Football news LIVE: Kepa OUT until World Cup, Zouma breaks silence on cat-kicking, Erling Haaland return latest | The Sun

KEPA has become the latest Premier League player to be OUT until the World Cup with injury.

The Chelsea and Spain keeper will not play again before the tournament due to a foot problem.

While Blues team-mate Ben Chilwell is also out after picking up a hamstring injury in the Champions League.

Kurt Zouma has lifted the lid on his shame after being broiled in controversy after kicking his cat, discussing his regrets in a new interview.

And we've also got all of the latest on Erling Haaland's return to the Manchester City squad this weekend.

How to get free bets on football – the 17 best bookies to claim rewards and bonuses

Stay up to date with all the latest from around the grounds…

  • Kiro Evans

    Premier League Preview

    Manchester City have the chance to take top spot off Arsenal again as they host surprise-packages Fulham.

    The Cottages arrive at the Etihad 7th and unbeaten in four, and will be desperately hoping Erling Haaland is not fit enough to start after Pep Guardiola said the forward is still being assessed.

    Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest will be looking to move off the foot of the table as they host out-of-form Brentford, who have only won one of their last seven.

    Leeds will be looking to build on their sensational Anfield win as they host Bournemouth and Roberto de Zerbi is looking for his first away win as Brighton boss as they travel to Wolves.

    In the evening game, Leicester go to Everton.

  • Kiro Evans


    Eric Dier sent a signed England shirt to the family of late Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone.

    Spurs were left devastated by Ventrone's passing aged 61 last month.

    The popular fitness guru died after a short battle with leukaemia.

    Tottenham paid emotional tributes to him at their following matches against Brighton and Eintracht Frankfurt.

    And defender Dier sent his family a thoughtful, meaningful message of his own.

    Following Ventrone's influence, the 28-year-old returned to the England side in September, nearly two years after his most recent caps.

  • Etienne Fermie


    Kurt Zouma has revealed he feels “great remorse” over his cat-kicking shame.

    Footage of the West Ham defender emerged last February showing him kicking his pet cat. Zouma pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 180 hours of community service.

    And speaking openly for the first time since his sentencing in June, he said: “It’s been a difficult spell for me and my family. Obviously, I have done something very bad… I have great remorse about it and now I’m trying to move on with my family and looking ahead.”

    Meanwhile, Graham Potter has confirmed that Kepa Arrizabalaga will not play for Chelsea again before the World Cup.

    He said: “It’s his plantar fascia, the bottom of his foot. I don’t think he’ll play before the World Cup."

    It comes as a big blow to Potter ahead of his side's clash against Arsenal with Ben Chilwell and Reece James already out injured, though the latter is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery.

    On the topic of Arsenal, it has been revealed that Mikel Arteta petrified his squad following the unceremonious banishment of club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    Mohamed Elneny said: “When Mikel took the captaincy from Auba, it was 100 per cent the moment he established himself… Everyone was scared about their position after what happened with Aubameyang."

    Elsewhere, Tottenham are set to welcome back Dejan Kulusevski for their match against Liverpool, while FA Chiefs are demanding Jurgen Klopp is given a touchline ban after getting off with a fine from an independent panel.

    Following his shock retirement, Gerard Pique has agreed to save Barcelona a whopping £44million by waiving the remainder of his contract.

    He will instead only take what he was owed in deferred wages, with boss Xavi describing it as a “spectacular” gesture.

    Aston Villa have unveiled two options for their new club badge. The club have asked fans to vote on two options to replace their current badge with some striking changes being made, including changing the colour of the lion and the direction it is facing.

  • Tony Robertson

    England World Cup boost

    England and Gareth Southgate have been given a huge World Cup boost with Reece James reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery.

    James, 22 has left no stone unturned as he has tried to make the cut for the Three Lions squad after suffering a knee injury last month.

    And according to the London Evening Standard, the defender is "optimistic" about being on the plane to Qatar.

    They claim James has been stepping up his rehab in Dubai and has made better progress than first anticipated.

    The Blues ace is reportedly even willing to miss the start of the tournament in order to feature in some capacity.

  • Tony Robertson

    Zouma 'remorse' over cat kicking

    Kurt Zouma has revealed that he feels "great remorse" over his cat-kicking shame.

    The West Ham defender pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after a disturbing video emerged in February.

    Zouma, 27, was captured on camera kicking his pet cat in the abdomen and slapping it on the head at his Essex home, and was later sentenced to 180 hours of community service.

    Speaking openly for the first time since his sentencing in June, he said: “It's been a difficult spell for me and my family.

    “Obviously, I have done something very bad and I apologise again for what I've done. I know it was very tough for people to watch and to see that and obviously I feel very, very sorry.

    “I have great remorse about it and now I'm trying to move on with my family and looking ahead. I learned from it, that’s the most important thing, I would say.

    “Obviously, I had support from many, many people around me who helped me stay focused on football and I try to stay happy.”

    You can read the full story here.

  • Tony Robertson

    Dalot Rashford new deals inbound

    Man Utd are confident Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot will extend their stays and sign new deals, according to 90min.

    The pair both have contracts that expire next summer, but after impressing during the opening months of Erik ten Hag’s reign they are both in line to sign fresh terms.

    United retain an option to extend both of their deals by one year to cover off threats of a transfer away from the club.

    The likes of Barcelona have been lingering around Dalot, while PSG have been repeatedly linked with a swoop for Rashford.

  • Tony Robertson

    Leicester open Tielemans contract talks

    Leicester City have opened up contract talks with Youri Tielemans.

    According to the Daily Mail, The Foxes are confident of signing the Belgium up to a new deal.

    Manager Brendan Rodgers praised his work ethic and revealed contract talks were underway – with the midfielder's contract due to expire in 2023.

    He told reporters: "He provides the team with great know-how in the game and is a wonderful player to work with. He has been a fantastic professional for us.

    "Even with his contract situation, he has never wavered from his mentality and what he gives to the team. 

    "I will continue to work and develop his game here for however long that is. If he is to sign another deal and continue his journey at Leicester, we will see in the coming months."

  • Tony Robertson

    Man Utd won’t bid for Felix at £109m

    Manchester United will not repeat their colossal bid of £109million for Joao Felix.

    According to Cadena SER United have cooled their interest in the Portuguese forward and will not match the bid they put in over the summer.

    However, with Atletico reportedly willing to sanction a transfer, United could yet make a fresh bid – just at a reduced fee.

  • Tony Robertson

    Xavi confirms Barcelone January targets

    Following the shock mid-season retirement of Gerard Pique, Barcelona boss Xavi has revealed the club will be targeting a replacement in the January transfer window.

    He said: "We will go for a centre back in January, it will be a priority as Piqué has decided to leave."

    Barcelona brought in Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen in that department over the summer.

    Furthermore, ex-Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso has been deployed as an auxiliary centre-back at times, with his most recent game coming in central defence for the 4-2 win against Viktoria Plzen.

  • Tony Robertson

    Prem will be 'ruined' by big spending claims Brady

    In her column on SunSport West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has revealed her love for the Premier League, but warned that the spectacle of it could be ruined if big six spending is not curbed.

    She wrote: "English football is unbeatable entertainment. It’s simply the best league in the world.

    "Rich men and Hollywood stars have discovered this, so have oil sheikhs and Americans.

    "Oil-financed football is not completely my favourite for the future of the top-level game because vast money is beginning to warp it.

    "Buy a club, grab the best manager going and suddenly your team — lucky old you — are among the leaders…

    "But while the EFL are fixated about the cliff edge from the 20th professional club in the country and the rest, there is already a bigger drop forming in the Prem, between sixth and the rest….

    "The result is that it’s getting harder and harder to compete with the spending power of the top six and the gap is growing.

    "It should come as no surprise that half of the top ten highest-paid players in the Premier League play for Man City…

    "Our game thrives on competition, so maybe there should be some calls for addressing this problem – improved control of the amount Premier clubs spend on transfers, either levelling up or down.

    "Otherwise the top six will never be challenged in the league, something I guess they wanted to achieve with their disastrous closed shop European Super League farce."

  • Tony Robertson

    Endrick father opens up on transfer rumours

    Endrick's father Douglas has shed light on rumours linking the 16-year-old to Real Madrid.

    He told Fabrizio Romano: “There’s nothing decided for Real Madrid or any other club. We’ve no preference yet.

    "We’ll decide in the next months, the club that will pay what Palmeiras want and show us the best technical project for Endrick will sign the boy”.

  • Tony Robertson

    Aston Villa reveal new badges

    Aston Villa have unveiled two new designs which could replace the club's current one.

    In a video on social media they revealed survey data they have collected from fans before showing off the striking new design.

    The new badge will see the badge lion go from yellow to blue or claret and change direction to facing to the right instead of the left.

    The first design sees the club keep its crest's current shield-like exterior shape, while the second offers a circular look with the lion now in a claret colour on a blue background.

    The club's current badge has been in place since 2016, when it underwent a minor facelift to its predecessor which was adopted in 2007.

    Fans have been given the option to vote for option 1 or 2
  • Tony Robertson

    Set piece masters revealed

    The masters and rookies of set pieces this season have been brought to light following a Frank Lampard press conference.

    The Everton boss questioned a stat which stated his side had the worst record defending set plays this season.

    And according to figures from WhoScored, Lampard was correct to question the stat.

    In fact, Everton have conceded just once from set plays this season – a figure only bettered by West Ham who have not yet conceded from one this season.

    But while The Toffees are strong in defending, they are equally weak in attacking, with an equal goal difference in terms of goals scored and conceded at set pieces this season.

    The best team in terms of attacking set plays is Tottenham, who have nine goals scored in the Premier League at dead balls.

    Only two teams have failed to score from set plays so far – Manchester United and Wolves.

  • Tony Robertson

    Pique saves Barcelona £44million

    Gerard Pique has foregone wages worth £44million in an effort to help cash-stricken Barcelona.

    Pique, 35, announced he was retiring in an emotional video on social media earlier this week.

    But a report from Marca claims the club legend will waive the remainder of his contract – worth an estimated £44m.

    Instead, Pique will only take the money that was already owed to him via deferred payment.

  • Tony Robertson

    Emery on Peaky Blinders English

    New Aston Villa coach Unai Emery has revealed that watching popular TV Show Peaky Blinders helped him to understand the Brummie accent.

    He told reporters: "It's so difficult (to understand the accent).

    "I prefer to watch difficult series (to help learn) the language to get better.

    "And lately I think I can understand the Birmingham history with these movies."

  • Tony Robertson

    Wil I Never

    Barcelona and Juventus have reportedly joined the race to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

    The Ivory Coast ace, 29, is out of contract next summer.

    Chelsea and Arsenal are both interested in a free transfer swoop.

    But foreign clubs have the advantage over Palace’s domestic rivals.

    That’s because they can open contract talks with Zaha as early as January.

    And the Standard claims Barcelona and Juventus are now considering swoops in the new year.

  • Tony Robertson

    Stormzy names dream 5-a-side team

    British rapper Stormzy has named his dream 5-a-side team, including THREE Manchester United legends.

    Stormzy is a Man Utd fan so his bias towards The Red Devils makes some sense.

    And speaking on Sky Sports, he revealed his star-studded line up.

  • Tony Robertson

    Potter confirms Kepa out til World Cup

    Kepa Arrizabalaga has become the latest Premier League star to fall foul of the World Cup injury curse.

    The Chelsea and Spain keeper will not play again before the tournament later this month due to a foot problem.

    Chelsea boss Graham Potter confirmed: "It’s his plantar fascia, the bottom of his foot. I don’t think he’ll play before the World Cup."

    Kepa joins English clubmates Reece James and Ben Chilwell in the treatment room.

    On Chilwell, Potter added: "He’s going to go for a scan later on this afternoon so we’ll find out how he is then, update tomorrow.

    "He feels okay but obviously aware of the injury. We need to let the swelling settle down, hence the delay with the scan. But we’ll know more after that.”

    “I wouldn’t say we fear the worst. It’s just we all saw the nature of the injury. I can’t say it looks positive. But until we get the scan, it’s difficult to say.

    "He’s okay, but I suppose until you get the diagnosis. At the moment we’re just hopeful and fingers crossed. From there we’ll get him back fit and strong. It’s disappointing, of course.”

  • Tony Robertson

    Kulusevski returns

    Dejan Kulusevski is set to be recalled to the Tottenham squad after a period sidelined through injury.

    According to Fabrizion Romano, Kulusevski is in line for a recall for the Liverpool game.

    It will come as a massive boost to Antonio Conte who is now without Son Heung-Min on top of Richarlison and Christian Romero being out.

  • Kiro Evans

    "We'll decide today"

    Pep Guardiola has admitted still being unsure whether Erling Haaland will be fit for tomorrow's clash against Fulham.

    The former Dortmund striker has missed the last couple of games with illness and injury but Man City fans will be hoping he returns tomorrow.

    Guardiola said: "He's much better, we'll decide today. We have training this afternoon then we will see.

    "[We have to consider] his opinion, the doctor's opinion, if he can play 90 minutes or less minutes. We'll see after training."

  • Kiro Evans

    Don’t Mess with Mik

    Ruthless Mikel Arteta terrified the Arsenal dressing-room with the no-nonsense way he dumped dissenting captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

    And as the table-topping Gunners prepare for a first reunion with Auba on Sunday, veteran long-serving midfielder Mo Elneny claims the striker’s departure was the moment that Arteta completely established his authority.

    The Egyptian said: “When Mikel took the captaincy from Auba, it was 100 percent the moment he established himself.

    “After what he did to the captain of the team, everyone looked at themselves and asked ‘what is he going to do with the other players?’

    “Everyone was scared about their position after what happened with Aubameyang. If a player who is not the captain makes a small mistake, he is going to have the same problem. And no-one needs that.”

  • Kiro Evans

    FA Cup First Round

    After some gruelling qualifying rounds a number of non-league sides will take to the field in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup this weekend.

    Ties to watch out for include Coalville Town, from the seventh tier of English football, travelling to League 1 Charlton. Coalville already pulled off a major FA Cup upset by beating National League leaders Notts County in the last round, so Ben Garner's side should be on guard.

    There's also big games for other minnows like South Shields, who host Forest Green Rovers, and Neeham Market, who travel to Burton.

    And on Monday night live on TV Bracknall Town will host Ipswich Town.

  • Kiro Evans

    A Big Bridge Battle

    It's always tasty when Chelsea and Arsenal meet but perhaps no more so than this year.

    A mini power shift has taken place in London, with the Gunners replacing the Blues as the main challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool. Meanwhile Chelsea have spent much of the season tip-toeing through games with Graham Potter still yet to quite make it all click together at Stamford Bridge.

    Arsenal win on Sunday and they will take a surely insurmountable 13 point lead over Chelsea and damage their top 4 hopes even further.

    But if Chelsea scrap their way victory, it could inflict a huge blow to Arsenal's confidence and will potentially allow Man City to take over the league leadership if they beat Fulham.

  • Kiro Evans

    Pep pays tribute to Pique

    Pep Guardiola has paid an emotional tribute to his former player Gerard Pique, who announced an imminent retirement from football yesterday.

    The 35-year-old will play his final game for Barcelona on Saturday against Almeria after a long and successful career.

    Guardiola said: "I wish him all the best for him and his family.

    "Incredible human being, huge personality, a player for the big games. All the big clubs need these types of players.

    "He's won everything with Barcelona and the Spanish national team. The time arrives for everyone and his future will be bright as he's a smart guy and it was an honour personally for me to be his manager and we spent an incredible four years together."

  • Kiro Evans

    Howe About That

    Eddie Howe has insisted he does not expect Miguel Almiron to score worldies every week after the star's flying start to the season.

    The Paraguayan has been one of the ones to watch in the Premier League and has scored seven goals already so far this term.

    A few of them have been outstanding strikes from range but Howe acknowledges the 28-year-old cannot keep this up.

    He said: "We'd love him to, but we don't expect him to be scoring from 25 yards every week! I get just as much pleasure from the second goal against Fulham, a tap-in in the six yard box. They're the goals that you'd love our players to deliver every week."

Source: Read Full Article