Eric Bailly

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League showdown between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads. Manchester United host Paris Saint-Germain in a mouth-watering first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday night. The Red Devils have roared back to form under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has overseen 10 wins and a draw from his 11 matches at the helm so far. However, that unbeaten start will face its toughest test yet on Tuesday as the runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG continue their bid to lift the Champions League for the first time. Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI, using only players available for Tuesday’s match. Gianluigi Buffon will rightly go down as one of the greatest goa...

Combined XI: Arsenal vs. Manchester United

Sports Mole selects a combined XI from those expected to be available for Friday’s FA Cup meeting between Arsenal and Manchester United. The FA Cup‘s two most successful sides collide at the Emirates Stadium on Friday evening as Arsenal take on Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. Only Arsenal (13) have lifted the famous cup on more occasions than United (12), with at least one of the sides reaching the final in each of the last five seasons. With the teams well out of the Premier League title race and seemingly competing for a top-four spot, the FA Cup has taken on added importance this season. Ahead of this latest high-profile tussle between the English heavyweights, Sports Mole selects the strongest combined XI from both teams using only the players expected to be avai...

Marcos Rojo to leave Manchester United at end of season?

Marcos Rojo will reportedly be the first casualty of Manchester United’s plans to strengthen their defence. Manchester United are to get rid of Marcos Rojo in the summer as part of a defensive overhaul, according to a report. The Argentina international is a forgotten figure at Old Trafford, being used just three times in all competitions this season. Rojo left United’s training camp in Dubai early last week to return to his home country, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer giving the versatile defender a chance to clear his head. According to The Telegraph, the 28-year-old will be the first casualty of the Red Devils’ plans to strengthen their backline ahead of next season as he is considered the most expendable of the club’s five central defenders. The last of Rojo’s ...

How Manchester United could line up against Huddersfield Town

Ahead of the Boxing Day clash between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town, Sports Mole looks at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could line up at Old Trafford. Manchester United play host to Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to sit in the home dugout in a managerial capacity for the first time. Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last weekend, and the Norwegian marked his arrival by guiding United to a 5-1 win at Cardiff City on Saturday evening. The result has left United eight points adrift of both Chelsea and Arsenal in the race for a Champions League spot at the end of the campaign. Solskjaer has a number of options available to him, and here Sports Mole looks at how his team could line up at Old Trafford. Out: Alexis Sanchez (thigh), Romelu Lukaku (compas...

Preview: Manchester United vs. Huddersfield Town – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day. Manchester United play host to Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day having recorded a dominant 5-1 success over Cardiff City in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first game in charge. David Wagner‘s Huddersfield make the short trip to Old Trafford having suffered five successive defeats in the top flight. Manchester United © Reuters Solskjaer was successful in getting his United stint off to the perfect start on Saturday, but the adulation which greeted the victory in South Wales further highlighted the downturn which United have taken under Jose Mourinho. Much has been made of the board’s decision to hand the reins to someone who...

Manchester United ‘hopeful Jose Mourinho exit will lead to contract extensions’

Manchester United are reportedly hopeful that the departure of Jose Mourinho will prompt a number of first-team players to sign new contracts at the club. Manchester United are reportedly hopeful that Jose Mourinho‘s departure from the club will prompt a string of first-team players to sign new contract extensions. Mourinho parted company with the 20-time champions of England yesterday following their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, which left them 19 points off the top of the table. The Mirror reports that uncertainty over Mourinho’s future – and a lack of belief in the manager – had led to a number of players stalling over committing their futures to the club. The likes of Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera are all set to be out of contract nex...

Result: Super sub Xherdan Shaqiri sends Liverpool top with Anfield brace

Xherdan Shaqiri scores twice from the bench as Liverpool beat arch-rivals Manchester United 3-1 to return to the top of the Premier League. Liverpool have returned to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Manchester United, earning the win through a couple of deflected strikes from substitute Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss attacker was brought on 20 minutes from time and made a huge impact on the game, putting his side back in front 144 seconds after being brought on and sealing the Reds’ 14th league win of the season with a second late on. United, previously unbeaten in their previous eight meetings with Liverpool in all competitions, managed just two shots on target all afternoon – one of those being Jesse Lingard‘s close-range finish from an Alisson Becker ...

Jose Mourinho ‘increasingly angry at Manchester United board’

Jose Mourinho is reportedly concerned about a lack of activity behind the scenes at Manchester United as the January transfer window draws into sight. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly growing increasingly angry with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over a lack of movement on transfers. Mourinho took a swipe at Woodward at the start of the season after the club failed to back him in bringing in a new central defender. The Red Devils were linked with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina, but a deal could not be agreed for any of the players. According to The Telegraph, Mourinho is now on a fresh collision course with his superiors as he is desperate for the troublesome position to be filled next month, but he is unsure if any wo...

Preview: Valencia vs. Manchester United – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Champions League showdown between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla, including prediction, team news and head-to-head records. Manchester United have an outside chance of snatching top spot in Champions League Group H when they face Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday night. Jose Mourinho‘s side have already secured their place in the last 16 of the competition at the expense of their Spanish opponents, but could progress as group winners if they win and Juventus fail to beat Young Boys. Valencia © Reuters Valencia go into Wednesday’s match already knowing their fate, with the Europa League awaiting them in the New Year. Marcelino‘s side have won just one of their five group games so far this season, with that coming a...

How Manchester United could line up against Valencia

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester United could line up for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Valencia at the Mestalla. Manchester United will have the rare luxury of playing without pressure on their shoulders when they take on Valencia at the Mestalla in their final Champions League group game on Wednesday night. A late 1-0 victory over Young Boys on matchday five secured United’s place in the last 16 of the competition with a game to spare, and there is even the outside chance that they could still win the group. A win over Valencia coupled with Juventus falling to a shock defeat at the hands of Young Boys would see United leapfrog the Italian giants, although the Red Devils will know that is an unlikely scenario. Here, Sports Mole looks at how Jose Mourinho could ...

Preview: Manchester United vs. Fulham – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday’s Premier League clash between Manchester United and Fulham. Manchester United head into Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Fulham having failed to record a win in their last four matches in the top flight. Claudio Ranieri has registered four points from three games since his arrival at Craven Cottage, but Fulham still remain bottom of the league standings. Manchester United © Reuters United have come from behind on three occasions in their last two Premier League matches to avoid defeat, but it has done little to lighten the mood at Old Trafford as the club continues to drop off the pace. Jose Mourinho‘s team are still just the eight points adrift of fourth position in the table, but t...

Report: Espanyol to move for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly

A report claims that Eric Bailly may be offered an escape route out of Manchester United by former club Espanyol. Espanyol are plotting an ambitious move for Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly, according to a report. The Ivorian defender has not featured for the Red Devils since the start of October, which is down to a mixture of tactical reasons and injury concerns. Bailly has been used for a total of 21 minutes in the Premier League since starting Man United’s first two matches, with his most recent appearance seeing him hauled off at half time with his side 2-0 down against Newcastle United. Catalan newspaper Sport suggests that the 24-year-old may now be offered an escape route by Espanyol, who he started his professional career with four years ago. The Periquitos are expe...

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