RelatedPosts Pogba begins 14-day self-isolation Pogba tests positive for coronavirus De Gea should save Chelsea’s second goal 100 times out of 100 – Solskjaer Manchester United have confirmed Paul Pogba is set for another spell on the sidelines after failing to shake off a persistent ankle problem.The France international first sustained the issue in United’s 1-1 draw away to Southampton at the end of September.Pogba was ruled out of France’s September internationals and missed United’s next three games before returning in the Carabao Cup last week.The 26-year-old has played through the pain in United’s last two matches and the club have now been advised to give Pogba a period of time off to rest.“Following a specialist’s opinion, Paul Pogba requires a period of further rest and conservative treatment for the foot injury sustained during the game against Southampton in August,” a statement read on the club’s official website.As well as missing Thursday’s trip to the Netherlands, Pogba is also expected to skip this weekend’s match away to Newcastle and the upcoming international break with France.Pogba has struggled to rediscover his best form for United this season after missing out on the chance to leave the club during the summer.The 2018 World Cup winner has not scored in five league appearances but has registered two assists. Tags: Paul Pogba
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho maintains Manchester United are still genuine Premier League title contenders, but believes the festive programme could whittle down the opposition for the trophy. “This weekend Tottenham-Liverpool, somebody loses points, us against Arsenal, somebody loses points, Arsenal against City, somebody loses points.” Chelsea’s aim is to stay in contact. Mourinho added: “Five points is a gap that is not a drama, but we have to try (to ensure) that the five-point gap doesn’t open, at least. “With a five-point gap (and) two matches (in) one week, everything can change. “When you go instead of five to eight, nine, 10 (points), the situation is more complicated.” Mourinho, who won the title in 2005 and 2006 in his first two seasons with Chelsea, has long insisted the challenge on his return is more difficult, with a squad in transition. He wants his players to have the mentality of one of the favourites, even if he believes other sides have a better title chance, after finding a team built for the short-term under his predecessor Rafael Benitez. Mourinho added: “Benitez was chasing results. He was not worried about the building up of a team with a certain style. We didn’t have a real base to start with. “For many reasons we knew that the situation needs time and patience. We are competing against important teams in a very difficult league where you don’t have one single easy match. We knew it would be difficult. “We are not favourites, but we want to feel as favourites. We want to fight the favourites and we want to feel like we are. “To put ourselves under a little bit of pressure only can help to be better. I want that.” Whether Mourinho is afforded the patience others have not at Chelsea remains to be seen, but what is in little doubt is that his side are favourites for Saturday’s London derby with relegation-threatened Palace. Defender Gary Cahill will be rested, with the upcoming fixtures in mind. Mourinho said: “Is he injured? No. He is almost injured, so we decided to kill the almost and to protect the little pain he is feeling on his quadriceps.” Ashley Cole will return to the substitutes’ bench, with Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta taking his place at left-back, and is instead selected for next week’s Capital One Cup quarter-final at Sunderland. Mourinho, who would not comment on reports Chelsea are targeting Southampton’s Luke Shaw as a long-term left-back successor to Cole, added: “In positions I can, I need fresh people. I need Azpilicueta to play tomorrow, I need Ashley Cole to be fresh to play in Sunderland. “I trust both. I choose the one I think is better for the occasion. It’s good to have options.” “They have to recover points not to one single team, they have to recover points to every other team,” Mourinho said. “It’s difficult. Not just because it’s 13 to Arsenal, but also because it’s eight to us and to Liverpool and seven to City. “But as I keep repeating, the culture of Man United is there, the power and the quality of their players is there, the tradition is there. “When mathematically it’s very possible, I never say Man United is out of the race.” Mourinho is well aware the results over the festive fixture programme can have a major say on the destination of the trophy come May. “Let’s see if after Christmas we can say instead of six (contenders), five,” Mourinho said. “Maybe one drops back or maybe one goes so up that it looks impossible to reach. “It’s very difficult to predict the way things are going. One thing is if we beat Arsenal, another thing is if Arsenal beat us. We can close the gap or they can open the gap. Chelsea play Crystal Palace on Saturday and will bid to respond from last weekend’s loss at Stoke and enter the weekend’s fixtures trailing leaders Arsenal by five points. Manchester United are 13 points adrift in ninth place, currently sixth of the six teams Mourinho counts as title contenders. Press Association
Ex-Ghana star Abdul Razak says Black Stars Coach Kwasi Appiah must resign if he fails to qualify Ghana for the 2014 World Cup.The former Kotoko Coach is convinced that qualification to the Mundial will place Kwasi Appiah’s job back on the rail, after the disappointing fourth place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.Despite Kwasi Appiah’s inability to meet his target of winning the Africa Cup of Nations, the Ghana FA announced last week that he will remain at post and lead the team’s World Cup qualification campaign.Abdul Razak who was named the continent’s best player in 1978, after Ghana’s third title says qualifying to the world’s biggest football competition for a third time is a must.“There is a World Cup coming up and if we qualify then it means he has learnt his lessons but If we are not able to qualify nobody should tell him (Kwasi Appiah) where to go next, of course I won’t say he will go, if it is me I will go out”. He told JOY Sports“We want to win the African Cup and also qualify for the World Cup, we couldn’t win the Nations Cup and if the World Cup also elude us would you be happy yourself, surely he will go”. Ghana will play Sudan at home on 23rd March in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.