Billing ready for new challenge

Philip Billing has admitted that he is keen to leave Huddersfield Town this summer as it is time for a new challenge.

The 22-year-old Dane has featured in 81 league games for the Terriers since making his debut for the club in April 2014.

He helped Town secure promotion from the Championship via the play-offs in the 2016/17 campaign and to safety in their first season in the Premier League.

However, this season has been dreadful and Town are rooted to the foot of the table and all but certain to be relegated.

Billing said: "I have been in Huddersfield for a long time, so this summer it is time to try a new challenge.

"I'll try something new. The Premier League is great and I love the English football culture. I know there is interest from others in the UK and abroad."

Billing has hinted that he may not play much in the closing two months of the campaign, adding: "I think the coach is betting on those who will continue to play in the Championship next season."

Earlier in the week, goalkeeper Jonas Lossl also suggested he was keen to leave the John Smith's Stadium at the end of this season.

Huddersfield are 13/2 to win their next match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 30th March and 14/1 to score a penalty in the encounter.

They lost their last game 4-3 at West Ham United on Saturday despite leading 3-1 at one stage.

Dyche says red card a hindrance

Burnley manager Sean Dyche says that his side's reaction to Leicester going down to ten men contributed to their defeat.

The Clarets lost 2-1 to Leicester at Turf Moor despite the visitors playing most of the match a man down after Harry Maguire's early dismissal for a foul on Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

James Maddison gave the Foxes the lead from a free-kick but Burnley equalised through Dwight McNeil and looked the more likely to take all three points having the extra man advantage.

However Brendan Rodgers was left celebrating his first away win as new Leicester boss after substitute Wes Morgan scored the winner in the last minute.

The win kept Leicester in the top half of the Premier League but the table looks far less attractive for Burnley who are just a place and two points clear of the relegation zone after their fourth defeat in a row.

Afterwards Dyche admitted that his side had failed to make their extra man count.

He said: "First half we didn't get to grips with it really. They went to 10 men and I think it was so early it kind of shocked us and we didn't get to grips with it.

"Second half we adjusted it and we kept the ball better without really breaking them open. But it is difficult. Teams bank in with a 4-4-1 as they often do and they look for a counter.

"They didn't really counter many times and in the end they win it on a soft set-piece from our point of view."

The Clarets have two weeks off due to the international break and Dyche says that it has come at a good time for the squad.

"The clarity has to come," Dyche added. "[The international break] gives the chance for the players to clear their minds."

Burnley return to action on 30th March when they play Wolves at home.

They are 23/10 for a welcome three points with Wolves 5/4 and the draw 11/5.

Burnley are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Rafa looking for one more win

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez believes one more victory could be enough to ensure that his side preserve their Premier League status at the end of the season.

The Magpies have lost only one of their last six league games to move seven points clear of the relegation places, with their latest outing seeing grab a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth thanks to a superb volley from Matt Ritchie against his former club.

However, Benitez thinks that is still a little more work to do before he and his players can celebrate top-flight survival.

He told reporters: "We have to keep going, the job is not done. We have to keep winning games.

"I think it could be 38 points, it depends. Obviously, 40 is guaranteed for me. I think 38 will be enough, so we have to keep winning if we can."

Of the battling qualities of his team, he added: "The players showed character. They were working really hard until the last minute.

"In the end the team showed what we were expecting in this kind of game. We tried and we got the point, but maybe it could have been even more."

Following the international break, Newcastle return to action on Monday 1st April when they face testing trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal.

Earlier this season goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil secured a 2-1 win for the Gunners at St James' Park, with the lone reply from the hosts coming from Ciaran Clark.

Newcastle are 7/2 to earn a point at the Emirates, with the Tynesiders 1/1000 not to be relegated this season and 150/1 to suffer relegation to the Championship.

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Benitez fires Magpies warning

Rafa Benitez has warned his Newcastle United players not to get too carried away by their recent run of three wins in their last four Premier League games.

The Magpies have lifted themselves six points clear of the bottom three thanks to victories over Huddersfield Town, Burnley and Everton, but head coach Benitez is aware that there is still plenty of hard work ahead to ensure top-flight survival.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday visit to Dean Court to take on Bournemouth: "You can see that the confidence is high, but again I have told them, we have to be careful.

"Still the job is not done, so we have to keep working hard, we need to approach every game like a final, and if we do that and we don't make the mistakes that we did against West Ham, we can compete against anyone.

"Belief is high, but it can be dangerous. We must make sure we approach every game with the right concentration."

United will be without Jamaal Lascelles for the trip to the South Coast, with the central defender ruled out of the weekend action by a knee problem, however, Ciaran Clark is back in contention as a possible replacement.

Earlier this season Salomon Rondon scored twice as the hosts defeated the Cherries 2-1 at St James' Park and Newcastle can be backed at 11/4 to win again on Saturday.

They are 10/1 to secure a 1-0 victory, with in-form striker Ayoze Perez 11/4 to score at any time.

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Vardy pleased with new style

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy believes he can thrive under Brendan Rodgers and is much happier with the team's high-press style of play.

The 32-year-old former Fleetwood Town forward scored two late goals in Saturday's 3-1 victory against relegation-haunted Fulham to bring his tally for the club up to 101.

Vardy has scored five times in his last five appearances for the Foxes after struggling during Claude Puel's spell in charge of the club.

He said: "We had a proper full week of the new manager's training and I think that showed with what we put in against Fulham.

"He wants it at a high-tempo with a quick press, trying to win the ball back as quickly as possible and, if you win it high up, you're going to get lots of chances.

"It has definitely benefited me but we all know there is a lot more hard work to come and that starts when we get back on the training field. We're looking forward to it."

Saturday's victory lifted Leicester up to 10th in the Premier League table and they are available at 4/6 to finish in the top half this season.

They visit Burnley on Saturday and are 15/2 to win 1-0 at Turf Moor. The Clarets, who lost 4-2 at Liverpool on Sunday, are 4/1 to be relegated this term.

Parker focused on performance

Caretaker Fulham manager Scott Parker accepts that every game is a must-win if his side are to even come close to escaping relegation to the Championship.

Parker was pleased with the effort of the Cottagers players last weekend, when they were edged out 2-1 by Chelsea in his first game in charge and he is looking for similar on Saturday when Fulham visit Leicester City.

He told reporters: "When you're in this position every game is must-win. It's a tough game and every game is in this league – we're looking forward to it, but understand the predicament we're in.

"At the moment it's easy to motivate the players. My focus is do your best, give as much as you can every game and I know the football will come from that."

"The boys seem upbeat and the performance at the weekend, we were always going to get it, but we need to build on it.

"Was there a performance on Sunday? Yes, there was something to build on and we need to show that and back it up."

Fulham are a massive ten points adrift of safety with just nine games to play and have lost their last five in a row, while they have so far picked up a mere two points on their travels this season.

They are available at 3/1 to pick up a point at the King Power Stadium, while the hosts are 4/7 to win the game and 15/2 to do so by a 2-0 final scoreline.

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Bamba blow rocks Bluebirds

Cardiff City will be without Sol Bamba for the reminder of their battle to avoid relegation, with the central defender having suffered a serious knee injury.

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international, who been with the Bluebirds for just over two years, had to be stretchered off just after half-time of the 2-0 defeat at Wolves on Saturday afternoon.

City boss Neil Warnock was concerned straight after the game that the injury might be a long-term one and his worst fears have now been realised.

He told the clubs official website: "Unfortunately our biggest fears have been confirmed regarding the injury Sol suffered at Wolves on Saturday.

"Scans have shown that Sol has ruptured his ACL, he will have an operation on Wednesday and therefore miss the rest of the season.

"It is a major blow to the squad, but I know all of our supporters will join me in wishing him the very best during his recovery."

Bamba had only missed one Premier League game so far this season, scoring four goals in 28 appearances.

The Bluebirds are currently inside the bottom three in the top-flight and are two points adrift of safety following three consecutive defeats – to Watford, Everton and Wolves.

Next up for City is a Saturday visit from West Ham, with the meeting of the two sides at the London Stadium earlier this season having finished 3-1 to the hosts.

Cardiff are 11/5 to secure victory on Saturday and are 10/1 to edge a 1-0 win, with the draw available at 12/5.

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Clarets quality surprises Crouch

January recruit Peter Crouch has admitted to being surprised by the quality on offer from in-form Burnley strike duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.

Barnes has scored five times in his last six games, while Wood has four to his name from his last six appearances.

That return has left Crouch having to make do with a back-up role which has seen him make three contributions off the bench for the Clarets.

And the former England man has no complaints, telling the Lancashire Telegraph: "Those two have been really good. They have been first-class since I came in and I have been surprised by just how good they are.

"I've been so impressed with both of them. I really think they're two very good players and I've been very impressed with the amount of goals they've scored, the work that they get through and their hold-up play.

"All I can do is make an impact from the bench. I've done that when I've come on."

The Clarets recently put together an eight-game unbeaten run to ease their Premier League relegation fears, but losses last week to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace have left Burnley just five points clear of the bottom three.

Their next assignment is a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Sunday, with the visitors 13/2 to claim a draw against the title hopefuls.

Meanwhile, Burnley are 1/12 not to be relegated and 8/1 to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Jahanbakhsh challenged to shine

Brighton head coach Chris Hughton hopes to see record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh prove his worth in the closing couple of months of the Premier League season.

The 25-year-old Iran international penned a five-year contract with the Seagulls last summer, having been the leading scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar.

However, he has yet to make a major impact with Albion, having failed to score in 15 appearances in all competitions.

Hughton, though, was enthused by what he saw in the 1-0 weekend win at home to Huddersfield Town.

He told The Argus: "I am hoping we are going to see more. He is a goalscorer and that is why we brought him in.

"Particularly in a 4-3-3, you know you can get goals from your number nine, but we are missing Jose Izquierdo's goals from last year from the left.

"Jurgen (Locadia) is a different player, Anthony (Knockaert) hasn't been a big goalscorer for us, so you like to think that with Alireza in the team we can get more goals.

"He is a player we value and brought here for big money."

Brighton are back in action on Saturday when they head to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace, with both sides having eased their relegation fears with victories last weekend.

Albion can be backed at 5/2 to earn a draw against the Eagles, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 6/1 and a 2-2 result priced at 20/1.

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Chelsea stay on target

Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta says that his side remain on track to achieve their aims at the end of the season.

He was speaking after Chelsea won 2-1 away at strugglers Fulham who were under the caretaker charge of Scott Parker after Claudio Ranieri left the club in the week.

Gonzalo Higuain set the visitors on their way with a good finish from Azpilicueta's cross.

Calum Chambers equalised for the home side but Chelsea soon regained the lead, Jorginho firing home from 20 yards.

Fulham had the ball in the net towards the end but Ryan Sessegnon's effort was ruled out for offside.

It was an encouraging display from Fulham and the Craven Cottage crowd appreciated the home side's play, though they stay deep in relegation trouble 10 points from safety with just nine games remaining.

Chelsea meanwhile are still in the hunt for a top four place in the Premier League and remain in the Europa League.

Maurizio Sarri's side are sixth in the league, two points adrift of Manchester United in fourth but with a game in hand.

They face Dynamo Kiev on Thursday in the Europa League round of 16 first-leg at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are 3/10 to win the tie with Kiev 9/1 and the draw is 17/4.

Chelsea are 7/2 to win the Europa League this season with Arsenal 9/2 and Sevilla 11/2.

Azpilicueta said after the win at Fulham that he was glad of the points after a tough game.

He told Sky Sports: "In the first half we played very well and created a lot of chances to go in more comfortably at half-time.

"We didn't score and we know Fulham are fighting relegation. Every point matters they pushed hard and sometimes you have to dig in.

"We know that we are entering into the last stage of the season where we have to take everything we can. We have a lot of targets to get. Hopefully we can get what we want"

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