Van Dijk calls for Reds focus

Liverpool central defender Virgil van Dijk has urged his team-mates to remain focused on their own jobs and not worry too much about Premier League title rivals Manchester City.

The Reds are currently second in the top-flight standings and are unbeaten in their first 12 league games of the campaign, having dropped just six points to date.

They are two points behind reigning champions City, but Netherlands internationals Van Dijk has warned that taking too much notice of how the Citizens are doing could be counterproductive.

He told reporters after a 2-0 Anfield win over Fulham on Sunday: "That is something we still need to see (if we can catch them). They are the champions and the best team in the league, but we will try everything to be as good as we can.

"We don't have to look at others, we want to look at the games we have and the next challenge we have is Watford away, which is going to be tough.

"For us, the challenge is to win or try to win every game that is ahead of us. We need to look at what we have ahead of us and that is more important than looking at someone else.

"It is the only way forward."

Following the international break the Reds return to action with a trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford on the afternoon of Saturday 24th November.

Last season this fixture ended in a 3-3 draw, with Miguel Britos bundling home a last-minute equaliser for the hosts.

Liverpool can be backed at 4/9 to defeat the Hornets and are 15/2 to secure a 2-0 victory, with a 2-1 final scoreline in favour of the visitors priced at 15/2.

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Glory move to the summit

Perth Glory claimed top spot in the A-League with a 2-0 away win over Adelaide United.

Both the visitors' goals came in the final 17 minutes with Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis the men on target at Coopers Stadium.

The Glory are one of two teams unbeaten after the first four rounds and are two points clear of that side, Sydney FC. They were impressive against the Reds and could have scored twice in the opening 22 minutes.

First Joel Chianese was played in by Keogh but fired against the bar from inside 10 metres. Then Irish striker Keogh missed from close range with a good chance.

Adelaide had two shouts for penalties in the first half with both being denied by the VAR.

Video checked first that Ben Halloran hadn't been fouled in the area in a collision with goalkeeper Liam Reddy and six minutes before the break it was adjudged that a shot striking Perth defender Shane Lowry on his arm had been outside the box.

Having missed out on two possible spot-kicks, the hosts then saw German midfielder Mirko Boland forced off in the second half with a hamstring injury.

It got worse for them on 73 minutes when goalkeeper Paul Izzo made a good save to keep out Alex Grant's header only for the rebound to fall to Keogh who tapped home from close to the goal-line.

Perth made sure of their third win of the campaign in the final minute when Ikonomidis slotted into an unmarked goal after going round Izzo.

The Glory are 5/1 to win the Grand Final and 9/20 to win their next game against Central Coast, who are 11/2 with the draw 7/2.

Guardiola cool after derby win

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola refused to get too carried away after seeing his side defeat Manchester United 3-1 to preserve their Premier League lead.

Having seen Liverpool see off Fulham earlier on in the day, Guardiola was delighted to see his players respond with a deserved derby victory at the Etihad Stadium, but was not reading too much into a single result.

He told reporters: "It is November so we haven't even finished the first round (of games). A lot can happen in football.

"City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal – they have numbers to be champions. We are just two points ahead, it is nothing.

"When you win (the league) with 100 points, people can think we’ll maintain our level. The key is the depth (of the squad). Everybody knows they have to maintain their level if they want to stay in the team.

"The important thing is that we are consistent and that we play well most of the time, but I see a lot of things we can improve."

The Citizens are currently two points clear at the top of the table, with Liverpool their closest challengers, while Chelsea are now four points off the pace after drawing 0-0 at home to Everton on Sunday.

City are currently priced at 1/4 to retain their Premier League crown, with Liverpool available at 4/1 and Chelsea 20/1.

Guardiola's side return to action after the international break with a trip to West Ham on Saturday 24th November, with City having won their last five meetings with the Londoners – scoring 18 goals in the process.

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Mourinho rues defensive errors

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho warned his side that they must cut out the mistakes, having been beaten 3-1 in the derby clash with City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Red Devils were 2-0 down to the Citizens shortly after half-time, before pulling a goal back through an Anthony Martial penalty, before Ilkay Gundogan put the game to bed four minutes from time.

And Mourinho felt that his team had given a decent performance, but had been punished heavily for their defensive mistakes.

He told Sky Sports: "I think it is not a bad performance at all. It was a performance with mistakes and we paid for it – all three goals are our mistakes. Against a team like City, if you make mistakes you will get punished."

Of his side's Premier League hopes for the rest of the season he added: "We are outside the top four, how can we speak about the title?

"Let's fight to close the gap to jump into the top four. If we jump into the top four, then let's see the difference."

United are currently priced at 7/2 to finish in the top four, with Arsenal 6/4 and Tottenham Hotspur 1/2.

Meanwhile, Mourinho also admitted that his plans had been upset by the absence of midfielder Paul Pogba due to a slight knock.

The Portuguese concluded: "It is not for me after defeat to speak about a player who is not here. Of course we missed him, it did affect our plan because Marouane Fellaini had to start.

"He is not in a condition to play 90 minutes. His effort was magnificent, but he is not in a position to play all 90 minutes."

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Dyche lauds Clarets defence

Manager Sean Dyche was pleased to see his Burnley side get back to doing the basics right as they secured a goalless draw at Leicester City.

The Clarets ended a run of five Premier League games without a clean sheet as they defied the Foxes, which was even more creditable given that they were without centre-back James Tarkowski after he underwent surgery on a hernia on Friday.

Dyche told his club's official website: "We had to get something from the game, which we did in the end. They key thing is getting back to basics.

"We spoke to the team this week about getting back to what we're about, working hard, blocking and defending properly as a team and then still having those moments to go and attack.

"It's tough away from home in the Premier League. A point and clean sheet is always welcome.

"It was back to what we want to be about when we have to defend, particularly away from home."

Following the international break, Burnley return to action on Monday 26th November when they play host to a Newcastle United outfit who have won their last two league games.

The Clarets won this fixture 1-0 last season, with Jeff Hendrick the matchwinner with the only goal of the game 14 minutes from time at Turf Moor.

Burnley can be backed at 7/4 to defeat the Magpies, with a 1-0 home win priced at 7/1 and a 1-1 draw available at 11/2.

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Spurs wait on Trippier injury

Tottenham Hotspur are waiting to find out the seriousness of the groin injury sustained by defender Kieran Trippier during the 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

The 28-year-old England wing-back had to be replaced after 24 minutes of the Saturday teatime clash at Selhurst Park, which was eventually decided by a Juan Foyth header midway through the second half.

Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino said after a hard-fought victory: "I hope that it's not a big issue. We don't know.

"The medical staff is going to assess and the medical staff with England will assess as well. It was his groin."

Meanwhile, Pochettino praised the spirit shown by his side against the Eagles, adding on BT Sport: "It was a very competitive game. It was an even game and it was tough.

"I'm so pleased because the team fought well under difficult circumstances and got the three points. That is football, it's always about suffering.

"I’m pleased with the performance of the whole team. That is the way to be, fighting with the hope that we're fighting for big things at the end of the season. The character and the personality of the team is fantastic."

Following the international break, Tottenham are back in action on Saturday 24th November, when they play host to Chelsea.

Last season this fixture ended in a 2-1 win for the Blues, with Marcos Alonso scoring both goals for the victors.

This time around a 2-1 win for Chelsea is priced at 10/1, with a 1-1 draw available at 6/1 and a 1-0 victory for the hosts 10/1.

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Matchwinner Rondon impresses Rafa

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez was full of praise for Salomon Rondon after the loan striker scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Venezuela international Rondon netted his first Premier League goals since joining the Magpies from West Brom, helping the hosts make in back-to-back wins in the top-flight.

And Benitez was delighted with the performance put on by Rondon, who the Spaniard believes is still some way short of full fitness.

He told Sky Sports: "We know he has to improve his match fitness, but he was doing really well, working hard and trying to fight with the defenders and give some time to the rest of the players coming to support him.

"That was pretty good. He showed what he can do and has given us something different.

"I was happy with Joselu, Ayoze Perez and Yoshinori Muto, but he's a different kind of striker. It's always good that kind of competition for us."

Next up for the Magpies in a trip to fellow strugglers Burnley on Monday 26th November, with the Clarets without a win in their last five league games.

Last season this fixture ended in a 1-0 win for the home side, with Jeff Hendrick scoring the only goal of the game 16 minutes from time at Turf Moor.

Newcastle can be backed at 11/5 to claim a draw against Burnley, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2, while a goalless draw is a 13/2 shot.

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Isco given time by Solari

Real Madrid interim head coach Santiago Solari has vowed not to try and ask too much of playmaker Isco following his return to action following appendix surgery.

The 26-year-old Spain international was sidelined for around a month after falling ill and Solari has been cautious in his usage of the midfielder since then, with Isco left out of the Real starting line-up for their last three games.

And, ahead of a La Liga clash with Celta Vigo on Sunday, Solari is content to remain conservative in his approach to selection.

He told reporters: "We know Isco's quality and how special he is. He is training to get back to peak fitness.

"He had a delicate operation and it's not easy to come out of that, but he is training with the group.

"All of us who have been footballers know that you have to keep training to get back to your best."

Since stepping into the breach at the Bernabeu, Solari has led his team to three wins in all competitions, scoring 11 goals and conceding none in the process.

Ahead of their Sunday trip to the Balaidos to take on Celta, Real lie down in seventh place in the Spanish top-flight, having already lost four times in the league this season.

Los Merengues are 7/1 to win La Liga this season, while they are 10/1 to claim a four successive triumph in the Champions League.

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Sancho talks up Dortmund potential

Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho believes his team are capable of winning major honours this season, both at home and in Europe.

Sancho was speaking after helping Die Schwarzgelben twice come from behind to secure a 3-2 home win over Bayern Munich and move four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

Dortmund have also started strongly in the Champions League and Sancho is clearly excited about what could lie ahead in the next few months.

He told the official Bundesliga website: "This result came from everyone working hard together. If we keep on doing this throughout the season, we could win big things.

"Obviously we'll celebrate, but then we'll forget about the game and think about the next one. We just have to keep working hard and focus on the next game.

"If we keep on doing this we've got a good chance of winning the league or, who knows, the Champions League. You never know."

England international Sancho has scored five goals in 17 appearances for Dortmund this season, while loan striker Paco Alcacer was the matchwinner against Bayern on Saturday.

The Spain international striker has netted nine goals in just eight appearances since his arrival from Barcelona, with his return of eight Bundesliga goals coming from a mere two starts and a further four appearances as a substitute.

Dortmund are now 10/11 to win the Bundesliga title this season, with Bayern available at 10/11 and RB Leipzig 100/1.

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Warnock senses improvement

Neil Warnock says his Cardiff City side are getting better every game after they recorded their second win of the season in the Premier League.

The Bluebirds came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1, the away side taking the lead but hit by a red card for Dale Stephens in the first half.

Brighton took an early lead, Lewis Dunk putting the visitors ahead, heading home from a Solly March free-kick.

The home side were level just before the half hour, Kadeem Harris producing a good run and the ball fell to Callum Paterson who scored from close range.

Brighton's task was made more difficult after a contentious red card on 34 minutes, Stephens sent off after a challenge on Greg Cunningham.

Warnock's side increased the pressure in their efforts to make the extra man pay but they had to wait until the final minute of normal time to grab the winner, Sol Bamba hitting the post and then Paterson the crossbar before Bamba reacted quickest to force the ball home.

It was Neil Warnock's 100th game in charge of the Bluebirds and, after seeing his side escape the bottom three with the victory, he said the team are improving all the time.

He said: "You have to work so hard for wins like this. We've come on that quickly over last 18 months, but we are getting better every game. It was a blow to go down to that goal, Sol goes to sleep and it's fitting he got the winner.

"We are everybody's favourites to go down, and we need three or four players In January, but we have come along way in 18 months. You can't say no to coming in Premier League and we are going to enjoy it."

The result takes Cardiff onto eight points and they need other results on Saturday to go their way if they are to be out of the bottom three during the international break.

Cardiff are next in action in two weeks when they travel to Everton. They are 13/2 for the win with Marco Silva's side 4/11 and the draw 4/1.

Cardiff are 20/1 to win the game 1-0.

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