Zidane moves on from Celta loss

Real Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening but coach Zinedine Zidane has urged his side to move on.

Los Blancos drew 2-2 at Celta but lost out 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Real saw a 40-match unbeaten run halted by Sevilla in January but since then they have managed just one win in five matches in all competitions.

The Madrid side remain the La Liga leaders, with a one point lead and a game in hand over Sevilla, and they are through to the last 16 of the Champions League – and Zidane wants his players to move on from the defeat to Celta and concentrate on the competitions they can win.

"We played a good match but in the end it wasn't possible to advance,'' said Zidane.”We are disappointed, but we have to keep working and focus on the competitions we can still win."

Zidane's side host Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday and they are 3/10 to secure all three points, or 17/2 to win 3-0.

Real are 1/20 to win La Liga outright and 5/6 to successfully defend their Champions League title.

Puel sets sights on Europe

Southampton boss Claude Puel has urged his side to claim the EFL Cup trophy and a spot in the Europa League after their semi-final success over Liverpool.

Saints beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield on Wednesday to claim a 2-0 aggregate victory and book a place in the final.

The St Mary's side will take on either Manchester United or Hull City in the final at the end of next month, with United holding a 2-0 lead ahead of Thursday's semi-final second leg at the KCOM Stadium.

Southampton dropped out of the Europa League in the group stages this season and Puel has urged his side to claim the EFL Cup and earn a chance at European redemption next year.

"It's important to put this experience for next year in European games. It'll be important to qualify," said Puel.

"It will be important for the squad to continue the work, to improve, and know the possibilities to play European games."

He added: "Now we go to Wembley, not just to participate but to win this cup."

Southampton are 5/2 to win the EFL Cup outright and 23/10 to beat Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Jose wary of improved Tigers

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has warned his side that League Cup semi-final opponents Hull City are in a 'good situation' under new coach Marco Silva.

The Red Devils head to the KCOM Stadium for the second leg of their last-four tie holding a 2-0 lead from the first meeting at Old Trafford, but Mourinho is taking nothing for granted.

And he is especially wary given the impact made by fellow Portuguese Silva with the Tigers, who have won two of their last four games and who pushed Chelsea hard last weekend before going down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho told his club's official website: "It is no surprise for me, I knew it. It is not just because there is an impact when any team changes their manager.

"I knew that Marco was such a good coach that the team would really improve. There is still a very difficult job in hand, still a big fight with some other five, six or seven teams to avoid relegation, but he is a very good coach.

"They played against us very well, they played the matches they won at home very well too. They played against Chelsea very well too. So I think they're in a good situation."

Mourinho also confirmed that Argentina defender Marcos Rojo is back in contention after missing the 1-1 Premier League draw at Stoke City last weekend due to illness.

Centre-back Eric Bailly misses out, but could be available for the FA Cup tie with Wigan Athletic next weekend after the Ivory Coast suffered an early exit at the Africa Cup of Nations.

United are priced at 1/66 to reach the League Cup final and are 18/5 to secure a draw in 90 minutes on Humberside on Thursday evening, with the Red Devils 10/11 to keep a clean sheet against the Tigers.

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Key Hull duo to miss second leg

Hull City manager Marco Silva has confirmed that Robert Snodgrass and Curtis Davies will not feature in Thursday's game against Manchester United.

Snodgrass is being linked with a move away from the Tigers this month and sat out Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea with a knee injury while Davies is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Hull lost the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford 2-0 a fortnight ago but Silva believes all is not lost and is upbeat about his team's chances of shocking Manchester United in the second match.

"We did very well at Chelsea, especially in the second half. We controlled the game after the break," he said.

"I was pleased with the reaction of the team. It was a good performance and we need to build on that against Manchester United.

"We will try to get the job done and win the game. That is our aim."

Meanwhile, Tom Huddlestone says the Tigers are in a determined mood heading into the second leg.

The former Tottenham midfielder said: "We have made history quite a few times at Hull in recent years. Hopefully, we can do it again on Thursday evening.

"It will be difficult, but if we can get ahead and go into the last 10-15 minutes with a lead then all the pressure will be on them.

"Everyone has written us off, so the pressure is very much on them. We will turn up determined to win the game and progress."

Hull, 1/25 to be relegated from the Premier League this season, can be backed at 100/1 to win the second leg against Manchester United 3-0 while Huddlestone is available at 12/1 to score at any time against Jose Mourinho's team.

Romeu extends St Mary’s stay

Southampton's former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu has agreed a new contract at St Mary's.

The 25-year-Spainiard moved to Southampton from Chelsea for £5million in the summer of 2015 and has featured in 50 Premier League matches for Saints.

He only played in 22 top-flight games for Chelsea in his four years at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Valencia and Stuttgart during his time with the current Premier League leaders.

When he initially moved to St Mary's, Romeu signed a three-year deal but he will now be under contract until 2021 after penning an extension.

"I couldn't be any happier to have this new contract with the club," he said. "Ever since I came here I have felt very, very good. Everything has been positive for me. I have developed myself and been getting better every day.

"Looking forward, it's a good thing for me, but hopefully there will be more to come and nice experiences to go through."

Southampton have the opportunity to reach Wembley on Wednesday when they visit Anfield to take on Liverpool in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

Saints won the first leg at St Mary's 1-0 a fortnight ago and are 13/2 to draw Wednesday's encounter 1-1 and 5/2 to win the EFL Cup outright this season.

Moyes suffers Anichebe blow

David Moyes' chances of lifting Sunderland clear of the bottom three have been dealt a blow after it was revealed that Victor Anichebe faces a long lay-off.

The former Everton striker is not expected to be able to play again until April after sustaining ankle ligament damage during Saturday's 2-0 defeat at West Brom, a result that left Sunderland at 1/2000 to be relegated this season.

Anichebe will be out for up to ten weeks which means he will sit out the Premier League games against Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Everton, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Watford and Leicester City.

Moyes already has a lengthy injury list to contend with as Jan Kirchhoff, Jordan Pickford, Lynden Gooch, Lee Cattermole, Duncan Watmore and Paddy McNair are all currently on the sidelines.

In addition Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone are at the Africa Cup of Nations, although midfielder Didier Ndong is set to return to Wearside after Gabon were eliminated from the tournament.

Moyes snapped up the veteran former Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton defender Joleon Lescott on a short-term deal on Tuesday but Sunderland are rooted to the foot of the table and do not have a game this weekend as they are already out of the FA Cup.

Anichebe moved to the Stadium of Light last summer and made the headlines when he scored the winner for the ten-man Black Cats at Bournemouth in early November and then grabbed a brace in the victory against Hull City a fortnight later.

However those have been his only goals for Sunderland, 17/2 to win their next match against Tottenham on 31st January, in 11 Premier League appearances.

Victory aim to forget setbacks

Leigh Broxham believes a win in his landmark game on Thursday will get Melbourne Victory over their mid-January slump.

Victory had closed the gap to five points behind leaders Sydney FC by winning six games in a row, but their Premier's Plate challenge has received a setback.

First they lost 3-0 at Westpac Stadium to Wellington Phoenix – who they'd beaten 6-1 in their previous meeting – and then they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Perth Glory at the weekend.

It means the gap to the Sky Blues has opened up to eight points and Kevin Muscat's side can ill afford to lose to the leaders at Etihad Stadium in their Round 17 clash – which will be Broxham's 226th appearance for the club, making him Victory's games record holder.

Victory have reached a pivotal point in their season as after hosting the Sky Blues they take on Melbourne City in the derby.

Broxham, who will overtake Archie Thompson's games record, isn't reading too much into the club's last two results.

"In Wellington, we didn't perform to the level that we wanted to," he said. "In Perth, we had a lot of chances and the performance was generally good.

"It's not a form slump, we're happy where we are. We win on Thursday and everything is forgotten, isn't it?"

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold's not been shy of talking about his team potentially going through the entire season without defeat, although taking on the second-placed club on their home turf may test that ambition to the full.

"If that's how they want to talk, then that's how they want to talk," Broxham said of the opposition's stated ambition. "It's for them to do and to back it up – we'll do our business the way we always do it and we'll see at the end of 90 minutes on Thursday night."

Melbourne Victory are 8/5 to beat Sydney FC, who are 17/10, with the draw 12/5.

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Roar deny Maclaren punishment

Managing director Mark Kingsman denies Brisbane Roar's contract impasse with striker Jamie Maclaren is keeping him out of the starting eleven.

Maclaren, who has been strongly linked with several English clubs including Stoke City, has rejected a contract offer from Brisbane.

His deal expires at the end of this season and given that his agent described the Roar's offers as "disgusting and disrespectful", it doesn't appear hopeful that he will remain in Brisbane beyond then.

Though he played his first two games for Australia last year and is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the A-League, he's been left on the bench for the past two games by Roar coach John Aloisi.

He was used as a substitute in games against Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix, adding fuel to speculation that he's not starting games because of his contract situation.

However, Kingsman has denied claims that it's a tactic being used by the club to put pressure on him to re-sign. He's dismissed suggestions he has told Aloisi not to start Maclaren as a punishment.

"I'm not telling John who to pick," said Kingsman. "I have neither the experience nor the expertise to do so and I have no influence on team selection whatsoever, so I categorically deny these claims.

"It's John's job to pick the best possible team to give it the best chance to win a football match and achieve what you want to achieve – that is our focus. Team selection is the coach's decision."

Kingsman said it was understandable that Aloisi had shaken up the team given that they'd suffered three straight defeats before beating Wellington last weekend at Westpac Stadium.

"If something is not working well you do not persist with it," he said. "The media had been calling for changes when we hit a rough patch and when John made the changes they are now questioning the reason behind those changes."

The Roar are 21/20 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 13/5, with the draw 13/5.

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Coutinho inks new Anfield deal

Jurgen Klopp believes that Philippe Coutinho's decision to sign a new long-term Liverpool contract shows that the club is moving in the right direction.

The 24-year-old Brazilian, who had been linked with a transfer to Barcelona, has penned a new deal that will keep him at Anfield until June 2022.

Coutinho joined the Reds from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January 2013, and has gone on to score 34 goals in 163 appearances for the club.

He recently returned to action following a short lay-off with an ankle injury and is set to feature in Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton, which Liverpool are 6/1 to win 2-0. Coutinho is 6/4 to score at any time in a match Klopp's team can be backed at 11/10 to keep a clean sheet in.

Klopp said: "This is wonderful news. I think everyone knows what a great footballer Phil is, that is not in question – but not everyone sees what an incredibly positive character he is and what a big influence he is on the dressing room.

"The fact he wants to stay here and be part of what we are looking to build and develop shows his personal commitment is to make himself better and be an integral part of something that is very special.

"He knows he can fulfil his dreams and ambitions here at Liverpool. This is a big statement. I look forward to seeing Phil create many more great memories and moments for this club."

Sky Blues defenders extend deals

Defenders Rhyan Grant and Seb Ryall have both inked new deals with Sydney FC.

The pair are set to become the Sky Blues' longest-serving players, having signed up for two more years.

Grant and Ryall boast almost 300 A-League appearances for Sydney FC between them, and by the end of their new contracts they will have been with the club for 10 and nine years respectively.

"It's a massive club, and to be there for 10 years will be very special," said 25-year-old Grant. "I've been here a long time, I love the club and don't know any different.

"I've had a great couple of years, Arnie (coach Graham Arnold) has re-signed which is a huge positive and the team this year is great.  The way we're going in the league is even better."

The Sky Blues are eight points clear at the top of the A-League and have gone unbeaten through the first 16 games of the season.

Ryall helped Sydney FC win a premiership and championship in his first season, 2009/10, following his move from Melbourne Victory.

The 27-year-old said everyone at the club was fantastic and it made him want to stay longer.

Speaking of Arnold, Ryall added: "[He] has made a change for the positive and we are doing exceptionally well at the moment. It's a great team to be involved in, we're undefeated and on a remarkable run."

Arnold said the defenders had established a reputation for their tenacity and work rate.

Sydney FC are 2/5 to win the Grand Final.

The Sky Blues are 17/10 to win their next game against Melbourne Victory, who are 8/5 with the draw 12/5.