Southampton news: Ralph Hasenhuttl insists he has not lost faith in summer signing Che Adams, who he dropped for last week’s defeat at the hands of Tottenham. The striker, who was bought from Birmingham for a reported £15m, started each of Saints’ opening six Premier League games but has yet to score.
“It was clear that I wanted to give him one time a rest,” said Hasenhuttl. “I think a break can sometimes help, even if you like him are always looking for scoring and it doesn’t work.
“He showed this week that he is in better condition now, clearer in the mind and he can be an option for Sunday. It’s important that you stay on working and believe in yourself. I try to help him as much as I can – give him a lot of trust and still trust him. I’m sure that he will help us in the future and games will come that he will score.”
Ché Adams (left) was dropped in favour of Danny Ings, who scored against Tottenham last weekend. Photograph: Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images
Norwich City news: The injury-ravaged club had some good news when it emerged Jamal Lewis will be available for the Premier League match against Aston Villa. His elbow problem is not as bad as initially feared.
Veteran Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern will start, with Ralf Fahrmann (groin) joining Tim Krul (back) on the sidelines, while Archie Mair will be promoted from the Under-23s as cover.
Defender Ben Godfrey, set for a hernia operation during the international break, will be available, while full-back Sam Byram (ankle) and midfielder Todd Cantwell (hamstring) are slight doubts. Centre-half Grant Hanley (groin) misses out.
Alex Tettey (groin), Mario Vrancic (calf), Tom Trybull (ankle), Onel Hernandez (knee), Christoph Zimmermann (foot) and Timm Klose (knee) all continue their rehabilitation. Ouch!
While the Norwich City physio room is full to bursting point, Jamal Lewis will be fit to face Aston Villa at Carrow Road tomorrow. Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Crystal Palace news: Roy Hodgson has defended his striker Christian Benteke, who looks utterly bereft of confidence, has yet to get off the mark this season and has scored just four times in his past 58 games for Crystal Palace.
Responding to comments made by former Palace midfielder John Salako, who claimed Benteke has “been awful” in his time at Selhurst Park, Hodgson went on the offensive.
“I am always disappointed when professionals criticise fellow professionals, even if they are ex-professionals,” he said. “I think that you do need to be careful in terms of abusing your profession in a way, by criticising other professionals without properly knowing all the details you would need to know.
“We here see Christian trying his level best every week to get back to goalscoring form. We do our level best to help him, and let’s hope that day will come soon.”
Christian Benteke has scored just four times in his past 58 games for Crystal Palace and has yet to find the net this season. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
Manchester City news: Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne will not be fit to face Wolves on Sunday. The Belgium international missed the midweek Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb due to a groin injury. “He is not fit,” said Guardiola. “After the international break he will be ready. It is not a big problem.”
Asked for his reaction to the Football Association’s decision to charge Bernardo Silva with misconduct over his social media post about team-mate Benjamin Mendy, Guardiola said: “No comments anymore.” If only he’d said that the first time he was asked for his thoughts on the matter, eh?
Kevin De Bruyne will miss Manchester City’s match against Wolves with a groin injury. Photograph: Dave Thompson/AP
Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona: Narrated by John Malkovich, this has the potential to be diabolically bad (hello Manchester City’s Fight Til The End) or ridiculously good (thanks, Sunderland Til I Die). My money is on the former, but time will tell.
Coming soon! 😍 @FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/mEum4jc6ps
October 4, 2019
Some good news for Liverpool fans …
Alisson is back in training after recovering from the calf injury that forced him off the pitch during Liverpool’s opening match of the season against Norwich City. According to Andy Hunter, our man on the Mersey-beat, it is unclear whether or not the Brazilian goalkeeper will feature against Leicester City tomorrow. Having stood in for Alisson since he went off, Liverpool’s summer acquisition, Adrian, has done very little wrong.
Klopp says Alisson trained with team for first time yesterday – “maybe, maybe not” for Leicester – but Matip and Shaqiri still out.
October 4, 2019
Football Weekly … Extra
Podcast: Philippe Auclair and Football 365’s John Nicholson were the special studio guests to help myself and Max Rushden pick over the bones of the midweek Champions League action. John also discussed his new book, Can We Have Our Football Back (How The Premier League Is Ruining Football And What We Can Do About It). It does exactly what it says on the tin. You can listen to the podcast here, or sign up and download in all the usual podcast places.
Tottenham’s tonking and the future of the game – Football Weekly Extra
Warning: parental advisory: With his team trailing 3-1 against Liverpool at half-time at Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday night, RB Salzburg’s American manager Jesse Marsch cut loose … in a variety of languages, some of them profane.
Jesse Marsch’s half-time team talk in the #Salzburg dressing room at Anfield is genuinely something to behold pic.twitter.com/KGZ1D3BbeV #LFC #UCL
October 4, 2019
at 1.02pm BST
Dean Saunders wins appeal against jail sentence
The former Liverpool and Wales striker has won an appeal against a jail sentence for failing to take a breath test. Saunders, 55, was jailed for 10 weeks in August after admitting failing to comply with a roadside breath test and failing to provide a breath specimen when he was stopped in an Audi A8 by a police patrol car in Chester on 10 May after spending the afternoon at the races.
Saunders, who also played for Aston Villa, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Galatasaray and Benfica, had his jail term quashed and suspended for 18 months. Judge Steven Everett ordered him to do 200 hours of unpaid work in the community. He has also been suspended from driving for 30 months.
“I want to apologise to the Court, my family and all of the people I have let down as a result of my actions.,” said Saunders in a statement, released through the League Managers’ Association.
“I made a terrible error of judgement for which I have been rightly punished, and I wholeheartedly regret that it happened. I accept that I have been given an opportunity by the Court and I hope that people can learn from my experience. The message is a simple one – don’t ever drink and drive.“I will learn from this and become a better person. I would like to thank everyone who has given me support and guidance throughout this time.”
Dean Saunders, pictured here at his original hearing, has had his 10-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months. Photograph: Peter Powell/PA
Despite selling their most prized central defender to Manchester United for £80m during the past window, Leicester City still have the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League. Ahead of their visit to Anfield, where they will take on equally parsimonious Liverpool tomorrow afternoon, Paul Doyle explains all …
Harry who? How Leicester’s defence thrived despite selling £80m Maguire | Paul Doyle
Bournemouth news: Eddie Howe has said he will not entertain “pointless” transfer speculation over England striker Callum Wilson, who has scored five goals in his past five games for Bournemouth. The striker is one of many players reported to be on Manchester United’s January shopping list and has previously been linked with a move to Chelsea.
“I take with a pinch of salt, to be honest, at this stage of the season,” said Howe, when asked about rumours regarding the 27-year-old’s future. “There is nothing that we can do, that Callum can do, other than perform well. That influences rumours and things like that at this stage of the season.
“He has just got to focus on his next game and give his best for this club. To hear transfer links and rumours at this stage when the window is shut and a long way from being open, for me, it is pointless talking about it.”
Bournemouth travel to the Emirates this weekend for a Sunday afternoon game against Arsenal. Their defender, Chris Mepham, has withdrawn from the Wales squad because of an unspecified injury.
Eddie Howe (left) and a training dummy. Photograph: Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images
Kieran Tierney speaks: Now recovered from injury, Arsenal’s young summer acquisition was chatting following his side’s emphatic Europa League win over Standard Liege last night. As well as the usual bland platitudes about how difficult a decision it was to leave Celtic, what a “massive” club Arsenal are and how he wants to win trophies with them, the 22-year-old spoke about the adjustments he has had to make since moving out of his parents’ house and heading to “down the road” – as they say in Scotland – to the Big Smoke.
“It is a massive change for me,” he said. “I was a home boy, I always stayed with my parents, and I’ve come down here to a different country, a massive city. But so far everybody at the club has helped me settle and I am very grateful for that.
“I need to cook every night so I am learning. I will get there. People say what’s the city like? I have no idea, I’ve never been in.
“I train, I work hard, I go home and recover and train the next day. It is just a simple life and I just put everything into football and all I can to just try and reap the rewards.”
Kieran Tierney played 90 minutes at left-back for Arsenal against Standard Liege last night. Photograph: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Some rare good news for Spurs fans: Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are “entering the final stages of rehabilitation” from their injuries.
The pair, who both arrived on transfer deadline day, have been sidelined with respective hip and hamstring injuries, but they are on the mend and likely to be fit after the international break.
Serge Aurier is the only other player missing for this weekend’s game against Brighton. He serves a one-match ban following his dismissal for two bookable offences against Southampton last weekend.
Giovani Lo Celso will be fit to make an appearance in front of Tottenham fans wearing actual kit following the international break. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Thibaut Courtois latest: The Real Madrid goalkeeper has had rather a torrid time of it since leaving Chelsea for the Bernabéu and seemed to plumb new depths when he let in two soft first-half goals and was replaced at half-time during his side’s 2-2 draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Having fallen out of favour with the fans, Real Madrid have issued a statement responding to rumours that their Belgian goalkeeper has been diagnosed with anxiety. Here’s what they had to say …
Real Madrid club statement
In relation to certain information about our player Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid wants to state the following:
1. That our player has never been diagnosed with an alleged anxiety picture and therefore, that information is absolutely false.
2. That Thibaut Courtois has been diagnosed and treated for acute gastroenteritis with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which made it impossible to end last Tuesday’s game against Bruges.
3. The player currently responds favorably to the treatment.
Thibaut Courtois is left scrambling on his hands and knees as Dennis Bonaventure scores Club Brugge’s opener at the Bernabéu on Tuesday. Photograph: TF-Images/Getty Images
at 11.34am BST
Silva charge insufficient when so much racism is not tackled
“The FA charge of Bernardo Silva looks like a token gesture compared with the weak punishments of public racism in other areas of the game,” writes Eni Aluko, who says the Football Association need to do more.
Bernardo Silva charge is a token gesture when so much racism is not tackled | Eni Aluko
Quiz! Quiz! Quiz!
Test your knowledge of What Former Liverpool Managers Did Next. Your quizmaster: Jack Perry.
Football quiz: what happened next to these former Liverpool managers?
Steve Bruce speaks
Already under pressure before his side’s humiliation at the hands of Leicester City last weekend, Steve Bruce was even less popular with Newcastle fans afterwards. While his team were dreadful at the King Power Stadium, they may fancy their chances against a similarly out-of-sorts Manchester United at St James’s Park on Sunday.
“Mud has been thrown my way since I walked through the door,” said Bruce at his pre-match press conference. “That isn’t going to change. The only thing that can change it for me is results and I’m determined to make it, if I possibly can, to turn it around and take the club forward.
“That’s been my remit since I walked through the door. Since I arrived here two or three months ago, that’s been the case, so it only heightens it.”
For whatever it will be worth to Newcastle fans, Steve Bruce was in defiant mood at his press conference this morning. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters
The Rumour Mill
Harry Kane may head for pastures new come season’s end and Manchester United want the moon on a stick. Rob Smyth flicks through the newspapers and tells us very little we didn’t already know.
Football transfer rumours: Harry Kane to leave Spurs at end of season?
Young Boys 2-1 Rangers
Europa League: Steven Gerrard was left ruing the absence of VAR after Rangers lost by the odd goal of three at the Stade de Suisse.
Young Boys’ Christian Fassnacht jolts Rangers’ hopes with late winner
Celtic 2-0 CFR Cluj
Europa League: Celtic finally emerged victorious after finding themselves knee-deep in Cluj for the third time this season. Ewan Murray reports from Celtic Park …
Impressive Celtic sweep aside CFR Cluj to make headway in Europa League
Arsenal 4-0 Standard Liege
Europa League: Hector Bellerin wore the captain’s armband and Gabriel Martinelli scored twice as Arsenal tore Standard Liege a new one at the Emirates. Sachin Nakrani was there …
Gabriel Martinelli’s double sends Arsenal surging past Standard Liège
Besiktas 0-1 Wolves
Europa League: Willy Boly left it extremely late to snatch victory for Wolves in Istanbul. Paul Doyle was at Vodafone Park.
Willy Boly puts Wolves back on track with injury-time winner at Besiktas
at 10.14am BST
AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Manchester United
Europa League: Manchester United failed to muster a single shot on target throughout a dismal performance against Dutch side AZ Almaar. Paul Wilson was there …
Manchester United draw blank with AZ Alkmaar as Jesse Lingard limps off
The weekend starts here …
Once more unto the breach, for another weekend of league action ahead of the imminent international break. Ahead of the weekend’s fun, we’ll bring you football news from around the UK and beyond as it unravels. Whether it’s team news, the latest luke-warm takes from managerial press conferences, Europa League fall-out or anything else, stay tuned.
Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend