Nuno sees room for improvement

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo thought his side were a little fortunate to beat Leicester City 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at Molineux.

Goals by Diogo Jota and Ryan Bennett had put the home side in control at the break but the Foxes hit back after the interval and made it 2-2 through Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes.

Jota restored Wolves' lead but Wes Morgan's header three minutes from time made it 3-3.

However, Jota completed his hat-trick and finally ended Leicester's hopes when he grabbed the winner in stoppage time.

Nuno said afterwards: "It was a very good game and a game that everybody enjoyed. Both teams were trying to win it.

"We started well, but once we went in front we should have managed the game better, especially at the beginning of the second half. It is something we have to look at, but we have to do better. But we knew Leicester were going to react and they did so brilliantly.

"But this is football, it's lovely to have finished this way and we were happy to get the win, but if we had not won, we would have been blaming ourselves, because we wouldn't have achieved what we wanted to achieve.

"It was very important because we've bounced back from two bad results in the Premier League. Now we have the FA Cup. But we have to improve."

Wolves are 14/1 to win the FA Cup this season.

No excuses from Monk

Birmingham City boss Garry Monk had no excuses for his side's disappointing performance in Friday's 3-1 defeat at Norwich City.

The Blues' play-off hopes were dealt a blow by the Carrow Road loss, with the Canaries always in control of the match after they had scored three first-half goals.

"No excuses, but it was the right result," former Swansea City, Middlesbrough and Leeds United boss Monk said after the match.

"Norwich deserved to win that game. I haven't had to stand here too often and say that. It was uncharacteristic for us.

"We were off our game, we lacked the usual discipline and cohesiveness of our shape, we were a bit easy to play through and we weren't our usual selves with the ball. The second half was slightly better but not to the usual standards that we set."

Meanwhile, Monk is pleased to have completed the signing of Kerim Mrabti, saying of the Swede: "We are delighted to bring him in. I said I would only bring someone in who I felt could help the team and the squad.

"He is predominantly a wide player, which I felt we needed but he can cover other positions as well. He will need a little bit of time to settle in like anyone would but he has come to make a contribution to the remaining games this season."

Birmingham are 14/5 to beat Swansea on 29th January.

Leckie ‘touch and go’

Winger Mathew Leckie may not be ready for Australia's round of 16 clash with Uzbekistan at the Asian Cup.

Assistant coach Rene Meulensteen said the 27-year-old, who has yet to feature in the Socceroos' defence of the trophy, hadn't yet proved his fitness.

Leckie was retained in the squad despite tearing his hamstring while playing for German club Hertha Berlin before the tournament.

Coach Graham Arnold believed he would return to fitness at some point after the group stages, but Meulensteen believes the Uzbekistan game could come too soon for him.

"He's touch and go, I'm not sure whether he's fine for this game because we want to eliminate every risk," he said.

"He feels he's confident stepping over that line and going … we want them to stay there for all the rest of the games, not just one. The worst thing you can do is think 'yep, great, off he goes' and boom, all the work is for nothing."

The Socceroos qualified for the knockout phase after beating Syria 3-2 in their final Group B game.

Meulensteen says the team have come back strongly from their surprise opening loss to Jordan and feels the players have grasped Arnold's attacking football philosophy.

"If you look to since Arnie and the rest of the staff have taken over, the amount of chances we've created, the goals we've scored, we are on the right track," he added.

Having played three times in 11 days, Australia's players were given a day's break before turning their attention to the game against Uzbekistan in Al Ain.

Uzbekistan qualified as runners-up in Group F, beating Oman and Turkmenistan before going down 2-1 to Japan in their final game.

Australia are 4/6 to win their next match against Uzbekistan, who are 4/1 with the draw 14/5. The Socceroos are 12/5 to win by a one-goal margin.

Albrighton commits to Foxes

Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton has pledged his future to the 2015/16 Premier League champions by signing a new contract with the club.

The 29-year-old, who has made over 170 appearances for the Foxes, is now contracted to Claude Puel's side until June 2022.

Albrighton, who moved to the King Power Stadium on a free transfer from Aston Villa in the summer of 2014, is pleased to have got his long-term future sorted out, saying: "It was totally straightforward.

"Leicester offered me a deal and I was always going to sign it. I've had some good times here and hopefully I can continue to do so.

"When I first signed, I looked at the squad that was in the dressing room and the club itself in terms of its fanbase and what sort of club it was.

"It was a family club back then and it's a family club now. It's something that suits me down to the ground. It really fits in well with me as a person and it's the perfect fit for me."

Albrighton made more than 100 appearances for Villa before joining Leicester when his contract expired.

He played a key role in Leicester's title-winning campaign and in their run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2016/17.

Leicester are 12/5 to beat Wolves on Saturday lunchtime with Albrighton 22/1 to be the first goal scorer in the encounter at Molineux.

No rapid return for Fellaini

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has indicated that Marouane Fellaini will not be able to play for Manchester United for several more weeks because of a calf injury.

The 31-year-old Belgium international missed last weekend's 1-0 victory at Tottenham and looks set to be sidelined until mid-February.

Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo will also sit out Saturday's match against Brighton but Alexis Sanchez is available.

The Chile international has struggled with several niggling injuries in the last two months and had to be substituted in the FA Cup clash against Reading earlier this month.

However, Solskjaer said: "Alexis has trained all week, so hopefully he comes through the session today [Friday] and will be available.

"Chris and Marcos have just started running lightly so they're not fit yet. Felli is the long-term one who is out. He'll be out for a few weeks.

"There are not many issues. I think there are some small niggles as there always are at this time of the season."

United have won their last five Premier League matches and can now be backed at 7/4 to finish in the top four this season. They are available at 3/10 to beat Brighton at Old Trafford this weekend and 8/1 to edge to a 2-1 victory against Chris Hughton's team.

Robertson inks new deal

Scotland international Andy Robertson has said that it was a no-brainer to sign a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

The 24-year-old, who moved to Anfield in the summer of 2017 from Hull City, has made 56 appearances in all competitions for the Reds, scoring one goal.

He has started 20 of Liverpool's 22 Premier League games so far this season and follows the examples of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah, Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Joe Gomez who have all penned new contracts with the club in the last 12 months.

"As soon as the club came to me, it was a no-brainer for me. I want to stay here, so as soon as they put an offer on the table it was signed as quickly as that," Robertson said.

"It was a pretty easy contract for me and I'm sure for the club as well. We both agreed very quickly, that's why it's been done so quickly.

"Getting to know the lads and working with all the staff at Melwood has been a pleasure. The best thing about work is when you love coming in every day – and that's what I do here. I'm glad I have extended my stay and hopefully we will have a lot of good days ahead."

Liverpool, 8/11 to win the Premier League title this season, can be backed at 1/5 to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday and at 8/11 to keep a clean sheet against Roy Hodgson's team.

Allardyce rules out Town role

Sam Allardyce insists he is not interested in becoming Huddersfield Town's next manager after they parted company with David Wagner on Monday.

The 64-year-old former England boss has helped the likes of Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton move clear of relegation trouble in the last few seasons but believes the rock-bottom Terriers are doomed.

Town have taken one point from their last nine Premier League matches and are eight points away from safety.

"They are rock-bottom of the Premier League and I don't think I could change that situation, so for me it is not the right match. It is not the job for me," said Allardyce.

"Huddersfield haven't got enough goals to get them out of trouble. That has been the one failing. No club has got out of such trouble with so few points after this many games.

"For me, and I know the fans won't want to hear this, it's got to be about planning for relegation and then planning to get back into the Premier League.

"They've only scored 13 goals in 22 matches and, while I've managed to pull teams out of the bottom end, at Sunderland I had Jermain Defoe scoring 18 and at Crystal Palace I had Christian Benteke who scored 15 goals."

Huddersfield, 1/16 to be relegated, are 13/2 to draw with Manchester City in their next match on Sunday.

Babel: Fulham can stay up

Claudio Ranieri has added some experience to his Fulham squad by signing Ryan Babel from Besiktas until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old former Liverpool star hopes he can have a positive impact on the Cottagers, who are struggling to avoid relegation.

They are 4/11 to be relegated this season after losing 2-1 at Burnley on Saturday and can be backed at 4/1 to beat injury-ravaged Tottenham on Sunday and 13/5 to draw with Mauricio Pochettino's team.

The Netherlands international said: "My first impressions are good and I am very excited.

"I definitely have faith that Fulham can stay up. That is one of the reasons that I am here, to try and help that to happen. I am ready to go, I am excited and I can't wait."

Meanwhile, Scotland international Kevin McDonald is being linked with a move away from Craven Cottage after slipping out of the first team recently.

He played 46 matches in all competitions for the club last season when they were promoted from the Championship via the play-offs, but has been limited to just eight minutes of first-team action since Ranieri succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham manager in November.

End of the line for Phoenix duo

Wellington Phoenix have released former Australia international midfielder Mitch Nichols and terminated the contract of Reuben Way by mutual consent.

The Phoenix, who have gone eight games unbeaten under coach Mark Rudan, have axed 29-year-old Nichols after his poor outing in the 3-2 win over Central Coast.

Making just his third start for the club since signing a two-year deal in the off-season, Nicholls gave away possession in the lead-up to Andrew Hoole's goal for the Mariners.

He was hauled off at half-time by Rudan and his Wellington career is over after 13 appearances totalling just 232 minutes.

Nichols, who played five times for the Socceroos, had fallen down the pecking order at the club behind rising star Sarpreet Singh and Max Burgess.

Wellington had been his fifth A-League club, with the midfielder having been a part of two consecutive championship-winning seasons with Brisbane Roar.

The contract termination for Way is effective from the end of this month, giving the Phoenix time to sign a replacement so they can meet the A-League minimum squad size of 20.

Way, who is currently undergoing rehab for an injury, had only seen 11 minutes of A-League action. The 28-year-old had been signed in pre-season by Rudan from Heidelberg United in the second-tier Victorian National Premier League.

A statement released by the club said: "Wellington Phoenix would like to thank Mitch and Reuben for their contributions and wish them all the best for their future endeavours."

The Phoenix have made one addition to their squad during the transfer window, bringing in Irish striker Cillian Sheridan on a one-year deal.

Wellington are 12/1 to win the Grand Final and 10/3 to win their next game against Melbourne Victory, who are 3/4 with the draw 11/4.

Rogic rocket earns win

A quality stoppage-time strike by Tom Rogic took Australia through to the knockout stages of the Asian Cup as they beat Syria 3-2.

The Socceroos were twice pegged back in Al Ain after Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis scored.

A draw would have been enough to see Graham Arnold's side through but they secured their second straight victory when Rogic fired in from outside the area in the 93rd minute.

The holders will now face Uzbekistan or Japan in the round of 16 on Monday.

Australia, who had needed extra time to see off Syria in their two-legged clash in qualification for World Cup 2018, were given an early scare when Omar Khrbin dragged a low effort past the far post in the 13th minute.

Jamie Maclaren headed wide for Australia from Rhyan Grant's cross and was denied by keeper Ibrahim Alma's double save before the Socceroos went ahead on 41 minutes. Mabil struck a powerful curling effort with his left foot that gave Alma no chance, notching his fourth international goal.

The lead only lasted two minutes though with Khrbin poking home at the second attempt after Mat Ryan had parried his initial close-range header.

Ikonomidis squeezed the ball over the line nine minutes into the second half to convert Rogic's pass and make it 2-1.

Arnold's side were denied a two-goal cushion when Apostolos Giannou, having replaced Maclaren, took Mabil's pass and fired a fine low shot into the base of the post.

And 10 minutes from time Syria were level when they were awarded a penalty which Omar Al Soma converted.

Rogic's tremendous strike earned the three points for the Socceroos, taking them through in second spot.

Australia are 9/1 to win the Asian Cup. Meanwhile, Japan are 8/13 to win Group F and Uzbekistan 13/10.