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Man United star Marcus Rashford details Ralf Rangnick training change and judges own form



Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has admitted training is ‘tough but fun’ under Ralf Rangnick so far.

The German was hired as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s interim replacement earlier this month. With two wins from two, he’s helped steady the ship amid a turbulent campaign.

Manchester United fans expected big things from their team this season, especially after the summer signings of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet the Red Devils have endured a tough campaign, toiling under Solskjaer prior to his departure.

Now, it’s another new era at Old Trafford with Rangnick given the keys to the club until the end of the campaign.

It’s been a positive start to his time at the helm, with United beating Crystal Palace and Norwich so far.

And Rashford, speaking to Sky Sports, has now opened up on the way the German has tweaked training – labelling it ‘tough but fun’.

“He’s done a good job because prior to coming in I think he spent a lot of time analysing the team, analysing individuals, he knows what our strengths are,” Rashford said.

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“He’s got us going.

“I think what was clear we were conceding too many goals and that’s always the starting point.

“He got his a lot more together, we’ve obviously been working on pressing and we’ll still improve on that but the main thing is doing everything as a team, whether it’s attacking or defending.

“Do it together and I know the last couple of games we’ve conceded a lot less chances and kept some clean sheets.”

On training specifically, he added: “It’s tough but it’s fun.

“It involves a lot of small sided games where the intensity is obviously high.

“It’s good. It’s what it takes to win big games and even in the Norwich game we didn’t get it right in the first half but in the second half we showed even if we’re not playing at our best that system can work and can be effective.”

Rashford also opened up on his own form, having struggled for consistency since returning from injury in October.

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The 24-year-old has notched just once in his last 10 outings across all competitions.

But Rashford feels more is to come and thinks that, in getting more game time, he’ll soon be back to his best.

“Getting 90 minutes is key,” he said. “And that was my first 90 minutes against Norwich since I think May or something like that.

“I know how I am as a player and need to know I can do 90 minutes at a high intensity.

“From there I can then go on to do better things. Now I’ve done that, I’m looking forward to the next run of games.

“I feel sharper in training, still feeling strong.”

Meanwhile, former United star Paul Parker has taken aim at Rashford by saying he must choose whether to be a footballer or a politician.

Parker said: “If you’ve got [Cristiano] Ronaldo at your club, I think you’re going to need him on the pitch, to get the press off your back and maybe the fans. But you need someone to play with, maybe more intelligent.

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“So I look at a [Edinson] Cavani or a Mason Greenwood to play with Ronaldo, rather than a Marcus Rashford who’s way off track.

“He should be sitting down somewhere and asking what does he want to be; a footballer or a politician? And then go from there, and he grabs hold of it and becomes what he’s supposed to be.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with fitness. Footballers are definitely fit, they train every day, they’re stretching, they’re agile.

“Everything about them is fine. I just think it’s about what’s in your head now.

“Does he want to play for the biggest club in the world regularly, or does he want to watch them?

“At the moment he’s playing like someone who’s trying his best to watch them play but he keeps on getting picked and, after a while, a few players are going to get a little bit annoyed, that he’s not playing well, not earning the right to play, but still playing.”


Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend



Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.


Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

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The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker



Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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