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EPL: Liverpool face Everton, Man United may enter relegation zone

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images 93 EPL: Liverpool face Everton, Man United may enter relegation zone

Liverpool face Premier League pacesetters Everton this weekend determined to prove their 7 -2 drubbing by Aston Villa was just a bizarre blip while misfiring Manchester United could slip into the relegation zone .
The Merseyside derby kicks off the Premier League action on Saturday after the international break , with Manchester City ’s match against Arsenal also catching the eye .
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to turn around Manchester United ’s fortunes at Newcastle after their 6 -1 humbling by Tottenham .
AFP Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the action .
Can Everton end Liverpool hoodoo?Everton have been rivals to Liverpool in name only for the past decade , without a win against their near -neighbours since 2010 .
But the Goodison Park club are top of the table with four wins out of four and Jurgen Klopp will not be relishing the short trip across Stanley Park .
The champions are smarting from their pummelling at Villa , which followed impressive wins against Chelsea and Arsenal , and it will be the defence that is giving the German boss his biggest headache .
Liverpool have conceded 11 goals in the Premier League so far — only West Brom have conceded more ( 13 ) — and they are coming up against the Premier League’ s joint top- scorer in Dominic Calvert – Lewin , who has six goals .
The forward , who scored for England on his debut last week , is quick to praise fellow attackers James Rodriguez and Richarlison.
“ I demand high standards from myself every day , ” he told Everton TV . “ I continue to work hard , like I always have , to get into this position . I am just grateful the quality behind me is producing the opportunities for me to score the goals .”
Man Utd must stop rotOle Gunnar Solskjaer described his side ’s 6 -1 defeat at home to Tottenham as the “ worst day ” in his career as a Manchester United player or manager.
United are just three points above the relegation zone after shipping 11 goals in their three matches so far and their confidence looks to be in tatters .
The question until recently was who would partner Harry Maguire at the back but the world ’s most expensive defender is himself enduring a horror season on and off the pitch.
The central defender ’ s latest low point was his red card during England ’ s 1 -0 defeat to Denmark in the Nations League on Wednesday .
Left -back Luke Shaw , whose place is under threat from the arrival of Alex Telles , urged United to tighten up.
“ We need to be clinical and , especially at the back , we need to be more solid ,” Shaw said. “ Not just as a backline but throughout the whole team , a bit more defensively solid and a bit more compact .”
Spurs’ feelgood factorJose Mourinho ’s Tottenham started the season with a disappointing Premier League defeat against Everton but they are unbeaten since then despite a hectic schedule leading up to the international break .
Their seismic victory at Old Trafford brought an end to a sequence of eight matches in 22 days as Spurs reached the League Cup quarter -finals and qualified for the Europa League group stage .
Lucas Moura says Tottenham are keen to pick up where they left off .
“ We need to start the new month in the same way, with the same fighting spirit, ” he said. “ I’m very positive . I think we are building a very strong squad and we can dream of big things this season, that ’s our objective . ”
Villa meet Leicester in summit clashWhen Aston Villa escaped relegation on the final day of the 2019 / 20 season, few would have expected them to be second in the table , with three wins out of three , in mid -October.
Defender Ezri Konsa is confident they can maintain that flying start against Leicester , who are just behind Villa on goal difference.
“ It ’s been a great start for us, ” he said . “ We ’ ve carried on our form from last season, and we need to keep going and keep the focus on ourselves .
“ The chemistry in the squad has gone up another level and we keep building on that in training .”
Fixtures
Saturday
Everton v Liverpool ( 1130 GMT) , Chelsea v Southampton ( 1400 ) , Manchester City v Arsenal ( 1630 ) , Newcastle v Manchester United ( 1900 )
Sunday
Sheffield United v Fulham ( 1100 ) , Crystal Palace v Brighton ( 1300 ) , Tottenham v West Ham ( 1530 ) , Leicester v Aston Villa ( 1815 )

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Solskjaer defends Man Utd striker Greenwood

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0 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Solskjaer defends Man Utd striker Greenwood

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday defended the professionalism of Mason Greenwood , saying the “ whole English press ” have targeted the Manchester United forward after he was sent home from England duty last month.
The 19 -year – old has made a big impact at Old Trafford since making his first -team debut in March 2019 , scoring 17 goals last season and recently making his international debut.
Greenwood was sent home from his first England camp for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland and he has reportedly been warned about his behavior , including his time -keeping , by the club .
But Solskjaer, speaking at his pre -match press conference on Friday , brushed that issue aside as the teenager prepares to make his return against Chelsea this weekend .
“ You do ( make a target for yourself ) when you play well and I’ m not concerned at all with Mason making a target of himself, ” said the United boss .
“ He ’s come in , he’ s played fantastic, he played his first league game against ( Arsenal ) last season, was brilliant and just kicked on .
“ Yeah , he ’ s made a mistake this summer with England and suddenly the whole English press go after him and that ’s something we’ve got to look after .”
Solskjaer described Greenwood as a “ fantastic boy to work with ” .
“ I have to disappoint you , he ’ s never , ever late for training , he’ s never a problem when he ’s in the training ground ,” he said.
“ He ’s always on time . I’ve seen the stories, actually, some ex -United players talking about him and they don ’t really know anything that they ’re talking about because , well , we’ ve got photographers outside the training ground every day so they can check the time every day . ”
The Norwegian boss added : “ He ’s a good trainer , he trains really well , and I cannot believe all these stories about him not being professional . ”
Greenwood missed United ’s impressive Champions League win at Paris Saint -Germain on Tuesday with an unspecified issue , while captain Harry Maguire and new signing Edinson Cavani were other high-profile absentees.
Solskjaer said he expected all three of them to be available for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday.

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Pelé turns 80, isolated at home

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images 2020 10 23T161704.355 Pelé turns 80, isolated at home

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time , Pele will celebrate his 80 th birthday Friday , confined to his home in Brazil because of Covid-19 but meeting the milestone with his trademark laugh .
“ The King ” has suffered from a series of health problems in recent years, but has not lost his charisma or sense of humor .
“ I’ m fine , it ’s just I won ’t be able to play” on his birthday , he joked this week in a video conversation with the head of the Brazilian Football Confederation .
The only player in history to win three World Cups ( 1958 , 1962 and 1970 ) , Pele plans to celebrate his birthday quietly — as he does almost every year , he says, coronavirus pandemic or not .
But several tributes are planned in Brazil , from an exhibit in his honor at the Sao Paulo Football Museum to a mural designed by renowned street artist Kobra in Santos , the city where Pele started his professional career as a 15 – year -old prodigy in 1955 .
Pele also recorded a song with Grammy – winning Mexican duo Rodrigo and Gabriela , billed as “ a little birthday present for his fans and himself. ”
“ Thank you to Brazil and all Brazilians. I was always very happy wearing this jersey . Thank you for all your warm wishes for my birthday ,” he wrote Wednesday on Instagram , posted with a photo of himself celebrating one of his 1 ,281 goals .
Whether captured in grainy black and white early in his career , or with his yellow and green number 10 Brazil jersey flitting across the screen in the era of color TV , many of those goals were spectacular displays of athletic prowess , setting the standard for the “ jogo bonito , ” or “ beautiful game ,” that would come to define Brazilian football .
His legacy looms so large that FIFA named him the greatest footballer of the 20 th century in 2000 , alongside Argentina ’ s Diego Maradona — who celebrates his 60 th birthday on October 30 .
– Health scares – Born October 23 , 1940 , in the city of Tres Coracoes in southeastern Brazil , Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele ’s real name — has grown increasingly frail with age .
His public appearances had become rare even before the pandemic confined him at home in Brazil , where Covid- 19 has now claimed 155 ,000 lives , the second -highest death toll in the world after the United States .
Pele has been in and out of hospital in recent years for various health issues .
Last year he was rushed to the hospital for kidney problems after traveling to Paris for a promotional appearance with French star Kylian Mbappe .
In 2014 , he was placed in intensive care for dialysis after contracting a severe urinary infection .
“ The King ” has only one kidney, after a broken rib during a match forced doctors to remove the other .
He has also suffered a series of hip problems , forcing him to use a walker .
Earlier this year , his son Edinho said health problems had left his father depressed and reclusive .
“ Just imagine , he ’ s the ‘ King ,’ he was always such an imposing figure , and now he can ’t walk normally , ” he said .
Pele quickly reassured fans that he was fine .
“ I have good days and others that are less good . That ’ s normal for someone my age ,” he said.
Pele said he was happy for his good mental health in a video sent to the media Tuesday .
“ I thank God for giving me the health to make it this far lucid . Not very intelligent, but lucid , ” he joked .
“ I hope when I die God will welcome me the same way I ’ve been welcomed all over the world because of our beloved football ,” he added .

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Man Utd confirm 25-man Premier League squad, Jones & Romero out

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images 2020 10 23T103655.722 Man Utd confirm 25-man Premier League squad, Jones & Romero out

Manchester United’s 25-man squad for the Premier League has been submitted in advance of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline.

This group does not include players under the age of 21, so Academy products Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood, and recent recruit Facundo Pellistri, fall into this category.

There are also two separate lists – the main one and another for the homegrown classification, which refers to players who, irrespective of nationality or age, have been registered with any club affiliated to the FA or FAW for a period of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before their 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which they turn 21). Hence, this does not merely refer to players who have come through our own ranks.

Marcos Rojo, who is back at the Aon Training Complex following his loan move in his native Argentina with Estudiantes, is one of 13 names on the non-homegrown list, along with new deadline-day signings Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani.

The limit for players on this particular list for all clubs has been set as 17 by the Premier League, with the rest made up of those fulfilling the homegrown criteria.

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