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Liverpool thrash Leicester to stretch lead as Tottenham, Man Utd close on Chelsea

Liverpool stretched their Premier League lead to 13 points by outclassing second-placed Leicester in a 4-0 win on Boxing Day as Manchester United and Tottenham cut the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea.

Mikel Arteta got off to an underwhelming start as Arsenal manager with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth, but Carlo Ancelotti had a more positive impact on his Everton bow as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s brilliant diving header earned a 1-0 win over Burnley.

Chelsea beat Tottenham in a big win for Frank Lampard over his former mentor Jose Mourinho on Sunday, but the gap between the two is back down to three points as the Blues lost 2-0 at home to lowly Southampton.

Spurs came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while United moved just a point further back in seventh as they too overturned a poor start to thrash Newcastle 4-1 with Anthony Martial scoring twice.

– Liverpool lay down a marker –

Liverpool’s trip to their closest challengers was the top billing of a busy Boxing Day card, but there was no contest as the newly crowned world champions showed their class.

“It’s one of many successful nights so far this season,” said Liverpool midfielder James Milner.

“We are not even halfway and so much can change and happen. The strength of this team is we take it one game at a time.”

Roberto Firmino’s header was scant reward for a dominant first half display as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah wasted big chances.

However, three goals in seven minutes in the final quarter ensured the scoreline fairly reflected their control.

Milner doubled the visitors’ lead before Firmino’s classy finish made it 3-0.

Trent Alexander-Arnold helped set up all of his side’s first three goals and rounded off a stunning individual display by drilling home the fourth from outside the box.

“We played our last two games against two of arguably the best teams in the history of the Premier League,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, whose side also lost 3-1 to Manchester City on Saturday.

– Tottenham, Man Utd close on Chelsea –

AFP / Adrian DENNIS Nathan Redmond (centre) slides in to double Southampton’s lead at Stamford Bridge

After the highs of Sunday, Chelsea again struggled when faced with breaking down stubborn defensive opponents in Southampton.

The Blues have now lost to West Ham, Bournemouth and the Saints in their last four home league games.

“We are being asked a different question at home. At the moment we are not answering them,” said a frustrated Lampard. “We do not manage to pick up that final pass.”

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl’s decision to rest in-form talisman Danny Ings paid off as his replacement Michael Obafemi scored just his second Premier League goal with a calm finish into the top corner.

The visitors then secured a second straight win to move up to 14th when Nathan Redmond prodded past the onrushing Kepa Arrizabalaga 17 minutes from time.

Spurs were still feeling the after-effects of that Chelsea defeat with Son Heung-min suspended and confidence low when Adam Webster headed Brighton ahead midway through the first half.

Kane swept home at the second attempt after his first shot was saved by Mat Ryan before Alli then delivered all three points with a delightful chipped finish from an acute angle.

AFP / Paul ELLIS Mason Greenwood (right) and Marcus Rashford (left) both scored in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle

United were also beaten 2-0 at bottom-of-the-table Watford on Sunday and another frustrating evening seemingly beckoned when Matty Longstaff scored his second Premier League goal – both of which have come against the Red Devils.

However, unlike when the Magpies beat Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s men 1-0 in October, the response from United was emphatic.

Martial fired in at the near post with the help of Newcastle ‘keeper Martin Dubravka before a thundering finish from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford’s header made it 3-1 before the break.

Another defensive error then teed up Martial to dink over Dubravka for the fourth early in the second half.

– Arteta’s slow start –

AFP / Glyn KIRK Mikel Arteta could not inspire an instant turnaround for Arsenal in his first match in charge

Arteta got an early lesson in the flaws that have blighted Arsenal’s season as they were caught out trying to play from the back to concede the opening goal when Dan Gosling put Bournemouth in front.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again rode to the Gunners’ rescue to equalise just after the hour mark, but a point leaves Arsenal still down in 11th.

“It was intense, I was so excited, I just wanted to pass that energy to the players and I really enjoyed it,” said Arteta.

Sheffield United are sixth, behind Tottenham only on goal difference, as they missed the chance to close to within a point of Chelsea in a 1-1 draw with Watford.

Crystal Palace climbed up to eighth thanks to Jordan Ayew’s brilliant individual run and finish a minute from time to beat West Ham 2-1.

Aston Villa won the battle of two of the bottom three as Conor Hourihane’s fine strike was enough to beat Norwich 1-0.

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MATCHES ON SUNDAY 10.11.2019

La Liga / Matchday 13  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
SüperLig / Matchday 11  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
Serie A / Matchday 12  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
3. Liga / Matchday 15  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
1. Bundesliga / Matchday 11  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
2. Bundesliga / Matchday 13  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
Premier League / Matchday 12  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
Ligue 1 / Matchday 13  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
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Leicester, Chelsea leapfrog Man City as Arsenal, Tottenham fall further behind

Leicester moved up to second in the Premier League as a 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday further dented the Gunners’ hopes of a top-four finish.

AFP / Oli SCARFF Flying Foxes: Jamie Vardy (left) and James Maddison (right) scored in Leicester’s 2-0 win over Arsenal

Chelsea were also 2-0 victors against Crystal Palace as they too jumped above Manchester City into third.

But it was another woeful afternoon for north London’s big two as Tottenham were held 1-1 at home by Sheffield United to slip to 12th.

League leaders Liverpool host City in a highly-anticipated clash between the champions of Europe and champions of England at Anfield on Sunday.

Leicester and Chelsea took advantage of kicking off a day earlier to move a point ahead of City and close to within five of Liverpool.

The Foxes’ superior goal difference takes them into second as second-half strikes from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison piled more pressure on beleaguered Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

“I’m playing probably the best that I ever have,” said Vardy, one of the heroes of Leicester’s remarkable 2015/16 Premier League title win.

“There’s a lot of momentum round the club and everyone’s enjoying themselves. That enjoyment comes with winning.”

Arsenal are now eight points adrift of the top four and will fall even further behind should City avoid defeat at Anfield.

“We are very ambitious in our target, but we know we need time and patience,” said Emery, who faces an anxious wait to see if his wish will be granted by the Arsenal board with a two-week international break coming up.

AFP / Adrian DENNISChristian Pulisic (centre) celebrates Chelsea’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace

Chelsea were equally as impressive with a patient performance to break down a defensively dogged Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Tammy Abraham opened the scoring as the England striker pounced on a deft flick through by Willian seven minutes into the second half.

Christian Pulisic then secured all three points when the American headed home his fifth goal in his last three Premier League games.

– Tottenham down to 12th –

AFP / Ian KINGTONBuoyant Blades: George Baldock celebrates Sheffield United’s equaliser at Tottenham

Tottenham were lucky to even escape with a point as Sheffield United impressed once more to move up to fifth.

“The reality is that for different reasons we are not showing the performances that we expect,” said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

“We are not in a good position in the table.”

A rare defensive error from the Blades set up Son Heung-min to open the scoring with his eighth goal of the season just before the hour mark.

David McGoldrick thought he had levelled almost immediately, but after a three-minute delay the goal was ruled out for John Lundstram being millimetres offside in the build-up.

To their credit, Chris Wilder’s men were not downhearted and survived another VAR review when George Baldock’s cross from the right evaded everyone and found the bottom corner.

West Ham’s woes continued as Manuel Pellegrini’s men were beaten 3-0 at Burnley to stretch their winless streak to seven games.

AFP / Paul ELLISAshley Barnes scored the opening goal in Burnley’s 3-0 win over West Ham

Ashley Barnes opened the scoring after 11 minutes as Burnley never looked back.

Chris Wood doubled the hosts’ advantage after earlier having a goal ruled out by VAR for offside and a miserable day for the visitors at Turf Moor was summed up when goalkeeper Roberto punched a corner into his own net.

Everton moved six points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a 2-1 win at Southampton to ease the pressure on Marco Silva.

Tom Davies gave the Toffees the perfect start at St Mary’s before Danny Ings equalised early in the second half.

But Richarlison struck the winner 15 minutes from time to secure Everton’s first away league win since March.

Newcastle are now seven points clear of the drop zone as they came from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 at St James’ Park thanks to goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark.

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MATCHES ON FRIDAY 01.11.2019

2. Bundesliga / Matchday 12  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
3. Liga / Matchday 14  Tendency Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
1. Bundesliga / Matchday 10  Tendency

Score Over BTTS KF-Tipp
Match 1 X 2 #1 #2 #3 1,5 2,5 3,5
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Brandt’s quick-fire double gives Dortmund German Cup win over Moenchengladbach

RB Leipzig are looking to return to the German Cup final after finishing as runners-up to Bayern Munich last season

Julian Brandt scored two goals in three minutes to propel Borussia Dortmund into the German Cup last 16 with a 2-1 comeback victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.

After a dour opening, the game came to life in the 71st minute when Gladbach’s Marcus Thuram headed home from close range to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Discovering a sudden urgency, Dortmund went on the attack, equalising in the 77th minute after a shot from Brandt was deflected past Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer.

The home side scored the winner just three minutes later, with Brandt heading a cross from Thorgan Hazard into the bottom left of the net.

RB Leipzig demolished Wolfsburg 6-1 after a second-half exhibition featuring four goals in 13 minutes from the visiting side.

Leipzig trail Wolfsburg by two points in the Bundesliga but grabbed the lead on 13 minutes in their last-32 tie courtesy of an own goal by Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma.

Marcel Sabitzer scored Leipzig’s second in the 55th minute and opened the floodgates, with goals from Emil Forsberg, Konrad Laimer and Timo Werner padding the score out to 5-0.

Germany forward Werner struck again in the 88th minute before Wolfsburg got a consolation goal from Wout Weghorst.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen dominated second division side Heidenheim, winning 4-1.

Milot Rashica scored after just six minutes, with Leonardo Bittencourt and Davy Klaassen adding two more before the game had reached 20 minutes.

Austrian defender Marco Friedl added a fourth in the 41st minute, before Heidenheim’s Marc Schnatterer converted a penalty in first-half injury time.

Amateur side SC Verl continued their miraculous German Cup run, advancing to the last 16 after defeating second-division Holsten Kiel 8-7 in a penalty shootout.

Home side Verl, who play in the fourth division of German football, equalised in the 45th minute through Nico Hecker after Kiel opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Janni Luca Serra.

Both sides converted each of their five penalties, with the shootout eventually going to its ninth round. Verl’s Zlatko Janjic scored from the spot, before Kiel’s Phil Neumann failed to convert to send the minnows through.

Verl had defeated Bundesliga side Augsburg in their first-round fixture.

In another match decided by a penalty shootout, two-time German Cup winners Kaiserslauten won 6-5 over Nuremberg, after the score finished 2-2 following extra time.

In the final match of the day, Hertha Berlin defeated Dynamo Dresden 5-4 on penalties after the two sides had been locked at 3-3 at the end of extra-time.

AFP / Tobias SCHWARZ

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Ronaldo hits late Juventus winner as Napoli rage at referee

Cristiano Ronaldo converted a 96th-minute penalty as Juventus defeated Thiago Motta’s Genoa 2-1 to reclaim top spot in Serie A on Wednesday, while Napoli were left seething after conceding a disputed late equaliser against Atalanta.

Ronaldo sat out the 1-1 draw at Lecce over the weekend but Juve looked set to drop more points on his return in Turin as Christian Kouame’s fluke equaliser cancelled out a header from Leonardo Bonucci.

The Portuguese forward saw a stoppage-time strike ruled out by VAR for offside before he won a last-gasp penalty after he was fouled by Toni Sanabria.

Ronaldo drilled the spot-kick low beyond Ionut Radu for his fifth league goal of the season to send Maurizio Sarri’s Juve back above Inter Milan at the summit.

Genoa, in their second game under Motta, played most of the second half with 10 men after Francesco Cassata was sent off, while Juve substitute Adrien Rabiot was dismissed late on for two bookable offences.

Atalanta twice fought back from a goal behind to hold Napoli to a 2-2 draw at the San Paolo, where a fiery ending resulted in red cards for Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant.

Josip Ilicic struck a contentious 86th-minute equaliser that was upheld following a lengthy VAR review, as Napoli appealed for a penalty.

Napoli forward Fernando Llorente tumbled to the ground after jostling with Simon Kjaer in the Atalanta area before the visitors countered and scored through Ilicic.

A five-minute interruption followed before the referee awarded the goal without reviewing the incident on the touchline monitor.

“I consider what happened an attack on my professionalism, my players and my club,” Ancelotti said.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was livid with the officiating.

“If there is VAR it’s pointless creating eight minutes of additional time because all that happens is pushing and shouting,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“And what is this buffoonery from the referee who kicks out a gentleman like Ancelotti?

“We’re fed up. Without us the referees would be peeling potatoes. We’re tired of paying for this standard of refereeing.”

– Roma, Lazio move above Napoli –

Nikola Maksimovic had headed Napoli into the lead on 16 minutes, but Remo Freuler levelled just before half-time when his shot squirmed through goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik hit the post and crossbar before putting Napoli back on top on 71 minutes when he raced onto a Fabian Ruiz pass and rounded Pierluigi Gollini.

However, Ilicic levelled and nearly grabbed a winner in stoppage time for Atalanta, who stayed third but now trail leaders Juve by five points.

“From the pitch, I thought it was a penalty. Then, seeing the images, I saw a big elbow to Kjaer’s face,” Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini said of the passage of play that led to his team’s controversial equaliser.

“The images are very clear. Whoever was in the VAR booth confirmed what the referee saw, but I’m rightly biased.”

Roma climbed above Napoli into fourth after a 4-0 rout of Udinese despite losing Federico Fazio to a red card on 31 minutes.

Nicolo Zaniolo opened the scoring before the dismissal of Fazio for a foul as the last defender.

Chris Smalling doubled Roma’s lead early in the second half with a Justin Kluivert goal and Aleksandar Kolarov penalty wrapping up victory.

Ciro Immobile struck twice to take his league-leading tally to 12 goals as Lazio swept Torino aside 4-0.

Cagliari extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 3-2 win over Bologna while Fiorentina came from behind to defeat Sassuolo 2-1.

Sampdoria remain rooted to the foot of the table despite Gaston Ramirez salvaging a 1-1 draw with an injury-time equaliser at home to Lecce.

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Liverpool edge Arsenal on penalties after 10-goal thriller

LIVERPOOL, England – Anfield debutant Curtis Jones scored the winning spot-kick as Liverpool beat Arsenal on penalties after an astonishing 5-5 draw to reach the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. 

Soccer Football – Carabao Cup – Fourth Round – Liverpool v Arsenal – Anfield, Liverpool, Britain – October 30, 2019 Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka in action with Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster REUTERS/Andrew Yates

The 18-year-old kept his cool in front of the Kop to send Liverpool through after the hosts has trailed 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before a stoppage-time equaliser by Divock Origi.

On a crazy evening it had appeared as though Joe Willock’s screamer had earned Arsenal victory, but Liverpool proved irrepressible as their barnstorming season continued.

Both Juergen Klopp and Unai Emery changed their entire lineups from the weekend’s Premier League action.

Liverpool took the lead in the sixth minute as Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi scored a comical own goal.

Arsenal levelled after 19 minutes when Mesut Ozil, given a rare start by Emery, picked out Bukayo Saka in space and after his shot was saved, Lucas Torreira tapped home.

Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli scored his first goal of the night seven minutes later to put Arsenal ahead, scooping in from close range after a save by keeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool self-destructed as Harvey Elliott’s poor pass went to Ozil who played in Saka to square for Martinelli to make it 3-1, but in the 43rd minute Elliott tumbled in the box at the other end and James Milner tucked away a penalty.

Milner’s dreadful back pass allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to make it 4-2 but Arsenal old boy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crashed home a beauty shortly after to close the gap.

Liverpool equalised in the 62nd minute when Jones played in Origi who turned superbly to fire into the roof of the net.

Willock’s goal sent Arsenal’s fans into raptures again but Origi scored with almost the last kick of the game.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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Liverpool vs Man City, Community Shield 2019 prediction

What is it?

The Community Shield is the traditional opener to the new season of football – and a sign that it is time to get excited about the matches to come.

It pits the winners of the Premier League against the winners of the FA Cup but this year, as Manchester City won both, Premier League runners-up Liverpool will take to the pitch.

When is it?

Sunday 4 August – ie today.

What time is kick-off?

Kick-off is at 3pm BST.

What TV channel is it on?

You can catch the showdown live on BT Sport. Alternatively, follow all the action here at Telegraph Sport.

What is the team news?

Liverpool

Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino may miss out after returning from their summer breaks earlier this week. Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri are injured.

Man City

The City squad is now close to full strength after a number of players missed the pre-season tour of Asia due to international commitments.

Guardiola said: “Except Fernandinho, everybody is back. The guys that came back later maybe they will get a few minutes.”

Midfielder Fernandinho, who was at the Copa America, is due to return to training next we

What are they saying?

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp appeared to criticise Guardiola’s spending on players. Guardiola has spent in excess of half a billion pounds en route to winning back to back Premier League titles – something Klopp likened a “fantasia land”.

“This year is not the end of Liverpool FC,” said Klopp.

“I can’t say anything about what other teams are doing. I don’t know how they do it. We have to pay bills. Sorry. Everybody has to pay bills; we have to pay bills. We in vested money in this team. Now it looks like we are not.

“But we are not in this fantasia land where you just get whatever you want. You cannot do it constantly. It looks like there are four clubs in the world who can do it constantly. Madrid, Barcelona, (Man) City and PSG. Whatever they need, they do. You cannot compare that. That is the situation.”

Pep Guardiola

Guardiola said he disagreed with comments from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp over City’s spending.

Klopp claimed Liverpool were unable to compete in the transfer market with the likes of City, who “can do it (spend big sums) every year.”

Guardiola said: “Of course it bothers me because it’s not true that we spend £200million in every transfer market. Last season we spent £17million (net) on one player.”

What are the odds?

  • Liverpool  14/5 ​
  • Man City  10/11

What’s our prediction?

Manchester City swept the board with domestic success last season with Liverpool incredibly unlucky to miss out on Premier League success. Jurgen Klopp has the upper hand over Pep Guardiola in season curtain-raisers, a record that stretches back to both managers’ time in Germany, but with several big name players only just returning to Melwood after a busy summer, this could be a City victory.

Prediction: over 1.5 goal

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Supercomputer Predicts The Premier League 2019/2020

According to a Supercomputer’s prediction, Manchester City will win their third consecutive Premier League title at the end of the 2019/2020 season.

According to the latest SportNation.Bet Supercomputer following the release of the fixtures for this season, Pep Guardiola’s men will become only the second team to win three Premier Leagues in a row.

The first team to do this was Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Liverpool will also have to settle for second place for a second year in a row.

The table is as shown below:

1. Manchester City

2. Liverpool

3. Tottenham Hotspur

4. Chelsea

5. Manchester United

6. Arsenal

7. Wolverhampton Wanderers

8. Newcastle United

9. Everton

10. Leicester City

11. West Ham United

12. Watford

13. Southampton

14. Crystal Palace

15. Bournemouth

16. Aston Villa

17. Brighton & Hove Albion

18. Burnley

19. Norwich City

20. Sheffield United

In terms of the fixtures, City have a much easier run-in.

Their final six games are against sides who finished in the bottom half last season, whereas Liverpool face Chelsea at Anfield as well as a tricky trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.

Last seasons top two will face-off at Anfield on November 9 while the reverse and potentially title deciding fixture at the Etihad is scheduled for April 4.

Manchester United and Arsenal are also predicted to miss out on the top four again, with Tottenham and Chelsea taking the final two Champions League spots.

United’s opening game of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full campaign is against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

Can Solskjaer improve in his first full season in charge at United? Image: PA Images
Can Solskjaer improve in his first full season in charge at United? Image: PA Images

Question marks still surround who Chelsea’s manager will be in August as Maurizio Sarri seems destined to take over Juventus.

At the bottom of the table, Aston Villa are earmarked as the only newly promoted side to survive with Norwich City and Sheffield United placed 19th and 20th respectively, with Burnley in the final relegation spot.

Whatever the results, the next Premier League campaign is shaping up to be a good one.

Do you agree with the Supercomputers predictions? Let us know in the comments below.

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Solskjaer confident Pogba will still be at United for season start

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expecting to name Paul Pogba in the line-up for the first game of the new Premier League campaign against Chelsea next weekend, despite the Frenchman’s overtures to leave the club in the close season.  

Pogba said in June that he could seek a new challenge after three years at United, while his agent told The Times last month that the 26-year-old intends to leave the club amid reports linking him to Juventus and Real Madrid.

However, with a transfer having not materialised the midfielder, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-world record fee of 89.3 million pounds, could be around Old Trafford for a little while longer.

“Paul will probably be back early next week in training. It’s not an injury, just some pain. He’s not injured but I wasn’t going to risk anything this weekend,” Solskjaer told a news conference after his side’s penalty shootout win over AC Milan in Cardiff.

“He should be okay (for Chelsea). I would hope so, anyway. I wasn’t expecting Paul (at the airport). I spoke to him after training and he didn’t feel right.”

Pogba has endured a turbulent time at United, notably falling out with Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho.

However, he may be convinced by the ambition shown by the club to improve on a disappointing sixth place finish in the Premier League last season, 32 points behind champions Manchester City.

Following the acquisitions of full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace and young winger Daniel James from Swansea City, United are close to sealing a record 80-million pound deal for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.

“Hopefully, the last little details will be in place and we can announce something very soon,” the Norwegian coach said of the England centre back.

“Let’s get the details over the line but he’s played a few games over the summer so we’ll just have to assess him, if and when (he is available for the Chelsea match).”

Solskjaer also said that Ashley Young would be the new club captain, taking over from Antonio Valencia who left after 10 years in Manchester to join LDU Quito in his native Ecuador last month.

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)