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Jokanovic staying focused on task at hand amid speculation about his future

Slavisa Jokanovic has warned Cardiff that Fulham are “desperate” for victory on Saturday — but not because he fears for his job as manager. Hosts Cardiff will pursue their first win of the Premier League season against their fellow strugglers and in the knowledge that, should they do so, they could climb out of the relegation zone at Fulham’s expense. A total of two points from eight games means Neil Warnock’s team has already been widely dismissed as certainties for relegation, but where there was once optimism surrounding Jokanovic’s side, the Serbian knows they need to build consistency and momentum. Saturday’s fixture between the two promoted sides is the first of three for Fulham in the league – they then play Bournemouth and Huddersfield – that could transform their fortunes,  and wh...

Result: Middlesbrough take top spot after win at Wednesday

Middlesbrough went top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Two goals at the start of the second half from Mo Besic and Britt Assombalonga were enough to secure all three points despite a late fightback from the hosts. Adam Reach scored the Owls’ only goal against his old club, firing in a volley from the edge of the box to halve the deficit. Boro’s intent to sit back, soak up any Wednesday pressure, and counter-attack was evident early on. In a cagey opening few minutes, Stewart Downing was the first man to break either back line, crossing in from the right and forcing a good block. Assombalonga was quick and industrious, but playing as a lone striker he had little support and failed to make an impression in the first half. Wednesday had the...

Strong final quarter sees Leicester hit back to sink Scarlets

Leicester kept their European Champions Cup hopes alive with a thrilling 45-27 win over Scarlets at Welford Road. The Tigers’ pack dominated an injury-ravaged Scarlets’ eight and their pressure was rewarded with five tries scored by Harry Wells, Guy Thompson, Sione Kalamafoni, Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May. George Ford added four penalties and four conversions. Scarlets replied with tries from Gareth Davies, Steff Evans and Blade Thomson, with Leigh Halfpenny kicking two penalties and three conversions. Leicester were dealt a blow before kick-off when captain Tom Youngs withdrew with illness, with Ford taking on the captaincy – and he gave his side the lead with a third minute penalty. Tigers continued their impressive start with Tuilagi making a sharp break before Wells forced his way over f...

How Inter Milan could line up against AC Milan

Sports Mole looks at how Inter Milan could line up in Sunday’s Serie A clash with AC Milan. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:22 UK Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:23 UK Inter Milan will be looking for their seventh straight win in all competitions when they host AC Milan in the Milan derby on Sunday night. Inter have been victorious in each of their last four Serie A matches to move into third position in the table, and currently sit four points and seven positions above their bitter rivals Milan entering this weekend’s match. Inter recorded a 3-2 win in the corresponding fixture last season, but they have only won one of the last six meetings between the two teams in all competitions. Here, Sports Mole looks at how the hos...

How AC Milan could line up against Inter Milan

Sports Mole looks at how AC Milan could line up in this weekend’s Milan derby with bitter rivals Inter Milan. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:23 UK Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:23 UK AC Milan will be looking for their fourth straight Serie A victory when they take on bitter rivals Inter Milan on Sunday night. Milan will enter the derby down in 10th position in Serie A, but Gennaro Gattuso‘s side have only lost one of their eight league matches this season, and are unbeaten in their last six entering Sunday’s match. Milan lost 3-2 in the corresponding league fixture last term, but have actually only been beaten in one of their last six meetings with Inter. That said, Milan have not been victorious in the away leagu...

How Paris Saint-Germain could line up against Amiens

Sports Mole looks at how Paris Saint-Germain could line up in this weekend’s Ligue 1 clash with Amiens. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:20 UK Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 19:20 UK Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to extend their perfect start to the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season to 10 matches when they host Amiens on Saturday afternoon. PSG have won each of their nine league fixtures this season to top the table on 27 points, eight points clear of second-placed Lille. The French giants have scored 11 times in their last two fixtures, and will enter this game off the back of a 5-0 win over Lyon before the international break. Amiens, however, have already recorded three league victories this season, and have nothing to lose as they h...

Result: Valverde plays down Neymar return ‘speculation’ ahead of Sevilla showdown

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has dismissed reports linking Neymar with a return to the Nou Camp as “speculation” ahead of his side’s LaLiga clash with in-form Sevilla. Valverde’s current problems will tempt many to relish the potential return of the Brazilian who left the club 14 months ago for Paris St Germain in a world-record deal. While Barca go into the game without a domestic win in their last four – it is over a decade since the Catalan giants went five successive league matches without a victory – Sevilla’s run of four straight triumphs has seen them clamber to the top of the table. Barcelona insist talk of a Neymar return is premature (Simon Cooper/PA) Valverde said: “I know that any time is a good time to think about Neymar but he is in another team and it is speculation. “We...

Maurizio Sarri dismisses Andreas Christensen’s quit threat

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says that he is “not interested” in threats made by Andreas Christensen’s father regarding the defender’s future. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:43 UK Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:43 UK Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has insisted that he is “not interested” in threats made by Andreas Christensen‘s father that the defender will look to leave Stamford Bridge in January unless he is handed more playing time. Christensen, 22, made 40 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea during the 2018-19 campaign. The Denmark international has not made a single Premier League appearance for the Blues this term, however, with David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger both ahead of him in t...

Barcelona: ‘No plans to re-sign Neymar’

Barcelona have not discussed the possibility of re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, insists the Spanish club’s vice-president Jordi Cardoner. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:35 UK Barcelona have not discussed the possibility of re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, according to the Spanish club’s vice-president Jordi Cardoner. Neymar, 26, scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barca between 2013 and 2017 before completing a world-record move to PSG in last summer’s transfer window. The Brazilian has netted 39 times in 41 appearances for PSG since his arrival, but suggestions that the attacker is unsettled in France have gathered pace in recent months. Neymar is said to be desperate to return to Camp Nou as he ̵...

Pep Guardiola: ‘Jadon Sancho could return to Manchester City’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says that Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho could return to the Etihad Stadium in the future. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:29 UK Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said that Jadon Sancho could return to the Etihad Stadium in the future. Sancho famously rejected the chance to sign a new contract at City in favour of moving to Borussia Dortmund, who are believed to have paid around £8m to sign the teenager in 2017. The 18-year-old has been in fine form for his German club this season, managing one goal and six assists in seven Bundesliga appearances, and also has a Champions League assist to his name. Sancho, meanwhile, made his senior England debut during recent the international break. City reportedly...

Result: Attacking trio in line to return for misfiring Real Madrid against Levante

Isco, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema could make a welcome return for Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui against Levante on Saturday. Bale missed both of Wales’ matches against Spain and Republic of Ireland during the international break with a groin injury, but could start for Los Blancos in LaLiga. Lopetegui described playmaker Isco as a ‘weapon’ for Los Blancos earlier in week after the Spaniard returned to training following a bout of appendicitis which has kept him out since a 1-0 win against Espanyol on September 22. Real Madrid’s Isco playing against Liverpool in the Champions League final (Mike Egerton/PA) He added: “He’s (Isco) a crucial player. We’re thrilled that he’s recovered and ready to play again.” Benzema has already had two full training sessions back with the team, according...

Agent: ‘Andreas Christensen to seek Chelsea exit’

Andreas Christensen will leave Chelsea in January unless he receives regular playing time over the next few months, says his father and agent Sten Christensen. By Matt Law, European Football EditorFiled: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:08 UK Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018 at 18:08 UK Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen will leave Stamford Bridge in January unless he receives regular playing time over the next few months, according to his father and agent Sten Christensen. Christensen, 22, made 40 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea during the 2018-19 campaign. The Denmark international has not made a single Premier League appearance for the Blues this term, however, with David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger both ahead of him in the pecking order. Christensen’s father, who a...

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