Lukaku hints at Juve move

Romelu Lukaku says he enjoys watching Juventus and would be interested in joining the club at some point in the future.

The Manchester United striker is in his second season with Manchester United and has been in English football with Chelsea, Everton and now United since leaving Anderlecht in 2011.

With United having had a troubled start to the new campaign and question marks hanging over the future of manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba, Lukaku has now hinted that he would be open to the possibility of a move away from Old Trafford.

Questioned by La Gazzetta dello Sport about a move to Italy, Lukaku said: "Why not, I hope so."

Speaking about Juventus in particular, he was full of praise for the club, adding: "Juve have a great project in place and they just keep going. Every year they try to get stronger.

"Without doubt, Juve are one of the two-three best teams in Europe. They've got a great coach on the bench and extraordinary players in every area of the team.

"Cristiano Ronaldo stands out, but watch out for the others too. Paulo Dybala is already impressive and getting stronger, while I love Douglas Costa. He's an exceptional signing and his career shows he always makes the difference."

Lukaku is currently away on international duty with Belgium, scoring twice in their recent win over Switzerland in the Nations League.

He is also in line to face the Netherlands in a friendly in midweek before a return to United who face Juventus in the Champions League group stages in just over a weeks' time.

Before that they face a crucial Premier League game away at Chelsea next Saturday. They are 4/1 to win away at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea 4/6 and the draw 11/4.

United are 9/4 to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

View all Soccer betting

Hazard open to Mourinho reunion

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has revealed he would be open to playing under manager Jose Mourinho at some point in the future.

Hazard, who is currently enjoying a strong season with the Blues, has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with Real Madrid believed to be at the front of the queue to sign the Belgian international.

The 27-year-old, who has ruled out a move away from Chelsea in January, has spoken about his previous managers and current Manchester United boss Mourinho's name was brought up.

Having won the Premier League title with Mourinho in 2014-15, in a season which saw him score 14 goals and win the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year, Hazard would be open to playing under the Portuguese tactician again.

"If I'm now asked one coach with whom I want to work again, then I say: 'Mourinho'," Hazard told HLN.

"Mourinho's image of an extremely defensive coach isn't completely right."

He added: "The season in which we became champions, we made many goals and played good games."

Meanwhile, Chelsea are 9/1 to win the Premier League title this season, while Manchester United are 100/1 to claim the English crown this term.

View all Soccer betting

Rooney issues Mourinho backing

Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has backed the club's manager Jose Mourinho and urged the players "to be better" to take the pressure off him.

The 32-year-old, who departed Old Trafford for Everton in 2017 as the club's all-time leading goalscorer, has been keeping tabs on the Red Devils from the United States where he now plies his trade with MLS outfit DC United.

And, with Mourinho coming under fire following United's worst start to a league season for 29 years, Rooney is adamant that the players should be stepping up to the mark to keep the Portuguese's critics at bay.

There was evidence of support from the dressing room on Saturday when the side fought back from two-down to beat Newcastle 3-2 and Rooney has called for more of the same.

The former England international said: "The players, the manager, it has been a tough start to the season.

"I know Jose is getting a load of stick but I said a few weeks ago, the players have to stand up."

"The manager can do so much but then it is down to the players on the pitch to produce and probably collectively," Rooney added in the Telegraph.

"It [the form] is a bit of everything coming together but Jose is an easy target. Some of the players have to be better."

United's face Mourinho's former club Chelsea after the international break on 20th October and they are 4/1 to win at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are 4/6 to pick up the three points and the draw is available at 11/4.

View all Soccer betting

Premier League: This was Quite Incredible!

Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United

“Still United with Jose,” read a banner held aloft by one fan near the dugout as the players came out for this teatime encounter at Old Trafford.

It was a sign of support from the United faithful, a feeling many home fans agree with amid a seeming media agenda against the United boss.

Jose Mourinho even playfully squirted a water bottle at the cameras as they followed him into the dugout.

The mischievous Newcastle fans then only took a minute to sing the chant of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ in the Man Utd’s boss direction.

There was no doubt where the main focus of this Premier League game would be, and that was the dugout.

However, what was to follow was quite staggering and was surely something neither set of fans could have predicted.

Highlights of the game

Indeed, without taking anything away from Newcastle, this was stunning.

Before you could blink, the lowly Geordies led 2-0, effectively gifted two goals as the stunned hosts conceded two goals in the opening 10 minutes in a Premier League match at Old Trafford for the first ever time.

First, stand-in captain Ashley Young, who is not a right-back, was turned inside out by Kenedy and slotted home the opener.

Then Young was turned with ease again, and new signing Yoshinori Muto added to his sharp turn with a sharp finish.

It was the start United must have dreaded, but no us fans expected this, not even the most optimistic Newcastle supporters.

Suddenly, the biggest Premier League 2018 news story was on the cards. Could Mourinho survive another defeat? The obituaries for one of football’s most successful managers at England’s biggest club were being written.

Even Mourinho couldn’t have expected such shocking defending as his side was cut open again and again, only a David De Gea save denying Jonjo Shelvey after he was left in acres of space.

The home boss acted swiftly.

Whether the substitution of Eric Bailly was a sign Mourinho was blaming the Ivory Coast defender for the start – or reminding chief executive Ed Woodward of his failure to back the manager’s call to sign a defender in the transfer market – is unclear.

Perhaps it was just he didn’t want to embarrass a young player by hooking him off so early on.

Either way, on came Juan Mata with young midfielder Scott McTominay reverting to centre-half.

Yet it didn’t make a difference.

Marcus Rashford headed wide, but Newcastle came closest to adding to their tally with Ayoze Perez looking dangerous. De Gea denied Muto again, and anxiety seemingly seeping out of every home pore.

The Premier League 2018 odds on Mourinho surviving the weekend were slim as the teams returned to the dressing room at half-time, and Mourinho jogged back to deliver arguably the most important team talk of his career.

The boos turned to cheers as the Portuguese boss, under immense pressure immediately before kick-off, headed to the tunnel, a sign not everyone was giving up.

However, if many of the players were devoid of confidence, others should have been embarrassed.

If they had stopped playing for the manager, it meant they had stopped playing for the club and the fans; that is definitely unforgivable.

The second half started as many would have expected with United pushing Newcastle back deep in their own half.

Nemanja Matic, who had by now reverted to centre-back, blazed over the first chance from close range before Rashford headed wide.

A home goal was desperately needed but plucky Newcastle were holding firm, even though more focus was on home misery rather than a terrific away effort.

It arrived 20 minutes from time when Mata produced a trademark free-kick which was despatched beyond talented Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

The shot-stopper then denied substitute Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling but was helpless as the tireless Anthony Martial produced a fine finish to equalise.

Newcastle almost nearly caused home palpitations before a combination of Fellaini and Lukaku managed to clear the ball off the line.

Time was ticking and only a home win would suffice, and then the moment few saw coming at half-time.

Substitute Alexis Sanchez headed home to leave luckless Newcastle crestfallen as Old Trafford erupted.

“Still United with Jose” – you better believe it!

Key statistics

Manchester United have lost one of their last 37 home matches against Newcastle in all competitions (won 27, drew nine), with that solitary loss coming in December 2013 during David Moyes’ tenure thanks to a Yohan Cabaye goal.

The Magpies are winless in nine games (eight in the league) since beating Chelsea in May.

Only in 1898-99 (10 matches) and 2015-16 (eight games) have they waited longer for their first victory in a top-flight campaign.

What’s next?

It’s the international break now.

Jose Mourinho brought back Manchester United’s form in the 2nd half of their Premier League match against Newcastle

Jose Mourinho celebrates after scoring their third goal

United are back in action in a fortnight’s time (October 20) when Mourinho returns to his former club with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

Then it’s time for a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus visit the Theatre of Dreams in the Champions League.

Newcastle, who need owner Mike Ashley to invest, are next in action when they entertain Brighton at St James’ Park.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Premier League: Why These Managers Often Know Best!

The general media and majority of pundits in England (albeit some with an axe to grind) keep telling us there is a crisis at the biggest club in the land.

There isn’t, but the chances are there will be if Manchester United fail to beat winless Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend.

Talking Points

Newcastle United aim to make it in Premier League 2018 News

Rafa Benitez eyes Newcastle United’s first win this season

The truth of the matter is it’s very rare for United to go more than a few games without a win so it’s not uncommon for one media outlet or another to use the word ‘crisis’ or print a photo of the famous club crest with a split down the middle when it happens.

Indeed, I’ve lost count of the times it was done to United during a poor spell of any given campaign in which Sir Alex Ferguson would invariably guide them to yet another piece of silverware and laugh at the over-the-top reaction.

Despite clear strains between a few players and the current incumbent Jose Mourinho which will need to be addressed, United will hope this spell is all too similar.

Good results can change the mood inside a club very quickly. And despite the run of poor form, watch any United game closely and there still seems to be a desire and intensity to play for the manager.

For all his faults, Mourinho can rightly feel let down by some of his players so far. They owe him and themselves some improved showings, starting this weekend.

Now, let me tell you something that most Premier League 2018 news stories with their anti-Mourinho agenda have not told you so far.

Mourinho is one of the few members of staff at the club who has a proven track record of delivering excellence in his position.

He is one of few who seems to want to win so much that his mood and wellbeing depend on it.

Replacing a manager after a few bad results and internal squabbles is the last thing United need as they struggle to find consistent success after the Ferguson empire.

The club’s hierarchy is desperate for him to succeed and have, largely, backed him in the transfer market during his two-and-a-bit years at the club.

Not all the fans like what is deemed to be dysfunctional football at times, but the majority of supporters know there is no one better who is available.

Finally, Mourinho, deep down, knows that he polarises opinion quite like no other and, should he and United part company, he may struggle to get another big job after acrimonious spells at all his immediate previous employers.

As Mourinho’s old rival, Rafa Benitez, prepares to bring his Newcastle team to Old Trafford, there are striking parallels.

Here is another boss with a proven track record who is not just appreciated but also loved by the Geordie fans.

Results have also not gone their way with the Toon Army without a win, in the relegation zone, playing below par football and Benitez’s contract up next summer.

However, in contrast to Mourinho, he has not been backed by club owner Mike Ashley who is a regular target of fans’ ire, even if he has pledged this week to spend in the January transfer market.

Some have even said they would happily let Benitez walk away if it meant Ashley was forced out of the club.

Whether his transfer pledge can encourage the visitors to a famous result this weekend is unclear, but one thing for sure. There’s a clear, considerate warning for both sides: be careful what you wish for!

History

Last season saw United turn on the style at Old Trafford.

After going behind to a Dwight Gayle goal in November, they ran out 4-1 winners, courtesy of goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

It was a very different scenario in the rematch at St James Park in February when a Matt Ritchie goal gave the Toon a memorable win which sparked their confidence to launch a successful survival bid and an eventual 10th-place finish.

Betting Tip

??
Manchester United vs Newcastle United Over 2.75 Goals @ 2.21
October 7, 00:30 (GMT+8)

Newcastle’s last league victory came on May 14, the final day of last season, so it’s understandable why few us fans will tip them to cause a shock.

Even accounting for their poor form, the Premier League 2018 betting odds point to a home victory with 1X2 on United offering odds of @ 1.47, the draw @ 4.10 and Newcastle @ 6.80.

Likewise, Asian Handicap betting will give you odds on United -1.50 @ 2.49 and Newcastle + 1.00 @ 2.14.

A repeat of last season’s 4-1 scoreline will pay out @ 24.00.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Keane’s sympathy with Mourinho

Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane says his sympathy is with Jose Mourinho if players are failing to give their best for the Old Trafford boss.

The pressure won't ease on the Portuguese unless some players change their attitude and give full commitment to the club, according to Keane.

The Red Devils have made their worst-ever Premier League start and were held scoreless by Valencia in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday, enough to have them booed off afterwards.

They've failed to win in four games going into this weekend's home clash with Newcastle in the league.

Rumours suggest that some within the squad, including Paul Pogba, are growing disillusioned with the style of play under the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach but Keane says players must give everything when they go on the field of play.

"You talk about footballers and managers, not every player is going to get on with their manager and not every manager is going to like every player," Keane told Notts TV.

"But what you do as a footballer, and I've had one or two disagreements, when you cross that line you play for your team."

Keane refused to name individuals, and admitted that speculation can be overboard at times when it comes to a club like Man United, but he feels Mourinho has no chance if the rumours are true.

"I don't care what fallout you've had with your manager, I don't care if you've been at each other’s throats. That is part of the industry. People do fall out," he added.

"Unfortunately when you're Man United, one of the biggest clubs in the world, things will get exaggerated.

"And if you're a footballer for Manchester United, you put that jersey on, you walk out and you don't give 100 per-cent because you might be upset with somebody – then good luck to Mourinho with this stuff."

Manchester United are 6/1 to beat Newcastle 2-0 no Saturday evening, with the Magpies 8/1 to get their first league win of the season and the draw priced at 7/2.

View all Soccer betting

Mourinho praises United effort

Jose Mourinho claims he could not fault the effort and commitment of Manchester United despite their 0-0 Champions League draw against Valencia.

The under-fire Red Devils' chief watched as his players made it four games without a win at Old Trafford on Tuesday night as they struggled to create anything against the Spanish La Liga outfit.

Indeed it took until the final 20 minutes for United to register a serious attempt on the Valencia goal with the home fans making their dissatisfaction known as they chanted for the side to attack.

Speaking afterwards, Mourinho said he respected the fans and said they have "freedom of speech", while he was quick to praise the response from his players following successive defeats against Derby and West Ham in the Carabao Cup and Premier League respectively.

He said: "I am pleased with the effort, I am pleased with the commitment, I am pleased with the improvement.

"I am not pleased, of course, with the result which is not a good result but it is not a bad result."

United's preparations were not helped when it took them 75 minutes to reach Old Trafford from the Lowry Hotel in Manchester due to traffic congestion, which resulted in the kick-off being put back five minutes.

Mourinho added: "It was not a problem with the club's organisation. We tried everything. We couldn't anticipate that it would be dangerous in terms of being late. But we were informed that the police refused an escort."

United's draw leaves them second in Group H on four points after Juventus won 3-0 against Young Boys, while Valencia sit third with one point.

The Red Devils, who are 7/4 to win the group, face Juventus next at Old Trafford on 23rd October with the Italians 4/9 to progress to the knockout stages at group winners.

View all Soccer betting

Champions League: Mourinho’s Manchester United Can’t Win Games

Manchester United 0-0 Valencia

This is not the Champions League match we were supposed to see.

Manchester United have a lot of exciting players on the roster and one of the best managers in Jose Mourinho. While the tips point to a draw, they should have at least won against Valencia and score goals in the process.

However, what we bore witness to was a farcical draw that showed Manchester United at their worst. The fact that I am appalled at this result is proof of the chaos that is reigning at the once-proud club.

Highlights of the game

There was much riding on the line for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United coming into this match. After all, they just came off an extremely embarrassing loss to West Ham in the Premier League. The way they lost to the Hammers has brought plenty of negative press from pundits, former players, and fans alike.

The already-tense atmosphere surrounding Old Trafford is compounded by the presence of former United greats David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. One would think that the presence of these two club legends would somehow will Mourinho’s squad back to life and get them scoring goals again.

Marcus Rashford did make it seem like they would be able to score for United and break the four-game winless streak United are currently on. His proactive play during the first ten minutes of the game garnered applause from the supportive sections of the stadium.

Marcelino is looking to redeem Los Che after enduring a bitter defeat to Juventus in the first round of the Champions League. us fans saw Valencia absorb whatever attacking pressure Manchester United gave to them and mounted counter-attacks that ultimately didn’t give David De Gea a hard time.

Michy Batshuayi was a particularly standout player for Valencia during the first half. The Chelsea loanee made his presence felt by attempting cutting passes through the Manchester defence. While United struggle to score goals, what Old Trafford can count on Mourinho’s teams is solid defensive work. The United backline was able to clear any dangerous balls sent to the danger zone.

By the time the 30-minute mark hit for the first half of the game, the game would noticeably slow down and it is visible that the players in red are playing as if they have run for an hour straight. Their feet are planted to the ground. There aren’t any runs being made to support the ballhandler, and the man with the ball would usually have to force something out of the possession.

The half ended without either side even giving De Gea and Neto a hard time. Even the ones watching from their television screens can feel the frustration mounting at Old Trafford, and they were desperately hoping that Mourinho would go on to change something with the team during the half-time break.

However, it seems that the Portuguese boss is adamant on letting everyone experience what an exercise of futility is. The number of dangerous chances stepped up in the second half, but not much has changed between the United side that ended the first half and the United team that started the reset.

Goncalo Guedes and Paul Pogba had dangerous attacks to start the second half, but both ended up with nothing: Guedes’ strike went wide of the right post while Pogba was struck as offside. Pogba almost put United ahead in the 62nd minute with a sublime free-kick, but Neto pushed it away.

Michy Batshuayi, Marcus Rashford, and Romelu Lukaku tried showing off their attacking prowess late in the game, but it was pretty clear even to the most casual of players that no scoring would be made in this game.

Marcus Rashford showed glimpses of hope but ultimately failed to get a Champions League win

Marcus Rashford visibly frustrated after they failed to win at home against Valencia

By the time the game ended, half of Old Trafford was vacated. Mourinho congratulated a Marcelino that was uncertain with that just happened in those 90 minutes. Rashford, the club’s No 10, is visibly frustrated with the way things are going at United. The fans didn’t hide their disdain of the game and booed everyone on the pitch.

This is not the Manchester United team that we expected Champions League 2018 highlights out of. Fans and pundits will not stop calling out Mourinho and ask the board to sack him after this farce of a match.

After seeing this match, it’s not hard to see why.

Key statistics

Manchester United were simply wasteful on the attacking side of the game. They had 18 shot attempts over 90 minutes, but only four of those were on target. The fact that they only had 52% possession despite having players like Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez on their payroll is a red flag that must be addressed.

Of course, it’s unfair not to credit Valencia’s defensive efforts as another key in this bore of a draw. They did commit six yellow cards throughout the match, but their hard-nosed defensive scheme ensured that they would avoid another collapse and get an all-important point in the Theatre of Dreams. Neto was also impressive with his four saves.

What’s next?

Valencia will be facing Barcelona and Leganes next before they face Young Boys in the Champions League. They have a good shot at getting a point in the league at a minimum. They can also get three points against Young Boys and push Man United to the limit.

Red Devils' fans did not like how their squad played in their Champions League draw vs Valencia

Manchester United fans cheering loudly for the Red Devils

The Champions League 2018 odds for Manchester United, meanwhile, have just gotten steeper. And their conquest for Europe is only going to get harder as Cristiano Ronaldo makes his homecoming to Old Trafford in a Juventus shirt. Goals will definitely be scored, and I don’t think United will have any.

However, I wouldn’t be so sure that Mourinho will still be United boss if they lose to Newcastle and Chelsea.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Mourinho questions individual mentality

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes some players in his squad have not been hit as hard as others by the team's downturn in fortunes.

United have failed to win any of their last three outings and pressure has been starting to build on the Red Devils boss.

Mourinho's men drew with Wolves, before being knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties at the hands of Championship side Derby County.

A 3-1 defeat to West Ham last time out has really seen the media gaze focus on the United squad.

Mourinho has conceded some players have not taken the recent defeats as hard as others and has vowed to do all he can ahead of United's Champions League encounter with Valencia on Tuesday.

"Every player is different, no player is the same," he said. "I see different actions but what you see is not really inside.

"I see upset people, some people that don't look like they lost a game.

"I see so-so but in the little two sessions of training we had [since Saturday] everything was normal, desire to work and play."

The Portuguese tactician added: "What I can do to improve things I do, and I will improve the things that depend on me and my work."

United are 9/4 to finish in the Premier League top four this season.

View all Soccer betting

Quartet to miss Valencia clash

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will be without Ashley Young for Tuesday's Champions League tie with Valencia.

Young picked up an injury during Saturday's dismal 3-1 defeat at West Ham, while Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard are also on the sidelines as United attempt to build on their 3-0 victory against Young Boys a fortnight ago.

Either Antonio Valencia or Diogo Dalot will replace Young.

"Apart from Marcos Rojo, now we have Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard out," said Mourinho. "I prefer the doctor to speak, but they are not in [the right] conditions."

Meanwhile, Mourinho insists he does not feel under pressure even though United followed up their EFL Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Derby County by losing to the Hammers.

Asked if he was worried about his position, the former Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss replied: "No.

"What I can do to improve things I do, and I will improve the things that depend on me and my work."

Valencia beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Saturday, their first La Liga win of the season at the seventh attempt.

United, 25/1 to win the Champions League this season and 9/4 to finish in the top four of the Premier League, can be backed at 11/8 to keep a clean sheet against Los Che.