Pep plays down City’s chances

Pep Guardiola has cooled suggestions that Manchester City are the best team in Europe and should win the Champions League this season.

City, who face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, are 7/2 win the Champions League this season and 8/1 to beat Maurizio Sarri's side, who lost at Wolves in midweek, 2-1.

Guardiola's side are unbeaten in their first 15 games of the Premier League campaign and can be backed at 1/5 to win the title for the second season in a row.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said: "Thank-you but we are not the best. To be the best you have to win the titles and we didn't win the titles to be the best team in Europe."

The City boss has also said that he is not thinking about going through the Premier League season unbeaten, adding: "I don't care about that. Believe me, it is the least important thing. There are more important things that we have to think about.

"Just to win the next game and play good – that is our target. It [being unbeaten] is not important." City are 5/1 to remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

City will again be without Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne for Saturday's match.

Gomes’ form pleases Silva

Everton manager Marco Silva is unsure whether he will be able to keep Andre Gomes at Goodison Park.

The 25-year-old is on loan at Everton from Barcelona and has impressed in recent weeks.

Silva has suggested he would be keen to sign Gomes on a permanent basis but is unsure whether Barcelona would agree to such a transfer.

Gomes has featured in seven games since late October, and Silva said: "I think at first, I agree, he is doing very well. But what is most important for me is the team and the squad, I think it is not fair just to talk about Andre.

"If Andre is doing well then he is helping our squad. He is getting better every time. Taking his responsibility in the squad is important for me as well.

"But if he is doing well it is because his team-mates are helping him since the first day.

"He has enjoyed his first two months but let's see what we can do. We are working on that [his future], I don't know if I have an answer in one week or two weeks.

"It is not something that it is in our hands. The best scenario to look at is it is not just in our hands as a club, not just in the hands of Andre, there is a third party as well. Barcelona are included, let's see when we can talk about the situation."

Everton, 9/2 to finish in the top six this season, are 3/4 to beat Watford on Monday.

Hasenhuettl hints at exits

New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has indicated that he will allow several players to leave St Mary's in January.

The former Red Bull Leipzig coach replaced Mark Hughes in the Saints hot-seat earlier this week and watched his new team lose 3-1 against Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday.

Southampton have only won one of their first 15 games of the season and have accrued just nine points. They are 5/2 to be relegated this term and 17/10 to beat Cardiff City on Saturday.

"I think the squad is very big," said the Austrian. "So we have a lot of positions where we have too many players and maybe one or the other is leaving us and we bring something new.

"I have spoken with the chairman about that and they do everything to help my wishes.

"We have a very good youth academy in this club and it is a goal for us to bring them forward again. In the past there were a lot coming … out of the youth academy and that's the goal for the future. We want these guys to perform, to develop."

Southampton's next home game is against Arsenal, 10/11 to finish in the top four this season, on 16th December, and they are also scheduled to play Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and Manchester City before the end of the year.

Mane a doubt for Cherries clash

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Senegal international Sadio Mane could be forced to sit out Liverpool's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Mane missed the 3-1 victory at Burnley because of a foot injury and Klopp has also revealed that Dejan Lovren as well as Joe Gomez will miss the trip to the south coast.

Gomez faces a spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury at Turf Moor while Croatia international Lovren is suffering from concussion.

However, there is some good news for the Reds boss as Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum are available again.

"Sadio is now out [at Melwood] and tries to run [for the] first time," said Klopp. "That doesn't sound like he will be ready for Saturday.

"Gini [Wijnaldum] is nothing – he did his own programme [this week] and is fine. Robbo has played pretty much all of the games this season in a very intense position. That's why we decided to give him eight hours off. That was actually the only reason why he was not in Burnley. He is fine.

"No, Lovren will not be available. He got a knock last week and got a concussion. He is still not able to play."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke will all miss the Bournemouth game which Liverpool are 3/5 to win. Klopp's side are 8/1 to triumph 2-0.

Sarri expected to face issues

Head coach Maurizio Sarri says he is not surprised to see his Chelsea side hit a bump in the road, having only won one of their last four Premier League games.

The Blues were undefeated in the league before being 3-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley two weeks ago, while in midweek they suffered a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Wolves at Molineux.

And things do not get any easier for Sarri's side on Saturday, when they welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge, with the Citizens currently leading the way as they attempt to successfully defend the Premier League title they won in style last season.

"We started the season very well but now we have to face some difficulties," Sarri told reporters. "I think it's normal to have some difficulties with a new way of playing.

"Maybe we were able to win matches with some problems during the early part of the season, but now we have to face difficulties. I was sure sooner or later that we would have to face problems.

"I thought that would happen in the first two months, but we played well and gained points, so I was sure the problems would arise in November or December."

Last season City won both meetings of the two sides by a 1-0 scoreline, with Kevin De Buryne scoring the only goal of the game at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, at the start of the current campaign a Sergio Aguero double gave the men from Manchester a 2-0 victory in the Community Shield.

City are priced at 19/20 to win again at teatime on Saturday, with a 1-1 draw available at 13/2, while Chelsea are 3/1 to inflict a first league defeat of the season on the visitors.

View all Soccer betting

Holding ruled out for the season

Arsenal have confirmed that defender Rob Holding will miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

Holding had to be stretchered from the field nine minutes before half-time at Old Trafford, with subsequent tests showing major damage in the left knee of the 23-year-old former England Under-21 international.

A club statement confirmed: "Further to the injury sustained during the match at Manchester United on Wednesday night, we can confirm that Rob Holding has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.

"Rob will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days and the rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months."

Holding had been a regular starter for Arsenal this season, beginning nine Premier League games, as well as four in the Europa League and one in the EFL Cup.

Meanwhile, Gunners head coach Unai Emery has praised summer signing Lucas Torreira for the way he has adapted to English football following his arrival from Sampdoria.

Emery told reporters: "Lucas Torreira has very big qualities in his physical condition and I want every player to be okay to play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday with a big performance in their physical condition – as well as tactically and also technically.

"With Lucas Torreira I think this quality he has is very high."

Arsenal welcome Huddersfield Town to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, with the hosts having won this fixture 5-0 last season.

The Gunners are 2/7 to take all three points again on Saturday and are 6/1 to claim a 2-0 victory, with leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available at 1/2 to score at any time against the Terriers.

View all Soccer betting

Ranieri content but wants more

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri is satisfied with the way his time in charge of the Cottagers has started, but accepts that there is still plenty of work still to be done.

The former Leicester City and Chelsea manager has overseen a win, a loss and a draw in his first three games at the Cottagers' helm.

And, while he is pleased with what he sees as improvements being made, he accepts that still being bottom of the Premier League table does affect confidence.

The Italian told reporters: "I think if you observe the three matches, we improved a little more, a little more, a little more. I know there is a lot more work to do, but we're in a good way.

"It's not easy because when you stay at the bottom of the table, the confidence is not 100 per cent. I try to give my confidence to my players. Of course, when you have two or three good results, the confidence grows immediately.

"For this reason, we must be satisfied. Three matches, four points – that's good."

Next on the agenda for Ranieri and his players is a Saturday trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United, with the last meeting of the two sides in Manchester have ended in a 2-2 draw in February 2014.

Fulham last won at Old Trafford in October 2003, when Lee Clark, Steed Malbranque and Junichi Inamoto scored in a 3-1 victory.

The Londoners are 19/4 to secure a draw on Saturday, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/1, while Fulham are 10/11 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

View all Soccer betting

Barnes: Safety the main aim

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes accepts that the main target for his side this season simply has to be ensuring that they remain in the Premier League.

The Clarets have won just twice in the league so far this season and have picked up a mere one point from their last seven games, leaving them in the bottom three along with Fulham and Southampton.

And Barnes accepts that they need to do better, with the forward taking heart from what he felt was a decent performance in a 3-1 midweek loss to Liverpool.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: "We've been through a rough time and we need to get back to picking up points. Unfortunately we couldn't do that (against Liverpool) – we need to dust ourselves down and go again.

"It's not going to be easy that's for sure and we’re going to have to work even harder. As long as we do that then I'm sure we can pick up the three points.

"We take a lot from (from Wednesday) because it's Liverpool at the end of the day and they're a quality side.

"We've gone back to our old selves and we had to be ugly. Our main aim this year is to stay in the Premier League."

Burnley welcome Brighton to Turf Moor on Saturday, with the last five meetings between the two sides all having ended in draws.

A draw on Saturday is priced at 11/5, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2, while the hosts are 13/2 to edge a 1-0 victory.

View all Soccer betting

Hughton still aiming to improve

Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Chris Hughton says he has not altered his approach, despite seeing his side win five of their eight Premier League games

The Seagulls defeated Crystal Palace 3-1 on Tuesday evening to move up into the top half of the table, with Albion already 12 points clear of the relegation places and looking well on course to ensure another season in the top-flight.

However, Hughton is aware that things can soon turn around, as he prepares his side for a trip to Burnley, who are one of the sides currently inside the bottom three.

He told his club's official website: "My focus hasn't changed, irrespective of any league position. Once you start changing your focus and thinking you’re better than you are, then there can be a rude awakening around the corner.

"For a side like ourselves who've won some matches on the spin like we have, you can also see it go the other way.

"My focus isn't on our league position. We just want to improve both as a team and a club while gaining as many points as possible."

Brighton are now priced at 5/2 to finish in the top half of the table, while they are 3/10 to have to make do with a place in the bottom half of the standings come the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Hughton is hopeful of having Glenn Murray (shoulder) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) available to feature at Turf Moor, with a final decision to be taken on both players on Friday.

He added of leading scorer Murray: "We'll assess Glenn on Friday morning, today it wasn't as bad as we had originally feared.

"We'll give him every opportunity to be fit, he went over on it quite badly and it forced him off, but it isn't dislocated or anything. It was too sore to continue and it still is at the moment, but we haven't ruled him out."

View all Soccer betting

Hasenhuttl eyes quickfire rise

New Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says his primary target is to try and help move the Saints out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The 51-year-old former Austria international has signed a two-and-half-year deal with the top-flight strugglers, who have won just one of the 15 Premier League games they have played so far this season.

And Hasenhuttl, who made his name with RB Leipzig, is relishing the challenge ahead of both himself and his players.

He told reporters: "The first target is to get out of relegation zone. The near future has to be to move as quickly as we can out of the zone.

"I'm not frightened about it, but the problem is we have a lot of games and my football is all about training sessions, working on habits. If you have the chance to do so it's ok, but if you don't it's not so easy.

"It's a bit back to the roots for me. Last year I had a fantastic Champions League team, we were on a very high technical level.

"The step is not the easiest one, but I never want it easy in my life. I always challenge myself and I'm looking forward, not afraid of anything."

Having taken on a watching brief as Southampton were beaten 3-1 by Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday evening, Hasenhuttl will take charge of his first game on Saturday when the Saints head to South Wales to take on Cardiff City.

The visitors can be backed at 11/5 to secure a draw at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 11/2, while Southampton are 11/8 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

View all Soccer betting