Marcus Rashford does not give up.
Never forget that the pig’s head thrown at Luis Figo by Barcelona fans was then preserved and put on display.
Another weekend without fans in the ground. Paul Doyle had a look at what the game is like without the noise.
Frank Lampard’s first game in charge of Chelsea was at Old Trafford last season. He will not have many great memories of the occasion, as they were thrashed.
We will probably hear plenty about Van Dijkgate today. Here is what Carlo Ancelotti had to say on the matter yesterday.
Get in the mood for Barcelona v Real Madrid with Ronald Koeman looking at photos of players when they were kids and trying to work out who is who.
Here is Ben Fisher and his managerial hero Dean Holden in conversation.
Steve Bruce could be forced to turn to third-choice goalkeeper Mark Gillespie this weekend after Karl Darlow suffered an injury against Manchester United. The former Forest man was deputising for No 1 Martin Dubravka, who is injured.
Gillespie has featured in three Carabao Cup games after arriving this summer on a free transfer. The goalkeeper started his career at Newcastle but was released as a teenager and could now make his Premier League debut against Wolves.
“He’s [Darlow] still sore, but he’s made a huge improvement from where he was on Saturday night. We’re going to have to take it down to the wire.
“It’s an impact injury, there’s no tear, but it’s in a very sore region where he’s taken an awful knock. He’s better than he was but whether he’s going to be fit or not, we’ll have to see over the next 48 hours.
“It’s why we brought him [Gillespie] here. He’s played three times in the cup and that looks a good shout now, especially if he has to make his debut. He’s had some sort of football, anyway. He’s an experienced goalkeeper who has played in the Scottish Premiership, so he’ll be fine.”
Anyway … you can contact me in the various places mentioned above. Fire away with your favourite El Clásico moments and forgotten Barcelona and Real Madrid players.
I will start us off with this beauty from Lionel Messi.
Here is a bit more from OGS on Greenwood, who has had his professionalism questioned in recent weeks. The United forward was dropped from the England squad after inviting a woman back to the team hotel in Iceland and his timekeeping has come under review.
“You do (make a target for yourself) when you play well and I’m not concerned at all with Mason making a target of himself,” the United boss said. “He’s come in, he’s played fantastic, he played his first league game against Tottenham last season, was brilliant and just kicked on.
“Yeah, he’s made a mistake this summer with England and suddenly the whole English press go after him and that’s something we’ve got to look after. He’s a fantastic boy to work with. I have to disappoint you, he’s never, ever late for training, he’s never a problem when he’s in the training ground.
“He’s always on time. I’ve seen the stories, actually some ex-United players talking about him and they don’t really know anything what they’re talking about because, well, we’ve got photographers outside the training ground every day so they can check the time every day.
“I don’t know where these stories have come and I’ve just got to say he’s got a good family behind him, he’s had a good background in the academy. He’s a good trainer, he trains really well, and I cannot believe all these stories about him not being professional. So, anyway, that’s something we have to deal with with many players, many other players at United have had that.”
Nick Ames and Hakim Ziyech is a dream combination.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been speaking about Mason Greenwood. Our man Jamie Jackson was in the press conference. The United boss also said Cavani will be available this weekend to face Chelsea.
Could Chris Wilder hand record signing Rhian Brewster his first start against former club Liverpool this weekend. The £23m striker made his debut as a sub against Fulham last time out but could get the nod from the first whistle at Anfield on Saturday.
Brewster rose through the ranks at Liverpool but with his pathway blocked he was allowed to join the Blades this autumn, after proving himself on loan at Swansea last season.
“He’s settled in well, he’s an infectious character and I’ve no hesitation (in playing him), he’s pushing,” Wilder said. “His natural ability and talent is there to be seen by everyone, and everyone has seen that already, it’s just the physical side of it and not opening him up to injury and damaging him early in his Sheffield United career.
“It was a difficult decision for me on Sunday whether to start him or bring him on from the bench. Having not played much football, you can find at times when players get caught up flitting between Under-23s and the first team that their fitness isn’t where it needs to be.
“We want him to play and we want to get him into the team but always the big decision for the manager is the timing of that. But obviously he’s had another week’s training, which won’t have done him any harm at all, so he has put himself right in the frame to – certainly be involved at the weekend – and to start as well. He’s really at the forefront of our thinking.”
Marcelo Bielsa says he would not hesitate to repeat his act of sportsmanship against Aston Villa from a few years ago, which won him a Fifa award. I cannot see lightning striking twice, to be honest, but it’s worth rewatching.
The arrival of Ross Barkley has helped Aston Villa in their fine start to the season. Paul Doyle had a natter with him.
Carlos Vinicius looked in fine form for Spurs last night on his debut, putting in a man of the match performance. The Brazilian moved in with Lucas Moura for five days after arriving on loan from Benfica. Vinicius paid back his B&B host with an assist for the opening goal against Lask in the 3-0 victory.
“I’m helping him especially with the language,” Moura said. “It’s very hard when we don’t speak the language and understand. It’s normal between us, the Brazilian guys. We’re very close, he stayed at my home the first five days. Now he found a house and has his family with him. Yes, I helped him. He’s a very good guy, very humble and I’m happy he’s here with me.”
Marcus Rashford is still the fighting the good fight. Shame about the Tory MPs who voted against feeding hungry children, though. As someone who was brought up in an area of Manchester similar to Marcus, I know what families are going through there and the United striker makes you proud to be Mancunian. Keep going, Marcus.
This weekend will also see the first El Clásico of the season. Sadly, neither teams is pulling up trees at the moment, with hosts Barcelona sitting in ninth, while Real Madrid are a more respectable third in the table. Considering the failures of Zinedine Zidane’s side this week is critical for both teams to get a result and could finally kickstart faltering seasons.
There is plenty of intrigue in the Premier League this weekend. Conveniently, we have boiled it all down to 10 delicious things to look out for.
While I attempt to come up with something original to say, here is Kemar Roofe’s goal from last night.
It’s that Friday feeling for football managers. They will all be asked riveting questions over Zoom based around their team news, whether winning the next match is important and if Jordan Pickford meant to injure Virgil van Dijk. I cannot wait for the answers which I will relay to you lovely lot.
There is even a Friday night match as Aston Villa will look to continue their 100% record against Leeds. They could be clear at the top of the Premier League table tonight, which would be a fine achievement for Dean Smith, even if they will be chased down over the weekend.
This weekend’s games are spread out over four days following a night of Europa League action, which saw Spurs, Arsenal and Leicester victorious. Additionally, Rangers’ Kemar Roofe scored from his own half in Belgium, so it was a fun evening for most of Britain’s clubs.
The most attractive Premier League game will be Saturday tea time’s Manchester United v Chelsea clash. It should be another testing 90 minutes for a frail Chelsea defence but they did keep a Champions League cleansheet against Sevilla. However, their opponents downed PSG to follow up a victory against Newcastle, so confidence should be high at Old Trafford.
Anyway, it should be an enjoyable day.