Defensive blows hurt Juve

Juventus have suffered a double injury blow, with key defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves both facing significant spells on the sidelines.

The duo were injured during the 3-1 weekend defeat at Genoa, with Italy centre-back Bonucci expected to be out of action for between 6-8 weeks due to a thigh problem.

The exact nature of Brazilian wing-back Alves' problem has yet to be determined, but Juve have confirmed that he has sustained a fracture to his left fibula.

A short statement from the club read: "Further medical examinations on Leonardo Bonucci have revealed the full extent of the injury which prematurely forced the defender from the field against Genoa on Sunday.

"Tests confirmed he is set to be on the sidelines for between 45 and 60 days after straining the biceps femoris muscle in his left thigh.

"Further details on Dani Alves, meanwhile, will arrive in the coming days – yesterday's initial prognosis established that the Brazilian had fractured his left fibula."

Despite their loss in Genoa on Sunday, Juve are still four points clear of the chasing pack in Serie A, with the Turin giants chasing a sixth consecutive Italian league title.

Roma and AC Milan are their closest rivals as things stand, with Lazio and Atalanta five points adrift of top spot.

Juve are available at 1/40 to win Lo Scudetto, with Milan priced at 4500/1 and Roma 16/1.

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Parkhouse rewarded with Phoenix extension

Wellington Phoenix didn't need to wait for the appointment of a new coach to hand striker Adam Parkhouse a new deal.

A day before his 23rd birthday, the A-League side have confirmed the Australian has inked a two-year contract extension.

He's quickly impressed the club, having only joined in August on an initial one-year deal.

Parkhouse, who had experience at the start of his career in the English non-league system – he played for Skelmersdale United, Stalybridge Celtic and Witton Albion – has done well in an unfamiliar position this season.

He's primarily a left-winger, but has been playing in defence after an injury to left-back Tom Doyle.

The contract the Phoenix originally gave him was for one season, but had a clause that would have triggered an extension if he played 15 games.

The former Manly United player has only played four games so far but has done well enough that the club have already re-signed until the end of 2018-19.

"It has all happened so quickly," he said. "Now I have two extra years to cement a place in the team."

Parkhouse wouldn't have expected any decision to be made at the moment, as Wellington are without a permanent coach following Ernie Merrick's resignation.

He's determined to keep impressing interim co-coaches Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham and push his case for a place in attack.

Parkhouse said: "These first few games, albeit in an unfamiliar position, have given me a chance to get used to the A-League and hopefully I will continue to get games."

Wellington are 12121/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Phoenix are 17/10 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 6/4 with the draw 13/5.

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Popovic tight-lipped on Bulut

Youngster Lachlan Scott is continuing to push for a place in the Western Sydney side as Kerem Bulut's future remains up in the air.

Wanderers haven't been as effective up front this season as they'd hoped, and are still searching for their best combination.

While 19-year-old Scott has only started once so far, his chances of being in the matchday squad have increased with Bulut appearing to have fallen out of favour.

Bulut was left out for the second consecutive week when they went down 3-0 to Melbourne Victory last weekend, and has already been dropped four times in the opening 10 rounds.

Coach Tony Popovic is refusing to speak about the 24-year-old's situation, which is only adding fuel to speculation Bulut's days at the club could be numbered.

Scott's featured in four games so far this season, and Popovic has been impressed with the Australia U-20 international's physicality.

He's vying with veteran Brendon Santalab for a starting place in Saturday's clash with Wellington Phoenix.

Santalab failed to finish training on Tuesday as he manages a calf problem, though Wanderers are confident he will be fit for the Mt Smart Stadium match.

Western Sydney are 6/4 to beat the Phoenix, who are 17/10 with the draw 13/5.

Scott, who signed a two-year contract extension last month, is happy with the way things are going.

"I didn't think I'd get this many games at the start of the year, but that's the way things have gone so I'll keep putting in an effort and hopefully keep getting selected," he said.

"But if Kerem was to come back in, and I was to go out, nothing would change. I'd still be training 100 per cent because I know if I have a good week training I'll be back in – that's the way it is with Popa."

Western Sydney are 18/1 to win the Grand Final.

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Klopp stands by axed Karius

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has been backed by boss Jurgen Klopp to bounce back strongly after being left out of the team for the 3-0 win at Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old German, a summer signing from Mainz, has been criticised for his performances in recent weeks and Klopp opted to take him out of the firing line at the Riverside, with the experienced Simon Mignolet stepping in and keeping a clean sheet.

However, Klopp retains full faith in his compatriot and says a short-term decision should yield long-term results for a player he rates very highly.

He said after seeing his side rise to second place in the Premier League table: "I'm not interested in public pressure, but I am interested in the boy and there is no reason to push him through the situation.

"There's no reason, especially when you have a goalkeeper like Simon Mignolet in training and on the bench who is a really good goalkeeper.

"We want to develop the players. We don't want to convince people that he's not bad. Loris is very young and a great talent and everything will be very good in the end, but there is no time-frame for when he will be back.

"I know him really well and he's much better than he has been in the last two games. It's a situation which Liverpool have as a long-term project."

The Reds are back in action on Monday evening when they make the short hop across to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with the Toffees and are 11/10 to win the game on Monday, while the Reds are 10/1 to claim a 2-0 victory and are 2/1 to keep a clean sheet.

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Gundogan blow saddens Citizens

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan looks set for a significant spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in the 2-0 victory over Watford.

The 26-year-old Germany international has seen his recent career hampered by a couple of serious injuries, having missed both the World Cup finals in 2014 and the European Championship finals earlier this year.

He had overcome a problem in his right knee to impress in recent weeks, but Gundogan is now awaiting tests on the same joint, with head coach Pep Guardiola sounding far from optimistic.

He told reporters after a solid win at the Etihad Stadium: "I'm so, so sad and unhappy for what happened to Ilkay Gundogan. We're going to miss him I think for a long time, it is the worst news from the day.

"Tomorrow we will know exactly the diagnosis. It looks like it will not be good. He is sad, so sad."

Citizens skipper Pablo Zabaleta, who netted the opening goal against the Hornets, expressed similar feelings to those of his manager, adding: "Yes it looks bad, same knee.

"He will have a scan and we will see how bad it is, but we feel so sorry for him because it has been quite tough for him at the beginning of the season.

"He has been working so hard and he was playing well. Unfortunately it is the same knee, but you have to keep strong and we will see how bad it is."

Next up for City is a crunch showdown with Arsenal in Manchester on Sunday, with the two sides currently separated by just one point and one place in the Premier League table.

The Citizens are 5/4 to claim a victory over the Gunners, with the draw priced at 13/5, while the men from Manchester are 4500/1 to be crowned league champions come the end of the season.

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Conte dismisses title talk

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has warned his in-form side that there is a long way to go before they can dream of winning back the Premier League title.

The Blues made it ten consecutive victories in the league with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Sunderland on Wednesday evening, with the result enough to carry the Blues six points clear at the top of the table.

However, former Italy boss Conte says both he and his players need to focus on the job in hand and not look too far ahead to a possible second title in three seasons.

He told reporters: "I prefer not to look at the table – I prefer this for me, for my players because we are doing something important until now, but the league didn't finish today.

"We are on top of the table, but there are still three games to end the first part of the season and then 19 games. This league is very tough and I think until the end it will be a big battle between six teams.

"I am pleased, for sure, because it's fantastic to win 10 games in a row in this league because this league is very tough. It's very tough in every game, you have to fight until the end to take three points.

"Today is an example. We had to fight a lot to win this game."

The next challenge for the Blues is a derby clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park at lunchtime on Saturday.

Chelsea, who 3-0 at Palace last season, are 8/15 to clinch an 11th straight league victory and are 8/1 to win the game 2-1, with the Blues now 1/250 to go on and win the Premier League title this season.

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Noble hails committed Payet

West Ham captain Mark Noble has played down speculation linking Dimitri Payet with a move away from the east London club next month.

The Frenchman enjoyed an outstanding 2015/16 campaign with the Hammers, but has been less impressive this term as Slaven Bilic's side have struggled.

Payet did score on Sunday in the 2-2 draw at Liverpool, a result that lifted West Ham out of the bottom three, but the former Marseille star continues to be linked with the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid.

However, Noble insists Payet remains committed to the club, saying: "This season was going to be so difficult because of what he did last season. I am not just talking about he was one of the best players in the Premier League. For the last season, he has been one of the best players in the whole world with the Euros.

"But the chances he has created this season and the important goals he has scored for us, Dimi is fully committed – I can tell you that now. I see him train every day. I see how he feels when he loses games. And don't forget, he hasn't even had a holiday."

West Ham have a crunch game against Burnley on Wednesday that they can be backed at 8/1 to win 2-1, while Payet is 15/8 to score at any time in the encounter.

Moyes told funds are limited

David Moyes has been warned that he will not have much money available to strengthen his Sunderland squad in the January transfer window.

The club's chief executive, Martin Bain, has revealed that the relegation-threatened side will not be able to spend their way to safety next month and has also confirmed that owner Ellis Short is open to a potential takeover.

Sunderland currently have a £140million debt and £73million wage bill, so Bain is keen to keep a tight hold of the purse strings in the near future.

When asked how much money Moyes would be handed next month, Bain replied: "Limited. I could probably say very limited with regards to the January transfer window. We're rebuilding and restructuring, it's going to take a while and we're not going to be able to spend to get out of trouble."

Last January then Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce bought Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri, and they helped the club avoid relegation.

Bain says there will be no repeat of that scenario though, adding: "We've reached a point where we can't have that short-term hit to plug the holes in the dam. It's the big buys that come back and haunt you. If you get those wrong, it causes you a big issue.

"I believe Ellis Short has the interests of the club at heart and he wouldn't turn away anything that is beneficial to Sunderland Football Club. I'm not saying Ellis Short is disappearing off into the horizon and is completely closing the purse strings, though. He is not."

Sunderland returned to the foot of the table following Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Swansea City and they are 1/2000 to be relegated this season. Meanwhile, they can be backed at 15/2 to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday and 7/1 to lose 2-0 to the league leaders.

Howe: More to come from Cherries

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was thrilled with the way his team bounced backed from their weekend defeat by beating Leicester City.

The Cherries moved up to eighth in the Premier League table as a result of edging past last season's champions 1-0 on Tuesday – Marc Pugh scoring the only goal of the match in the first half.

The result followed Saturday's disappointing 3-2 loss at Burnley and Howe believes his team's character augurs well for the future.

Bournemouth's next match is Sunday's derby against Southampton which Howe's side are 14/1 to win 2-0 while they are 10/1 to win the encounter from behind.

"It was very much a good response from Saturday's result," Howe said. "I think the most pleasing thing is, this season, we have the ability to respond to setbacks very well, and that's a really good sign for the future.

"We've been in the Premier League a while, but it's a nice thing to say [that the Cherries are eighth.]

"The team this season is growing, getting better and there's a lot more to come. Other people may sit back and look at the table but I'm looking to achieve more, starting with Southampton next weekend."

Cech refuses to dwell on loss

Petr Cech insists there is no time to dwell on Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Everton as the games are now coming thick and fast for the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger's side face Manchester City on Sunday and are 14/1 to secure a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, while they can now be backed at 2000/1 to win the Premier League title this season.

Arsenal had been on a high after beating West Ham 5-1 and Stoke City 3-1 in their last two league games, and appeared to be on course for another victory on Tuesday when Alexis Sanchez gave them the lead at Goodison Park.

However, the Gunners lost in the league for the only the second time this season when Seamus Coleman and then Ashley Williams scored for Ronald Koeman's team.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Cech said afterwards: "We played well with the ball and we didn't give them chances. Second half, obviously with the goal they came back into the game and in the Premier League it's very difficult.

"You can't control games for 90 minutes, there will be moments where the opponents will show their quality.

"Although they were not dangerous for most of the game, they found two goals and in the end you go home with a defeat.

"But you have to pick yourself up. There is a big period coming up now with the games coming thick and fast and there is no time to dwell on the defeat. You have to move on and get ready for the next one."

Arsenal can be backed at 7/2 to keep a clean sheet against Manchester City.