Tottenham at Chelsea EFL Cup Injury Report: Kane, Alli, Moura, Loftus-Cheek

efl-cup

It’s a London derby in the EFL Cup Thursday night as Chelsea travel to Tottenham Hotspur for the second leg of their semifinal tie. Spurs are up 1-0 on aggregate, thanks to the meeting a fortnight ago, when Harry Kane’s penalty conversion was the only scoring at Wembley Stadium that night.

This match-up features two teams with real serious issues right now. For Tottenham, they have nothing short of an injury crisis in midfield and attack. For Chelsea, manager Maurizio Sarri has now done his best Jose Mourinho impersonation as he publicly threw his players under the bus.

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Man United News and Transfer Talk: Matteo Darmian, Jose Mourinho, Paul Scholes

Manchester United have won all seven games that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in charge. They go for number eight Friday night at Arsenal in a fourth round FA Cup clash. Although match day isn’t until the end of the week, there is still plenty of United topics to discuss, as we’re heading down the home stretch of the January transfer window.

Let’s take a spin through the inter webs and see what’s buzzing in Man United cyberspace.

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Chelsea Striker Alvaro Morata Reportedly Closing in on Atletico Madrid Loan Move

alvaro morata

Unless it has to do with Chelsea, it’s been an extremely quiet January transfer window. The Blues are reportedly close to sealing yet another deal this month, sending misfit striker Alvaro Morata out on loan to Atletico Madrid. The Spaniard has often spoken out about the struggles he’s had in adjusting to life in London, and his desire to return to native country.

According to multiple sources, he’s nearing completion on a move to the Spanish capital. The Guardian reports an agreement has been made on “an initial loan deal with an option to make the transfer permanent for £48.5m at the end of the season.”

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Manchester City Starting XI Prediction at Burton Albion (EFL Cup Semifinal)

league cup trophy

Manchester City are sitting pretty right now when it comes to achieving their first trophy of the season. They’ll head to Burton Albion in midweek for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie. They can truly coast into the final as they’re currently up 9-0 due to the extreme route we saw in the Manchester leg of this tie.

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Manchester City at Burton Albion EFL Cup Semifinal: Team News, Injury Report, Match Preview

efl-cup

Manchester City, already up by an eye-popping margin of 9-0 in their EFL Cup semi-final tie against Burton Albion, can treat Wednesday night’s meeting as a glorified friendly if they so desire. Having rolled up a massive advantage in the home leg of this tie, they can do a lot of squad rotation here, give the youngsters some game time and coast into the final, where they will meet the Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspur winner.

However, manager Pep Guardiola has promised to field a strong lineup for the midweek clash, so don’t expect to see a full reserve side out there for City in this one.

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AC Milan Boss Accepting of Gonzalo Higuain Likely Leaving for Chelsea

gonzalo higuain

There was a lot of buzz this weekend about Juventus (currently on loan with AC Milan) striker Gonzalo Higuain finalizing his transfer to Chelsea. Friday brought news of the 31-year-old heading to London to undergo his medical with the Blues and put the finishing touches on the transaction.

Well, it’s Monday and we’re still not at photos-displaying-a-jersey-and-holding-a-pen-over-a-contract time yet. According to AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso, the deal still isn’t done and the situation is providing a massive hindrance to his team. Gattuso dropped Higuain from his side that will take on Genoa today.

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Dele Alli Injury “doesn’t look great” says Mauricio Pochettino

dele alli

Last weekend Tottenham Hotspur lost the player they could least afford to lose to injury in striker Harry Kane. This weekend Spurs lost the currently active player they could least afford to lose in attacking midfielder Dele Alli. A bit if a rough patch could be ahead for the north London side.

Kane is out for approximately two months due to ankle ligament damage. As for Alli, well Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was less than optimistic, and it seems like his hamstring issues have returned. “We need to assess ( Dele Alli ) in the next few days. It doesn’t look great,” Pochettino said.

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Fernando Llorente, Harry Kane’s Replacement, Becomes Social Media Punchline

fernando llorente

Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente faced a massive task today- try and fill the shoes of all world striker and talisman Harry Kane. It did not go well, as he opened the scoring in the fixture against Fulham, by scoring FOR the opponent in the 17′.

Dele Alli would equalize for Spurs in the second half, and Harry Winks scored the game winner three minutes into extra time, saving the day for Llorente. A loss to the penultimate side in the table would have been a complete disaster for Spurs, and a draw would have been essentially on par with a loss in this instance.

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Anthony Martial Reportedly Set to Sign New Contract Extension at Man United

anthony-martial

Over the course of this season, Manchester United winger Anthony Martial has done a u-turn on his club future. TF1 claim, via Get French Football News that United will make a major announcement in the next few days, and that that announcement is a new contract extension for Martial.

French media outlet RMC reported that Martial has agreed upon a new five-year-deal which keeps him at Old Trafford until 2024, and that there are just a few minor details left for his agent Philippe Lamboley to iron out with the club. Also, the BBC’s Simon Stone claims that United are “edging closer” to locking down Martial long term.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Challenges United to Achieve Fergie Level Winning Streak

It’s been well documented that Manchester United have not been the same since since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has inspired new hope that the golden age could be returning soon. Since the Norwegian took over on an interim basis, the club has won seven straight games across all competitions.

Two more victories and the Red Devils will pull level with the nine game winning streak achieved under Jose Mourinho during his so-called “plastic treble” (EFL Cup, Europa League, Community Shield) season of 2016-17.  That nine game winning streak is the longest one that United have enjoyed since the title season of ’13, but Solskjaer has challenged his team surpass it.

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Marcus Rashford Arguably Top Premier League Striker Says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

marcus rashford

Perhaps no one single Manchester United player embodies the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turnaround as much as Marcus Rashford. The Red Devils have now won all seven matches across all competitions (six in the Premier League) since Solskjaer took over for the sacked Jose Mourinho, and they now find themselves just three points off the pace of the top four.

Rashford scored the game winning goal (and it was indeed a beauty, see the footage of it here) on Saturday against Brighton, giving him seven strikes in his last 10 games.

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Maurizio Sarri Blasts Chelsea Players in Scathing Postgame Rant

maurizio sarri

When Gonzalo Higuain does arrive at Chelsea, he’ll be a major boost for sure, but one can’t expect him to be the club’s savior. The Blues have some major issues to resolve, in all position groups, and no one single player can come in and fix all that is broken right now.

Beyond that Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri sees severe problems with his own team’s motivation, as he ranted about this topic after his side lost a crunch clash at Arsenal 2-0 on Saturday. Sarri said he wanted to begin his postgame media session with a message to his players, and he wanted to do it in his native tongue of Italian, so that the message was perfectly clear.

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