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Five games that will decide Premier League title race

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Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are locked in a gripping Premier League title race heading into the final 10 games of the season for each club.

Leaders Arsenal sit above second placed Liverpool on goal difference, with City one point behind the top two in third place.

AFP Sport looks at five matches set to play a key role in deciding this season’s champions.

Manchester City v Arsenal, March 31
The biggest game of the title run-in comes at the Etihad Stadium immediately after the international break.

A third defeat to the Gunners this season could be fatal to City’s hopes of winning an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League crown.

Arsenal beat Pep Guardiola’s men 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium in October thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal and also beat them on penalties in the Community Shield in August.

Mikel Arteta’s side have won their last eight league games, but City are unbeaten in 22 matches in all competitions and have not lost at home since November 2022.

Manchester City v Aston Villa, April 3
If City can secure a priceless victory against Arsenal, they will have little time to celebrate as top-four hopefuls Villa visit the Etihad just three days later.

Enjoying an unexpectedly strong campaign, former European Champions Villa are in fourth as they eye a first since the competition became the Champions League.

Unai Emery’s side stunned City in December when Leon Bailey’s 74th minute goal sealed a 1-0 win.

City are unbeaten since then, while Villa have maintained their grip on a top four berth despite a challenge from Tottenham.

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Manchester United v Liverpool, April 7
Liverpool will head to Old Trafford on a revenge mission after their painful 4-3 loss to their bitter rivals in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Jurgen Klopp’s side led 2-1 and 3-2 near the end of normal time and extra-time respectively, but couldn’t hold on as Amad Diallo’s last-gasp winner ended the Reds’ quadruple bid.

Liverpool can still give Klopp a memorable farewell in his final season by adding the Premier League and Europa League to the League Cup they lifted in February.

A first victory at Old Trafford since 2021 will be essential to Liverpool’s attempt to equal United’s record of 20 English titles.

Tottenham v Arsenal, April 28
With so much at stake for these old rivals, there will be an extra edge to the always-feisty north London derby.

Arsenal famously won the league at White Hart Lane to clinch the title in 1971 and 2004. They could take a major step towards another crown by beating their hated neighbours in the rebuilt stadium on the site of those historic triumphs.

Arsenal, last crowned champions 20 years ago, have lost just one of the last six north London derbies, although they twice squandered the lead in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates in September.

Revitalised in Ange Postecoglou’s first season in charge, attack-minded Tottenham are certain to be on the front foot as they aim to finish in the top four.

Aston Villa v Liverpool, May 11
Although Liverpool swept aside Villa 3-0 at Anfield in September, the Reds can expect a sterner test in the rematch.

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In what will be Klopp’s final away league game as Liverpool boss, the German will look for a fourth successive victory at Villa Park.

Villa last beat Liverpool in 2020 when their 7-2 rout prompted Klopp to admit his team had “lost the plot”.

With a first title in four years potentially within reach, Liverpool cannot afford a similar meltdown.

Judgement Day
If there is still nothing to separate the title chasers after those matches, the final day of the season on May 19 features Arsenal hosting Everton, Manchester City facing West Ham and Liverpool taking on Wolves.

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Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing Manchester United forward

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Juventus remain interested in Sancho

Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Manchester United forward Jadon Sancho.There has been no formal approach yet but the Ligue 1 side have explored the conditions of a deal.

Juventus and Borussia Dortmund remain keen on signing Sancho although, as things stand, they can’t meet United’s valuation. An unnamed Premier League club has also shown tentative interest.

Jadon Sancho has completed more dribbles than any other player in the Champions League in 2024
United are also interested in PSG midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

Initial talks have highlighted a gap in valuation, with PSG unwilling to sell the Uruguay international for less than €70m (£58.9m).

They want to make a profit on what they paid for the 23-year-old last summer – reportedly around €60m (£50.46m).

Sancho in United training after positive talks with Ten Hag
Take a look at the standout moments from Jadon Sancho’s return to Borussia Dortmund during his loan spell from Manchester United.
Sancho is back training with the United first team and is expected to be part of the squad that flies to the US for the club’s pre-season tour.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag held a positive meeting with Sancho at Carrington earlier this month with the the focus now on the player taking a full part in pre-season.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praises Jadon Sancho after his recent performances for on-loan Borussia Dortmund but won’t be drawn about his future at the club next season.
During the conversations, the pair reflected on past issues, and both agreed to draw a line and move on.

READ ALSO  Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing Manchester United forward

Sancho was not with the squad that travelled to Norway for the friendly against Rosenberg on July 15 having resumed training a few days later than other players, but the England international did play 45 minutes in his side’s 2-0 win over Rangers last time out.

ERIK TEN HAG JADON SANCHO
Sam Tighe discusses what Erik ten Hag continuing as Manchester United manager means for Jadon Sancho’s future at the club.
Manchester United will start their 2024/25 Premier League season with a home fixture against Fulham, live on Sky Sports, and face Liverpool in the opening month of the season.

The opening game of the new campaign will be played on Friday August 16, with kick-off at 8pm.

United then travel to Brighton before their first big derby of the season at home to Liverpool with the game currently scheduled for Saturday August 31.

The reverse fixture will be played at the start of 2025 with a trip to Anfield on January 4.

Fans will have to wait until December for the first Manchester derby of the season, away at Manchester City on December 14. The reverse fixture at Old Trafford will be played on April 5.

Boxing Day will see Man Utd travel to Wolves, and they will finish the 2024/25 campaign at home to Aston Villa on May 25

Source: Sky sport

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Paris 2024: Wakama unveils D’Tigress final roster

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Paris 2024: Wakama unveils D’Tigress final roster

D’Tigress head coach, Rena Wakama has released her final 12-player roster for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Four players were dropped from the initial 16 that made it to Germany for a training tour.

The 12 players include team captain Amy Okonkwo, Elizabeth Balogun, Nicole Enabosi, Promise Amukamara, Murjanatu Musa, and Ifunaya Okoro.

Others are Pallas Kunayi, Blessing Ejiofor, Ezinne Kalu, Olaoluwatomi Taiwo, Lauren Ebo, and Adebola Adeyeye.

The four players who did not make the final 12 are Solape Amusan, Rita Igbokwe, Christeen Iwuala, and Lucy Ibeh.

D’Tigress are drawn in Group A with host nation France, Australia and Canada.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Maresca to offload six Chelsea players before new season
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EPL: De Bruyne ‘isn’t leaving’ Man City – Guardiola

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EPL: De Bruyne ‘isn’t leaving’ Man City – Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said influential midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will stay at the club.

De Bruyne has been heavily linked with a summer move to Saudi Arabia.

He has one-year left on his Blues contract and said last month he would have to consider an offer from the Saudi Pro-League because of the “incredible money” available.

However, Guardiola is unconcerned.

“Kevin isn’t leaving,” he told reporters before his side’s opening pre-season game against Celtic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Wednesday (00:30 BST).

De Bruyne helped inspire City to the Premier League title last season, the club’s fourth in a row and his sixth in total at the club.

Crystal Palace’s England Euro 2024 squad member Eberechi Eze has been linked with a move to City, while Brazil goalkeeper Ederson has also been the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia.

But Guardiola feels it is more likely he will have the same squad as last season.

“If someone leaves, we are going to talk about that and, of course, until the last day [of the transfer window] we have chances,” he said.

“I don’t rule out new players as an option, but I think there is an 85, 90, 95% chance we will have the same squad.”

City begin their Premier League title defence at Chelsea on 18 August

Source: The Nation

READ ALSO  PSG suspend Victor Osimhen's deal, set to back out
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Maresca to offload six Chelsea players before new season

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Maresca to offload six Chelsea players before new season

New Chelsea manager, Enzo Maresca, has left six players out of his US pre-season tour, amid uncertainty over their futures, according to the Daily Mail.

Discounting the five players that had their international breaks extended and the injured Djordje Petrovic, at least 43 other players have been left out of the squad for varying reasons.

But the omissions of Romelu Lukaku, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Trevoh Chalobah, Cesare Casadei, David Datro Fofana and Malang Sarr will continue to fuel the speculation that they could leave Stamford Bridge permanently this summer.

Maresca travelled with 28 players, ahead of the Blues’ first game against Wrexham in California on Wednesday.

Chelsea will then play Celtic, Club America, Manchester City, before concluding the tour against Real Madrid on August 7.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Maresca to offload six Chelsea players before new season
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9 months after his second child birth, Neymar welcomes 3rd

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Brazilian star Neymar has announced the birth of his third child, with model Amanda Kimberlly, less than nine months after

Brazilian star Neymar has announced the birth of his third child, with model Amanda Kimberlly, less than nine months after the arrival of his second.

The 32-year-old, who is now contracted to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, has revealed on Instagram that he his the proud father of two girls. The latest of those was welcomed into the world on July 3, with Neymar sharing images of baby Helena.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward was joined at the hospital by his 12-year-old son Davi Lucca, who he had with ex-partner Carolina Dantas. Neymar also had a little girl, named Mavie, with Bruna Biancardi in October 2023 – with their relationship confirmed as being over a matter of weeks later.

Brazilian model and influencer Kimberlly has now made Neymar a father for the third time. She has also posted images on social media, alongside the message: “My favourite month, July. A special thank you to my doctor who went beyond the professional side, welcomed me and gave me a lot of strength during these 9 months. And my support network, thank you for EVERYTHING!”

Having had plenty to celebrate off the pitch of late, Neymar will be hoping to do similar on the field over the coming months. He has worked his way back from a serious knee ligament injury and will be ready to make his mark for Al-Hilal in 2024-25 having been restricted to just five appearances for them so far.

 

READ ALSO  Maresca to offload six Chelsea players before new season
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PSG suspend Victor Osimhen’s deal, set to back out

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Negotiations between Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli regarding Victor Osimhen are at a standstill after the French champions initially

Negotiations between Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli regarding Victor Osimhen are at a standstill after the French champions initially expressed interest in signing the Nigerian marksman.

Osimhen experienced a sub-par campaign last season, failing to perform as expected, as Inter overtook Napoli’s Scudetto crown.

Confirming the deadlock in a post on his X handle, football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano wrote, “Paris Saint-Germain won’t pay the clause and talks are in stand-by at current conditions, no chance to include Kang-in Lee.

“Osimhen could also consider Saudi League bids, as Napoli want Lukaku to replace him.”

The Partenopei’s disastrous 2023/24 season contributed to the fall in the number of suitors vying for Osimhen’s signature, but PSG remained interested in his services.

However, even the Parisians are now gradually backing off, with the striker’s current release clause standing at €130m.

Three PSG players, Carlos Soler, Nordi Mukiele and Lee Kang-in were reportedly put on the table in a player-plus-cash deal. But PSG have now taken a step back.

It is understood that PSG are the only interested club at the moment but will not go ahead under the current circumstances despite losing star man Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid.

Aurelio De Laurentiis and company, however know the significance of cashing in on Osimhen with two more years left on his Napoli contract.

The former Lille and Wolfsburg center-forward last signed an extension in the winter of 2023.

 

READ ALSO  PSG suspend Victor Osimhen's deal, set to back out
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