Frank Lampard’s make-or-break run that will define Chelsea’s season examined

Those are the fine margins in football that determine whether Frank Lampard's first season in charge of Chelsea The success will depend entirely on the coming crunch month.

Chelsea currently occupies the fourth and final Champions League spot for next season, but their hold has deteriorated in recent weeks with Sheffield United and Tottenham who both closed the gap.

Over the next five weeks, the men of Lampard will be confronted with important matches, which will probably prove to be a defining period of their season with an FA Cup tie against Liverpool and a two-legged Champions League knockout showdown with Bayern Munich .

They will also host both Manchester teams, Everton and Tottenham to include their former boss Jose Mourinho. There is no sugar layer, it is just making or breaking for Lampard and his young Chelsea side.

 Frank Lampard & # 39; s Chelsea side against the season-defining period in the next five weeks "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Frank Lampard & # 39; s Chelsea side facing with the season-determining period in the next five weeks

Chelsea vs Manchester United (17 February, Premier League)

First on this test run, Chelsea will welcome the men of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Stamford Bridge for a collision on Monday evening under the lights.

United does not pose an immediate serious threat to their top four ambitions, although the victory could bring them in three points, so it is an opportunity for Chelsea to give themselves some real breathing room.

The men from Lampard have been poor at home recently and have only won once at Stamford Bridge since December 4 – so he wants his side to end that run.

Their opening day of 4-0 tampering with United will also give some extra incentive. Winning this will not only give them confidence to tackle this difficult period immediately, but it could also completely eliminate United from the Champions League race and make them less worried about a team. In other words: it's a big game for Chelsea.

 The Blues will be desperate to make it up after a 4-0 thrashing by United on opening day "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The Blues will desperately want making up after a 4-0 thrashing by United on opening day

Chelsea vs Tottenham (22 February, Premier League)

This will be a frenzy of rivalry with a London derby for the ages on the cards.

There is generally bad blood between Chelsea and Tottenham, but this time a certain Jose Mourinho was thrown into the mix. It's master versus apprentice while Lampard prepares to close horns with the man who made him one of the best midfielders in the world.

No love will be lost for Mourinho, who now manages another of Chelsea & # 39; s rivals after his United games.

Should Chelsea fail to score points from their draw with the men of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Tottenham could be well on their tail by the time it arrives. A tense affair is certainly billed.

 Lampard will fight his former manager when Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Lampard will fight against his former manager when Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge

Earlier in the Mourinho season Chelsea disturbed by saying that he & # 39; worries & # 39; made over the Blues during his punditry tasks for Sky Sports, even though they were starting a great run under Lampard at that time. It came so much under the skin that assistant manager Jody Morris went to Twitter to respond.

Chelsea reminded Morris of his behavior and responsibilities after the action, and the club subsequently experienced a relapse in form.

The victory in this, for Chelsea, would be huge. If not, they can get a little hot under the collar. Especially when it comes to Morris.

Chelsea vs Bayern Munich (February 25 Champions League)

If there is one game that Chelsea fans are looking forward to, it's this one.

Nostalgia appears as Blues fans remember the Champions League final of 2012, in which Lampard and Co Munich overthrew in their own backyard with last-dram, being crowned kings of Europe for the first time.

Things have changed dramatically since then. This time, Lampard returns to the helm and leads a youthful team that enters the tie as clear underdogs. Few people expect them to improve.

The Blues will depend on their big name experienced stars to get something from Bavaria, before the return of the crunch at Stamford Bridge.

Days after falling back on English soil, Chelsea travels to the south coast to see the side of Bournemouth fight for their lives in the Premier League. Lampard cannot afford to equip players for both trips, which means that the stress levels will be at a peak this week.

 The last time Chelsea faced Bayern Munich, Lampard and Co became champions of Europe "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The last Chelsea team faced Bayern Munich, Lampard and Co. became champions of Europe

Chelsea vs Liverpool (March 3, FA Cup)

It's a nice problem to have when you compete on different fronts, but Chelsea has an interesting situation when they face Liverpool from Jurgen Klopp in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

On the one hand, the competition offers an excellent chance of silveware for the first season for Lampard. It would greatly increase his stock.

But on the other hand, the club legend will be wary of burning up the team. Progress in the FA Cup at the expense of securing a Champions League place would not be so kindly met in the boardroom, although it would bring a smile to the faces of supporters.

Lampard and Chelsea are also somewhat in the dark about who they will actually play. Liverpool fielded what was essentially a team under 23 in the final round against Shrewsbury, after having seen the draw.

The question is now being asked, will Klopp reward those same young players for giving them an outing will they never forget under the lights at Stamford Bridge?

 Liverpool played a youthful side in the final round, including 16-year-old Harvey Elliott "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Liverpool played a youthful side in the final round, including 16-year-old Harvey Elliott

Chelsea vs Everton (March 8, Premier League)

Immediately after the cup match, Chelsea immediately finds host to the Merseyside opposition.

Carlo Ancelotti & # 39; s Everton now seems to be really accelerating and is starting to cherish its own European ambitions.

When the two parties met in Goodison Park in December, it is safe to say that Everton stole the show. Chelsea looked slowly at the hosts dashed to a 3-1 win under the then interim manager Duncan Ferguson.

Changes need to be made, although Lampard and Co would be happy to admit that they would like to take a point from this tricky one.

The Blues travel to the Midlands to face the Aston Villa shortly thereafter, on March 14, in another competition in which they visit the home of a relegation battler. No doubt new legs are needed, as Villa is struggling to maintain their top flight.

Four days later, the decisive return of the Bayern Champions League collision comes into play.

 Everton defeated Chelsea in December and now heads ex-Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <noscript><img id= Everton defeated Chelsea in December and now has ex-Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti the boss

Chelsea vs Manchester City (March 21, Premier League)

Chelsea may think they have weathered the storm, only for Pep Guardiola & # 39; s men to roll up in West London.

That said, with a serious collision with Real Madrid on the cards, City will have played both legs and either still fly high in Europe, or back home with tails between legs.

Guardiola wants to end up as close as possible to the top of the table, regardless of what happens, which means Chelsea will not get an easy ride.

Earlier results may mean that Chelsea must seriously win to hold on to the top four, although City does indeed travel very well in the capital.

So far, Guardiola & # 39; s men have won every time they have visited London, except for a recent 2-0 accident against Tottenham.

Of their three other games in London – against West Ham, Crystal Palace and Arsenal – City have hit the rear 10 times.

 The city will be desperate to end the season as strong as possible and to travel well in London "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The city will be desperate to complete the season as strongly as possible, and travel well in London

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PETE JENSON: Eden Hazard’s debut season at Real Madrid has been plagued by injuries

PETE JENSON: The Eden Hazard debut season in Real Madrid is plagued by injuries, but he can still help them do the double … if the £ 130 million man can get fit and fired, he can be the game changer of Zinedine Zidane are


    • Eden Hazard is plagued by injuries in his debut season in Real Madrid
    • Madrid tops LaLiga with goal difference, but has a game about Barca
    • The Belgian is back in training and can stand in line to play against Man City
    • Madrid needs a big-game player and Hazard can lead them to a brilliant double

    Real Madrid & # 39; s coach Zinedine Zidane knows that this season can be very special. How special it eventually becomes can have a lot to do with how [Hazard returns to the first team.

    An opening of three points has arisen in LaLiga and the injury to Luis Suarez and the change of coach have weakened Barcelona to the point where they are no longer favorites for the champions to finish. In Europe, winning the Champions League will be more problematic, but if they defeat Manchester City they will have eliminated one of the few teams that can currently live with them.

    The Zidane team is defensively strong, there is depth and unity in the team and goals come from all over the field with 19 different scorers this season. If only one excellent performer was able to win a difficult game only with a moment of magic, that could be the difference between doing double in style and settling for a hard-fought competitive win.

     With the most important phase of the season coming, Real Madrid looks strong "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= With the most important phase of the season coming, Real Madrid look strong

     Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will be well aware that he can follow another special season "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will be well aware that he could be at another special season

    Hazard is the man who can and explains his importance why Zidane has been so careful with his return from an injury.

    It was a long way back from November 26 when he injured PSG in Bernabeu, but he completed his 10th training on Friday and had to complete his 11th on Saturday before joining Zidane & # 39; s team for Sunday was called match against Celta Vigo.

    If he plays half an hour this weekend and an hour next Saturday away to Levante, he will play 90 minutes against Manchester City.

    Hazard was ready to come back last weekend, but the program was a tough journey away from Osasuna and so Zidane decided to sign the club's home record for another week at home before returning for what is now the most crucial part of the Real Madrid season.

     The Frenchman knows that success this season can be based on the condition of Eden Hazard "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The Frenchman knows that this season can be successful on the condition van Eden Hazard

     Hazard's debut season is plagued by injuries and has been out of "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> since November <img id= Hazard's debut season is plagued by injuries and has been out since November

    Not only do they overlook Manchester City, but they play Barcelona on March 1 thui s and a win would be a huge advantage over the side of Quique Setien.

    It could be that they open a three-point opening while controlling a game, but the benefits won't stop there because goal difference is head-to-head in LaLiga and a win after the first Clasico of the season ended 0-0 in the Nou Camp, would mean that they have the better direct goal difference with Barca.

    If the two teams finish level on points at the end of the season they would be ahead of their big rivals, even if the overall Barcelona goal difference is better. It is easy to see why Zidane Hazard did not want to rush back.

    After sustaining the PSG injury, Zidane was relaxed in his press conference after the game where he declined it as a turn that would not last long. term problem. The original estimate of the time on the sidelines was 10 days. That has become a long period because a micro-fracture was discovered in the days after the PSG competition.

     Madrid has done so far without Hazard and plans to take advantage of the flailing Barcelona "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> Madrid has done so without Hazard far and want to capitalize on flailing Barcelona "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </noscript> </div>
<p class= Madrid has done so far without Hazard and wants capitalizing on flailing Barcelona

    Hazard only broke his judge in the summer of 2017 while in international service. It was also when he was very much on the Madrid transfer agenda. The story of Zidane & # 39; s final imprisonment of a player he wanted to coach since he first saw him as a 19-year-old in Lille and immediately introduced him to Madrid.

    When the time finally came for Lille to sell him, Zidane again urged Real Madrid President Florentino Perez to take him to Bernabeu, but with Jose Mourinho at the helm Real Madrid signed Luka instead Modric.

    In 2016, Zidane became the coach of the first Real Madrid team and again told the club to sign Hazard. He finally got his husband last summer.

    There was a waiting period for his debut due to a hamstring injury picked up in the preseason. The injury prevented him from coming into top form at the start of the season. Real Madrid played the rivals Celta on the opening day on Sunday and it was Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos who were the stars. Instead of the big signing of the summer, Madrid lagged behind two players that many people thought were already in the club's past.

     Hazard trains continuously and can stand in line to play against Manchester City "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Hazard trains constantly and can stand in line to play against Manchester City

     Hazard is the big-game player who glory Madrid to Champions League and La Liga "class =" blkBorder img-share "/ > </div>
<p> <img id= Hazard is the big-game player who can lead Madrid to Champions League and La Liga glory

    As soon as he got Hazard up to speed, he starting from the left and making a diagonal run through the middle to match Karim Benzema with like-minded spirit, became the focal point of the Madrid attacks.

    That is the understanding that Zidane wants to see himself mature again and wants to push the team across the line and inspire another good Champions League run.

    If there is one thing that Madrid still thinks it is missing, then it is a big game player that always delivers when it really matters.

    The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo is still being felt. Ronaldo may even be waiting for Madrid in the Champions League this season. They absolutely wanted Hazard to be at his best for that meeting, and for that they wanted him to play his part in eliminating the city of Manchester from Pep Guardiola.

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Aston Villa’s Frederic Guilbert believes he will not have to endure relegation again this season

Frederic Guilbert is one of eight Aston Villa players who have already tasted relegation, but the defender insists that there will be no tears this season

  • Frederic Guilbert was relegated with French side Caen last season
  • He joins seven other Aston Villa players who have experienced relegation
  • But the defender believes that Villa the necessary & # 39; weapons & # 39; has remained

Aston Villa fans can be alarmed about the number of players who already have relegation on their resume, but defend Frederic Guilbert insists that there are no more tears this season.

Eight Dean Smith players have been trapped at eight different clubs – including Guilbert whose French club Caen fell last season before he signed for Villa.

& # 39; It is true that I cried. We had the chance to survive on the last day, so it was heartbreaking that I hadn't had a club that I loved in Ligue 1 & # 39 ;, the 25-year-old defender admits.

 Frederic Guilbert is convinced that Aston Villa can avoid relegation this season "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Frederic Guilbert is convinced that Aston Villa can avoid relegation this season

& # 39; Fighting the degegation is a bit similar this season, but I think we have a much tighter and mentally stronger team to resist. I think we have all the weapons we need to stay in the Premier League. & # 39;

Villa, who is confronted with Spurs on Sunday, could view the unfortunate history of their players in two ways. The experience can make them conflict or leave scars in the coming weeks.

Ahmed Elmohamady has been relegated twice from the Premier League with Hull and skipper Jack Grealish is the last survivor of Villa & # 39; s own relegation season in 2016.

 Eight Dean Smith players were previously trapped by eight different clubs "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Eight Dean Smith players were previously trapped in eight different clubs

Wounded goalkeeper Tom Heaton went down with Burnley and a similar fate has hit Neil Taylor (Wrexham), John McGinn (St. Mirren), Guilbert and Douglas Luiz, whose Spanish side Girona fell out of La Liga last season.

Ezri Konsa was also in Charlton's books when they were relegated from the championship.

Guilbert impressed as a regular in his first season in England and scored an important goal against Leicester who helped Villa reach the Carabao Cup final.

Once covered by France under 21, he did not give up representing senior world champions, but his immediate priority is to take revenge on Spurs who defeated Villa 3-1 on White Hart Lane on opening day. with two Harry Kane goals in the last five minutes.

 Guilbert has impressed as Aston Villa in his first season in England "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= I was 19th player that day so I was close to the bench, it was one of the first games I ever attended in the Premier League and it was hard to watch & # 39 ;, gives he added.

& # 39; Spurs are a large team with great players. But we have seen that everyone can beat everyone in this competition. So we are ready to play.

& # 39; Playing for Aston Villa is extraordinary with the stadium, the atmosphere and everything. It is special. Of course I had the sea in Caen and live in Birmingham, there is no sun! So from that side it is difficult.

& # 39; The English game is strongly based on the transition between defense and attack. And it is much faster and more intense than France. Maybe that style suits me a bit more. & # 39;

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Everton vs Watford preview: Both sides in search of first win of the season

All attention is focused on the & # 39; Marco Silva derby & # 39; in Goodison Park on the second weekend of the new Premier League season.

And both parties will be desperate for their first three points of the 2019-2020 campaign.

Everton were detained in a combat draw at Crystal Palace that had been reduced to 10 men for part of the competition after the broadcast of Morgan Schneiderlin.

FA Cup Finalists Watford continued to worry about the downturn in their league form with a shock of 3-0 home defeat for Brighton for their own fans.

Is it too much to ask for a number of goals because both parties want to break through their drought after disappointing opening games?

 New signing Moise Kean stands in line for his full debut for Everton against Watford on Saturday "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= New signing Moise Kean standing in line his full debut for Everton against Watford on Saturday

EVERTON: Goal-shy Toffees already cause for concern

Everton & # 39; s summer ended in a wave of optimism when the deals became completed for Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi.

The last two will be desperate for the chance to impress if Silva is considering handing out home debut.

And the boy of the Toffees needs an injection with attacking prowess in the last third of the field.

It was far from a disastrous preseason for Silva & # 39; s side, but a return of three goals from seven games is clearly cause for concern – especially when followed by a scoreless draw in the opening weekend.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin offers a lot of energy in advance, but lacks quality. Richarlison has all the tools, but has yet to reach that next level and had a preseason disrupted by the Copa America.

 Alex Iwobi has yet to appear since his move from Arsenal late in the transfer window "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <noscript> <img id= Alex Iwobi has yet to appear since his move from Arsenal late in the transfer window

If Everton is to come close to the top six, the problem of the target-shy attackers must be solved.

Richarlison top score with 14. last season, but in reality Everton still has to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, sold to Manchester United two years ago.

The visit of Watford, who shipped three home to Brighton, certainly represents an opportunity for Silva to lay a marker for how his side can attack and land on the forefoot.

K ean only managed seven for Juventus last season – and has already focused on it this year – while Iwobi scored only four in four years in Arsenal.

At this stage of the season, it is definitely up to Richarlison to heal those final third releases.

 All attention is focused on the & # 39; Marco Silva derby & # 39; in Goodison Park in the second weekend "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= All attention is focused on the & # 39; Marco Silva derby & # 39; in Goodison Park on the second weekend

WATFORD: Defensive vulnerabilities leave Gracia exposed

After a strong showing in 2018-19 and a run to the FA Cup final, there was a sure buzz around Watford's outlook this season.

Only a 3-0 backwards in the hands of Brighton on Vicarage Road during the opening weekend came as a surprise.

But should it have been done?

 Watford & # 39; s series of four consecutive defeats in the competition will cause manager Javi Gracia concern "class =" blkBorder i mg-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> Watford & # 39; s series of four consecutive league-defeats will cause manager Javi Gracia to worry "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </noscript> </div>
<p class= Watford & # 39; s series of four consecutive league-defeats the manager Javi Gracia will be concerned

For all progress under Javi Gracia and the wonders of a cup run, their form of competition ended worryingly.

The Hornets won only three of their last 10 games and lost their last three to fall into the bottom half of the table.

They shipped three in Chelsea, four at home in West Ham and then six to Manchester City, Wembley.

The new centerback combination of Craig Cathcart and Craig Dawson takes time to learn, but managers at Watford rarely get that luxury.

Gracia is the club manager's first club to survive an entire season since Gianfranco Zola in 2012-13.

He has been their long-serving manager in a decade, but owners of the Pozzo family offer no guarantees of safety.

With West Ham and Newcastle to follow later this month, it is now time for Gracia to take away the fear that he is the same way as his predecessors.

Predicted line-ups

Everton & # 39; sp] convicted from XI: Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne; Andre Gomes, Gbamin; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert Lewin.

Watford & # 39; s predicted start XI: Foster; Kiko Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Pereyra; Deeney, Gray.

What do the bookmakers say?

Everton will try to pick up his first win of the season in Goodison Park and can be supported on 4/6. Visitors to Watford can bounce back from their 3-0 home defeat by Brighton and stand 4/1 for the win. The draw is also available on 3/1.

Moise Kean is the bookmakers' favorite to score the opening goal of the game and to open his account as a Toffee player on 4/1. A 2-0 home win is priced at a tempting 7/1.

All odds via gambling aggregator

What was said?

Everton striker Richarlison : & # 39; For us we play with extra pleasure because we know we have the fans on our side. When we played at home last season, we beat the big clubs and I think we can continue our form this season. We have this extra support at home. You hear that siren and your hair standing. & # 39;

Watford manager Javi Gracia : The team works well, is focused on the game and at the moment they are all hurt and all in this moment think about this game. We had a bad result. It was difficult for us, a difficult game, but we try to learn in all games. & # 39;


Everton won six of their first nine Premier League games against Watford (W6 D2 L1) but are not winning in their last three against the Hornets (W0 D1 L2).

Watford is non-profit in all 13 away games against Everton in all competitions (W0 D2 L11), leading three of their last four games at Goodison Park, but failed to win one.

Everton held five consecutive Premier League home games at the end of the 2018-19 season in the league once before, with seven in a row between March and September 2013.

Watford has lost their last four Premier League games – they haven't lost five in a row since they played their last six games of the 2016-17 Season under Walter Mazzarri.

Everton wants to win five consecutive times and Premier League home games for the first time since a run of eight under Ronald Koeman in April 2017.

In the top flight, Watford collected five points from a possible 72 in 24 away games against the two Merseyside clubs (Everton and Liverpool), win one, draw two and lose 21 of those games.

Against Crystal Palace, Morgan Schneiderlin of Everton became the 12th other player to be sent away under Marco Silva in the Premier League – five more than have been sent away under another manager since Silva & # 39; s first game in the competition in January 14th, 2017.

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Cyrname fortunate to get up from heavy fall at Ascot as Nicholls ends the steeplechaser’s season

Cyrname happy to run away from heavy fall on Ascot as Paul Nicholls ends the steeplechaser season

  • The highest-rated steeplechaser in Britain fell to Ascot on Saturday
  • Cyrname crashed after misjudging a fence in the Betfair Ascot Chase
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls was forced to end the horse season early ]
  • He said that Cyrname & # 39; is missing something & # 39; in recent races

Cyrname, the highest rated steeplechaser in Great Britain , ran away from a crashing fall on Ascot yesterday but will not race this season according to his trainer Paul Nicholls.

The favorite of 4-11 to win the first class Betfair Ascot Chase for the second consecutive year was a defeated horse and it seems that he was the last of the four starters behind 7-2 winner Riders On the Storm ends when he misjudges the last fence.

Cyrname defeated Altior in a long-awaited collision with Ascot in November, but then seemed lack of brilliance when struck by stablemate Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI Chase in Kempton on Boxing Day.

 Cyrname was lucky to get up from a heavy fall on Ascot Racecourse on Saturday "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Cyrname was lucky to get up Of a heavy fall on Ascot Racecourse on Saturday

 The steeplechaser was 4-11 favorite to win the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase again "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The steeplechaser was 4-11 favorite to win the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase again

 Cyrna I will not be running again this season after the horse fell into the race. ast year "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Cyrname will no longer run this season after he fell into the race that the horse won last year

Nicholls admitted that he had been worried about the experimental garden at Windswept Ascot, but still felt that Cyrname was still not firing on all cylinders.

The champion trainer added: & # 39; We are now leaving it for the season and going back to the drawing board. It has blossomed in the last three weeks, but something is missing somewhere, but I cannot put my finger on it.

& # 39; Everyone will say it's because he has had a tough race against Altior, but I don't think that's it. He has always had breathing problems that would have gotten worse on that ground and we may have to look at a small operation. & # 39;

 Paul Nicholls believes the steeplechaser didn't shoot. at its best form on Saturday "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Paul Nicholls believes that the steeplechaser was not in its best shape on Saturday

or Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Riders On the Storm would have defeated the traffic fluid, who also fell at the last fence was arguable, but he is as short as 5-1 for the Ryanair Chase and has momentum for his season.

The Twiston-Davies stable also landed Ascot & # 39; s Swinley Chase with Ballyoptic, whose Grand National odds were reduced to 25-1. His trainer said: & # 39; He fell fourth in last season's Grand National if things are going well and is a better horse this season. & # 39;

The Haydock National course was won by Alex Hales-trained 33-1 shot Smooth Stepper but he is not registered for the £ 1 million race at Aintree.

 Trainer Nicholls is forced to go back to the drawing board with Cyrname "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Trainer Nicholls is forced to go back to the drawing board with Cyrname

Meanwhile, there must be doubts about the participation of Grand National winner One For Arthur 2017. Trainer Lucinda Russell told stewards that her gelding had an & # 39; irregular heartbeat & # 39; suffered after he moved to Haydock.

Russell said: & We will have him checked and decide what to do later in the week. & # 39;

Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll is making its late season debut this afternoon in the Boyne Hurdle in Navan.

POPULAR sprinter Kachy suffered a fatal injury while running in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap yesterday in Lingfield.

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Win over Norwich ensures that Liverpool WILL definitely finish above Manchester United this season

Bragging! Defeating Norwich ensures that Liverpool will definitely finish above Manchester United this season …. even if Jurgen Klopp's match loses EVERY remainder

  • Liverpool confirmed they will be over Manchester United this season finish
  • Sadio Mane's 100th Premier League goal gave the Reds a 1-0 victory in Norwich
  • The side of Jurgen Klopp has 76 points after only 26 games this season
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & # 39; s United are 14 points behind with 13 games to play

It was always going to happen – but ] Liverpool has finally confirmed that they will end this season for Manchester United thanks to a 1-0 win over Norwich.

Sadio Mane came off the bench to score the winner to bring the Reds points to no less than 76 points after 26 games.

With Manchester United was 41 points behind Jurgen Klopp & # 39; s side, it does not mean United for their rivals to finish for the second consecutive season.

 Norwich means that Liverpool will definitely end this year before Manchester United "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Victory in Norwich means that Liverpool will definitely end before Manchester United this year

 The fact that Liverpool managed this performance so early is damaging to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & # 39; s side "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= the fact that Liverpool managed this performance so early is harmful to Ole Gunnar S olskjaer & # 39; s side

It rubs salt in the wounds of the Red Devils, who have their worst season ever in the history of the Premier League, for the first time at this stage of the season never exceeded the 40-point mark.

The only thing that Klopp & # 39; s high flying Reds have yet to do is seal their first title in 30 years – what they can do if they win their next five games.

They also want to be the first party to complete a season with losing a match, because the Arsenal side of Arsene Wenger achieved that achievement in the 2003/04 season.

The dominance of Liverpool is so great this period that they have already surpassed the points total of Manchester United when they won the competition in 1996/97.

 Liverpool earned more points after 26 matches than United in 1996/97 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Liverpool has earned more points after United games in 1996/97

 Liverpool could become the first party to record an undefeated season since Arsenal in 2003/04 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Liverpool could become the first party which was recorded an undefeated season since Arsenal in 2003/04

In fact, 89 % of all Premier League teams in history have the league season with few closed r points than Liverpool currently has.

Klopp's side can also match another Manchester United record when they score in their next game at home in West Ham.

The Reds scored in 35 consecutive Premier League games – the record of United is 36 that they managed to manage between December 2007 and November 2008.

However, they still have a long way to go. to beat Arsenal's record for scoring in consecutive Premier League games after the Gunners had scored in England's top flight for 55 consecutive games between May 2001 and November 2002.

Mane & # 39; s 78th minute strike, which was also the 100th goal of the Senegalese attacker in the Premier League, earned the Reds a 17th consecutive victory in the Premier League, which is a shy of the successive record of Manchester City that they set last year.

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Premier League: How every team has done so far this season

The teams are returning from the first Premier League winter break, some will be excited to build on a strong first half of the season.

But for others, the year has been terribly disappointing, with many large guns still firing on all cylinders.

Top copper in Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal all hope for more of their stars if the sides are 6th, 8th and 10th respectively. While Leicester City Sheffield United and Wolves are buffered with their 3rd, 5th and 9th place.

Here, Sportsmail look at every club's expectation at the start of the season, where they sit after the winter break and the remaining games.


Liverpool leaders have dominated this season, with the speed and power of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino increasing hope that the Premier League is on its way to Anfield in May.

Klopp has raised expectations with Anfield since joining 2015, but the efforts of his team this season should even exceed his expectations.

 Liverpool has dominated largely thanks to the speed and power of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Liverpool has dominated largely thanks to the speed and power of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Klopp has built the Reds into one of Europe & # 39; s most formidable clubs, won the Champions League last season, finished second in the league and raced towards the domestic title of this term.

They rushed ahead and were 22 points away from last year's winners, Manchester City, with 13 games to go.

But Klopp refused to get carried away with Liverpool in the perfect first half year, last month: & # 39; I'm really happy with it, but the problem is that you get nothing from the best start except numbers. & # 39;

Liverpool & most important games:

Everton vs Liverpool – March 16

Manchester City vs Liverpool – April 4

Liverpool vs Chelsea – May 9

Despite his insistence, the Reds performed week after week and beat Leicester 4-0 in December, Southampton 4-0 last month , and perhaps the most important for some Everton 5-2 in the Merseyside derby before Christmas.

It seems inevitable that Klopp will deliver the goods this year and his side are blessed with a comfortable range of fixtures after the winter break. They will face Norwich this weekend, followed by West Ham, third bottom and then Watford.

The heavier games come towards the end of the season – when they may have already closed the competition – for Manchester City at the Etihad on April 4, where they were able to match Arsenal's unbeaten record of 49 league games. This is followed by a clash with 3rd place Chelsea at Anfield in the penultimate week of the season. If they continued their unbeaten run, they could cancel the title in their match against Crystal Palace on March 23.

Expected? Yes

Manchester City

The same

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McLaren unveil new car for the 2020 F1 season

McLaren unveils new car for the 2020 F1 season while Lando Norris admits that he is no longer pooping himself & # 39; for his second campaign in sport

  • McLaren unveiled the designs of their cars for the 2020 F1 season on Thursday
  • The unveiling of the MCL35 has shown that the McLaren is in papaya and blue. ] British driver Lando Norris feels more relaxed for his second F1 season

McLaren has unveiled the car they hope it will be they will take another step forward on their journey back to the front of the Formula 1 grid.

Britain's most successful team recovered from years in the doldrums and finished fourth in the constructors' championship last season, while Carlos Sainz celebrated their first podium in five years.

British driver Lando Norris, who entered his second season in sport, said: & # 39; We have had the input to make this car, so it feels like my baby and I can't wait to to drive it. & # 39;

 McLaren unveiled their new design for the next 2020 Formula 1 season "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> <noscript> <img id= McLaren unveiled their new design for the coming 2020 Formula 1-season

 Thursday's unveiling of the MCL35 has shown that the McLaren in papaya and blue colors is "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The unveiling of the MCL35 on Thursday has shown that the McLaren is in papaya and blue colors

 Britain's most successful team recovered from years in the drums and last year finished fourth in the constructors' championship "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The most successful team in Great Britain recovered from years in the doldrums and finished fourth in the constructors championship last season

The 20-year-old added: & Thinking back to this point last year, I was pooping myself . Now I am much more confident, more relaxed and that is preparing me for the coming season. & # 39;

Sainz, 25, added: & # 39; Lando and I have developed a good relationship.

& # 39; We have hopefully put together a better package, a better car and I feel that everything comes together. We have a positive momentum from last season, and we hope to continue this year. & # 39;

 Looking back on his first season, Lando Norris admitted he was & # 39; pooping "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Looking back on his first season, Lando Norris admitted that he pooped himself & # 39;

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: & # 39; is always great to see the start of the season and the work of 800 men and women coming together to develop this beautiful racing car.

& # 39; Our two drivers have brought the team a lot of energy, so thanks to them – and McLaren is a nice place to be.

& # 39; These are very exciting times, we have turned the corner, we still have a long way to go, but I am excited for the first race in Australia. & # 39;

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Joey Barton hit with an FA charge after second red card of season

Joey Barton struck with an FA charge after the Fleetwood manager was sent for the SECOND time this season

  • Joey Barton was sent to Wycombe in Fleetwood & # 39; s victory Tuesday night.
  • He has been accused of comments allegedly made against competition officials
  • Barton was sent to the stands in a tie on December 29 with Bristol Rovers

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton has been accused of football Association after being sent off the touchline for the second time this season.

Barton received a red card from referee Kevin Johnson late in the nightly 1-0 League One victory at Wycombe late Tuesday and is now in charge of allegedly made remarks against match officials.

An FA statement said: & # 39; Joey Barton has been accused of a violation of FA Rule E3.

 Fleetwood boss Joey Barton was charged by the FA after second red card of the "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Fleetwood boss Joey Barton was charged by the FA brought after the second red card of season

& # 39; It is claimed that the language of the Fleetwood Town FC manager for a match official in the 94th minute of an EFL League One match against Wycombe Wanderers FC on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 was offensive and / or offensive and / or inappropriate and / or their integrity was questioned.

& # 39; He has an answer until Monday, February 17, 2020. & # 39;

Former Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Burnley midfielder Barton was not the only member of the Fleetwood party to see red in Adams Park – striker Ched Evans had previously been missed for a challenge on Jason McCarthy .

It is the second time this campaign has sent the 37-year-old Fleetwood manager off the sidelines.

He was banished to the stands during his side & # 39; s 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers on December 29 about his protests after seeing an Evans strike barred from offside.

 Barton got late late in the night with referee Kevin Johnson winning 1-0 on Tuesday night in Wycombe "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Barton got a referee from referee Kevin Johnson late the night of Tuesday night to see 1-0 win at Wycombe

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Will Odion Ighalo have a successful late season cameo at Manchester United like these players?

Odion Ighalo is likely to make his Manchester United debut when they pick up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & # 39; s after the winter break against Chelsea on Monday evening.

The Nigerian striker was loaned by Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua during last month's transfer period with United briefly on forward options after Marcus Rashford's back injury.

Solskjaer will hope that Ighalo, who previously played in the Premier League with Watford will contribute a few important goals as United competes on three fronts between now and the end of the season.

But it is far from the first time that a top class club has given someone on loan in their time of need and United hopes that Ighalo will have a similar impact on these players. 06]

 Manchester United signed Odion Ighalo on loan last month to cover their shortage of strikers "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Manchester United signed Odion Ighalo on loan last month to cover their shortage of attackers to cover

 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved in January to strengthen his forward line after Rashford & # 39; s injury "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved in January to strengthen its forward line after the devastation Rashford

Henrik Larsson (Manchester United, 2007)

[1 9459002] United was previously in a similar situation. In the winter of 2006-07, while chasing silverware in the Premier League and the Champions League, Sir Alex Ferguson struggled with a thin punch.

The only fit players at the time were Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Solskjaer, by that time in the injury-ridden twilight of his career and limited to cameos from the couch. Alan Smith struggled for his condition.

It was after Ferguson sold Ruud van Nistelrooy to Real Madrid last summer, following Solskjaer's decision to send Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan last summer.


 Sir Alex Ferguson signed the Swedish striker Henrik Larsson to offer front cover in 2007 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Sir Alex Ferguson has the Swedish striker Henrik Larsson signed to front to provide front coverage in 2007

Ferguson's inspired solution was to loan Swedish legend Larsson, who was then 35, on loan from Helsingborgs before the Allsvenskan off-season began.

Larsson scored only three times in 13 games – with his debut against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, against Watford in the league and Lille in the Champions League – but made a deep impression.

The United fans loved him and the club tried his loan until the end of the season, with Ferguson saying: "He has been fantastic f or we; his professionalism, his attitude, everything he has done is excellent. & # 39;

United won the Premier League but Larsson did not play enough games to win a medal.

 The 35-year-old scored three times during his loan period with United at the beginning of 2007 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The 35-year-old scored three times during his loan period with United early 2007

George Weah (Chelsea, 2000)

Weah was 33 when Gianluca Vialli loaned him to AC Milan in January 2000, with Chelsea hoping for a strong finish in the competition and midway through the second group stage of the Champions League.

But the Liberian legend made a positive impression during his few months on Stamford Bridge, especially after the winner scored against London rivals Tottenham on his debut with a headline.

It was all the more remarkable considering that Weah h advertisement came from Italy just hours before the match and he came off the bench to score three minutes of time.

 George Weah made an immediate impact after signing for Chelsea, by scoring against Tottenham "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= George Weah made an immediate impact after drawing for Chelsea , by scoring against Tottenham

He then scored four more goals for Chelsea, against Liverpool and Wimbledon in the league, plus Leicester and Gillingham in the FA Cup while Chelsea lifted the trophy.

Despite much affection from Chelsea fans, Vialli decided not to make Weah's move permanent and shortly thereafter he joined Manchester City.

 Weah ended the season by lifting the FA Cup after scoring five goals for the Blues "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Weah closed it season by abolishing the FA Cup after scoring five goals for the Blues

Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham Hotspur, 1998)

We are already aware of Klinsmann & # 39; s first spell at Tottenham and the 29 goals he scored in all matches during the 1994 -95 campaign.

But his return to White Hart Lane in Spurs & Need during the 1997-1998 season was equally remarkable.

Spurs had replaced Gerry Francis with Christian Gross during a disaster. start of the season and was in the relegation zone when Klinsmann returned on loan from Sampdoria.

 Jurgen Klinsmann returned to Tottenham to save them from the Premier League relegation "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Jurgen Klinsmann returned to Tottenham to save them from the Premier League relegation

The German's goals in matches against West Ham, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Wimbledon (in which he scored four times) and Southampton saved them from relegation.

With Klinsmann who withdrew from professional club football after the last day, it was certainly a fitting end to a great career.

 The German attack fights with Paul Ince of Liverpool during a March 1998 match "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The German assault battle for the ball with Paul Ince of Liverpool during a competition in March 1998

Christophe Dugarry (Birmingham City, 2003)

Birmingham City became 15th and was in serious danger of degradation when she entered the French World Cup winner Dugarry We received a loan from Bordeaux in January 2003.

& # 39; We are very happy that he chose us & # 39 ;, said Birmingham boss Steve Bruce at the time. & # 39; Having someone with his credentials is a huge business for us. It is the largest signature this club has ever made. & # 39;

The club dropped to 17th place when Dugarry scored four goals in three games to win late season against Charlton, Southampton and Middlesbrough to keep his head above water.

Birmingham eventually finished six points above the bottom three and Dugarry made his move permanently and played 14 more times during the 2003-04 season.

 Christophe Dugarry scored a free kick during the Birmingham game against Southampton "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <noscript> Christophe Dugarry scored a free kick during Birmingham & # 39; s game match against Southampton "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </noscript> </div>
<p class= Christophe Dugarry scored a free kick during the Birmingham game against Southampton

 The Frenchman's objectives helped Birmingham secure their Premier League status in 2003 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The Frenchman's goals helped Birmingham securing their Premier League stat us in 2003

Robbie Keane (Leeds United, 2000-01))

He was impressed in his first Premier League season with Coventry City earned the Irish hotshot Keane made a £ 13 million move to Inter Milan with their manager Marcello Lippi a big fan.

Unfortunately, Lippi was fired shortly after his arrival and his successor, Marco Tardelli, was not. share the enthusiasm.

That offered Leeds a chance and they took Keane on loan in December 2000 while participating in the Premier League and the Champions League.

 Robbie Keane was loaned out by Inter Milan by Leeds United "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Robbie Keane was loaned at Inter Milan by Leeds United

 The Irish striker was a success and scored nine goals during his loan for a permanent movement "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= The Irish striker was a success, scored nine goals during his loan for a permanent movement


However, his goals were not enough to return Leeds to the Champions League, as they finished fourth in the Premier League back in the days when only the top three qualified.

Mikel Arteta (Everton, 2005)

Everton had a great season in 2004-05 and was in contention for Champions League qualification.

But manager David Moyes knew that he might need some squad additions to get his team over the line and take fourth place.

One of those he brought to Goodison Park was the Spanish midfielder Arteta, on loan from Real Sociedad, and he would help Everton achieve their ambition in the top four.

 Mikel Arteta appeared to sign an inspired loan for Everton when they finished fourth in 2004-05 "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Mikel Arteta provided an inspired loan sign for Everton as she finished fourth in 2004-05

Arteta played 13 times during his loan and made more than enough impression to win a permanent transfer to a five-year contract in July 2005 for just £ 2 mln.

Given Arteta, now the Arsenal manager, remained with the club for six seasons, it turned out to be an inspired move.

Kevin Campbell (Everton, 1999)

Everton's fortunes were quite different in 1999 because they were confronted with the very real threat of relegation in the midst of a turbulent campaign.

Walt er Smith needed a change of fortune and it came with the decision to save Campbell from what had been a disturbing time in the Turkish club Trabzonspor.

She Chairman Mehmet Ali Yilmaz launched a racist attack on Campbell, who described him as a & # 39; cannibal & # 39 ;, and the striker left the club not long afterwards.

Everton signed Campbell in March 1999 and went on an extraordinary score of nine goals in five games to achieve the required winnings to prevent relegation.

 Campbell all laughs with Everton manager Walter Smith after winning player of the month "class =" blkBorder img-share "/> </div>
<p> <noscript> <img id= Campbell laughs with Everton manager Walter Smith after winning player of the month

He scored two goals in each of the victories at Coventry, Newcastle and Charlton, plus a hat trick in a 6-0 thrashing of West Ham, to save the club almost alone from the fall.

Campbell's move was duly made permanent for £ 3 million and he was Everton & # 39; s main scorer the following season.

Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace, 2017)

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