Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Premier League news conferences – Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Sheff Utd – BBC

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Premier League news conferences – Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Sheffield United
Build-up to Thursday night's Europa League & Europa Conference League ties
Man City v Chelsea in last four of the Women's League Cup
Man City beat FC Copenhagen 3-1 (6-2 on aggregate) to reach Champions League quarter-finals
Real Madrid also in last eight after 2-1 aggregate win over RB Leipzig
Arsenal into Women's League Cup final with 4-0 defeat of Aston Villa
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Bobbie Jackson and Tasnim Chowdhury
Thanks for joining once again for today.
We've heard from four Premier League managers; Chelsea's Mauricio Pochettino, Arsenal's Mikel Arteta, Everton's Sean Dyche and Sheffield United's Chris Wilder.
That means it's going to be a busy one tomorrow with 16 managers still yet to address the media ahead of this weekend's Premier League action.
There are just a couple of hours to go until the European action gets under way with five British sides in action and you can follow live text coverage here.
Europa League
Conference League

Enjoy tonight's games and, in the meantime, you can find all of today's top football stories here:

Freiburg v West Ham (20:00 GMT)
West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse says he has "thoroughly enjoyed" working under David Moyes and is "ready" to play in the Europa League knockout stages.
The Hammers face German side Freiburg in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, a game that will be the England international's first experience beyond the group stages in European competition.
"It's always a good experience, and as a player you want to play in the best competitions," Ward-Prowse said.
"For me, it's good to get to this stage, but as a club we're aiming higher and hopefully we can keep going on this run.
"That's one of the reasons I joined West Ham – to play in these sorts of games.
"I feel I have good experience, and I'm ready."
Moyes has faced recent criticism from some West Ham fans for his perceived conservative style of football, but Ward-Prowse is backing the man who delivered the club's first trophy in 43 years last season.
"The job he's done has been superb, and while I've been here I've thoroughly enjoyed working under him," he added.
"We have to focus on going back to London Stadium with a good result.
"I've really enjoyed the start of my career at West Ham. I think it helped joining with the momentum of the Europa Conference League win, and it's been an honour so far."
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Sam @ 15:19 – I don’t understand why everyone is saying this. If you’re a great manager, you get to manage the best teams in the world with the best possible financial backing. No one says anything about Real Madrid or other big clubs where money is splashed on great players. If you’re good at your job, you get the best in return!
From Adrian (Not a City fan)
Benfica v Rangers (20:00 GMT)
Philippe Clement admits he faces a selection dilemma away to Benfica in the Europa League with four wingers missing from his Rangers squad.
And the manager fears Ross McCausland could be added to the absentees for Thursday's last-16 first-leg match.
"I have five wingers and maybe five of them will be out – that is a bad situation," Clement said.
"It's a challenge and you need to see if you stick with the same system or play players out of position."
Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers lost at home to Motherwell on Saturday, with Benfica suffering an even worse result as they were thrashed 5-0 away to Porto and relinquished their domestic lead to Sporting Lisbon.
Clement expects "a reaction" from "a really good Benfica team" despite Roger Schmidt's side having also finished a distant third behind Real Sociedad and Inter Milan in their Champions League group before edging out Toulouse in the play-off to reach the last 16.
"We are playing a good team with a lot of quality," the Belgian said. "It's a huge challenge. This is exciting for us.
"We are playing a team with double our budget, but we are really ambitious. We need to over-perform and get a little bit of luck. We have to be very efficient."
Freiburg v West Ham (20:00 GMT)
West Ham manager David Moyes wants his side's recent Premier League revival to act as a catalyst for another deep run in Europe this season.
The Hammers play German side Freiburg in the first leg of a Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.
Back-to-back wins have lifted Moyes' side to seventh in the league, with the Scot targeting a European finish.
"I sense we're getting back to where we should be," said Moyes, who won the Europa Conference League last year.
The Hammers also reached the Europa League semi-finals in the 2021-22 season and Moyes has challenged his side to ensure a fourth successive season in continental competition.
"I want us to have another great run in Europe. I'd also like us to qualify for Europe again in the league," said Moyes, whose side beat Freiburg home and away in the group stage before Christmas.
"We had a period where we weren't so good but we're back on form at the moment and I sense we're getting back to where we should be. Hopefully that continues [against Freiburg].
"I think for West Ham to be a European club is incredible. We've now been on that run for three years and we've played over 30 games in those three years.
"We want to keep it going and build on it."
Ajax v Aston Villa (17:45 GMT)
We asked for your thoughts on Aston Villa's next three games – a Europa Conference League double-header against Ajax, plus a vital Premier League fixture against fifth-placed Tottenham.
Samuel: We've proven we can win big games this year – Manchester City and Arsenal come to mind. We've craved being back in Europe for years so we should relish the opportunity to compete in multiple competitions. If we seriously consider ourselves contenders for the Champions League next year, this is the sort of schedule the players should be learning to embrace.
Alan: I think winning the Conference League and finishing fourth in the Premier League is very tough for Villa, but if anyone can navigate them through it then Unai Emery is the man. Ajax is a really difficult tie but winnable, and Spurs on Sunday is massive for the outcome of the season. A win and we're almost there.
Lewis: It's been an amazing season, but this week could define it. Last time we had a big week, we were knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea and beaten in what was a six-pointer at the time by Manchester United. But if we can end this week having qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League and be eight points clear of Tottenham, we can continue to dream.
Jacob: It certainly won't be easy, but I trust in the players and the manager to beat Ajax over two legs, and I think we will go on and win the competition. The Spurs game will be tough, and I think it will be a draw, which I would be satisfied with given the small gap we already have.
Mike: Feels like this is the defining moment of our season. I reckon a draw against Spurs, and a win and loss in each of the Conference League legs – but us exiting gracefully. The Premier League has to be the priority because the Champions League is better than the Europa League. Ajax is a good test to see how we might do next year but, with all the injuries, will stretch us too much.
Vote for what you think is the most important of the games over the next week here
Benfica v Rangers (20:00 GMT)
Fabio Silva thinks his former club, Benfica, will have "extra motivation" to win on Thursday but hopes to enjoy a "special night" on his Europa League debut for Rangers in their last-16 tie.
The first-leg hosts were hammered 5-0 by Porto on Sunday as they relinquished top spot in the Portuguese league to Lisbon rivals Sporting, who also beat them on domestic cup duty on Thursday.
"It is going to be a difficult game because they need to show a straight reaction to the fans because the last two results were not so good for them," 21-year-old on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Silva said.
"But we are prepared for everything. We know they will feel the pressure, but tomorrow is a different ball game.
"They can be favourites if you compare the budgets. We know that, but we were first in our group in the Europa League."
Silva spent two seasons with Benfica as a youth sandwiched between two spells with hometown club Porto.
"It is always special to come back to my country, of course," he added. "I have played with some players from Benfica in the national team.
"It is nice to see some familiar faces of course, and family and friends, but I am most looking forward to my first Europa League game for Rangers.
"It is special because I played here when I was young. They gave me everything. It was two good years for me."
Sparta Prague v Liverpool (17:45 GMT)
BBC Radio 5 Live
Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman speaks about Liverpool's game against Sparta Prague on BBC Radio 5 Live: "I think he’s [Jurgen Klopp] going to take it really seriously, to be very honest. I don’t necessarily think that it’s the most important trophy of the four that they could possibly win and in particularly he’ll give the upmost respect to the opposition who are at the top of their respective leagues but I think he’ll know that the Manchester City is going to be a more difficult game, a more difficult challenge.
"Sparta Prague away will be hard, of course it is before the Manchester City game but he also knows that he’s got Anfield in five or six days’ time to rectify any mistakes. So he has got two bites at this particular game."
Sparta Prague v Liverpool (17:45 GMT)
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Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister on his relationship with striker Darwin Nunez
Alexis Mac Allister says it is important he has a strong "connection" with forward Darwin Nunez off the pitch because it helps them work together on the pitch.
However, the Argentina midfielder, who assisted Nunez's match-winning goal in the dying seconds of their away game at Nottingham Forest, has downplayed the role he has played in the number nine's development.
"My relationship with Darwin is very good," Mac Allister said. "Since the first time we met, you could see the connection between us off the pitch and then on the pitch we try to be connected.
"When I play as an eight of course that connection has to be important. He is an amazing guy, he is doing very well and works very hard and that's why I am very happy for him."
Nunez has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, one off his combined total of 15 in his debut season for the Reds.
"Sometimes I hear people saying I help him a lot but that's not true," Mac Allister added. "His level is because he trains very well, he works very well and that's why he is scoring goals and that is why he is important for this team."
Liverpool v Man City (Sun, 15:45 GMT)
BBC Sport takes a look back at the stories, stats and goals behind Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp's epic Premier League rivalry.
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Klopp v Guardiola – the stories, stats and goals behind an era-defining rivary
Liverpool v Man City (Sun, 15:45 GMT)
BBC Sounds
Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock speaks about Manchester City facing Liverpool in the Premier League on the Football Daily podcast: "If Liverpool have Mohamed Salah and he’s raring to go, fully fit. If you look at Liverpool as a front line, you have Salah, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz, they will cause Manchester City problems.
"If they’ve got the midfield of Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, they’ll cause City problems in midfield. There’s only three teams in this league potentially, and you might throw Aston Villa into it to a certain degree, can go toe to toe with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool. They’re the teams that can go up against each other and dominate possession against each other because they’re so good.
"The crowd is going to have a huge effect in the game, for Liverpool, they’re going to be right behind the team. That will play a huge part in the game. Liverpool aren’t going to sit back, they’re not going to be a team that thinks we’re not going to go at Manchester City, they’ll go after them."
Listen to the full podcast episode on BBC Sounds
Sparta Prague v Liverpool (17:45 GMT)
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says "it is so good" to have Mohamed Salah back in his squad for tonight's Europa League last-16 first leg at Sparta Prague.
The Egypt forward has struggled in 2024 with injury but is in contention to return in the Czech capital. Former Chelsea forward Pat Nevin told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast how much of a boost that will be for the Reds.
"There are some players that miss a period of time and you think they'll need a little bit of time to get back, but Salah is not one of those players," said Nevin.
"If he is fit then get his legs going a little bit, let him enjoy it and feel good.
"It's not just a lift for Klopp, it's a lift for everybody at the football club because if you're coming into this part of the season, and you've got him after a little rest, then that's not bad is it?"
It has been one injury after another for Liverpool this season, but if there was ever a time to get a key player back, it is now.
With the Carabao Cup secured, Jurgen Klopp's side remain in touching distance of the Premier Legaue title, have booked a place in the FA Cup quarter-final and also restart their Europa League on Thursday against Sparta Prague.
"It's almost been magical what [Klopp's] done," Nevin added. "It's something special because you think there have been too many changes and that too many big players are out but they just keep going.
"There are plenty of teams that have come to Sparta and have come a cropper but he [Klopp] won't feel that way.
"He's managed this sequence of games incredibly well so far."

Ajax v Aston Villa (17:45 GMT)
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery wants to add the Europa Conference League to his collection of European trophies.
The Spaniard has won the Europa League four times with Sevilla and Villarreal and has a chance of adding silverware in Europe's third-tier competition.
Villa must come through a tough last-16 tie against Ajax, with the first leg in Amsterdam tonight.
"I respect each competition a lot in Europe," said Emery, whose Villa side are fourth in the Premier League.
"We are going to face Ajax, and they were playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League five years ago.
"I was in the semi-final with Villarreal in Spain in the Champions League. I played in the Europa League and won. I appreciate European football in every competition and now want to enjoy the Conference League.
"If we are playing here with two teams like Ajax and Aston Villa, it is good for both teams.
"European football always has prestige. This competition started two years ago, Roma and West Ham have won and both are prestigious clubs."
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
Former Brighton striker Glenn Murray has been speaking on a special Albion edition of The Football News Show before the Seagulls' Europa League last-16 tie against Roma.
Murray discusses Brighton's attacking options, with Joao Pedro and Kaoru Mitoma missing because of injury, and how he thinks the Premier League side will approach Thursday's first leg in Italy.
Watch the full programme on BBC iPlayer
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Glenn Murray: Brighton will 'stamp their authority' at Roma rather than play too safe
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I would like to see Pep at a team without the financial backing, and not with some of the world's best players. That would be a way to actually access how good a manager Pep is.
Sam (Ipswich fan)
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
He has been a club shareholder, sponsored the shirts and even petitioned to get Amex Stadium built, but now DJ Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, is living the dream following Brighton during their first season in European competition.
He tells The Football News Show how the club's near-exit from the Football League makes their current success even sweeter; how the lyrics to his song 'Praise You' have a strong Brighton connection and how he hopes the side can put their poor form behind them against Roma in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
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The Football News Show: How Brighton and Fatboy Slim are living the European dream
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
On the latest episode of BBC Radio Sussex's Albion Unlimited podcast, former Seagulls defender and Serie A commentator Adam Virgo previews the Europa League tie against Roma.
Also, Boxpark founder Roger Wade chats about his European experiences and discusses plans for the fanzone at Amex Stadium.
Listen to the full episode on BBC Sounds
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
Their daughters are friends and they have a strong respect for each other so it will be a close affair when Roma head coach Daniele de Rossi and Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto de Zerbi face off for the first time in the Europa League last 16.
Before the first leg, The Football News Show explores the relationship between the two Italian head coaches, and European football writer Nicky Bandini explains how De Rossi has transformed Roma's style since taking over from Jose Mourinho.
Watch The Football News Show on BBC iPlayer
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The mutual respect between Daniele De Rossi and Roberto De Zerbi
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
Roma v Brighton (17:45 GMT)
Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross wants his side to do "something special" in their first European knockout tie.
The Seagulls face Italian giants Roma in their Europa League last-16 first leg at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Thursday (17:45 GMT).
After finishing top of Group B, Brighton now have a chance to create more club history as they aim to reach a first quarter-final.
"We are very excited about tomorrow," said German midfielder Gross.
"We will be humble but will want to do something special."
Italian manager Roberto de Zerbi said he is "proud to be back in my country with my team".
"We will give it a go," he added. "We will be humble. We know what we have done in the last year and a half. This is unprecedented for this club and we are making history."
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