Rodri Admits Manchester City Players Are Furious With Refereeing Decisions Not Going Their Way

Manchester City midfielder Rodri has said that he and his teammates have been unhappy with refereeing decisions against them this season, with their most recent frustration occurring in the Manchester derby on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were left angered when they were denied two penalties during their 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at the weekend, with Fred and Victor Lindelof both escaping calls for handball.

Jesse Lingard,Rodri

When asked about the decisions, the 23-year-old made his feelings clear, stating that VAR has left his fellow ​Manchester City players feeling angry and disappointed.

“We are p***ed off by it but there is no point [talking] for us,’ he said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “We have to keep fighting and don’t focus on these things. It is other people’s jobs – we can’t scream. Some decisions can change matches and VAR is there for getting decisions [right]. It is not an excuse for us.”

During the derby, Manchester United forward ​Marcus Rashford was awarded a penalty after consultation with VAR, causing Guardiola to protest with fourth official Mike Dean before the second half.

While frustrations have been aplenty this season, Rodri urges fans to continue to support them during their bad spell of form with other competitions on the horizon, implying that they are out of the race for the Premier League title.

“I would tell the supporters to stay behind us because we have other things this year, other cups,” he added. “The Premier League is like this – physically and mentally we have to get the team back because we are a bit down now. Things are not going as we want and we have had lots of injuries as well.

Kevin De Bruyne

“It’s difficult but we have to fight until the end. It’s been a tough beginning to the season. We have other cups, other goals which are interesting.”

City currently sit 14 points behind leaders ​Liverpool, with their next league match coming against Arsenal on Sunday.

Let’

RB Salzburg vs Liverpool Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Liverpool travel to Austria on Tuesday seeking Champions League qualification, knowing a draw would be enough to send them through to the last 16.

Following their 1-1 home draw with Napoli in their last Group E match, the Reds have to get a positive result against RB Salzburg or face being chucked out of the competition far earlier than expected, barring a Napoli defeat at home to Genk.

SOCCER CL GROUP STAGE DAY5 KRC GENK VS SALZBURG

Liverpool have won their last three matches in the Premier League but will be wary of the talents of Salzburg, who netted three times at Anfield back in early October.

The hosts know they need a victory against Liverpool to qualify for the next round and will be buoyed by their Champions League success so far this season. The standout performer for the Austrian side has to be Erling Braut Håland, who has scored eight goals in his first five Champions League matches at only 19 years of age.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? ​Tuesday 10 December
What Time Is Kick Off? ​17:55 (BST)
Where Is It Played? ​Red Bull Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream? ​BT Sport 3
Referee? ​Danny Makkelie

Team News

​Liverpool are still without long-term absentees ​Fabinho and Nathaniel Clyne, while Joel Matip is several weeks away from his return.

Dejan Lovren was substituted through injury in Liverpool’s 3-0 weekend victory over Bournemouth, while Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana missed the trip through fitness concerns. However, all three players could return for this clash.​

Jurgen Klopp,Dejan Lovren

Meanwhile, Salzburg are without Antoine Bernede, Patrick Farkas, Sekou Koita and Alexander Walke for the tie.


Predicted Lineups

RB Salzburg ​Stankovic; Kristensen, Onguene, Wober, Ulmer; Mwepu, Junuzovic, Szoboszlai, Minamino; Daka, Håland
Liverpool ​Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Mane, Firmino

Head-to-Head Record

The previous match between these two sides was their first competitive clash​ – a thrilling 4-3 victory for Liverpool back on 2 October.

Sadio Mane,Maximilian Woeber

Liverpool went three goals up in that victory at Anfield, before Salzburg remarkably flipped the game on its head levelling the score at 3-3. ​Mohamed Salah eventually got the Reds’ winner but it was a very nervy affair for the current European champions.


Recent Form

Liverpool will be in high spirits heading in to this all or nothing encounter, sitting eight points clear at the top of the ​Premier League table and having won 15 of their 16 league matches this season. Their two most recent victories saw Jurgen Klopp rest key figures, however Liverpool still blitzed their opponents beating Everton 5-2 and Bournemouth 3-0.

The Reds’ ​Champions League form has been slightly less impressive, winning three, drawing one, and losing one of their five group stage games. More worryingly, the English league leaders haven’t kept a clean sheet in Europe this term, and their shutout on Saturday was only their fourth of the season.

FC Red Bull Salzburg v WSG Swarovski Tirol - tipico Bundesliga

Salzburg also find themselves in fine form, leading the A.Bundesliga table after 17 matches and standing undefeated since their loss at the hands of Napoli back in late October. Despite having won their last league match 5-1, Salzburg haven’t kept a clean sheet in four games and are yet to record one in the Champions League group stages. 

Here are both side’s last five results:

RB Salzburg Liverpool​
Salzburg 5-1 WSG Swarovski Tirol (7/12) ​Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool (7/12)
​Admira 1-1 Salzburg (1/12) Liverpool 5-2 Everton (4/12)
​Genk 1-4 Salzburg (27/11) Liverpool 2-1 Brighton (30/11)
Salzburg 2-2 SKN St. Poelten (23/11) Liverpool 1-1 Napoli (27/11)
​Wolfsberger 0-3 Salzburg (10/11) ​Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool (23/11)

Prediction

While Liverpool come in to this game as clear favourites to qualify, Salzburg should not be underestimated.​ The Austrian side made life incredibly difficult for the Reds in the reverse fixture, and Liverpool’s defensive frailties may be exploited.

Sadio Mane

However, Liverpool do have plenty of Champions League pedigree, finding themselves in a similar situation last season – having to beat Napoli on the final matchday – and they consistently find a way to win under pressure.

One thing is for sure…goals. Both sides score plenty and struggle defensively (as was demonstrated in the last game between the pair), so this should be a rollercoaster ride.

Prediction: RB Salzburg 2-3 Liverpool


Let’

Jonny Evans Admits Leicester Are Enjoying Being Touted as Potential Title Contenders

Leicester City defender Jonny Evans has admitted that the club’s recent run of excellent form and great spirit makes them outside contenders for the Premier League title.

The Northern Irishman scored the third of Leicester’s four goals in a comprehensive 4-1 win over Aston Villa, which was the Foxes eighth consecutive victory.

FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-LEICESTER

Leicester’s incredible run of form has seen them wrestle second place away from Manchester City, and 31-year-old Evans admitted after the game that his side are rightfully being talked about as outside contenders, claiming it’s nice for the team to be recognised for their achievements so far.

“We’re up there, we’re challenging and playing well,” the former Manchester United defender said, as quoted by the ​Liverpool Echo.

“Probably now people will start talking more about that. It’s good to be talked about as contenders. People want recognition for how they’re playing. Everyone likes to be talked up a bit. It’s nice that people are talking about us.

“There’s a long way to go but we’re all really enjoying it which is a big factor. There’s a great spirit about the club.”

Evans continued by admitting that Aston Villa were a tough nut to crack, insisting that the Foxes needed to work hard to get the positive result they were looking for.

He added: “I’ve been in the Premier League a long time and it’s very hard to do that.

“I think that’s the best Villa team we’ve played against in a few years, we had to grind it out. It shows we’re capable of going away and getting results.”

Evans’ goal, which came either side of a Jamie Vardy brace and second in the space of a week for Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho, leaves Brendan Rodgers’ side eight points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, but crucially six points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s City, after their title challenge took another dent with a bitter 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Jamie Vardy

The Foxes take on relegation threatened Norwich back at King Power Stadium this weekend, before back-to-back fixtures against City and ​Liverpool really puts their title credentials to the test.

Let’

Jürgen Klopp Delivers Liverpool Injury Updates Ahead of Champions League Decider in Salzburg

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has said he hopes to have Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana back in the picture for Tuesday’s decisive Champions League tie with Red Bull Salzburg, after the duo missed Saturday’s comfortable win over Bournemouth. 

Both midfielders sat out the squad altogether for the trip to the south coast, and counted among six changes from the side who beat ​Everton three days prior, with teenagers Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott making the bench in their stead. 

Klopp used Saturday’s clash to rest a few others, with Sadio Mané dropping out for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold also starting on the bench, although the latter was required to come on for Dejan Lovren in the first half. 

Dejan Lovren,Trent Alexander-Arnold

Also sitting out was Divock Origi, who failed to make an appearance despite his two-goal showing against the Toffees. However, Klopp said the opportunity to rotate and rest players ahead of a key fixture on Tuesday was a welcome one amid a busy period for ​Liverpool

“Today the people were shouting for Divock Origi,” the manager said, via ​Liverpool’s website. “I get that, I loved the performance of Origi [against Everton] but bringing him on just to say thank you when we have so many games?

“It was wonderful that we didn’t have to and the best part of the game was that we didn’t have to use Sadio Mané. He has been an all-time player in the last couple of weeks.

Jurgen Klopp,Sadio Mane

“We’ll see how we start on Tuesday, I have no idea about that now. But we could give these two, plus Gini and Adam, four players kind of a rest [on Saturday] and hopefully they are all fit again for Tuesday and we will make decisions.”

The Reds travel to Austria on Tuesday before Watford come to Anfield, ahead of a trip to Qatar – for most of the first-team squad – for the FIFA Club World Cup the following week.

A second-string side will stay home to take on Aston Villa in the EFL Cup quarter-final before Premier League duty recommences with a huge trip to ​Leicester on Boxing Day. 


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

Let’

Marcelino Flies to London Amid Ongoing Links With Arsenal Managerial Vacancy

Arsenal are being heavily linked with former Valencia coach Marcelino in their ongoing search for a new manager after it was reported that the Spaniard travelled to London on Sunday.

Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has been in charge of the Gunners since Unai Emery was sacked last month, but their fortunes haven’t changed and the club is looking to appoint a permanent successor.


According to Spanish outlet Superdeporte, Marcelino boarded a British Airways flight on Sunday morning bound for London, even giving the flight number BA409.

A host of names have been linked with the vacant job. However, Brendan Rodgers has recently agreed a new contract with Leicester, while it is expected that Nuno Espirito Santo will be too difficult to break out of his current position at Wolves.

Indeed, reported budgetary constraints may limit Arsenal’s choices when it comes to finding their next manager. Even though the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri are out of work since leaving Tottenham and Juventus respectively, their wage demands are expected to be far higher than the £4m annual salary that Emery was earning in north London.

Allegri also ​recently ruled himself out of taking a job before the summer as he is currently enjoying a year off, which he insists was always his plan when he left Juventus.

Massimiliano Allegri

It has been suggested that if head of football Raul Sanllehi was able to appoint his ‘first choice’, the new Arsenal manager would be Luis Enrique. But with the ex-Barcelona coach recently returning to his position with the Spanish national team, that isn’t a viable pursuit.

That is why there may be merit in the growing rumours about Marcelino. The 54-year-old, who guided Valencia to Copa del Rey success last season, having also overseen successive Champions League qualifications, was sacked in September and so is currently available.

Marcelino Garcia Toral

There is nothing concrete to say that his trip to London is related to the Arsenal job, but the timing amid existing links mean it is certainly very curious.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Let’