Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is not convinced the top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City will define the Premier League title race.

European champions Liverpool can take a commanding nine-point lead at the summit with victory in Sunday's match-anticipated match at Anfield.

The clubs played out a goalless draw in this exact fixture last season before City prevailed 2-1 in January's return encounter, eroding Liverpool's hard-earned advantage back to four points.

Pep Guardiola's men ultimately pipped the Reds to the title by a point but Brazil international Fabinho does not view those missed chances as being decisive.

"I don't think the outcome last season was based on the results against Man City," Fabinho told the Liverpool website.

"But if we beat them then we will have a large points advantage over them, which will be important for us.

"But this game is always a bit more special because we have the chance to pick up points and stop a direct rival from picking up points.

"So we're going to do all we can to win, but I'm not sure if this result will define the outcome of the season."

Barbs have been traded ahead of the latest instalment of this burgeoning rivalry, with Jurgen Klopp highlighting City's propensity for "tactical fouls" after Guardiola accused Reds star Sadio Mane of diving.

Nevertheless, Klopp affirmed his admiration of Guardiola in his pre-match news conference and Fabinho holds an equal level of respect for what the Premier League champions have built under the Catalan.

"We've played against this City team before and they've shown us what they're about," the former Monaco star said.

"They're great with the ball and they are hard-working, they're great in attack and all of this makes them one of the best teams in Europe today.

"But in the Premier League there are so many good teams and we've managed to play well in these situations as well. So playing City will be another challenge, but I think we're ready for it."

Paris Saint-Germain have identified their priorities and an extension for Neymar is seemingly not among them.

Neymar, 27, reportedly almost left the Ligue 1 champions in the close season amid strong links to LaLiga giants Barcelona.

The Brazil international is contracted until 2022 and PSG appear to be in no rush to extend his stay.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STOP NEYMAR TALKS AMID MBAPPE FOCUS

PSG's negotiations with Neymar about a contract extension have stalled, according to L'Equipe.

However, the report says PSG have not ruled out a potential extension for Neymar in the future.

It comes amid talk the club are eager to re-sign Kylian Mbappe, who is also contracted until 2022 and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Like Neymar and Mbappe, the talk around Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will not go away. Sport reports Juventus want to bring the midfielder back to Turin, while Tuttosport says Pogba is also eager to return to the Serie A giants.

- Ivan Rakitic has made just one start for Barcelona this season and the midfielder could be on the move in January. Mundo Deportivo reports Juventus and Inter have the Croatia international – who is contracted at Camp Nou until 2021 – in their sights.

- Nicolo Zaniolo's impressive performances for Roma are leading to renewed interest in his services. Juventus are ready to pay more than €40million for the midfielder, according to CalcioMercato, although Roma are eager to keep Zaniolo, who has scored three Serie A goals this season.

- Unai Emery is under fire at Arsenal and the Premier League club are already eyeing his replacement. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is being earmarked for the job at Emirates Stadium, according to The Sun.

- Staying at Arsenal and AC Milan are considering a €40m (£34.5m) move for midfielder Lucas Torreira in January, according to Fichajes.com. Meanwhile, Turkish-Football reports Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Juventus defender Merih Demiral about a potential move.

- Alessandro Florenzi could make a move from Roma in January, according to CalcioMercato. Fiorentina and Inter are reportedly interested in the right-back.

Alisson said Liverpool wanted to avoid a repeat of last season as he talked up the significance of Sunday's clash against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions head to Anfield trailing Liverpool by six points through 11 games this campaign.

City claimed the title last season, finishing a point clear of Liverpool despite Jurgen Klopp's men losing just one game.

Alisson said Liverpool had no interest in experiencing that again, eager to go one better in 2019-20.

"We don't want to feel how we felt last season," the goalkeeper told The Guardian.

"Being second by just one point – and we don't know which game made us lose the title because we had a few draws where we could have done better, and we had the loss away to Man City when we could have won or drawn – means we know that we need to give everything in every game if we want to become Premier League champions.

"We want it and we will try to do it."

Liverpool have won 10 of their opening 11 Premier League games, drawing one, to open up an early lead at the top.

Alisson knows how important Sunday's encounter is as the European champions try to surge further clear.

"Last season we had a great experience, an almost perfect season," the Brazil international said. "We lost one game and that one game was against City. We know how big this game is for us.

"We know how big the game is for everyone – for them and for our fans. In the end it is just three more important points but Manchester City have been the best team in the league for the last few years so we need to give everything to win this game."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed the Premier League giants have "absolutely no chance" of signing Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, has been linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 champions, with Liverpool emerging as a potential surprise destination despite reported interest from Real Madrid.

But Klopp, whose side host Manchester City in a blockbuster clash on Sunday, dismissed talk Liverpool could add the France forward.

"Buying this calibre of player is difficult. I don't see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG," he told the media.

"I don't see any club, that is how it is. And we are involved in the clubs that cannot do it. It is as easy as that.

"Okay, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him. What a player he is. But it is about the money of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance. Sorry for killing that story."

Liverpool were quiet during the previous transfer window, opting against adding any new faces to the first team.

Klopp again talked up the importance of keeping his squad together, saying the players he wanted were out of Liverpool's reach financially.

"The players we thought about to make this team better were really expensive and we could not spend the money. That is how it is," he said.

"To see a player better, or with potential to be better or play the same is difficult. That is what it was. That was the situation. It was not that we were not ready, but we did not want to make five or six changes. Not at all. They are at a wonderful age with still space for improvement.

"We wanted to do something and we could have done a lot, but we only wanted to do the right thing. That is the reason we kept this squad because it is really good and if you want to improve it you have to go for the right players, not just some players to fix whatever."

Liverpool hold a six-point lead at the top ahead of the clash against City at Anfield.

Unai Emery is unsure whether deposed captain Granit Xhaka will play for Arsenal again.

The Switzerland midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the armband following his angry riposte towards supporters who jeered him as he was substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Xhaka did not make himself available for the midweek Europa League trip to Vitoria SC and is absent again for Saturday's visit to Leicester City.

A January exit from north London appears an increasingly likely scenario, with Newcastle United thought to be keen to offer him an escape route, while a return to the Bundesliga is said to be a possibility.

When answering a question as to whether the upcoming international break could be good timing to let the situation defuse, Emery could not give any assurances about the future.

"As a coach, I have the responsibility of the team. We need one player [like] Granit Xhaka, but also I don't know if he's going to play again. I don't know," he said on Friday.

"The first thing is if he's available in his mind to continue to help us and defend the Arsenal shirt. And then it's if I decide to start him or not with us.

"At the beginning if he's ready and available and 100 per cent in his mind with that decision to help us and to play with his quality to help us because we know we need that quality and that player.

"After we have the solution, but for example after Dani Ceballos' injury we have one less player to use tomorrow in the midfielder, attacking midfielder [role], so we are now not ready with a lot of players to play in that position.

"I don't know. Maybe he can play in the future, maybe he cannot play."

Asked explicitly if Xhaka wants to leave, Emery was non-committal, replying: "I am not thinking about that because we are in November. We are going to play a lot of matches in November and December.

"He says to me he is not available yet to play, not Wednesday and not tomorrow."

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham's Premier League position is not a surprise and fears the club cannot move forward quickly.

Last season's Champions League finalists are 11th in the table after 11 games, having won just three times in the top flight this season.

Away form has been a particular problem, with Spurs having not won on the road in the league since January 20, while injury-time goals have cost them in recent visits to Liverpool and Everton.

Their domestic travails have not been echoed in Europe, though, with Wednesday's 4-0 defeat of Red Star Belgrade meaning they will progress to the last 16 of the Champions League if they beat Olympiacos on matchday five.

Pochettino believes there are plenty of positive signs within the club, who are being profiled this season by Amazon as part of their All or Nothing documentary series, but he suggests they have nonetheless regressed towards the standards of 2014, when he took charge.

"It's our reality. With all the circumstances, I think it's normal to be in the position we are," he said on Friday.

"We are working, trying to perform better and get better results. I have mentioned the circumstances. We are in the right direction to find the balance in the squad, the right way to perform, and we do as well as we can.

"Today is still so early. If we are able to find the right balance and perform in the way that we expect, of course it's still there, It's possible. We need to make sure we have the time to get everything right.

"We went back to five years ago where we were in terms of position, situation and stuff like that. It takes time. We can't move the club forward quickly. There are so many things. The time is the problem. It's a natural process.

"We need to stay calm and, like always, work hard, because that is the way to change this dynamic. But the time is the time and the process is the process.

"It's different than five years ago, but with a lot of similarities. It's difficult to talk now because I don't want to talk again about negative things. I want to be positive. I promise you, if it's all going well at the end of the season, I will explain - for you, and for Amazon, too!

"But I want to be positive. I think the signals in the past few weeks have been very positive. I know very well that to have a positive spirit and provide a good mood for everyone is so important. I think we talk a lot and it's not helpful.

"Now, there are a lot of positive things that we need to speak about and keep going, keep moving. All the fans, the club deserve that we start winning games again to be in a better position. Of course, in the Champions League, we are in a very good position now. But I think in the Premier League table, we are not."

Pochettino also offered an update on Hugo Lloris, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow sustained against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Spurs confirmed on Thursday that the goalkeeper has had to have surgery on the injury, which had not been healing as hoped.

The France international had been due to return in early 2020 but there are now fears he could be sidelined for longer.

"I didn't see him the last week - he wasn't here," said Pochettino. "But he is strong, he's very mature, a man. Of course, he's suffering now a little bit but he's going to come strong again."

Frank Lampard has opened up on his "awkward" pre-match superstitions and says he fears results going against Chelsea if he does not stick to his usual routine.

The 41-year-old was named Premier League manager of the month for October on Friday, after winning three games from three last month.

However, Lampard confessed he fears the perceived curse that sees recipients of the award lose their next match, which he put down to being "relatively superstitious".

Asked to elaborate on his habits in the build-up to games, Lampard said: "I have my routines, like walking the dog, certain times I leave, the boots I'm wearing - little bits and bobs. It's more routine than structure, which can be quite awkward.

"I walk the dog at certain times and on certain days. The day before training, I will walk her at a certain time, for a certain route. Nothing that exciting.

"I take her out in the morning. I go out early before I leave, I take her down to the local coffee shop, get my takeaway coffee, walk around, pick up her poo, put it in the bin, walk her home then go to training.

"I find walking the dog quite good for clearing the head. I like to go to the gym as well - that's another one of my superstitions. I have to spend the same amount of time on the bike - 50 minutes - or the amount that I run. Things like that. I'm still sweating now. I've just been doing it."

He added: "If I don't do them, then I can feel like, ridiculously, as if it might have an effect on the result. Sometimes I do miss the dog walk for whatever reason. I'm also a relatively new dad, my daughter is a year and a bit, so sometimes I have to do other things. So it does not absolutely hold me down."

"I like going to the gym, I like walking the dog, I like eating pasta as a pre-match meal, so I stick with certain things. And then if we don't win..."

Lampard's rituals go back to his playing days at Chelsea, where he shared a dressing room with John Terry.

"It was very commonplace in my playing days," he said. "John used to do it a lot. John was very structured in his build-up.

"For me, I think we are all different, and I don't completely rely on it. I joke a little bit, but I think it shows how much you want to do well and win sometimes, whether it has an effect or not. And I think if that's in your mindset, that's not the worst thing, albeit it might become a bit annoying sometimes if you stick to it."

Lampard's side are fourth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday's home match against London rivals Crystal Palace.

Gerard Deulofeu scored one and set up another to secure a first Premier League win of the season for Watford away to Norwich City on Friday.

The forward struck in just the second minute at Carrow Road before teeing up Andre Gray to double the lead early in the second half.

Christian Kabasele was sent off 65 minutes in, but Watford held firm to move above Norwich and Southampton into 18th place in the table.

Deulofeu scored after only 76 seconds, the second-fastest Premier League goal Watford, when he stole possession from Emiliano Buendia in the Norwich half, tricked his way into space and slotted the ball past Tim Krul.

Norwich were largely blunt in attack and found themselves further behind 52 minutes in when Gray's attempted backheel from Deulofeu's cross went in via a big deflection off Jamal Lewis.

Kabasele earned a second yellow card when he wrestled Josip Drmic out of play on the touchline, but Quique Sanchez Flores' men were not unduly troubled as they saw out a first league win since a 2-1 victory away to Huddersfield Town on April 20.

A man has been jailed for 10 years for the attempted robbery of Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac.

Ashley Smith, 30, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and possession of cannabis when appearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court via video link on October 3.

He was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

A second man, Jordan Northover, also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery on Wednesday and will be sentenced at a later date.

The two men approached the car in which Ozil and Kolasinac were travelling on Platts Lane, Hampstead, north-west London on July 25.

CCTV footage showed one of the suspects threaten Kolasinac with a sharp object while demanding his watch. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international fought the pair off and he and team-mate Ozil, who was in the car with his wife, drove to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they spoke to police.

The Metropolitan Police said the breakthrough in the case came when the moped used in the robbery was found parked in a cul-de-sac in Borehamwood after an alert by a member of the public.

CCTV from a local pub also showed Northover changing clothes shortly after the incident, which were then discovered on nearby grassland.

"We are delighted to have secured such a significant sentence," chief inspector Jim Corbett said in a Metropolitan Police statement.

"Those involved in moped-enabled offending should look at this and decide if they too want to spend the best years of their life in prison, because that is the message that this sends out. Offenders feel that because they wear a helmet or disguise the appearance of a moped or motorcycle that we will not identify who they are. But we can and we do, as evidenced in this case.

"I would like to thank the members of the public who came forward with vital information. It shows that one call can make all the difference, whatever the crime. Also my team, who have worked tirelessly to secure today's conviction."

Ozil and Kolasinac missed Arsenal's opening Premier League game of the season at Newcastle United due to fears for their security in the wake of the incident.

Kolasinac has since played 11 times for the Gunners in all competitions, while Ozil has played in just four matches.

Both are in line to be involved in Saturday's Premier League visit to Leicester City.

Frank Lampard is wary of the manager of the month "curse" after he and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy earned the Premier League awards for October.

Chelsea triumphed in all three league games they played last month, seeing a seven-match winning run finally ended in the EFL Cup on October 30, to earn Lampard the division's top coaching gong.

Meanwhile, Vardy scored four Premier League goals - including a hat-trick in the record-breaking 9-0 demolition of Southampton - for high-flying Leicester.

Discussing his recognition in a news conference on Friday, Lampard was asked about the "curse" that sees recipients of the manager of the month award lose their next match.

Lampard revealed he was superstitious as a player and so had considered this when learning of his prize.

"I have heard of it. I know of it and I am relatively superstitious," he said. "I was always as a player and I have carried it into my management.

"So hopefully the players can go out and prove the curse wrong tomorrow, because we want to keep our momentum."

Lampard was pleased with the award, though, while insisting the club as a whole deserved to be credited.

"It doesn't confirm to me that I am doing a good job, albeit it is a nice award to get on an individual basis," he said.

"It certainly is an award that relates to much more than that for what the club is doing and the people working behind the scenes. I appreciate it and I receive it for not just myself."

Pep Guardiola has called on Merseyside police to ensure there is no repeat of the 2018 attack on Manchester City's bus when they face off with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

City's bus was damaged when making its way to the ground for the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final tie against the Reds, which Liverpool won 3-0.

This week, a poster circulated on social media in which fans were encouraged to "greet" City's coach ahead of the top-of-the-table Premier League clash.

And Guardiola urged police to make sure his team arrive without incident.

"No. Hopefully it will not happen again, so the police knew about [it] for the Champions League game before and didn't do anything," he said. 

"I don't know what they are going to do, hopefully it will be an incredible game at Anfield for the Premier League and for all around the world. 

"That is what we want. Hopefully it's not going to happen, the same that happened two seasons ago when we arrive, which was more than one bottle."

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp issued a similar message, calling on fans to provide vociferous vocal backing in the stands but not to engage in "senseless" acts.

"I'm a big believer of fan power – in the stadium. That's completely different. [The coach incident] was a senseless thing," Klopp said. 

"If somebody at Man City is concerned still, then it's our fault. Not that we did it all together, we all didn't throw the bottle or whatever it was, but it was one of us. That's why we are responsible. 

"All of us have to make sure that something like this will never happen again. It's long ago and since then nothing has happened. I don't think it was Man City specific. 

"After the punishment we got, we haven't had a similar situation – the positive outcome of something like this. 

"Actually, we used to enjoy that [the coach welcome], when we come in, it's impressive. It's a nice part of football, but if you overstep the line then it's not allowed that you do it anymore. 

"That's how it is. I wish I could say it will never happen again but unfortunately I can't. But what I can say is we will do everything that it will never happen again. 

"Everybody agrees to feel this responsibility that it won't happen again. That's why I say – go in the stadium, nothing to do outside, have your food, go in, wait for the team, we will come, let's make a pretty special game of it."

Superintendent Paul White issued a statement on Merseyside Police's official website addressing the poster doing the rounds on social media and insisted they are doing all they can to ensure there are no major incidents.

"As with any match, a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation has been put in place ahead of Sunday's game and we have liaised with both clubs and their supporter groups," he said.

"We are aware of one poster on social media regarding a bus welcome. The corresponding last fixture ran smoothly and we are working to ensure this game can be enjoyed safely by all as well as minimising any disruption to local residents and roads.

"As with all Premier League fixtures at Anfield, we will have officers on duty at the ground, both uniformed and plain clothed, supported by mobile CCTV, provided by Liverpool City Council, and specialist resources including the Dog Section, mounted police and the National Police Air Service. We will also have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day. This is standard procedure. 

"We know that this will be a busy operation and we hope that fans attending the match will act as ambassadors for their clubs. 

"As usual we would ask fans with tickets to arrive at the ground as early as possible. Fans without tickets should not attend at all; they will not be allowed entry into the stadium."

Granit Xhaka has said he is not ready to return for Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League trip to Leicester City, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed.

The midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy after his outburst towards fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Emery says Xhaka is not in the right frame of mind to feature for the first team, even though he has been dedicated in training this week.

"Not yet," Emery told reporters on Friday when asked if Xhaka would be back in the squad.

"I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he's feeling now and how he is in his mind. He's working well, he's training well, but he said to me that he's not feeling good enough at the moment to play. We are going to wait."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named Arsenal's new captain and Emery has backed the striker to embrace the role.

"I can remember how we did the process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal," said Emery. "They left the team, at the last moment as well, Koscielny. In that moment I decided, and also I used the characteristics to find a captain.

"After I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain's responsibility. Then after the [Palace] issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang, the second after him is [Hector] Bellerin, third is [Alexandre] Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.

"The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him.

"Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.

"For example, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] said everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family here and I know for the supporters it is very important who is the first face, in front, with the captain's responsibility. I decided to give it to Auba and everybody also agreed with that decision and now I am telling you he needs time to take that responsibility with confidence, but we give him that confidence, I give him that confidence. He has the quality and the values to do perfectly with that responsibility."

Emery's own position is under scrutiny following a run of one win in six games in all competitions, while Leicester are six points above them in the Premier League table.

While he insists he has not spoken to the board about his future, Emery believes off-field problems - such as the issue around Xhaka and the attempted armed robbery of Sead Kolasinac and Ozil in July - have complicated the Gunners' situation.

"We need to improve and also we are in one process," he said. "First we are speaking about the captain's circumstances, then also some circumstances with some players - with Sead Kolasinac and with Mesut Ozil - then also circumstances that didn't help us with Granit Xhaka. For example, we're losing one player at the moment, Granit Xhaka, who is important for us and the way we play, but I have confidence in the players and in our work.

"I know we are in one process and we are speaking with the club about the responsibility of the club, and they are supporting us, and the players are supporting me. We know we are taking one responsibility with the young players, but the young players need one process to achieve that responsibility and their performance in the team, but we are helping them."

Pep Guardiola described Anfield as the toughest stadium in the world to visit right now, but insisted Manchester City are not out of the Premier League title race if they lose to Liverpool on Sunday.

The build-up to the mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash has been dominated by talk of diving and tactical fouls, although City boss Guardiola and Reds counterpart Jurgen Klopp have done their bit to ease the tension.

Last season City took four points from the Reds, a return that proved decisive as they pipped Liverpool – who lost just once in the league – to the title by a solitary point.

Guardiola described the triumph as one of the greatest of his career and recognised the difficulty of playing at a stadium where Liverpool have not lost any of their previous 45 league games.

"As a manager, I said last season when we won the league, they're the best contender I ever faced in my career to win this league," he said. 

"It was the biggest achievement, or one of the biggest achievements, as a club. It remains the same. Probably right now they're the strongest team in the world.

"They are an exceptional team. Of course, the history is there for itself. It's something special, I think more for the quality of the team of what they do, quality of players they have, quality of manager they have, I believe more in that, in the team, than the scenario [atmosphere at Liverpool]. 

"Right now it's [Anfield] one of the toughest ones, right now in Europe it’s the toughest stadiums to go there."

Unbeaten Liverpool can open up a nine-point gap over City with victory on home soil, but Guardiola insists defeat will not mean the end of their title aspirations.

"I don't know to be honest, I think in November it never ends. I think we have a lot of games still to play," he added. 

"My experience in sport is you have to play until the end, are we going to win Champions League? Your favourite question! I don't know the answer.

"They lost one game last season, this season they are unbeaten so I think they won't lose many but the season is long."

Guardiola this week sought to clarify comments he made about Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and "diving", which drew a retort from Klopp bringing up previous accusations the Catalan's teams are guilty of "tactical fouls".

But Guardiola gave a prickly reply when the issue was brought up again, saying: "I said in Italy, no comment. 

"Ask the other managers. I know exactly what I said to my players in the last 11 years about what we have to do. I know exactly."

It was put to Guardiola that his rivalry with Klopp could potentially stand up to the one between legendary Manchester United and Arsenal bosses Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

But Guardiola said it is far too soon to draw such comparisons.

"Well, I will wait [to see] if my hair grows in the next 20 years because they were more than 20 years together," he said. 

"I think we cannot compare anyone with the rivals of Ferguson and Wenger. Absolute legends in their clubs, they were more than one or two decades there." 

Son Heung-min's two-goal performance in Tottenham's 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade confirmed his strong psychological state, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

South Korea star Son led Spurs to a convincing Champions League victory in Serbia three days on from his part in the incident that left Everton midfielder Andre Gomes with a fracture dislocation to his right ankle.

Son's challenge contributed to Gomes colliding with Serge Aurier and earned him a red card, which has since been rescinded.

The 27-year-old forward was visibly distressed after witnessing the extent of the sickening injury but held his starting spot and excelled in what was a crucial European encounter for Tottenham.

"He was affected like everyone, during the game and after the game. It is difficult to see a player suffering a massive injury," Pochettino said.

"He was involved, there was a bit of confusion in the action, with the decision to show the red card. He felt responsible, then when we concede with 10 men.

"But he wasn't guilty for the injury, and he showed that he is in a good state and mental level.

"Of course he is sorry about Andre, like everyone, but it was a big relief with the message from Andre on social media, which was good and positive, and Son is now training and recovering well."

Tottenham appear on course to reach the Champions League knockout stages but continue to struggle for form domestically.

Pochettino's men are winless in four Premier League games and sit 11th in the table, 10 points adrift of the top four.

The Spurs boss hopes the midweek taste of success can be the catalyst for a better run of results, beginning with Saturday's home game against Sheffield United.

"I hope yes, hopefully keep in the same way," he said. "It was a difficult game [in Belgrade]. The result, 4-0, looks easy, but in different periods we suffered and nearly conceded.

"They hit the post and there was an unbelievable save from Paulo [Gazzaniga] that could have changed the game.

"Always you need luck to score first and then have the capacity to control. I was happy after Everton and after Red Star, but we need to finish winning. But we know it will be tough against Sheffield."

Tottenham's date with the Blades takes place just over 24 hours before the much-anticipated Anfield showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City, of which Pochettino will be an excited observer.

"Of course. I love football," he said.

"I love different sports - I love tennis, I love paddle tennis, I love golf, but my priority is football and to have the possibility to watch the game on Sunday - I don't know if I will be home or where I will be - but for sure these two hours I will spend watching the game, because my priority is football."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still set to be out for "a while" due to injury but Antonio Rudiger could be back in full training in three weeks' time, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has said.

Chelsea have been without England international Loftus-Cheek since he ruptured his Achilles tendon in May.

The midfielder claimed this week he was "close" to a return, but head coach Lampard suggests this is not the case.

Lampard is keen for a patient approach to be taken with Loftus-Cheek, although he understands the player's desperation to get back playing.

"It's a long road," the Blues boss told a news conference. "It's a difficult one for Ruben, because we want him back, we all know his quality. But it's going to be a while, it's going to be a while.

"I feel for him, because people will ask and the thing to say would be, 'Yeah, I'm really pushing on, it might be next week, it might be next month'.

"But I don't think that's quite the case. We need to let him get on with it. We're all supporting him here. There's no immediate news."

A similar situation occurred last week with Rudiger, who has played just once since a serious knee injury in April.

The Germany defender declared himself fit but Lampard intervened, revealing the player would be visiting a consultant due to an ongoing groin issue.

Lampard provided an update on Friday, though, and is now hopeful the problem has been solved.

"[Rudiger] had an operation and he's going to be out for probably about three weeks hopefully," Lampard said. "Then we'll have to see how the match fitness comes in, because it's a long time Toni's been out now.

"It was nice to get something definitive about it. We've been trying to find a solution, Toni's been having some issues, and it's not easy for someone in that position.

"Hopefully we are at that case now and, in three weeks' time, we'll be in a better place."

He added: "You're going to do well to cover quality players. We've not had N'Golo [Kante] for a big part of the season, Ruben Loftus-Cheek we've not had, Toni, of course, we've not had.

"So that's one of the nice stories in terms of the rest of the squad, but we'll gladly take them all back."

Page 6 of 131
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.