Chelsea slumped to a third defeat in four Premier League games as second-half goals from Mario Lemina and Matt Doherty earned Wolves a deserved 2-1 victory at Molineux.

Lemina headed in unmarked from Pablo Sarabia’s corner early in the second period, just reward after Gary O’Neil’s side had weathered early pressure and the hosts had spurned a host of chances, most glaringly from Raheem Sterling.

Chelsea laboured to find a way back, but as so often this season failed to find the key pass in the final third, with Cole Palmer noticeably out of sorts.

Then in stoppage time and with the visitors committed forward, Wolves broke and Hugo Bueno crossed for Doherty to take advantage of a poor clearance to slam home a second.

Substitute Christopher Nkunku headed his first Chelsea goal in the dying minutes, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side slipped to a third away league defeat on the spin.

Armando Broja spurned the game’s first opening. After Sterling fed Malo Gusto down the right, his low cross into the box arrived perfectly at the foot of the Albanian, playing as a lone striker with Nicolas Jackson moved to the wing. Looking to shoot first time, Broja kicked at fresh air and the chance was gone.

Sterling was Chelsea’s clearest danger in the first half, running at Wolves down either flank and pitching inviting deliveries. The best of them fell to Jackson who had found space, but as the ball dropped, his touch failed to match his movement and the pass squirmed beneath his foot and away.

After half an hour, it was the turn of his team-mates to vent their anger towards the England international. Sterling did brilliantly to harry and dispossess Joao Gomes, Wolves’ last man, who dithered on the ball deep in his own half. With the defence stranded upfield, Sterling advanced on goal with Jackson and Palmer wide open beside him. Either player would have had a tap-in; instead, Sterling inexplicably went alone and hit a weak shot straight at Jose Sa.

Wolves’ best chances of the half came in the closing seconds, first when Sarabia fired just wide from the edge of the box via a deflection, then Hee Chan Hwang raced clear of Levi Colwill from a ball over the top and lashed over.

They began the second half with similar urgency, Gomes hitting a shot that nicked off Lesley Ugochukwu and grazed the post before defender Toti got forward from the back and drew an outstanding point-blank save from Chelsea’s stand-in goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic.

It was a warning the visitors did not heed and the goal moments later was an almost carbon copy of Toti’s chance. Sarabia’s corner dropped into the heart of the Chelsea penalty area, but despite the obvious danger no one in blue jumped or moved to attack the ball.

That left Lemina with a simple header, climbing above the grounded Ugochukwu to nod towards the back post and in beyond the stranded Petrovic.

Pochettino sent on Nkunku for his Premier League debut, with the ineffectual Broja departing. He nearly offered Chelsea instant reprieve, denied on the goal line by Toti, who gratefully booted clear.

Sterling then went close again, set up by Palmer on the right after Nkunku had picked him out only for an heroic last-ditch block from Craig Dawson diverting the ball over Sa’s crossbar. The balance of the game was tipping in Chelsea’s favour.

Their growing confidence led to their undoing. Three minutes into added time, Bueno broke down the left, Benoit Badiashile’s attempted clearance was atrocious and Doherty crashed it home to take the roof of Molineux.

Nkunku headed in from Sterling’s cross minutes later, but barely any Chelsea fans had stayed to see it.

Mikey Johnston has warned the Netherlands not to underestimate the Republic of Ireland as the Dutch attempt to book their place at the finals of Euro 2024.

Barring an unlikely sequence of events which would hand Ireland a play-off place, they will not be in Germany next summer, but the Netherlands will be if they can take maximum points from their remaining Group B fixtures against Stephen Kenny’s men and Gibraltar next month.

Monday night’s last-gasp 1-0 win in Greece as the Republic beat Gibraltar 4-0 in Faro left the Netherlands in pole position to claim second place behind France, but Celtic winger Johnston, who was on the scoresheet along with Evan Ferguson, Matt Doherty and Callum Robinson, is determined to end a disappointing campaign on a high.

Asked if he saw the trip to Amsterdam as a chance to bloody the nose of one of European football’s big guns, who won 2-1 in Dublin last month, the 24-year-old said: “I think we have shown we can do that.

“Obviously the results haven’t gone our way, but we went toe-to-toe with them and it’s just fine margins.

“At either end in the box, we’ve not been good enough at times, conceding goals we shouldn’t have and maybe we’ve not taken our chances as well.

“This group has given everything to qualify and that’s all we can ask.”

Ireland always knew they had a tough task to get out of the group when they were drawn against both the Dutch and World Cup runners-up France.

But defeat by the Greeks in Athens in their second fixture left them up against it and they will head into their final fixture with only six points banked from the first seven, all of them against whipping boys Gibraltar.

That return has left manager Kenny facing a review next month which might well have been brought forward despite assurances to the contrary had things gone badly at the Estadio Algarve, and few commentators expect him to remain in his role.

Asked to assess the campaign, Johnston said: “Obviously it’s disappointing that we haven’t qualified. Our group is obviously tough, but we are not making excuses, we still believed we could qualify from the group.”

Whether or not Kenny is involved in the international set-up beyond November remains to be seen, but Johnston will hope his efforts to date in the green shirt will lead to further caps.

His six appearances so far – the last of them a first start – have yielded two goals and an exciting brand of football which has at times been missing from Kenny’s team despite the manager’s attempts to adopt a more progressive approach.

Johnston spent last season on loan at Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal, but has missed the start of the new campaign back at Celtic after suffering a stress fracture in his back, and he is now looking to catch the eye of club boss Brendan Rodgers.

He said: “I’m just trying to work my way behind the scenes to get my opportunity. The manager has got tough decisions to make. He has got wingers that he has brought in for a few million and whatever, so it’s up to me to get into the team.”

The Republic of Ireland will attempt to launch a strong finish to a disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying campaign when they welcome Greece to the Aviva Stadium on Friday evening.

Stephen Kenny’s men saw hopes of automatic qualification effectively go up in smoke last month when they were beaten by Group B rivals France in Paris and the Netherlands in Dublin, leaving them with just three points from their five games to date.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding a game in which there is little more than pride at stake for the hosts.

Curtains for Kenny?

Despite inheriting an Ireland squad which had secured a Euro 2020 play-off place on which they were ultimately unable to cash in, Kenny stated from early in his reign that qualification for Euro 2024 was his target. Barring an unlikely series of results, the Republic will not make it to Germany automatically and even another ticket for the play-offs looks unlikely as a result of their poor Nations League record. A review of the manager’s tenure will take place next month, but even some of Kenny’s most staunch supporters are starting to turn.

Greek tragedy


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The Group B draw left both Ireland and Greece, who were already assured of a play-off spot, facing a difficult task to deny France and the Netherlands the top two berths and as such, the games between the two were going to be crucial. Kenny’s men travelled to Athens in June knowing victory would put them in a strong position from which to mount an attack; they left on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline and with the alarm bells already ringing after just two games.

Matt finish?

Matt Doherty in particular did not enjoy his trip to the Greek capital. With his side trailing to Anastasios Bakasetas’ and a second from Girogos Masouras after Nathan Collins had levelled, the defender was sent off after a needless clash with Liverpool’s Kostas Tsimikas. He and his team-mates were less than happy with the behaviour of some of the Greece players during the game and there is a hunger for a measure of revenge within the camp.

When Irish eyes are spying

Greece boss Gus Poyet was a satisfied man after the win at the OPAP Arena, claiming afterwards that he had anticipated what Ireland would do and had therefore been able to combat it. Ireland assistant manager Keith Andrews this week suggested the Uruguayan had enlisted the help of Irish contacts to draw up his masterplan. Time will tell if he has been able to do so once again.

Evan help us

Last month’s 2-0 defeat in Paris and the 2-1 reverse at the hands of the Dutch which followed it might have been different had Kenny been able to call upon one of his emerging stars. Eighteen-year-old Brighton striker Evan Ferguson was forced to withdraw from the squad due to a knee injury, robbing Ireland of their most potent weapon. Ferguson is back and primed and Ireland expects.

Matt Doherty marked his second Wolves debut with two goals and Nathan Fraser scored on his first senior appearance as they brushed aside League One Blackpool 5-0 to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Sasa Kalajdzic doubled his Wolves tally days after getting off the mark at Everton and Fabio Silva capped a fine display with his first goal for the club since May 2021 before the popular Doherty, back at the ground where he spent a decade before leaving in 2020, scored two in seven minutes.

Substitute Fraser had set up the second of Doherty’s goals and the 18-year-old then got in on the scoring himself, beating goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell with a deflected effort late on.

With Matheus Nunes trying to force through a move to Manchester City, Goncalo Guedes heading back to Benfica on loan and Daniel Podence seemingly on his way out, Wolves need reinforcements in the final days of the transfer window but there were positive signs at Molineux.

Blackpool, without a goal in four matches since beating Derby 2-0 in the last round and deprived of cup-tied striker Jordan Rhodes and the injured Shayne Lavery, twice struck the frame of the goal but were comfortably second best.

Gary O’Neil made nine changes from Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Everton, even including 15-year-old Emilio Ballard-Matthews among the substitutes, and will have been pleased with the attacking intent of those afforded an opportunity.

Kalajdzic, whose first season at Molineux was ruined by a torn ligament suffered on his debut, opened his Wolves account in the 87th minute at Goodison Park and needed only 10 minutes of this match to double it, bouncing a shot in after Pablo Sarabia’s effort was charged down by O’Donnell.

Wolves were then guilty of complacency against goal-shy Blackpool, loose in possession at the back and almost punished as Kenny Dougall saw a shot from 20 yards come back off the inside of the post.

But Silva settled nerves in the 25th minute as Sarabia ran forward from midfield and slipped the ball through for the 21-year-old to beat O’Donnell with a powerful finish.

After his last strike against West Brom in May 2021, Silva went a full season without a Wolves goal and then spent time on loan with Anderlecht and PSV Eindhoven, but O’Neil will hope his positive display here is a sign the former club-record signing, still only 21, is settling in at last.

There was a blow early in the second half for the hosts when 20-year-old Joe Hodge, making his first appearance of the season, pulled up clutching his hamstring when breaking into the box, with 19-year-old Harvey Griffiths handed a debut as his replacement.

The third goal came on the hour, with Sarabia again involved as he latched on to a deflected ball through and lifted in a cross from the left for Republic of Ireland full-back Doherty, back at Molineux after spells with Tottenham and Atletico Madrid, to head in off the underside of the crossbar.

Moments later, Doherty was at it again. The 18-year-old Fraser, on for Kalajdzic, beat the offside trap down the right and then tapped the ball back for Doherty to run at goal and beat O’Donnell at his near post.

At the other end Blackpool skipper Callum Connolly struck the crossbar with a free-kick but Wolves and Fraser had the final word six minutes from time.

Republic of Ireland international Matt Doherty has completed a return to Wolves on a free transfer.

The defender has signed a three-year deal with the Molineux outfit, after making more than 300 appearances during his first spell at the club.

Doherty left Wolves after a decade of service to sign for Tottenham in 2020 but departed Spurs in January on a free transfer and joined Atletico Madrid on a six-month deal.

After the 31-year-old made only two appearances during his brief stint in Spain, he has now returned to England and will work under Julen Lopetegui.

Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs said: “We’re really happy Matt’s back and he’s one the manager really wanted when he knew he was available.

“After Spurs and Atletico Madrid, he’s hungry to prove himself again and will add strength in depth to the full-back area, providing competition and making us better in those positions.

“He knows the club and what it means to play here – he’s been successful at Wolves before and knows what the fans want.

“For us, it’s another homegrown player, but one who can share his knowledge and the required standards across the group, so he will be able to slot back in no problem.”

Matt Doherty believes Tottenham must stick with Antonio Conte despite his inflammatory outburst in the wake of Spurs' 3-3 draw at Southampton.

Conte lashed out at his players, as well as Tottenham's ownership, after his team surrendered a two-goal lead in the closing stages of Saturday's trip to St Mary's Stadium.

Spurs are now expected to part ways with the former Inter, Chelsea and Juventus coach during the international break.

However, Doherty – who left Spurs to join Atletico Madrid in January – has urged the club to stand by Conte, who he labelled as "one of the best managers of all time".

In a press conference, the Republic of Ireland defender said: "I hope he stays for a long time at Tottenham.

"He's an unbelievable coach, an unbelievable manager. He won't say anything in the press that he won't say to his players, he's completely honest with his players, has the passion for the whole club.

"I hope Tottenham stick by him and hold onto him for as long as possible, he's one of the best managers of all time."

Doherty's seemingly comments contrast with those of his former team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who asked his coach to "elaborate" on the comments the Italian made after the Southampton game.

Hojbjerg said: "I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture. But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.

"The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me.

"You do what you can to please him. What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100 per cent of myself for the team."

Antonio Conte claimed Champions League qualification would be life-changing for Tottenham ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Conte also reiterated, however, that Tottenham face a difficult challenge to secure a place in Europe's premier competition, insisting another four clubs were also competing for fourth spot.

Spurs have won four consecutive league games to move into the Premier League's top four, the last two of those by four goals (a 5-1 win over Newcastle United and a 4-0 victory at Aston Villa). Another four-goal win would make Conte's team the first side to win three successive Premier League games by four goals since Manchester City in September 2017.

Tottenham will be confident of extending their excellent form against the Seagulls, who have lost on all four of their Premier League trips to Spurs. Only against Bournemouth (five wins from five) do Spurs have a better 100 per cent home record in the competition.

Ahead of Saturday's clash, Conte said watching this week's Champions League fixtures really brought home how important it is for his side to mix it with Europe's elite.

"The Champions League is a competition that every club, every player, every manager wants to play and for this reason it's important to have this great goal," Conte said. 

"[It] changes your life if next season you are going to play in the Champions League, instead of playing UEFA [Europa] League, [Europa] Conference League, or nothing. 

"The team is ready to fight until the end in this race. This race is not easy. It's very, very important to finish in the top four in England because it means that you have reached a great result for the club.

"Yesterday and two days ago we watched how important it is to play in the Champions League and how fascinating these games [are]. I'm sure that in my players there is a great desire to be protagonists in this competition.

"But we know very well that there are other teams that are really strong, Arsenal, [Manchester] United, West Ham, Wolverhampton, that they are in the same race with us, but we want to fight until the end, and we'll see what happens at the end of the season."

In-form Tottenham have scored at least twice in each of their last seven Premier League games – only once have they had a longer such run, doing so in 11 consecutive games between September and December 2011.

Conte conducted his media duties in person after his positive COVID-19 test had originally forced the club to plan a remote news conference, and was confident that having to distance from his players had not impacted Spurs' preparations. 

"I had mild symptoms after the game against Aston Villa on Saturday," he added. "Mild pain in the throat, then I wanted to have a COVID-19 test, and I was positive.

"Now I'm well, and it's okay. I attended training sessions this week from a distance because I didn't want to take any risks with the players. 

"My staff did a really good job, I trust in my staff, they are well prepared. The situation is under control. I'll be okay for Saturday, I'll be on the bench, in my place."

Conte was also asked about the condition of Matt Doherty, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained at Villa Park last Saturday.

The Italian called the absence of Doherty, whose six league goal involvements this season (two goals, four assists) can only be bettered by four Spurs players, "really bad news" but expressed his confidence in the other options in his squad. 

"This is really bad news for us because, as you know well, Matthew was improving game by game and becoming a really important player for us," Conte added. "He had great confidence. But, in football, this kind of situation can happen.

"It's a pity, a pity for him, and we are very disappointed. Now, we have to find the best solution. We have Emerson [Royal], Sergio Reguilon, [Ryan] Sessegnon in the squad, and we have to try to do our best until the end of the season."

Tottenham roared to fourth in the Premier League with a 5-1 thumping of Newcastle United as Son Heung-min scored one and created another.

Fabian Schar gave visitors Newcastle a first-half lead when he struck a free-kick past Hugo Lloris, but Ben Davies levelled within four minutes when he converted Son's cross.

Antonio Conte's home side required just three minutes of the second period to turn the game around as Matt Doherty's header gave them the lead, before Son rifled home after 54 minutes and Emerson Royal added gloss with a 63rd-minute fourth. Steven Bergwijn made it a five-goal show for the hosts when he struck in the 83rd minute.

Spurs now sit fourth in the Premier League table, above local rivals Arsenal on goal difference, ahead of the Gunners facing Crystal Palace on Monday.

Harry Kane finished without a goal but was heavily involved. He shot wide of the bottom-left corner after 15 minutes, before Cristian Romero made a stunning block to deny Joe Willock at the other end.

The Magpies took a shock lead when Schar's free-kick found the bottom-right corner after 39 minutes, with Lloris getting a weak hand to the ball on its way past him.

Spurs were soon level though, with Davies meeting Son's left-wing cross to divert a superb glancing header past Martin Dubravka.

Having found the perfect response at the end of the first half, Tottenham made a superb start to the second, Doherty stooping to head home Kane's cross at the back post after 48 minutes.

The much-improved hosts effectively ended the contest after 54 minutes, the impressive Son latching on to Kulusevksi's right-footed cross before powering a close-range shot past Dubrakva.

Emerson stabbed home a close-range fourth shortly after the hour mark, before Son missed a glorious one-on-one chance after latching onto Kane's pass. Spurs still found time to add a fifth, with substitute Bergwijn slotting past Dubravka from Lucas Moura's pass to complete the rout.

What does it mean? Spurs boost top-four hopes with quickfire turnaround

Four goals from the 43rd minute to the 63rd minute turned a difficult contest into a rampant win for Conte's men, who have now won five of their last six league games.

Conte's men have also scored two or more goals in each of the six matches, last doing so in more consecutive league games between February and April 2017 (a run of seven).

Son continues home hot streak

Son's goal was his ninth in his last nine league outings at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while his tally of 11 home goals cannot be matched by any other Premier League player this term.

This is the first campaign in which Son has ever reached double figures for home league goals, as the in-form South Korea international continues to play a crucial role in Spurs' top-four charge.

Davies ends long drought with help from creative Son

Davies' equaliser represented his first Premier League goal since September 2017 (against Huddersfield), and ended the Wales man's run of 108 league appearances without netting.

Meanwhile, Son's assist was his 45th in the Premier League, matching the tally Aaron Lennon managed for Spurs in the competition. Only Darren Anderton (68) and Christian Eriksen (62) now have more for the club.

What's next? 

Tottenham's next Premier League outing sees them travel to Aston Villa for an early evening kick-off next Saturday, while Newcastle will host Wolves on Friday.

Time is ticking down on the 2021-22 Premier League campaign – and indeed on your chances of making up those valuable points in your fantasy football league.

While certain players are a must for any manager with serious prospects of finishing top of the pile (hello, Mohammed Salah), others often go under the radar.

And with a real rarity of all 10 gameweek 28 fixtures taking place across the same weekend – at the time of writing, at least! – it is important you get your selection spot on.

So why not let Stats Perform, led by Opta data, pick out four players – one for each position – that can help propel you up the standings. Come on, trust us.

FRASER FORSTER (Aston Villa v Southampton)

Five games without defeat, including back-to-back victories over Everton and Norwich City at St Mary's, have helped propel Southampton back into the top half of the division.

What makes those successive home wins all the more impressive is that Saints kept two clean sheets, having failed to record a single shutout in their previous 13 league matches.

Forster was in goal for both games and, while he only had to make one save across the 180 minutes, he has prevented the fourth-most goals in the Premier League this term.

Having conceded only 10 times, excluding own goals, from shots worth 13.5 expected goals on target, he has limited opponents to 3.5 goals fewer than expected.

Only Aaron Ramsdale (4.0 goals prevented), David de Gea (7.5) and Jose Sa (7.8) have fared better in that regard in the English top flight this term.

MATT DOHERTY (Tottenham v Everton)

Tottenham may be struggling for consistency, but right wing-back Doherty finally appears to be finding his feet under Antonio Conte – in the league, at least.

The former Wolves defender scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time in Tottenham's most recent outing in the competition against Leeds United.

Doherty now has three goal involvements in his past five league games, also supplying an assist at Leicester City, where he created four chances.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO (Aston Villa v Southampton)

Okay, okay – we know we have already selected Southampton goalkeeper Forster, but hear us out here.

By putting Aston Villa midfielder Coutinho in your side, you are hedging your bets, because if the Villans are to score then they need their Brazilian playmaker on top form.

He has four direct goal involvements in six games since returning to the Premier League in January – only Harry Kane (six) and Bruno Fernandes (seven) can better that return.

That should be of particular concern to Southampton as Coutinho has been involved in as many Premier League goals against them (five – four goals, one assist) as against any other side.

EMMANUEL DENNIS (Watford v Arsenal)

Long gone are the days of Watford being unable to keep a clean sheet for love nor money – the Hornets are now shutout kings under that up-and-coming boss Roy Hodgson.

Well, not quite, but Watford's three Premier League blanks since Hodgson's first game is the joint-most of any side, along with Liverpool, Manchester City and, eh, Burnley.

Now they just need to work on becoming more prolific at the other end of the field, and in Dennis they have a player potentially capable of firing them to safety.

The Nigeria international has scored nine goals and assisted five more in the Premier League this term – only five other players have been directly involved in more.

Tottenham responded to their setback at Burnley with a comfortable 4-0 win over struggling Leeds United on Saturday.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte had called his own future into question after they slipped to a fourth defeat in five Premier League games at Turf Moor, and his players produced the response he would have wanted at Elland Road.

Goals from Matt Doherty, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane effectively settled the contest within the first 30 minutes as the visitors breathed new life into their Champions League aspirations.

Kane teed up Son Heung-min for Tottenham's fourth as they combined to make Premier League history, leaving Leeds, who have now lost three consecutive home games in the top flight for the first time since November 2003, in no doubt that they are in a relegation battle. 

After Pascal Struijk glanced a good chance wide, Tottenham took early control of the game and broke the deadlock after nine minutes, Doherty providing a fine side-foot finish to Ryan Sessegnon's low cross.

The home fans, quietened by that early blow, fell eerily silent just six minutes later after Kulusevski bustled his way into the box from the right and drilled a shot past Illan Meslier at the near post.

Robin Koch hit the base of the post as Leeds sought a way back into the contest, but they were 3-0 down before the half-hour mark, Kane expertly turning home Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's simple ball over the top, with Meslier rooted to his line.

Marcelo Bielsa made two changes at half-time, but it did little to disrupt Spurs' control. Kane slid in Doherty for a second goal but Meslier saved well, before Son's follow-up was blocked by Koch.

Leeds' one clear chance of the second half summed up their recent fortunes: after Hugo Lloris made a mess of sweeping up a long ball, Stuart Dallas strode towards the unguarded net but dithered for too long and saw his shot closed down by Ben Davies.

Emerson Royal should have scored from a Kane throughball, but Son made no mistake with five minutes remaining as he latched onto Kane's long pass and fired beyond Meslier.

It was the 37th time those two have combined for a goal in the Premier League, overtaking the record held by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

What does it mean? Spurs ease tensions around Conte

Conte apologised for his outburst after the Burnley loss but admitted he had expected Spurs to be "more ready to fight and to win" when he arrived.

They certainly shrugged off a difficult few days in impressive style here, killing the contest within half an hour for just their second league win in six.

Spurs are now four points outside the top four with a game in hand, while Leeds could be dragged into the bottom three depending on Saturday's other results.

Wing-back wizardry

Conte's 3-4-3 system caused persistent problems for Leeds, particularly through the runs of Doherty and Sessegnon.

They combined for the opening goal and set up a further three chances between them, Doherty also assisting Kulusevski with a one-two.

Llorente led a merry dance

Diego Llorente endured a dreadful outing in which he managed to make life easier for Spurs' attackers.

After stepping over the ball when it seemed he would stop Kulusevski cutting in and scoring, he played Kane onside for the third goal and fell in the move that saw Sessegnon come within inches of adding a fourth.

What's next?

Spurs are in FA Cup action at Middlesbrough on Tuesday before their next league game at Everton on March 7. Leeds have a week to prepare for a trip to Leicester City.

Liverpool suffered another injury blow as Fabinho was ruled out of Thursday's Premier League clash at Tottenham but captain Jordan Henderson returned.

Fabinho has moved back from midfield into the heart of the champions' defence impressively with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees, but the Brazil international missed out against Spurs due to a minor muscle issue.

Henderson sat out the shock home defeat to Burnley and the FA Cup fourth-round loss at Manchester United last week, but the skipper returned to fill in at centre-back again alongside Joel Matip.

James Milner lined up for his 550th Premier League appearance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Sadio Mane returning to the starting line-up as the Reds looked to end a five-match winless run in the top flight.

Tottenham were without Sergio Reguilon due to a muscle injury, so Matt Doherty came into the side in the only change from their last Premier League game at Sheffield United.

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