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Chelsea new boys Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech will set Premier League alight from start, believes captain Azpilicueta

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chelsea new boys timo werner and hakim ziyech will set premier league alight from start believes captain azpilicueta scaled

CESAR AZPILICUETA says Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech can make immediate impacts on the Premier League after having the benefit of training with Chelsea last season.

The delayed ending to the campaign, coupled with Chelsea’s involvement in the FA Cup and Champions League, meant Werner and Ziyech were able to train with their new teammates for two weeks.

Timo Werner (right) has the potential to be a "big addition" to Chelsea up top according to club captain Cesar Azpilicueta

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Timo Werner (right) has the potential to be a “big addition” to Chelsea up top according to club captain Cesar Azpilicueta Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Former Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has been training well with his new Chelsea teammates

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Former Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has been training well with his new Chelsea teammates Credit: Getty Images – Getty

This has allowed the pair to get used to the methods of Frank Lampard and his coaches.


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And Azpilicueta is sure it will help ex-Ajax winger Ziyech, and £46.7million forward Werner, fire right from the big kick-off on September 12.

The Blues captain said: “The quicker and easier they can adapt to the Premier League, the better it will be for everybody so it was good to have them with the group for a few weeks at the end of the season.

“They are already integrated and know everybody so it’s been a very good time for that and now we’re all looking forward to seeing them on the pitch.

“Both of them have shown their quality in training in these past couple of weeks.

“We have seen their potential offensively, the way they can create chances and the way they can score goals so they are big additions to the team.”

REINFORCEMENTS

Lampard and the club are now desperate to bring in players to strengthen a defence which conceded 79 goals in all competitions over the last campaign.

Unless they dramatically improve there is little chance they will be able to challenge domestically or in Europe next season.

Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell are outfield targets while Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is also in their sights as they look to offload Kepa from between the posts.

Azpilicueta added: “The story of a lot of games this season has been that we were not clinical in the boxes.

“In the attacking box, we have missed chances but I think the big problem was that sometimes we were playing well but we were not strong enough in our box.

LB PLAYER TRANSFER WERNER2
LB PLAYER TRANSFER ZIYECH

“I always think of the offensive and defensive phases as a team and as a unit we know we have to keep improving at the back.

“We have to reduce the numbers of goals conceded if we want to close the gap because it’s a big difference.

“I’m sure we will work hard to reduce the gap and be close to the top next season.”

Azpilicueta believes Chelsea were "not clinical" enough with their chances in attack this season

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Azpilicueta believes Chelsea were “not clinical” enough with their chances in attack this seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Frank Lampard rejected offer from another club before joining Chelsea last summer and ‘loves pressure of being coach’

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Harry Maguire to be watched by England assistant Steve Holland when Manchester United face Brighton

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harry maguire to be watched by england assistant steve holland when manchester united face brighton

England manager Gareth Southgate will dispatch No 2 Steve Holland to check on Harry Maguire on Saturday ahead of deciding whether to hand the defender an international recall.

Having initially been selected in the previous England squad to face Iceland and Denmark earlier this month, central defender Maguire was booted out of the party just hours later after being found guilty on three operate offences following an altercation with Greek police during a post-season holiday to Mykonos.

Maguire has since successfully appealed for a re-trial which United insist effectively makes him an innocent man until the new court case is concluded.

Harry Maguire had been selected in the previous England squad to face Iceland and Denmark

Harry Maguire had been selected in the previous England squad to face Iceland and Denmark

England manager Gareth Southgate will dispatch No 2 Steve Holland (R) to check on Maguire

England manager Gareth Southgate will dispatch No 2 Steve Holland (R) to check on Maguire

Southgate is faced with a dilemma regarding Maguire’s selection for next month’s matches against Wales, Belgium and Denmark given the circumstances, though the England boss said earlier this month that he would consider picking the former Leicester man.

And Holland is due to be at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon to watch Maguire take on Brighton before he and Southgate decide whether to select the Manchester United defender.

The game will also provide Holland an opportunity to monitor young United striker Mason Greenwood, whose place in the squad is under huge doubt after he was sent home from Iceland in disgrace for inviting two women back to the team hotel.

Holland (right) will travel to Brighton & Hove Albion's Amex Stadium to watch Maguire play

Holland (right) will travel to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium to watch Maguire play

Greenwood and Manchester City midfielder Foden – who were both in the squad for the first time – were banished back to England for the error in judgement; Southgate critical of the pair’s behaviour in the aftermath.

Whether to re-select the fledgling duo will be one of the key decisions facing Southgate ahead of Thursday’s announcement – but it is understood the pair will not be picked for the seniors.

Southgate will watch Sheffield United’s game against Leeds on Sunday before going to Manchester City versus Leicester.

Maguire is pictured above leaving the court building on the Aegean Island of Syros in August

Maguire is pictured above leaving the court building on the Aegean Island of Syros in August

Holland will watch Newcastle’s visit to Tottenham on Sunday before heading to Fulham versus Aston Villa on Monday.

Southgate will be at Anfield for Liverpool’s game against Arsenal, which is also on Monday night.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Pep Guardiola’s injury crisis deepens as Gabriel Jesus becomes latest Man City ace to be struck down

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pep guardiolas injury crisis deepens as gabriel jesus becomes latest man city ace to be struck down

Gabriel Jesus is the latest Manchester City star struck down by injury, leaving teenager Liam Delap their only recognised striker.

Brazil announced on Friday that Jesus had been withdrawn from next month’s World Cup qualifiers after suffering a problem during Monday’s win at Wolves.

Guardiola’s injury problems have deepened, with the manager claiming he has just 13 senior professionals available for Sunday’s home clash with Leicester City.

It has been revealed that Gabriel Jesus suffered an injury in Manchester City's win at Wolves

It has been revealed that Gabriel Jesus suffered an injury in Manchester City’s win at Wolves

Delap, 17, is in contention to make a Premier League debut after scoring on his professional bow during Thursday night’s 2-1 Carabao Cup third round victory over Bournemouth. Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne have been used as false nines in previous campaigns.

City have been without Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Aleks Zinchenko and Nicolas Otamendi, while Ilkay Gundogan remains in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

Aymeric Laporte is back training but may not be risked tomorrow. John Stones and Fernandinho were also absent on Thursday night and it is unclear who Guardiola can call upon.

It leaves Pep Guardiola with a conundrum as injury crisis worsens ahead of Leicester match

It leaves Pep Guardiola with a conundrum as injury crisis worsens ahead of Leicester match

‘We have just 13 players available,’ Guardiola said. ‘But at this club, excuses don’t exist. We have to win the games. We need the academy, not just for the training sessions.

‘With the problems we have up front, of course Liam will stay with us. We’ll see if we need him or use him.’ Young academy products Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Cole Palmer, Tommy Doyle and Felix Nmecha also have a chance of being named in the squad.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail understands City are on the verge of signing young Rangers striker Adedire Mebude – partly as a consequence of Delap’s rapid rise to prominence.

17-year-old Liam Delap (left) is currently City's only fit and available striker

17-year-old Liam Delap (left) is currently City’s only fit and available striker

Delap trained with Guardiola’s squad during Project Restart and the club had planned to play the striker up at Under-23 level this season, leaving a slot in their Under 18 team.

That, coupled with Charlie McNeill’s departure for rivals Manchester United, has seen City move for 16-year-old Mebude, who is expected to sign for a fee in the region of £200,000.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Matt Chapman is back and reckons he’s found a way of helping the industry get through tough times

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matt chapman is back and reckons hes found a way of helping the industry get through tough times scaled

COULD a form of betting tax save British racing from destruction? 

Before you spit out your cornflakes, or indeed cinnamon crunch, in disgust at the thought just read on.

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Credit: Marie Fitzgerald

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Survival. That is what the world is about right now both in terms of health and job retention. And, incidentally, they often go hand in hand. 

Horse racing in the UK can survive. It must survive, for the good of a beautiful animal and because of its position as the second biggest sport behind football. 

Its expenditure generates in the region of £3billion, and the financial contribution to the British economy is getting on for £500m while supporting 20,000-odd jobs. 

Racing is a big industry, be in no doubt. 

In the light of the current Covid-19 crisis, the important message the sport must get across to Government is just how big. 

If crowds being allowed on a racecourse are being stopped, then we need to know why. Not simply accept it’s not happening. As of yet I have heard no explanation why trials of crowds have been prevented. It can’t be Covid related, because a racecourse is about as safe a venue as you could be in the world. Someone needs to explain. 

If things stay as they are, then punters and bookmakers may well have to come together to support horse racing. Quite simply, if they love the sport and want to bet on it in the future then there may be no choice. 

Betting duty was abolished in 2001, meaning that punters no longer had to pay tax. The suggestion that they might ever have to again would be abhorrent to some. But these are unprecedented times. 

Most punters are racing fans. The majority will not want racecourses to close or horse racing to collapse. 

Indeed, I have been contacted by some who are only too keen to contribute in some way to support the cause. 

If Government taxed punters for the next year, and to double up bookmakers agreed to match that tax, however much that might be in the pound, then it might be a way of keeping finances and jobs going. 

Once the crisis is done and dusted the tax would be lifted. It’s just an idea, but every idea needs considering.

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It’s sport just like that at Newmarket today that we want to preserve for the future. 

The Group 1 Cheveley and Middle Park Stakes could easily throw up a star, while the Cambridgeshire is always one of the classiest handicaps of the season. 

Many eyes will be on Dandalla in the Cheveley, as she chases a four-timer for Karl Burke having taken the Albany at Royal Ascot and Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the July course from Fev Rover and Santosha

I have a feeling Sacred could prove a very good each-way bet in this, as she’s better than we have seen in recent defeats, including when second to the re-opposing Miss Amulet in the Lowther at York. Tom Marquand rides Sacred, and his last two weekends have pretty pretty good with success in the St Leger on Galileo Chrome and in the Ayr Gold Cup aboard monster gamble Nahaarr

I’m really strong on Lucky Vega in the Middle Park, and was amazed he was not favourite at the forty-eight hour declaration stage. 

Bookmakers then favoured Method, Minzaal and Supremacy over Lucky Vega, but Jessica Harrington’s tough Group 1 hero will be hard to deny. You can forget his fifth in the National Stakes at the Curragh as he never got a run and I have a feeling he is better at six furlongs in any case. 

The Cambridgeshire is wide open as you would expect, although Tempus and Sinjaari look quality recent winners who have every chance for the powerful stables of Roger Chartlon and William Haggas. 

The latter has three in the top five in the betting, as he also sends out Ilaraab and Montatham who have both been in tremendous form. No surprise there, as Haggas is an awesome handler. 

That said, I’m expecting a huge effort from Bell Rock for the Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy combination. 

Bell Rock started the season winning at Newmarket over a mile, and since then he was far from disgraced when sixth in the Royal Hunt Cup and then an unlucky third to Maydanny at Goodwood. This trip could well be ideal and while he’s quite high in the ratings he’s lightly raced and could still improve. 

So much to look forward to. But unless we step in, for how long? 

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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