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Watford on the verge of naming Roy Hodgson as their new head coach

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Watford on the verge of naming Roy Hodgson as their new head coach

Roy Hodgson is on the verge of coming out of retirement and taking charge of Watford, according to reports.

The 74 year old retired from management at the end of last season, when his reign at Crystal Palace came to an end, but has seemingly been enticed back into action following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

As per the Athletic, the deal will see him take charge of Watford until the end of the season, while Ray Lewington will once again be his assistant coach. With experience in the Premier League and experience working with Watford’s notoriously short-fused owners, Hodgson could well prove to be the miracle that hornets fans have been praying for.

What’s the situation at the bottom?

Watford currently sit in the relagation zone, and their 3-0 defeat to direct rivals Norwich have seen them slip down to 19th place. Burnley, the side below them, have two games in hand too and trail by just two points.

Additionally, both Leeds and Everton (15th and 16th respectively) have been performing well below their usual level thus far, and will surely be expecting significant upturns in form over the last 17 games of the campaign.

Newcastle are spending big to try and avoid relegation too, but it seems likely that should they survive, Watford would be the victims and would be spending next season in the Championship.

While it by no means an impossible job for Hodgson, it is perhaps one of the hardest of his long and illustrious career.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 22 39 48
3 Chelsea FC 24 30 47
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Arsenal FC 21 8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 20 2 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Leicester City 20 -3 26
11 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 22 -3 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 18 -11 12
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6





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The easiest run ever? Liverpool’s route to Paris and the Champions League final

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Liverpool’s route to Paris and the Champions League final

Liverpool stand one game away from lifting their seventh European trophy, drawing level with second-place AC Milan in the process, should they beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.

The Reds saw their hopes of a historical quadruple go up in smoke on the final day of the Premier League season, as a gripping comeback from Manchester City saw Pep Guardiola’s side successfully defend their trophy.

However, having already banked the Carabao Cup and FA Cup via penalty shoot-out wins over Chelsea, they could yet lift a cup treble should they win in Paris on Saturday night.

101 take a look at just how they have arrived on the precipice of greatness.

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Group of death left lifeless

It looked to be a dismal start to proceedings in Liverpool’s chase for Champions League glory when the groups were drawn, with the Reds drawn in what looked to be the toughest group out of them all.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were pitted against Portuguese champions FC Porto, Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, who finished second in Serie A last season and went on to win the league this time around.

Liverpool’s route to Paris and the Champions League final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan kisses the trophy during the award ceremony following the Serie A football match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan. AC Milan won 3-0 over US Sassuolo securing the Scudetto championship (Serie A title). (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Despite this, and thanks in part to the teams around them taking points off each other, Liverpool had qualified from the group after just four games, and had won it after five, scoring 16 and conceding 5 in the process.

It meant that Klopp fielded a largely rotated XI for the final game against AC Milan, only for his side to come out with a 2-1 victory at the San Siro and keep their 100% record in the group stage, joining Ajax and Bayern Munich as the only clubs to do so.

We are the Champions

Thundering through to the last 16, Liverpool were drawn against Italian champions Inter Milan, who despite losing Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi in the summer remained a threat, and had qualified out of their group in second, behind Real Madrid.

And another victory at San Siro, this time 2-0, was enough to see the Reds pull through despite losing 1-0 to a ten-man Inter side at Anfield in the return leg, and to set up a clash with Benfica, who edged past Ajax.

Handed perhaps the easiest opposition left in the final 8, Liverpool ensured that the job was done thoroughly, netting six times across the two legs even if a late wobble saw them holding on to a 6-4 aggregate lead late in the second leg. Despite this, they got the job done.

Liverpool’s route to Paris and the Champions League final

Mo Salah forward of Liverpool FC in action during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between SL Benfica and Liverpool FC on April 04, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Valter Gouveia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That, many expected, was enough to pit them up against Bayern Munich, only for the Bavarian side to be ousted by Europa League holders Villareal under the leadership of cup specialist Unai Emery.

While on paper an easy game, three-quarters of the way through the tie, the Reds were pegged back to 2-2 and were rocking. However, they regained their composure in a cauldron of noise in Spain, grabbing a further three goals to seal the tie and give it a much more comfortable look than it had actually been.

It has, perhaps, not been the most difficult knockout run on paper, but each team deserved to be there on merit, and it is hard to begrudge Klopp’s side a place in the Paris final on Saturday.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 38 73 93
2 Liverpool FC 38 68 92
3 Chelsea FC 38 43 74
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 29 71
5 Arsenal FC 38 13 69
6 Manchester United 38 0 58
7 West Ham United 38 9 56
8 Leicester City 38 3 52
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -2 51
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 -5 51
11 Newcastle United 38 -18 49
12 Crystal Palace 38 4 48
13 Brentford FC 38 -8 46
14 Aston Villa 38 -2 45
15 Southampton FC 38 -24 40
16 Everton FC 38 -23 39
17 Leeds United 38 -37 38
18 Burnley FC 38 -19 35
19 Watford FC 38 -43 23
20 Norwich City 38 -61 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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West Ham on verge of announcing first summer signing

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West Ham on verge of announcing first summer signing

West Ham are on the verge of announcing their first signing of the summer in the form of Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd, according to reports.

The Hammers have struggled at centre-back this season, largely owing to injury. Angelo Ogbonna suffered a season-ending injury, while both Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop also spent significant time on the treatment table. That left Craig Dawson, now 32 years old, as a mainstay of the defence, and resulted in him racking up over 4000 minutes.

As a result, they are clearly in the market for defenders to strengthen their backline, with a move for Aguerd seemingly set to be completed imminently, according to reliable West Ham source EXWHUemployee.

The 6ft2″ centre-back appeared 31 times this season for the Ligue 1 side, scoring twice and providing three assists from the heart of defence.

West Ham on verge of announcing first summer signing

REIMS, FRANCE – APRIL 09: Nayef Aguerd of Stade Rennais in action during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Reims and Rennes at Stade Auguste Delaune on April 9, 2022 in Reims, France. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Lingard in the works?

On the back of a gruelling campaign, it is clear that David Moyes is looking to strengthen early in the transfer window and, with Nicola Vlasic having failed to impress since his big-money move last summer, the Hammers are thought to be chasing Jesse Lingard once more.

West Ham on verge of announcing first summer signing

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 21: Jesse Lingard of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at London Stadium(Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images).

Lingard enjoyed a brilliant end to the 2020-21 season while on loan at West Ham, but was unable to make the move permanent and now looks certain to leave Manchester United on a free transfer this summer when his contract runs out.

And the Hammers are once more interested in bringing in the midfielder, though his wages could well prove to be a stumbling block. However, should he be able to recreate the sort of form he enjoyed during his last spell with the Hammers, they would surely pay for themselves.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 38 73 93
2 Liverpool FC 38 68 92
3 Chelsea FC 38 43 74
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 29 71
5 Arsenal FC 38 13 69
6 Manchester United 38 0 58
7 West Ham United 38 9 56
8 Leicester City 38 3 52
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -2 51
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 -5 51
11 Newcastle United 38 -18 49
12 Crystal Palace 38 4 48
13 Brentford FC 38 -8 46
14 Aston Villa 38 -2 45
15 Southampton FC 38 -24 40
16 Everton FC 38 -23 39
17 Leeds United 38 -37 38
18 Burnley FC 38 -19 35
19 Watford FC 38 -43 23
20 Norwich City 38 -61 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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Fiorentina fans send message to Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira amid transfer breakdown

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Fiorentina fans send message to Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira amid transfer breakdown

Fiorentina fans have sent a clear message both to their board and current Arsenal loanee Lucas Torreira ahead of his upcoming summer departure.

As it stands, Torreira will be returning to north London at the end of his loan spell with La Viola, where he has become a fan favourite and won three of the five possible player of the month awards this calender year.

The Uruguayan’s loan deal had an option to buy the player set at 15m euros, which it was expected that the Italian club would take up. However, that has since changed, as Fiorentina tried to secure a discount both on salary and fee, neither of which washed with the other party.

Now, the Fiorentina fans have unfurled a banner near the Florence side’s stadium demanding that he stay, and that Joe Barone, the club’s CEO, leave instead.

‘Torreira Alla Fiorentina, Barone All Arsenal’, the banner read.

While the La Viola faithful have made their feelings on the matter clear, whether they are acted upon are another matter.

What next for Torreira?

It seems unlikely that Lucas Torreira will still be an Arsenal player come the end of the summer. The midfielder was not thought to be in Mikel Arteta’s plans 12 months ago, when sent on loan to Florence, and it is hard to see how that has changed in the year since.

Meanwhile, Torreira himself has never settled in England, and would be keen on a move back to Italy or to South America. Whether such an opportunity arises remains to be seen.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 38 73 93
2 Liverpool FC 38 68 92
3 Chelsea FC 38 43 74
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 29 71
5 Arsenal FC 38 13 69
6 Manchester United 38 0 58
7 West Ham United 38 9 56
8 Leicester City 38 3 52
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -2 51
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 -5 51
11 Newcastle United 38 -18 49
12 Crystal Palace 38 4 48
13 Brentford FC 38 -8 46
14 Aston Villa 38 -2 45
15 Southampton FC 38 -24 40
16 Everton FC 38 -23 39
17 Leeds United 38 -37 38
18 Burnley FC 38 -19 35
19 Watford FC 38 -43 23
20 Norwich City 38 -61 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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