Lennon looks at the positives

Hibernian boss Neil Lennon admits that it would be unwise to be too gung-ho when his team welcome Celtic to Easter Road on Sunday.

Hibs are eighth in the Scottish Premiership table heading into the match while Celtic are two points clear of second-placed Rangers and have qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League.

Lennon's team lost 4-2 at Celtic Park in October and the Hibs boss is keen to adopt a more cautious approach against the Glasgow giants this weekend.

Hibs have a lengthy injury list, but former Bhoys boss Lennon said: "We're a little bit bare in terms of numbers and it is a formidable task. Celtic have done well to qualify from their Europa League group and it will have given them a huge boost.

"But we're not going into it negatively. We scored two goals at Celtic Park and not too many other teams do that. We know we're capable of scoring. So are they and their mentality is very good.

"You can't go too gung-ho. Celtic were excellent in the first half against us at Celtic Park. It could have been more than 2-0 at half-time so you do have to be mindful of that but we know we're capable of causing them problems."

Hibs are 5/1 to win Sunday's match while Celtic are currently available at 1/12 to win the Scottish Premiership title once again this season.

De Laet ‘desperate’ to reclaim City spot

Ritchie De Laet is in contention to return for Melbourne City when they travel to Adelaide United on Sunday.

The former Belgium international was a late scratching from the City side that went down 1-0 to leaders Perth Glory last weekend.

His knee locked after training last week and he's had limited training, but coach Warren Joyce is hopeful he can step straight back into the side at Coopers Stadium.

Speaking of the 30-year-old's injury, the coach said: "There's nothing untoward, his knee just locked up. Obviously, we had three injuries on the same day so that was just an internal problem.

"He's done well so far this season; he's desperate to play. Not had much training this week so we'll just see and assess after training today."

Defensive midfielder Osama Malik could make his first appearance of the season, having been unavailable so far due to a calf injury.

Joyce said the 28-year-old had played during an in-house game, and been able to train.

"He's obviously been out a long time; he's a great kid and he's desperate to train," he added. "I took him on Monday when the rest of the lads were off – and you can see a little bit of sharpness is needed but he's desperate to be a part of it and, again, we'll just assess him today."

Though they've only scored in two of their past five games, and didn't have a shot on target in the defeat to Perth, City have again chosen to leave out striker Bruno Fornaroli.

Joyce said Frenchman Florin Berenguer was unlikely to be seen until the new year with a calf injury.

City are 11/5 to win their next game against Adelaide, who are 13/10 with the draw 23/10.

City are 17/2 to win the match 1-0. De Laet is 15/2 to score at any time in the game.

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Ranieri: We fight to the end

Claudio Ranieri hopes his Fulham team can add some defensive steel to their play when they entertain West Ham on Saturday evening.

The Cottagers have conceded 40 goals in their first 16 top-flight games of the season following last term's promotion via the play-offs and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

They are bottom of the table after losing 11 games so far, while the Hammers are on a high after winning their last three matches.

Fulham are 2/1 to beat Manuel Pellegrini's team in the London derby while they are 10/3 to keep a clean sheet in the match and 1/1 not to be relegated this season.

Former Leicester City and Chelsea boss Ranieri said: "We're meeting a team who scored three goals in each of their last three matches.

"For us it's important to find a solution to score the goals and stay together because they have very good players, good quality players. Sooner or later we'll make our first clean sheet. I hope sooner than later, of course.

"A team is only relegated when the mathematics say so. It's important to fight until the end.

"I remember Leicester, before I arrived, were at the bottom before their last eight matches, and at the end they were safe with Nigel Pearson. We can do the same. Never stop being hopeful, be positive always."

Brown ‘outstanding’ on Brisbane return

Corey Brown's display on his return to Suncorp Stadium drew praise from Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, after the defending champions beat Brisbane Roar 4-2.

Brown was making something of an emotional homecoming to Brisbane, where he had played the whole of his career until moving to Melbourne in the off-season.

His return could well have ended in a serious injury, when he was clattered by Eric Bautheac's challenge 20 minutes into the match.

But he managed to avoid the full force of the tackle, which earned a yellow card for the Frenchman and moments later a second booking for shoving, and played an excellent game, according to Muscat.

"He was fairly lucky in that tackle that he didn't get injured, but I thought his performance and his discipline and control was outstanding," said the coach.

"I had a couple of chats with Corey. He's been steadily building and tonight, to get caught up in an emotion, going back to your old club, sometimes distracts you from what's important to yourself and the team."

It was the first game Brown had played in an opposition team in Brisbane, a city where he grew up and played 88 times for the Roar and where his father Rod was an NSL Grand Finalist with Brisbane Strikers.

The left wing-back helped Victory secure a sixth consecutive win, which put them at least temporarily back at the top of the A-League table.

Kosta Barbarouses scored twice for the visitors, Keisuke Honda netted from the penalty spot and Ola Toivonen scored for Victory and then headed an own goal minutes later.

Muscat was again without defender Georg Niedermeier, who will hope to overcome his bruised ankle in time for next weekend's derby against Melbourne City.

Victory are 5/4 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 21/10 with the draw 12/5.

Victory are 7/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Mourinho demands more desire

Jose Mourinho insists he will not be content to hold on for another goalless draw when his Manchester United team play Liverpool at Anfield.

United have drawn 0-0 with Liverpool on each of their last two visits to Merseyside and another stalemate on Sunday can be backed at 12/1.

Liverpool are at the top of the Premier League table after thrashing Bournemouth 4-0 last weekend and they followed that result up by beating Napoli and confirming their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

In contrast United are struggling to finish in the top four this season and, even though they will be in Monday's Champions League draw, they contrived to lose to a struggling Valencia side on Wednesday.

United, 7/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, are 11/2 to beat Liverpool, 5/2 to win the title.

Mourinho said: "I always try [to win a game] and I want to play a team that is capable to be with me on that desire, ambition and confidence. We know we're going to play against the [league] leaders and a team on a high but we have our qualities and our potential.

"Even with the problems we have and doubts in terms of team choice, tactics, approach and philosophy – we have doubts about everything because we don't know which players are available.

"We're going to arrive on Sunday with the players that we're going to have available. We're going to have a team capable of going there and fighting for the victory."

United have only lost one of the their last seven Premier League matches at Anfield, but Mourinho added: "Sunday has nothing to do with what happened in the past. I have to focus on the next match. The next match is the one that is important and that's it."

Six of the best as Victory go top

Melbourne Victory took over at the top of the A-League table with a sixth consecutive win, as they beat Brisbane Roar 4-2.

A remarkable game at Suncorp Stadium saw six goals, two penalties and a red card in the first half.

Victory's Ola Toivonen scored at both ends, heading an own goal just 10 minutes after putting his team ahead 2-1.

Brisbane were reduced to 10 men only 20 minutes into the match, when French marquee Eric Bautheac was shown two yellow cards, but still they managed to score twice before half-time.

The goals were all confined to a 34-minute period in the first-half, but the game started with a dramatic escape for Victory, who cleared the ball off their goalline three times within seconds.

Avraam Papadopoulos, Adam Taggart and Stefan Mauk were all denied, to the home crowd's disbelief, and the Roar conceded the first goal on 13 minutes.

Kosta Barbarouses got the first of his two on the night when he swept home a James Troisi pass, after Keisuke Honda had won the ball in midfield.

Brisbane's hopes took another big dent seven minutes later when Bautheac launched into a wild challenge on Victory defender Corey Brown.

He earned a yellow card for the challenge, but then became involved in a scuffle off the ball and referee Adam Fielding dismissed him.

The 10 men levelled from the penalty spot when Honda tripped Adam Taggart inside the area and the Roar striker picked himself up to convert.

Toivonen put the visitors back in front, sweeping home his third goal in as many games, and it became 3-1 with five minutes to go to half-time.

Daniel Bowles was pinged for a handball in the box and Honda stepped up to net his fifth goal of the campaign.

Toivonen misdirected a header when Alex Lopez sent in a free-kick to get the Roar back into the game at 3-2, but there was still time for a sixth goal of the half.

Two minutes into added time, Honda and Troisi set up Barbarouses for the All Whites international to net against his former club.

The Roar are 15/8 to win their next game against Wellington, who are 11/8 with the draw 12/5.

Brisbane are 10/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Hughton aims to get balance right

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has confirmed that he has a full-strength squad to choose from for the game against Chelsea apart from the suspended Shane Duffy.

This season the Seagulls have only lost once at the Amex Stadium where they have picked up 14 of their 21 points and they beat Crystal Palace 3-1 in their last home game, despite playing for over half the encounter with 10 men.

However, Chelsea are on a high after beating previously undefeated Manchester City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Brighton are 13/2 to beat Maurizio Sarri's team and 7/1 to win the match by a one-goal margin.

Hughton said: "Every time we play against a top-six team it's a marker of our progress, and I hope we've learnt.

"We'll be without Shane Duffy as he serves the second match of his three-game suspension. Jose Izquierdo took a knock a few games ago but has been in better shape recently.

"He's a late decision but apart from that we have everybody available – Alireza Jahanbakhsh is back fit now and he's been training with us.

"Chelsea have adapted very well [to having a new manager]. Any team that beats Manchester City at the moment has to have quality. But it's also about our game. We know we'll have to defend well but we have to be in the game ourselves and show our best qualities too."

Albion stay suits Livermore

Jake Livermore has pledged his future to West Brom by signing a contract extension with the Championship side until 2022.

The 29-year-old former Tottenham and Hull City midfielder has represented England seven times and was one of the five players that were placed on standby for the 23-man squad that was involved at World Cup 2018.

Livermore, who has missed just one league fixture this term, moved to The Hawthorns in January 2017 and has made 68 appearances for the club.

Baggies boss Darren Moore said: "I'm really pleased Jake has signed an extension to his contract. He is an important member of our squad who adds a wealth of experience to our midfield.

"I still believe his best football is in front of him and he continues to add attributes to his game. He's somebody that I see playing an integral part in taking this club to where we want it to be."

Meanwhile, Luke Dowling, Albion's sporting and technical director, said: "There was Premier League interest in the summer but Jake sat down with the club, listened to what we had to say, and knuckled down without any problems.

"We will be looking to extend with some of our other players but it is good that we have several senior players on relatively long-term contracts."

West Brom, 13/8 to be promoted from the Championship this term following last season's relegation from the Premier League, are 9/4 to beat Sheffield United on Friday.

More injury woe for Terriers

David Wagner has revealed that Danny Williams is the latest Huddersfield Town player to have sustained a long-term injury.

The Terriers star has been ruled out for 10 weeks with a medial ligament injury.

Aaron Mooy, Abdelhamid Sabiri and club captain Tommy Smith have all recently been ruled out of action for lengthy spells.

There is some good news for Wagner though as Terence Kongolo (knee) and Jonathan Hogg (groin) are back in training and look set to be available for Saturday's home clash against Newcastle United, a game Huddersfield are 8/5 to win.

"Unfortunately, on Wednesday, Danny Williams got injured as well," said Wagner. "He has a medial ligament injury which is not isolated, so this means he will be longer sidelined than Aaron [Mooy].

"We expect 10 weeks. This is not something which we wanted, to lose three midfield players and Tommy Smith in a week long-term, but this is part of the game. Now it is about how we deal with it."

Williams has only played in four games so far this season but his absence may mean that Juninho Bacuna is handed his first Premier League start this weekend.

Huddersfield are 8/15 to be relegated this season while Newcastle are 11/4 to go down.

Ziegler could miss derby

Defender Patrick Ziegler is in danger of missing Western Sydney Wanderers' derby clash with Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium.

The German centre-back played his first game of the season last weekend when Markus Babbel's side beat Central Coast 2-0.

Babbel was delighted to see the former Kaiserslautern player slot into the defence after two months out with a knee injury, but he hasn't pulled up well from his debut.

Ziegler has suffered considerable swelling and soreness around the joint since playing a full 90 minutes last Friday.

Babbel has not yet ruled him out though and will leave it up to the player to decide whether he's fit enough to play.

"We will have a look at how it is, I hope he can play on Saturday," said Babbel. "After the game it was a little bit swollen so we'll have a look.

"He is old enough and has enough experience to say, 'I can play 100 percent or not'. I hope he can play because he's very important for us."

Babbel should have attacking midfielder Roly Bonevacia available, with the Dutchman having been sidelined since the round three win away to Wellington.

Keeper Vedran Janjetovic will make his 150th A-League appearance overall and his 50th for Western Sydney against his former club.

He said: "It's a little bit special against Sydney I guess. It feels good, the milestone for myself, keep pushing and hopefully get another 150 to wrap it all up."

Wanderers have a poor record against their derby rivals, with just one win in their last 15 meetings.

Only one of their past 11 league wins, dating back to late in the 2016/17 season, has come against an opponent in the top six at the time.

Western Sydney are 5/2 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 23/20 with the draw 12/5.