Football news LIVE: Kepa OUT of World Cup LATEST, injured Chilwell blow too, Erling Haaland return updates | The Sun

Football news LIVE: Kepa OUT of World Cup LATEST, injured Chilwell blow too, Erling Haaland return updates | The Sun

KEPA has become the latest Premier League player to be OUT for the World Cup with injury.

The Chelsea and Spain keeper will not play again before the tournament due to a foot problem.

While Blues team-mate Ben Chilwell is also out after picking up a hamstring injury in the Champions League.

And we've also got all of the latest on Erling Haaland's return to the Manchester City squad this weekend.

How to get free bets on football – the 17 best bookies to claim rewards and bonuses

Stay up to date with all the latest from around the grounds…

  • Tony Robertson

    Pique saves Barcelona £44million

    Gerard Pique has foregone wages worth £44million in an effort to help cash-stricken Barcelona.

    Pique, 35, announced he was retiring in an emotional video on social media earlier this week.

    But a report from Marca claims the club legend will waive the remainder of his contract – worth an estimated £44m.

    Instead, Pique will only take the money that was already owed to him via deferred payment.

  • Tony Robertson

    Emery on Peaky Blinders English

    New Aston Villa coach Unai Emery has revealed that watching popular TV Show Peaky Blinders helped him to understand the Brummie accent.

    He told reporters: "It's so difficult (to understand the accent).

    "I prefer to watch difficult series (to help learn) the language to get better.

    "And lately I think I can understand the Birmingham history with these movies."

  • Tony Robertson

    Wil I Never

    Barcelona and Juventus have reportedly joined the race to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

    The Ivory Coast ace, 29, is out of contract next summer.

    Chelsea and Arsenal are both interested in a free transfer swoop.

    But foreign clubs have the advantage over Palace’s domestic rivals.

    That’s because they can open contract talks with Zaha as early as January.

    And the Standard claims Barcelona and Juventus are now considering swoops in the new year.

  • Tony Robertson

    Stormzy names dream 5-a-side team

    British rapper Stormzy has named his dream 5-a-side team, including THREE Manchester United legends.

    Stormzy is a Man Utd fan so his bias towards The Red Devils makes some sense.

    And speaking on Sky Sports, he revealed his star-studded line up.

  • Tony Robertson

    Potter confirms Kepa out til World Cup

    Kepa Arrizabalaga has become the latest Premier League star to fall foul of the World Cup injury curse.

    The Chelsea and Spain keeper will not play again before the tournament later this month due to a foot problem.

    Chelsea boss Graham Potter confirmed: "It’s his plantar fascia, the bottom of his foot. I don’t think he’ll play before the World Cup."

    Kepa joins English clubmates Reece James and Ben Chilwell in the treatment room.

    On Chilwell, Potter added: "He’s going to go for a scan later on this afternoon so we’ll find out how he is then, update tomorrow.

    "He feels okay but obviously aware of the injury. We need to let the swelling settle down, hence the delay with the scan. But we’ll know more after that.”

    “I wouldn’t say we fear the worst. It’s just we all saw the nature of the injury. I can’t say it looks positive. But until we get the scan, it’s difficult to say.

    "He’s okay, but I suppose until you get the diagnosis. At the moment we’re just hopeful and fingers crossed. From there we’ll get him back fit and strong. It’s disappointing, of course.”

  • Tony Robertson

    Kulusevski returns

    Dejan Kulusevski is set to be recalled to the Tottenham squad after a period sidelined through injury.

    According to Fabrizion Romano, Kulusevski is in line for a recall for the Liverpool game.

    It will come as a massive boost to Antonio Conte who is now without Son Heung-Min on top of Richarlison and Christian Romero being out.

  • Kiro Evans

    "We'll decide today"

    Pep Guardiola has admitted still being unsure whether Erling Haaland will be fit for tomorrow's clash against Fulham.

    The former Dortmund striker has missed the last couple of games with illness and injury but Man City fans will be hoping he returns tomorrow.

    Guardiola said: "He's much better, we'll decide today. We have training this afternoon then we will see.

    "[We have to consider] his opinion, the doctor's opinion, if he can play 90 minutes or less minutes. We'll see after training."

  • Kiro Evans

    Don’t Mess with Mik

    Ruthless Mikel Arteta terrified the Arsenal dressing-room with the no-nonsense way he dumped dissenting captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

    And as the table-topping Gunners prepare for a first reunion with Auba on Sunday, veteran long-serving midfielder Mo Elneny claims the striker’s departure was the moment that Arteta completely established his authority.

    The Egyptian said: “When Mikel took the captaincy from Auba, it was 100 percent the moment he established himself.

    “After what he did to the captain of the team, everyone looked at themselves and asked ‘what is he going to do with the other players?’

    “Everyone was scared about their position after what happened with Aubameyang. If a player who is not the captain makes a small mistake, he is going to have the same problem. And no-one needs that.”

  • Kiro Evans

    FA Cup First Round

    After some gruelling qualifying rounds a number of non-league sides will take to the field in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup this weekend.

    Ties to watch out for include Coalville Town, from the seventh tier of English football, travelling to League 1 Charlton. Coalville already pulled off a major FA Cup upset by beating National League leaders Notts County in the last round, so Ben Garner's side should be on guard.

    There's also big games for other minnows like South Shields, who host Forest Green Rovers, and Neeham Market, who travel to Burton.

    And on Monday night live on TV Bracknall Town will host Ipswich Town.

  • Kiro Evans

    A Big Bridge Battle

    It's always tasty when Chelsea and Arsenal meet but perhaps no more so than this year.

    A mini power shift has taken place in London, with the Gunners replacing the Blues as the main challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool. Meanwhile Chelsea have spent much of the season tip-toeing through games with Graham Potter still yet to quite make it all click together at Stamford Bridge.

    Arsenal win on Sunday and they will take a surely insurmountable 13 point lead over Chelsea and damage their top 4 hopes even further.

    But if Chelsea scrap their way victory, it could inflict a huge blow to Arsenal's confidence and will potentially allow Man City to take over the league leadership if they beat Fulham.

  • Kiro Evans

    Pep pays tribute to Pique

    Pep Guardiola has paid an emotional tribute to his former player Gerard Pique, who announced an imminent retirement from football yesterday.

    The 35-year-old will play his final game for Barcelona on Saturday against Almeria after a long and successful career.

    Guardiola said: "I wish him all the best for him and his family.

    "Incredible human being, huge personality, a player for the big games. All the big clubs need these types of players.

    "He's won everything with Barcelona and the Spanish national team. The time arrives for everyone and his future will be bright as he's a smart guy and it was an honour personally for me to be his manager and we spent an incredible four years together."

  • Kiro Evans

    Howe About That

    Eddie Howe has insisted he does not expect Miguel Almiron to score worldies every week after the star's flying start to the season.

    The Paraguayan has been one of the ones to watch in the Premier League and has scored seven goals already so far this term.

    A few of them have been outstanding strikes from range but Howe acknowledges the 28-year-old cannot keep this up.

    He said: "We'd love him to, but we don't expect him to be scoring from 25 yards every week! I get just as much pleasure from the second goal against Fulham, a tap-in in the six yard box. They're the goals that you'd love our players to deliver every week."

  • Kiro Evans

    Milner Out

    Jurgen Klopp has confirmed James Milner will miss Sunday's crunch game at Tottenham.

    The 36-year-old suffered a head injury against Napoli in midweek and, as per concussion protocols, is now unavailable for the next game.

    But Klopp added: "He's completely fine but still that's how it is and rightly so."

  • Kiro Evans

    Schole-ding

    Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has labelled Erik ten Hag's long-ball tactics against Real Sociedad as "a bit League Two-ish".

    The Red Devils needed to beat the Spaniards by at least two goals to top the group but only managed to net once thanks to 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho.

    Scholes was not happy with the methods United resorted to as they tried to seal the win.

    He said: "The second half looked a bit messy, there was no plan.

    "The plan was to launch it forward to look for second balls – it was a little bit League One, League Two-ish for me. Maybe a little bit disrespectful. 

    "It just became a long ball game – and I'm all for that, it can work – but the second half just became a complete mess having been in control in the first half."

  • Kiro Evans

    Leeds lose CAS appeal

    Leeds have lost their appeal with the Court of Arbitration (CAS) over the transfer of Jean-Kevin Augustin.

    The Yorkshire club will now have to pay the full amount of £18m agreed with RB Leipzig at the time of his January 2020 loan move.

    The deal included a purchase obligation if Leeds were promoted to the Premier League.

    Leeds were promoted after the Covid outbreak left football suspended for months.

    The Elland Road club said they will appeal and added they are "surprised and disappointed" by the CAS decision.

  • Kiro Evans

    Qat's Out the Bag

    The BBC have confirmed their star-studded line up of pundits for the 2022 World Cup.

    Gary Lineker will lead the BBC's TV team broadcasting the action from Qatar, alongside fellow presenter Gabby Logan.

    And they have drafted in some Premier League legends to make up their squad.

    Regular Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer will offer his expertise in the studio, alongside Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.

    The former England pair will be joined by Ex-Three Lions Micah Richards, Jermaine Jenas, and Alex Scott.

    Meanwhile Danny Gabbidon, Ashley Williams and Liverpool icon Ian Rush will represent wales.

    Read all about the BBC's full punditry line-up here.

  • Kiro Evans

    Rosenior's tough Tigers test

    Liam Rosenior faces a difficult first test after being confirmed as Hull boss yesterday.

    The 38-year-old takes over from Shota Arveladze who was sacked in September.

    It's his first permanent managerial job after beginning the season as temporary boss of League 1 Derby.

    A difficult trip to the Den is up first for Hull as they take on a Millwall side who have won seven of nine home games this season.

    A midweek away game to Cardiff comes before his first home game against Reading.

    Rosenior takes over with Hull one point and one place above the Championship relegation zone.

  • Kiro Evans

    Gab will come Good

    Mikel Arteta said he is not worried about "amazing" Gabriel Jesus – despite the striker's eight game run with scoring.

    The goal-shy striker always puts in a shift but hasn't quite found the net as often as he would like, including in last night's win over FC Zurich.

    But Arteta said he is sure there are goals just around the corner for the star.

    He told BT Sport last night: "It does bother him for sure. Knowing him, when he scores two he wants to score four. Today he had a couple of good chances as well, but what he generates for the team is amazing.

    "Last week he gave three assists, today he was involved in every action again. The goals will come."

  • Kiro Evans

    The North London showdown

    All eyes turn to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday afternoon as Spurs host Liverpool for a huge clash.

    Ten points separate these two teams at kick-off with Jurgen Klopp's side coming off the back of shock defeats to Nottingham Forest and Leeds.

    They are also yet to win away from home in the league and the prospect of yet another defeat could leave hopes of a top 4 finish hanging by a thread.

    But things are far from rosy for Tottenham either. Hard-fought victories against Bournemouth and Marseille ended Antonio Conte and his side's awkward run but they have still yet to convince fans on a consistent basis.

    Injuries are also beginning to mount with forwards Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski absent over the last few days, and Heung-Min Son suffering an eye socket fracture in midweek.

  • Kiro Evans

    Gone Al In

    Alejandro Garnacho's poor attitude delayed his Manchester United break, says Bruno Fernandes.

    But now the Argentine winger has seemingly knuckled down and earned his first-team opportunity.

    The Under-20 international grabbed his first goal in senior football with the winner at Real Sociedad last night.

    The Portuguese playmaker said: "He was good but he knows we expect at lot from him. He's still really young. He's doing really well.

    "At the beginning of the season, not at his best, on the pre-season tour he didn't have the best attitude that he should have and that's why he didn't get his chances until now.

    "He didn't get his chances before because he was not good enough in training and not good enough mentality-wise.

    "Now he's getting chances because he's changed that, he's training better, he's having a better attitude and he deserves his chances. Everyone is really happy for him and pleased with his goal."

  • Kiro Evans

    Tomiyasu Latest

    Arsenal and Japan were left sweating over the fitness of Takehiro Tomiyasu after he limped off in the Europa League game against FC Zurich last night.

    The full-back came on as a substitute but limped off before the end as Mikel Arteta admitted he did not know how bad the injury was.

    Tomiyasu is set to go to the World Cup with Japan later this month.

    The Gunners boss said last night: "We don’t know yet [how bad it is].

    "He felt something and we didn’t want to take any risks. With the amount of games that we’re playing, it’s part of it.

    "It can happen in training, it can happen in games and unfortunately it happened to Tomi today. The rest of the players have to be ready because we’re going to need everybody now."

  • Kiro Evans

    Emery's Return

    Ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be in the dugout for Aston Villa's home game against Manchester United on Sunday.

    It's been almost three years since he was dismissed as Gunners boss after just over a year.

    The Spaniard had the difficult task of taking over from Arsene Wenger and trying to reunite the fanbase after several turbulent years at the Emirates.

    His reign began with defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea before he took the club on a 14 game unbeaten league run.

    An end of season collapse – where Arsenal lost four of their last seven games – saw the club finish 5th, a point behind rivals Spurs.

    Arsenal would only lose three of their first 13 games the next season but Emery was sacked in late November after a Europa League defeat at home to Frankfurt.

    Mikel Arteta will face off with his predecessor at Villa Park in mid-February.

  • Kiro Evans

    'Let's focus on football'

    FIFA chiefs sent a letter to World Cup teams urging them to focus on football ahead of the controversial World Cup in Qatar.

    The backlash over awarding the tournament to the nation has been ongoing for years and shows no signs of slowing down as the World Cup approaches.

    Qatar have been criticised for their stance on human rights and treatment of migrant workers.

    But Sky Sports News revealed a letter had been sent by FIFA president Gianni Infantino last night where he tells teams not to allow football to be "dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists".

    Australia's national team posted a video last month criticising Qatar's human rights record, while Lionesses star Beth Mead yesterday also spoke out against the decision on BBC Radio 4.

  • Kiro Evans

    I’m Bohind You

    Arsenal’s bid for the title found an unlikely supporter last night – beaten FC Zurich boss Bo Henriksen. 

    The Swiss club lost their fifth game out of six last night and finished bottom of their Europa League group after defeat at the Emirates. 

    Despite the loss, Henriksen has said he would like to see table-toppers Arsenal wrap up their first title since 2004. 

    He said: “Of course Arsenal is a fantastic side, there’s no doubt about that. At the end of the day it could be fun to see them win the championship [Premier League].

    “It’s a long time since they did that last time, so it’s about time. It’s a great team, we knew that from the beginning.”

  • Kiro Evans

    Work of Art

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted the club will “look at everything” in the January transfer window to keep up their Premier League title charge.

    The Gunners spent just under £120million in the summer window on five new faces.

    Arteta is keen to keep up momentum and continue to push for the Prem title until the very end – but admitted the January window is difficult.

    He said: “The planning of that period is extremely difficult. First of all because we know the January window, how special it is, the opportunities that you have, the short window that you have.

    “And obviously with the position that we are in right now as well, it demands as well another level of player – and that player has to be available.

    “We will look at everything and let’s see what we can do.”

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