Sadio Mane marks down Jamie Vardy threat as Liverpool prepare for Leicester clash

Press Association Sport 13:41 04/10/2019
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Liverpool forward Sadio Mane admits his side cannot afford to be less than 100 per cent against Leicester otherwise an in-form Jamie Vardy will take full advantage.

The Reds were uncharacteristically lax in allowing a three-goal lead slip against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League before eventually prevailing 4-3 on Wednesday.

It was only the second time since losing to Real Madrid in the 2018 final that Liverpool had conceded more than two goals and Mane said they have to be tighter at Anfield on Saturday.

“I think if we want to win we have to play better because we know Leicester, especially this season they are very strong and a very good team,” he said.

“For sure we are going to learn from it (the Salzburg game) and be ready for Saturday, which will be a massive game for us. It is a lesson for us to be on our toes in the next game.

SalahManeLiverpool (1)

“I think they started the season very well and are a very good team and if we want to beat them we have to be 100 per cent ready.”

Vardy has returned to form this season and already has five Premier League goals, one more than Mane and three behind current leader Sergio Aguero of Manchester City.

The Leicester striker has a particular liking for Liverpool, having scored seven times in his last seven appearances against them, although he has drawn a blank in the last two.

“Vardy always scores so we have to make sure this game he will not score and we try to take all our chances – that will be the key,” added Mane.

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Unai Emery makes frank admission about Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil

Sport360 staff 13:22 04/10/2019
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Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil is currently undeserving of a place in his Arsenal squad as the Gunners saw off Standard Liege in their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

Ozil, the highest-paid player in the history of the club, was once again left out of the matchday squad as Gabriel Martinelli hit a brace in a 4-0 Group F victory.

The 18-year-old scored twice in three first-half minutes before laying on Dani Ceballos to score his first goal for the club, Joe Willock having already added the third.

Emery made 10 alterations from the side that drew at Manchester United on Monday night with Ozil not making the matchday squad on either occasion.

The 30-year-old has had a difficult relationship with Emery since his appointment last summer and the Spaniard’s claims that he was not as deserving as a place in his side on Thursday night is the latest suggestion Ozil could be moved on sooner rather than later.

“I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us,” Emery replied when asked about Ozil’s omission.

“When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.

“He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same.

“Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match.”

On a positive night for the Gunners, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin – who captained the side – all came through 90 minutes as they continued their comebacks from injury.

Bellerin battled back from a nine-month lay-off with a serious knee injury to skipper the side on his first start since January and was proud to lead out the team.

“There’s not a better way to come back,” he said.

“I feel very honoured to wear the Arsenal armband and lead the team out. It’s been a tough road for me over the past eight months but I feel very luck to have had my players, family and friends around me.

“It was a great win for the team, the spirit and the momentum we’re building. This competition is really important.

“Even when we are three or four up, we want to keep giving everything. We can take a lot of positives to keep improving.”

Standard Liege head coach Michel Preud’homme had pre-empted a strong showing from Arsenal’s young talent and was left frustrated by his own side’s performance.

“We showed them too much respect,” he said.

“They were quicker than us all over the pitch and we lacked aggression.”

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FPL tips: Captain Arsenal's Aubameyang in GW8 and why Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is worth ditching

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Each week, Sport360 will bring you tips for the English Premier League’s official fantasy football game. Fancy pitting your wits against us? You can join “Sport360 Fans League” using the code: zj04s8

A strange Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 7 saw several big-hitters fail to deliver.

Liverpool’s forwards blanked while Sergio Aguero was benched for the Premier League champions. However, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez all chipped in with points for Manchester City.

Chelsea picked up their first clean sheet of the season while elsewhere, Matt Doherty and Ricardo Pereira were the highest scorers with 15 and 13 points respectively.

Joshua King and Jamie Vardy were the big winners up front.

GW8 though sees Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United travel to Brighton, Southampton and Newcastle while City host Wolves.

An intriguing encounter awaits at Anfield where Liverpool entertain Leicester City.

Here are a few tips to help guide you through GW8.

CAPTAIN – PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG | ARSENAL | 11.0M

Arsenal’s top gun may be the most reliable captaincy candidate not just for GW8 but even until GW11. The north Londoners face a leaky Bournemouth defence at home this weekend before then playing Sheffield United (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Wolves (H).

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has delivered returns in each of the seven Gameweeks so far and with Alexandre Lacazette still injured, he’s enjoying a greater volume of chances up front.

The Gabon international has scored seven goals and has even picked up an assist so far. He’s showing no signs of slowing down having now scored 17 times in his last 17 games for Arsenal in all competitions.

He’s likely to hit the target again when he takes on a Bournemouth side that is yet to keep a clean sheet.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in fine form.

ALTERNATIVES

RAHEEM STERLING (12.1m) has been a little hit and miss lately but did score last week. Starting from the bench against Dinamo Zagreb in midweek suggests he should start at home to Wolves. His second half display in which he bagged a goal and assist should boost his confidence as well. He’s primed to deliver against Wolves who will be coming off a trip to Turkey where they face Besiktas in the Europa League.

TAMMY ABRAHAM (7.6m) blanked in the last two GWs but looks very promising with the number of chances he’s getting. He’s had nine big chances in the last four GWs including one v ones against both Liverpool and Brighton. His 21 shots inside the box is second only to Aguero who is also the only player he trails for expected goals.

BOLD CHOICE

TEEMU PUKKI (7.2m) has also blanked in his last two games and, unlike Abraham, hasn’t threatened the goal as much. However, he’s back at home this weekend where he’s delivered in all three games, registering five goals and two assists in those fixtures. With Aston Villa visiting the Canaries, this may be the week for the Pukki Party to resume.

Teemu Pukki

Teemu Pukki is a bold captaincy choice.

ONE TO GET

CALLUM WILSON | BOURNEMOUTH | 7.9M

Apart from Aubameyang, Callum Wilson is the only other player in FPL this season to deliver returns in every GW. With five goals and three assists, the Bournemouth striker has been plugging away and is the fourth-highest for points among forwards. He travels to Arsenal this weekend but the Gunners are hardly convincing defensively having failed to keep a clean sheet since the opening round.

Callum Wilson.

Callum Wilson is one to bring in.

ONE TO AVOID

MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 12.5M

This may seem harsh on Mohamed Salah who hasn’t done too badly at all but dropping or steering clear of him now could be a shrewd move. The Egyptian is the second-highest among midfielders for points and has only blanked twice so far but his fixtures over the next five GWs are worrying with Leicester, United, Spurs and City to face in that time.

Salah has maintained his price all season and is unlikely to rise during this period so you could get him back for more favourable fixtures later on without taking a hit. In the mean time, funds from his sale can be reinvested in other areas, especially up front where Aubameyang looks like the player to own.

Mohamed Salah

It might make sense to drop Mohamed Salah.

BARGAIN BUY

AARON CRESSWELL | WEST HAM | 4.9M

It may seem like an obvious pick after Aaron Cresswell has scored in each of the last two GWs but that’s what you want from your defenders. He has great attacking potential with his crosses being aided by the presence of Sebastian Haller as a target in the box. He takes a good number of set-pieces and even scored a free-kick against United.

Meanwhile, West Ham as a defensive unit have encouraged, keeping three clean sheets in their last four games. They should be able to add to that tally when Palace come to visit.

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell is a cheap option.

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