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5 talking points ahead of this week’s Champions League action

The Champions League returns this week with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in last-16 action. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s revived Reds take on Paris St Germain at Old Trafford, while Borussia Dortmund and their in-form England winger Jadon Sancho head to Wembley. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the main talking points surrounding this week’s games. Solskjaer’s big test Roll on Tuesday. #MUFC #UCL pic.twitter.com/RpqUYpJ5S8 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 10, 2019 When United were paired with PSG during the final days of Jose Mourinho’s reign this tie was seen as nothing more than a formality for the French champions. How times have changed. United have since won 10 and drawn one of their 11 games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Sols...

Hughton calls for FA action after derogatory chants were aimed at Gaetan Bong

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has called for the Football Association to clamp down on derogatory chanting after Gaetan Bong was targeted by West Brom fans. The defender was subjected to boos and chants when he came on as a substitute in the Seagulls’ 3-1 extra time FA Cup fourth round replay win. It was his first return to The Hawthorns after he accused Baggies striker Jay Rodriguez of a racist comment last season. Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association but the allegation was “not proven” having claimed he told Bong his breath smelled, with Albion fans singing Bong was a “smelly b******” on Wednesday. “It’s down the authorities and governors of our game, and what we see and hear, for people to deal with,” said Hughton, who called the booing of Bong by Burnley fans in support of f...

Which Premier League side in FA Cup action made the most changes?

Premier League teams rung the changes once more for the FA Cup but Everton showed making few alterations was not a guarantee of success. The 13 remaining top-tier clubs made an average of 5.8 changes to their line-ups and only five made sure of their places in the fifth round. Everton fielded nine of the players who started in their last league fixture but they were still beaten 3-2 by Championship side Millwall. Everton 2 Arsenal 3 Manchester City 4 Manchester United 5 The study looked at changes made from each team’s last Premier League game, ignoring the midweek Carabao Cup second legs that involved Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City. Nine of the teams replaced at least half of their line-ups from their last league fixture but only three of them won, with two of those victories gain...

Cardiff City consider legal action over Emiliano Sala plane disaster?

Cardiff City are considering their legal options as they continue to come to terms with the presumed death of club-record signing Emiliano Sala, according to a report. Cardiff City are reportedly contemplating whether to launch a negligence claim over the tragic Emiliano Sala plane disaster. The Bluebirds’ club-record move for the Argentinian striker was rubber-stamped just hours before the plan transporting him to the Welsh capital went missing. The search operation for Sala was called off by rescue workers on Thursday, all but ending the slim hopes of finding the player – and pilot Dave Ibbotson – alive. Cardiff are believed to have paid Nantes £5m upfront for Sala and agreed to a commitment of two further £5m instalments, taking the total fee up to £15m. However, The T...

Garry Parker hopes Hibs can take cup form into league action

Hibs returned from the three-week winter break with a 4-0 victory. Hibernian assistant manager Garry Parker is hoping Saturday’s comfortable Scottish Cup fourth-round victory over Elgin will stand them in good stead for Wednesday’s return to Ladbrokes Premiership action. The Leith side did not show any signs of rust following a three-week winter break after making light work of the League Two part-timers in a dominant 4-0 victory. Flo Kamberi opened the scoring after 21 minutes before Daryl Horgan and Steven Mallan, from the penalty spot, found the net before the break. Horgan completed the scoring in the 53rd minute to ensure Neil Lennon’s side head into the Fir Park clash at Motherwell full of confidence. And Parker admits Hibs are desperate to improve on their current ...

Nadal to test out new service action at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal will test out his new service action for the first time in his opening round clash with James Duckworth at the Australian Open on Monday. The Spaniard has not played a competitive match since retiring from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro last September due to pain in his knee. An abdominal strain then prevented a comeback later in the season and he took the opportunity to have minor ankle surgery before a thigh issue saw him pull out of last week’s tournament in Brisbane. Rafael Nadal faces James Duckworth in the Australian Open (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) But, amid all the physical challenges, Nadal and his coaching team of Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig found time to remodel his serving action in a bid to take some of the strain off the 32-year-old’s body. Mo...

Hibs to take action against fan after “unacceptable” abuse

The fan was caught on camera apparently shouting abuse at Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona. Hibernian vowed to take action after a fan was caught on camera apparently aiming racist abuse at Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona. Hibs branded the behaviour “unacceptable” after the fan was seen on live television shouting abuse as the French-born Congo international was being told to leave the pitch by the referee following treatment for an injury during Hearts’ 1-0 win at Easter Road. A Hibernian spokesman said: “The club will do everything we can to identify the individual concerned and we will take the appropriate action. It’s unacceptable.” The previous Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle saw Hibs head coach Neil Lennon struck by a coin and other missiles thrown at Hibs players and match officials, w...

Serie A set for weekend action after Boxing Day violence

Serie A games will go ahead this weekend following the ugly scenes that marred Inter Milan’s fixture against Napoli, the Italian Football Federation has announced. The matches were in doubt after FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said Serie A could be suspended after one fan died outside the San Siro following a collision with a van and four others were injured in separate incidents. There were also allegations of racist chanting inside the stadium towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Gravina told Sky Sports Italia: “Saturday will be played, there will be regular matches. The championship will not stop. “The next games will be played out, a decision taken in agreement with all the offices of the Federation. We do not stop against those who want to contaminate our world.” On the allegat...

Liverpool’s Salah to face no action over penalty incident

Salah has escaped a Football Association charge after winning a spot-kick against Newcastle. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will be available against Arsenal and Manchester City as he will not face a ban for diving. Salah went down in the area to earn a penalty – which he scored – in the 4-0 Boxing Day win over Newcastle. He tumbled after pressure from defender Paul Dummett, who appeared to put his hand on the Egypt international. And the Football Association has decided not to pursue a charge as there was contact, so the incident did not meet the threshold for a diving charge. Had the FA opted to investigate, Salah could have missed the games against Arsenal on Saturday and City next Thursday. Premier League leaders Liverpool were 1-0 ahead at the time of the spot-kick and Newcastle boss...

5 talking points ahead of Boxing Day’s Premier League action

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United homecoming, Tottenham’s bid to break into the top two and Rafael Benitez’s Anfield return share the spotlight on Boxing Day. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the main talking points heading into the festive fixtures. Ole is Gunnar enjoy returning home Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began life as Manchester United interim manager with victory over Cardiff (Nick Potts/PA) After a resounding victory at Cardiff in his first match as interim manager of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take his place in the Old Trafford dugout on Boxing Day. Dubbed a ‘super-sub’ for much of his time as a player with United, the Norwegian – who replaced Jose Mourinho last week – will no doubt feel comfortable in his surroundings. Solskjaer could hard...

5 talking points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes the helm at Manchester United. Manchester City bid to maintain their Premier League title challenge against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium, but the spotlight will be shared with rivals Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of his first game as United’s temporary new manager at Cardiff after Jose Mourinho was sacked this week and the Norwegian hopes to hit the ground running. Here Press Association Sport focuses on five key talking points from this weekend’s top-flight fixtures. Returning hero Solskjaer has plenty to ponder Ole’s comments on Sir Alex in full… #MUFC — Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 21, 2018 Solskjaer will hope to help launch a new era for the club with a morale-boosting victory in the evening kick-off at the Cardiff...

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope returns to action after lengthy shoulder injury

England international Pope played 90 minutes at Sheffield United on Monday. Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope played in his first match since dislocating his shoulder in July after turning out for the club’s under-23s on Monday. The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of an away clash against Sheffield United, which the Clarets won 3-1. Pope, who made his England debut in early June and was part of the Three Lions squad for the World Cup in Russia, suffered the injury on July 26 in Burnley’s first match of the season – a 1-1 Europa League draw at Aberdeen. The Turf Moor outfit subsequently signed Joe Hart from Manchester City and he has played in all 17 Premier League games so far this term. Pope was Burnley’s first-choice goalkeeper last season, where they finished seventh, making 35 league...

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