Luka Modric has joined boss Zinedine Zidane in acknowledging that Real Madrid "lacked confidence" during their 3-2 defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk. Although Los Blancos improved during the second half, conceding three first-half goals ultimately cost them in their first game of the Champions League group stages.
Club legend Paul Merson feels that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has taken a risk by leaving Mesut Ozil out of his first-team squad. Despite being the highest paid player at the Emirates Stadium, Ozil has been omitted from the squads for the Premier League and Europa League. While the Germany international has not featured since before the coronavirus pandemic, Merson says that he was surprised by Arteta's decision.
Zinedine Zidane has accepted the blame for Real Madrid 's surprise 3-2 defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Having taken the decision to rest a number of players, Zidane watched on as his much-changed team went 3-0 down to their Ukrainian opponents. Although Los Blancos rallied during the second half, they failed to complete a thrilling comeback, leaving Zidane to contemplate the reasons behind their second successive setback in all competitions.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gedson Fernandes is reportedly likely to return to Benfica during the January transfer window. At the beginning of 2020, Spurs signed the Portuguese youngster on an 18-month loan deal, which came with the option of purchasing the player for €50m (£45.11m). However, the 21-year-old has been provided with just three starts and 10 substitute outings during his time in North London.
Manchester United will likely be without Eric Bailly until the middle of November due to a muscle injury. Bailly has made four appearances for United this season, while he was also an unused substitute for the win over Newcastle United last weekend. However, the Ivory Coast international is now set for a period on the sidelines after sustaining yet another significant injury.
Leicester City vs Zorya predictions for Thursday's Europa League tie at the King Power Stadium. Leicester hope to bounce back with a positive start to the Europa League when they host Zorya. Read on for all our free Europa League predictions and betting tips. Reason For Leicester City vs Zorya Predictions Leicester are expected to start without star striker Jamie Vardy.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted with how his untested centre-back pairing of Fabinho and Joe Gomez performed in the 1-0 win over Ajax in their Champions League opener. A Nicolas Tagliafico 35th-minute own goal decided an untidy match in Amsterdam as only the Reds' second clean sheet in 13 European games as the away team on an opponent's ground proved decisive.
Stoke boss Michael O'Neill was unhappy with referee Michael Salisbury after his side were held 2-2 by winless Barnsley. Tyrese Campbell and Tommy Smith cancelled out goals from Elliot Simoes and Dominik Frieser, but the big talking point was the disputed sending-off of defender Nathan Collins. Collins was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident with Frieser on the hour mark, a decision which did not sit well with Northern Irishman O'Neill.
Champions League specialist Kingsley Coman scored twice as Bayern Munich cruised to comfortable 4-0 victory over Atletico Madrid. Coman, whose goal won last season's final, put Bayern in front with 28 minutes gone and then set up Leon Goretzka to double their advantage by the break. Corentin Tolisso's rocket put Bayern out of sight with 24 minutes remaining before Coman helped himself to his second.
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank praised his side after they recorded their first Championship away victory of the season, winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Ivan Tony got both Bees goals to leave his manager delighted with his side's performance. Jack Marriott, making his full debut for Wednesday after signing on loan from Derby, put a low shot on target early on which was comfortably saved by David Raya.
Pep Guardiola called Manchester City 's 3-1 victory over Porto a "perfect performance" after his side came from behind to open their Champions League Group C campaign with three points. City were made to work hard after Luis Diaz capitalised on a loose pass from Ruben Dias to put Porto ahead after 14 minutes.
Preston manager Alex Neil praised Emil Riis Jakobsen after the Danish striker made an impressive full debut in a 2-0 win at QPR. Penalties from Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair - both after fouls by Lee Wallace - gave Neil's side a deserved three points. Recent signing Jakobsen won the second penalty and was a constant threat.
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Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray felt his side's 3-1 defeat at Watford might have been a different story had referee Andy Woolmer sent off Hornets defender Christian Kabasele when the score was 2-0. Early goals from Joao Pedro and Tom Cleverley put the home side in control, with Rovers pulling one back before the half-hour mark through Ben Brereton.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has credited Mikel Arteta for his rise from Arsenal squad option to England international - admitting he was not demanding enough from himself. The 23-year-old made his Three Lions debut last month after starring for his club in their FA Cup final win over Chelsea and the Community Shield success against Liverpool.
Harry Wilson and Alex Smithies earned the praise of Cardiff manager Neil Harris after the Bluebirds came from behind to earn a 1-1 Championship draw with Bournemouth. On his first start Cardiff start, Liverpool loanee and former Cherries man Wilson cancelled out Dominic Solanke's opener for the visitors on a drizzly night in the Welsh capital.
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford was left disappointed as his bid to extend free school meals over the holidays was voted against by MPs.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has downplayed injury fears over Sadio Mane.
Young Boys vs Roma predictions for Thursday's Europa League fixture in Switzerland. Can Young Boys spring a surprise against Serie A big hitters Roma? Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips. Reason For Young Boys vs Roma Predictions Both teams scored in five of Young Boys' six UEL group games last season.
Sparta Prague vs Lille predictions for Thursday's Europa League fixture in the Czech Republic. Can in-form Lille start their Group Stage campaign with a victory in Prague? Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips. Reason For Sparta Prague vs Lille Predictions Lille won five and drew two of their last seven matches.
Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal predictions for Thursday's Europa League clash in Austria. Europa League Group B favourites Arsenal hope to get off to a winning start at Rapid Vienna. Read on for all our free Europa League predictions and betting tips. Reason For Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal Predictions Arsenal have won nine of their last 14 games in the Europa League.
Standard Liege vs Rangers predictions for Thursday's Europa League clash in Belgium. Can Rangers maintain their winning streak at Standard's expense? Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips. Reason For Standard Liege vs Rangers Predictions Rangers won nine of their last 10 games in all competitions.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Nice predictions for Thursday's Europa League fixture in Germany. German outfit Leverkusen and French side Nice meet at the BayArena in the UEL. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips. Reason For Bayer Leverkusen vs Nice Predictions Over 2.5 goals were scored in four of Nice's five matches this season.
Tottenham Hotspur vs LASK Linz predictions for Thursday's Europa League tie in North London. Tottenham Hotspur hope to open the Europa League group stages with a win over Austrian side LASK Linz. Read on for all our free Europa League predictions and betting tips. Reason For Tottenham Hotspur vs Lask Linz Predictions Both teams have scored in eight of Tottenham's nine competitive games this season.
Darragh Lenihan 's own goal helped Watford to a 3-1 win over Blackburn that lifted them to third in the Championship table. The Hornets took control with two goals in quick succession early in the first half from Joao Pedro and Tom Cleverley. Ben Brereton 's fine strike reduced the arrears before the half-hour mark but Rovers, who had more possession and shots than the hosts, saw their luck run out after the break when Lenihan put through his own goal and Adam Armstrong saw a penalty saved by the excellent Ben Foster.
Nicolas Tagliafico 's own goal was enough for Liverpool to beat Ajax 1-0 in the Champions League but it was the display of makeshift centre-back Fabinho which offered encouragement for the long-term absence of Virgil Van Dijk. As expected the Brazil midfielder dropped into the back four alongside Joe Gomez, the 35th centre-back partnership to start for Jurgen Klopp, and he barely put a foot wrong in Amsterdam.
Manchester City made a winning start to their latest assault on the Champions League as they came from behind to beat Porto 3-1 in their Group C opener. A little over two months after their surprise 3-1 defeat to Lyon in the quarter-finals of last season's tournament, City recovered from Luis Diaz 's early strike to get back in business with goals from Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres.
Harry Wilson earned Cardiff a point against Bournemouth on his first Bluebirds start as the two sides shared an entertaining 1-1 Championship draw in the Welsh capital. Dominic Solanke tapped home in the first half to give the Cherries the lead after they had responded impressively following some sloppy passing early on.
Prolific striker Ivan Toney scored twice as Brentford recorded their first Championship away victory of the season, winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Jack Marriott made his full debut for Wednesday after signing on loan from Derby County last week. Brentford head coach Thomas Frank handed first starts to Samman Ghoddos - signed from Amiens SC last month and Germany Under-21 international Vitaly Janelt, who joined the Bees from VfL Bochum earlier this month.
Tommy Smith scored his first league goal since March 2017 as 10-man Stoke twice fought back from behind to draw 2-2 at home to winless Barnsley. Elliot Simoes fired the visitors ahead in the 18th minute before Tyrese Campbell levelled for the hosts a minute before the break. Less than two minutes later Dominik Frieser restored Barnsley's lead with a cool finish.
Liverpool started life without Virgil van Dijk in promising fashion by shutting out Ajax and beating the Dutch club 1-0 in their Champions League opener.
Preston secured a 2-0 away victory at QPR thanks to two penalties both conceded by Lee Wallace. Daniel Johnson tucked away the first and Scott Sinclair dispatched the second just before the hour mark to give North End a deserved three points. They took the lead on 24 minutes following Wallace's foul on Sinclair near the edge of the box.
Ilkay Gundogan's stunning free-kick sparked a 3-1 comeback win over Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Stuttgart take on FC Koln at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the 2020-21 Bundesliga's Friday night game. The two sides head into the match in contrasting form, with the hosts flying high in fifth place, and Koln currently sitting in the relegation playoff position with a solitary point from their opening four games.
Kingsley Coman has been there and done it all - almost - and he's still just 24 years old!
England football star Marcus Rashford vowed to keep campaigning to extend free school meals over the holidays after MPs voted against the measure. The Manchester United player told politicians to "stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers" as he warned a "significant number" of children will go to bed hungry and "feeling like they do not matter" because of comments on Wednesday.