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A former Liverpool defender, Steve Nicol, has predicted that neither Manchester United nor Jurgen Klopp’s side will both win their Premier League and FA Cup clashes this month.

Liverpool and Man United will meet this weekend in the Premier League and then will do battle again a week later in the FA Cup fourth round.

But Nicol believes that no side will leave both games with two wins because of how close together the fixtures are.

Liverpool presently leads the Premier League table with goal difference but Man United will go into Sunday’s meeting on top of the table if they avoid defeat against Burnley on Tuesday night at Turf Moor.

“Well, the only thing I can tell you is that it is extremely unusual that one team wins both,” Nicol told ESPN.

“Having been in that situation in many, many situations – depending on the result of the first one, the other one goes completely different.

“I guess if you are Liverpool: do you want to win the FA Cup game or do you want to win the Premier League game? It is the same question for Manchester United.

“When you go into it, you will think, “Oh right, we will win both”. But as I said, experience tells me and being involved in it many, many times no one team wins both.

“I guess if you ask both of these sides, which one do you want to win. I suggest that both will say the Premier League game.”]

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LaLiga: Why David Luiz did not join Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal

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Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was keen to bring David Luiz to the club this summer, but the club never tabled an offer for the player, Globo reports.

Ancelotti is believed to have made contact with Luiz, who he worked together with at Chelsea.

The 34-year-old became a free agent this summer, having seen his contract with Arsenal expire at the end of June.

However, he has now returned to his native Brazil to sign with Flamengo, putting pen to paper on a 15-month contract.

It ended Luiz’s 15-year playing career in Europe.

But things would have been different if Madrid presented an offer for the experienced centre back.

The LaLiga giants allowed captain Sergio Ramos leave this summer, while Raphael Varane signed for Manchester United.

David Alaba arrived at the Bernabeu on a free transfer over the summer, but the La Liga giants are said to be determined to bring another centre-back to the club in 2022.

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Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma tipped to win title

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Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, has said Roma are title contenders under new manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho won the Treble at Inter Milan under Moratti during his first spell in Italy.

According to Moratti, his return to Serie A makes Roma one of the teams to watch out for.

“I follow the league with great attention.

“Mourinho has revived the competition, he started very well.

“Serie A has one more team, Roma, who will aim for the title. Someone like Mourinho is not aiming for third place,” Moratti said.

Mourinho only joined Roma this year, after he was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager.

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2022 WORLD CUP Salah Among Absentees as African Qualifying Resumes

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Africa’s second round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is set to kick off with some notable absentees – Mohamed Salah, among them – after the refusal of British clubs to release players for various matches.

Premier League clubs have led the way in refusing permission for players to head to countries on the British government’s Covid red list, which would require 10 days of quarantine upon their return.

With Egypt one of 17 African countries on the red list, Liverpool superstar Salah will miss this week’s home match against Angola in Cairo but could play in Gabon, which is not on the list, next week.

Quarantine conditions meant he could have been one of several internationals to miss multiple games, said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“As clubs we cannot do that – not only because we play games in that time, but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training,” he said.

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