Pep expects United reaction

Pep Guardiola says he expects an inspired performance from Manchester United in Wednesday's derby at Old Trafford.

The Manchester City boss takes his troops across town to face their bitter rivals and knows a win will go a long way to sealing the Premier League title.

City currently sit second in the table, two points behind Liverpool, albeit with this game in hand.

Guardiola's side have won their last 10 in the Premier League and take on a team who lost 4-0 at Everton on Sunday, a result that marked their sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions.

After a couple of days of deliberation, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will now be looking at ways in which his side can bounce back and beating City to boost their hopes of a top four finish would help win the Red Devils' faithful back round.

United have not won a home derby in the league since 2015 and having recorded 2-1 victories in each of the last two seasons at Old Trafford, Guardiola seems to have found a formula.

However, the Spaniard is taking nothing for granted, insisting that the Red Devils have more than enough to rediscover their form.

Guardiola said: "I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure.

"They are bright. Football players try to do their best and tomorrow is going to happen. We prepare for their strong points and weak points."

City are 4/9 to win at Old Trafford, with the draw 4/1 and the Red Devils 13/2.

The Citizens can be backed at 7/4 to finish first in the Premier League title race.

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Solskjaer talks up United DNA

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims that many of his current squad have the club "DNA" despite suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Everton at the weekend.

United put in a lacklustre performance at Goodison Park on Sunday, with Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott bagging in the goals for the Toffees.

The Red Devils have come in for some hefty criticism since the defeat on Merseyside, with questions being raised on how many of the current squad will be working under Solskjaer next season.

United's manager has come out an defended a number of his players and feel they are more than up to the standard to play for the Premier League giants.

"You learn about players. Now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes," said Solskjaer on Tuesday.

"You can see the Man Utd DNA in many of these players. We have to get players in and some players will have to go out."

"I am confident in my team and myself," he added. "I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came."

United are next in action on Wednesday night when they welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are 13/2 to win, 4/1 to draw and 4/9 to lose to the Citizens.

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Poch eager for Lloris return

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he is hopeful to have keeper Hugo Lloris back ahead of Tuesday night's Premier League clash with Brighton.

Spurs will be looking to bounce back after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend, with the north Londoners still battling it out for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

France international Lloris missed the encounter against Pep Gaurdiola's side due to a slight muscle injury and faces a race against time to be ready for Tuesday's battle with Brighton.

Pochettino is hopeful, but the Argentine tactician won't risk pushing Lloris' return too soon, especially with two Champions League semi-final legs with Ajax to come.

"Lloris I hope yes, we are going to assess, we have a training session and we hope it is not a big issue, we hope he is going to be available," Pochettino said.

Midfield paring of Erik Lamela and Harry Winks will also be assessed ahead of the encounter with Brighton as they struggle with hamstring and groin problems respectively.

"Harry Winks we don't know because it is a problem that is one day very good, next day not very good, it is about assessing each day," Pochettino added.

Spurs are 2/7 to win, 5/1 to draw and 12/1 to lose against the Seagulls at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Milner targets perfect finish

James Milner claims Liverpool must win all their remaining games and if it's not good enough then Manchester City will deserve to claim the Premier League title.

Following Sunday's victory over Cardiff City, the Merseyside outfit now have 88 points, two more than Rafael Benitez's squad secured 10 years ago in finishing runners-up to arch rivals Manchester United.

Even if they win their remaining three games and make 97, that might not be enough as Pep Guardiola's City have a game in hand.

"We just need to win the rest of our games," Milner said. "If we do that and it's not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say 'well done City'.

"They are a top team, they have done it before and are grinding it out. It's frustrating to think we've had one defeat all year and it might not be enough. But all we can do is win the rest of our games and put them under pressure."

Liverpool are next in action on Friday night when they welcome Huddersfield Town to Anfield.

The Reds are 13/10 to win the Premier League, while Man City are 4/7 to claim the title.

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Emery sticking to his guns

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is adamant he will continue to rotate his side to protect the players as they chase a top-four finish and Europa League success.

The comments come on the back of the Gunners' 3-2 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace on Sunday, after Arsenal had made seven changes from the side that secured a Europa League success in Napoli on Thursday.

Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka should recover from a hip complaint in time for Wednesday's league trip to take on Wolves, as Emery looks set to mix up his player rotation once again.

"We have had some injuries, like with Aaron Ramsey, and we need to protect the players," said Emery. "For example, Xhaka asked to change in the second half against Napoli and could have played (against Palace), but with some risk.

"We need to protect our players and to use other players. We are playing with a lot of players and they give us the performance; we lost but we could also have lost with other players on the pitch."

Arsenal are 4/7 to finish in the Premier League's top four this season, while the north London outfit are 5/2 to win the Europa League this term.

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Hasenhuttl demands perfection

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has called for a more aggressive attitude from his players when they take on Watford on Tuesday.

Saints are still not safe from relegation after losing 3-1 at Newcastle United on Saturday although they are five points clear of the bottom three before the trip to Vicarage Road.

Hasenhuttl knows it will not be easy to beat a Hornets side that have an FA Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to next month.

"The message must be that a little bit of playing football is not enough for us, so we have to be aggressive again," said the Austrian.

"We have to work harder than we did on Saturday in the first half because otherwise against Watford, a very strong team, it is again a big problem to take something. I think we have the quality to win there or to take a point, but we need a really, really clinical and perfect performance.

"As always, we know that we are flexible and can change the shape sometimes. We showed that again, that we can immediately change the shape and get more comfortable. But preparing for this game, we will have a look at what this opponent demands from us, and then we will decide."

Southampton are 12/5 to win Tuesday's match and 12/1 to beat the Hornets 2-1.

Hughton: We’ve not downed tools

Chris Hughton accepts that his Brighton team have endured their worst spell of the campaign at exactly the wrong time.

The Seagulls have failed to score in their last five Premier League matches although Saturday's goalless draw against Wolves at Molineux did at least bring their four-match losing run in the top-flight to an end.

Brighton, who are currently available at 6/1 to be relegated this season, visit Tottenham on Tuesday and are 9/1 to beat Mauricio Pochettino's team.

Hughton said: "I don't think anybody could accuse a group of players at Wolves on Saturday of it not meaning enough or downing tools. Absolutely that's not the case.

"We are a team of our level playing in the Premier League and up until probably the last month or so we've been in a decent enough position in the league.

"Probably our poorest period came at the worst time. But that happens when you're playing in a division as difficult as this and when you are the level of club that we are. We have to find formulas and pull out results to get the points that we need."

Albion have taken nine points from a possible 42 in 2019 but Hughton is refusing to accepting that defeat at Spurs is inevitable.

The 60-year-old, who won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup during his playing days with Spurs, added: "I was there all in all for 27 years and I have lots of memories as a player and as a coach.

"I'm looking forward to going to the new stadium. How much I'll enjoy it will be down to the performance the team put in but I'm hoping I can enjoy it."

Anthony Knockaert is suspended for the game and Davy Propper injured.

Hodgson hopes Zaha will stay

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is confident that Wilfried Zaha will remain at Selhurst Park for several more years.

The Ivory Coast international was quoted at the weekend as saying that he was keen to play in the Champions League before going on to star in the Eagles' impressive 3-2 victory at Arsenal on Sunday.

Zaha signed a new contract eight months ago that does not expire until 2023 and Hodgson hopes the 26-year-old will remain at Selhurst Park for many years to come.

The former England and Liverpool boss said: "He's on a four-year contract, he's one of our highest-paid players and he's absolutely adored by the fans and everyone in south-east London.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm looking forward to working with him, not only in the near future, but to seeing him in the Palace shirt for many years to come.

"The question is how many players… would say: 'I don't want to play Champions League football'… he's our player and he's certainly happy. That wasn't the performance of a guy looking to get away from his club."

Meanwhile, Zaha has distanced himself from the comments, insisting: "To be honest the only thing I'm thinking about is Palace. I'm a Palace player right now and I don't know what the future holds for me."

Palace, who confirmed their top-flight status for another season by beating the Gunners, are 8/5 to win their next match against Everton on Saturday and 3/1 to emerge victorious by a one-goal margin.

Sarri keen to take advantage

Maurizio Sarri remains confident that his Chelsea side can take advantages of their rivals' slip-ups and confirm their place in the top four of the Premier League.

The Blues reached the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday by defeating Slavia Prague and can move up to third in the Premier League if they beat Burnley on Monday.

Chelsea are 1/4 to triumph against the Clarets at Stamford Bridge and 10/11 to finish in the top four.

Sarri's side were handed a boost in their bid for a top-four place at the weekend as Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all lost.

The former Napoli coach is keen to take the initiative, saying: "At the moment we cannot choose. We have to try in the Premier League, we have to try in the Europa League, but we want to win the Europa League because it's a very important competition, not for going in the Champions League.

"So we have to try in the Premier League to get in the top four. I think we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season, we have only to fight and see at the end. It's really very difficult to get in the top four in the Premier League.

"For the physical characteristics, the Slavia Prague match was really very expensive for us. Burnley are a physical team with physical impact, but the characteristics are different I think."

Emery stands up for Mustafi

Arsenal manager Unai Emery refused to criticise Shkodran Mustafi even after the German produced an error-strewn performance against Crystal Palace.

The 27-year-old former Valencia and Sampdoria player was at fault for two of the Eagles' goals as Arsenal's top-four hopes were dealt a major blow as they lost 3-2 at home to Roy Hodgson's team.

It was the Gunners' first home loss since the opening weekend defeat to Manchester City and they are 10/11 to finish in the top four and 6/4 to beat Leicester City in their next match on 29th April.

Mustafi lost Christian Benteke at a set-piece as the Belgian striker headed in Luka Milivojevic's free-kick to hand the visitors the lead before allowing Wilfried Zaha to run free into the area and make it 2-1 to Palace.

When asked about Mustafi's performance, Emery said: "They [Crystal Palace] have very good players. Secondly at set-pieces we didn't work and be strong like we are doing all season.

"We can speak to players usually and they can play very well, sometimes not play with due diligence, but I prefer to speak about consistency throughout the season.

"Every player is helping and playing with big performances but defending against Benteke and Zaha you can suffer more. Mustafi has been consistent [this season]."