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.

MORE: N’Golo Kante would only leave Chelsea for Barcelona or Real Madrid

Paul Scholes claims Manchester United have copied Liverpool’s mistakes

Jose Mourinho is struggling to find consistency at Manchester United (Action Plus via Getty Images)Paul Scholes believes Manchester United have turned into a laughing stock by copying the mistakes Liverpool made during his time as a player.

United have lost three out of their eight Premier League games so far and a title challenge from Jose Mourinho’s side is looking unlikely.

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Manchester City have enjoyed a strong start to the season and look on course to compete for the title.

During Scholes’ career, both Liverpool and City struggled to to keep up with United who dominated the Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson.

But the former midfielder believes United have slipped far behind their rivals with poor recruitment and a muddled playing style.

Scholes won 11 Premier League titles during his time at United (Getty Images)‘United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did,’ Scholes told ESPN.

‘We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right.

‘It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.

‘I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago.

Scholes believes Liverpool are far ahead of United (Getty Images)More: Football

‘But if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right. They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.

‘Everything becomes easy for them. It becomes easy for the scout who knows that they play 4-3-3 and knows the positions of players and what they’re looking to sign.

‘It’s virtually impossible for a chief scout at Man United to do the same.

‘Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.’

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Jose Mourinho reminds Manchester United fans they are performing better than Liverpool and Manchester City in the Champions League

Jose Mourinho is reportedly on the brink of being sacked (Getty Images)Jose Mourinho has reminded Manchester United fans that his side have secured more points in the Champions League than Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham.

Reports have suggested that Mourinho will be sacked regardless of United’s result against Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

The 55-year-old is said to have lose support of his players, while the team were booed off following their goalless draw against Valencia on Tuesday.

But Mourinho is keen to point out that United have yet to lose in the Champions League this season, while Liverpool, City and Spurs have all been beaten in one of their two group games so far.

‘After today’s game we have two weeks, then we go straight into games against Chelsea, in the Premier League, and Juventus, in the Champions League, with two recovery days in between,’ Mourinho said in his matchday programme notes ahead of the game against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Mourinho is under pressure to improve United’s current situation (AFP/Getty Images)More: Football

‘For the moment, we have the most points of any English team in the Champions League, and it is a big responsibility for us to maintain that in our next group match against the super team, Juventus.

‘With such huge games coming up later in the month, it would obviously be good for our confidence to end this current run of fixtures with an important victory this afternoon at home.

‘Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the game.’

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Alan Shearer delivers Premier League title prediction and piles pressure on Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho

Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes the title is heading back to Manchester City (Picture: Getty)Alan Shearer believes Manchester City will defend their Premier League title this season – but says Liverpool will run them close.

Pep Guardiola’s City finished 19 points clear of Manchester United last term after a season in which they lost just two games and scored over 100 goals.

It already appears that they will face stiffer competition during the 2018-19 campaign, however, with Liverpool and Chelsea also going unbeaten through August and September.

Shearer reckons City and Liverpool will pull clear of their title rivals, with the Manchester club just pipping Jurgen Klopp’s charge to finish top.

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Asked where he believes the title will end up this season, Shearer told CNN: ‘That’s a tough question.

‘I do think it will be between Manchester City and Liverpool.

‘It will be a hell of a lot closer than it was last season with City running out 19 points away from Man Utd in second place. But I’m just going to pick for Manchester City.’

Shearer is not surprised by Liverpool’s fine start to the new season, particularly after seeing how the club strengthened Klopp’s squad in the summer.

Liverpool have made a fine start to the new season (Picture: AFP)Liverpool signed Brazil international Alisson for £67million – a world record fee for a goalkeeper – as well as midfielders Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho.

Last year, the Reds spent £75m on a deal for Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

‘They identified where they had to improve,’ Shearer said. ‘They had to improve defensively.

‘They did that when they bought Van Dijk last January. They knew they needed a goalkeeper, they went out and spent a fortune on a goalkeeper and also a defensive midfielder.

Manchester City are the reigning champions (Picture: Getty)‘So they have got strength in depth now. And also with the front three that they have [Firmino, Mane, Salah] they will cause any teams problems.

‘If they don’t, they know one will come off and perhaps Sturridge can come in there also. So they will give it a good go this year in the Premier League.’

While Manchester City and Liverpool are flourishing, the same cannot be said for Manchester United, who were beaten by Derby County in the Carabao Cup and West Ham in the league last month.

Jose Mourinho is under substantial pressure and Shearer insists he could lose his job at Old Trafford.

Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions, including Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham v Barcelona

Michael Owen has made his predictions for this week’s Champions League fixtures (Picture: Getty)Another winning treble for Michael Owen last weekend in the Premier League and he has again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on the midweek Champions League action.

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City suffered a shock defeat to Lyon last month and will hope to bounce back away at Hoffenheim.

Manchester rivals United and their under-fire manager Jose Mourinho are also in desperate need of a victory after last weekend’s shocking 3-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham.

Tottenham face La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, while in-form Liverpool travel to Napoli.

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Hoffenheim v Manchester City

Man City were beaten by Lyon last month (Picture: Getty)The first ever meeting between the clubs and City need to get a result after their shock home reverse to Lyon on Matchday 1.

City cannot afford to have one eye on their trip to Anfield on Sunday, but their squad is deep, and I expect them to get their Champions League challenge back on track.

Hoffenheim got a point at Shakhtar Donetsk last month, but they were beaten at home by Leipzig at the weekend and the hosts have only won one of their last nine games in European competition.

Michael’s Prediction: Hoffenheim 0-3 Manchester City

Manchester United v Valencia

Jose Mourinho is under huge pressure at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)United are unbeaten in their eight previous Champions League ties with Valencia (W2 D4) although this is the first game between the clubs in the competition since December 2010 when the game finished 1-1.

The visitors have lost their last four Champions League games including a 2-0 home loss to 10-man Juventus on Matchday One.

Under normal circumstances this would be a banker home win for United, but these are worrying times at Old Trafford and I fancy the La Liga side might pick up a point in a low-scoring affair.

Michael’s Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Valencia

Tottenham v Barcelona

Tottenham train ahead of their showdown with Barcelona (Picture: Getty)Barcelona have not won in La Liga since their 4-0 defeat of PSV in the Champions League last month although the Spanish giants have only lost one of their last 11 Champions League ties against English clubs.

That said they have only won one of their last seven Champions League games on the road and I think Spurs will give them plenty of problems at Wembley.

Spurs won all three of their Champions League group home games last season and scored three goals in each of those games.

Having lost in the San Siro in their opening tie, Spurs must get a positive result and I feel they will.

Michael’s Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Barcelona

Napoli v Liverpool

Liverpool have made a fine start to the new season (Picture: Getty)Napoli failed to score in Belgrade against Crvena zvezda in their opening game but that was only the third time they have failed to find the back of the net in 29 Champions League ties.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has never lost to the Reds in the Champions League (W3 D1) although that one draw was the famous 2005 final in Istanbul when Liverpool came from 3-0 down to beat Milan on penalties and give the Reds their fifth European Cup/Champions League.

Liverpool played their part in a high-class game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and few would have begrudged them their point via another quality goal from Daniel Sturridge.

The striker is certainly giving Jurgen Klopp a welcome headache ahead of another massive week for the club.

Michael’s Prediction: Napoli 1-2 Liverpool

Michael is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. Read more of his tips in his Champions League column here.

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Where to watch Champions League highlights on TV and online

Daniel Sturridge was back on the scoresheet for Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday (Picture: Sportimage)The Champions League was back with a bang on Tuesday night with Liverpool and Tottenham both in matches with thrilling endings.

The Reds managed a last-minute winner in their clash with PSG at Anfield whilst Spurs were beaten at the death by Inter Milan in the San Siro.

Manchester City and Manchester United join the fray on Wednesday evening with the Premier League champions hosting Lyon and Jose Mourinho’s men travelling to Young Boys.

Here is where you can catch the highlights of Tuesday’s action and when Wednesday’s clips will be available…

Matias Vecino broke Tottenham hearts with a last minute winner for Inter Milan (Picture: Getty Images)Where to watch Champions League highlights on TV

BT Sport have the rights to show the live Champions League games and the highlights, so you will need to be a subscriber to watch them.

Tuesday’s highlights are shown a few times over the day on Wednesday, with the highlights of Wednesday’s games on at 10.30pm on BT Sport 2.

Liverpool got off to a dream start against PSG (Picture: REUTERS)Where are the Champions League highlights shown online?

The BT Sport website is the place to be for all the highlights of the matches so far.

For some of the best goals as they happen, the Football on BT Sport Twitter account is a handy place to look.

You an also get highlights on the BT Sport app.

Champions League Results Tuesday, 18 September

Barcelona 4-0 PSV EindhovenInter Milan 2-1 Tottenham HotspurClub Brugge 0-1 Borussia DortmundCrvena Zvezda 0-0 NapoliGalatasaray 3-0 Lokomotiv MoscowLiverpool 3-2 Paris Saint-GermainMonaco 1-2 Atletico MadridSchalke 1-1 FC Porto

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Jurgen Klopp hits back at Dominic Solanke jibes after Jose Mourinho defends his use of Marcus Rashford

Jurgen Klopp insists he still has faith in Dominic Solanke (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has backed Dominic Solanke to fulfil his potential at Liverpool amid criticism of the way he has handled the England Under-21 international since signing him from Chelsea.

Solanke has started just five Premier League games since he quit Stamford Bridge just over a year ago and is yet to feature at all this season.

Jose Mourinho name-checked Solanke as he launched a passionate defence of his handling of Marcus Rashford, given no player has played more competitive matches for a Premier League club than the Manchester United forward (126) since his debut in February 2016.

England Under-21 boss Aidy Bothroyd this week expressed his concerns at Solanke’s lack of opportunities at Anfield but Klopp has highlighted the late development of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane as reason to be patient with his underused striker.

Dominic Solanke is yet to feature for Liverpool this season (Picture: Getty)‘It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear,” Klopp said. He is a young striker and young strikers generally need longer in a big club. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no-one in this world is patient enough.

‘But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving. He had good games last season, not enough minutes that is true, but he is still young and will have enough minutes in his career.

Jose Mourinho launched a passionate defence of his treatment of Marcus Rashford (Picture: Getty)‘When we cannot use him as a striker, we still work with him to try and fulfil his potential. I think we are really on a good way with that. We don’t have a problem with young English players not being involved often enough.

‘There is no pressure. I don’t like to talk about what other people said, but Dom Solanke is a fantastic young player. Our situation here is that we have four players in Bobby, Daniel, Divock (Origi) and Dom. We have this squad and we need it.

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‘If Dom works hard – and that is all what he needs to do to secure the rest of his career – then everything will be fine because of his talent and his skills. I don’t know exactly where Harry Kane was at the same stage of his career but it was all over the country playing and not playing.

‘I remember a picture of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy sitting on the bench for Leicester. They obviously didn’t start that day but they made their way. It is really difficult for strikers to get the one spot or one of the two. We are still 100% sure everything will be fine for Dom.’

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Marcus Rashford told to consider Manchester United exit as Jose Mourinho ‘does not trust him’

Marcus Rashford has been urged to consider his future at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Marcus Rashford should be thinking about leaving Manchester United because his manager Jose Mourinho does not trust him.

That is the opinion of Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, who says Rashford must be playing regularly to fulfill his potential and may be forced to leave his boyhood club.

Rashford burst onto the scene at Old Trafford in 2016, scoring back-to-back braces in his first two appearances for the Red Devils.

The England international has impressed sporadically since but has endured a frustrating start to the new season, failing to score and being sent off.

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Thompson says Rashford is ‘talented’ but doubts whether he will be able to develop at Manchester United because Mourinho ‘does not trust him’.

‘He’s a very talented boy… But is he going to fit in at Manchester United? I don’t think so,’ Thompson told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t think there’s a trust from the manager to the player that he can do it on a regular basis.

‘I think that’s why he’s only coming into the team now and again because I don’t think he trusts him.

Jose Mourinho does not trust the 20-year-old, according to Phil Thompson (Picture: Getty)‘He is only 20 and probably needs more time. I think this season is big for him. Come the end of this season he needs to make a decision.

‘He’s got to start laying regularly. He needs to analyse his game-time. I don’t think there’s total trust between the player and the manager.

‘Next summer big questions need to be asked.’

Thompson’s comments come after another Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, advised Rashford to leave the Theatre of Dreams.

‘The problem he’s got, and it’s the same for every young striker at big clubs, nothing’s harder than that position,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports.

Rashford has endured a frustrating start to the new season (Picture: Getty)‘And you look at Lukaku, I don’t see him ever displacing Lukaku while he’s there. But remember Lukaku at Chelsea, he had to come away to Everton.

‘Then ended up as the top scorer one season at Everton in the Premier League, then gets his move to Manchester United.

‘And possibly Everton is the sort of club, just below the top six, similar to what Lukaku did, when you know you’re going to play every week. You’re going to be that centre-forward.

‘You know if you have a couple of games where you don’t score you’re still going to play the next week. I think that’s the problem he has at Man United.

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‘I think last season, Brighton away, Mourinho had a pop at him and Lukaku went straight back into the team. That’s the problem you’re always going to have.’

Asked if Rashford needs to leave Manchester United, Carragher replied: ‘I think so, yes.

‘In order to play centre-forward for Manchester United you’ve got to be world class. Rashford’s not world class yet. He might be at 23 or 24.

‘So Rashford might have to move away to come back to a top team.’

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Former Manchester United scout wanted Jose Mourinho to sign Emre Can and Leon Goretzka

Emre Can was targeted by former Manchester United scout Javier Ribalta (Getty Images)Former Manchester United scout Javier Ribalta has revealed he wanted Jose Mourinho to sign Emre Can on a free transfer from Liverpool.

Ribalta was appointed as United’s head of scouting last summer but he spent just one year at Old Trafford and joined Zenit in July.

Can, meanwhile, moved to Juventus on a free transfer this summer after his contract with Liverpool expired.

And Ribalta was keen for Mourinho to sign the midfielder alongside fellow Germany international Leon Goretzka.

Ribalta also wanted Leon Goretzka at Old Trafford. (Getty Images)Goretzka was also available on a free transfer this summer after he decided to leave Schalke and opted to sign for Bayern Munich.

‘For my time in Manchester, I was only there for a year but I’d have liked to sign Emre Can and Leon Goretzka on free transfers,’ Ribalta told Tuttosport.

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Jose Mourinho explains why Manchester United can’t attack like Liverpool or Manchester City

Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United’s defence is letting them down. (Getty Images)Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United are unable to replicate Manchester City and Liverpool’s attacking threat due to their fragility in defence.

United travel to Burnley on Sunday off the back of two consecutive defeats in the Premier League, while the pressure continues to mount on Mourinho.

The Portuguese’s playing style has been widely criticised but the 55-year-old believes his defence needs to be better in order for United’s attack to improve.

‘We will try. We are going to try, you know,’ said Mourinho.

‘It’s a process that has risks ­especially if you make the defensive mistakes that breaks that dynamic.

Mourinho says defensive mistakes damage United’s attacking output. (Getty Images)‘The teams that are really, really good offensively are the teams that are very, very solid from the back.’

Asked if United can play like City or Liverpool: ‘They play the way they play, and we play the way we play.

‘I don’t even want to try to say something in relation to that.

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‘They are what they are and we are what we are.

‘Against Tottenham, we were really positive and really strong and I think the opponent, a very good opponent, felt that and felt they were really in trouble.

‘But two defensive mistakes in five minutes lost the game for us.’

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