FA Cup Draws: Chelsea, United, City and Tottenham Avoid Each Other

fa cup

In the FA Cup quarterfinal draws, all the big clubs will avoid each other- surprising no one! There are four members of the Premier League big six left alive in the competition: Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. The Red Devils and Blues have already had (and obviously won) their fifth round ties to advance to the round of eight.

Of the ten clubs remaining in the competition, seven are from the Premier League. Looking ahead at the next round of draws, the standout tie seems to be Chelsea vs Leicester City; a match-up of the last three league champions.

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Jurgen Klopp Feels Van Dijk Handled Hostile Reception Well

jurgen klopp

Virgil van Dijk, the man crowned the world’s most expensive defender in history this past January, was met with a strong chorus of boos as he made his first return to St. Mary’s since he made his £75 million move from Southampton to Liverpool. VVD is thought to have forced through his move from the south coast club to Anfield, and the very protracted transfer saga certainly had its share of ugly moments.

With Saints now struggling to avoid relegation, and Liverpool battling Manchester United for second place, many Southampton supporters have vitriol for Van Dijk. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks that the Dutchman handled the jeering quite well.

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Virgil van Dijk Enjoys Southampton Booing, Man United Loss

virgil van dijk

“I can’t believe, today was a good day,” American urban poet O’Shea Jackson (Ice Cube) famously told us in the early 1990s. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk shared the same sentiment about his homecoming to Southampton yesterday; and in regards to another Sunday Premier League result.

Van Dijk moved from Southampton to Liverpool in the January transfer window, and in doing so, moved up from a team in the relegation zone to one chasing Manchester United for second place. VVD is thought to have forced through his move from St. Mary’s to Anfield, and the contentious manner in which the protracted transfer saga transpired, elicited massive boos from Saints supporters during the Reds 2-0 away win.  [Read more…]

Jurgen Klopp Says Adam Lallana Could See Some Minutes vs Southampton

adam lallana

The latest Adam Lallana comeback has obviously seen some rough patches. The 29-year-old Liverpool man strangled an opponent during his convalescence appearance with the U23s against Tottenham Hotspur; and the video of the incident went viral all over the world.

The 2017-18 campaign has definitely been a very difficult one for Lallana. A thigh issue suffered in the preseason forced him to miss the first four months of the season. After making his first appearance of the season November 25, he saw some limited action over the course of seven appearances, but the muscular injury flared up again.

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FA Cup Draws: Tottenham Get Newport County, Chelsea vs Newcastle Potenially

fa cup

The FA Cup draw round of 32 was made in full just a little over an hour ago, and it includes two match-ups where both teams are from England’s top flight. Liverpool versus West Bromwich Albion and Southampton-Watford are the two all Premier League draws with Chelsea providing the opportunity for a third, should they dispatch Norwich City in the replay.

The Blues battled Norwich to a goalless draw on Saturday, while their arch-rivals and current title holders Arsenal fell in the third round, ensuring that this tournament will see a new champion.

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Manchester United Rank #7 on World Football Finance Rankings

british pounds

Manchester United came in seventh on the Soccerex Football Finance 100, a study that ranks clubs by their financial clout. The power rankings, published on Wednesday, list the world’s top teams according to five factors, which include money in the bank, owner potential investment and debt, and fixed assets.

Credit Manchester United for topping the world in one of the categories- money in the bank (£307m), but they still finished behind three of their league rivals in measured financial firepower.

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Jose Mourinho Press Conference Previewing Southampton (Video)

jose-mourinho

Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho met the media a few hours ago to preview Saturday’s match against Southampton FC. We have video of the media session for you here below via YouTube.

There were a whole host of topics covered in this news conference, including: the transfer market as a whole, Liverpool buying Virgil van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp’s comments 18 months ago about United’s Paul Pogba purchase, and much much more.  Here’s the whole session, which runs about 9 minutes.

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Man United Starting XI Prediction vs Southampton FC

man united third kit

Southampton provide the perfect opponent for Manchester United right now as the south coast club haven’t achieved a Premier League win since beating Everton on November 26. They are winless in their last seven, and a big reason why is their inability to score.

They have scored just six goals in six competitions this month, and even that statistic is heavily inflated, because two of those scoring strikes came late against Tottenham Hotspur, when they were already down 5-0. So essentially one third of their goals in December have come via garbage time, when their opponent was already able to take their foot off the gas pedal.

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United Injury Report vs Southampton: Martial, Valencia, Darmian, Fellaini

anthony-martial

Frenchman forward Anthony Martial was back in training for Manchester United on Thursday, having missed the Boxing Day draw at home versus Burnley. Martial getting back to work at Carrington Training Ground hands the Red Devils a major fitness boost as they prepare to take on Southampton at home. (Here’s a link to more on Martial)

Matteo Darmian also missed the Boxing Day clash due to a minor injury but he’s also back in training and could potentially provide manager Jose Mourinho with another selection option as Antonio Valencia is very likely to miss this one.

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Virgil Van Dijk Signing Confirmed by Liverpool FC

virgil van dijk

It’s over, yes, it’s finally over, one of the most dramatic and tense transfer sagas in recent history: defender Virgil van Dijk is now a member of Liverpool. The club confirmed his transfer from Southampton just minutes ago. The statement at LiverpoolFC.com reads:

“The Reds have agreed a deal with the south coast club, and the player himself, that will see the 26-year-old defender move to Anfield when the transfer window re-opens on January 1, 2018.”

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Antonio Conte Admits Fear and Suffering in Tight Win Over Southampton

antonio conte

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte feels your pain, Chelsea FC supporters. It was an ugly win, but it was three points nonetheless, as the Blues edged visiting Southampton 1-0, in a game that they really should have won by a very large margin, given how they essentially dominated the match.

Conte admitted “you have to suffer” when you’re unable to finish and kill the game off with the second go ahead goal. Instead you have to see the rest of the match out unable “to be relaxed” and “afraid” Saints could equalize and thus drop two points from the weekend result.

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Chelsea FC Starting XI Prediction vs Southampton FC

antonio conte

The end of 2017, the festive period as it is known with all the holidays which currently abound, has truly given Chelsea FC plenty of fixture congestion to deal with. In 2018, the hectic pace continues, with three games in the first 13 days of January, but there are just two more matches during the rest of the first month, and thus the workload gets substantially lightened.

Blues boss Antonio Conte has persistently hit out at the schedule makers, to the point where Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has even criticized the Italian for his complaining.

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