Spurs have to step it up at "one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world", says Hugo Lloris

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Captain Hugo Lloris knows Tottenham will have to step things up on the pitch after they have moved into “one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world”.

Spurs have confirmed the long-awaited first game at their new 62,000-seater home will be a Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on April 3, following two test events.

The Under-18s side will host Southampton on Sunday, before a Spurs ‘Legends’ team, set to include former striker Jurgen Klinsmann, will go up against Inter Forever on March 30 in front of what is expected to be a crowd in the region of some 45,000.

Mauricio Pochettino’s squad went into the international break sitting third in the Premier League table and having progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they will face Manchester City.

However, after failing to win in the past four Premier League matches, beaten at relegation-battlers Southampton last time out, Spurs are now only a point ahead of north London rivals Arsenal.

Manchester United and Chelsea are both back within striking distance, looking to capitalise on any more slip ups when domestic action resumes for Spurs away to title-chasers Liverpool on March 31.

Having played home matches at Wembley while White Hart Lane was transformed into a new state-of-the-art venue as the centrepiece of the Northumberland Development Project, Spurs are now finally set to start a new chapter.

Lloris, though, warned improvements also have to be delivered on the pitch if the team is to progress.

“We’re going to have one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, and that’s great, but we have to accompany that progression: I think it will be very difficult to take a step up without recruiting,” the France World Cup winner said in an interview with L’Equipe.

“We all now need to feel the ambition of the club at every level. I love the club; I love the people here.

“Winning something here would have a sense. I can see the difference between the state of the club when I arrived and today.

“We manage to be very competitive with a completely different philosophy to our rivals. To give us even more credit, we have to win something.”

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Frustrated Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud reveals he may return to France in summer

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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed his frustration at his lack of playing time and admitted he could be tempted by a return to France.

The 32-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, has made just six Premier League starts this season and is firmly behind the on-loan Gonzalo Higuain in the current pecking order.

“Of course it’s frustrating,” the France international told French radio station RTL. “Today, I have the impression there is clearly no competition (for places in attack) since January.

“It’s like that, I know that I will only play in the Europa League. I try to do what it takes to be as effective and as important as I can for the team.”

Giroud, who left Montpellier for Arsenal in the summer of 2012 before joining the Blues in January last year, indicated he could be open to a return to domestic French football.

“The future may be hectic this summer,” he said. “I’m not afraid to go down a level to have more playing time. It could be I end my career in France.”

Giroud is firmly behind Higuain in the Chelsea pecking order.

Giroud is firmly behind Higuain in the Chelsea pecking order.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will take on J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama in July as part of their pre-season build up.

The Premier League side announced the opponents for the match at the International Stadium on July 19 as the first confirmed fixture in the run-up to the 2019/2020 season.

The Blues are set to return to Japan having played at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup, where they finished as runners-up to Brazilian side Corinthians.

The game in Yokohama will take place at the same venue as the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup final.

It remains to be seen who the Chelsea manager will be heading into next season, with Maurizio Sarri’s position under scrutiny.

The Blues’ 2-0 loss at Everton left Sarri’s side three points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League.

However, Chelsea remain very much in contention for Europa League success and are set to play Slavia Prague for a place in the semi-finals.

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Liverpool manager Klopp backs Salah to rediscover his goalscoring form

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Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Mohamed Salah to rediscover his goalscoring form and believes team-mate Sadio Mane can provide inspiration.

The Egypt international scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield and although he has 20 in the current campaign, his goalless run of seven matches is the longest he has experienced since a 10-game streak for Roma in 2015-16.

Mane is the team’s in-form player, moving level on 20 goals with Salah, after netting 11 in as many games in a longer run of 13 in 17.

Prior to that he had gone goalless in eight outings in November and December during a spell of 17 matches in which he scored just three times.

But having seen Mane work hard to put things right, Klopp believes Salah, who is not playing badly, will see his luck change soon.

“Sadio played pretty much always like this but now he is always in the right spot in the right moment. In football it’s sometimes like this,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

“He is in a really good moment, of course. The only thing he did when he was not always in the right spot was work and work and work.

“That’s exactly what Mo has to do, exactly the same: just work, do the right things and it will come again.

“He’s just rather unlucky, where Sadio is lucky in the moment – he is in brilliant shape, that’s true.

“But then, he is in the right shape and maybe a yard away from him is Mo, but somebody else scored. That’s how it is, all good.”

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