Jose Mourinho Calls on England Boss Gareth Southgate to Protect Harry Kane

Harry Kane
Mourinho has called for his players to be protected on international duty | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has urged Gareth Southgate to ‘respect’ his side’s chaotic fixture schedule and not overplay the likes of Harry Kane during the upcoming international break.

Spurs host Maccabi Haifa in their Europa League play-off clash on Thursday – their sixth match in just 14 days. Indeed, after the tussle with Haifa, Mourinho’s men face a trip to take on Manchester United on Sunday before a number of players leave on international duty.

Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Eric Dier
Tottenham take on Maccabi Haifa on Thursday just two days after their last game | Pool/Getty Images

It has been a hectic start to the season for Tottenham, and Mourinho recently complained about the schedule when discussing his side’s Carabao Cup tie with Chelsea – a game which the north London club won on penalties last time out.

The Portuguese has now urged England boss Southgate not to overplay the likes of Kane in their three upcoming matches. The Three Lions first take on Wales in a friendly before then facing Belgium and Denmark in the Nations League, but Mourinho has stressed that three games will be ‘too much’ for his players.

“Three games are obviously too much, especially for my players,” Mourinho said ahead of Spurs’ Europa League match (as quoted by the Guardian). “When Kane is fit he should start every game for Tottenham but he didn’t [against Chelsea]. So I think this is the point. When you have such a player and you want to win every match, you play him, but you just can’t do it.

Harry Kane, Jose Mourinho
Mourinho is keen for Southgate not to overplay Kane | Pool/Getty Images

“I believe that Gareth [Southgate] and Steve [Holland, the assistant manager] care about the players and I don’t think they want to be connected with something that can be a consequence of this week and the three international matches.”

Mourinho added that he hopes the coaches will ‘respect’ the current situation and, as a result, will not overplay them and risk fatigue or injuries. He continued: “I don’t speak with Gareth or Steve. I just let them do the job in the way they want to do it with the freedom they deserve.

“Hopefully Gareth and Steve understand what happened with Tottenham this week and they respect the players. That’s just my hope but I’m not going to call or ask or beg.”

Along with Kane, both Eric Dier and Harry Winks are expected to be called up to the England squad when it is announced on Thursday. But before departing for international duty, they will be looking to help Spurs successfully navigate this tricky period.


Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Bayern will face Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup
Bayern will face Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup | Pool/Getty Images

Bayern Munich will host Borussia Dortmund in a DFL-Supercup clash at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

Hansi Flick’s Bayern side were crowned European champions last season, also winning the Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal. As for Dortmund, it was a second-placed finish in the Bundesliga as they watched Bayern lift the trophy for the eighth consecutive time.

In the DFL-Supercup, the Bundesliga champions would traditionally face the winner of the DFB-Pokal, but since Bayern lifted both trophies last season, they will play Dortmund who were league runners-up.

The DFL-Supercup fixture will take place at Bayern's Allianz Arena
The DFL-Supercup fixture will take place at Bayern’s Allianz Arena | JOERG KOCH/Getty Images

When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 30 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Allianz Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport (UK)

Leroy Sane, Stefan Posch
Leroy Sane will unlikely play the full game | Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Summer signing Leroy Sane has started all three of Bayern’s fixtures so far, but was substituted against Hoffenheim at the weekend after picking up a knock. Although the German winger could still play a part against Dortmund, it is unlikely he will be fit enough to feature for the full game if he does start.

Youngster Joshua Zirkzee started up top in that same game and is expected to make way for Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker is the all-time top goalscorer in the DFL-Supercup with five goals – a tally he will be looking to add to on Wednesday night against his former club.

Jadon Sancho missed Dortmund’s flight on Tuesday as he has an infection, as does Roman Burki, who will also miss out.

Marcel Schmelzer, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Thorgan Hazard are also injury concerns for Dortmund boss Lucien Favre. Manuel Akanji, Mats Hummels and Emre Can are expect to line up in a back-three system.

Emre Can
Emre Can will likely start at centre-back for Dortmund | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Boateng, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski.

Borussia Dortmund: Burki; Akanji, Hummels, Can; Meunier, Delaney, Witsel, Guerreiro; Reus, Brandt; Haaland.

TSG Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
Both Bayern and Dortmund were involved in shock Bundesliga defeats at the weekend | TF-Images/Getty Images

After ending the season in devastating fashion, Bayern began the new campaign with a thumping 8-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga before lifting the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-1 victory against Sevilla.

Although Hansi Flick’s side have seemed almost invincible at times, Hoffenheim secured an eyebrow-raising 4-1 win on Sunday, which proves Bayern are human after all.

Dortmund find themselves level with Bayern in the Bundesliga table, with both sides having played two games, winning one and losing one. Erling Haaland netted a brace in the opening game of the new campaign to send Dortmund on their way to a 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga, but they then lost 2-0 to Augsburg.

Favre’s side have also played their first round tie in the DFB-Pokal, beating MSV Duisburg 5-0 away from home. Bayern’s first round fixture will take place on October 15, where a trip to Duren awaits.

Bayern Munich

Hoffenheim 4-1 Bayern Munich (27/9)
Bayern Munich 2-1 Sevilla (24/9)
Bayern Munich 8-0 Schalke (18/9)
Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Bayern Munich (23/8)
Lyon 0-3 Bayern Munich (19/8)

Borussia Dortmund

Augsburg 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (26/9)
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Borussia Monchengladbach (19/9)
MSV Duisburg 0-5 Borussia Dortmund (14/9)
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Sparta (7/9)
Borussia Dortmund 1-3 VfL Bochum (28/8)

As we’ve seen in previous meetings between these two, Bayern usually come out on top and they remain strong favourites to do so here.

Even with players like Sane unlikely to start, Flick still has some excellent squad depth at his disposal, and will likely give a start to Champions League final match-winner Kingsley Coman instead.

Dortmund will get chances that they must take if they are to stand any chance of lifting the trophy, with both sides eager to make amends for poor weekend performances.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Dortmund


Conor Coady Commits Future to Wolves With New Five-Year Deal

Conor Coady
Coady has signed a new deal at Wolves | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Wolves have confirmed that captain Conor Coady has committed his long-term future to the club by signing a new five-year deal.

The centre-back has been a mainstay at the back for the Wanderers – in fact, he has played every single minute of Premier League football since his side were promoted back to the top flight back in 2018. His fine form at club level also saw him rewarded with his first England cap recently.

Wolves have now confirmed on their official website that Coady has penned a new five-year deal to extend his stay at Molineux.

Speaking after the news had been confirmed, Coady told the club’s website: “It’s an incredible day, honestly. I look at what this club has given me over the years, and it feels like home to me – it has done since the first day I came. I’m honoured to play for this football club every day, so to sign a new deal is absolutely incredible.

“This is somewhere I’ve grown to love. On the first day I came, it was incredible the way people treated me and what the club gave me. Over the five years I’ve had kids, and this is all my kids know, all my family knows. When I play of a night and my kids can’t watch, they come and wake me up to ask what the score was.”

More to follow….


The Liverpool Lineup That Should Start Carabao Cup Tie With Arsenal

Diogo Jota
A full debut beckons for Diogo Jota | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

It’s a new season, but for Liverpool it’s been the same old story thus far.

Wins, wins and more wins. Yes, the Reds are off to a perfect 100% start in the Premier League, and Carabao Cup victories have followed to ensure the club picks up where they left off last season.

But with coronavirus still sweeping across the globe and games coming thick and fast, manager Jurgen Klopp has some tinkering to do ahead of the Carabao Cup fourth round clash with Arsenal at Anfield.

Who might he rotate and bring into his side, you ask? Let’s take a peek.

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Adrian (GK) – There’s only one man lining up between the sticks in the Carabao Cup and that man is everyone’s favourite Sevillian, Adrian.

Neco Williams (RB) – Unquestionably it’s rest time for Trent Alexander-Arnold, which means another opportunity to impress for the young Welshman.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) – Sweeping changes will be made across the board, but somebody has got to hold Liverpool’s defence together. Step forward, big bad Virg.

Rhys Williams (CB) – Having started the last Carabao Cup tie against Lincoln, it’s unlikely that Neco’s namesake will be stripped off another opportunity.

James Milner (LB) – Mr Versatile may need to step to the plate once more so Andy Robertson can have a well deserved sit down. Konstantinos Tsimikas is injured, in case you were wondering.

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Curtis Jones (CM) – Liverpool’s next big star in midfield needs all the minutes he can get, and taking down Arsenal would be another impressive feather in his cap.

Marko Grujic (CM) – It might not be too long before Grujic is heading out of the Anfield door, so this could potentially be his farewell performance.

Xherdan Shaqiri (AM) – Another man who could be heading for the exit is Swiss dynamo Shaqiri. But before he does scurry off to pastures new, potentially, a blinding performance wouldn’t go amiss.

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Harvey Elliott (RW) – Starts are what Elliott needs to continue his development, and this will just be his fourth at Anfield if Klopp obliges. Has plenty of promise and can interchange with Shaqiri nicely.

Takumi Minamino (CF) – Roberto Firmino may not score 15,000 goals for you but his work rate and importance to the team should never be understated. Minamino has some big shoes to fill then.

Diogo Jota (LW) – Divock Origi is crying out for minutes and starts but Jota is the one who really needs to get up to speed. He also has fond memories of Arsenal, having scored against them less than 72 hours ago.


Liverpool’s Best & Worst Case Champions League Group Stage Draw for 2020/21

Who can Liverpool get and who do we want? | FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, it’s d̶e̶a̶d̶l̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ the Champions League group stage draw!

2019 winners Liverpool take on this year’s Gazprom having disappointed somewhat in 2019/20 – failing even to make the makeshift August mini-tournament in Lisbon.

Added squad depth and revenge on the mind means anything other than going deep into the knockouts will be considered a failure in 2021.

Virgil van Dijk
Holders Liverpool went out in last season’s round of 16 | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

But without getting ahead of ourselves, who’s the best and worst they could the Reds get in Thursday’s group draw, you ask? Well, let me walk you through it…

Pot 2 – Ajax

Dusan Tadic
Dusan Tadic remains Ajax’s danger man | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Key man: Dusan Tadic

League position 2019/20: N/A

Other possible teams in the pot: Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dortmund

Ajax would’ve been Liverpool’s Champions League final opponents in 2019, but for a once-in-a-lifetime performance from Lucas Moura, of all people.

Much has changed in Amsterdam in the year a bit since. Six of Ajax’s starting XI from the second leg against Spurs has moved on, and Erik ten Hag’s side looked like a sad cover band of the side that had torn apart Juventus and Real Madrid so recently in 2019/20’s Champions League,

Nicolas Tagliafico (possible) and Sergiño Dest (definitely) could be the latest stars to be cherry picked from the club before deadline day.

With a 100% record so far in the Eredivisie, Ajax are still dangerous but it’s probably the least intimidating draw from Pot 2.

Pot 3 – Dynamo Kyiv

Mamadou Sylla, Alessio Castro-montes, Vladyslav Supryaha
Dynamo Kyiv don’t have a good recent record against English sides | BSR Agency/Getty Images

Key man: Viktor Tsyhankov

League position 2019/20: 2nd

Other possible teams in the pot: TBD

Kyiv’s high coefficient makes them a shoo-in for Pot 3. However, Reds’ unhappy memories from the Ukrainian capital aside, Mircea Lucescu’s team are hardly a draw to avoid, considering the strength of some of the other sides available.

The Ukrainian league runners-up have qualified for the group stages after beating Benelux duo AZ and then Gent in the qualifiers, but their European record hasn’t been great of late.

After being defeated by Brugge in last season’s Champions League playoffs, Kyiv failed to get out of their Europa League group, drawing four times out of six with Malmo, Copenhagen and Lugano.

Their last six meetings with English sides have produced an aggregate score of 13-2 to the Barclays.

The main things in the ‘cons’ column for drawing Kyiv are, of course, the infamously long away trip and chilly winter weather.

Pot 4 – Club Brugge

Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet’s new club could be the plum draw from Pot 4 | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Key man: Hans Vanaken

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other possible teams in the pot: TBD

Brugge’s reward for fighting off Kyiv in the playoffs last year was a Champions League group with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Galatasaray. Yikes. They did register three draws, including an impressive 2-2 at the Bernabeu, but did not manage a single win.

Later in the Europa League, Simon Mignolet’s new side were stuffed by Manchester United.

Though second in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League after seven games of 2020/21, Brugge have already lost twice.

Beaten by the Reds in the 1978 European Cup final, Brugge have not beaten an English side on the continent since 1985.

More than all that though, it’s just a lovely city to visit.

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Pot 2 – Atletico Madrid

Luis Suarez
Suarez already looks fearsome in an Atleti shirt | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Key man: Luis Suarez

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other possible teams in the pot: Barcelona, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dortmund, Ajax

Barcelona (whatever their many off-field problems) and Dortmund are also ones to give a wide berth in a pretty gruesome looking Pot 2, but Atletico might just be the least appealing.

Diego Simeone’s side Simeone’d their way past the Reds in last season’s round of 16 and are consistently one of the toughest, most uncomfortable opponents to face in Europe.

As Diego Costa put it ‘one bites, the other kicks’.

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In six meetings, Liverpool have only ever beaten Atleti once – and that was 2-1 win in the Europa League semi final that saw them eliminated on away goals anyway.

Adding to the ‘narrative’, former Liverpool great Luis Suarez looks as sharp as ever at his new side, having scored twice and bagged an assist in his 20-minute debut cameo, while Joao Felix appears to be growing into his role as the club’s crown prince.

Pot 3 – Inter

Lautaro Martinez, Danilo D Ambrosio, Aleksandar Kolarov
Inter have one of Europe’s deadliest attacks with Lautaro Martinez leading the line | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Key man: Romelu Lukaku

League position 2019/20: 2nd

Other possible teams in the pot: TBD

Serie A runners-up Inter’s high coefficient puts them in line for Pot 3, where they edge out Lazio, Atalanta and last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig as the ones to steer clear of.

Antonio Conte’s side came undone in the Europa League final in 2019/20 and have struggled in tough Champions League groups in recent seasons. However, they are building year by year and have genuine quality throughout the team, from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku to Nicolo Barella and exciting summer addition Achraf Hakimi.

Inter also scored the second most goals in Serie A last season (81) and conceded the fewest (36).

Pot 4 – Red Bull Salzburg

Erling Braut Håland
RB Salzburg gave Liverpool problems last year | Michael Molzar/Getty Images

Key man: Dominik Szoboszlai

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other possible teams in the pot: TBD

Though not yet actually qualified (Salzburg still have the second leg of a playoff against Maccabi Tel Aviv) Jesse Marsch’s side could be dark horses from Pot 4, ahead of probables Borussia Monchengladbach and Istanbul Basaksehir.

The Austrians caused Liverpool all kinds of problems in the 2019/20 group stages, fighting back from 3-0 down before eventually losing 4-3.

Though without Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino and Hwang Hee-chan this season (all three goalscorers from that game against Liverpool have since moved on), the Red Bull group famously have a knack for finding some of the world’s best young talents.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Patson Daka are ones to watch from this year group in Naby Keita and Sadio Mane’s alma mater.