Average age of Chelsea’s starting XI vs Sheffield United was club’s youngest-ever in a Premier League match

Chelsea vs Sheffield United

Chelsea hosted Sheffield United on Saturday, in one of six Premier League games taking place at 3 pm.

The Blues earned their first win of the season in the Premier League last weekend, beating Norwich City 3-2 in a thrilling tie.

As for Sheffield United, they lost their last league outing 2-1 vs Leicester, but did beat Blackburn 2-1 in a League Cup tie earlier this week.

United, like Chelsea, began Saturday on four points from their first three league outings.

Chris Wilder

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers at Bramall Lane on February 2, 2019 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s youngest PL side

Chelsea would announce their starting eleven to take on Sheffield United an hour before kick-off.

N’Golo Kante once again missed out, with the Frenchman still injured.

Perhaps the most noticeable name included in the Chelsea XI, meanwhile, was Fikayo Tomori.

Frank Lampard knows Tomori well, as the defender was on loan at Derby County last season.

And with Antonio Rudiger still out, Lampard opted to start 21-year-old Tomori over Andreas Christensen on Saturday.

With Chelsea in the midst of a transfer ban, Lampard has been relying on the Blues’ youth reserves to help replenish the club’s squad this season.

Lampard has already been giving a fair bit of game-time to both Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount.

Now, with Tomori coming into the XI, Chelsea have broken one of their own records vs Sheffield United.

The average age of the London outfit’s starting eleven on Saturday was 24 years and 158 days. That is their youngest ever in a Premier League tie.

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Bruno Fernandes confirms Sporting rejected ‘a lot of proposals’ from Spurs this summer

Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes has this afternoon confirmed that Premier League giants Tottenham were rebuffed in a number of bids for his signature this summer.

Sporting standout

24-year-old Fernandes has emerged as one of Portuguese football’s star performers over the last couple of seasons.

The former Udinese and Sampdoria man possesses all of the key traits of a modern attacking midfielder, combining a keen eye for goal, set-piece prowess, creative flair and a penchant for the spectacular.

Across all competitions last season, Fernandes racked up a staggering 29 goals and 17 assists.

Bruno Fernandes looks on during the UEFA Nations League Final between Portugal and the Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

PL links

As a result, it subsequently came as little surprise to see a whole host of top European clubs named as keen suitors of the Sporting star this summer.

Manchester City were first rumoured to have been on the verge of clinching a deal for the midfielder, before Premier League rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham were all also touted as potential destinations.

In the end, however, a transfer failed to come to fruition for Fernandes, with the 24-year-old now looking set to remain in his home country beyond Monday’s European transfer deadline.

Tottenham rebuffed

As such, speaking in an interview with GQ earlier today, the Portuguese international was inevitably questioned on the rampant summer speculation surrounding his name.

And Fernandes went on to confirm that Spurs were one club to have seen ‘a lot of proposals’ rejected for his signature:

‘As you all know, Tottenham made a lot of proposals for me. Everything was right with me – or practically should be.’

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first-leg match between Sporting Lisbon and Viktoria Plzen. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

‘I never made any big demands, my manager was always dealing with the finances.’

The Sporting star also admitted, though, that his goal remains to test his talents in English football:

‘It was, and is my goal to play in England, Sporting know that, everyone knows that, and there were conditions for things to be done.’

‘But Sporting understood that the value was not enough and I have to respect the decision.’

Quotes via Goal

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Switzerland claim Shaqiri isn’t available for international duty as he is focusing on Liverpool

Shaqiri not available for Switzerland

The first international break of the 2019/20 season will begin next week.

Switzerland will play two Euro 2020 qualifiers in that time.

The first of which takes place this coming Thursday vs the Republic of Ireland. Switzerland then take on Gibraltar next Sunday.

Ahead of the upcoming break, Switzerland have announced their latest squad.

One of the more noticeable omissions was Xherdan Shaqiri.

Switzerland would give a reason why Shaqiri was left out, stating he is not available as he is focusing on his club (Liverpool):

Xherdan Shaqiri will not be available. He decided to focus fully on his club.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 20: Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool FC at John Smith’s Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Klopp on Shaqiri

Shaqiri has not had a great start to the new season.

The midfielder has yet to feature in the Premier League with his only action in 2019/20 an 11-minute sub appearance in the Community Shield.

Despite not giving Shaqiri even a sub appearance in the league this season, Jurgen Klopp was praising his training during his pre-match press conference ahead of Burnley.

Klopp goes on to state that Liverpool will need him:

“Shaq is training well, that’s the situation.

“It’s the first four weeks of the season, that’s how it is. That’s probably the hardest period for players who are not [playing].

“In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way if he can keep the level he is doing at the moment.

“Of course he can improve like how everybody can improve, but it’s not about that – he doesn’t have to show anything special.

“We will need him, he knows that 100 per cent.” As quoted by Liverpool’s official website.

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Three key talking points from Man United’s draw with Southampton

Southampton vs Manchester United

Manchester United traveled to Southampton in Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off.

United will have been keen to bounce back from their defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford last weekend.

However, they had to try to do it without Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, both of whom missed Saturday’s clash with injuries.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would opt to deploy Andreas Pereira in United’s attack instead of Mason Greenwood who started on the bench.

As for Southampton, they were going in search of a second successive league win after beating Brighton this past weekend.

Man United would take the lead inside 10 minutes on Saturday with Daniel James curling one in from just inside the Southampton box.

Jannik Vestergaard then equalised for Southampton in the 58th minute with the game finishing 1-1.

Here are three talking points from the game.

James stepping up to Premier League level

Daniel James was Man United’s only attacking signing this summer.

Given James had never played Premier League football before signing for United, Man United fans probably weren’t expecting too much out of him.

However, since making his debut for the Red Devils, James has been in top form.

The pacey winger would score on his PL debut as Solskjaer’s side smashed Chelsea 4-0 on the opening weekend.

The Welshman blanked in the proceeding tie vs Wolves. But he has since gone on to score vs Crystal Palace and now vs Southampton, netting the opening goal on Saturday.

James’ strike vs Southampton meant he had scored three goals with his first three shots on target in the English top-flight.

The 21-year-old is also now Manchester United’s top scorer this season with three in four appearances.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 31: Daniel James of Manchester United celebrates scoring their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at St Mary’s Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Wan-Bissaka exactly what Man United needed

Sticking with another new addition of Man United’s, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was in great form vs Southampton.

The young full-back joined United for a pretty big fee of around £45m plus £5m in add-ons but it does seem to have been a solid buy.

AWB may not be as good as say Trent Alexander-Arnold going forward but the former Crystal Palace man is a superb defender.

The right-back put in countless tackles vs the Saints and kept Sofiane Boufal pretty quiet while he was playing out wide.

While United’s defence isn’t the finished article, Wan-Bissaka has certainly brought some much-needed quality to their right-back spot.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 31: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (L) of Manchester United challenges Kevin Danso (R) of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at St Mary’s Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Pogba goes missing

Paul Pogba is arguably one of the most frustrating players to watch for Manchester United.

When the Frenchman is playing well he is often unplayable and a case could be made he is one of the best central midfielders in the league.

However, whether it be a motivation problem or something else, when Pogba isn’t at his best, he is normally awful.

Unfortunately for Man United fans, Pogba had one of his off days vs Ralph Hassenhutl’s side.

Pogba gave the ball away so many times in the first half and was perhaps United’s worst player.

Even when Pogba was moved a bit further forward in the second half he still wasn’t great.

If United want to be competing for a Champions League place this season they need Pogba to show a lot more consistency throughout the remainder of the campaign.

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Man City & Norwich stars among PFA Premier League Player of the Month award nominees

Pukki nominated

With September just around the corner, the PFA have released their list of nominees for the Premier League Player of the Month award for August.

One of the players nominated is Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki.

Pukki has been outstanding since his debut in the Premier League.

While Norwich’s defence hasn’t been at its best this season, letting in eight goals in three games, Pukki has been superb in attack.

Pukki has already scored five goals in his first three PL outings as well as providing one assist.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 17: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Man City have two stars up for the award

Elsewhere on the list, reigning champions Manchester City have two players up for the award.

Those are Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling with KDB already providing four assists in the league this term.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount also made the list after his solid start to the season for the Blues.

The list is then completed by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings.

As well as being nominated for the PFA POTM award, Mings would also receive a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.

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Roy Hodgson provides Crystal Palace injury update before Aston Villa

Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa

Crystal Palace are set to host Aston Villa later on Saturday.

The Eagles should be full of confidence heading into this game as they went to Old Trafford last weekend and came away with all three points.

That was Palace’s first win of the season, putting them on four points and into 10th spot.

Aston Villa, on the other hand, are down in 16th place.

The newly-promoted side would pick up their first three points of the 2019/20 season last game week, beating Everton in some Friday night football action.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa during a press conference at Villa Park Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Palace update

Prior to facing off with Villa, Roy Hodgson has delivered an injury update on a couple of his players.

While it doesn’t sound as though James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho will feature vs Villa, Hodgson did state he expects them to be recovered by the end of the upcoming international break:

“James Tomkins is on the brink of recovery but not training with the team fully as we would like[…]

“We’ve been waiting on the recovery of Tomkins and Sakho. I’m fully expecting them to be fully recovered by the end of this international break.” As quoted by Crystal Palace’s official website.

Furthermore, according to Crystal Palace’s website, Hodgson has revealed that Scott Dann will be assessed as to whether he can take part on Saturday or not.

Dann is said to have damaged his hand when Palace took on Colchester in the League Cup earlier this week.

 

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☝️ It’s matchday! Let’s go!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #CPFC #PremierLeague #PL #CRYAVL

A post shared by Crystal Palace Football Club (@cpfc) on Aug 31, 2019 at 12:23am PDT

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Video: The Chelseadaft 5-Minute Match Preview | Chelsea vs Sheffield United.


Welcome to my five-minute match preview for the game this afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea vs Sheffield United is a 3pm kick off UK Time in the Premier League as Frank Lampard and his Chelsea team looking to build on our first three points of the season last weekend against Norwich.

However, there is news that three players will be missing tomorrow through injury: N’Golo Kante, Toni Rudiger and Pedro.

I believe that Chelsea will be unchanged from last weekend and should have enough to win the game as long as we match the desire of the opposition first.

Come on Chelsea!


What do you think of the video? Post your comments below!

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Video: Reaction to the Frank Lampard press conference Chelsea vs Sheffield United.


In this video this morning I take a look at Frank Lampard’s pre-match press conference and discuss the fact that I do not believe he receives the credit he should.

The way he handles himself, the way he speaks in public, the support he shows the players, the fact that he is open and honest I cannot help but be really impressed with him as a manager so far from his time at Derby County to now at Chelsea.


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Ole Gunnar Solskjær rules out Man United return for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

No Old Trafford return for Zlatan

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær has ruled out a return for Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede suggested he’d be willing to return.

The former AC Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain striker spent two seasons at Man United.

In the 2016/17 season, Zlatan featured 46 times for the Red Devils, scoring 28 goals and assisting 10.

The striker then struggled with injury problems in the following season, eventually joinung MLS side LA Galaxy.

Since moving stateside, Zlatan has scored an incredible 44 goals in 49 appearances.

This week, when asked whether he could still compete in the Premier League, Zlatan half-heartedly suggested he’d be open to a return to Manchester United.

I could easily play in the Premier League. If Man United need me I’m there,” Zlatan explained. 

“But the Galaxy has me so sorry [laughs].”

Now, Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær has responded.

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 20: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Carabao Cup Quarter-Final match between Bristol City and Manchester United at Ashton Gate on December 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

‘If he was 28 and not 38 next month – there’s a big difference’

Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Southampton on Saturday, Ole basically ruled out a move, explaining ‘he’s had his time at the club’.

‘I don’t think that’ll happen,’ Ole explained, as quoted by the Mail. 

‘He’s had his time at the club. He’s had a fantastic career.

‘If he was 28 and not 38 next month – there’s a big difference. He’s had a great time here and he’s still doing well.

‘It’s unfortunate he got his injury when he did here. He knows my number. He never rented my house but he was looking at it. If he’s serious I’ll always speak to Zlatan.’

 

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And LA – You are welcome

A post shared by Zlatan Ibrahimović (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on Aug 26, 2019 at 12:38pm PDT



 

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Official: Manuel Lanzini signs new four-year West Ham deal

Lanzini rewarded after a torrid time with injuries

Manuel Lanzini has signed a new contract at West Ham, having fought his way back from a devastating injury back in 2018.

The Argentine playmaker has been brilliant for the Hammers ever since joining from Al-Jazira back in 2016.

Lanzini has featured 112 times for West Ham, scoring 21 goals and assisting 19.

However, it hasn’t all been positive for Lanzini.

The Argentine suffered a pretty serious injury just before the World Cup in 2018.

After being called up to the national side, Lanzini suffered a Cruciate Ligament Rupture which kept him out until midway through last season.

A few niggling problems then stunted his return.

Now, after signing a new deal, Lanzini is looking to get his West Ham career back on track.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – MAY 29: Manuel Lanzini of Argentina plays the ball during an international friendly match between Argentina and Haiti at Alberto J. Armando Stadium on May 29, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

“For me, it was not difficult. It was easy, because I love it here”

As announced by West Ham, the contract is for four years, with an option for a further two.

Speaking after signing his contract, Lanzini claimed that it wasn’t a hard decision for him to sign an extension.

“I’m so happy to sign a new contract for West Ham,” Lanzini explained to West Ham’s official website.

“I think it’s the best decision for me.

“I’ve been here for a long time and I’ve said in an interview before that I like West Ham, I like the fans, I like the staff and when I came here all the people were comfortable with me. I like to stay here.



“It’s a big decision but also easy, because when you feel good in one club and you like the club and the club likes you, it’s easier to decide these things. For me, it was not difficult. It was easy, because I love it here.”

Having featured in three games so far this season and assisting two goals, Lanzini is one to keep an eye out for this campaign.

 

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