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Bielsa would be tasty, but a big risk to impose his style at such a delicate stage of the season

The first international truce as the World Cup is upon us after this weekend’s fixtures and Gareth Southgate named his squad for the Euro qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine yesterday. Talking points included the selections of Ivan Toney and Kyle Walker under a cloud and the omissions of Ben White and Trent Alexander-Arnold, although the latter’s uneven form makes that less of a surprise. Southgate also warned of the under-representation of English players in the Premier League:

Some Spurs are now discussing, courtesy of PA Media, and Antonio Conte spoke about the club’s desire to keep Harry Kane, as the transfer noise grows louder. “Of course the club want to involve Harry Kane for the rest of his career in my opinion,” Conte said.

“Because when you have this type of player, a world-class striker like him, for sure you want him to stay here for the rest of his career.

“But then you know football, you know football. Sometimes it’s unpredictable, but I think it’s not for me to make a decision. It’s a decision for the club and for Harry.”

Pep Guardiola speaksand he has more praise for Burnley and their manager, Vincent Kompany: “I’m not surprised at all that they’re already so close to being a Premier League side – having seen more carefully what they They will be a tough opponent All managers need time (to impose their style) but their success with the team comes from knowing what you believe is best to win games and that they Their way of playing is exceptional.

The Manchester City manager reiterates his belief that Kompany is a future boss for his club. “After seeing his team, I’m more than convinced he’s going to come back (here), it’s going to happen. He was an incredible figure here, one of the biggest legends I’ve had. He always said what he believed was best for the team – he is an outstanding captain, a top human being.

Guardiola adds that his players have had a few days off since their dismemberment from RB Leipzig but, after the Champions League draw, they will sit down and make plans for Burnley: “They deserve our attention. ” Although he kept his cards close to his chest regarding team news for tomorrow night.


Hello everybody. And we have a good weekend ahead, with the FA Cup back in its rightful weekend slot (although three of the games are postponed until Sunday) and crucial league action, plus European draws later this morning. It starts tonight with Nottingham Forest hosting Newcastle who still need points to survive, while the visitors must imagine their chances of overhauling a stuttering Spurs in fourth place. Antonio Conte’s team will be in the last club of Southampton tomorrow.

But the big story in the Premier League this morning is that Crystal Palace are “regretfully” parting ways with Patrick Vieira. Palace seemed to be making good progress last season, and at the start of this one, but they’ve been hitting one of those horribly helpless streaks of late. Any thoughts, Palace fans?

There’s a pleasant mix of big and small in the FA Cup quarter-finals, with Grimsby Town admirably leading the first fourth-tier side to reach the last eight since John Beck’s Cambridge sabotaged and muscled their way to the last eight in 1990. They and thousands of inflatable haddock head to Brighton on Sunday. You’d make Manchester City favorites to win it all, although opponents Burnley are unstoppable in the Championship and Vincent Kompany could cause a shock when he returns his side to their old stomping ground tomorrow.

We have the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League draws from 11am GMT and we’ll have all the team news and commentary from today’s press conferences, which include Pep Guardiola shortly, Erik ten Hag around noon and Graham Potter at 1.30pm. And feel free to message us or comment BTL.


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