What the papers say

West Ham are reportedly still interested in Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke. The Mirror claims the Hammers are planning to bid again for the 26-year-old striker in January after seeing an approach in the summer rejected.

Leroy Sane, 27, is not thinking about a potential move from Bayern Munich, according to the Metro. The Germany forward has been linked with Liverpool and a return to Manchester City.

England forward Ivan Toney is unsure about his future amid interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, according to the Sun. The paper claims the 27-year-old feels he has a debt to repay at Brentford after his ban for breaching gambling rules and is torn on leaving in January.

David De Gea’s next step after leaving Manchester United in the summer remains unclear. The Star says Inter Miami are among the clubs keen on the former Spain goalkeeper, 33, while the Sun reports he has turned down a lucrative move to Al-Nassr.

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Chris Smalling: The former England defender, 33, will be available for a move from Roma in January according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Hugo Ekitike: Paris St-Germain’s French striker, 21, could be a target for Newcastle in January, reports Football Insider.

Dominic Solanke came off the bench to send Bournemouth into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Championship side Stoke 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

Striker Solanke netted six minutes after coming on at half-time before Joe Rothwell’s free-kick burst through a crowded penalty area to settle the tie.

It sent the Cherries into the fourth round for the sixth time in 10 seasons, having only managed the feat twice in their first 54 attempts.

Bournemouth made eight changes from their 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Sunday in a week they play three games in seven days.

Stoke made six of their own, after losing to Hull, and all the alterations made for a first half full of misplaced passes, heavy touches and frustration from the stands.

Added to that, neither side had any kind of form to hold onto. The Potters are winless in five in the Championship while the Cherries have only beaten Swansea in the last round under Andoni Iraola.

It took until the 13th minute for either side to have a shot of note, when Milos Kerkez stung the palms of Stoke goalkeeper Jack Bonham with a fierce shot from inside the penalty box.

The crowd was finally sparked into life with eight minutes left in the first half as Bournemouth enjoyed some sustained pressure.

Dango Ouattara produced an outrageous flick to turn Ki-Jana Hoever and earn space in the box but his thrash towards goal was pushed behind.

At the other end, Stoke, who had pressed with good discipline, threatened as Jordan Thompson ended a fine move by curling over before Wesley failed to meet a low cross.

Iraola unsurprisingly wrung the changes at half-time with regulars Solanke and Ryan Christie brought on.

It only took six minutes for top scorer Solanke to find the net.

The former Liverpool forward controlled a low cross from Adam Smith before finishing with a neat swivel for his fourth goal of the season.

Three minutes later, the Cherries were in complete control when Rothwell’s free-kick from the left side of the box escaped everyone’s touch and bounced into the bottom corner.

It was the midfielder’s first goal since arriving from Blackburn before last season.

Christie forced Bonham into a good diving save with a dipping effort from outside the box while Nathan Lowe’s acrobatic effort and Sol Sidibe’s flash across goal in stoppage time couldn’t set up a grandstand finish for Stoke.

The only sour note of the second half for Bournemouth was Solanke’s withdrawal five minutes from time having picked up a knock.

Thomas Frank credited his “fantastic” Brentford side after Bryan Mbeumo’s late equaliser against Bournemouth earned a 2-2 draw in the Premier League.

Mbeumo’s fourth of the season cancelled out goals from Dominic Solanke and David Brooks after Mathias Jensen took the lead for Brentford in the first half.

And Frank praised his team’s second-half display which saw them extend their unbeaten start to the season.

“First half we were good but second half we were fantastic,” Frank said. “I think we ran over Bournemouth in the second half and we created chance after chance.

“I would love to have 10 points (Brentford have six) and I think we could easily say we deserve to have more, but it’s up to others to discuss if we should have eight or 10.

“I think we had a chance to win all three draws at home (Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth), the Tottenham and Crystal Palace games were tight but it was clear we should have won them and we have to keep going.”

Cherries boss Andoni Iraola admitted Brentford’s late goal hurt as his side searched for their first win of the season.

And the Spaniard revealed his side rued a series of mistakes which led to Mbeumo’s goal.

“The worst thing for us is the way we concede the goal,” Iraola added.

“It comes from our own goal-kick and we made two or three mistakes because we were probably not at our best but we have have to know how to finish the games because we had run a lot and (played) good stretches of football.

“To lose it in this way hurts.

“In set-pieces they have very good players and we needed maximum help in the duels and the crosses we received in the last minutes but it didn’t work as we conceded the second goal.

Iraola highlighted that Bournemouth suffered out of possession in the lead up to the final goal.

He said: “The game was a little bit territorial and the advantage was very important because we were suffering when they were playing in our half and they had set-pieces like corners, free-kicks.

“Whenever the game was in their half I think we were playing better, we were more in control of the situation and so at the end they had nothing to lose and put more bodies up front and closed with three defenders.

“We tried to defend the long balls, crosses and throw ins better because sometimes you have to suffer to win the games and be compact.”

Dominic Solanke’s late equaliser denied West Ham an opening-day win as Bournemouth hit back for a 1-1 draw.

Jarrod Bowen had fired the Hammers into the lead early in the second half with a spectacular curler from the edge of the box.

But Bournemouth, playing under new boss Andoni Iraola for the first time, were good value for the point they earned when Solanke rounded Alphonse Areola with eight minutes remaining.

It has been a troubled summer for West Ham following their Europa Conference League success last season with the departure of Declan Rice, Manchester City’s attempt to lure Lucas Paqueta away and a lack of new signings coming through the doors at the London Stadium.

They arrived on the south coast with essentially last season’s team, minus Rice, and not much in the way of optimism.

Yet they almost went ahead early on when Said Benrahma fed Tomas Soucek, whose effort bounced back off the inside of the far post and into the grateful arms of Bournemouth keeper Neto.

The Cherries were relieved again when Michail Antonio’s flick from a corner was cleared from underneath the crossbar by Philip Billing.

But Bournemouth had their chances too as the first half wore on, with Solanke slipping in David Brooks who fired just wide.

Solanke then chased a long ball over the top only to be denied by the long leg of Hammers defender Kurt Zouma, before Areola beat away another Brooks drive.

The second half almost began with a bang for Bournemouth with Brooks letting fly on the volley from 20 yards, forcing Areola into an acrobatic save.

But it was the Hammers who broke the deadlock moments later after Pablo Fornals, trying to fill a Rice-shaped hole in the West Ham midfield, won possession 30 yards out.

Bowen’s last kick of the previous campaign was the late goal which secured the Europa Conference League trophy against Fiorentina 66 days ago.

This time he collected the ball off Soucek 20 yards out, cut onto his left foot and buried a superb, curling effort beyond the dive of Neto.

Bournemouth, playing their new brand of easy-on-the-eye, expansive football, tried to hit back and Areola saved from Solanke before Joe Rothwell’s shot clipped the crossbar.

Their dominance told in the 82nd minute when Antoine Semenyo’s wayward shot fell at the feet of Solanke, who showed tremendous composure to slip round Areola and tap into an empty net.

Gary O’Neil played down talk about any potential manager of the year nomination but expressed his pride after Bournemouth likely clinched Premier League football for another season with a month to spare.

The Cherries stormed to a 4-1 thrashing over struggling Leeds on Sunday to put any relegation concerns to bed with Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo on target after Jefferson Lerma’s first-half brace at the Vitality Stadium.

O’Neil’s side have now drawn level with Chelsea on 39 points to all but secure safety with four games left, which appeared a long shot at the beginning of April when they were in the bottom three.

Since replacing Scott Parker following a 9-0 loss at Anfield in August, Bournemouth’s rookie boss has won 10 matches, beaten the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham and navigated several injury crises during his debut managerial campaign.

It has led to calls from Jamie Carragher, amongst others, for the 39-year-old to be nominated for Premier League manager of the year.

But O’Neil insisted: “I’m not interested but people will make decisions.

“If Mo Salah had scored his penalty (in the 1-0 win) and a few other things had gone another way, people would have been calling me the worst manager in the league and nowhere near ready for what was a big job.

“Fine margins and proud of the work the group have done. Proud I have managed to play a part with them and really looking forward to the next four to see how many points we can put on the board.

“I’m just really proud of a group I’ve worked with for quite a while now in different positions.

“To have had as many questions asked of them as they have, to have been written off by so many people and to get to 39 points with four games still to play is an incredible effort.

“I’m very proud of the group and that is everyone. Whether you have played one game, 34 games or been in the treatment room, physios, everyone has played a part. It’s been a big effort to get to this point.”

A surprise 4-0 defeat at home to West Ham last weekend increased the pressure on Thursday’s trip to local rivals Southampton but Bournemouth claimed a vital 1-0 victory before they put Leeds to the sword.

Having experienced the dejection of conceding deep into stoppage time in a 3-2 loss at Arsenal in March, the Cherries have responded with six wins from nine matches to all but guarantee their Premier League status with a month of the campaign to go.

“The players have suffered some tough moments this season,” O’Neil reflected.

“You think away to Arsenal and we were bottom of the league when we suffered that late goal so not many people saw us going on the run we did. A big effort from everyone.”

Leeds head coach Javi Gracia is under pressure only two months into his tenure but insists he has total belief in his young squad.

“There is only one way to try to change, to work and believe in the players we have,” he said.

“We are a young team and young players many times need this process to make mistakes and to learn from them, but it is something that in this moment is hard to accept.

“I believe in my players from the beginning until the end.”

Just as Premier League managers toy with their options for crucial run-in games, fantasy bosses are weighing up who should slot into their teams this weekend.

Some will be looking to consolidate lofty positions, but many will be eyeing a gamble in a late attempt to shuffle up the standings.

It comes down to analysing form, whether recent or over a longer course of time.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform selects four players you might consider for the latest set of matches.

Jose Sa (Leicester City v Wolves)

In a midlands battle between hosts in the relegation mire and visitors who are creeping clear of trouble, Wolves may need goalkeeper Jose Sa to be at his sharpest.

Only three teams have recorded more Premier League shutouts than Wolves in 2023 (5), while Sa is the eighth different goalkeeper to have recorded at least 20 clean sheets since the start of last season.

He is targeting a third successive clean sheet this weekend, and since the start of last season, only Alisson (14.2) and Bernd Leno (9.9) have prevented more goals than Sa (6.4), based on Opta's xG model.

Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace v Everton)

We've seen an April shower of goals from Crystal Palace this month, and now lowly Everton are the visitors to Selhurst Park.

Since the start of April, only Manchester City (11) have scored more goals in the Premier League than Palace (9), with Eberechi Eze netting three of those.

With seven goals and three assists this season, he has already equalled his best tally for goal involvements in the Premier League season (also 10 in 2020-21), and under Roy Hodgson's leadership he is clearly thriving again.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool v Nottingham Forest)

Setting penalties to one side, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been showing some serious form of late, hitting a double last time out at Leeds United.

Only Ollie Watkins (14) and Erling Haaland (13) have been involved in more Premier League goals in 2023 than the Liverpool forward, with Salah totting up 11 involvements (8 goals, 3 assists), nine of which have come since the beginning of March.

In his last 10 Premier League games against teams that have come up from the Championship, as Forest did at the start of this campaign, Salah has been involved in nine goals (6 goals, 3 assists).

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth v West Ham)

When Dominic Solanke gets hot, the opposition soon know about it.

He has become just the fifth different player for Bournemouth to record at least five goals and five assists in a Premier League season, achieving that by scoring once and providing two assists last time out against Tottenham.

The 25-year-old former Liverpool player had a stunning 2021-22 campaign in the Championship with the Cherries, and while he has not consistently hit the same heights in the top flight, the Tottenham game was the third of the Premier League season in which he has both scored and assisted. Nobody in the league has done so on more occasions, heading into this weekend's round of games.

Kevin De Bruyne became the second player to reach 100 Premier League assists for one club as the Manchester City playmaker teed up Erling Haaland for the hosts' third goal in a 3-1 win over Leicester City.

The result cut Arsenal's lead to three points at the top of the table, ahead of the Gunners' trip to West Ham on Sunday.

Saturday's games saw Ollie Watkins remain in eye-catching form for Aston Villa, but there were grim home defeats for London giants Chelsea and Tottenham as Brighton and Hove Albion and Bournemouth celebrated impressive victories.

Here Stats Perform, guided by notable Opta match facts, unpicks the finer detail from the day's Premier League action.

Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City: Haaland and De Bruyne star as City keep pressure on

Armed with a 3-0 lead after 25 minutes, Manchester City took their foot off the pedal and Leicester gained a foothold, but the Foxes rarely get much from this fixture. It is 11 wins in their last 13 league games against Leicester now for Pep Guardiola's team, and five wins from as many meetings.

City are on a 10-match winning streak across all competitions, which they have bettered only twice during the Guardiola era, having a run of 21 wins from December 2020 to March 2021, and an 11-game run from August to October in 2017.

Haaland scored twice to take his goals tally to 32 in the top flight, ever closer to the Premier League record of 34 in a single campaign, while De Bruyne's pass that set up the Norway striker's second meant he completed 100 assists for City. Ryan Giggs, with 162 for Manchester United, is the only other player to reach a century of assists for one club in the Premier League.

De Bruyne has now assisted 10 goals for Haaland across all competitions this season, and that is the most assists any one player has had for the young goal machine with a top-flight club, beating Jadon Sancho's nine when he and Haaland were team-mates at Borussia Dortmund in the 2020-21 campaign.

Leicester remain deep in relegation trouble, with the 2015-16 Premier League champions having taken just eight points from 16 games in the competition (W2 D2 L12), losing eight of their past nine.


Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle United: Watkins and Villa hit half-century marks as Emery revival gathers pace

Aston Villa were hovering precariously closely to the relegation zone when Steven Gerrard was sacked in October. A sensational recovery continued as they steamrollered third-placed Newcastle on Saturday, with their winning run in the Premier League now at five games.

They last reached five wins in a row in the competition on this corresponding weekend 25 years ago, when John Gregory was boss, and Saturday's result means Newcastle's Eddie Howe has lost his last four league clashes with Villa manager Unai Emery, who was previously in charge of Arsenal, by an 11-2 aggregate.

Villa have reached 50 points from 31 games, the earliest they have achieved that tally since they got there in 29 matches in 2009-10, and Watkins has been a key figure in the team's resurgence.

The England striker added to Jacob Ramsey's opener, which came from Watkins' headed assist, by netting a second-half double to take the game away from the Magpies.

Watkins' 50th, 51st and 52nd goal involvements for Villa (39 goals and 13 assists) came in his 102nd Premier League game for the team, with only Christian Benteke (88 games) having reached 50 in fewer games in the competition for the club. Watkins has 12 goals and three assists on Premier League duty since the World Cup, with only Haaland (16) having more goal involvements during this time.

Chelsea 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls swoop for Stamford Bridge scalp

Brighton substitutes Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso did the damage, and Chelsea could have no complaints. In terms of expected goals (xG), Brighton bossed this, ending with 2.28 compared to the hosts' 0.60.

After failing to win against Chelsea in 14 Premier League matches, Brighton have done the double this season, having won 4-1 at home in October.

Chelsea's winless run at home in the league now stands at four matches (D2 L2), and that is their worst streak since taking just one point from their final five games at Stamford Bridge in the 2015-16 season.

Only Manchester United (10) have had more goals from substitutes than Brighton (8) in the Premier League this season, and those two sides meet next weekend in the semi-final stage of the FA Cup.

Tottenham 2-3 Bournemouth: Echoes of Balotelli as Outtara stuns Spurs

Tottenham have Aston Villa and Brighton in hot pursuit after this shock reverse, with Dango Ouattara getting Bournemouth's winner four minutes and 11 seconds into stoppage time.

It was the latest winning goal Bournemouth have ever scored in the Premier League, as well as being the second-latest winning goal scored against Spurs by any team on record since 2006-07, after Mario Balotelli's strike for Manchester City in January 2012, which came after four minutes and 39 seconds of added time.

This was Bournemouth's first away league win against Tottenham, after losing on all five previous attempts, and it marked the first time Spurs have lost at home when taking the lead since a 3-2 setback against Southampton in February of last year.

Bournemouth have won five of their last nine Premier League games and have remarkably leapt six points clear of the bottom three, having won just five of their previous 25 matches. Dominic Solanke scored the Cherries' second and provided assists for their two other goals, scoring and assisting in the same Premier League game for the third time this season, with no player having done so on more occasions.

Gareth Southgate is set to bring up 50 games in charge when England start their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup.

San Marino are the visitors to Wembley Stadium for the milestone match, with Southgate the seventh to make it to a half-century at the helm for England.

His record so far is impressive: 29 wins, 10 draws and 10 defeats. He has also introduced some notable names to international football, many of which will form the backbone for the Three Lions in this year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament. 

In total, 42 players have made their senior debuts under the current boss. Plenty have made an impact, though some have fallen by the wayside since getting a taste of the senior team. 


Jesse Lingard 

Lingard is the only member of the current England squad to have made his debut in Southgate's first match in charge, a 2-0 win over Malta in October 2016. The 28-year-old was a key member of the 2018 World Cup squad but has not featured for his country since the Nations League Finals nearly two years ago, having struggled for minutes at Manchester United. 

However, a January loan move to West Ham has paid off. No player has been involved in more goals – Lingard has scored five while also providing two assists – since his debut for the Hammers in February. Southgate – who advised the player to remain in the Premier League – has duly taken note, handing him a recall. 

Harry Maguire 

Maguire made his first England appearance against Lithuania in October 2017, when he was playing for Leicester City. The centre-back quickly established himself in Southgate's side for the World Cup semi-final run, while he has continued to be a mainstay since for the national side.  

Indeed, the Manchester United defender has missed just 14 possible outings for club and country since that maiden outing, starting 28 out of England's 30 matches. 

Kieran Trippier 

Paris was the setting for Trippier's bow, the full-back handed a chance in a 3-2 friendly defeat against France that saw him start alongside then-Tottenham team-mates Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane. 

Now playing his club football in Spain with Atletico Madrid, the 30-year-old continues to be a key attacking outlet for Southgate's teams. His total of 55 chances created since June 2017 is comfortably the highest for England, with striker Kane second on the list with 37. 

Jordan Pickford 

No player has both played and started more games for England under Southgate than Pickford, whose debut came in November 2017.  With 30 appearances, he sits one ahead of Maguire.

The Everton goalkeeper will not be involved as his manager celebrates his 50th match at the helm, though, as an abdominal muscle injury sees him missing for March's World Cup qualifiers. His absence also offers some of his rivals for the starting job an opportunity to stake their claim to be considered number one, with Pickford's form having been somewhat unconvincing for a while.

Declan Rice 

Rice's introduction to action for England came via a substitute appearance during a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic two years ago, replacing Alli just after the hour mark. 

The midfielder started all six of the Nations League qualifiers in 2020-21, including scoring his first international goal in a 4-0 triumph over Iceland. As for his club career, only Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole played more minutes in the Premier League for West Ham than Rice before the age of 22.


Nathaniel Chalobah 

Having represented England through the youth levels from under-16s upwards, Chalobah has so far played one solitary minute for the senior team, with his late, late opportunity coming against Spain in October 2018.  

Since then, the former Chelsea midfielder has started just 42 league games for Watford. This season he is plying his trade in the Championship, contributing three goals and an assist as the Hornets aim for an immediate return to the top flight. 

Dominic Solanke 

Solanke was part of the England squad that won the 2014 European Under-17 Championship, including scoring in a final against the Netherlands that was eventually settled by a penalty shoot-out. 

His senior debut came against Brazil in November 2017, but he has not been involved since. The striker signed for Bournemouth in January 2019 but failed to score in his first 38 Premier League appearances for the club, a barren run finally ended with a brace against Leicester in July 2020. He has been far more prolific in the Championship, getting 11 goals.

Lewis Cook 

Cook had success with England at youth level, captaining the squad that went all the way at the Under-20 World Cup. Solanke was also involved in that tournament, along with full internationals Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dean Henderson - who was not first choice in goal - and Fikayo Tomori. 

The midfielder's maiden appearance for the senior side earned his grandfather a tidy windfall through a winning bet, but that outing as a substitute against Italy at Wembley remains his only cap. Since then, he has started 58 games for Bournemouth, scoring once. 

Jack Cork 

Another to be handed a late cameo by Southgate, Cork featured for all of four minutes in a friendly with Germany in November 2017. A young line-up that included new faces Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek managed a 0-0 draw at Wembley. 

The midfielder – who was part of the Great Britain squad coached by Stuart Pearce at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – was a regular at Burnley before injuries hampered him in the current season, restricting him to just nine league outings for Sean Dyche's team in the 2020-21 campaign. 

Lewis Dunk 

Dunk has helped Brighton and Hove Albion rise from League One to the Premier League, with his performances earning him an England opportunity against the United States in November 2018. He started in a 3-0 win that saw Wayne Rooney make his 120th and final appearance for the Three Lions. 

The centre-back has not featured since, however, despite remaining a mainstay for his club. Since August 2018, Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (10) is the only defender to have scored more Premier League goals than Dunk's impressive total of nine.  

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