Dele Alli rescued a point for Tottenham with a late goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by rock-bottom Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a crisp finish that looked to have given the Hornets the points.

But Spurs midfielder Alli, on his first league start of the season, capitalised on Ben Foster's failure to punch the ball away four minutes from full-time and squeezed home from a tight angle.

The goal was checked by VAR and despite the confusion of a 'no goal' message appearing on the big screen it was deemed a legitimate strike.

The result will do little to ease the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, however.

Manchester United players are as upset with recent results as supporters and will do everything possible to make amends against Liverpool, according to Andreas Pereira.

United head into Sunday's Premier League match still reeling from the 1-0 loss to Newcastle United that left them languishing in mid-table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have taken six points from a possible 21 since beating Chelsea on the opening weekend and, with David de Gea likely to join Paul Pogba on the sidelines, are expected to encounter more misery at Old Trafford.

But a battling win over Jurgen Klopp's high-flying European champions could get United's season back on course and buy manager Solskjaer more support from the terraces.

"We know the fans are hurting," Pereira told United's official matchday programme.

"The players and everyone at the club, here at the training ground, hurts. Me even more, because I'm a Manchester United fan and a player and I am here [training] every day. It hurts not getting the results.

"Everybody is doing their best to get it turned around and I am sure it will happen. Everyone is working hard, even harder, and sooner or later, when everyone is working hard, things get back to good ways.

"It's a perfect game against Liverpool, a perfect derby, and we have to build up for it."

Reds defender Virgil van Dijk described the Old Trafford clash as no more important to Liverpool than big Champions League games but midfielder Pereira had no interest in underselling the size of the occasion.

"I think it means a lot to us," he said. "It's one of the most important games of the year. It's the derby and we absolutely want to win this game.

"We will do absolutely everything to win it.

"I know we're not living the best moment right now and we're not getting results but I think it's a derby and it is always a different game.

He added: "We all want to do everything to win the game and it can be a nice bounce back and provide a nice lift for us to start getting results."

Gabriel Jesus has insisted injuries are more to blame for Manchester City's suspect Premier League form than any loss of intensity.

City slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to Wolves before the international break that highlighted their defensive frailties.

The champions shipped three in a shock loss at Norwich City less than a month earlier and now find themselves eight points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte are to remain on the sidelines for Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace and striker Jesus views those absences, along with John Stones' limited availability, as being of greater concern than the team's attitude.

"I don't think it's a matter of the team relaxing," Jesus said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"We have a few players injured, very important players for us. Obviously their absence is going to take its toll on the team.

"It happened - we lost two games.

"We are aware that it's part of football and defeats are going to happen. But we must pick ourselves up and carry on working."

That begins on the road to sixth-placed Palace, who beat City at the Etihad Stadium last season.

Pep Guardiola's men did make amends in the reverse fixture in April but the Eagles will be full of confidence following impressive wins over Norwich and West Ham.

"Playing against Crystal Palace is always difficult, no matter if we won in our last game there at Selhurst Park or not," Jesus said.

"It was a very difficult game, as usual.

“Last season, we lost our game against them at home and we won away. You can see how curious football is."

Georginio Wijnaldum believes it is possible for Liverpool to emulate the Invincibles of Arsenal by going unbeaten for an entire Premier League season.

Arsene Wenger's feted team of 2003-04 remains the only side to have not suffered a single loss through all 38 matches of English football's modern top-flight competition.

Liverpool lost once last term but finished second behind Manchester City, whose manager, Pep Guardiola, described an undefeated campaign as a "ridiculous" notion given the demands on clubs competing on multiple fronts.

But with the Reds victorious in each of their eight league games this season, midfielder Wijnaldum thinks a slice of history is there to be earned.

"It is possible," Wijnaldum said, in quotes reported by The Mirror.

"Nobody knows how it's going to be. We have had some luck up to now, but we have also put a lot of hard work in.

"We don't think about the fact that Arsenal did not lose in that season. We just try to give everything in every game."

European champions Liverpool are widely expected to continue their perfect start in Sunday's much-anticipated match against Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are in a wretched run of form and will be without injured stars David de Gea and Paul Pogba for the Old Trafford encounter.

But the leaders will not be taking any chances when it comes to defending their eight-point advantage at the top, according to Wijnaldum.

"The way we handle every match is to respect the opponent and give 100 per cent," the Netherlands international said.

"We try to do everything as good as possible, to work as hard as possible.

"Every game in the Premier League is tough. Look at the results we have had. I can't remember a game where it was easy.

"We have won them all so far because we give everything and were totally concentrated. Also, we have had a little bit of luck."

The future of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still up in the air amid speculation of a mid-season managerial change at Old Trafford.

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has been previously linked with the Red Devils' job and reports suggest that he could bring two familiar faces with him in Emre Can and Mario Mandzukic if appointed.

A switch to the red side of Manchester could be on the cards for both players, having fallen out of favour at the Serie A champions this season under Maurizio Sarri.

 

TOP STORY – ALLEGRI TO SWOOP FOR JUVENTUS PAIR IF APPOINTED AT MANCHESTER UNITED

Allegri has been linked with a double raid on former club Juventus should he succeed Solskjaer at Manchester United, according to Tuttosport.

Can and Mandzukic have been on the fringe of the Serie A club's squad this season and would be trusted to make an impact in Manchester, given their lack of depth in midfield and up front.

Juventus could collect up to 60 million euros if their former boss is thrust into the hot seat at Old Trafford, and they dispose of the pair in January.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are also interested in Leicester's James Maddison and Lyon's Moussa Dembele, according to ESPN.

- According to Il Giornale, Inter are looking at Zenit St Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba as they aim to reinforce their front line, following a serious injury to Alexis Sanchez.

- CalcioMercato are reporting AC Milan are considering a move for Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa in January.

- The Daily Mail say Liverpool and Chelsea are monitoring Bournemouth and England midfielder Lewis Cook.

- Bayern Munich have no intention of selling Javi Martinez in the upcoming transfer window, according to TZ, despite previous links with former club Athletic Bilbao. 

- Turkish news outlet Star claim Fenerbahce and Turkey midfield Ozan Tufan is a January target for Crystal Palace.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is backing Harry Kane to step in as a 'natural leader' at the North London club in the absence of captain Huge Lloris.

Lloris, who also leads the France national team, suffered an arm injury a fortnight ago against Brighton and is expected to be sidelined until the new year.

Spurs have had a difficult month, having been eliminated by Colchester United in the League Cup, before heavy defeats to Bayern Munich in Europe and the Seagulls before the international break.

But Pochettino is backing Kane, who has captained England for the past two years, to step in and fill the void left by Lloris seamlessly.

"He does not need to feel too much pressure. The most important thing is to not show too much responsibility on your shoulders and to act natural," he said.

"The problem is if you need to act. If you are not a real leader and you need to act, you spend energy thinking 'how do I need to face this problem?'

"But if you trust in yourself and you are a natural leader, then I promise you don't feel the responsibility."

Spurs host Watford on Saturday afternoon as they look to improve a recent run of just one win in six games in all competitions.

Frank Lampard says he is looking at the bigger picture with Christian Pulisic, amid speculation surrounding a loan move in January for the United States international.

The 21-year-old completed a £58 million move from Borussia Dortmund in January, but stayed on loan with the German club before joining the Blues this summer.

Pulisic was a regular in the team back in August but the return to fitness of Willian and Pedro in recent weeks has limited his game time.

Chelsea have won their last four games in all competitions with a settled starting lineup, but Lampard is taking a long-term view with much of the season still to pan out.

"Christian (Pulisic) has come to us in a big move, let's make no mistake about it. He's just turned 21 and we've got a competitive squad here," Lampard told reporters.

"I said it before the last game, I always have a problem who to pick and people make my decisions in training or how they’re playing, and at the minute with winning four on the bounce I need the edge of staying in the team.

"Christian, as with every player in the squad, needs to work hard in training, keep improving, see the direction we're going and be a part of it. All the players are the same there.

"Huge credit to him for coming through at Dortmund at such a young age, but then it brings other difficulties when sometimes you're out of the team.

"You come to Chelsea and it’s a similar situation. The demands are huge. The interest from outside is huge and he’s a young boy. I see the big picture with Christian and I see it with all the young players."

Chelsea will look to continue their fine recent form as they host Newcastle United on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been included in FIFA 20's first Ultimate Scream pack ahead of Halloween.

EA Sports announced the release of the FIFA Ultimate Team cards on Friday, with Manchester City striker Aguero and LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic among the standout names.

Top-rated Aguero is joined in the first batch by fellow Premier League players Dele Alli, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernard, with a second group of players to be released next Friday.

Below, we have the list of FUT cards that are up for grabs.

FUT Ultimate Scream pack

LM: Bernard (Everton) - 84

CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) - 85

LM: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) - 85

CAM: Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig) - 85

CB: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) - 86

CDM: William Carvalho (Real Betis) - 86

CAM: Dele Alli (Tottenham) - 87

CAM: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - 88

CAM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 88

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) - 88

ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - 91

Pep Guardiola has a plan to make sure his Manchester City players cope with playing twice in less than 48 hours in December: "Go home, open the fridge and get inside."

The reigning champions have been dealt a tricky hand over the festive period following fixture changes for live television coverage, with their trip to Wolves now starting at 19:45 local time on December 27.

They then welcome Sheffield United to the Etihad Stadium on December 29, that game kicking off at 18:00, before a home match against Everton on January 1, 2020.

Asked what he can do to combat such a quick turnaround between travelling to Molineux and hosting the Blades before the turn of the year, Guardiola replied: "Players to the fridge. I'm not joking.

"Go home, open the fridge and get inside for 48 hours. See you at the Etihad Stadium [on December 29].

"When I open the fridge to make an omelette, maybe I can talk with my players. But apart from that, no way.

"It happened in my first season here. I think we played on December 31 at Anfield and then at home against Burnley [on January 2]."

Before needing to be concerned about Christmas plans, however, Guardiola and his squad must focus on closing the gap to a red-hot Liverpool side in the coming weeks.

After missing out by a solitary point in a thrilling title race in 2018-19, Jurgen Klopp's Reds have started the new Premier League season with eight successive wins.

City, in contrast, have suffered defeats to Norwich City and Wolves to sit eight points off the pace in second. However, Guardiola understands there is still a long way to go, particularly with Aymeric Laporte set to bolster the squad with a return from a knee injury early in 2020.

"For 11 years, no team in England has won back-to-back [titles]. It is difficult, of course it is," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told the media ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"But you have a rival that is unstoppable right now. Eight games, eight wins. We lost games, but in Spain the big clubs lost games, in Italy the big clubs lost games, here we are facing one team who are champions of Europe and didn't lose one game.

"It's difficult. In some games we could win but we didn't win. Our mistakes punished us a lot. During the season there are ups and downs. We try to get better and improve.

"From tomorrow [Saturday] and in the Champions League, we try to make an incredible step forward, to win the game against Atalanta [on Tuesday], then in February Laporte will be back, most of the players will be back.

"We will see what happens in the later stages. Normally, when you win what we have won the last two seasons and you arrive in March and April being there, after that it's more difficult to drop points. But, in the earliest stages of the season, sometimes it's normal."

Mason Greenwood has signed a new long-term Manchester United contract, the club have confirmed.

The 18-year-old forward has committed to a four-year contract, with the option to extend by a further year.

"Having grown up as a Manchester United fan, playing for the first team is a real dream come true," Greenwood told the club's website.

"I know that, when I play for this club, I represent the whole academy and I want to repay the faith that my coaches have shown in me with my performances on the pitch.

"I am learning all the time from the manager and his coaching staff and I know that this is the perfect club to help me reach my potential."

Greenwood made his Premier League debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 2-0 away defeat to Arsenal in March, with his first top-flight start coming two months later.

He has become a regular in the first-team squad in 2019-20, making six substitute appearances in the league and starting three times in cup competitions.

Greenwood scored his first goal for United to seal a 1-0 Europa League win over Astana at Old Trafford on September 19 and struck again in the EFL Cup draw with Rochdale, with the Red Devils ultimately progressing to the next round on penalties.

"Mason has progressed through our outstanding academy and we are delighted with the progress he has made. At such a young age, he already has great pace and intelligence and he is such a natural finisher," Solskjaer said.

"Since he came into the first team, he has really impressed everyone with his drive and attitude. He has all the attributes to become a top player. Mason is learning every day in training and, with his work ethic, there is no doubt that he has an excellent future ahead of him."

Greenwood is the second United academy graduate to sign a new contract with the club this week.

Full-back Brandon Williams, who made his debut in the Rochdale clash and started the Europa League draw with AZ, signed a three-year deal with the option of a fourth on Thursday.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has signed a new long-term contract, the club have confirmed.

Centre-back Matip – whose previous contract was set to expire at the end of the season – finalised terms at the Reds' Melwood training base on Friday.

The 28-year-old's new deal will reportedly keep him at Anfield until 2024.

"It's a great feeling to be a longer part of the club. It's really just a great feeling," Matip told Liverpool's website.

"From outside, you know Liverpool is such a big club – but when you are inside, then you really get a feeling for how big the club is. In all the countries, the supporters are everywhere. It's a massive and big club that I think every player would want to play for.

"We have a young and talented team and I think every one of us is hungry. Now we've seen how it is to win something and we want to have that feeling again.

"There are a lot of things still to achieve. You never know how it will end, you just have to work hard and do the best you can do. Then we will see.

"It is an honour to be a part of the club. It makes me happy that people think I've done a good job and they want to keep me."

Matip signed from Schalke in 2016 and has gone on to make 107 appearances for Liverpool, scoring five goals.

The Cameroon international established himself as a key part of the defence under Jurgen Klopp in the latter part of last season and assisted Divock Origi's goal to seal a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final in June.

Matip started six of Liverpool's opening eight Premier League games this term and is expected to start in Sunday's clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford, despite having only recently recovered from a knock.

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are at the centre of a circus surrounding this weekend's blockbuster clash with Manchester United and has told his players to ignore the hype.

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on the back of a 17-game winning run in the Premier League, including eight in a row at the start of the campaign to sit top.

United are 15 points worse off than their bitter rivals in 12th, their poor form seeing the pressure build on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his first full season in charge.

Given the sides' contrasting fortunes in recent times, certain pundits have claimed this week that no United player would make it into Liverpool's starting line-up, but Klopp has accused the media of setting up his side up to fail.

Asked how he copes with the talk that comes with such a high-profile fixture, Klopp said: "Ignore it! This game is so easy, the game everyone around it plays.

"Sky made a combined line-up and had 11 Liverpool players. That's like a joke, like building a banana skin. The world in the moment is a circus, and we are at the centre - a couple of people want us to win, a couple want us to lose."

He added: "I love [the occasion], but the talk is so loud. It's exciting for the media. All the stats, the things around it ... in the end we have to play football. That's all I am concerned about, this mix between outstanding attitude and really brave football. That's what we have to try.

"But all the things you wrote or said in the last few weeks, they don't have any influence on the game. It just makes them more desperate to change the situation. They will try that, 100 per cent, but we will try to improve our situation. We will see who wants it more."

Sunday's match will be the first time Liverpool have faced United in a Premier League contest while being top of the table since October 1996.

The hosts will be without key man Paul Pogba, while David de Gea and Anthony Martial are doubtful, but Klopp suggested Solskjaer may be playing mind games with his mixed messages over the fitness of the trio.

"Four days ago, I think Ole said 'no chance' for De Gea and Pogba. Today it's a 'maybe', tomorrow it's a '100 per cent', Martial will back, all that stuff," he said at his pre-match news conference.

"That's how all these games are played - I've got no problem with that. But in the end, I'm old enough, we are experienced enough to judge all the things in the right way."

Manchester City midfielder Rodri is amazed by the intensity of Liverpool's play under Jurgen Klopp, saying his teams attack their opponents "like animals".

Defending Premier League champions City trail last term's runners-up Liverpool by eight points after eight matches following shock early defeats to Norwich City and Wolves.

Rodri has started seven times in the league since arriving from Atletico Madrid in July and also played a full part in August's Community Shield clash with Liverpool, which City won on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The Spain international was immediately struck by Liverpool's breathless brand of football, but City are still preparing to pounce on any slip-ups.

"I touched down [in England] to find one of the best teams I've seen in recent years," Rodri told the Guardian.

"Liverpool get seen as a counter-attacking team, but they dominate, score from set-plays, the attacking mechanisms are well-worked, they have variety.

"Klopp's teams are tough, physical. They go at you like animals. They're like a knife - one comes at you, then another.

"But every team has their bad moment and we have to be there [if they do]."

City travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Liverpool take on bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford the following day.

Pep Guardiola admitted "the broadcasters are the bosses" in response to Manchester City's rearranged festive fixture list - but again called for players to receive greater protection amid punishing schedules.

City were initially set to travel to Wolves on Boxing Day but that game has been pushed back by 24 hours for live coverage, with the Sheffield United home game moved to December 29.

Still, they have less than 48 hours of rest between those two fixtures - with the reigning Premier League champions then starting 2020 by hosting Everton on January 1.

While a fan of playing during the Christmas period, a custom that he has become used to since moving to England, Guardiola fears the desire to squeeze in so many matches is a major concern.

He used the example of Neymar - who suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Brazil in a friendly against Nigeria last week, ruling him out for up to four weeks - as an example of the risks of playing too often.

Asked for his thoughts about City's fixture changes announced this week, Guardiola told the media: "It is what it is. Since I came here, every season it happened the same.

"The broadcasters are the bosses in this situation. I love to play Boxing Day and winter time when everybody stops, when families and kids go the stadiums and enjoy the games. I like it.

"The problem is the same. So now Neymar is injured again, but they travel for friendly games in Nigeria or Abu Dhabi, or wherever far away, then come back.

"We don't protect the players – the system doesn't protect them. It's too much. Honestly, it's too much."

Guardiola was speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace - a game that could see both Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones return from injury.

While stopping short of confirming the duo will be available to feature at Selhurst Park, the City boss was upbeat over their outlook.

"Some of them are better. Kevin is back and John trained in the last two days and is good," he said. "[Benjamin] Mendy as well, maybe later, but as well."

Sergio Aguero was involved in a minor car crash in midweek, but Guardiola had positive news on the striker's status: "He is fine. The car is not fine."

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