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» Aston Villa boss responds to John McGinn's Man Utd transfer links
Villa midfielder McGinn has three Premier League goals already this season and is on a shortlist of players wanted by United
» Jurgen Klopp urges Liverpool to ignore "circus" and make Man Utd eat their words
Klopp has admitted that he has been left shocked with how intense the build up to Man Utd vs Liverpool has been
» Harry Kane told by Mauricio Pochettino he needs to prove he is "natural leader" for Tottenham
Kane has had a frustrating start to the season, just like Tottenham, and a challenge has been issued by his manager
» Gini Wijnaldum says Liverpool are ready to become Premier League's new Invincibles
Arsenal went undefeated through an entire season in 2003/04 and Wijnaldum believes that the Reds can now replicate the feat
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer invites illustrious guest to Man Utd vs Liverpool
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has invited an illustrious guest to Old Trafford ahead of Man Utd's huge clash with Liverpool
» Arsenal dealt Dayot Upamecano transfer boost as RB Leipzig resigned to losing defender
Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano
» Liverpool and Chelsea 'eyeing Lewis Cook transfer' if Bournemouth star proves fitness
England international Lewis Cook is back from injury and attracting attention from Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea
» Stan Collymore accuses Premier League of jumping on anti-racism "bandwagon"
The campaign comes on the back of the racist abuse that England's players suffered in Bulgaria this past week
» Former Aston Villa owner Tony Xia responds after arrest warrant issued in China
Aston Villa's controversial former owner Tony Xia has broken his silence on social media after an arrest warrant was issued
» Liverpool have shown wasteful Man Utd how to properly rebuild a team - without spending £900m
Klopp has spent under £400million since he took charge of Liverpool and their progress is showing up United's decline
» Man Utd youngster Mason Greenwood signs new long-term contract
Man Utd have handed teenage prospect Mason Greenwood a new long-term contract after his encouraging start to the season
» Bryan Robson on bossing Middlesbrough, Jonathan Woodgate and a fishy problem
Bryan Robson led Middlesbrough to three cup finals in his first managerial job, and says new boss Jonathan Woodgate needs backing as the club faces a relegation battle
» Maurizio Sarri confirms Mario Mandzukic isn't training with Juventus amid Man Utd interest
Mario Mandzukic is being tipped to leave Juventus for Man Utd in the January transfer window
» Joel Matip signs new Liverpool contract committing him to Anfield until 2024
Matip has excelled for the European champions and Jurgen Klopp has been keen to extend his stay in Liverpool
» Martin Keown claims former Arsenal stars would have had "disdainful" Mesut Ozil 'by the throat'
Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil has been accused of treating his team-mates with "disdain" by club legend Martin Keown
» Arsene Wenger names his choice for 2019 Ballon d'Or winner
The former Arsenal manager says that a Liverpool player should win the award - but not favourite Virgil van Dijk
» Tottenham to follow in Man City's footsteps by featuring in Amazon documentary series
The likes of Manchester City, Leeds United and Borussia Dortmund have already allowed cameras behind the scenes for Amazon Prime access
» Frank Lampard furious with France boss Didier Deschamps over N'Golo Kante injury
The Chelsea boss is extremely unhappy with Les Bleus' treatment of the World Cup winner
» Marcelo Bielsa outlines how he has spent the last two weeks since Leeds' loss to Millwall
Leeds' 2-1 defeat to Millwall last time out was their second in their last three league games and has dented their promotion bid
» Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov resigns following racist abuse of England players
Krasimir Balakov was in charge of Bulgaria in the 6-0 defeat to England in Sofia on Monday night which was marred by racist chanting
» Free £6 bet - no strings attached, could turn into £150!
Free £6 bet no strings attached, which could turn into £150 if Jordan Henderson or Scott McTominay score first on Sunday
» Liverpool, trends betting and the football patterns which could pay out this weekend
The bets which pay out over and over again, and could do once more this weekend
» Jurgen Klopp hits out at "joke" Man Utd and Liverpool combined XI
The Reds boss isn't a fan of the 'combined' teams that have been doing the rounds on social media in the build-up to Sunday's game
» Jordan Ayew talks Wilfried Zaha, Roy Hodgson and survival still being Crystal Palace's target
EXCLUSIVE: The Ghana international has found a home at Selhurst Park and has impressed for the upwardly-mobile Eagles this term

Football resources

» The FA
» BBC Sport
» SportsCoach
» Little Kickers
» Kiddikicks

Other sport news:

» Jürgen Klopp dismisses ‘insulting’ coverage of Manchester United’s travails
• Liverpool overwhelming favourites to win at Old Trafford
• ‘People are trying to create it as a banana skin’, manager says

Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s visit to Manchester United has been hyped as a potential banana skin for the Premier League leaders to provoke a show of defiance from Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side.

Liverpool are 15 points clear of their old rivals with only eight matches played and can equal Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories on Sunday. Klopp, however, claims it is insulting to dismiss United as a “nobody” while Danny Mills’ combined XI featuring only Liverpool players, the overwhelming odds on his team to win at Old Trafford and the negativity surrounding Solskjær are designed purely to motivate the struggling hosts. “People are trying to create it as a banana skin,” said Klopp, who has not won at Old Trafford as Liverpool manager.

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» Marco Silva says he has not thought of sack before Everton’s ‘must-win’ game
• Merseyside club in relegation zone and face West Ham
• ‘I don’t think I will be sacked in this situation’

Marco Silva does not expect the sack should Everton lose what he has labelled a “must-win” game against West Ham because he believes he retains the backing of the club’s hierarchy.

Related: Everton v West Ham United: match preview

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» N’Golo Kanté: so much more than just the Premier League’s best midfielder | Barney Ronay

It is no surprise that Real Madrid and Juventus are said to be coming for Chelsea’s Kanté – the Frenchman has conquered all before him over the last four years

Remember the N’Golo Kanté riots of 2018? Those were high times, man. It seems strange now but this time last year one of the key issues in the Premier League’s endless conversation with itself, and a source of febrile ambient rage well beyond the Chelsea fanbase, was the apparent misuse of Kanté by overseas book-learning type Maurizio Sarri.

Related: Frank Lampard criticises France over handling of injured N’Golo Kanté

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» Crystal Palace and the knack: how the Eagles became Man City’s bogey team | Ben Fisher
Jason Puncheon – now playing in Cyprus – talks tactics, Roy Hodgson and Palace’s mentality before City’s visit to Selhurst Park

With Manchester City lagging eight points behind Liverpool, a visit to Selhurst Park represents an awkward test as Pep Guardiola’s side seek to return to winning ways. A City team tripped up by Norwich also came unstuck against Wolves last time out and on Saturday they face a Palace side with form for making life difficult.

Related: Rodri: ‘Klopp’s teams go at you like animals. They’re like a knife’

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» ‘Natural leader’ Harry Kane won’t be fazed by Spurs role, says Pochettino

• England captain will wear armband in absence of Hugo Lloris
• ‘He does not need to feel too much pressure, just to act natural’

Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane is a natural leader and will not be weighed down by the responsibility of taking on the Tottenham captaincy.

Kane, who has worn the armband at England level since May of last year, will captain his club in the absence of Hugo Lloris, who dislocated an elbow at Brighton two weeks ago. Lloris is not expected to return to training before the end of the year.

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» Liverpool are unstoppable right now, admits Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola
• Jürgen Klopp’s side have eight point lead over City at the top
• ‘Chelsea and Arsenal are also getting better. The level is rising’

Pep Guardiola has conceded Liverpool look unstoppable but believes it is too early in the season to make any predictions about the title race.

Related: Crystal Palace and the knack: how the Eagles became Man City’s bogey team | Ben Fisher

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» Newcastle determined to extend contracts with Longstaff brothers
• Steve Bruce wants siblings to stay at St James’ Park
• ‘My job is to protect them and keep that humility and honesty’

Steve Bruce is determined to sign Matty and Sean Longstaff to improved contracts at Newcastle but has pledged to do everything in his powers to preserve the brothers’ humility.

While 21-year-old Sean attracted Manchester United’s interest last season, his 19-year-old sibling, a central midfielder, scored the winning goal against Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side as he made his Premier League debut at St James’ Park a fortnight ago.

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» Bulgaria manager resigns while outgoing president hits out at Southgate
• ‘Only Southgate heard chants,’ says Mihaylov on quitting
• Manager Krasimir Balakov criticised for Sofia reaction

Borislav Mihaylov confirmed he has resigned as president of the Bulgarian Football Union following the racist chanting that marred England’s 6-0 victory in Sofia on Monday and, having done so, hit out at Gareth Southgate, accusing the England manager of exaggerating the nature of the chanting that was directed at the visiting black players during the Euro 2020 qualifier.

Mihaylov was speaking at a press conference on Friday that followed a meeting of the BFU’s executive committee, during which it was decided that the national team manager, Krasimir Balakov, and the entire committee would also quit.

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» Manchester United job is not too big for me, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær
• I’m confident in what we’re trying to do, manager adds
• United hit by injuries as they prepare for Liverpool’s visit

After a quip about a packed media room being “noisy”, Ole Gunnar Solskjær was asked whether being Manchester United manager was too much for him.

His side have nine points from eight league matches before Liverpool’s visit on Sunday, so the question addressed a sizeable issue. Solskjær’s response was to laugh. “No, I’ve never felt it’s too big for me,” he said. “I’m confident in what we’re trying to do and I’m confident in my staff. The coaching and what’s happening here every single day, I’ve been so impressed. The improvement is there to see for us but it’s about results: start winning games, start scoring goals. We need to create more chances because at the back we’ve looked solid.

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» Barcelona v Real Madrid called off following unrest in Catalonia
• First clásico of the season had been set for 26 October
• Match to be played on 18 December instead

Real Madrid and Barcelona will not meet on 26 October after the first clásico of the Spanish league season was postponed eight days before it was to take place. Real said on Friday they and Barça had agreed to play on Wednesday 18 December.

La Liga wrote to the Spanish football federation to request the order of the clásico be switched around in a response to unrest in Barcelona following the jailing of nine Catalan political leaders for their role in an illegal referendum and the failed bid for independence. The federation placed the matter in the hands of a three-man competition committee.

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» Continental Cup has outlived its usefulness, says Chelsea’s Emma Hayes

• Get rid of it, make more league fixtures, she adds
• Manchester United and Casey Stoney express sympathy

The Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, has called for the Continental League Cup to be scrapped and more Women’s Super League matches introduced.

“Get rid of the Continental Cup,” Hayes said before her team’s game in the competition at Crystal Palace on Sunday. “Get rid of it, make more league fixtures. How are we going to get continuity? If you want the Continental Cup play it for Championship [sides]. Sell the Women’s Super League; why are we diluting our product? This competition, that competition. Boom, one league, it’s not difficult.” The League Cup involves the 23 Super League and Championship clubs and a minimum of four group games. A frustration for Hayes is that Chelsea face two away matches in the competition and a league visit to West Ham over the next three weeks, followed by an international weekend. It means a substantial gap between their 2-1 home defeat of Arsenal in front of an impressive 4,149 fans on 13 October and the visit of Manchester United to Kingsmeadow on 17 November. “I have no clue how and why that works out how it does,” Hayes said. The competition has divided opinion in recent years, with the format, scoring (draws go to penalties with one point to the losing team and two to the winning side) and scheduling causing frustration.

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» Rodri: ‘Klopp’s teams go at you like animals. They’re like a knife’
Manchester City’s record signing on his fear of tattoos, still being at university and where he and his teammates need to improve

“You can pretend a couple of times, play a role a bit, but in the end you are what you are,” Rodrigo Hernández says, and he is a deep midfielder. The way he tells it, player and person are inseparable and everything makes sense. Listening to him talk a little like he plays – intelligently, thoughtfully, calmly – it is as if there is an inevitability about it all, an inescapable logic; like this is just what he is and where he was always going to be, even if his story need not have brought him here, to his place: the middle of a football pitch.

Rodri sits on a bench on the grass at Spain’s Las Rozas training camp, tracing his journey. He hasn’t come far – he was raised near here to the north-west of Madrid and began playing just down the road – but he has come a long way, learning en route. He describes himself as a sponge, soaking it all up, from Madrid to Villarreal and back via a university degree he’s still doing and on to Manchester, where he became the most expensive player in City’s history.

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» AFC Wimbledon manager Wally Downes banned for 28 days for betting breaches
  • Downes banned until 14 November and fined £3,000 by FA
  • FA says he placed bets on eight games from 2013 to July 2019

AFC Wimbledon’s manager Wally Downes has been suspended from all football activity for 28 days and fined £3,000 after he admitted breaching betting rules.

The Football Association said Downes was suspended until 14 November for placing bets on eight matches between November 2013 and July 2019.

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» Frank Lampard criticises France over handling of injured N’Golo Kanté
• Chelsea manager wanted Kanté back sooner for treatment
• Lampard unimpressed with communication and Deschamps

Frank Lampard has accused France of a lack of communication and criticised Didier Deschamps after N’Golo Kanté returned from international duty with an injury that will keep him out of Chelsea’s game against Newcastle on Saturday.

Kanté has been plagued by fitness problems this season and the midfielder had to withdraw from the France side that beat Iceland in qualifying for Euro 2020 after suffering a groin injury during the warm-up.

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» Liverpool fans fuming over Amazon's 8pm Boxing Day fixture change
  • Leicester match moved to accommodate internet company
  • Spirit of Shankly: switch has ‘zero-consideration’ for supporters

The Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly has criticised the rescheduling of the Boxing Day fixture at Leicester, calling it “disdainful” and having “zero-consideration” for fans.

The Premier League match has been moved to 8pm to accommodate screening by Amazon Prime but with no public transport to support people getting to and from the fixture, the switch has come under fire.

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» Pochettino says Spurs players still want him and rules out January signings

• Manager invited out to dinner by his squad
• ‘The most important is to stay together’

Mauricio Pochettino has said he retains the love and support of his Tottenham players – and he has the dinner date to prove it. The manager cut an embattled figure before the international break when his team followed the 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich with a 3-0 defeat at Brighton.

Pochettino’s ability to motivate the dressing room in year six of his tenure has been questioned, with some worrying he has reached the end of the cycle. Spurs have won only three games this season and they looked broken during that harrowing afternoon at Brighton. They can ill afford anything other than victory in Saturday’s home fixture with Watford.

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» MLS playoff predictions: Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands between LAFC and glory

Los Angeles’ newest team have been merciless this year. But a new playoff format brings an element of luck into the postseason

The dominance of Los Angeles FC. Losing just four league games all year long, they set a new standard in Major League Soccer and head into the playoffs as the firm favorites. In Bob Bradley, LAFC boast the best coach in the league and in Carlos Vela they boast the best player, certainly the best goalscorer. All this in just their second year as an MLS franchise. GR

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» Manchester United’s recruitment has been dysfunctional, admits Ed Woodward

• Chief executive says ‘non-experts’ not deciding football policy
• Woodward confirms belief in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s abilities

Ed Woodward believes the perception he and other non-experts are making decisions over football policy at Manchester United is “insulting”, though the executive vice-chairman admits recruitment strategy was dysfunctional in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Woodward is the subject of ongoing criticism over team performance, transfers and other areas of football strategy. United are 12th in the league, with nine points from eight games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

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» Everton v West Ham United: match preview

Manuel Pellegrini savoured his first win as the West Ham manager at Goodison last season, a comprehensive 3-1 victory, and a repeat could have serious repercussions for Marco Silva as he looks to halt a run of four straight league defeats that have left Everton in the relegation zone. Silva described this game as a must-win in the aftermath of defeat at Burnley before the international break. Everton’s performances have been as weak and the rising pressure on their manager, coupled with a disgruntled home crowd, offers a potent mix tthe visitors could exploit. Andy Hunter

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

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» Aston Villa v Brighton: match preview

The 5-1 thumping of Norwich must have left Aston Villa fans cursing the international break, with Dean Smith’s side having clicked into gear after a slowish start. Brighton come to Villa Park having lost the Carabao Cup tie against them last month but boosted by the victory over Tottenham. If either side loses they will be looking over their shoulders. Ed Aarons

Saturday 3pm

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» Bournemouth v Norwich City: match preview

Norwich travel to Bournemouth looking to turn the tide after three successive defeats. Daniel Farke’s side are yet to win on the road this season and Teemu Pukki’s strike at Anfield on the opening day remains their only goal away from home. The Bournemouth pair Callum Wilson and Joshua King will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of taking on the division’s leakiest defence, while the full-back Adam Smith could return from a hamstring injury. “I watched their first game against Liverpool,” said Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager. “I thought they did really well. They were beaten but I admire any team that has a clear philosophy and sticks with it.” Ben Fisher

Saturday 3pm

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» Tottenham v Watford: match preview

Tottenham could not have handpicked the next fixture after the shock 3-0 defeat at Brighton any better than to have a visit from Watford. Having also been announced as the latest subject of an Amazon fly-on-the-wall documentary for next summer, the US broadcaster will be fully expectant of filming a more joyful episode than it has managed of late, with Spurs winning three in their last 11 games in all competitions. Quique Sánchez Flores has said he is calm despite the current predicament, Watford have four league goals to their name and a goal difference of minus 16. “We are probably at 30 or 35%. We need to improve in many things if we want to be more competitive,” he said. “We are working really hard during the week.” Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are back in full training for Spurs, who will be without Hugo Loris until the new year. Mark Tallentire

Saturday 3pm

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» Chelsea v Newcastle United: match preview

Chelsea will expect to continue their winning run when they face Newcastle. They have climbed into fifth place and Tammy Abraham is in hot goalscoring form. However, N’Golo Kanté is out after suffering a groin injury on international duty and Newcastle have already claimed a couple of big scalps, winning at Tottenham in August and beating Manchester United two weeks ago. Jacob Steinberg

Saturday 3pm

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» Leicester City v Burnley: match preview

It will be an emotional day at what is Leicester’s last home game before the first anniversary of the helicopter crash at the stadium that claimed the lives of five people, including the club’s chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. While paying their respect, Burnley will aim to frustrate Leicester, testing their creativity and patience. While trying to work openings, Leicester will also have to be wary of counterattacks, because Sean Dyche’s side have scored in every away gamethis season, losing only once in four on the road. Paul Doyle

Saturday 3pm

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» Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton: match preview

The international break came just as Wolves seemed to have found form, with the superb victory at Manchester City being their second league win in a row after a poor start. The challenge for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side is to pick up where they left off. The Southampton manager, Ralph Hassenhüttl, on the other hand has spent the break trying to tighten up his team, who have lost their past three league games. Unfortunately for Southampton, the midfielder Moussa Djenepo, who has not played since scoring the winning goal at Sheffield United, is not fit enough to return to action. Paul Doyle

Saturday 3pm

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» Crystal Palace v Manchester City: match preview

After picking up 14 points from eight matches, confidence is high at Selhurst Park but the arrival of Manchester City will be a different test entirely for Roy Hodgson’s side. Pep Guardiola’s side ended a two-match sequence without a win against Crystal Palace in April with a 3-1 away victory but will know they cannot afford to slip up again after defeats against Norwich and Wolves. Ed Aarons

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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» Sean and Matty Longstaff: ‘Knowing your brother has got your back is special’

Newcastle’s midfield brothers discuss their different paths to the first team, Matty’s debut goal against Manchester United and why their family could rival the Nevilles

Whatever the future holds, Matty Longstaff will never forget the sudden, almost elemental, assault on his senses. He met the ball, his brother screamed “hit it”, David de Gea was beaten from distance and the 19-year-old knew life would never be quite the same again.

“I can just remember the loudest roar I’ve ever heard in the Gallowgate,” he says, his smile as wide as the Tyne. “It was all a bit surreal.”

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» Manchester United should have been careful what they wished for | Eni Aluko

United’s shortsighted approach has left Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side lacking character – especially compared with Liverpool

Liverpool go to Manchester United on Sunday top of the table, nearly eight months since they last dropped a league point, and knowing that another victory could leave United as low as 17th by the end of the weekend. Based on performances this season it is hard to see how this United team can hurt Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, but perhaps the worst thing about the failure they are experiencing is that I believe they have no choice but to just live with it, for now at least.

By the end of his time in Manchester José Mourinho was making everybody miserable – his players, anyone forced to regularly watch them, and even himself. United were pretty much unbearable before he was sacked last December. But though the Portuguese is not widely associated with free-flowing football there is one thing he guarantees: trophies. In sacking him United effectively announced that some things – particularly a commitment to youth and attacking football – were more important to them than trophies.

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» Ralf Rangnick: ‘I have to influence areas of development across the whole club’

The German sporting director talks about his philosophy – ‘like a jigsaw with 500 pieces’ – his time at Sussex University and what has gone wrong at Manchester United

In the end Ralf Rangnick did not get the England job in 2016 – he was, he says, down to the last two, alongside Sam Allardyce – but you can still see his influence on the English game. Jürgen Klopp uses tactics grounded in Rangnick’s fast transitions and his Liverpool team have four players who owe their big break in Europe to Rangnick: Joël Matip (at Schalke), Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim), Naby Keïta and Sadio Mané (RB Salzburg).

Rangnick is a byword for tactical influence and talent development in Germany, even taking some credit for the national team’s 2014 World Cup success. This season’s Bundesliga has been nicknamed the “Rangnickliga”, as five teams in the top six positions have head coaches who learned their craft under him.

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» Felipe Anderson improvement key to West Ham’s league standing | Jacob Steinberg
West Ham’s claim on a European place hinges on the Brazilian and the forward line gaining in conviction

There has been a lot of noise about West Ham challenging for a place in the top four this season, some of it justified, some a little overblown. Claims that this is the best squad since David Sullivan and David Gold bought the club in January 2010 need to be contextualised given the questionable decisions that preceded the recent heavy spending and while Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked equipped to push the elite when they beat Manchester United 2-0 last month, it is worth remembering Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side are not exactly the force of old at the moment.

Tread with caution. There have been three wins from eight games, the other victories coming against Norwich and Watford, 19th and 20th in the table respectively. It is nothing to get carried away about and it should also be pointed out West Ham did not have to play that well to beat a mediocre United, who had chances to make it 1-1.

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» Liverpool could set wins record but is it the sign of a healthy Premier League?

Long winning sequences have become more common, implying dominance of a sort that may not be good for the top flight

Games between Manchester United and Liverpool are not what they were. Until quite recently the two strongest sides in the north-west would also be the two strongest sides in England, so one or the other’s title ambitions would often be on the line in what came to be regarded as a local derby, even if 30 miles of separation stretches the definition of the word local.

In historical terms the two clubs are still the big hitters of English football, with almost 40 league titles between them, yet both have known long fallow periods. Manchester United famously did not win a title between 1967 and 1993, even enduring a season in the Second Division as a result of Matt Busby’s European Cup-winning side being allowed to grow old together, while Liverpool have still to win a title in the Premier League era. Hopes are high of a 30-year wait finally being ended this season, now that Manchester City have faltered while Jürgen Klopp’s players have recorded a perfect start, and a ninth win of the season at Old Trafford on Sunday would also see Liverpool match Manchester City’s two-year-old record of 18 consecutive wins.

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» Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United | Rob Smyth

The choice is simple: potential long-term success under Solskjær or guaranteed long-term failure under a load of different managers

It has been widely reported, not entirely without glee, that Manchester United have had their worst start to a league season since 1989-90. Plenty of those reports have excluded one not insignificant detail; that the manager of the club back then was Alex Ferguson.

It is easy to forget how truly abysmal Ferguson’s United were between 1988 and 1990. They made the current lot look like freewheeling entertainers by comparison. In April 1989, United scored one goal in five games – and that was an own goal by Tony Adams, all his own work.

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» Brazil's Lucão scores spectacular volley in World Beach Games football – video

A driven long-range volley was the pick of the bunch in Brazil's 9-3 victory over Russia at the World Beach Games in Doha. After a bobbling effort from Russia, Brazil's Lucão chipped the ball up from deep inside his own half before striking it into the top-right corner, as the Russian goalkeeper stood and watched

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» 'It was like war': North Korea v South Korea ends in goalless draw – video report

It was the first time that the teams had met in North Korea for 30 years, although the game was played out with no fans, no media and sadly no goals. The game in Pyongyang ended in a 0-0 draw. Speaking after returning to South Korea, captain and Tottenham star Son Heung-min said: 'To be honest, the game was so tough that I think we were very lucky already to be back with no one injured.'

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» Basford United footballer scores header … from his own half – video

A game between Basford United and FC United of Manchester might not seem the most enthralling game on paper but a bizarre moment in the second half has put it in the spotlight. After an FC United player cleared the ball deep from their own half, Basford United's Stefan Galinski met it with a firm header that bounced and looped over goalkeeper Cameron Belford.  'I don't quite know what happened there,' said the commentator. Basford went on to win 3-1 in the Northern Premier League game

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» Bulgaria v England: 'One of the most appalling nights in football' – video report

England's trip to Bulgaria was marred by racist abuse hurled at their players during the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia. Play was halted twice as part of a new protocol aimed at stopping racism in football. A section of Bulgaria's support could be seen giving Nazi salutes as well aiming monkey chants at players. The FA Chairman, Greg Clarke, described it as 'one of the most appalling nights I've seen in football'.

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» Southgate, Clarke and Mings react to racist chants at Bulgaria v England – video

England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia came close to being abandoned on Monday night after home fans repeatedly racially abused Tyrone Mings and other black players on what the Football Association chairman, Greg Clarke, described as 'one of the most appalling nights I’ve seen in football'.

• Gareth Southgate praises England players for making ‘major statement’

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» England fans clash with Prague police before defeat to Czech Republic - video

England fans clashed with police in Prague on Friday prior to their team’s to Czech Republic – the first time England have lost a qualifier for a major tournament in 10 years. The violence erupted when bottles were thrown towards armed officers in riot gear, with police then advancing and firing stun grenades

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» Next Generation 2019: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, the new Paul Pogba and Barça’s Ansu Fati are among our 60 most talented players in the world born in 2002. Check the progress of our 2018 picks | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by DZfoot, BackpagePix, Club Atlético Belgrano, EFE, EPA, Getty Images, Uwe Gruen/Hoffenheim, AMA/Getty Images, Rex/Shutterstock, Zuma Press/PA, FIFA, Tigres, Damir Krajac/CROPIX, Alamy, Daniel Reyes/Ecuafutbol, Reuters, Atromitos, Imago/PA, fotoBERNAMA, New Straits Times, José Alonso Paredes Sánchez, Agencja Gazeta, David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty, AP, Asian Football Confederation, Danubio FC and Championat Asia

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» Next Generation 2019: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

The Guardian selects the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2003, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by David Price/Arsenal/Getty Images, Neville Williams/Aston Villa/Getty Images, AFC Bournemouth, Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC, Paul Dennis/TGS/Shutterstock, Clive Howes/Chelsea/Getty Images, Danny Loo/PPAUK, Emma Simpson/Everton/Getty Images, Nick Taylor/Liverpool/Getty Images, Manchester City/Getty Images, Ash Donelon/Manchester United/Getty Images, Jason Dawson/Jasonpix, James Wilson/Sportimage, Simon Bellis/Sportimage, Robin Jones/Digital South/Southampton FC, Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images, Alan Cozzi/Watford, Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United and Sam Bagnall/AMA

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» Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

From Rashford to Tielemans, we check in on how our initial Next Generation players have got on before the 2019 ones are announced this week

In 2014 we decided that it would be interesting to pick the best young players from each Premier League club – as well as 40 from around the world – and follow them for five years to see how they progressed.

The idea was to try to get a sense of how difficult it is to become a professional footballer despite being one of the best in that country at the age of 16 or 17.

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» Harley Willard: ‘Iceland’s a good place just to concentrate on your football’

The winger, who was part of the Guardian’s first Next Generation in 2014, talks about rebuilding his career after being released by Southampton

Harley Willard made one of those sliding-doors decisions that can turn anyone’s life around last December. He had arrived at Heathrow airport, packed and ready for the 14-hour slog back to Phnom Penh, and at that point another season at the Cambodian club Svay Rieng felt like a trade-off he could just about stomach. The football there offered few real prospects but he had enjoyed the lifestyle and, after such an uncertain year and a half since leaving Southampton, surely his happiness was the most important thing.

Related: Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

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» Black football managers join forces in Maracanã to condemn racism in Brazil

Marcão and Roger, the only black managers in Série A, stood together to oppose the prejudice they see in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Occasionally football acts as a springboard for conversations that affect society as a whole. That happened in Brazil at the weekend. Before Fluminense hosted Bahia in the Maracanã, the two clubs’ managers embraced on the touchline wearing matching anti-racism T-shirts.

Both men are black. It should not be remarkable to see two black managers leading teams in the top flight of Brazilian football. Yet, in a country where more than half of the population identifies as black or mixed race, only two Série A managers do.

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» A dog, a cat and 22 fans: watching European football’s worst top-flight team | Matt Walker
Matt Walker, who travelled to top-division games in all 55 Uefa countries in one season, had a dream dashed in San Marino

Björn, the wicked barman I met in Finland, was cutting. “San Marino is like the Åland Islands having their own league. You only need two barely functional legs and to be aged 18 to 40.” I was now 41, but San Marino was surely my best chance of playing a match on my travels.

San Marino was the lowest-ranked league based on club results in European competition over the previous five seasons. Only Kosovo, unable to accrue ranking points until they became a member of Uefa in 2016, had a lower coefficient. My chances of playing were improved further by watching the final round of matches in the regular league season. And I even chose a dead match, Murata against Virtus, involving the worst team in top‑division European football.

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» Pedro Pasculli: from Maradona’s World Cup roommate to Bangor City manager | Andy Hunter
World Cup winner at the second-tier Welsh club on Maradona’s calming influence and the ‘Campeones 86’ WhatsApp group

Pedro Pasculli shared the inner sanctum of Diego Maradona’s room when he inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986. Nowadays they share a WhatsApp group that has engaged on the unlikely topic of Bangor City since Pasculli was appointed manager of the historic but troubled club this month. The group have plenty to discuss.

“The sensation of holding the World Cup was like touching the sky with your hand,” the 59‑year‑old Pasculli recalls of the moment Maradona passed him the trophy in Mexico.

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» Socceroos emerge richer from World Cup qualifiers despite all-too-easy wins over poor opponents | Richard Parkin

Progress towards Qatar is a complex mosaic and drubbings of Nepal and Taiwan reveal plenty

Six points, 12 goals scored, one conceded. As weeks in international football go, it has not been too shabby. Having followed Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Nepal with a 7-1 drubbing of Taiwan – their biggest win in three-and-a-half years – the Socceroos can be relatively pleased with their results, however much they were expected.

But as in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with the AFC’s expansion from 20 to 40 teams at the first pool-stage round, hockey scores are not unexpected – this week Iran beat Cambodia 14-0, South Korea beat Sri Lanka 8-0 and China used the full weight of its billion-plus population advantage over Guam to win 7-0. Whether these mismatches are advantageous to or even necessary for the slow march of progress across the vast region of Asia is a question for the regional governing body. And whether there’s an obvious net benefit for Australia is equally hard to say.

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» Emergence of new teenage crop best advert for returning A-League | Richard Parkin

The pre-season promotion may have underwhelmed, but young talent lit up the opening A-League round

The A-League has returned - and for all the criticism surrounding a lack of promotion ahead of the season’s launch, it appears the best marketing remains the on-pitch product. Adelaide witnessed a pulsating five-goal feast on Friday night – a match illuminated by Nikola Mileusnic’s superb free-kick, a goal on debut for youngster Al Hassan Toure, and Ryan McGowan’s dramatic late winner to sink the hopes of his hometown fans.

After three years in the wilderness Western Sydney Wanderers returned to Parramatta Stadium like heroes from the Odyssey – the introduction of safe-standing for active supporters was well-received, even if not all have returned yet to embrace Markus Babbel’s work in progress.

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» Antoine Griezmann and the question of where he fits in at Barcelona | Sid Lowe
The Frenchman has initially had to play on the left and when Messi, Suárez and Dembélé were all available he was on the bench. He is too good not to integrate but it may take time

“That’s a good question,” Antoine Griezmann replied but he was not daft enough to actually answer it. With that line, he had said enough. On the eve of last week’s Champions League match against Internazionale, Griezmann was asked if he would play better on the right. The question was leading and what came next was even more telling than his response.

Related: A new Sevilla but the same old story as Barcelona blow them away | Sid Lowe

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» Emre Belozoglu the wise old head as Turkey's young generation impresses

Turkey are top of their qualifying group with a team of young players developed at home benefiting from the guidance of 39-year-old Emre Belozoglu

Turkey sit top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group, ahead of France on head-to-head, but perhaps the most satisfying thing for the coach, Senol Gunes, and the Turkish Football Federation is that the results have come while picking young players who have had their football education in their home country.

This is not how it used to be. Gone are players such as Arda Turan who, after breaking a singer’s nose and then threatening them with a gun in an Istanbul hospital, was always going to struggle to get his career back on track, and the old guard has been replaced by a group of young players who have the capacity to make waves at next year’s tournament, should they qualify.

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» How Colorado’s Robin Fraser is breaking ground for black coaches in MLS

The longtime MLS assistant and former USA defender is only the second African American head coach in league history

Robin Fraser stood stoic on the sideline at Red Bull Arena as the Colorado Rapids stymied the New York Red Bulls. To his right his former teammate, Chris Armas, was trying to rally the Red Bulls to come from behind, but a second Rapids goal has put the game to bed. It was the beginning of a stretch for the Colorado that would see the team win five out of six games, before falling just short of this season’s MLS playoffs.

“Really fucking good, that felt really good,” Fraser said when a Rapids staffer asked him how he felt after the whistle. He had not held a head coaching job for nearly seven years when the Rapids offered him the opportunity to return to his native Denver. In that span, Fraser served as the tactician behind the Red Bulls’ Supporters’ Shield win in 2013, and was the assistant to long-time friend Greg Vanney when Toronto FC became the first MLS team to win a domestic treble in 2017 and came within a penalty shootout of winning the Concacaf Champions League the following spring.

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» Farewell to DaMarcus Beasley: a US star with no interest in the limelight

The former PSV and Rangers player never measured his worth in newsprint or television appearances and never cared about outside praise or criticism

Sunday was branded Decision Day in MLS, but for one of the finest players the American game has ever produced, the choice was made months ago.

DaMarcus Beasley announced his retirement in May, days before his 37th birthday. He made his farewell appearance in the Houston Dynamo’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, in which a man nearly eight months his senior, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, scored his 30th goal of the season.

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» England's vile and disturbing night in Sofia will live long in sporting infamy | Barney Ronay

England should take great credit for their response to a toxic atmosphere that led to two stoppages for racist chanting on a wretched night for football

Welcome to the new world. We came expecting a football match. What we got was a miserable occasion on a miserable night in a miserable stadium against miserable opposition played out to a miserable backdrop of recrimination and bad blood.

By the end this did not feel like a sporting event at all. It felt like an open sore, an affront to the basic idea of nations coming together to exchange flags, in a stadium transformed into a well of poison.

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» How can football give racist fans one chance to stop, then another and another? | Marvin Sordell

It is despicable to have a stadium announcer ask for a crowd to stop dehumanising football players because of their skin colour – and then carry on playing

In the last seven years, four different clubs have won the Premier League, with the team who now finishes bottom earning £93m, compared to the winners in 2012 who earned £60m. We’ve seen Gareth Bale become the first player to be bought for €100m, a figure which has subsequently been beaten nine times. New laws have also been brought in to change kick-offs, deal with a player who has a head injury, and see when someone is 3mm offside. A lot has changed in football since I went to Serbia with my England Under-21 teammates in October 2012, but, sadly, racism is not one of those things.

Having played in similar circumstances to those the England players experienced against Bulgaria on Monday night, it saddens me to see that people are still having to work in that kind of environment. For me this is an incredibly sad depiction of where the world seems to be at the moment.

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» Local flavour has Exeter and Sparkes looking to go one step further | Ben Fisher

For Exeter full-back Jack Sparkes there is no shortage of inspiration around City’s training ground

Thirteen games in, only an inferior goals-for column keeps Exeter City off the League Two summit. Having finished ninth in May, two places and one point below the hallowed dotted line following successive play-off final defeats at Wembley, they are well versed in fine margins. Like last season, they have made a barnstorming start – Exeter have lost one league game and are a point shy of where they were 12 months ago – but the aim is to go one step further under Matt Taylor this time around.

Depending on which way you look at it, they have either an experienced group sprinkled with homegrown talent or a youthful squad complemented by a series of senior professionals, including Aaron Martin, Lee Martin and Nicky Law, once of Southampton, Manchester United and Rangers respectively. Then there is Dean Moxey, whose career has come full circle having returned to his boyhood club two years ago, a player the highly-rated left wing-back Jack Sparkes grew up watching on the terraces with his dad. “As a little kid, you think: ‘This is where I want to be,’” says Sparkes, 19, who hails from Exmouth and spent last season on loan at Chippenham Town and Salisbury.

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» The Fiver | The Glazer family, that real-life version of Succession season four

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It is the grandest rivalry in English football. It’s just a pity that Manchester United v Liverpool matches regularly resemble those mid-2000s Birmingham v Bolton clashes that not even Sky Sports Premier League finds airspace to replay. Each of the last three seasons has featured a 0-0 draw in a fixture that gets the loudest fanfare for the most diminished returns. By now, you know the drill for the buildup: a Jimmy Nesbitt voiceover or a local poet delivering Vogon verse atop a soft-focus glimpse of life in the north west’s two great cities, soundtracked by either Pete Wylie or the Stone Roses, depending on which is the home side.

Could Sunday’s showdown be any different? With Liverpool riding high and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the Moyes-faced Assassin, looking increasingly befuddled, the worst is feared at Old Trafford – a humbling at the hands of the old enemy. United chief suit Ed Woodward has been getting some pre-emptive strikes in before Gary Neville, Graeme Souness and Roy Keane deliver their weekly post-match lecture on what is going wrong for Big Red. “There is a myth that we have non‑football people making football decisions, and it’s insulting to the brilliant people who work on the football side in this club,” roared Ed.

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» Buy a classic David Squires cartoon from our collection

Our cartoonist looks back at 25 of his favourite strips from down the years, all of which are now available at our Guardian Print Shop, a link to each can be found by clicking on the title of each caption below

  • David Squires is away this week
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» Football transfer rumours: Kessié to Wolves? Håland to Manchester City?

Today’s fluff is guessing Norway’s coverage has started already

The curious thing about Wolvesdefeat of Manchester City a fortnight ago is that it could have been much more comfortable had Patrick Cutrone not seemingly had his boots on the wrong way round. It’s not gone unnoticed by Nuno Espírito Santo that the young striker, signed from Milan in the summer for £16m, is taking his time to settle at Molineux. What he needs is a familiar face in the ranks to help him feel comfortable – surely then the goals will come. Step forward Franck Kessié.

The midfielder had a fine understanding with Cutrone at Milan last season and was close to joining Wolves in the summer window only for the transfer to fall through. But Milan’s dire financial situation means a move is back on again. The box-to-box Ivory Coast international would bring even more energy to Nuno’s side and a smile back to Cutrone’s face. The cost for all this positivity would be £26.9m but there is a sticking point. Milan want a replacement and would only be willing to let Kessié leave if they can secure Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal for £13m in January. But let’s be honest, Elneny hardly has a queue of suitors lining up to whisk him away now does he?

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» Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, cartwheels and magic marathons | Classic YouTube

Also featuring classic Manchester United v Liverpool matches, a player running to the wrong end zone and Sergio Parisse

1) It’s the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals this weekend, and there have been some mighty last-eight clashes down the years. The 2015 match between Scotland and Australia will always be remembered for the controversial penalty that broke Scottish hearts at the death. But the Wallabies’ 35-34 win had everything, including interceptions, a rain storm and eight tries. France’s shock win over the All Blacks in 2007 was pretty special too. That win for Les Bleus in front of their home fans comes in at No 7 in this list of most memorable World Cup moments, also starring David Campese, Jonah Lomu and Nelson Mandela. Meanwhile … who could forget Jason Robinson’s electrifying run and pass to set up Will Greenwood’s try in England’s 2003 quarter-final win over Wales? That same tournament also provided one of the greatest passes the game has ever seen, from Carlos Spencer to send Joe Rococoko over to score for the All Blacks in their last-eight win against South Africa.

2) Typhoon Hagibis may have eased in time for Japan’s breathtaking win over Scotland, but the cancellation of Italy’s match against the All Blacks denied Sergio Parisse his World Cup swansong at the age of 36. No matter, let’s remember the power, the pace and the personality.

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» Who is the oldest footballer to make their debut in a top-flight division? | The Knowledge

Plus: more former pros turning out for Sunday league sides, eponymous international goalscorers and Derek Acorah

“With Leon Clarke making his Premier League debut at the age of 34 for Sheffield United against Liverpool, who is the oldest debutant in a top division?” tweets Joe Turner.

We’ve unearthed a golden oldie who can beat the ageing Blade by two years. Now-retired Brighton defender Bruno captained the Seagulls to promotion and then made his first appearance in the English top flight at 36 and only two months shy of his 37th birthday. But Tom Aldous points us in the direction of Graham Alexander who, at the ripe age of 37, made his Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009.

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» Football quiz: winning streaks

Liverpool have won 17 games in a row in the Premier League. How well do you remember these victorious runs?

Which team won 25 league games in a row in 2003 and 2004?

Manchester United




Which team won 16 games in a row in 2010 and 2011?

Real Madrid

Bayern Munich



Which team won 18 league games in a row in 2017?

Bayern Munich

Manchester City



Which team won 19 league games in a row in the 2013-14 season?


Manchester City


Bayern Munich

Which team won 14 league games in a row in 2002?

Manchester United




Which team won 29 league games in a row in 1972 and 1973?




Red Star Belgrade

Which team won 12 league games in a row in 2000?

Bayern Munich


Manchester United


Which team won 17 league games in a row in the 2006-07 season?



Borussia Dortmund


Which team won 16 league games in a row in 2017?



Atlético Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain

Which team won 13 league games in a row in 2016?



Leicester City


8 and above.

You are a football genius

9 and above.

You are a football genius

10 and above.

You are a football genius

7 and above.

It's a tough quiz. You've done very well there

6 and above.

It's a tough quiz. You've done well there

5 and above.

It's a tough quiz. You've done well there

4 and above.

It's a tough quiz. You've done well there

3 and above.

Oh dear. That is not a good score

2 and above.

Oh dear. That is not a good score

0 and above.

Oh dear. That is not a good score

1 and above.

Oh dear. That is not a good scoreThat is not a good score

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» The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Referees, bicycle kicks and ‘giving it back’ in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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» Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

Keep up with the top scorers in European football’s leading five leagues, updated throughout the season

8 Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

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» Thomas Tuchel: ‘I told Neymar to face the truth and deal with consequences’ | Darren Tulett

The PSG manager discusses the Brazilian star – ‘he has a good heart’ – what constitutes success and why chasing the perfect game is a bit like Sisyphus as ‘you don’t quite get there’

It turned out to be an interesting summer for Thomas Tuchel but perhaps not in the way he would have wanted. Rather than being able to focus solely on how to improve on a debut season that brought a French league title, a cup final and an infuriating last-16 exit to Manchester United in the Champions League, the Paris Saint-Germain manager was fielding questions about the future of Neymar.

On and on it went. From the moment the first reports of Neymar wanting to leave appeared, to the moment he did not return for the first day of pre-season to finally playing his first club game of the season on 14 September, the story was always about the Brazilian rather than the team.

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» Pierre van Hooijdonk: ‘I told Ron Atkinson he was a pub manager’

The Dutch striker on his time at Nottingham Forest, Celtic and returning to Glasgow to pay tribute to Fernando Ricksen

Pierre van Hooijdonk does a very good Ron Atkinson impression. It is genuinely funny as, in the lobby of an Amsterdam hotel, he tries in vain to collapse his 6ft 4in frame into something resembling Big Ron. The Dutchman’s accent and intonation, however, are spot on as we discuss his final few months under Atkinson at Nottingham Forest in 1998-99, when the club was relegated from the Premier League. They have not been back since.

Related: Steve Ogrizovic: ‘I enjoyed the police. I was good at clearing bars and clubs’

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» 'Real-life Championship Manager': the incredible rise of Dorking Wanderers

Marc White started the club in 1999 with mates – 11 promotions later he is managing them in the National League South

September 1999. Wimbledon are sinking towards Premier League relegation, with rumours of a relocation refusing to go away. One weary Dons supporter, Marc White, decides to do something else with his Saturdays. “I thought: ‘Why not start something with a few friends, have a bit of a laugh?’” With that, Dorking Wanderers are born.

They join the now-defunct Crawley & District League, playing home games at Big Field, a windswept council pitch that costs £50 per game to hire. They have no supporters and no grand designs. “We were 14 lads, all paying a fiver each,” White says. “For Saturday football, there’s no lower level. And that’s how it started.”

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