Alexis Sanchez doesn’t suit Manchester United’s style, says Winterburn

Alexis Sanchez isn’t suited to Manchester United’s style of play, according to former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn.

Chile international Sanchez joined United from the Gunners in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but has scored just four goals in 11 months for his new side and has failed to recapture the form he produced during his three and a half years at the Emirates.

It has been widely reported that the former Barcelona and Udinese star is desperate to bring an end to his Old Trafford nightmare, having been ostracised amongst his team-mates and no longer assured of a place in manager Jose Mourinho’s team.

Speaking exclusively to betting aggregator, former full-back Winterburn believes that Sanchez isn’t a fit in Mourinho’s struggling side.

“I didn’t think Alexis Sanchez’s style of play would suit United, he’s a free spirit and you have to know how to deal with him,” he said. “He’s got undoubted ability, but I wasn’t quite sure the way he plays would fit in to the Mourinho way.

“I look back at Sanchez for Arsenal, and there’s something not quite right with him at United, and it will be interesting to see how the situation will develop.

“It will be interesting if he stays and plays a major part for the club or whether he looks for a new challenge, but he’s not hit the level of performance from his time at Arsenal.”

Arsenal look set to lose another of their established performers in the summer, with Aaron Ramsey’s contract set to expire and no movement having happened on a new deal. Bayern Munich looks likely to be the Welshman’s destination.

“It’s looking more and more likely Aaron Ramsey will be a free agent, so he’ll be linked with a whole host of clubs,” said Winterburn. “He’ll have a major decision to make and there’ll be five or six teams interested.

“He’ll be thinking about what’s the right move for him. It doesn’t surprise me the top teams are looking at him. You talk about the freedom of contracts, which frustrates supporters, but it will happen more and more with players.”

Arsenal face United at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with the visitors sitting eight points ahead of their hosts following Saturday’s 4-2 win over Tottenham, while United were held to a 2-2 draw at Southampton.

“A lot of people would say it’s a good time to go to Old Trafford,” Winterburn added. “They are struggling to produce top level performances at home, and when you struggle, players will start to feel anxiety and if you haven’t scored early it transmits into the crowd and frustration from the supporters. If Arsenal take the lead, they could ask serious questions of Man United.”

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Julian Green ‘sure’ soccer will soon be on par with NBA & NFL in the USA

Former Bayern Munich winger Julian Green says he is sure that football will challenge the established US sports for popularity in the coming years as young stars begin to make their own way in Europe.

The US international left the German champions, where he played under Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, to join Stuttgart in 2017, before signing for Greuther Furth of the 2. Bundesliga last summer.

He played a part in the team’s 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil, coming off the bench to become the youngest US goalscorer in a World Cup as his side was beaten in the last 16 by Belgium despite a heroic Tim Howard performance.

Green called the goal “the best experience of my career so far”, one that his fellow US youngsters were unable to replicate this summer as the team failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The 23 year-old has featured seven times for the US in 2018 as the team rebuilds, and the forward scored his fourth goal for his country during the 1-1 draw with France in Lyon in June.

That France match and subsequent matches against the likes of Brazil, Italy, England and Colombia helped usher in a new wave of American talent with several top stars now playing in the Bundesliga.

“Football is getting bigger, but it’s not yet on a level with the NHL, NBA and NFL”, he told Goal and Spox. “But I’m sure that will change in the next few years.

“It’s a good thing that many talented Americans like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent move to Europe and get educated at a young age.”

Green, who grew up in Germany but holds a US passport, was a keen ice hockey player in his youth, playing for his hometown club before choosing to pursue a football career.

“Until I was eleven, I even played in the club at home in Miesbach,” he said. “Then I had to decide – and chose football. In the NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning is my favorite club and I try to watch a lot of games, but of course that’s not always possible with the time difference.”

The winger played just twice in the Bayern first team under Guardiola, with much of his time in Bavaria being spent in the club’s reserve team and on loan at Stuttgart.

“Guardiola is an exceptional coach and tactically very good. I also got on well with him personally,” he said. “And his German speeches got better over time.”

Green will be out to impress a new coach, Gregg Berhalter, who was officially named the U.S. national team’s boss on Sunday.

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Man Utd Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Arsenal

Manchester United will welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Wednesday night as they look to decrease the eight-point gap that currently separates the two sides in the Premier League.

The Red Devils currently languish in seventh place as they look to bounce back from a 2-2 draw at Southampton, while Arsenal will head into the fixture with added momentum after defeating north London rivals Tottenham 4-2 on Sunday.

Man Utd Injuries

United manager Jose Mourinho has a defensive crisis to deal with as he prepares for the meeting at Old Trafford, and will potentially have to name a makeshift back four for Wednesday.

Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly are all injury doubts after missing the trip to Southampton, while Victor Lindelof has been ruled out of the upcoming clash with a groin problem.

The Man United boss may have to look to Diogo Dalot to fill in for Young at right-back as the England international is suspended for the tie in Manchester, with Nemanja Matic, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian also defensive options. 

Chile international Alexis Sanchez is not expected to make an appearance until after the new year with a torn hamstring, while Romelu Lukaku remains a slight doubt following his early substitution against Southampton on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez Manchester United 2018-19

Man Utd Suspensions

Ashley Young is suspended for the clash after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.

Man Utd Starting Line-Up

A much-changed defensive lineup is expected of the Red Devils as Mourinho deals with an onslaught of injuries, with the manager telling reporters: “We are going to be in difficulties again to build the team. We are again going to have to make adaptations and compensations to try to give some balance to the team.”

Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial are all in contention for a starting role should Lukaku be deemed unfit for the clash at Old Trafford, while Mourinho could also be tempted to rest Rashford –  despite the England international registering two assists against Southampton at the weekend.

Man United possible XI vs Arsenal

Arsenal Team News

Mesut Ozil is a doubt for the clash and will be re-assessed ahead of Wednesday after missing out on the north London derby entirely due to a back issue.

Danny Welbeck has been ruled out for the foreseeable future following a broken ankle against Sporting CP, and Nacho Monreal is unavailable having picked up a hamstring problem.

Laurent Koscielny has returned to the squad following a long-term recovery from his Achilles issue, while Granit Xhaka is suspended for the match after collecting five yellow cards already this season.

TV Channel & Kick-off time

The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 8pm GMT and 3pm ET on Wednesday, with live coverage available on BT Sport 1 in the UK. In the US the game will be shown on NBCSN.

Best Opta Match facts

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 home Premier League games against Arsenal (W8 D3), since a 0-1 loss in September 2006.
  • Arsenal lost both Premier League meetings with Manchester United last season – they last lost three in a row against them in November 2012.
  • Arsenal have only scored more than once in three of their last 39 away league games against Man Utd – and they’ve lost all three of those games (2-4 in November 1984, 2-8 in August 2011 and 2-3 in February 2016).
  • This is the first time Man Utd have hosted Arsenal in a midweek Premier League match since May 8th 2002, when Arsenal won 1-0 to clinch the title thanks to a Sylvain Wiltord strike.
  • Manchester United have conceded 23 goals in their 14 league games this season; it wasn’t until their 30th Premier League game of 2017-18 that they conceded their 23rd goal last season.
  • Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has never previously lost in five meetings with Arsenal manager Unai Emery (W4 D1, all in La Liga), with this their first meeting since October 2013 (Mourinho’s Real Madrid beating Emery’s Sevilla 4-1).

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Emre Can set for return against Inter after two months out

Juventus midfielder Emre Can is set to make his return from a thyroid issue against Inter on Friday. 

The Germany international has been sidelined for two months, making his last appearance for the club in a win over Udinese on October 6. 

Can had surgery on a thyroid nodule in late October, but is ready to return for the Bianconeri after he took part in a friendly against Chisola on Tuesday. 

Though Juve are flying high in Serie A once again this season, winning 13 and drawing one of their opening 14 matches, Can’s return will come as a huge relief to manager Massimiliano Allegri.

The Bianconeri have been dealing with several injury issues in the midfield, where Can, Sami Khedira, and Federico Bernardeschi have all been sidelined recently. 

In defence, Alex Sandro will likely be out against Inter after picking up a knock in the Champions League last week, while Andrea Barzagli could be out two months with a muscular injury.

It remains to be seen whether Can will be able to start against Inter at the Allianz Stadium on Friday, but the 24-year-old will likely be on the bench at least. 

Can has made 10 appearances for Juventus so far this season since joining from Liverpool on a free transfer in the summer, notching one assist for the Old Lady thus far. 

Juve have already opened up an 11-point lead on third-place Inter, and will look to extend that advantage even more in Friday evening’s Derby d’Italia.

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Rachid Alioui: Comeback King – The Ligue 1 Performance Index

Rachid Alioui is a player who has had a difficult start to the 2018-19 season but was Ligue 1’s outstanding player of matchday 15, as judged by the Opta Performance Index, which rates every player in the league with a score out of 100.

The Nimes striker suffered a serious injury on the final day of the previous campaign when Nimes should have been celebrating promotion to the top flight and as such was laid up until the very end of September.

Since then, the 26-year-old has flitted off the bench on numerous occasions, though never to such great effect as he mustered on Saturday, when he helped his side to a 3-0 victory over Amiens. 

Nimes already led thanks to a Denis Bouanga strike when he was brought on with 27 minutes left – the longest cameo of his return – but he sealed the win by scoring twice in the closing stages of the match.

L1 top 3 04122018

He mustered a score of 97.6 on the Index, comfortably better than any other performer in the league.

Another man who has had 2018 hurt by injuries is Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, and there was doubt as to whether he would even turn out at the weekend against Bordeaux. 

But just as he had defied the medics to feature prominently in the Parisians stunning midweek Champions League win over Liverpool, he was on top form again, squeezing home the opening goal in a 2-2 draw before eventually being forced to succumb to his body.

Andreas Cornelius was the man to prevent PSG starting the season with a perfect 15 wins out of 15, arriving off the bench to score a brilliant glancing header to steal a point for the home side with just seven minutes remaining. He finished fifth on the Index this week.

Ahead of him were a couple of players who featured in the thrilling 2-2 draw between Toulouse and Dijon in the Pink City.

Naim Sliti played a critical role in helping Dijon into a two-goal advantage, notably assisting Mehdi Abeid’s second, yet the visitors fell away in the closing stages against opponents who had been reduced to 10 men as early as the fifth minute.

TFC’s return was signalled by a brilliant overhead kick from Max Gradel, who reprised the terrific form he showed at the start of the season to inspire his side to a precious point.

The former Leeds and Bournemouth man finished third in the ranking this week, just ahead of Sliti.

Saint-Etienne’s thumping 3-0 Saturday win over Nantes was inspired by the arrival of Robert Beric off the bench in the second half. The Slovenia striker opened the scoring for Sainte with 18 minutes remaining, which was the trigger for a landslide victory in which Wahbi Khazri continued his excellent scoring form.

L1 Top 10 04122018

It is, therefore, little surprise to find the two players ranked sixth and eighth respectively.

Coming in between those two Saint-Etienne stars is Loic Remy, who has had a difficult start to life in Lille. Indeed, he had not scored before a brilliant finish during Friday’s devilishly exciting 2-2 draw with Lyon.

That effort, he will hope, can kick start his time with LOSC.

Moussa Dembele, meanwhile, has not had it easy since swapping Celtic for Lyon in the summer, but he grabbed a late equaliser that helped him to ninth on the Performance Index.

Rounding out the top 10 is Adrien Thomasson, whose influential display in a 4-1 win for Strasbourg over Rennes helped to see the end of home coach Sabri Lamouchi, who was suspended in the aftermath. 

There is little time to rest for Ligue 1’s top stars, however, as a hectic week continues with Matchday 16 on Tuesday and Wednesday before another round of games over the weekend.

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