EPL

Almost there - Manchester United star Paul Pogba offers injury update

By Sports Desk October 11, 2019

Paul Pogba says he is "almost there" with his comeback from injury, though he remains a doubt for Manchester United's clash with rivals Liverpool.

An ankle injury ruled Pogba out of the Premier League loss to Newcastle United and prevented him linking up with France for international duty.

World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps indicated Pogba would be out for three weeks, which left him a major doubt for the visit of Liverpool to Old Trafford on October 20.

Pogba has been working in Dubai in a bid to recover for the game against Jurgen Klopp's table toppers, who are yet to drop a point in the league this season.

The midfielder posted a video to Instagram on Friday in which he showed off his training regime, though his right ankle remains strapped up.

"Almost there," Pogba wrote in the caption. 

"Show off or motivation you choose? Same result at the end anyway."

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  • Southgate determined to assist Sancho amid downturn in Dortmund form Southgate determined to assist Sancho amid downturn in Dortmund form

    Gareth Southgate vowed to help Jadon Sancho through a difficult period in his Borussia Dortmund career following a lengthy discussion with the young winger.

    Sancho was dropped from Dortmund's squad for a Bundesliga fixture last month and suffered the indignity of being withdrawn before half-time of the club's 4-0 Der Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.

    Fresh transfer rumours are now linking the England international with a move away from Signal Iduna Park amid suggestions he has become unsettled.

    "Any young player is going to have ups and downs," Three Lions boss Southgate said.

    "Jadon has played a lot of football. A couple of games lately he's gone into physically fatigued. His club have taken the decision to keep playing him because he is a highly important player.

    "It was a bit of a mixed bag recently. He was very good against Inter, he had a difficult game against Bayern, but the whole team did.

    "I know what has gone on. He came to me at the beginning of the week and we had 25 minutes chatting about everything.

    "We have a duty of care, almost, to him, to help him to progress and to develop as much as we can."

    Sancho is in his third season in Germany after leaving Manchester City in 2017.

    "It's an enormous challenge that Jadon has taken on, to go to another country," Southgate added. "There's the football of course, but he's also adapting to life and the language.

    "He's done incredibly well, and it's inevitable that there are going to be games where he's maybe not as effective. 

    "But he still has a high level of assists, a high level of goals. He's a great talent and part of our job is to help him to succeed."

    With Raheem Sterling not considered for selection, Sancho could start Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

    Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is another option.

    The 19-year-old has impressed since returning from an Achilles injury, having spurned interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern in favour of signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

    "I wasn't saying I was definitely going to sign or I wasn't going to sign," Hudson-Odoi told reporters. "It was just because of times last year where I felt a bit of frustration or times when I wanted to play more because I love the game.

    "I made the right decision to stay at Chelsea."

  • England reach 1,000 games: The key Opta facts from Three Lions' first 999 matches England reach 1,000 games: The key Opta facts from Three Lions' first 999 matches

    England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro is attracting massive media attention due to a bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez, but it is also an historic occasion for the Three Lions as it will be their 1,000th international match.

    Gareth Southgate's England host Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday aiming to secure a place at Euro 2020, though it will be a momentous occasion even if they fail to win.

    It has taken England 147 years to rack up 1,000 fixtures and it will be the second successive century milestone reached against Montenegro.

    Ahead of the landmark match, we looked at the key Opta data from England's first 999 matches.

    Matches

    1 – England's first international was against Scotland at Hamilton Crescent on November 30, 1872. The game finished 0-0. Montenegro were also the opponents for the Three Lions' 900th match, sharing a 2-2 draw in Podgorica.

    568 – Out of 999 games, England have won 568. The first victory arrived courtesy of a 4-2 triumph over Scotland at Kennington Oval in March 1983.

    114 – Scotland have been England's most frequent opponents. They have also never suffered more defeats (41) to a single country, while England have never beaten a nation more often than Wales (67).

    13 – England's biggest ever win was a 13-0 victory over Ireland in February 1882. They beat the same opponents 13-2 exactly 17 years later in the Three Lions' most comfortable competitive triumph.

    7 – The Three Lions' heaviest defeat was 7-1 away to Hungary in May 1954, coming just six months after getting hammered 6-3 by the Hungarians at Wembley.

    Players

    1,244 – Ahead of Thursday's match, 1,244 players have represented England. Nine have reached 100 caps, while 356 have just one.

    125 – Goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the record for most caps with 125. Wayne Rooney (120) is the most-capped outfield player in England's history.

    17 – Theo Walcott became England's youngest-ever player in May 2006 at the age of 17 years and 75 days. He still holds that record, though Rooney is the team's most junior scorer after his effort against Macedonia in September 2003 (17 years, 317 days).

    53 – Rooney is also England's record goal-scorer, having found the net 53 times, four more than Bobby Charlton.

    41 – By contrast, Stanley Matthews is the oldest scorer for England, having struck in October 1956 when he was aged 41 years and 248 days.

    Managers

    1 – Walter Winterbottom was appointed England's first manager in 1946, with the team selection previously made by a committee. He was in charge for a record 16 years.

    19 – England have had 19 permanent managers, with Winterbottom (139 matches) overseeing the most games. Sam Allardyce presided over the fewest (one).

    2 – Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson are the only non-British managers to ever take charge of England.

  • Rumour Has It: Jadon Sancho set for Borussia Dortmund departure Rumour Has It: Jadon Sancho set for Borussia Dortmund departure

    Jadon Sancho could be about to spark a bidding war.

    The England international is reportedly ready to leave Borussia Dortmund, a development that will have his numerous European suitors on red alert.

    Manchester United have long been linked to Sancho, but could face stiff Premier League competition for his signature.


    TOP STORY – SANCHO SEEKING DORTMUND DEPARTURE

    Jadon Sancho has become unsettled at Borussia Dortmund and wants to leave, according to the Daily Mail.

    The exciting teenage winger is said to have grown dissatisfied with life at Signal Iduna Park after being dropped for a Bundesliga fixture last month for disciplinary reasons.

    Head coach Lucien Favre further tested their relationship when he withdrew the Manchester City product before half-time of the heavy Der Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich.

    News of Sancho's decision to depart will be noted at Old Trafford, but the report claims Manchester United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool are also showing strong interest. 

    LaLiga giants Real Madrid appear to be another potential destination for one of the continent's most coveted young stars.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Sancho could be heading in the opposite direction to Leroy Sane. The Daily Mirror says Bayern Munich have reignited their interest in the Germany international, who has been sidelined since the start of the season due to a knee injury.

    - Granit Xhaka is not the only Arsenal midfielder on AC Milan's radar. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are even more eager to land Lucas Torreira, and will make a move in June after failing to prise him away from north London at the end of last season.

    - Chelsea are set for another fight to keep in-form winger Willian as Juventus and Barcelona circle the 31-year-old, the Daily Mirror reports. Frank Lampard wants to keep the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge but Willian's contract is up at the end of the campaign.

    - Manchester City captain David Silva could follow in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa by seeing out his career in Japan. Spanish television programme El Chiringuito says the 33-year-old is in talks to join Vissel Kobe following the completion of his 10-season spell at the Etihad Stadium.

    - Leicester City and Aston Villa have been linked to Alfredo Morelos but Rangers are in no rush to sell. That is the assurance of the Scottish side's new sporting director Ross Wilson, who "categorically" stated that an annual loss of £11.3million would not impact the club's determination to keep their Colombian striker.

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