The Netherlands will be without Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Teun Koopmeiners for their decisive Nations League showdown with Belgium on Sunday.

De Jong and Depay have been ruled out due to thigh and leg injuries respectively.

The Barcelona duo did the damage during a 2-0 away victory over Poland on Thursday and will play no part in the final Group A4 game versus the Red Devils at Johan Cruijff Arena

Atalanta midfielder Koopmeiners also misses out in Amsterdam after suffering a concussion.

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal has called up Ajax's Brian Brobbey and Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich in the absence of the trio.

The Dutch will qualify for the Nations League Finals if they avoid defeat by three goals or more.

Jose Mourinho admitted he was "a little scared" amid speculation of Nicolo Zaniolo leaving Roma, while he refuted suggestions the attacker was difficult to manage.

Zaniolo scored the winning goal as Roma ended a 14-year trophy drought, defeating Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final in May.

But speculation persisted in the close season that the 23-year-old may depart the Eternal City, with Juventus reportedly the favourites to secure his signature.

Zaniolo dismissed the move as never likely ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with HJK Helsinki, which Roma won 3-0 after goals from Paulo Dybala, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Belotti.

While the Italy international suggested a transfer was never on the cards, Mourinho acknowledged he was nervous he could lose one of his brightest prospects.

"The director [Tiago Pinto] never came to me to tell me: 'this possibility exists'. Never. You read so many things, especially in the summer," the Roma coach told reporters after victory over HJK. 

"I knew he was an important player for us, with different qualities than the others. He's the only one with this physical potential. Yes, I was a little scared.

"He's a good guy, they told me he was a disaster as a professional. Either it was lies or he changed. I have never seen him arrive late, never had problems."

Roma sit three points behind early pacesetters Real Betis in Group C, with Ludogorets in second after defeating the Giallorossi on matchday one.

Jose Mourinho admitted he was "a little scared" amid speculation of Nicolo Zaniolo leaving Roma, while he refuted suggestions the attacker was difficult to manage.

Zaniolo scored the winning goal as Roma ended a 14-year trophy drought, defeating Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final in May.

But speculation persisted in the close season that the 23-year-old may depart the Eternal City, with Juventus reportedly the favourites to secure his signature.

Zaniolo dismissed the move as never likely ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with HJK Helsinki, which Roma won 3-0 after goals from Paulo Dybala, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Belotti.

While the Italy international suggested a transfer was never on the cards, Mourinho acknowledged he was nervous he could lose one of his brightest prospects.

"The director [Tiago Pinto] never came to me to tell me: 'this possibility exists'. Never. You read so many things, especially in the summer," the Roma coach told reporters after victory over HJK. 

"I knew he was an important player for us, with different qualities than the others. He's the only one with this physical potential. Yes, I was a little scared.

"He's a good guy, they told me he was a disaster as a professional. Either it was lies or he changed. I have never seen him arrive late, never had problems."

Roma sit three points behind early pacesetters Real Betis in Group C, with Ludogorets in second after defeating the Giallorossi on matchday one.

Maurizio Sarri bemoaned familiar "emotional breakdowns" and Ciro Immobile declared the result as "humiliating" after Lazio were thrashed 5-1 at Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's 57th-minute strike proved a mere consolation as Lazio never recovered from going 3-0 down in 52 minutes after goals from Paulinho, Sory Kaba and Evander.

Gustav Isaksen and captain Erik Sviatchenko added further finishes following the Lazio midfielder's effort, condemning Sarri's side to a humbling defeat on their travels to the MCH Arena.

It marked just the fourth time Lazio have shipped five or more goals in a UEFA competition, leaving Sarri to question his methods as he lamented a reoccurrence of previous problems.

"I don't see great differences [from previous seasons]," Sarri told reporters. "These sudden emotional breakdowns are similar to those of previous years.

"It is difficult to understand the reasons: if it's me I have to take a step back, if it's the players it has to go away."

Lazio were met with jeers from their travelling supporters and Immobile acknowledged the boos were justified.

"The fans reacted with a clear head. They told us they were rightly p***** about what they saw. But to look forward, they told us not to give up and that nothing was lost," Immobile said.

"We thought we had taken a step more than last year, but we were wrong. Losing like this is really humiliating. I see it different from the defeats against Bologna and Verona.

"We played with little humility. In Europe, you pay for these things and we have paid enough for them – five goals are unacceptable."

Erik ten Hag is confident Cristiano Ronaldo will score more goals after the forward opened his account for the season to help Manchester United shoot down Sheriff in the Europa League.

Ronaldo had not started any of United's previous four Premier League matches and failed to impress in a home defeat to Real Sociedad last time out.

However, having started Thursday's game, Ronaldo was on target from the penalty spot as United got three points on the board in Group E.

It was the 699th club goal of Ronaldo's career, albeit his first in the Europa League, with Sheriff the 124th different side the 37-year-old has scored against, and Ten Hag is expecting plenty more to follow this season.

"He needed that goal," Ten Hag told United's club media. "He was close many times, but you always see he wanted that so much. We're happy for him, and the team wanted him to bring that goal. 

"We could expect this when you miss pre-season, he has to work really hard and invest to get the right fitness. He will score more goals. He's really close; when he gets more fitness, he will score more."

The United boss was also impressed by the performance of Jadon Sancho, who opened the scoring after 17 minutes when he turned on Christian Eriksen's pass and tucked a neat finish into the bottom-right corner.

Sancho, who was left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad earlier in the day, has now scored three goals in his last six appearances for United, as many as in his previous 24 games combined.

"I'm really pleased with [Sancho]," Ten Hag said. "[He scored] another goal, and he also scored many goals in pre-season.

"He's doing well, but I think there's much room for improvement for him because he has so many skills. So, bring it on the pitch and when he has that belief, I think he can be even more productive."

Meanwhile, Sancho underlined his determination to earn an England recall for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

"It was really important that we got the win today," the winger told reporters. "Our last home against Real Sociedad was an upset and coming into this game, we knew we had to get the three points.

"Obviously, it is disappointing not to get the call-up, but I have to keep working hard and hopefully, I do get the call-up for the World Cup. I just have to focus on myself and carry on working hard."

United have won five of their last six games in all competitions, as many victories as they had registered in their previous 21 matches combined.

Real Betis veteran Joaquin marked his name in Europa League history after becoming the oldest scorer in the competition with a first-half strike against Ludogorets.

Manuel Pellegrini's side were ahead after 25 minutes on Thursday following Luiz Henrique's header from Juan Miranda's cross.

Captain Joaquin doubled Betis' advantage six minutes before the break, drifting in from the left to curl a wonderful effort into the top-right corner past Sergio Padt.

That strike made Joaquin, aged 41 years and 56 days old, the oldest player to score in the Europa League, surpassing Molde's Daniel Hestad after his goal against Celtic in November 2015.

Kiril Despodov pulled one back for Ludogorets before the break, though Betis restored their two-goal lead after Sergio Canales found the net in the 59th minute.

Ludogorets substitute Rick responded with 16 minutes remaining to tee up an enticing conclusion, but Betis held on for a 3-2 victory to remain as the early Group C pacesetters with two wins in as many games.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season as Manchester United got their Europa League campaign up and running with a 2-0 win at Sheriff on Thursday.

Ronaldo, selected to lead the line as Erik ten Hag kept rotation to a minimum against the side that stunned Real Madrid in last season's Champions League, drilled home a first-half penalty to make it 2-0 to United, after Jadon Sancho had opened the scoring.

Having moved onto 699 club goals with his spot-kick, Ronaldo missed a chance to reach the 700 milestone after the break, but United produced a controlled performance to see out the victory.

United were in need of three points following last week's home defeat to Real Sociedad in their opening Group E game.

Although Sheriff started well, United took the lead with their first real attack 17 minutes in when Sancho turned on Christian Eriksen's pass and tucked a neat finish into the bottom-right corner.

Iyayi Atiemwen dragged wide of the bottom-left corner with David de Gea unsighted, before Stjepan Radeljic denied Sancho a second with a heroic goal-line clearance.

United were soon gifted an opportunity to double their lead by Patrick Kpozo, who was tempted into a foul by Diogo Dalot.

Ronaldo, who has had to settle for a substitute role in United's last four Premier League matches, lashed his penalty straight down the middle.

Radeljic was again on hand to clear as Ronaldo attacked the back post after the break, before Rasheed Akanbi almost caught De Gea out with a sumptuous lob from long range.

Ronaldo side-footed wide of the top-right corner from 18 yards out as a chance for his 700th club goal went begging, though United had little trouble in sealing a fifth win in their last six outings.

Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo remains relaxed about his contract situation and has refuted claims he came close to leaving the Giallorossi in the transfer window.

Zaniolo helped Roma end a 14-year trophy drought in May, scoring the winning goal as Jose Mourinho's men beat Feyenoord to win the inaugural Europa Conference League.

The attacker's contract in the Italian capital does not expire until 2024, but he was strongly linked with an exit during the recent transfer window.

Juventus were considered the most likely suitors for the 23-year-old, who has nine senior caps for Italy, but he insists a transfer was never likely.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Roma's Europa League clash with HJK, Zaniolo said: "It was not a unique summer for me. It always seems that I always go and then I stay.

"These are inferences and thoughts that [the media] make. I still have a year and a half on the contract to be able to talk about it. This is not the time right now because we have HJK and Atalanta. 

"Roma has given me so much. It has given me everything and we hope to win other titles."

Zaniolo also outlined his appreciation for Mourinho's backing, adding: "I have to thank the coach because he's always been willing to give me a hand and a second chance. He's a great coach and a great person. I'm happy to have him."

Ahead of Thursday's meeting with the Finnish outfit, Roma are unbeaten in their past 19 home matches in European competitions (W13 D6), the longest such run in their history.

Roma did begin their Europa League campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Ludogorets, however, meaning Mourinho has lost his last two games in the competition (also 3-0 v Dinamo Zagreb with Tottenham in March 2021). Mourinho had previously lost just three of his 24 Europa League games (W17 D4).

The qualities of captain Lorenzo Pellegrini will be key to the Giallorossi's hopes of getting their campaign up and running on Thursday, and Mourinho wishes he could field him in multiple positions.

"Last year I talked about three Pellegrinis, who would always be starters because he can play three different roles and he does them all great. For his age, he has room for improvement but he's a top player," Mourinho said.

"It's a pity that there is only one – I would like three Lorenzos. We try to give him a role where he feels at ease.

"Lorenzo is the first to know that as a captain, the most important thing is to be available to the team."

Erik ten Hag has backed Marcus Rashford to earn an England recall after confirming the injury that has ruled the forward out of Thursday's game with Sheriff is not serious.

Rashford is not part of Manchester United's squad for the Europa League tie in Moldova, with Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka also absent.

The 24-year-old has impressed this campaign with three goals and two assists in six matches, compared to five and two respectively in 32 outings in all competitions last season.

That upturn in form was expected to lead to a call-up to the England squad for the first time since Euro 2020 when Gareth Southgate names his squad on Thursday.

Rashford's hopes of a recall appeared to be damaged by a minor injury sustained against Arsenal, but Ten Hag does not expect him the miss any serious length of time.

"He has a muscle injury. I can't tell how long he'll be out, but I don't think it will be too long," Ten Hag said at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday ahead of facing Sheriff.

"It's not really bad and we expect him back quite soon."

Asked if Rashford has done enough to earn a place in the England squad for Nations League games against Italy and Germany, Ten Hag said: "It's quite clear, yes.

"He has shown his great potential and quality this season."

United have otherwise named a strong squad for the Group E tie as they aim to respond to last week's 1-0 loss at home to Real Sociedad in their opening match.

It will be United's first competitive meeting with Moldovan champions Sheriff, who are unbeaten in eight matches and beat Omonia Nicosia 3-0 last week.

Ten Hag, who has lost only two of his 20 away matches in major European competitions as a manager, is eager to get back on track after last week's setback against Sociedad.

"There is pressure on in every game – we have to win every game we play," the Dutchman said. "When you lose the first game, you have to win the second.

"We know what our task is. We always play a strong side and tomorrow that will also be the case.

"Sheriff have shown they are capable by beating Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk in the past. They are a serious opponent and we have to be at our best for the win."

With Rashford and Martial not available, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start for only the third time this season in all competitions.

However, asked to confirm if that will be the case, Ten Hag said: "I'm sorry, but the Moldova fans have to wait until tomorrow."

Manchester City will no longer face Arsenal on October 19, after the Premier League game was postponed to enable the Gunners to fulfil a Europa League fixture.

Arsenal were set to face PSV in their second Europa League group stage game on Thursday, only for that match to be called off in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Thursday's game was postponed due to "severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning" of the United Kingdom's late monarch.

UEFA has now confirmed the match at Emirates Stadium will take place on October 20, with Arsenal's home match against City – which was set to take place a day earlier – postponed by the Premier League.

In a statement, European football's governing body said: "UEFA would like to thank the Premier League and the clubs concerned for their flexibility and cooperation in the rescheduling of the UEFA Europa League match which had been postponed due to the impossibility for local police forces to guarantee its secure staging."

UEFA has announced that the Europa League group stage clash between Arsenal and PSV on Thursday has been postponed.

The Gunners were due to host the Eredivisie side in their first home match of the competition, having beaten Zurich 2-1 last week, but the tie will not go ahead due to "issues related to ongoing events" following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

A statement read: "UEFA today announced that the UEFA Europa League tie between Arsenal FC and PSV Eindhoven, originally to be played on Thursday 15 September, has been postponed with a new date to be communicated in due course.

"This is due to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

It marks the second Arsenal game in a row to be postponed after all Premier League fixtures this past weekend were called off as a mark of respect to the monarch, who died at the age of 96 on Thursday.

Uncertainty remains around this weekend's fixtures, particularly those in the Premier League where Tottenham host Leicester City, Chelsea tackle Liverpool and Arsenal travel to Brentford.

If those games were to be postponed, Arsenal's next match would not be until the north London derby on October 1 due to the international break.

UEFA has confirmed the Champions League and other European club competitions will feature in the Football Manager video game series for the first time this year.

The latest instalment of Sports Interactive and SEGA's hugely popular series, Football Manager 2023, will be released on November 8.

Players will now be able to compete in fully licenced editions of the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Super Cup, while the Women's Champions League will appear in a future version of the game.

Sports Interactive's studio director Miles Jacobsen revealed last July that the game's creators plan to introduce women's football in the future.

A UEFA press release read: "The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League and UEFA Super Cup will feature for the first time ever in Sports Interactive's and SEGA's iconic series, Football Manager. 

"Although it will not feature in Football Manager 2023, the flagship women’s football club competition, the UEFA Women's Champions League, is also included in the licencing agreement and will debut in a future version of the game."

Jacobsen said: "Adding these historic competitions is an ideal fit for all parties involved and will add another dynamic and challenging element for fans that makes this year's edition the most realistic football management simulation available."

Christian Eriksen is confident Manchester United are on a "good road" and praised the qualities of his fellow Red Devils midfielders. 

Although United lost to Real Sociedad in the Europa League last time out, their Premier League fortunes have seen a vast improvement since Erik ten Hag lost his first two games in charge last month.

A 3-1 home win over Arsenal last Sunday made it four successive league victories for United – their best winning run since April 2021.

Eriksen created a team-high three chances and recorded 33 successful passes (also a team-high) against the Gunners, as well as teeing up Marcus Rashford's second goal.

Only Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes (both 10) have created more Premier League chances than Eriksen for United this campaign (eight). Meanwhile, Fernandes (539) is the only Red Devils midfielder to rack up more Premier League minutes than Eriksen's 532 under Ten Hag.


Speaking to the club's website, Eriksen said United's midfielders were adapting well to the new boss's methods. 

"Everyone has different qualities and it's up to the manager who he's going to put down to play in which games and see what qualities will work," Eriksen said.

"Take Casemiro coming in and showing how strong he is already, being a winner. And Fred and Donny [van de Beek] have played for many years – it's a decent midfield.

"Scott [McTominay] has done very well and I think you can see that from the games. I think in the first few games, we were looking for each other a bit and seeing where we are. 

"But now I think we are starting to get a good connection and a good feeling of where you should be, and also because of the instructions of the manager, as he has the positions he would like us to be in. 

"I think it's gone well, but also when you win games it's just easier to look back and the confidence builds up and you forget the small mistakes you make and remember the good things. 

"There are a lot of things we can improve, but it's a good road we're on."

Last season's 6th-placed Premier League finish means United are competing in the Europa League this campaign, but Eriksen believes the strength of their squad – and the allowance of five substitutions – leaves them well-equipped to cope.

"[The whole squad] is going to be very important," he added. "I think this is a good year to have five substitutions.

"It will help the pressure on a lot of the players, and also I think it will give the manager a few more options. 

"The guys who have come on have done very well – they want to prove themselves. And also the guys that have been starting want to prove themselves. 

"So it's a good and strong push that I think we need, because we have a lot of games and there is a lot of quality in the team. We all have to fight for our places."

Following the Premier League's decision to postpone its weekend fixture programme after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, United are back in action on Thursday, travelling to Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

For the past three seasons, the top four in LaLiga has been somewhat predictable.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have made up the top three, while Sevilla have claimed sole possession of fourth place and the final Champions League qualification spot.

While that could still ultimately be the case in 2022-23, a wobbly start for Julen Lopetegui's men has seen them claim just one point from their first four games as they sit in 17th place.

Predictably, the early running in Spain has seen Madrid and Barca set the pace, though two other teams who have made promising starts meet at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Ahead of Real Betis v Villarreal, Stats Perform has taken a look at whether Sevilla's city rivals and the Yellow Submarine can challenge for a place in this season's top four.

Betis have shown steady progress in recent seasons, having finished 15th in 2019-20. Then Manuel Pellegrini arrived, seeing them climb up to sixth the following year, and fifth last season, as well as winning the Copa del Rey.

Pellegrini's impact has been impressive at Los Verdiblancos, taking them from flirting with relegation to fighting for European spots and winning a trophy, and they have made a promising start to this campaign as well.

Wins against Elche, Mallorca and Osasuna gave them nine points from nine, before a narrow defeat away at domestic and European champions Real Madrid.

They also got off to a winning start in their Europa League campaign on Thursday, winning 2-0 at HJK.

Betis have not finished ahead of rivals Sevilla since 2017-18, but with the platform they have given themselves in the early weeks of this season, perhaps it is time for their fans to dream again.

As for Villarreal, they have made an even more impressive start, winning three and drawing one of their first four league games.

Unai Emery's men are also yet to concede a goal in LaLiga, with flawless victories against Real Valladolid, Atletico and Elche accompanied by a 0-0 draw at Getafe.

In fact, Villarreal are the fourth team to keep a clean sheet in each of their opening four games of a LaLiga season in the 21st century, after Celta Vigo in 2001-02, Barcelona in 2014-15 and Real Madrid in 2015-16.

Like Betis, Villarreal have also enjoyed a good start in Europe, though oddly they have been a little more gung-ho than in the league, beating Hajduk Split 6-2 on aggregate to qualify for the Europa Conference League, before edging a 4-3 thriller at home to Lech Poznan on Thursday in their first group stage game.

The club from Castellon has had a similar trajectory to Betis, finishing 14th in LaLiga in 2018-19, before advancing to fifth (2019-20), seventh (2020-21) and seventh (2021-22).

Villarreal actually had the third-best goal difference in the league last season behind Madrid and Barca (+26), though finished 12 points and four places behind Atletico in third despite having a better GD by four.

Under the guidance of Emery, they even added an impressive European campaign to their CV last season, beating Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League semi-finals, where they gave Liverpool a scare in the second leg before losing 5-2 on aggregate.

This suggests the components are all there for an effective and dangerous team, they just need to spread their goals out across games and avoid the sort of collapse at key moments that saw them submit control of the tie against Liverpool in the second half at El Madrigal in May.

Emery will have to break through a barrier to ensure success at home and abroad, though.

His record of four Europa League wins with Sevilla (three) and Villarreal is remarkable, but in each year he has lifted the trophy, his teams have never finished higher than fifth in the league, which is also where his Arsenal team finished in the Premier League when they were beaten by Chelsea in the 2018-19 Europa League final.

His opposite number on Sunday, Pellegrini, has had less success in European competition, but does have a Premier League title to his name from his time at Manchester City, as well as league titles from Ecuador and Argentina from much earlier in his career.

The goals of Borja Iglesias will be important, especially with Juanmi injured, with the former already hitting four in four games, while keeping Nabil Fekir in the transfer window will also feel like a new signing. There is also, of course, the experience of the evergreen, in more senses than one, Joaquin at 41 years young.

Villarreal can look to build their success on the solid defence of Raul Albiol and Pau Torres, while Dani Parejo continues to run things in midfield, and similarly to Fekir for Betis, keeping Samuel Chukwueze should be a big boost, especially after his delightful goal against Lech Poznan.

Of course, Sunday's clash is only the fifth game of the season, and there is plenty of time for either team to fall away, or to push on even further, while other sharks are likely to circle as the campaign progresses.

It will be an interesting marking-post though, and perhaps an early indicator of who could be the team for everyone outside the usual top three to chase.

Or who knows? Maybe the one Madrid, Barca and Atletico have to worry about.

Manchester United have confirmed next Thursday's Europa League group meeting with Sheriff will go ahead as planned.

United's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday has been postponed, as have all Premier League games this weekend, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.

However, United will travel to Moldova as planned next week for their European tie with Sheriff at Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena.

A statement on United's official website on Friday read: "Following discussions with the relevant governing bodies and in line with guidance issued by the UK Government, we can confirm our UEFA Europa League fixture against FC Sheriff will take place as scheduled on Thursday evening in Moldova.

"Match arrangements will remain the same for fans who are travelling to support the team in Chisinau. "

United lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad in their Group E opener on Thursday, with the game going ahead despite the Queen's death being announced a few hours beforehand.

The Red Devils paid their respects to Her Majesty in a statement released ahead of the game, in which they held a minute's silence ahead of kick-off and wore black armbands.

"Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen," United's statement read.

"The club recognises her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.

"Everyone connected with Manchester United joins the wider football family in sending our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to The Royal Family."

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