Barkley handed Koeman warning

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has been told to improve in possession if he wants to retain his starting spot in the Toffees engine room.

The 22-year-old England international was replaced at half-time of the 3-0 win at Sunderland on Monday evening, with Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu taking his place.

And, with Barkley off the pitch, the visitors scored three times in 11 second-half minutes to secure a comfortable victory at the Stadium of Light, leaving head coach Ronald Koeman with a decision to make for the visit of Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The Dutchman has confirmed that veteran Gareth Barry will start and made his 600th Premier League appearance, but was far less certain about whether Barkley would retain his place in the starting XI.

He told reporters: "There was a reason to take Ross off at half-time – he didn't play well lost too many balls, players of that quality can't lose those kind of balls.

"I had a talk with Ross, he needs to improve and we will see at the weekend. He understands, we showed him the clips and there is no escape.

"You look to his qualities, he needs to be the key player between defenders and strikers, in a position to create and defensively be part of a team – in all aspects he can and needs to improve."

Everton go into the game against newly-promoted Boro with ten points from four league games played so far this season, having followed a 1-1 draw with Spurs with victories over West Brom, Stoke City and Sunderland.

They are priced at 13/20 to earn all three points on Saturday and are 15/2 to win the game 2-0, with Romelu Lukaku 20/21 to score at any time after netting a hat-trick against the Black Cats.

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Phelan eager to maintain Hull momentum

Robert Snodgrass has started the season well for Hull, scoring twice  in the league.

Caretaker manager Mike Phelan says it is important Hull's good start to the season does not come off the rails during a forthcoming tough run of fixtures.

After a turbulent summer on and off the pitch for the Tigers, it was expected they would struggle on their return to the Premier League.

However, despite only having 13 fit senior players for some matches, Phelan has guided Hull to two wins and a draw from their first four matches of the campaign.

That run of results has left the Humberside team in eighth place in the table and they are now 12/1 to stay up this season.

The Tigers could struggle to maintain their current good form though over the course of the next three matches as they gear up to face Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

The Gunners are first up on Saturday and they are 8/13 to emerge from the KCOM Stadium with all three points, while Hull are 5/1 and the draw 16/5.

Phelan says the target over the next three matches is to carry on picking up points, claiming Hull now believe they are more than capable of a mid-table finish after their strong start.

"Deep down, there is a bit of belief now and, hopefully, we can cement our place outside the bottom area of the league," said the former Manchester United coach.

"If you get in that area, it can be difficult. We have to be in the frame of mind that we can go to the next level. Wherever you play, success is hard earned."

Hull have no new injury worries from last week's 1-1 draw with Burnley and Phelan could stick with the same team that battled back to secure a point at Turf Moor.

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Conte confirms second Luiz debut

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has confirmed that David Luiz will replace injured skipper John Terry for the visit of Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

Terry is facing a short spell on the sidelines after damaging his knee late on in the 2-2 draw at Swansea City last time out, leaving Brazil international Luiz to step in and make his second Blues debut.

The 29-year-old is set to start alongside Gary Cahill in central defence, having moved back to London on transfer deadline day after spending the last two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.

Conte confirmed ahead of the game: "David Luiz will play for the first time, again. We all know he is a good player and we have been working on his confidence since his return.

"We are working to put him in the best position for the team. He has been working on defensive situations when we are in possession of the ball."

Conte was also hopeful of having Terry back in contention in the very near future, adding: "John Terry strained the ligament of his ankle but his doctor told me after ten days he would be able to come back.

"He trained with the team today and is working hard to return stronger."

Chelsea are 17/2 to defeat Liverpool 1-0 on Friday evening and are 12/5 to keep a clean sheet, with Diego Costa 5/4 to score at any time.

Spain international striker Costa has already picked up three yellow cards this season and Conte is slightly concerned that a potential ban is only two further cards away.

He added: "Yes, two more yellow cards is a ban, but I am not worried about it. Diego is growing in these situations – in the last game he showed great attitude.

"He is passionate, but I want him to put his passion into the football in the right way. It is difficult to tell your player to be patient, because I think he knows he is close to a ban."

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Howe unwilling to rush Wilshere

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admits he is anxious to see Jack Wilshere in his starting line-up but insists he will not take a chance on his fitness.

The Cherries pulled off a major coup during the summer transfer window to sign the England international on loan from Arsenal but are having to be patient with him.

The 24-year-old has been beset with injury problems for two years and missed the majority of last season with a leg injury.

Howe, therefore, decided to start Wilshere on the bench for last weekend's win over West Brom, introducing him into the action after 63 minutes.

The Bournemouth boss says he was very impressed with what he saw of the Arsenal man and can not wait to see him get back to full fitness.

Howe is determined not to push the midfielder though as they the club work on a personalised fitness programme with Wilshere.

“With the outstanding quality he has, there's no doubt about that. We'd like to see him in the team as quickly as possible,” he said.

"It's a delicate balance between rushing him into the team and the long term. We have to think of that. We want him to play a lot of games for us so we'll put him in when we think it's right.

"I've been really pleased. I thought he had a big impact when he came on at a time in the game when the game was in the balance, really.

"We had lost the full control we had had in the first half and I thought he wrestled that back for us. It was a big contributing factor to us winning the game."

Wilshere is likely to be in the squad for this Saturday's clash with Manchester City as Bournemouth go in search of their second win of the season.

City have won four out of in the Premier League this far and are 1/4 to extend that run against the Cherries.

The visitors to the Etihad Stadium are 12/1, while the draw is 6/1.

Meanwhile, Wilshere is 14/1 to score first goal for Bournemouth at anytime on Saturday.

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Wijnaldum keen to add goals

Summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum says he would love to get among the goals for Liverpool, but is focused firstly on helping his side win games.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international found the net 11 times in the Premier League last season for Newcastle United, but has yet to break his duck for the Reds in six appearances in all competitions.

And Wijnaldum is keen to get his name back on the scoresheet, while being more than happy to help Jurgen Klopp's men try to build on a 4-1 thrashing of champions Leicester City last time out.

He told his club's official website: "During the years I have scored a lot of goals as a midfielder and when you get that feeling, you always want to score.

"You're going to have a hunger to score goals and you're going to be greedy to score goals. That's what I am right now, but the most important thing is 'how can I help the team?'.

"If that's with assists then so be it. Of course I want to score, because I did it for a lot of years in a lot of teams and it’s something I can do.

"I'm searching for goals, because if you get used to scoring goals, you're going to have a hunger and be greedy to score goals from midfield.

"But you must also think about what you have to do to help my team-mates. I have faith in my qualities and I know goals will come."

Next up for Wijnaldum and Liverpool is a Friday night trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea, with the Reds having won the corresponding fixture last season by a 3-1 scoreline, with Philippe Coutinho netting twice and Christian Benteke adding a late third.

Liverpool can be backed at 5/2 to secure a draw on Friday evening and are 4/1 to keep a clean sheet, with Wijnaldum 13/2 to score at any time.

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Roux close to Mariners comeback

Storm Roux is ready to get back in business for Central Coast Mariners, having not played since he suffered a serious injury in February against Melbourne City.

The defender broke his tibula, tore ligaments in his ankle and dislocated his shoulder when trying to block an opposition shot on goal, but doesn't feel he will be nursed back to the A-League and is closing in on a playing return.

"I'm fit and I feel ready to play," said Roux. "I've played a 60 minute game and a 70 minute game so far, so all things felt real good and I'm just buzzing to go out there and keep playing.

"I felt a lot better than I thought I would. I thought it would nag me a little bit, or on the mental side I'd be scared to go into challenges, but I've got all that out the way now."

Now he's ready to play again, the New Zealand international will hope to feature for Central Coast when they take on Wellington Phoenix in a friendly on 24th September.

Meanwhile, Melbourne Victory have confirmed they're interested in signing former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien. The Ghana international is on their radar for the coming A-League season, a club spokesman confirmed.

The club said they had made enquiries about signing him as a full-season guest marquee player for next season.

A Victory spokesman said: "Essien is one of a number of high-profile foreign players the club has investigated during the pre-season, as it looks to bolster its squad for the upcoming campaign."

Essien was released after an injury-hit season for Greek Super League club Panathinaikos.
Melbourne Victory are 6/1 to win the Grand Final.

Victory are 2/1 to win their first game of the league season with Brisbane Roar, who are 11/8, with the draw 12/5.

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More injury woe for Jones

Manchester United have confirmed defender Phil Jones will be out of action for a month after suffering a knee injury.

The 24-year-old has been plagued by injury concerns since his move to Old Trafford in 2011 and managed just 13 appearances last season due to ankle and foot issues.

The England international had yet to make an appearance for United this season but was expected to feature for the Red Devils when they took on Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday.

However, his club confirmed ahead of the fixture in Rotterdam that Jones had picked up a knee ligament injury and could be missing for several weeks.

Jones' last competitive game for United was back in January and it remains to be see whether he can force his way into new boss Jose Mourinho's plans once fit.

Daley Blind and Eric Bailly have been Mourinho's preferred options at centre-back but he could bring in Chris Smalling for his first start in the Europa League.

The former Chelsea boss is set to ring the changes for the clash with Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord, who are 15/4 to win the game.

United are 4/5 and the draw 14/5 as United get set for a tournament Mourinho feels could hinder their ambitions in the Premier League.

"It is more difficult, yes," said Mourinho.

"Especially because you have also the chance to play on the Monday, but we did not get that privilege, so when we play Thursday, we were never given a Monday spot, to have one more day.

"This is not a competition that Manchester United wants," he said. "It's not the competition I or the players want.

"But it is the competition where we are and that is the reality. We have to look to the competition with respect and we want to win the competition."

United are 2/5 to win the Europa League this season.

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City getting better and better – Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City's rivals he feels his team is improving all the time after thrashing Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 in the Champions League.

The Citizens made it seven straight wins in all competitions since Guardiola's arrival with a comprehensive performance against the Bundesliga side in Wednesday's rearranged encounter.

City, who were suppose to face Gladbach on Tuesday only for a waterlogged pitch to put game back 24 hours, picked up from where they off in the Manchester derby last weekend as they ran riot.

Sergio Aguero, who missed the derby through suspension, took his tally for the season to nine as he netted a hat-trick, with Kelechi Iheanacho adding the fourth in stoppage time.

While the goalscorers took the headlines, Guardiola was also keen to lavish praise on the supporting cast, with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and debutant Ilkay Gundogan particularly impressed.

Gundogan – signed from Borussia Dortmund for £20million in the summer – had missed the start of the season through injury but received special praise from Guardiola, who described him after the match as "an amazing player".

City are now 8/1 to win Group C, with Barcelona 1/14 after they defeated Celtic 7-0 on Tuesday night.

City will face off against the Scottish Champions next in the Champions League and the Spaniard has warned Celtic his team are only just getting started this season.

Guardiola said: "Thanks for all the players for making me and the fans so happy. I hope our football can be better and better and all the fans can come here and see us. We need the support and the stadium full to compete against the best.

"There have been seven official games and we have won all of them. Every time we play better and better. Today we learned a lot. Except for the last 15 minutes in the first half, after we dominated and played really [well]."

City are next in action against Bournemouth in the Premier League and are 1/4 to make it eight wins out of eight.

The Cherries are 12/1 and the draw 6/1.

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Pochettino offers no Spurs excuses

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says a lack of passion and not Wembley was to blame for his team's 2-1 loss to Monaco in the Champions League.

However, it was not to be as Ligue 1 leaders Monaco spoiled the party, going two goals ahead in 31 minutes thanks to efforts from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar.

Toby Alderweireld's header right on half-time halved the deficit but Spurs could not find a way back into the game after the break and are now 7/4 to qualify from Group E.

Pochettino said there could be no excuses for his team's poor showing, stating the outcome would not have been different had the game been played at Tottenham's traditional home, White Hart Lane.

When asked about the Wembley factor, the Argentine said: "That's an excuse. Football is on the pitch, on the grass.

"We need to improve and learn that we cannot concede the goals that we conceded. We need to be aggressive in possession.

"We showed a lack of passion today," he added. "We cannot concede the goal we conceded. That is the truth.

"That is the way we spoke in the changing room. We all agree. It's a shame because today was a good opportunity to give to our fans a good performance and a victory. It's a shame."

Spurs will need to get use to playing at Wembley as all their matches next season will be staged at the national stadium while the finishing touches are put to their new ground in north London.

Tottenham will return to White Hart Lane on Sunday to face Sunderland in the Premier League and are 1/3 to bounce back from Wednesday with a win.

The Black Cats are 10/1 to collect their first victory of the season, while the draw is 9/2.

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Ranieri eyes new Leicester chapter

Claudio Ranieri was delighted to see Leicester's Champions League story start with a win on Wednesday as they cruised to a 3-0 victory against Club Brugge.

The Foxes were making their debut in Europe's premier club competition and arrived at the home of the Belgian champions off the back of a heavy 4-1 loss at Liverpool.

Leicester's four points from the first four matches in the Premier League had lead to questions as to whether the champions' bubble had finally burst after last season's shock title triumph.

However, Ranieri's men delivered the perfect response to any questions about how their season might go with an emphatic win in Bruges.

Marc Albrighton opened the scoring for the visitors after five minutes with Riyad Mahrez adding the other two, one a stunning freekick before half-time.

Leicester are now 1/500 to qualify from Group G for the last-16 and 1/6 to finish top of the pool after they opened up a two-point lead on the other two sides in the group, Porto and FC Copenhagen, who drew 1-1.

Ranieri was thrilled to see such a positive reaction from his players after the loss to Liverpool and has now challenged them to continue their good form as they aim to go as far as they can in Europe.

"It was important to show the reaction after the Liverpool defeat," said Ranieri. "I said we cannot think about the Champions League, it's an experience for us and we hope to go through the group and play again.

"If we don't achieve the first two positions we'll go in the Europa League, that's our desire to continue in Europe although the Champions League is better.

"Now we play the first match, there are another five. We played our style. They tried to find a right solution but it was very difficult. It was good for us to start our story with a victory."

Leicester will hope to transfer their good form to the Premier League now for their clash with Burnley on Saturday.

The champions are 1/2, while the visitors to the King Power Stadium are 13/2 and the draw 7/2.

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