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Liverpool Negotiating For Ajax Talent Schuur

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Ajax have informed Liverpool that they will need to pay £26.7 million to sign Perr Schuurs, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The Reds are looking for defensive reinforcements after the long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk and Schurrs has emerged as a primary target.

The 20-year-old is also reportedly wanted by AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo wants to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

Tuttosport reports the Old Lady coach initially wanted to sign Houssem Aouar. But has now turned his sights toward the Italy international. Sassuolo want to keep the 22-year-old until at least the end of the season.

Arsenal’s payment plan for Szoboszlai deal

The Hungarian wonderkid is being pursued by the Gunners Arsenal are working on a structured payment plan to sign Dominik Szoboszlai from Red Bull Salzburg.

The highly rated Hungary international has a £23 million (€26m/$31m) release clause and the Mirror is claiming that the Gunners want to finance a deal in three payments.

There are a host of clubs interested in the forward and Arsenal’s gambit may not meet with Salzburg’s demands.

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Coming Up: Fulham vs Wolves, Friday 8.00pm

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Fulham remain in the bottom three and have been there since Boxing Day.

A run of three straight defeats has really left Scott Parker’s team with work to do, especially with Newcastle welcoming back some of their key attacking players for the run-in.

Fulham’s inability to produce streetwise performances have been to blame but there is a lot of experience in that squad and quite frankly some of the players just aren’t delivering.

I think this will be a fourth defeat on the spin for Fulham, who look woefully short at 11/8 with Sky Bet, as Wolves, despite a wobbly season, have shown an ability in matches to put teams under pressure and find game-changing moments.

To the fore of that has been Pedro Neto, who is only behind Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne and Raphinha for chances created from open play (14) since the start of February.

The talented youngster has two assists during that period and the chances of him grabbing a third this weekend should be snapped up at 9/2.

Manchester City vs Leeds, Saturday 12.30pm

Has a Premier League football match ever offered up such a big price to finish 0-0? Well, you can get 20/1 with Sky Bet here. It probably should be double that in reality.

City are the top scorers in the Premier League with 66 goals and have found the net 47 times in their last 18 matches whilst Leeds have seen 95 goals scored in their fixtures this season – a Premier League high. Goals should be on the menu in a home win.

You don’t need reminding about Leeds’ inability to defend set piece situations. But I will.

Marcelo Bielsa’s boys have faced 192 shots from a combination of set pieces and corners this season – the third highest in the Premier League. My advice would be to keep an eye on the City teamsheet at 11.30am and see if John Stones is starting.

If he does, then the 6/4 with Sky Bet for him to register a shot on goal looks a fair bet. It’s a shout that would have returned as a winner in all three of Stones’ last Premier League appearances and in two of those fixtures he managed to find the net.

He’s very skinny at 4/1 to score anytime, meaning the smart play is to simply back him for a shot.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa, Saturday 3pm

This would be an easier game to call if Jurgen Klopp let us know which of his Liverpool teams are going to turn up here.

The one that cantered past Arsenal and Tottenham or the clumsy and unimaginative ones that lost to Burnley, Everton, Fulham and Brighton at home?

The Reds had won their opening seven Premier League games at Anfield this season before failing to win any of last eight – surely that run has to end here?

Villa may have beaten Fulham 3-1 last weekend but they played ponderous attacking football for large spells of that game.

Their expected goal figure of just 9.9 in their last 10 Premier League matches – the third lowest in the league for that period – defines their creativity problems.

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Man-United Women Challenged to Reach Chelsea’s Standard

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Manchester United Women defender Amy Turner told the Women’s Football Show that Chelsea are setting the standard for other teams to beat; she also says head coach Casey Stoney has helped her to improve ‘massively’

Amy Turner believes Chelsea have set the standard that Manchester United Women are aspiring to equal – and then surpass.

Chelsea are top of the Women’s Super League and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with an impressive win over Wolfsburg in midweek.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes hailed the result as a “big day for women’s football in England”, and United defender Turner thinks her team can learn plenty from the league leaders.

“We know we have got a long way to go before we are competing and being successful in the Champions League,” she told the Women’s Football Show on Sky Sports.

“This year has been a massive learning curve for that. If you look at the top teams like Chelsea, something that we probably don’t have at this stage is they find a way to win.

They are really clinical in front of goal and are really hard to beat defensively.

“If we can take aspects of that into next year and be better than that, then that is definitely a standard that we are looking towards.”

England international Turner joined United for their inaugural season in 2018 and has helped them reach the upper levels of the WSL.

She says her game has improved “massively” over the last few years and believes head coach Casey Stoney has played a big role in that.

“If you look at the player that I was three years ago to the player that I am now, I think I have improved massively. A lot of that is down to her [Stoney] and the staff around her.

“She is probably harder on than the centre-halves that the other players on the team but if you take it the right way and are open-minded and coachable then you reap the benefits.

I think I am one of the players that has. “Areas of my game, making blocks and tackles, one vs one defending, I have been OK at, but it has been about harnessing that and season by season centre forwards seem to get quicker, more skilful and making more intelligent moves.

Speaking to Casey, who has played against the best centre forwards in the world it was about harnessing those skills and to keep improving on those aspects on my game. She has helped massively.”

Stoney made 130 appearances for England and has been in charge of United since they were formed. “In training as a player she was always the hardest worker and that’s the same now,” says Turner.

“She is obsessed with the game – as a coach you have to be – she works so hard and her attention to detail is second to none. She breaks the game down to the minute level in order to help the team.

She wants the team to succeed. “She lives and breathes Man Utd and she is a joy to play under.

wire

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Results of AFCON Final Matches in Groups B, D, G, H

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Here are the results of the final matches (Day 6) in Groups B, D, G and H, played on Monday in the qualifiers for the 2022 African Nations Cup (AFCON).

Group B

Malawi 1-0 Uganda

Burkina Faso 1-0 South Sudan

Group D

DR Congo 1-0 Gambia

Angola 2-0 Gabon

Group G

Egypt 4-0 Comoros

Togo 1-2 Kenya

Group H

Algeria 5-0 Botswana

Zimbabwe 0-2 Zambia

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