Ravel Morrison is ready to make his first Premier League appearance in five years, according to Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.
The former Manchester United trainee is back in the English top flight after signing a 12-month deal with the Blades this summer, following spells in Italy, Mexico and Sweden.
Morrison has yet to appear for Wilder’s team in the opening two matches this season, not even making the bench, but did play in a behind-closed-doors game against his former club United this week.
The 26-year-old forward, who can also play in midfield, will hope to be involved against Leicester at Bramall Lane on Saturday but if he is not then he will likely make his debut against Blackburn in the Carabao Cup on August 27.
“He’s ready. He’s been in both squads without playing but we played a behind-closed-doors game against Manchester United in the week and he played 90 minutes in that,” said Wilder.
“It was a great exercise for us against about £200million worth of talent. When we talked about playing a behind-closed-doors against Manchester United and then all of a sudden some unbelievably talented footballers came walking over towards our boys, it was a bit like ‘wow, this is a proper game!’
“It was a good exercise for our boys against world-class players and we certainly appreciate the opportunity going over to Manchester United and them putting the game on for us.
“But Rav has a big part to play, he knows that. We talk about picking the side and it’s a difficult selection process for myself and picking the subs as well. There’s a lot of competition to even get on the bench and we need that.”
Wilder also revealed forward Callum Robinson will be fit for the weekend after coming off injured against Crystal Palace on Sunday. However, the news was not so good regarding midfielder John Fleck.
“We’ve a doubt about John Fleck but Callum has trained all week,” he said. “Those two both had to come off with injuries but we’ll give John that time to recover.”
The Blades have made a solid start to life back in the Premier League, building on their opening-day draw at Bournemouth by defeating Palace 1-0.
Ahead of Leicester’s visit to Bramall Lane, Wilder insists his squad are not getting ahead of themselves.
“They won’t get carried away, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “They haven’t done for three years so they certainly won’t after two games in a different league.
“I’ve always kept my feet on the ground, I’ve never got ahead of myself. I think it’s a dangerous game to do that whether you’re a player, manager or a coach.
“At the moment I’m in the Premier League but I want to stay in here for a number of years and that’s got to be our attitude. That’s an attitude that’s driven myself on personally and I look at our players and I see a lot of similarities in their approach as well.
“The drive from the staff and the message that comes across all the time is a consistent one so that’s why I can confidently say that they’ll never get ahead of themselves because it’s not a trait that my team has.”
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
Wayne Rooney’s MLS career looks to be heading for an ignoble end after his sending-off against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
As the DC United striker prepares for a move back to England to assume a player-coach role at Derby, PA looks at the highs and lows of the 33-year-old’s career.
HIGH – Scores for Everton against Arsenal in October 2002 at the age of 16 years and 360 days, making him the youngest Premier League goalscorer at the time.
HIGH – Becomes the youngest player to play for England in February 2003 at 17 years and 111 days in a friendly defeat against Australia.
HIGH – Becomes the most expensive British teenager by joining Manchester United in 2004 in a deal that eventually rises to £27million.
LOW – Sent off in a Champions League draw at Villarreal in September 2005 after sarcastically clapping in the referee’s face.
LOW – Sent off in the World Cup 2006 quarter-final defeat to Portugal for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho. England went on to lose on penalties.
HIGH – Ends the 2007-08 campaign as both a Premier League and Champions League winner as United defeat Chelsea in Moscow.
HIGH – Signs five-year extension with United, just two days after saying he would not and wanted to leave in October 2010.
HIGH – Scores arguably his best United goal in February 2011, an overhead kick in the Manchester derby to give United a 2-1 victory.
LOW – Sent off in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro for a foul on Miodrag Dzudovic and banned for the first three games of the finals in Poland and Ukraine, subsequently reduced to two on appeal.
HIGH – Wins his 100th England cap in November 2014 and scores a penalty as England defeat Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
HIGH – In September 2015, breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record with his 50th goal in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland.
HIGH – Earns his 116th cap in September 2016 to make him England’s most-capped outfield player.
HIGH – Surpasses Charlton as United’s all-time record scorer by coming off the bench to net against Stoke in January 2017.
LOW – Receives two-year driving ban and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work in September 2017 after pleading guilty to a drink-driving charge.
LOW – In December 2018 is arrested for public intoxication at Washington’s Dulles airport after arriving on a flight from Saudi Arabia. Says he was left “disorientated” by taking prescribed sleeping tablets while drinking.
HIGH – Seals a deal to return from the US earlier than planned and become a player-coach at Derby from January 2020.
LOW – Made his frustrations about the MLS plain in a tweet bemoaning DC United’s unnecessary “12-hour travel day” – shortly after ranting at the fourth official during defeat at the Vancouver Whitecaps.
LOW – Is sent off during DC United’s MLS defeat to New York Red Bulls after a VAR review decreed he had elbowed Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr in the neck.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
The Fantasy Premier League roller coaster never fails to disappoint. After the highs of Gameweek 1, its successor brought FPL managers back down to earth with a dose of reality.
An average score of 41 was 24 shy of the GW1 tally with Sheffield United and Everton the only ones in the Premier League to keep clean sheets while a Teemu Pukki-inspired Norwich were alone in their efforts to score more than two goals.
Make sure you’re strapped in though because looking at this weekend’s fixtures, this ride is about to get wilder. Manchester United and Tottenham enjoy attractive home matches against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United respectively. Meanwhile, there are certainly goals on offer away from home for Chelsea at Norwich and Manchester City at Bournemouth.
Here’s a few tips to help guide you.
CAPTAIN – HARRY KANE | TOTTENHAM | 11.0M
Of the Spurs players who started against City, Harry Kane had the least touches – just 25, a whopping 39 fewer than goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. That said, his anonymity was less to do with him than Pep Guardiola’s side absolutely dominating proceedings in a strange draw.
If you own the prolific striker, this is the kind of fixture you’ve been waiting for, one that should produce a completely different performance to the one he delivered at the Etihad.
Kane would’ve looked at Pukki’s hat-trick against Newcastle last weekend and thought: ‘Right, my turn.’
Confidence is low for the Magpies and Spurs were absolutely dominant in their last home game against Aston Villa during which their skipper registered an incredible eight shots on his own, delivering two goals.
Despite his quiet outing against City, Kane still boasts a Threat Index of 99, more than Roberto Firmino (98). Expect him to come good against a Newcastle defence that looks vulnerable.
RAHEEM STERLING (12.2m) was again one of the most threatening players in GW2 and should see more chances come his way at Bournemouth to add to his tally of four goals. His 10 shots so far leads the way along with Pukki.
MOHAMED SALAH (12.5m) has already been ditched by nearly 300,000 FPL managers since his blank against Southampton. He did come close to scoring at St Mary’s though and remains a threat. Captaining him at home to an Arsenal team yet to be tested could deliver a big differential.
ANTHONY MARTIAL (7.7m) is the United player FPL managers are flocking to at the moment after his goals in the opening couple of games. He looks as though he should extend his streak but it’s worth noting that he’s only had five shots so far. He isn’t displaying the potential to hit a high ceiling with a big haul yet and that’s why he’d be a bold call ahead of the likes of Sterling and Kane in particular.
ONE TO GET
TEEMU PUKKI | NORWICH CITY | 6.8M
Speaking of a bold captaincy, Pukki was our pick last week and it certainly paid off handsomely for those who were brave enough. The striker’s hat-trick against Newcastle in GW2 has seen his stock rise quickly with his original price of 6.5m already up by 0.3m.
Pukki is currently the most lethal striker in the league with 10 shots and four goals. Even though he faces Chelsea at home in this round and has City to play in GW5, he’s proven himself to be fixture-proof while Norwich should stay true to their gung-ho approach. His price will only continue to rise so get him in now before it’s too late.
ONE TO AVOID
JOE GOMEZ | LIVERPOOL | 5.5M
It may seem a little knee-jerk to advocate dumping the Liverpool centre-back after he was benched at Southampton but Joe Gomez has a few things going against him. Joel Matip has looked excellent beside Virgil van Dijk not only at St Mary’s but also during their Super Cup win over Chelsea. Sure, Gomez may come back in to face Arsenal but he’s most certainly a rotation risk now.
Even if he does feature for the next few weeks, Liverpool have looked out-of-sorts so far with their defence a little shaky, especially in the absence of Alisson. While Trent Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Andy Robertson are all capable of attacking returns, Gomez – who doesn’t even go up for corners and free-kicks – is wholly reliant on clean sheets for his points and those don’t look entirely certain at the moment.
DANI CEBALLOS | ARSENAL | 5.6M
Last week’s bargain buy lived up to his billing as Todd Cantwell bagged two assists for Norwich. Dani Ceballos – another midfielder who registered two assists in GW2 – gets the nod this week. He may not remain a bargain for long though with his price sky-rocketing after his dominant display for Arsenal against Burnley.
The Spaniard played five key passes against the Clarets and every attack seemed to go through him. He’s also on set-pieces and looks like the chief creator for the Gunners. At just 5.6m, he’s a steal and even though he has a tough run ahead Spurs to play following this week’s trip to Anfield and then United away in GW7, you must act now if you’re keen on him.