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19 August 2023

Liverpool's injury crisis deepens with four midfielders to miss Bournemouth clash

19 August 2023

Curtis Jones is likely to miss Liverpool's match against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday due to an ankle injury sustained in training. His absence is problematic for Jurgen Klopp, given that other midfielders, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara, are also unfit to play, despite the latter returning to training post-hip surgery. Liverpool's newest signing, Wataru Endo, may not play either, as he potentially lacks a work permit. Klopp's current midfield options are new arrivals Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, as well as Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott. Youngster James McConnell may also be in the line-up.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has indicated that the futures of Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech, and Lewis Hall could change swiftly. Despite not being included in the pre-season tour or assigned jersey numbers, their transfers are yet to be confirmed. Inter Milan have withdrawn interest in Lukaku and Juventus must sell before purchasing him. Hall is set to join Newcastle, despite previous talks with Crystal Palace, and Ziyech is linked with Galatasaray. Callum Hudson Odoi, training with the under-21s, has connections to Fulham. Pochettino stressed the need for squad unity and anticipates possible changes soon.

Liverpool are preparing to host AFC Bournemouth for their first home game of the 2023-24 season after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. The need for a new defensive midfielder is apparent, and they've agreed to sign Waturu Endo from Stuttgart for £16 million, pending paperwork. Thiago Alcantara might return after a four-month absence due to hip surgery. Manager Jurgen Klopp may adjust his team from the Chelsea match. If Liverpool aim to be in the Premier League's top four, a win against Bournemouth is essential.

Curtis Jones is likely to miss Liverpool's match against AFC Bournemouth due to an ankle injury. This further depletes the midfield options for Jurgen Klopp, who is already without Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic due to surgeries. New signing Wataru Endo's participation is also uncertain due to work permit issues. However, Klopp still has summer recruits Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, along with Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott at his disposal for the match at Anfield. Jones' injury is not deemed serious and he is expected to return for the game against Newcastle United.

Aston Villa have secured Galatasaray midfielder, Nicolo Zaniolo, on a season-long loan to enhance their forward line following Emiliano Buendía's knee injury. An option to buy Zaniolo for approximately £18.9 million has been included in the contract if he makes over 30 appearances. Despite interests from Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Juventus, Zaniolo chose Villa Park. Further signings are anticipated, with another forward on Villa's agenda. Villa are also reportedly making bids for World Cup winner, Marcos Acuña.

The 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship season is well underway, with Plymouth Argyle, Preston North End, Birmingham City, Bristol City, and Ipswich Town off to strong starts. In contrast, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Sheffield Wednesday have had disappointing early performances. Predictions made before the season regarding clubs like Leicester City, Southampton, and Watford have held true. With many unexpected results thus far, data experts at BetVictor have updated their expectations for the season through a Python-based match algorithm. The new predictions lend insights into potential title winners, promoted teams, play-off participants and relegated clubs.

Ryan Fraser, the Scottish international, is reportedly drawing interest from Premiership champions Celtic. The Magpies are eager to transfer Fraser after a disagreement with manager Eddie Howe earlier this year. The 29-year-old has not played for United since October and has been training with the under-21s, a situation that has continued into the new season. Fraser has piqued the interest of several Championship clubs, like Leeds United. Howe, who confirmed there is no ill feeling between him and Fraser, has chosen to focus on the players dedicated to Newcastle. Fraser, who played regularly under Howe in 2021, has two years remaining on his contract.

Celtic and Rangers begin their Viaplay Cup campaign this weekend. There is speculation over Rangers' finances in relation to a potential bid for Peterborough defender Ronnie Edwards, as Peterborough's director of football Barry Fry questions whether the Scottish club can afford the player. Meanwhile, Celtic hope to sign Wolves winger Daniel Podence, with Wolves' current financial concerns possibly affecting the perceived £12million valuation of the player. Both clubs continue to scout for new talent ahead of the closing summer transfer window.

Rangers are set to field a second-string side against Greenock Morton in the Viaplay Cup's first knockout round, focusing on the upcoming Champions League play-off against PSV Eindhoven. Manager Michael Beale plans to rotate the team, giving fringe players a chance to impress. Following a midweek draw with Servette, Rangers aim to quickly dispose of their Championship opponents amidst a busy August. They hope to build on their impressive Scottish League Cup history, aiming to improve on last season’s second-place finish.

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