Gianluigi Buffon Set to Match Paolo Maldini Record With Rare Start Against Verona

​Gianluigi Buffon is all set to make his 902nd Juventus appearance this weekend, which would match an Italian record for playing the most games ever for one club. 

Paolo Maldini is the man Buffon has his eyes on, who also played a mind-blowing 902 games, but this time for Serie A rivals AC Milan. 

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Buffon is yet to play a minute for Juve this season, but Gazzetta dello Sport report that he is likely to start today in their Serie A clash against Hellas Verona, with kick off at 18:00 local time. 

In all likelihood, the 41-year-old will surpass Maldini’s total of 902, but the goalkeeper will also have his eyes on another record held by the former defender.

The ex-footballer racked up 647 Serie A appearances, whilst ​Buffon sits right on his tail with 640 games in the league.  

Paolo Maldini

Buffon rejoined the Turin club this season after spending last campaign at PSG, in hunt of his first Champions League title. 

This didn’t go well, with Thomas Tuchel’s men capitulating at the hands of Manchester United and ​Romelu Lukaku after blowing a two goal lead.

The Italian returned to Juve knowing he would be playing second fiddle to former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny, who secured his place at first choice when Buffon departed at the start of the 2018/19 season.

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Exclusive: Liverpool Leading the Race to Sign Jude Bellingham Amid Arsenal & Man City Interest

​Liverpool are at the front of the queue to sign Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham, and could look to complete a deal before the January transfer window.

The 16-year-old has forced his way into Pep Clotet’s side this season and he’s already scored twice in his first four appearances, including most recently a match-winning strike against Charlton Athletic.

Jude Bellingham

90min has learned that Bellingham has recently attracted strong interest from Liverpool, who could look to complete a deal over the next few months in the hopes of avoiding the England youth international joining another Premier League side.

Arsenal and Manchester City are very keen on the teenager as both sides look to bolster their ranks with homegrown talent, although scouts from Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have also been watching Bellingham over the last few weeks.

Bellingham, who is already part of England’s Under-17 side, has gone on to make four appearances this season under Clotet after being handed his debut during the club’s Carabao Cup exit to Portsmouth.

He came on a second-half substitute away at Swansea City for his first appearance in the Championship and then went on to score from the substitute bench the following week against Stoke City, having replaced Jefferson Montero after just 30 minutes.

Bellingham scored his first senior goal against the Potters shortly after Lukas Jutkiewicz’s equaliser, although the 16-year-old needed a slice of luck as his long-range effort took a wicked deflection which wrong-footed Adam Federici.

There wasn’t any luck about Bellingham’s second career goal the next week, however, as he rounded off a nice move with a confident right-footed finish from the centre of the box on his first start in the Championship against Charlton Athletic.

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Leicester City vs Tottenham: 6 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Premier League Clash

​Tottenham Hotspur make the journey to the King Power Stadium on Saturday where they’ll face off against a Leicester City side who are looking to break into the top six this season.

Both sides sit level on eight points in the Premier League table ahead of kick-off, although Brendan Rodgers’ side are two places lower – also behind Manchester United – on goal difference.

Although Leicester City are widely being tipped as a potential bogey team for the Premier League’s usual top six sides, Opta stats show that Tottenham might just have the edge as striker Harry Kane has scored more goals against the Foxes (13) than any other side.

Harry Kane

It’s not just his form against Leicester City which makes Kane so dangerous, however, as the England international has scored 125 goals in 172 appearances under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

That makes Kane and Pochettino the third best manager-striker combination in Premier League history, behind only Thierry Henry under Arsène Wenger (175 goals) and Wayne Rooney under Sir Alex Ferguson (141 goals).

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Leicester City as they’ve got a striker of their own who always seems to step it up a notch against the big six.

Since the 2014/15 season, Jamie Vardy has scored more goals against the big six (31) than any other player in the Premier League.

Vardy has also scored four goals in his last three appearances against Tottenham specifically.

Although Vardy might be Leicester City’s biggest threat in attack, midfielder James Maddison has more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season (16) than any other player.

The 22-year-old has failed to score from his last 28 efforts, last finding the back of the net during Leicester’s 4-1 win over Huddersfield Town in April.

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Bernardo Silva Lays Out Roadmap for Manchester City to ‘Constantly Dominate’ English Football

​Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has insisted that the club want to dominate English football for years to come, laying out the path for his side to do so.

City are vying for a third consecutive Premier League title, which would equal the record for the most league titles won in a row. However, the Sky Blues have already asserted their dominance on the league over the past few seasons, notably storming to an unprecedented domestic treble in 2018/19.

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And although the club has achieved plenty of success in recent seasons, ​Bernardo has now revealed that the Etihad side are constantly looking to break records and become the best – insisting that City don’t just want to be any normal team, but rather a team that dominates. 

“For us it’s simple…we have to set new targets and new records to keep going. The maximum number of Premier League titles is three in a row. We want to try and reach that level of the best teams ever to play in this country,” Bernardo told Sportsmail (​via the Daily Mail).

“If you want to do that, you have to win constantly. That’s the main target now. Not to be a normal team but a team that constantly dominates English football; a special team.”

Bernardo Silva

The 25-year-old has a contract that runs until 2025 and claimed that the length of his contract helps indicate his desire to stay and be part of a group which will constantly fight and strive for success, adding: “To know that if you stay you are going to fight for all the titles over the next 10 years gives you the willingness and ambition to stay; to try to do your best to be important at the club.

“I think that’s why Sergio and David have stayed so long. I think we are now arriving at the stage where we can fight for European trophies as well.”

The Portuguese went on to discuss a whole host of topics, including potentially being tasked with the responsibility of filling the void David Silva will leave. However, he was keen to get back to discussing ​the Citizens’ vision. 

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He revealed: “Yeah, it’s exhausting under Pep…but it’s what we have to do. If you want to go for all the trophies season after season you need to have someone who pushes you day after day. Sometimes it’s not easy but it’s good to have someone who won’t let you slacken off.”

Liverpool currently sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League, meaning the Sky Blues once again have their work cut out if they wish to secure a third consecutive league title. But, it has become very clear that the club are eager to dominate for years to come. 

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Manchester United Open Contract Talks With Teenage Starlet in Bid to Fight Off Barcelona Interest

​Manchester United have started contract talks with Angel Gomes in an effort to ward off foreign interest in the teenager before his current deal expires.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keen (or forced) to promote youth since joining the club, and has handed regular game time to the likes of Daniel James and Scott McTominay in the early stages of this season, whilst also getting Gomes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood more involved in working with the first team.

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With Solskjaer looking to build a squad for the future, the Manchester Evening News report that United want to keep Gomes and are currently negotiating with the player – who is into the final year of his current contract. Barcelona are said to be interested in the youngster, and are monitoring how the talks develop, with Gomes free to talk to other clubs in January if he cannot come to an agreement with United.

Gomes only made his first start for the club in Thursday night’s Europa League win against Astana and has appeared on the bench just once in the Premier League so far this season, indicating that he remains some way down the pecking order for now.

However, the 19-year-old impressed during the game, and could be in line for more action following his display. Captain on the night Nemanja Matic was particularly impressed with how United’s youngsters played, highlighting how gaining experience at such a young age is invaluable for their progression.

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“It’s great the club gives more chance to young players to improve, because they can only improve if they play the games. I’m happy for them and it is good for them. They’re young, they want to prove they should wear the shirt so they are the future of the club and I wish them all the best,” he told BT Sport, as reported by The Mirror.

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