Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Champions League reaction as Barcelona beat PSG, and build-up to Liverpool and West Ham's Europa League games – BBC


Premier League news conferences
Amorim denies Liverpool agreement
Kompany handed touchline ban as O'Neil charged
Build-up to Thursday's Europa League games, including Liverpool v Atalanta and West Ham v Bayer Leverkusen
BBC agrees new Women's Super League deal
Reaction to Wednesday's Champions League action, as youthful Barcelona side comes from behind to beat Paris St-Germain
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Ben Collins & Ffion Wynne
That's us done for today, so thanks for following all of today's news.
We'll be back tomorrow morning with all of the reaction to tonight's Europa League and Conference League fixtures, as well as looking ahead to the weekend's Premier League action.
Join us again tonight for coverage of Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa's matches, where we'll have live text and radio commentary for you to follow.
Bye for now!
Aston Villa v Lille (20:00 BST)
Aston Villa can challenge for Europa Conference League glory and Champions League qualification, says centre-back Pau Torres.
Villa host Lille in their Conference League quarter-final first leg on Thursday as they edge closer to a first major trophy since 1996.
They have not finished higher than fifth in the Premier League since 1997 but sit outside the top four only on goal difference, behind Tottenham.
"Yes, we have a really good squad and a really good team," said former Villarreal defender Torres, who won the Europa League under current Villa boss Unai Emery in 2021.
"With enough players to play 100% in each game, we are working on it. This week is a hard week, a tough week, but we need to keep fighting.
"Now, for me, both competitions are so important. We are working on it. This month and a half is the most important and every player is focused on it."
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Really enjoyed Champions League this week! All still to play for next week! Liverpool and West Ham have tough games in Europa League tonight. Atalanta are no mugs and have very capable manager and will push Liverpool all the way. West Ham are gonna struggle tonight against Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen – they are still unbeaten in all competitions and I can see them reaching the final.
Rob, Sutton
Simon Gleave
Head of sports analysis, Nielsen Gracenote

And with the quarter final first legs starting tonight in the Europa League and Europa Conference League, Liverpool remain strong favourites to win the former – with a 46% chance.
Bundesliga leaders and West Ham's opponents tonight, Bayer Leverkusen are behind them with 21% – with the Hammers only having a 4% chance of winning the title.
In the Conference League, it's more good news for English clubs as Aston Villa are favourites with a 26% chance. But they play Lille tonight – the second-highest ranked team in the competition.
Bayer Leverkusen v West Ham (20:00 BST)
West Ham striker Michail Antonio has issued a rallying cry before Thursday's Europa League quarter final first leg away to Bayer Leverkusen.
Leverkusen are 16 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and will secure the first league title in their history with a win at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday.
"The thing is, everyone thinks we've got this game already. We've got nothing really to lose," Antonio told the Footballer's Football podcast.
"One thing with us is when people expect us to lose, other things happen.
"Two years ago we went to Sevilla away, lost 1-0, came back and everyone thought it was over, they always win the Europa League and stuff like that. What happened? It was us, knocked them out, home game, atmosphere was unbelievable.
"Last year everyone thought Fiorentina had the better team, West Ham is just alright, thinking we've done well just to get to the final. Nope, we're holding the trophy.
"We're gonna take it easy, go there, believe and go out there and do what we can.
"As long as we perform well it doesn't matter if we win or we lose. We just have to go out there and do enough for the fans to be happy."
Listen to the full episode on BBC Sounds.
Bayer Leverkusen v West Ham (20:00 BST)
West Ham have enjoyed a very successful run in Europe over the last couple of years under David Moyes but the manager admits they are facing a "difficult" two legs against Bayer Leverkusen.
Bowen's absence through injury is a big loss to the Hammers, though Moyes also said he was hopeful the team can "rise to the challenge".
"We'll need leadership, composure and tactical understanding in this tie, against a team who are unbeaten in 41, so we need to try and handle that," said Moyes.
He also highlighted the importance of Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus.
"Lucas is hugely important for us. He makes you pull your hair out sometimes, but when he's at his best he's brilliant.
"Kudus is a young boy who's new to the Premier League, but he's done really well. Because of the experience he's had in different countries I think he's had a better coverage than some other players, and that's helped him do so well."
Liverpool v Atalanta (20:00 BST)
Liverpool have been boosted by the return of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and goalkeeper Alisson, who are back in training.
But Klopp did not confirm whether any of the trio were in line to feature in tonight's match.
They have all been out since February.
"That we need them is clear, but we need them in the best possible shape and to give them rhythm," said Klopp.
"It's always a challenge to reintegrate them but they are quality players so they will manage it. We will see over the next days and weeks, but as for tomorrow there's no decision yet."
Having already secured the Carabao Cup, the Reds sit second in the Premier League and cruised into the Europa League last eight.
With plenty of games to be played, Klopp says he needs as many players as possible fit as they are still in the race for three trophies.
Meanwhile, Spain midfielder Stefan Bajcetic is also nearing a return to the field having struggled with a hip injury which has restricted him to playing just 72 minutes this season.
Liverpool v Atalanta (20:00 BST)
Liverpool are strong favourites to win the Europa League but tonight's match against Atalanta will see supporters groups protesting about the club's ticket price rise.
The groups say there will be no flags on the Kop in protest against the club raising the price of season tickets and members' tickets by 2% for next season.
Manager Jurgen Klopp says he hopes "nothing gets between us and the supporters" and "as long as the people are there, it's all good."
He also added that he understood the fans' concerns.
"There's just a worrying direction of travel, not just from Liverpool putting prices up but across the league," Gareth Roberts, who represents The Spirit of Shankly and the Supporters' Board, told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"Liverpool are guaranteed extra income next season anyway without doing this. There's now a bigger Anfield capacity. They'll be playing more Champions League games at home because of the new format.
"There's plenty of income coming into Liverpool without squeezing the people who are hit the hardest. Football is already too expensive, and this is a stand against that."
All kick-off times 20:00 BST
That's all from today's Premier League news conferences.
Now it's time to look ahead to tonight's European games before we sign off. Here's a reminder of what we've got tonight in the quarter-final first legs:
Europa League:
Europa Conference League:
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Nuno is and always will be a legend and a hero at Wolves. No matter what. He helped save our club. I don’t think those outside realise what a state our club was in when Fosun and then Nuno came in.
Nott'm Forest v Wolves (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Nottingham Forest
Forest boss Nuno has also underlined the importance of the club remaining united in the face of the uncertainty at the bottom of the table, with Everton having already been deducted six points for breaching PSRs. The Toffees are two points above Forest in the Premier League and they meet at Goodison Park in 10 days' time.
"That’s a lot of uncertainty, an appeal going on, we’re still waiting," he said. "It’s very important we have the decision sooner. It’s better for us and it is better for the competition so it doesn’t create mess, confusion and uncertainty, because this is what we are experiencing now – so much going on, so much talking, appeal after appeal. We don’t know.
“We wait and see what’s happening. For us, it is vital we focus on our tasks, and the players’ task is to play, to be focused on the game and try to ignore everything else."
Nuno added: "It’s very important we stay this way until the end. There is no moment to think about ourselves individually, it is all about the team and the club. This is how we face the situation.
“We have to stay together. We need everyone in the football club to be involved in this big fight we have."
Nott'm Forest v Wolves (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Nick Mashiter
BBC Sport football news reporter

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo has called their situation "a mess" as the club waits on an appeal date against their points penalty.
Forest were hit with a four-point punishment for breaching profit and sustainability rules last month.
They are out of the Premier League's relegation zone on goal difference ahead of Saturday's visit of Wolves.
"I never experienced this situation, none of us have experienced this before. It’s a mess," said Nuno. “So much is going on, we cannot clearly know what is going to happen. Let’s wait. Me and the players are only focused on our task."
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Independent and I expect unpopular opinion, but the Wolves defender is offside and blocking the view of the keeper when the header is made with no obvious other reason for standing there… why is that not offside? A goalkeeper can stand in a different place when any shot is made – just because they can move doesn't stop it being wrong for an offside player to intentionally block their view. Otherwise I reckon every team should just man mark the goalie for every set piece. Totally fine of course because there are other players in the box and the goalie can move.
Jimmy, London
Nott'm Forest v Wolves (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo on facing his former club Wolves: “They are a very good team, [it’s been a] fantastic job from Gary [O’Neil]. They are a tough opponent but we are ready for the game.
"Every game, especially in the situation we have, we always play for the three points. Sometimes it’s not possible but it is a very important game.
“All the games in the Premier League are so hard, you cannot minimise the difficulty of your opponent. Wolves are a good team but at the City Ground we have been playing well. We will try, it is a vital game for us.”
Brentford v Sheff United (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Sheffield United
Defender Jack Robinson is Sheffield United's main injury concern, with manager Chris Wilder saying he came off late on against Chelsea after rolling his ankle.
"We'll give him every chance to be involved at the weekend," said Wilder.
"It's getting that swelling down and, hopefully, getting him [training] on the grass. It's going to be a late decision but hopefully we'll get him back.
"Everyone knows what we think about him. He's a great character and a warrior so he'll want to play and we want him to play, but we have to make sure we don't risk him for the rest of the season, so we’ll see."
Brentford v Sheff United (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Sheffield United
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder on the points deductions for relegation rivals Everton and Nottingham Forest: "It isn't uncertainty for us, we're focused on our next game. We're not interested in anything else.
"Decisions will be made and what will be, will be."
Brentford v Sheff United (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Sheffield United
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has now spoken to the media and wished golfer Matt Fitzpatrick well for the Masters this weekend. The world number 10 is from Sheffield and, like Wilder, is a Blades fan.
They remain nine points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League table, although they have drawn three of their last four games, drawing 2-2 at home to Chelsea last time out.
"We're on a roll aren't we – unbeaten in one!" Wilder laughed.
"The performances have been good, the attitude's been good, even in defeat at Liverpool, so we want to keep that going."
Nott'm Forest v Wolves (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Nick Mashiter
BBC Sport football news reporter

The visit of Wolves on Saturday will undoubtedly bring good memories for Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo, ahead of facing the press on Thursday.
Nuno spent a successful four years at Molineux – guiding them to promotion, successive seventh-placed Premier League finishes and a Europa League quarter-final.
It is something Forest can only dream of as they battle the drop amid their appeal for breaches of the profit and sustainability rules (PSRs).
No date has been set for the club’s appeal against their four-point punishment but in 10 days Forest visit fellow relegation battlers Everton, who have been docked eight points for PSR breaches this season, so all parties want – and need – clarity.
Burnley v Brighton (Sat, 15:00 BST)
And finally from Vincent Kompany, here's the Burnley boss on Brighton: "They are a unique opposition in the sense that, without necessarily being classed as a 'big six' team, they have managed to establish themselves with all the habits of the top team.
"They force other teams to adapt to them and they have demanded that even from teams above them, and that is exceptional. So it doesn't matter who plays them, you have always got to adapt your game to play against Brighton. It's something pretty special that they have done.
"We were like that in the Championship last year. It took them a while to do that but, within about five or six years, they have demanded that and it's very impressive."
Burnley v Brighton (Sat, 15:00 BST)
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany on frustrating results recently: "It has been the case for a lot of the season really. It has been very fine margins, on many times, and that's been the case for a lot of the other clubs. We are in games, the games are close, but it comes down to one moment.
"At the beginning, and I'm talking early doors, we struggled to adapt quickly, but for a while now we've been in the game.
"At times – and that was my frustration with my over-reaction with the officials – it has been our fault and our mistake, and then sometimes it's not our fault. But that's just the game and that's just unfortunate."
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