-time in Thursday’s Europa League victory over Fenerbahce due to what United have described as a minor muscular injury.

Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho on Thursday said playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was absent from the matchday squad for an eighth straight game, will be “ready very soon to play” having recovered from a thigh injury.

Week nine of the Premier League season is almost upon us, so while you’re waiting for the all-important kick off why not give our betting preview for Betsafe a read.

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ESPN FC - Stoke City News 21 Oct 14:40

Hull boss Mike Phelan welcomes return of 'leader' Michael Dawson for Stoke visit

Hull City Stoke City 2:00 PM UTC Game Details Home: 21/10  Draw: 23/10  Away: 6/4  Odds from bet365 bet365 PickCenter GameCast Lineups and Stats ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop tries his hand at Premier League predictor, but does he expect a stalemate at the Bridge? Hull captain Michael Dawson will be involved for the first time this season against Stoke on Saturday and his timely return to Premier League action cannot come soon enough for boss Mike Phelan. Centre-half Dawson, 32, has been sidelined since damaging medial knee ligaments in the summer and his comeback has coincided with news left-back Andy Robertson has been ruled out for eight weeks with a calf injury. Phelan, yet to appoint a new assistant following Stephen Clemence's departure to team up with...

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Stoke City | BBC 21 Oct 13:29

Hull City v Stoke City

Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Premier League game between Hull City and Stoke City.

Stoke City – 21 Oct 10:32

PL stats: Arsenal?s goal record v Boro, danger for Liverpool

Arsenal have scored 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 goals in Premier League games against Middlesbrough, while Liverpool face the player who’s contributed to most goals this season.

Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday 22 October 2016 (12:30) Vitality Stadium

o Bournemouth’s only victory over Spurs in any competition came in the 5th round of the FA Cup in February 1957.

o Spurs won both Premier League games against the Cherries last season, scoring eight goals and conceding just once.

o Five of Spurs’ eight goals against Bournemouth in the Premier League have been scored by Harry Kane, including a hat-trick for the England striker in this exact fixture last season.

o The Cherries have won just one of their last nine top-flight games against London sides (D2 L6), and have yet to register a home Premier League win against a side from the capital (D1 L4).

o Bournemouth are looking to win successive games in the Premier League for the first time since March, having beaten Hull 6-1 last weekend.

o Christian Eriksen has had 24 attempts on goal this season in the league, but is yet to find the net (inc blocks).

o If Spurs avoid defeat here, it would be the fourth time in their top-flight history that they’ve remained unbeaten in their first nine fixtures (also 1959/60, 1960/61 and 1990/91).

o After nine games without a goal or an assist, Junior Stanislas has scored three and assisted another two in his last three Premier League games.

o Bournemouth have started nine English players in their last three Premier League games. The last time a side did this in four consecutive Premier League games was Norwich in April 2012.

o This game will see the injured Toby Alderweireld miss a Premier League fixture with Spurs for the first time since the Belgian joined in the summer of 2015 (46 consecutive appearances).


Arsenal v Middlesbrough

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Emirates Stadium

Mesut Ozil: Insists substitution was tactical

o Arsenal have won just one of their last six Premier League fixtures against Middlesbrough, though four of these were draws (L1).

o Middlesbrough’s last league victory away to Arsenal came in April 2001, winning 3-0 thanks to own goals from Edu, Sylvinho and a strike from Hamilton Ricard.

o Since that loss, Arsenal have won six of their last eight home games against Boro in the Premier League (D2).

o The last time these two sides met was in the 2014/15 FA Cup, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to send Arsenal to the quarter finals. They went on to lift the trophy that year.

o This game is on the same day as Arsene Wenger’s 67th birthday. He has won his two previous Premier League games on his birthday, 1-0 v Man City in 2005 and 4-0 v Reading in 2006.

o The Gunners have scored 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 goals in Premier League matches against Middlesbrough – one of four clubs to do so against another in Premier League history (also Chelsea vs Sunderland, Everton vs Sunderland and Man City vs Norwich).

o Mesut Özil has been directly involved in 51 goals in 90 league games for Arsenal (18 goals, 33 assists), the same total he had after 90 La Liga games for Real Madrid (14 goals, 37 assists).

o Middlesbrough’s only Premier League win this season has come against bottom club Sunderland (D3 L4).

o Boro have kept just one clean sheet in their last 19 away Premier League fixtures, away at West Brom.

o Five of Middlesbrough’s seven Premier League goals have come in the first half this season (71%), a league-high proportion.


Burnley v Everton

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Turf Moor

Tom Heaton Burnley

o Burnley have lost three of their four Premier League games against the Toffees, but did win the first clash 1-0 in August 2009 courtesy of Wade Elliott’s winner.

o Everton have won their last three league games against the Clarets – they last won four on the bounce against them between 1968 and 1970.

o Dean Marney has scored three Premier League goals in his career and all three have been against Everton (two for Spurs in January 2005 and one for Hull in November 2009).

o The Toffees are unbeaten in their last 11 away Premier League games against newly promoted sides (W4 D7) since losing 2-1 to Reading in November 2012.

o Burnley have scored in each of their last 18 home league games against Everton – only against Fulham (24) and Aston Villa (35) do they have a longer active run.

o No Everton manager has won more points from their first eight Premier League games in charge than Ronald Koeman (15 – level with Roberto Martinez).

o Tom Heaton has made 39 saves this season in the Premier League, at least eight more than any other keeper. 11 of those came in his last match against Southampton, the most by a keeper in a Premier League game this season.

o Romelu Lukaku has scored six times in his last five Premier League games, this after failing to score in 11.

o Yannick Bolasie has set up Romelu Lukaku three times this season – a joint-league high for one player assisting another.

o The Clarets have scored just nine times in their last 20 Premier League games, failing to score on 13 occasions in that spell.


Hull City v Stoke City

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) KC Stadium

Joe Allen

o Hull City have won just one of their previous eight Premier League games against Stoke (D3 L4).

o Stoke have conceded just once in their last five Premier League games against the Tigers.

o These sides have already met in the League Cup this season with Marcus Henriksen scoring a 90th minute winner for Hull in a 2-1 win.

o The last four Premier League games between these two have seen just four goals scored.

o Mark Hughes has never lost a Premier League game against Hull as a manager, winning three and drawing four (two wins and two draws as Stoke manager).

o Hull have lost their last four Premier League games, conceding 17 times in the process (4.25 per game). They last lost more successively in the top-flight in March 2010 (5).

o Stoke’s victory over Sunderland ended their winless run this season (D3 L4). They last won back-to-back games in the Premier League in March (three in a row).

o Joe Allen has scored in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time in his career. No Stoke player has scored in four Premier League games in a row.

o Hull have faced at least 30 more shots (inc blocks) than any other Premier League side this season (184 in total).

o Mike Phelan and Mark Hughes played in 13 Premier League games together for Man Utd, with the last of these coming in November 1993. They both started the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1991 in which Hughes scored twice.


Leicester City v Crystal Palace

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) King Power Stadium

Jamie Vardy: Lengthy goal drought

o Leicester won both meetings against Crystal Palace last season in the Premier League by a 1-0 scoreline. Jamie Vardy scored the winner in October 2015 while Riyad Mahrez’s goal in March 2016 was enough for victory.

o Prior to last season, Palace had won four of their previous six Premier League games against the Foxes (D1 L1).

o Christian Benteke scored the only goal of the game for Liverpool in December 2015 against Leicester, in what proved to be one of three league defeats for Claudio Ranieri’s side last season.

o Palace have won two of their last three league games against the reigning Premier League champions, winning 2-1 v Man City in April 2015 and 2-1 v Chelsea in August 2015.

o The Foxes are unbeaten in their last 19 home Premier League games (W12 D7), the longest unbeaten run on home soil in the top-flight since Chelsea’s 21 game streak which ended in August 2015.

o No Premier League side has finished inside the top four having taken eight points from their first eight games as Leicester have done this season.

o If the Foxes lose here, it will be the lowest total from a defending champion since Leeds United in 1974/75 (also 8 – assuming 3pts for a win).

o Jason Puncheon has created 10 chances for Christian Benteke this season, more than any player has for a teammate, with the favour being returned just once.

o Andros Townsend has had more shots from outside the box than any other player this season in the Premier League (22).

o Jamie Vardy has scored just twice this season in the league – he had found the net seven times in his opening eight games in 2015/16.


Swansea City v Watford

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) Liberty Stadium

Jose Holebas Watford

o Both Swansea and Watford picked up a home win each in this fixture last season. Odion Ighalo’s goal secured the Hornets victory in September 2015, while Ashley Williams’ header saw the Swans collect three points in January 2016.

o Watford have won only once in their previous six league games against Swansea (D2 L3).

o Swansea last failed to score in a home league game against Watford in March 1923.

o This is Swansea’s 100th Premier League home game. They’ve won 37, drawn 32 and lost 30 of the previous 99.

o The Swans are without a win in five Premier League home games (D2 L3), their worst top-flight winless streak at the Liberty Stadium since December 2015 (7 games).

o Watford’s four shots (including blocked shots) against Middlesbrough were the fewest by a winning side in an away Premier League game this season.

o Swansea have lost their last four Premier League games – they’ve never lost five consecutively in the Premier League.

o The Hornets have had seven different goalscorers this season, having had just eight players find the net throughout the entirety of last season in the Premier League.

o In Bob Bradley’s first game in charge, Swansea mustered six shots on target, their most in a Premier League games since the opening day of the season (nine v Burnley).

o Jose Holebas is the only defender to score from outside the box this season, with both of his goals coming from outside the area.


West Ham United v Sunderland

Saturday 22 October 2016 (15:00) London Stadium

Jermain Defoe: Club have 'gone backwards'

o West Ham United are unbeaten in six Premier League fixtures against Sunderland (W3 D3).

o Sunderland have won just one of their last 11 away Premier League games against the Hammers, losing eight times (D2). This is their first game at the London Stadium.

o Jermain Defoe made 74 Premier League appearances for West Ham United between 2001 and 2003. He’s scored six times in the Premier League against his former club since leaving.

o West Ham boss Slaven Bilic scored one of his two Premier League goals against Sunderland for the Hammers in December 1996.

o The Hammers have kept more home clean sheets against Sunderland than against any other Premier League opposition (9) and haven’t conceded in any of their last three.

o David Moyes is unbeaten in his last 12 Premier League meetings against West Ham (W8 D4), not losing since April 2007 when manager of Everton (0-1 at Upton Park).

o Sunderland are only the second team in top-flight history to fail to win any of their opening eight league games in consecutive seasons (after Bury in 1905-06).

o These two sides have used the most players this season in the Premier League, with Sunderland fielding 26 different players to West Ham’s 24.

o West Ham are looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of April.

o No team has conceded more times in the opening 15 minutes of the first half than Sunderland this season (3), while West Ham have conceded the most in the opening 15 minutes of the second half (4).


Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

Saturday 22 October 2016 (17:30) Anfield

Nacer Chadli

o Liverpool are unbeaten in six Premier League games against the Baggies, but four of these games have ended all square (W2).

o West Brom’s Premier League wins at Anfield came in April 2012 and February 2013, drawing once and losing seven otherwise.

o Daniel Sturridge has scored in both of his Premier League appearances against the Baggies for Liverpool, though hasn’t played them since February 2014.

o Tony Pulis is unbeaten in his last eight Premier League games against Liverpool, although six have been draws (W2), including each of the last four.

o The Baggies have registered just one win in their last 10 Premier League away games (D6 L3).

o No other Premier League midfielder has had a hand in more goals than Nacer Chadli this season (6 – four goals, two assists).

o Liverpool are unbeaten in six league games for the first time since October 2015 (also six in total). They last enjoyed a longer top-flight unbeaten streak in March 2015 (13 in total).

o The Baggies have won just two away league games in 2016, though one of those was on Merseyside v Everton (D7 L5).

o No team has picked up more points from losing positions in the top-flight this season than Liverpool (6, level with Everton).

o The Reds have failed to score in just two of their 18 Premier League home games under Jurgen Klopp, with both of those games coming against Manchester United.

o Liverpool are now unbeaten in 11 home Premier League games (W6 D5), their longest run since a sequence of 14 in April 2014.


Manchester City v Southampton

Sunday 23 October 2016 (13:30) Etihad Stadium

David Silva: Happy with progress under Guardiola

o Manchester City had won four in a row in the Premier League against Southampton before their 4-2 loss to the Saints in May.

o Southampton have lost their last five league visits to the Etihad, last beating City on their own patch in April 2004. Paul Sturrock’s side won 3-1 thanks to James Beattie and two from Kevin Phillips.

o Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice in City’s 4-2 loss to Southampton in May, his most recent brace for the club.

o Shane Long has scored four Premier League goals against Manchester City, only against Aston Villa does he have more (6).

o Saints have kept two just clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League away games, however those shutouts have come on their last two away trips; they last kept three consecutive away clean sheets in the top-flight back in February.

o Pep Guardiola hasn’t gone three games without a league win since the end of the 2014/15 season (three losses with Bayern after they had won the league).

o Dusan Tadic has created 28 chances in the Premier League this season, more than any other player, yet hasn’t provided an assist for a teammate yet.

o David Silva has provided more Premier League assists than any other player in the competition since his debut (59).

o Southampton have collected 51 points in 2016, two more than Manchester City have in the calendar year (49).

o Sergio Aguero hasn’t gone three Premier League games without a goal since December 2015. Overall Recent Form


Chelsea v Manchester United

Sunday 23 October 2016 (16:00) Stamford Bridge

David Luiz Chelsea

o Chelsea have not lost any of their last seven league games against Manchester United (W3 D4). They’ve never gone eight without defeat against United in their league history.

o Manchester United have lost more Premier League fixtures against Chelsea than any other side (16).

o Of those 16 Chelsea wins against Manchester United, five were recorded by Jose Mourinho, more than any other boss for the Blues.

o Jose Mourinho lost just one league game at Stamford Bridge between 2004/05 and 2014/15 (W76 D21). He then lost four of his final eight games there in 2015/16 (W3 D1).

o The only time in his career Mourinho has managed an opposition side at Stamford Bridge was with Inter Milan in March 2010, knocking out Chelsea in the Champions League.

o David Luiz has twice scored against Manchester United in the Premier League but his only own goal is against the Red Devils.

o Wayne Rooney has gone six Premier League games without scoring against Chelsea, this after converting two penalties against them in February 2012.

o Manchester United have won just one of their last eight Premier League trips to London (W1 D3 L4).

o Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored against Chelsea in both of his appearances against them last season in the Champions League.

o After scoring with four of his first 15 shots in the Premier League, Ibrahimovic has failed to find the net with any of his last 26 in the competition.

o Diego Costa has scored seven times in his opening eight league games this season. Only two Chelsea players have scored more goals in their first eight matches of a campaign – Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001/02 (8) and Diego Costa himself in 2014/15 (9).

o This season, Jose Mourinho has registered his lowest points total (14) after his first eight league games with a new club since his stint with Uniao de Leiria (10 points).

o Since his debut in August 2012, Eden Hazard has scored more Premier League goals than any other midfielder in the competition (44).

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Stoke City – 21 Oct 10:05

Weekend Watch: Can Mourinho afford to park the bus again?

Will Jose Mourinho travel to Chelsea on Sunday and park the bus again? Can Liverpool find a way past a Tony Pulis side for this first time in nine attempts?

Mourinho: Take Two?

It sometimes seems that Jose Mourinho gets more pleasure from devising a plan to stop the opposition getting a result than he does about actually seeing his own team win. United need points.

They’ve taken just five from the last 15 and the manager’s haul of 14 from his eight games so far is the worst he’s managed at a new club for 15 years. That surely diminishes the value of playing out a 0-0 draw at Liverpool and will the United fans who thought he was being shrewd be so accepting if he wheels out the same tactics to thwart his old team Chelsea on Sunday?

Two tactically astute draws get you two points. That’s one point less than going for it and ending up with a win and a defeat. Jurgen Klopp was rewarded for his ambition at Chelsea and Arsenal by getting all six points and it’s an approach that United fans must look on with envy given their attacking traditions.

We’ll see what he comes out with on his return to Stamford Bridge but are the fears that Mourinho was too defensive to be an Old Trafford boss already being realised?

Ranieri’s rant redundant?

Claudio Ranieri: Committed to Leicester job

“You won’t like me when I’m angry” was the famous catchphrase of David Banner before he went green and turned into the Incredible Hulk. Except when Claudio Ranieri says he’s angry we don’t really believe him because, you know, he’s our favourite uncle and he’s a bit quirky.

Perhaps that’s the problem with Leicester’s players. They know they haven’t got a prayer of winning this season’s Premier League so they’re turning their focus to the Champions League and making a brilliant job of it too after three straight wins.

So these rants from the boss about poor Premier League form go over their heads. Calm down Claudio. You know we’re friends for life after last season and it’s not as if we’re going to get relegated. Ranieri says Saturday’s encounter with Crystal Palace is a “tough, tough match” so will the Foxes take their foot off the pedal again or will the Italian’s words have some effect?

Pulis to pull off Anfield repeat?

Tony Pulis

The idea that Tony Pulis is a tough nut to crack will be one held by fans of many Premier League teams. But Liverpool supporters will feel it more than most given that their team are winless in eight games against sides managed by Pulis.

So having been frustrated beyond belief by Manchester United on Monday night, Pulis’ West Brom are probably near the bottom of their next opponents wish-list. Despite his so-called tactical masterclass at Anfield, Jose Mourinho seemed to miss a trick by not trying to put Liverpool’s young keeper Loris Karius under any sort of pressure and United didn’t win a corner until the 80th minute.

Pulis won’t make the same mistake; he’ll instruct his players to pump crosses towards Karius from the word go. So can he tweak Liverpool’s noses again or will the Reds make a better fist of seeing off a team who will again come to Anfield to park the bus?

Stoke set for surge?

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League

When Stoke took just one point from their opening five Premier League games before crashing out of the League Cup, it would have been easy for those in charge to wobble, panic and give Mark Hughes the boot. They’re still in the bottom three but are very much on the up after a home draw against West Brom, a good point at Manchester United and a solid 2-0 home win over Sunderland.

Their next six fixtures are Hull (a), Swansea (h), West Ham (a), Bournemouth (h), Watford (a), Burnley (h). The Potters were slow starters last season but kicked on to finish 9th. Could we see them safely in mid-table before their next big test – a trip to Arsenal on December 10?

Defence to cost City again?

John Stones

Pep Guardiola won his first 10 matches in charge of Manchester City. Now he’s failed to win any of the last four, losing two and drawing two. Head to the goals against column for the main reason why. City were struggling to keep clean sheets anyway but in that recent quartet of winless games they’ve conceded 10 times. We can’t exactly call it a crisis, especially since two of the defeats were away to Spurs and Barcelona and they missed two penalties in the 1-1 draw against Everton. But something isn’t right.

Not so long ago the title odds were starting to suggest that City were a cut above the rest. But can that really be the case when they ship goals at such a rate? The visitors to The Etihad this weekend are Southampton and City must be looking at the south coast club’s defensive record with envy.

Saints recently went six games in a row without conceding and haven’t let one in during their last three road games. Will a wounded City overpower the usually resolute Saints defence or will their own frailties at the back put them at risk of slipping to a fifth game without victory?

Dave Tindall

The post Weekend Watch: Can Mourinho afford to park the bus again? appeared first on

ESPN FC - Stoke City News 21 Oct 10:00

Jose Mourinho returns to face Chelsea, Manchester City's Southampton test

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop tries his hand at Premier League predictor, but does he expect a stalemate at the Bridge? Jose Mourinho returns to former club Chelsea with Manchester United on Sunday having struggled to break down Liverpool in the 0-0 draw at Anfield, but seeing his side score four against Feyenoord. Arsenal are flying high after their demolition of Ludogorets, which was their seventh win in a row in all competitions, and will hope add to that streak against struggling Middlesbrough, while leaders Manchester City take on Southampton hoping to get back on track after their humbling at Barcelona. Will...

Stoke City – 21 Oct 09:31

Paper Talk: City track Weigl; Pogba, Gibson, Zabaleta news

Man City boss Pep Guardiola is tracking a Borussia Dortmund starlet, while Arsene Wenger has an AC Milan striker on his January radar.


Man City boss Pep Guardiola is believed to be keen on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl.

The Sun report that Pep had been “keeping tabs” on the player during his time with Bayern Munich and his form this season has meant that the City boss has got him on his radar once again.

Guardiola will apparently “test Dortmund’s resolve” with a £20million bid in the summer, but Dortmund will fight hard to keep hold of the 21-year-old.

The Germany international is in his second season as a regular starter for the club and scored his first goal for them in the recent Champions League win at Sporting Lisbon.

Weigl has started six of Dortmund’s seven Bundesliga games and he has become integral to the plans of Thomas Tuchel.

The defensive midfielder has progressed well since his arrival for around £2million from 1860 Munich last summer and Tuchel is keen to tie the player down beyond the two and a half years he has remaining on his contract

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has said he wants to commit Weigl, who has been interesting Real Madrid, to a long-term deal

“We want to follow Julian’s outstanding development,” Zorc told Bild earlier this month. “We have the wish to tie him to a long-term contract. But we are not pressed for time because he feels extremely comfortable here.”


AC Milan striker M’Baye Niang is on Arsenal’s radar, according to reports in Italy.

Italian news outlet CalcioMercatoWeb claim Arsene Wenger has set his sights on the 21-year-old and will bid for the player in January as he looks to bolster his forward line.

The report suggests that the Gunners would be better placed to sign the €35million-rated youngster next summer.

Niang has scored three goals and notched three assists in seven Serie A appearances this term.



Paul Pogba

Real Madrid did indeed try to sign Paul Pogba in the recent summer transfer window. (Marca)

Striker Sergio Aguero, 28, and defender Vincent Kompany, 30, are facing uncertain futures at Manchester City. (Mirror)

Manchester United will look to sell 26-year-old right-back Matteo Darmian in January, with 18-year-old Timothy Fosu-Mensah earmarked as the club’s future first-choice. (Times)

West Ham will have police inside the London Stadium for Wednesday’s EFL Cup match against Chelsea after resolving radio communication issues at the £700m ground.(Sky Sports)

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has rejected foreign bids to buy the club since relegation to the Championship, and remains determined not to sell. (Telegraph)

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone wants a move to the Premier League, and could leave the Spanish club before his contract expires in 2018. (Mirror)

Tottenham hope to agree a new contract with defender Jan Vertonghen, 29, in the next few weeks. (Evening Standard)

Inter Milan are considering making a move for 31-year-old Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta in January. (ESPN)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino wants greater control of the club’s transfer policy and has told chairman Daniel Levy he does not want a direct replacement for departing head of recruitment Paul Mitchell. (Times)

Nottingham Forest chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi made corruption allegations about English football in an interview on Kuwaiti TV in March. He said managers in the country “take under the table a lot” and described them as “brokers”. (Sun)

Ben Gibson, Middlesbrough

Chelsea will send scouts to watch Middlesbrough’s 23-year-old defender Ben Gibson face Arsenal on Saturday. (Mail)

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, 19, is a January loan target for Huddersfield and Bournemouth. (Liverpool Echo)

Manchester City would ‘open the door wide’ if Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona before the end of his career, insists chief executive Ferran Soriano. (Mail)

Ross Barkley has been told to heed a “wake-up call” after being dropped to the bench by Ronald Koeman. (Times)

Former referee Howard Webb says Sunderland manager David Moyes “gave me the most stick” during his career. (Goal)

Former Chelsea and West Ham striker Carlton Cole, 33, has returned to England and is looking for a new club after a short spell with American third-tier side Sacramento Republic. (Sacramento Bee)

Juventus’ 38-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon described the sale of AC Milan and Inter Milan to Chinese investors as “the defeat of Italian football”. (Guardian)

Everton have sent scouts to watch Sporting Lisbon centre-back Ruben Semedo, 22. (A Bola)

Sam Allardyce was at Old Trafford to watch Manchester United beat Fenerbahce in the Europa League, in his first public appearance since addressing the media after leaving his post as England manager. (Guardian)

Hull City owners Assem and Ehab Allam remain open to offers from potential investment groups, despite a £130m takeover bid being tabled by one Chinese consortium. (Hull Daily Mail)

Burnley defender Michael Keane, 23, has not been distracted by talk of a move away from Turf Moor, according to boss Sean Dyche. (Burnley Express)

The post Paper Talk: City track Weigl; Pogba, Gibson, Zabaleta news appeared first on

ESPN FC - Stoke City News 20 Oct 22:35

Allen to continue to be instrumental force in Stoke's resurgence vs. Hull

Mark Hughes says the last few matches have been building toward Stoke City earning their first win of the season. It's been a thoroughly miserable 2016 so far for Stoke, but their first win of the season -- a 2-0 victory over Sunderland in their last game -- has provided a timely lift to manager Mark Hughes and his players. It was a performance and result that will hopefully kickstart the Potters' season ahead of what looks to be a promising set of fixtures. The first of those is a trip up to Humberside to take on the only side with a worse goal difference than themselves: Hull City. Following an encouraging...

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Stoke City | BBC 18 Oct 07:20

Allen can reach double figures - Bowen

Mark Bowen expects midfielder Joe Allen to continue his goalscoring form after he took his tally to four goals for the season.

ESPN FC - Stoke City News 17 Oct 05:19

Prem Team of the Weekend: Week 8

The ESPN FC crew break down their Premier League Team of the Weekend after the most recent slate of matches.

ESPN FC - Stoke City News 16 Oct 15:07

Joe Allen at the double as Mark Hughes' Stoke finally grab first win

Mark Hughes gave his reaction following Stoke's first win of the season. Stoke finally got their first win of the season with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over a despondent and disappointing Sunderland side. The Potters dominated from start to finish and their only complaint was perhaps an inability to add two or three more goals to a scoreline that flattered the visitors. Welsh magician Joe Allen was the man of the moment once again with his fifth goal in four games and manager Mark Hughes will be hoping his unlikely No.10 can continue his form in front of goal to further...

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Stoke City | BBC 15 Oct 23:07

Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland

Joe Allen scores twice as Stoke record their first league win of the season with a comfortable victory over bottom side Sunderland.

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Stoke City | BBC 14 Oct 10:15

Johnson out for month with thigh injury

Stoke and England right-back Glen Johnson is ruled out for up to a month after suffering a thigh injury in training.

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Stoke City | BBC 13 Oct 17:59

Allen was 'compromised' on Wales duty

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says Joe Allen was "compromised" on Wales duty after he picked up a hamstring injury.

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