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Bullet point previews of Premier League matches

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Match-by-match facts and statistics ahead of the next round of Premier League fixtures from Nov. 25-27 (all times GMT):

Saturday, Nov. 25

Manchester City v Liverpool (1230)

* Liverpool are one of the only two clubs City striker Erling Haaland has not scored against in the top flight.

* City’s Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Sergio Gomez and Mateo Kovacic will likely remain on the sidelines due to injuries. Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson and Norway’s Haaland, who missed games on international duty, are expected to feature in the top-of-the-table clash.

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* Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has netted seven times in 12 league appearances against City, who have won their last 23 home games across all competitions.

 

Sheffield United v Bournemouth (1500)

* Sheffield United have been in poor form at home, losing four, winning one and drawing one. The promoted side sit 18th after collecting five points from 12 matches.

* Dominic Solanke scored a double to help Bournemouth move out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United. They are 16th in the standings.

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* Sheffield United and Bournemouth are among the three teams who have conceded the most goals, with Paul Heckingbottom’s team top of the list with 31 and Andoni Iraola’s third on 27.

 

Newcastle United v Chelsea (1500)

* Chelsea will look to carry on their momentum after victories over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and drawing with City when they take on seventh-placed Newcastle, who lost their last two games in all competitions.

* Callum Wilson, Newcastle’s leading scorer for the past three seasons, joined a long list of injuries at St James’ Park. Harvey Barnes, Sven Botman, Jacob Murphy, Dan Burn, Elliot Anderson and Matt Targett were already on the sidelines.

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* Chelsea, 10th, received a boost with the return of captain Reece James, while Frenchman Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia edge closer to making their debuts for the Stamford Bridge side following injury setbacks.

 

Luton Town v Crystal Palace (1500)

* Luton, 17th, are on a six-match winless streak, with their last victory coming against Everton.

* Mads Andersen, Dan Potts, Reece Burke and Albert Lokonga are among those injured at Kenilworth Road.

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* Palace are sweating on the fitness of Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, James Tomkins and Dean Henderson. They are 13th in the standings.

 

Nottingham Forest v Brighton & Hove Albion (1500)

* Brighton could see Kaoru Mitoma miss out through injury after the winger withdrew from Japan’s squad. The South Coast side were already without captain Lewis Dunk, Danny Welbeck, Julio Enciso, Solly March, James Milner.

* Taiwo Awoniyi is Forest’s top scorer with four goals.

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* Eighth-placed Brighton are winless in five league matches, their longest such run since Roberto De Zerbi’s first five games in charge in October last year.

 

Burnley v West Ham United (1500)

* Promoted Burnley have scored the least goals (nine) in the league this season.

* West Ham’s Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus suffered injuries during the international break. Bowen is the league’s third-highest scorer this season.

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* Midfielder James Ward-Prowse could again be the key for West Ham, having provided five assists this season.

 

Brentford v Arsenal (1730)

* This will be Mikel Arteta’s 200th match in charge of Arsenal in all competitions (W115, D34, L50).

* Brentford are winless in their last three games against Arsenal (D1 L2).

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* Arsenal midfielder Fabio Vieira will miss the game after picking up a straight red card in their 3-1 win over Burnley.

Sunday, Nov. 26

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa (1400)

* Spurs started the season with eight wins from 10 matches but have dropped to fourth after defeats by Chelsea and Wolves.

* Micky van de Ven and James Maddison have picked up long-term injuries, while Richarlison underwent groin surgery that will rule him out of action for a few weeks.

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* Villa will hope to take their fine home form to Spurs. Villa have opened a season in the top division with six successive home wins for the first time since 1932-33.

 

Everton v Manchester United (1630)

* Everton became the first Premier League club to be deducted points for breaching profitability and sustainability rules last week, when the league docked the Merseyside club 10 points. They dropped to second-from-bottom from 14th.

* Keeper Andre Onana and Denmark duo Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund have added to United’s injury problems over the international break, with Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Casemiro among long-term absentees.

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* United have lost nine of their opening 17 matches of a season in all competitions for the first time since 1973-74, when they were relegated.

Monday, Nov. 27

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers (2000)

* Fulham have only picked up one point in their last four league matches.

* Wolves are unbeaten in their last six games against Fulham.

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* Fifteenth-placed Fulham and Wolves, 12th, are separated by just three points.

-Reuters

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Premier League

Sancho back in training with Man United after positive meeting with Ten Hag

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Jadon Sancho was back training with Manchester United for the first time in 10 months, with a club source confirming the winger and manager Erik ten Hag have resolved their differences following their public fallout last year.

Sancho and Ten Hag had a positive meeting at Carrington Training Centre and the two have decided to draw a line under last season’s drawn-out argument, the club source said.

The 24-year-old Sancho made just three appearances for United last season, spending the second half of the campaign on loan to Borussia Dortmund after his relationship with Ten Hag soured in September.

Ten Hag had left the winger out of his squad for United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, saying Sancho’s performances in training had not warranted a place in his team. Sancho immediately lashed out on social media, accusing Ten Hag of making him a “scapegoat.”

He was banished from the first team and trained with United’s youth squad before returning to his former club Dortmund in January, where he shone during their Champions League semi-final victory against Paris St Germain, earning praise from Ten Hag. Dortmund were beaten by Real Madrid in the final.

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“(Sancho) is a very good player… he showed why Manchester United bought him and he showed he represents a high value for Manchester United, which is good,” Ten Hag told reporters following Dortmund’s 1-0 win over PSG in the first leg.

“I’m happy for Jadon, for the performance, and we’ll see what is going to happen in the future.”

Sancho will not travel with the team to Norway for their pre-season opener against Rosenborg since he began training later than the other players but the club source said he would be available for selection after that.

-Reuters

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Another Nigerian blood replaces Ndidi at Leicester

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Wilfred Ndidi who has just left Leicester City will have another Nigerian blood replacing him.

Leicester has never been without a Nigerian since Ahmed Musa joined in 2016. Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho joined in 2017.

Another Nigerian blood, Caleb Okoli, a centre back, has just been signed from Italian  Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year contract. Born in Itali, Caleb Okoli is Igbo and Yoruba by descent.

The 22-year-old, who spent the last season on loan at Frosinone Calcio, represented Italy at the European Under-21 Championship last year.

“I think now is the right moment (for me) to make a step forward and a very big one. I’m very happy with the choice I made, so I’m very excited to start in the Premier League,” Okoli said in a statement. The clubs did not disclose financial details of the deal.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy returns to Man United

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United legend Van Nistelrooy is expected to be announced as one of Erik ten Hag's assistants

Manchester United legend, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been spotted being driven into Carrington, the training ground of Manchester United.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (left) and Rene Hake arrived at Manchester United’s training ground

Reports have it that the Dutchman is set to be appointed as one of Erik ten Hag’s new assistant coaches.

He played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2006.

Now  48, he reportedly turned down job offer from Burnley to return to his old club, having previously led PSV Eindhoven to second place in the Eredivisie and victory in the Dutch Cup.

He is being joined by Rene Hake, 52, who was persuaded to give up his job as Go Ahead Eagles manager despite leading the Deventer-based club into Europe for only the third time in their history.

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