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Manchester United handed triple personnel boost ahead of Atletico clash

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Manchester United handed triple personnel boost ahead of Atletico clash

Manchester United have been handed a triple personnel boost ahead of their second leg clash with Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford, as boss Ralf Rangnick revealed that all of Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay were in training ahead of Tuesday’s home tie.

Shaw and Fernandes both missed the 3-2 win over Tottenham after testing positive for COVID-19, and while there’s a small ‘question mark’ over whether Shaw will be fit to start the game, both are back with the squad.

The same can be said for Scotsman Scott McTominay, who missed the victory with a small groin injury.

Will United risk change?

Fernandes, Shaw and McTominay all started the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, but were absent as a Ronaldo-inspired side managed to squeeze past Tottenham. Given that United were mediocre at best for much of the first leg, there are certainly selection headaches.

This is particularly clear in midfield, where solutions aren’t obvious. Paul Pogba appears to do his best work without Fernandes on the pitch, and having the pair and Ronaldo on the pitch has not yielded the desired results yet this campaign.

Indeed, Manchester United only found their late equaliser when Pogba was substituted on the hour, replaced by Nemanja Matic, who has impressed in his recent outings.

Manchester United handed triple personnel boost ahead of Atletico clash

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 14, 2021.  (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

At 33 years old, asking the Serbian to play two games in 4 days may be a stretch too far, but he is certainly more secure in possession than McTominay, which is something that complemented Fred well at Old Trafford against Tottenham.

There are big calls to be made ahead of welcoming Atleti to the north west.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 28 50 69
2 Liverpool FC 28 53 66
3 Chelsea FC 28 38 59
4 Arsenal FC 26 14 51
5 Manchester United 29 8 50
6 West Ham United 29 12 48
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 6 46
8 Tottenham Hotspur 27 7 45
9 Aston Villa 28 2 36
10 Southampton FC 29 -9 35
11 Crystal Palace 28 1 33
12 Leicester City 26 -5 33
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 28 -8 33
14 Newcastle United 28 -16 31
15 Brentford FC 29 -13 30
16 Leeds United 29 -34 26
17 Everton FC 26 -19 22
18 Watford FC 29 -26 22
19 Burnley FC 27 -16 21
20 Norwich City 29 -45 17
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 12
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 12
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 11
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 11
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 9
Raphinha Leeds United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 8





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‘There was never a lack of effort’ Edu Gaspar speaks out on Arsenal’s January transfer window

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‘There was never a lack of effort’ Edu Gaspar speaks out on Arsenal’s January transfer window

Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu Gaspar has taken to Instagram to assess the season that the club have had following their final day 5-1 win over Everton.

The Gunners ended the season fifth, two points behind Tottenham, having been four points ahead with three games to play. It was a disappointing end to a campaign that promised much for Mikel Arteta and co., and plenty were quick to point to the January transfer window as a key game-changer in north London.

Spurs added Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur to their side on deadline day, while Arsenal chased Dusan Vlahovic and Arthur Melo but, ultimately, came up empty-handed.

It left the club forced to rely on the fitness of key players, but injuries to Thomas Partey, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu left them woefully exposed in what ended up an underwhelming end to the season.

And plenty of ire was aimed in the direction of Edu Gaspar for the lack of action, but the Gunners transfer director has now hit back on Instagram, claiming that ‘there was never a lack of effort, dedication and commitment and hours of work from no one in the club to end the season in the best way possible’.

Taking to social media platform Instagram, he revealed:

‘Thank you season 2021/22. I have to say how proud I am to be a part of this team. We went through different moments during the season, but in all of them we believed in what we were working on- especially in our players.’

‘I can guarantee, there was never a lack of effort, dedication and commitment and hours of work from no one in the club to end the season in the best way possible’

‘I’m really looking forward to the season 2022/23.’

It is safe to say that Arsenal are likely to be busy once more this summer, and Edu will again have his work cut out to raise the level of the squad.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 37 72 90
2 Liverpool FC 37 66 89
3 Chelsea FC 37 42 71
4 Tottenham Hotspur 37 24 68
5 Arsenal FC 37 9 66
6 Manchester United 37 1 58
7 West Ham United 37 11 56
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37 -3 51
9 Leicester City 37 0 49
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 37 -4 48
11 Brentford FC 37 -7 46
12 Newcastle United 37 -19 46
13 Crystal Palace 37 3 45
14 Aston Villa 37 -1 45
15 Southampton FC 37 -21 40
16 Everton FC 37 -19 39
17 Burnley FC 37 -18 35
18 Leeds United 37 -38 35
19 Watford FC 37 -42 23
20 Norwich City 37 -56 22
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 23
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 23
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 18
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 17
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 16
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 15
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 14
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 13
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 12
Maddison, James Leicester City 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Richarlison Everton FC 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 11
Raphinha Leeds United 11
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa 11





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Jack Grealish offers honest assessment of first Manchester City season

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Jack Grealish offers honest assessment of first Manchester City season

Jack Grealish has offered up an honest assessment of his first season in a Manchester City shirt.

Grealish of course signed for Manchester City in the summer of 2021, smashing the Premier League transfer record to set the Sky Blues back £100m.

With such a high price tag and much of the league having a natural hatred towards Manchester City due to their owners, there was a lot of pressure on Grealish to deliver.

However, though he showed patches of quality, it is fair to say that the 26-year-old has not been at his best this term.

Grealish scored three and assisted three in 26 league games with his most memorable moments those misses at the end of normal time during Manchester City’s second leg semi-final with Real Madrid.

Regardless of his struggles, though, Grealish still ended 2021/22 with a league title – something he has been discussing recently:

“It’s unbelievable. I ran down the tunnel and cried my eyes out,” Grealish admitted.

“Honestly, I can’t put it into words, I was crying my eyes out. The medal means everything. For me, I’ve never won it so I’m so happy!

“As a kid you want to win the Premier League and to win the Premier League… I can’t put it into words honestly. We know how good of a side Villa are and they showed it. With our quality we can beat anyone.”

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Grealish also reflected on his first season at the Etihad: “In four words, harder than I thought. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone but honestly this makes up for it,” Grealish added.

“I know that I can (kick-on) and I certainly will. I feel like I played my part, like that goal v West Ham. I can kick on so much more. I know myself how much of a role I have to play at this club.

“These guys here have made me feel so welcome. Honestly, the lads here are unbelievable and I love them so much. Pep’s a genius. He’s unbelievable football wise. I’d love for you to come in and watch one of his team talks before the game.

“Working with him day to day on the training pitch is unbelievable. I’ve got the medal here now so hopefully many more.”

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Why Richarlison is absent from Everton’s squad to face Arsenal

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Why Richarlison is absent from Everton’s squad to face Arsenal

 

An explanation for the absence of star attacker Richarlison from Everton’s matchday squad to face Arsenal has been provided on Sunday evening.

Frank Lampard’s Toffees are of course set to return to action in short order.

After securing the club’s top-flight status for another year courtesy of a comeback 3-2 downing of Crystal Palace in midweek, the Toffees will see out their campaign at the Emirates, in a Premier League meeting with the aforementioned Arsenal.

Though the day’s visitors have little to play for in the clash, Arsenal will be desperate for all three points, amid feint hopes of leapfrogging city rivals Tottenham into the top-4 by the close of the evening’s fixtures.

Everton, in turn, could face a tough assignment at the Emirates.

It therefore came as a major surprise when, as alluded to above, a key member of Lampard’s first-choice XI was nowhere to be seen upon the club’s latest matchday XI being unveiled.

The player in question? Richarlison:

Chatter had therefore since quickly spread across the Everton fanbase, amid the suggestion that the Brazilian may have simply been afforded the evening off, in a bid to recuperate on the back of a draining few weeks.

This, however, is seemingly not the case.

As per Everton insider ‘The Bobble’, viewed as highly reliable amongst Blues circles, Richarlison has in fact been forced to sit out in north London owing to what is described as a ‘minor injury’:

 

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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.





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