David de Gea's fitness will be assessed ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool, which Paul Pogba will miss.

Goalkeeper De Gea appeared to suffer a groin injury during Spain's 1-1 draw with Sweden in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Pogba, meanwhile, has been hampered by an ankle injury this season and played only twice for United in September.

He had taken part in warm-weather training in Dubai this week but will be reduced to the role of spectator on Sunday as United aim to deal their great rivals a first league defeat of the season.

Solskjaer does not expect De Gea to be fit for the visit of the league leaders but will wait on the results of tests on the 28-year-old. Sergio Romero would likely deputise in his absence.

"No chance," Solskjaer said to Sky Sports of Pogba's hopes of playing in the fixture.

"Paul, he had an injury, came back, worked really hard, came back, played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier.

"We had a scan after the Arsenal game and he needed a few weeks' rest in a boot. Hopefully he won't be too long but he won't make this game."

United go into this weekend's game in 12th position and 15 points behind Liverpool, who are eight points clear at the top having taken maximum points from their first eight league games.

David de Gea's fitness will be assessed ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool, which Paul Pogba will miss.

Goalkeeper De Gea appeared to suffer a groin injury during Spain's 1-1 draw with Sweden in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Pogba, meanwhile, has been hampered by an ankle injury this season and played only twice for United in September.

He had taken part in warm-weather training in Dubai this week but will be reduced to the role of spectator on Sunday as United aim to deal their great rivals a first league defeat of the season.

Solskjaer does not expect De Gea to be fit for the visit of the league leaders but waill wait on the results of tests on the 28-year-old. Sergio Romero would likely deputise in his absence.

"No chance," Solskjaer said to Sky Sports of Pogba's hopes of playing in the fixture.

"Paul, he had an injury, came back, worked really hard, came back, played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier.

"We had a scan after the Arsenal game and he needed a few weeks rest in a boot. Hopefully he won't be too long but he won't make this game."

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed David de Gea and Paul Pogba will miss Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has officially entered the Guinness World Record book for his haul of 12 assists in the Premier League last season.

The 21-year-old became an undisputed starter at right-back in the 2018-19 campaign, featuring 29 times as the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Alexander-Arnold's performances earned him a place in the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Premier League Team of the Year and he has also become a regular at international level for England.

His effectiveness in the final third has drawn most acclaim and his remarkable haul of 12 assists is a new record for a defender in the Premier League, going one better than his team-mate Andy Robertson, who managed 11 in the same season.

Alexander-Arnold, who also shone in Europe to help Liverpool win the Champions League, described it as "an unbelievably proud moment" to have surpassed the record previously held jointly by Everton duo Andy Hinchcliffe (1994-95) and Leighton Baines (2010-11).

"He [Robertson] probably thought he had the competition wrapped up! Near the end of the season we both hit really good form, we were both getting lots of assists and it was good to help the team in those games that we needed to win," Alexander-Arnold said after being presented with his accolade.

"It's an honour. I've always wanted to go forward and help the team to create as many chances as possible.

"It's obviously down to the lads to put the ball into the back of the net, because football is a team game and without them this record wouldn't be possible.

"It's an unbelievably proud moment for me and my family, and something I hope will stand for a few years."

David de Gea suffered an abductor injury during Spain's Euro 2020 qualification-sealing draw in Sweden, head coach Robert Moreno confirmed.

De Gea hobbled off after an hour of the 1-1 draw at the Friends Arena, where substitute Rodrigo Moreno came off the bench to snatch an equaliser in stoppage time on Tuesday.

The news comes as a huge blow to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of Sunday's highly anticipated showdown against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford.

"De Gea was treated at the break and decided to continue," Moreno explained after the United star appeared discomforted following a first-half clearance.

"He has a puncture in the abductor."

Spain generally struggled for their fluent best during this international break, with a 1-1 draw against Norway in their previous match coming in parallel circumstances as Josh King pegged them back through a last-gasp penalty.

"The same result, one day it tastes like victory and the other one like defeat," Moreno said.

"I am happy with the team's game and with the players I have. It was a difficult game against a rival that eliminated great teams in the World Cup. We are very happy "

Moreno took charge of Spain full-time after Luis Enrique stepped down in June to spend time with his family.

The former Barcelona coach's daughter Xana died in August aged nine, having suffered from osteosarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer.

"When you become a high-level team, like Spain, it is an obligation to qualify you," Moreno added.

"I want to remember Luis Enrique and his family and dedicate the qualification to them."

David de Gea was forced off through injury during Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier in Sweden – making him a huge doubt for Manchester United's weekend showdown with rivals Liverpool.

Goalkeeper De Gea made a number of fine saves at the Friends Arena on Tuesday, including a fabulous double stop that immediately preceded Marcus Berg's 50th-minute opener for the hosts.

But the damage appeared to have already been done at that stage, with 28-year-old appearing to be discomforted by his groin following a first-half clearance.

Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga warmed up extensively during half-time and De Gea made way with an hour played.

De Gea has been an ever-present for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in the England's top flight this season, although Sergio Romero will now be on standby to step in for United against the Premier League leaders.

Liverpool have received a double fitness boost ahead of the trip to face Manchester United, with Alisson Becker and Joel Matip returning to training.

Goalkeeper Alisson has been sidelined since injuring his calf muscle in the victory over Norwich City on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Matip suffered an injury setback in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United and missed the home matches with Salzburg and Leicester City.

However, both took part in training at Melwood on Tuesday, with the Reds heading to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side sit top of the table with an eight-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City. 

Matthijs de Ligt could become the first player to secure the Golden Boy award twice after he was included on a 20-man shortlist for this year's prize.

The honour, established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and awarded to the best player under the age of 21 in a European top-tier league, lists Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe among its former winners.

De Ligt claimed it in 2018 when on the books of Ajax and is among the nominees for 2019 after continuing to impress with Juventus. He was the first defender to win it.

Manchester City star Phil Foden is also in contention, alongside emerging Barcelona talent Ansu Fati, despite both having been afforded minimal game time.

More established youngsters such as Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma and Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz are also on the list.

The winner is determined by an international online vote and will be announced in Turin on December 16. 

Full list of Golden Boy nominees: 

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal), Erling Braut Haaland (Salzburg), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Moise Kean (Everton), Lee Kang-in (Valencia), Donyell Malen (PSV), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Andriy Lunin  (Real Valladolid), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)

Steven Gerrard would have loved the opportunity to play under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The Reds icon scored 186 goals in 710 appearances for his boyhood club before switching to MLS side LA Galaxy in July 2015.

Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in October of the same year and Gerrard – who now manages Scottish Premiership side Rangers – admits to wondering if he should have stayed at Anfield longer to work with the German. 

"I always had little thoughts as I've gone along," he told Sky Sports. "Should I have stayed at Liverpool? Should I have signed a year extension?

"Maybe I might have been able to have that cameo under Jurgen Klopp as maybe a squad player.

"These things always cross my mind but, look, I made decisions. I am very proud of my Liverpool career; I am very proud of where I am up to now in my management.

"I want to give that my full focus and keep trying to learn and grow and improve and see where that journey takes me now.

"But, of course, you always have little moments. Imagine if I'd stayed at Liverpool a bit longer and maybe I'd bumped into Jurgen Klopp, as someone who could maybe have given him 10-15 minutes off the bench.

"Of course, it has crossed my mind. I would have loved that."

Klopp's side have started the season in blistering form and have an eight-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League after winning all eight of their games, while Gerrard's Rangers are top of the Scottish Premiership. 

Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford on Sunday highlights the growing gap between the Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson famously declared he would knock the Reds "off their perch", a goal he achieved in some style by leading United to a lengthy period of domestic dominance, but there is no doubt who is on top now.

Liverpool are yet to drop a point this season with their winning run in the Premier League standing at 17 games, building an eight-point cushion over defending champions Manchester City.

United, meanwhile, sit two points above the relegation zone in 12th after losing 1-0 away to Newcastle United last time out, a result that increased the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Sunday's Manchester meeting offers Liverpool a chance to secure more bragging rights and their players dominate the Omnisport combined XI ahead of the game.


Goalkeeper: ALISSON

Injury has kept Alisson on the sidelines for most of the season so far, but he could return from a calf problem at Old Trafford. David de Gea has looked vulnerable at times this season and he probably should have saved Patrick van Aanholt's late winner for Crystal Palace in August. Alisson was named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper in September and it is hard to argue with that assessment given the transformative impact his arrival from Roma has had on the Reds.


Right-back: TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made a promising start to life at United but, while he is extremely strong in the tackle, Trent Alexander-Arnold offers much more in attack. The Liverpool right-back created the decisive goal in last season's Champions League comeback for the ages against Barcelona, his quick corner enabling Divock Origi to strike the final blow. Few players, let alone those just 21 years old, would have seen the opportunity or had the quality to pull it off.


Centre-back: JOEL MATIP

There is perhaps a case to be made for Harry Maguire, one of the few bright spots in United's campaign, but Joel Matip has taken his game to a new level this season. He is a key part of the tightest defence in the league this season, with Liverpool having only conceded six goals. And when Matip sat out the Champions League group game against Salzburg, Alisson's deputy Adrian was beaten three times.


Centre-back: VIRGIL VAN DIJK

There can be no arguments here, with Virgil van Dijk one of the first names on a combined XI team sheet. The Netherlands international cost a world-record fee for a defender when he eventually made the move from Southampton, but that £75million now looks like money well spent. Van Dijk has led Liverpool's defence to the Champions League title and a long-awaited Premier League crown could well follow this season.


Left-back: ANDY ROBERTSON

Similarly, Andy Robertson is a no-brainer at left-back despite Luke Shaw's improvement over the past year or so. The Scotland captain is arguably the finest player in Europe for his position now and was a superb bargain buy at just £8m from Hull City in 2017. His clash with Lionel Messi in the early stages of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield set the tone for the Reds' comeback.


Central midfield: FABINHO

It took time for Fabinho to settle after joining from Monaco, but the former right-back is now a key cog in Liverpool's relentless winning machine. It is impossible to leave him out of the combined XI given United's offerings as midfield protectors include mediocre options such as Fred and Scott McTominay.


Central midfield: PAUL POGBA

There is a spot for Paul Pogba, though, despite the World Cup winner remaining something of an enigma. Pogba was United's top scorer in the Premier League last season, also providing a team-high nine assists. He may not always hit top form, but at his best the ex-Juventus star remains an elite performer. Pogba could add an extra gear and more quality to Liverpool's occasionally one-paced midfield.


Central midfield: JORDAN HENDERSON

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson completes the midfield, providing experience and leadership. The England international is still underrated by some, but Henderson showed his importance to the Reds at the end of last season when he was utilised in a more advanced role by Jurgen Klopp. He displayed a fresh dimension to his game with creativity and incision in the final third.


Right wing: MOHAMED SALAH

Yet to hit top form this season, Mohamed Salah is another mandatory pick for Liverpool after his stunning goalscoring exploits since joining from Roma. The Egypt star has hit 77 goals in 116 appearances for the Reds, making Chelsea's decision to allow him to leave Stamford Bridge in 2016 look rather foolish. Salah's selfish streak may sometimes appear to annoy team-mates, but his individual brilliance can carry Liverpool through tight games.


Striker: ROBERTO FIRMINO

Leading the line is Roberto Firmino, with the Brazil forward's incredible energy, work rate and ability to operate between the lines giving Liverpool a platform to thrive. With Marcus Rashford having only scored once since the opening weekend it is impossible to argue for the United striker here, with the England international's confidence having looked very low of late.


Left wing: SADIO MANE

With eight goals in all competitions this term, Sadio Mane is Liverpool's top scorer in 2019-20 and he is another Red it is impossible to leave out of a combined XI. Senegal star Mane is one of the many ex-Southampton players to have flourished at Anfield and though Anthony Martial has sporadically impressed for United, he is not quite in the same league.


Substitutes

On the bench there is more room for United talent as De Gea and Maguire would be included. James Milner's versatility makes him a must, while the midfield drive offered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum would see them be useful subs. If fit, Martial would join Champions League final hero Origi as forward options.

James Milner believes Jurgen Klopp's exuberant touchline antics are part of an authentic package that helps drive Liverpool forward.

The Reds triumphed in the Champions League for their maiden trophy under manager Klopp last season and have won their opening eight Premier League games this term to stir hopes of a first top-flight title since 1990.

Routinely challenging for major silverware makes for a significant improvement from where Liverpool were when Klopp took over in October 2015, the club then languishing in 10th.

Animated celebrations and sideline theatrics have gained him admirers and critics while becoming a hallmark of his managerial make-up, but midfielder Milner insists the behaviour is genuine.

"The biggest thing with the manager is that what you see is what you get," Milner told the Liverpool website.

"He doesn't have one front for the cameras and then he's completely different with the players.

"He's honest with the players and he lives every minute of it. He's on the side and he's bouncing around, he wants to be out there. That energy's big for us when we're down.

"He seems to judge it right, when to put an arm round the shoulder after a game.

"If we haven't played well or something he knows what to say at half-time, or if you need a rocket he'll give you that as well.

"He seems to judge those situations very well."

Now 33, ex-England international Milner is the most senior member of Klopp's squad.

The versatile former Manchester City man understands his role is to pass on knowledge to the next generation but also to continue learning from his highly regarded manager.

"You've always got to try to improve as much as you can, so I'll go into every training session, every day, with that mindset that you never know anything," he said.

"I'm sure the manager's learned things and he's been in football a lot longer than me.

"I think if you've got the mindset where you think that you know everything, you're going to be struggling."

Neymar does not have to leave Paris Saint-Germain to fulfil his goal of becoming the world's best player, according to Brazil team-mate Alisson.

The forward was strongly linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but no move to Camp Nou came to fruition.

Neymar has instead remained in the French capital, scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 games since recovering from a foot injury.

The 27-year-old did not finish in the top 10 for the 2018 Ballon d'Or but, asked if Neymar could become the best player in the world by joining Barcelona, Alisson told Mundo Deportivo: "I think that Neymar can be the best in the world on any team.

"Neymar is a high-level player and would be fundamental in any team in the world. If he returns to Barcelona or not... I wish him good luck and to play with his usual joy and energy, wherever he is."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was reportedly pushing for Neymar to be signed by Barca, but he told RAC1 this month he was surprised his former team-mate did not join Real Madrid after it became clear he wanted to leave PSG.

Messi and Alisson met in the Champions League for the second season in a row last term, with the former Roma goalkeeper again coming out on top with a stunning second-leg comeback.

The Argentina captain had struck twice in the first leg to seemingly give Liverpool a mountain to climb but they won 4-0 at Anfield to overturn their deficit, going on to win the tournament by defeating fellow Premier League side Tottenham in the final.

Alisson also got the better of Messi at this year's Copa America, where Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in the semi-finals before going on to lift the trophy on home soil with a win over Peru.

"The truth is that Messi played very well in the first leg in Barcelona and achieved two goals, but in the return I managed to stop him in some important moments," Alisson added.

"Messi is one of the best players in football history, but I don't think only of duels with him. Both Barcelona and Argentina are two very good teams that have high quality players.

"Luckily, in the last three matches I have been able to overcome him, but the merits are of the whole team: Rome, Liverpool and Brazil."

 

Either through injuries or dips in form, Luis Suarez has started to show signs of regression at Barcelona and they are planning for a future without him.

The Uruguayan striker has been a remarkable player for Barca, but at 32 he is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blaugrana have been considering who they might want to replace him with when the time comes.

Meanwhile, one player recently heavily linked with Barca could be signing a new contract with his current employers.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DRAW UP STRIKERS SHORTLIST

Barca have significantly strengthened several areas of their team in recent transfer windows, with Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Frenkie de Jong and Neto bolstering their options.

They are now beginning to turn their attentions to the central striker role, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The publication reports Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is the ideal target, though Barca are said to be hopeful of getting him on a cut-price deal in 2021 after he has entered the final year of his contract, assuming he does not sign an extension in the meantime.

England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is also said to be high up their list, despite their being acknowledgement that his wages would be more of an issue than the transfer fee.

The other two reportedly being considered are Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Inter's Lautaro Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca missed out on securing the return of Neymar in the most recent transfer window and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are now planning to offer the Brazilian a new bumper contract.

- The LaLiga champions are also looking at midfield reinforcements with potential. Napoli's Fabian RuizEduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz are all being considered, though Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid are also tracking the trio with intent.

Christian Eriksen's future has been a hot topic for the last few months, with the Tottenham midfielder's contract ending next year. Sport1 in Germany claim Bayern Munich have already been in touch with him.

Liverpool are hoping to sign Brighton and Hove Albion-owned centre-back Ben White, 21, according to the Sun. The defender is impressing on loan at Leeds United and the Reds see him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is said to be eager for a move to get first-team football.

- Despite languishing 12th in the Premier League after a wretched start to the season, the Daily Mail say Manchester United will not be splashing the cash in the January transfer window.

- But the Daily Express report United have reached a "verbal agreement" with Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, who are said to be demanding £10million for the Croatian forward.

Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott has been handed a 14-day ban by the Football Association after admitting using derogatory language about Tottenham's Harry Kane in a social media video.

Footage emerged earlier this year of the 16-year-old performing an offensive impersonation of Kane on Snapchat while watching Liverpool's Champions League final win over Tottenham.

Elliott apologised for his "senseless" actions in August and has now been suspended from playing domestic club football until October 25 for a breach of FA Rule E3.

The winger, who joined Liverpool from Fulham in July after becoming the Premier League's youngest player in May, must also complete a face-to-face education course and pay a £350 fine.

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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