Can Jose Mourinho break his Stamford Bridge hoodoo and will Mesut Ozil return for Arsenal?

The Premier League returns this weekend and all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge as Chelsea welcome Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side to west London.

The Blues returned to joint-top of the table before the international break, while Mourinho gave himself some breathing space thanks to a last minute winner from Alexis Sanchez against Newcastle.

Elsewhere, Liverpool are sweating over a number of injury concerns before their trip to Huddersfield and Unai Emery has a selection dillemma on his hands for the visit of Leicester.

Can Jose Mourinho break his Stamford Bridge hoodoo?

Jose Mourinho needs a result at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)The self-proclaimed Special One has returned to his old stomping ground on three occasions with Manchester United…and left empty-handed each time.

Mourinho was once a ‘big game specialist’ but Antonio Conte’s Chelsea trounced United 4-0 in 2016 before beating them in the FA Cup later on in the season. Alvaro Morata’s header was enough to give the Blues a 1-0 victory last term.

Mourinho faces an FA charge for supposed use of foul language (Picture: BT Sport)Nobody will be more desperate than Mourinho to get a result at Stamford Bridge but Maurizio Sarri’s side have been the most impressive outfit so far this term and in Eden Hazard have the Premier League’s in-form player.

United’s trip to west London kicks off a daunting run of fixtures that sees them take on Juventus, Manchester City and Arsenal in the next six weeks.

Reports before United’s comeback against Newcastle before the international break claimed Mourinho would be sacked regardless of the result and though the nature of the comeback will undoubtedly boost morale in the camp, it only papered over the cracks of what’s been a desperate start to the Premier League season.

Defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will put United back in crisis mode so Mourinho will be hoping he can finally break his duck.

Xherdan Shaqiri has chance to shine against Huddersfield

Xherdan Shaqiri has a good chance of starting against Huddersfield (Picture: Getty)He’s had to bide his time at Anfield and been limited to just one Premier League start but Shaqiri’s opportunity may finally arrive this weekend against Huddersfield.

Sadio Mane has undergone surgery on a thumb issue, while Mohamed Salah is struggling with a thigh injury. Though Salah is likely to recover in time, Mane is a major doubt and that is likely to see Shaqiri given a chance from the start against the Terriers.

Liverpool’s front three have been far from their blistering best so far this term and with a hectic fixture schedule coming up, Shaqiri has the chance to impress Klopp and to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.

Shaqiri’s started just one Premier League match this term (Picture: Getty)Shaqiri’s looked little more than a squad player since joining from Stoke and the Switzerland international admitted earlier this week that he’s found it tough at Anfield.

‘I decided to move to Liverpool fully aware that I would have a harder time in a club of this standing than, for example, other clubs that tried to help me,’ said Shaqiri.

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Huddersfield are yet to win this season and have shipped 17 goals in their eight matches so far this term. Liverpool went unbeaten through a difficult period before the International break in which they faced Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City and they face Cardiff at home after taking on Huddersfield.

There’s probably not a better fixture for Liverpool – or Shaqiri – to have right now.

Cardiff take on Fulham looking for first win of the season

Neil Warnock’s men are without a win in their first eight matches (Picture: Getty)After picking up two points in their first three matches, Cardiff have lost five on the bounce and are in danger of being cut adrift in the relegation zone.

Neil Warnock’s men reduced Spurs to minimal chances in their 1-0 defeat at Wembley before the break and were unlucky not to equalise when Josh Murphy had an effort cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld.

Cardiff left Wembley empty-handed (Picture: Getty)Nevertheless, the Bluebirds face a trip to Anfield after their clash against Fulham and Warnock will be desperate to get a first win under his belt this term against the Lilywhites.

Fulham were torn apart by Arsenal in a 5-1 mauling at Craven Cottage a fortnight ago and could be the perfect opposition for Cardiff to get off the mark.

Will Mesut Ozil return for Arsenal?

Ozil has returned to full training (Picture: Getty)Henrikh Mkhitaryan neither scored nor assisted during Arsenal’s 5-1 win against Fulham but the Armenian was at his mercurial best in a no.10 role in Mesut Ozil’s absence.

The German missed the game with a back spasm and has had the international break to recover given his self-imposed unavailbility from Germany’s national squad.

Unai Emery has started Ozil and Mkhitaryan together just twice so far this season and that was in the Gunners’ opening two defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.

Mkhitaryan deserves to keep his spot (Picture: Getty)Ozil has tended to get the nod in recent weeks but Mkhitaryan’s performance at Craven Cottage has given Emery a selection headache.

The win against Fulham was Arsenal’s ninth in a row in all competitions and Emery could be tempted to name an unchanged side against the Foxes.

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Arsenal eyeing move for Liverpool outcast Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno is on Arsenal’s radar (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are reportedly plotting a move to sign Liverpool misfit Alberto Moreno at the end of the season.

Moreno has made 134 appearances for Liverpool since his debut back in 2014 but consistent defensive lapses have meant the 26-year-old has struggled for game-time under Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside.

The Reds are resigned to losing Moreno next summer, with the Spaniard in the final year of his contract, and a queue of top European clubs is forming.

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According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have been alerted to Moreno’s contract situation with the defender available on a free transfer at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Andrew Robertson has nailed down his place as Liverpool’s first-choice left-back and the club have high hopes for academy prospect Adam Lewis meaning Klopp is open to letting Moreno leave.

Unai Emery worked with Moreno at Sevilla (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery worked with Moreno when they were together at Sevilla and is keen to be reunited with the Spain international in north London.

Sead Kolasinac has dropped down the pecking order significantly at Arsenal, with Emery favouring Ainsley Maitland-Niles over the the Bosnian since his arrival.

The Gunners may have to compete with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona for Moreno’s signature.

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Nicolo Barella ‘proud’ amid Arsenal and Liverpool transfer speculation

Nicolo Barella is being watched by Arsenal and Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Cagliari star Nicolo Barella has admitted that he is ‘proud’ to be linked with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Barella, 21, who made his first-team debut for Cagliari back in 2014, is widely regarded as one of most promising young midfielders in Serie A and was rewarded with his first Italy cap earlier this year following a string of impressive performances.

Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma are all understood to be interested in Barella, as well as Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool.

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Reports suggest the Gunners have even sent a scout to watch the youngster this season.

Barella is valued at around €50million (£44m) by Cagliari but the Serie A outfit are desperate to keep hold of the Italy international until the end of the season.

The midfielder made his Italy debut earlier this year (Picture: Getty)Asked about his €50m valuation, Barella told Sky Italia: ‘I’m not the one who sorts out the transfers.

‘It’s the agents, presidents and clubs who do that. I only think about Cagliari and to stay up in the league. We’ll see about the rest.

‘The interest from big clubs is pleasing, and makes me proud. It means I’m doing the right things.’

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Arsenal are scouring the market for possible replacements for Aaron Ramsey, with the Welshman out of contract at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

The 27-year-old midfielder is expected to leave the club amid strong interest from Arsenal’s Premier League rivals.

Liverpool and Manchester United are among the many teams monitoring Ramsey’s contact situation at the Emirates.

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Arsenal join Liverpool in race to sign Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella

Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Nicolo Barella (Getty Images)Arsenal are keeping tabs on Cagliari’s central midfielder Nicolo Barella, according to reports in Italy.

The 21-year-old made his senior debut three years ago and is widely considered as one of the top young prospects in Italian football.

Barella has attracted interest from several Serie A clubs including Juventus, Inter and Roma.

But according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are also in the race and have sent a scout to keep track of Barella’s progress in Serie A.

Barella is also on Liverpool’s radar (Getty Images)Cagliari, however, are unwilling to let the midfielder leave in the January transfer window and reportedly value him at €50 million (£44m).

Arsenal may also face competition from Liverpool, with reports claiming last month that Jurgen Klopp’s side are confident of winning the race for Barella.

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The Gunners are in the market for a potential replacement for Aaron Ramsey after the club withdrew their offer of a new contract.

Ramsey is now expected to leave Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of the season, which will leave a gap to fill in Unai Emery’s midfield.

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Chelsea ‘top club in England’ ahead of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, claims Olivier Giroud

Giroud believes Chelsea are England’s top club (Picture: AFP/Getty)Olivier Giroud believes Chelsea are the ‘top club in England’ ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and former club Arsenal.

The Blues ditched the Emirates for Stamford Bridge in January, but his new side failed to qualify for the Champions League and will spend this campaign in the Europa League.

It’s been an up-and-down few years for the west London club, but Chelsea have won as many Premier League titles over the past decade as their main rivals, and Giroud – who was linked with a move away in the summer – is convinced they are the ‘top club’ in the country.

When asked about leaving Chelsea in the summer, he told L’Equipe: ‘It did not go as far as we could say.

Giroud left Arsenal in January (Picture: Getty)‘There was really a contact [from Marseille] last year, but nothing really concrete this summer.

‘I had just arrived at Chelsea, it was not the time to pack my bags again three months later.

‘For me, Chelsea is the top club in England, the one that has won the most titles over the last ten years.

‘I am where I wanted to be. So why leave?’

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Aaron Ramsey open to joining Manchester United or Chelsea with Arsenal exit likely

Aaron Ramsey is expected to leave Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey is open to joining Manchester United or Chelsea if he leaves Arsenal on a free transfer, reports say.

The Wales midfielder has developed into a key player for Arsenal since being signed by Arsene Wenger from Cardiff City in 2008.

With his current contract set to expire next summer, Ramsey had been locked in talks with the Gunners over a new deal.

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But Arsenal dramatically withdrew their contract offer at the end of last month and Ramsey is now expected to leave the Emirates, either in January or the summer.

The 27-year-old has attracted interest from a number of European clubs but ESPN FC say he is willing to join one of Arsenal’s direct rivals.

It is claimed both Manchester United and Chelsea intend to monitor his situation in north London ahead of possible moves, although Liverpool are unlikely to bid.

Aaron Ramsey speaks out on leaving Arsenal for Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool in January

Will he leave Arsenal in January? (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey will not push for a move away from Arsenal in the January transfer window and plans to see out the remainder of his contract which expires at the end of the season.

The Welshman is set to leave the Emirates after a decade of service in north London. The 27-year-old had been close to agreeing a new deal but Arsenal recently withdrew their offer amid input from head coach Unai Emery.

Ramsey’s impending exit has sparked interest from around Europe, particularly among Serie A’s elite clubs, while Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all monitoring his situation.

Emery is not planning on keeping Ramsey (Picture: Getty)

🕹 EmeryBall – DELUXE!
⚽ Mission: Instant impact🎮 Objective: Using Player Two, help start – and then finish – a flowing team move ⏳ Time limit: 40 seconds
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 10, 2018

However, Ramsey announced his intentions to stay with the club until the season’s end.

‘Will I stay for the rest of the season? Of course, yeah,’ he said on international duty.

‘I am contracted to Arsenal and I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special.

‘Everything has been going great with the club. We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case.

Manchester United and Arsenal to miss out on Premier League top four – Matt Le Tissier

Premier League legend and Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier (Picture: Getty)Manchester United and Arsenal will miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, according to Matt Le Tissier.

Three teams are currently joint-top, with defending champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool separated only by goal difference.

Arsenal are fourth, having won their last nine games in all competitions, but north London rivals Tottenham are hot on their heels.

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Jose Mourinho’s United, meanwhile, are down in eighth after a poor start to the campaign.

The Red Devils finished second last season on 81 points but Le Tissier cannot see them securing a top-four place this term.

‘I think I will go with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs for the top four,’ Le Tissier told Sky Sports.

Jose Mourinho faces a fight to finish in the top four (Picture: Getty)‘As long as Christian Eriksen doesn’t spend to long out of the team for Tottenham… because I think they miss him quite a bit.

‘Manchester United have got some ground to make up if they are going to be in contention.’

The Southampton legend added: ‘I still think Manchester City will win the title.

Le Tissier is backing Manchester City to defend the title (Picture: Getty)‘They have so much quality and strength in depth and over the course of the season that will give them the edge.

‘Even without someone who was considered to be their best player last season in Kevin De Bruyne, they’re still sitting top of the table after eight games.

‘Many people thought they were going to miss him a lot and obviously that quality of player is going to be a bit of a miss.

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‘But their strength in depth is just incredible and what they’ve got in terms of quality forward players and being able to hurt teams in different areas of the pitch.

‘They should be a couple of points clear but Riyad Mahrez’s penalty against Liverpool was an absolute shocker.

‘I don’t think they will win it by 19 points again like last season but I’d expect Man City to win it by a handful of points.’

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Arsenal have already lost Aaron Ramsey, claims Craig Bellamy

Aaron Ramsey is out of contract at Arsenal next summer (Picture: Getty)Craig Bellamy believes Arsenal must prepare for life without Aaron Ramsey after negotiations over a new deal collapsed.

Ramsey is out of contract at the end of the season and could leave on a free transfer with Liverpool and Manchester United interested in signing the 27-year-old midfielder.

The Welshman finished off a stunning team move immediately after coming on as a substitute in Sunday’s 5-1 thumping of Fulham and his ‘shrugged’ celebration at Craven Cottage raised eyebrows.

While Martin Keown claimed it was a message for Unai Emery over his wage demands, Bellamy is adamant his former team-mate has already decided to leave.

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‘I think they’ve lost him already – I think he’s gone,’ the former Wales and Liverpool striker told Sky Sports. 

‘Come January or the summer, he’ll be going somewhere else. Four or five years ago, every club wanted him – Manchester City, Barcelona. I think it’s time for him to move on.

The Welshman started and finished a flowing team goal at Fulham (Picture: Getty)‘He’s become conscious of some players that have stayed too long at Arsenal and not got the best out of their ability. He’s a tremendous footballer that has had injuries.

‘Unai Emery will be a good manager for him but he needs a change. He’ll have a better chance of going to those top-end clubs if he’s on a free transfer.’

Aaron Ramsey will leave Arsenal, claims Craig Bellamy (Picture: Getty)Former Arsenal star Paul Merson slammed Arsenal for allowing Ramsey’s contract to run into its final year.

‘Arsenal have got to ask themselves some serious questions,’ he said.

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‘It’s a great club, but whoever is letting people’s contracts run down is an absolute joke.

‘You have to sign him. He brings goals to the midfield – he takes the pressure off the strikers. It’s Arsenal’s fault, they’ve allowed this to happen. In January, he’ll have clubs queuing up to sign him.’

Real Madrid star Dani Carvajal puts Premier League clubs on alert

Dani Carvajal could leave Real Madrid (Picture: Getty)Real Madrid star Dani Carvajal has admitted he dreams about moving to the Premier League.

The Spaniard has been a mainstay in Madrid’s side since making his debut in 2013 and he has 20 caps for the national team.

The 26-year-old has a contract at the Bernabeu until 2022 but the La Liga giants signed Alvaro Odriozola for £40m last summer and Carvajal fears for his summer.

And Carvajal has suggested he could leave the club by admitting he would like to play in England.

Carvajal’s Madrid contract runs until 2022 (Picture: Getty)‘I would love to play in the Premier League,’ said Carvajal.

‘It’s an experience that I would love to have and I don’t want to be left cursing not having experienced it.’

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Carvajal is valued at around £45m but at 26 he would represent a shrewd investment in a market short of top quality defenders.

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