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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...

England v West Indies: The key talking points ahead of the third Test

England head into their third Test against the West Indies with the series already gone after heavy defeats in Barbados and Antigua. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the issues at play in St Lucia. Lifeline for Jennings Keaton Jennings is back for the third Test (Ricardo Mazalan/PA) Keaton Jennings must have feared for his prospects at Test level after being dropped for the second time in his career last week. Now, after a three-day defeat and a breakneck change of selection policy, he is back in the saddle. He has had precious little time to deal with technical frailties outside off stump but he does have two Test centuries to his name already. If he can somehow make another big score, the Lancashire batsman might be at the beginning of a new chapter. Bairstow back behind the stumps...

Talking points ahead of Scotland v Ireland

Ireland will be itching to hit back to winning ways when taking on Scotland at Murrayfield in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash. Here, Press Association Sport examines five key talking points ahead of the Edinburgh encounter. Scotland aiming to fire Ireland a World Cup warning shot Scotland have won 11 of their last 13 Test matches at Murrayfield Ireland have won 18 of their last 20 Test matches home and away Keith Earls will make his 50th Test start on the wing for Ireland, in his 74th cap overall for his nation. Greig Laidlaw will draw level with Bryan Redpath’s record of 52 Test starts at scrum-half for Scotland Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw had no qualms admitting Gregor Townsend‘s men are fully aware of the wider significance of Saturday’s Six Nations clas...

5 talking points ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey semi-final

Barcelona host El Clasico rivals Real Madrid as the pair meet at the Nou Camp in the opening leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday. The bitter opponents will clash three times in the coming weeks as they battle for supremacy at the end of the season. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the major talking points ahead of the game. Will Lionel be fit to make it a Messi night for Madrid defence? Lionel Messi could sit out the visit of Real Madrid with a leg injury. (Nick Potts/PA) Lionel Messi has scored 12 goals in his last nine games. The diminutive Argentinian is in fine form but suffered a minor leg injury in Saturday’s LaLiga draw with Valencia. While Messi trained on Tuesday evening, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde would not be drawn on whether the 31-year-old wo...

5 talking points ahead of this weekend’s games in the Premier League

The midweek fixtures threw up a number of unexpected results. The Premier League continues this weekend after some unexpected results in the midweek programme. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the talking points ahead of the action. Will normal service be resumed? If anyone wins an acca this midweek they’re a bloody genius. — Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 30, 2019 The midweek fixtures threw up a number of surprising results, most noticeably strugglers Newcastle recovering from conceding a goal in the first minute to beat title contenders Manchester City. That gave Liverpool the chance to move seven points clear at the top of the table, only for Jurgen Klopp’s side to also let an early lead slip as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield by Leicester. Liverpool must wait until M...

5 Ladbrokes Premiership talking points as Rangers keep pressure on Celtic

Celtic remain top of the Ladbrokes Premiership after a comfortable 3-0 win over Hamilton at Parkhead on Saturday. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five other talking points from the weekend’s action. 1. Diamonds aren’t forever but Rangers sparkle at Livingston Rangers winger Ryan Kent (centre) celebrates his strike at Livingston (Andrew Milligan/PA) Steven Gerrard chose the wrong time to experiment with a midfield diamond against Kilmarnock in midweek and paid the price as his side slumped to defeat at Rugby Park. Against Livingston he returned to the tried and trusted 4-3-3 system that served him well during the first half of the campaign – and his side immediately looked more comfortable. The Rangers boss will no doubt go back to the narrow four-man midfield in future as he ...

5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup fourth round

The FA Cup fourth round takes centre stage this weekend, with plenty of potential for some more high drama. Here, Press Association Sport looks at some talking points going into what could prove another memorable set of fixtures. Stanley set for Rams raid ?| Stanley owner @AndyhHolt knows Saturday’s @EmiratesFACup Fourth Round tie with @dcfcofficial at the Wham Stadium could be worth ‘a massive amount’ for the Reds. #ASFC #OnStanleyOn ? Read ▶️ https://t.co/83GZwCeyLa pic.twitter.com/z9LRdcGjzK — Accrington Stanley FC (@ASFCofficial) January 24, 2019 Sky Bet League One outfit Accrington Stanley were rewarded for their scalp of Ipswich with a home tie against another Championship side as promotion-hopefuls Derby head to the Wham Stadium, which will kick off Saturday’s acti...

5 talking points ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham’s Carabao Cup clash

Chelsea play Tottenham in Thursday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge. Spurs hold a 1-0 advantage from the January 8 first leg at Wembley which the Blues must overturn to reach the February 24 final. Here, Press Association Sport looks at five key talking points ahead of the match. Stubborn Sarri versus malleable Mauricio Maurizio Sarri will demand a reaction from his Chelsea players after his criticism following the loss at Arsenal (Nick Potts/PA) Following his extraordinary criticism of his Chelsea players – “This group of players are extremely difficult to motivate,” – Maurizio Sarri will hope for a reaction. The 60-year-old Italian’s vow to stick to his principles and his tactical approach – a 4-3-3 formation with Jorginho at its centre – will likely be tested...

5 talking points ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg

Burton host Manchester City in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday night. Here, Press Association Sport looks at five talking points as Nigel Clough’s mid-table League One side prepare to face Guardiola’s cup holders and Premier League champions once again. 1. City have history in their sights Manchester City need three goals against Burton to create a League Cup record (Martin Rickett/PA) Guardiola’s side need only a three-goal win on Wednesday night to make League Cup history. Leading 9-0 from the first leg two weeks ago, City have the chance to set a new record for the biggest aggregate winning margin in the competition’s history. The record currently stands at 11 and has been achieved five times, all in the early rounds of the competition. Liverpool defeated Exe...

Lyons: Comments about my glasses were funny, but I’ll do my talking on the pitch

Brad Lyons found the social media reaction to his St Mirren arrival “hilarious” after a multitude of comments about his glasses. The midfielder even showed his approval for a number of responses likening him to characters such as Will from comedy show The Inbetweeners. But the 21-year-old vowed to show supporters he was deadly serious about making his mark in Paisley. Lyons, who has signed on loan from Blackburn, said: “It’s all fun and games. I thought the Twitter was hilarious. “It’s one of those things, I have always worn glasses and just because I’m a full-time player I’m not going to change. “I will let the fans slag me on Twitter, I found it funny, but hopefully I can do my talking on the pitch.” The versatile midfielder previously worked with St Mirren manager Oran Kearney at Colera...

Conor Coady: Wolves not talking about race for Europe

Captain Conor Coady has dismissed talk of a European challenge despite Wolves’ bid to upset the Premier League order. The skipper is remaining cautious, with the Molineux side in the hunt for a Europa League spot after an impressive first half of the season. They go to rock-bottom Fulham on Boxing Day having dropped to 10th after Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool – but they are still just four points off sixth. One of Chelsea, Tottenham or Manchester City is likely to win the Carabao Cup, with that group also expected to finish in the league’s top five places, meaning finishing sixth would net a Europa League qualifying place. Coady, however, refused to be drawn on Wolves’ chances. “No, because as a club and as a team we don’t think like that. We’ve gone from being in the Championship and p...

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...

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