Arsenal Not Prepared to End Dani Ceballos’ Loan From Real Madrid Early

?Arsenal are determined to keep Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos for the remainder of his agreed loan, despite rumours that the player himself is keen to cut it short and move on.

Ceballos joined the Gunners to much fanfare last summer, with the hope that he would improve the squad at the same time as getting his own career back on track after stalling at the Bernabeu. But his time in north London hasn’t been a success.

Dani Ceballos

The 23-year-old was in and out of the Arsenal team under Unai Emery, until a muscle injury ruled him out of action for close to two months. He returned to fitness at the start of January but is still yet to get off the bench and onto the pitch under new manager Mikel Arteta.

That led to suggestions this week that Ceballos is now keen to quit his Gunners loan as a result. But while it remains possible that is true, the latest report on the developing situation claims Arsenal have little intention of allowing him to walk away early.

According to AS, Arsenal have already informed Real Madrid they do not want to cancel the loan and still see Ceballos as playing an important role between now and the end of the season.

That stance is backed up by what Arteta himself said about Ceballos earlier this month.

Mikel Arteta

“Dani had an injury where he was out for almost two months and had to go to Madrid for his rehab. He came back and in the first few weeks, I didn’t think that he was physically at the level to compete for starting games,” Arteta was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and last week when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player. But he’s been training good, I’m happy with him and I know him really well, so there’s no issues there.”

On top of a demanding Premier League calendar, Arsenal face Bournemouth in the FA fourth round this weekend, with an upcoming Europa League knockout tie against Olympiacos next month, and will need a deep squad in order to keep players fresh.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!


Jurgen Klopp Gives Update on Sadio Mane Injury After Liverpool Grind Out Another Win

?Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his team’s ability to ‘calm the game’ on Thursday night after Roberto Fimino produced a late winner against Wolves in a very difficult game at Molineux to restore the Reds’ 16-point lead atop the Premier League.

Jordan Henderson had given Liverpool the lead but Wolves hit back through the in-form Raul Jimenez. The European champions also came under considerable pressure from flying winger Adama Traore, only for Firmino to make the decisive impact at the end.


“We only had to calm the game down again – that what was needed. The goal [Wolves] scored was a counter-attack; we were 1-0 up and it was a counter-attack. That makes not too much sense,” Klopp explained after the final whistle, via

“We don’t go for perfection, we go for a perfect reaction if possible, that’s what we try to do, that we really fight back in difficult situations in the game. That’s what the boys did again and so, we won the game, which is really unbelievable,” he added.

A sour note from the game was Sadio Mane limping off in the first half with a suspected hamstring injury. Liverpool will have to wait to learn the severity of the problem.

“We don’t know exactly [what injury it is], it’s the muscle. He felt something in the hamstring. We don’t know yet, obviously, we have to wait. We will see,” said in further post-match comments.

Sadio Mane

Mane’s withdrawal gave Takumi Minamino the opportunity to make his Premier League debut for the club, having so far only played in the FA Cup since his transfer from Red Bull Salzburg.

“Taki had now two or three weeks training with us, played different positions in training at least, played centrally in the FA Cup game, now played right and left wing,” Klopp said.

“It was really difficult for Taki, he felt immediately the calf, at half-time he needed treatment – we hope it’s nothing and he could go through [the game] so it should be fine.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!


Atletico Crash Out of Copa del Rey at the Hands of Third Tier Cultural Leonesa After Extra Time

?Atletico Madrid were stunned by third tier Cultural Leonesa – best known in England for their ‘tuxedo shirt’ kit design a few years ago – in the Copa del Rey round of 32, with Diego Simeone’s side crashing out of the competition with a shocking 2-1 defeat. 

Atletico took a second half lead through Angel Correa but the visitors managed to scored a late equaliser before sensationally going on to snatch a winning goal in extra time. The disappointing result heaped further misery on Los Rojiblancos, after they had previously tasted defeat against Eibar on Saturday. 


Atletico fielded a fairly strong team, with Joao Felix and Saul Niguez both included in the starting line up. Despite this, the visitors struggled to break down a stubborn Leonesa defence and were starved of scoring opportunities in the first half. 

Atleti’s best chance of the opening period came seven minutes in when Vitolo was set free by a fantastic Joao Felix through ball, only for the Spaniard to not convert. Lucas Giffard was then forced into a good save to deny Héctor Herrera, in the only other chance of note during a disappointing opening 45 minutes for Diego Simeone’s side. 

Atletico improved after the break, with Vitolo forcing Giffard into another fine save early on. They did manage open the scoring soon after through Correa, when the Argentine latched onto Felix’s clever pass and fired a shot into the back of the net. 

Diego Pablo 'Cholo' Simeone,Marcos Llorente

Despite dominating possession, Atleti failed to create many more chances and they were made made to pay for their lack of invention when the hosts found an equaliser courtesy of a fine volley from Julen Castaneda. An incredible double save from the Leonesa goalkeeper then sent the game to extra time, much to Simeone’s fury. 

The Argentine blood pressure was further increased when the home side registered a sensational winner through Sergio Benito Crujera with just 12 minutes left in the additional period.

Next up, Atleti return to league action, taking on struggling Leganes on Sunday as they look to break out of this worrying spell of form.

For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!


Wolves 1-2 Liverpool: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Firmino Seals Late Win in Breathtaking Game

Roberto Firmino snatched victory for Liverpool in the dying stages of the game against a brilliant Wolves side on Thursday night to put the Reds 16 points clear at the top of the table. 

Despite a nervy start by Liverpool, with Wolves having a lot of success down the left-hand side, it was the visitors who opened proceedings through Jordan Henderson in the opening eight minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold provided the assist from an out-swinging corner, meeting the head of the unmarked midfielder in Wolves’ six yard box. 

The hosts continued to probe, and Matt Doherty spurned a fantastic opportunity to level the score a couple of minutes later after being found by Rúben Neves in the box, his header glancing agonisingly wide of Alisson’s goal. 

Mohamed Salah was unable to make the most of the few chances he had in the first half, creating space by cutting in from the right-hand side, and the mercurial Egyptian would have at least doubled his side’s lead if not for some stoic defending from the Wolves back line. 

Wolves tested the resolve their opponents and drew level in the opening five minutes of the second half though, when Traoré chipped a sublime floating cross into the box for Raul Jiménez to power home with his head. Traoré even had an opportunity to put his side in front in the 65th minute, but was denied by a smart save from Alisson. 

Both sides continued to press forward and Liverpool got their reward in the dying moments of the game courtesy of a clinical finish from Roberto Firmino after some neat footwork from Salah. 



Key Talking Point

?Wolves’ game plan was clear to see from the outset as Adama Traoré was instructed to pin Liverpool’s back line close to their box, and it worked tremendously. The bulky winger was effective and extremely difficult to dispossess, often drawing the attention of several Liverpool players at a time to create space for his teammates. 

Adama Traore,Joe Gomez

Nuno Espírito Santo is an expert at playing to his side’s strengths and did so effectively against Liverpool. The home side looked dangerous every time they ventured forward and had a firm hold on the second half of the game.

Wolves will feel aggrieved not to have come away with at least a point against a Liverpool side who were not at the races for large parts of the game. 

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Rui Patrício (6); Dendoncker (6), Coady (7), Saïss (6); Doherty (7), Moutinho (6), Neves (6), Otto (6); Neto (7), Jiménez (7), Traoré (9*).

Substitutes: Jota (5), Gibbs-White (N/A).

Adama Traoré

Adama Traore,Sadio Mane

Fast, dynamic, direct. Traoré had a fantastic night against Liverpool and their back line as the 23-year-old pinned both full-backs deep within their own half, stopping any chance of a counter. 

The skilful winger grasped every opportunity to run at Liverpool’s defenders and continued to show signs of improvement following his bright start to the 2019/20 campaign. 

Traoré was unstoppable throughout the game, and the Liverpool players were unable to contain the pace of the winger. Even some the most obstinate of Liverpool fans were left pondering the idea him in a red shirt. 

The former ?Barcelona graduate capped off a fine performance with an assist for Wolves’ equaliser after one of his trademark runs down Liverpool’s left-hand side. 



Key Talking Point

?Liverpool have a superb knack of winning games after scoring the first goal.

As a matter of fact, the Reds haven’t squandered a lead since April 2018, which is a testament to Jürgen Klopp’s incredible game management. It’s also, to be fair, probably something to do with the fact they’ve only lost two Premier League games in that time. 

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool struggled to contain the advances of Wolves throughout the second half, and paid for their failure to grasp control of the game when the visitors equalised early on in the second half. 

However, a late winner from the Reds’ number nine was enough to snatch all three points at the death, recording their 40th successive unbeaten game and their 22nd win in 23 Premier League games this season. 

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Alisson (7*); Alexander-Arnold (5), Gomez (6), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (5); Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Henderson (6), Wijnaldum (6); Salah (6), Firmino (7), Mané (4).

Substitutes: Minamino (5), Fabinho (N/A), Origi (N/A).


Raul Jimenez, Alisson Becker

Although he did not have an outstanding game, Alisson made a number of vital stops to keep his side in the game and was worthy of being Liverpool’s man of the match. 

The Brazilian shot-stopper prevented the home side from running away with the game in the second half after a number of fine saves to deny Traoré and Raul Jiménez.

Roberto Firmino gets an honourable mention, but his influence ebbed and flowed throughout the 90 minutes.

Looking Ahead

?Following this defeat, Wolves travel to Old Trafford to take on an out-of-sorts ?Manchester United side before welcoming ?Leicester City to Molineux two weeks later.

Meanwhile, Liverpool travel to unfamiliar territory in the form of New Meadow to face Shrewsbury in the fourth round of the FA Cup before returning to ?Premier League action against ?West Ham at the London Stadium. 


Hull vs Chelsea Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Promotion chasers ?Hull face Frank Lampard’s ?Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend, as they look to take advantage of the Blues’ diffuse priorities. 

Hull’s form has stumbled in recent weeks, losing their last two matches as they begin to lose ground on their playoff rivals. 

Chelsea have also struggled with their form in the last month, managing just two wins in five including a shock 1-0 defeat away to Newcastle last weekend. 

César Azpilicueta,Tammy Abraham

Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 25th January
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? KCOM Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 1
Referee? Craig Pawson

Team News


Hull City will definitely be without midfielder Kevin Stewart as he recovers from a broken metatarsal in his foot, while Jon Toral will begin his rehab following knee surgery and could return at the end of February. Norbert Balogh is also out with a calf injury, but Jordy De Wijs could return to the squad as he recovers from a calf issue of his own.

Chelsea are still waiting to find out the extent of the injury picked up by Tammy Abraham on Tuesday night, while Ruben Loftus Cheek and Christian Pulisic remain unavailable. 

Tammy Abraham,Mason Mount

Predicted Lineups


Hull City Long; Burke, Elder, Tafazolli; Lichaj, Bowen, Irvine, Bowler, Leonardo; Kane, Magennis.
Chelsea Caballero; Emerson, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen; Kante, Mount, Barkley; Hudson-Odoi; Willian, Batshuayi.

Head-to-Head Record


These two sides have met 47 times, Chelsea coming out on top an impressive 33 times compared to Hull City’s measly four. With both sides struggling for form, Hull might see this an opportunity to cause an upset and go on an unexpected cup run. 

Chelsea have won the last five meetings between the sides.

Recent Form

After winning three games in a row, Hull had begun to close the gap between themselves and the playoff places, but back-to-back defeats to Hull and Derby have seen the Tigers drop back into mid-table.

Alfie Mawson,Eric Lichaj

Chelsea will have been disappointed to be pegged back twice by ten-man Arsenal in midweek on the heels of their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, especially after wins against Burnley in the league and Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup had suggested an uptick in form.

Here’s how each team has fared in their last five games.

Hull Chelsea
Derby 1-0 Hull (18/1) Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal (21/1)
Hull 0-1 Fulham (11/1) Newcastle 1-0 Chelsea (18/1)
Rotherham 2-3 Hull (4/1) Chelsea 3-0 Burnley (11/1)
Sheffield Wednesday0-1 Hull (1/1) Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest (5/1)
QPR 1-2 Hull (29/12) Brighton 1-1 Chelsea (1/1)



With both sides in indifferent form, it is difficult not to lean towards Chelsea (on account of them being fourth in the Premier League with hundreds of millions of pounds of talent) over Hull (on account of them being 12th in the Championship with a much more conservatively assembled squad). 

Hull 1-2 Chelsea