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Man Utd predicted lineup vs Nottingham Forest

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Manchester United host Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening in the first competitive meeting between these iconic clubs in the 21st century.

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When these sides last met in February 1999, Nottingham Forest had won more European Cups (two) than Manchester United (one). En route to levelling that tally of big-eared trophies, the Red Devils romped to a humiliating 8-1 victory at the City Ground.

This fixture may be the setting for one of the greatest substitute performances in Premier League history – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to score four goals that afternoon – but the starters are the focus for now.

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Here’s the XI Erik ten Hag may deploy in a bid to emulate the club’s past triumphs against the (Not Always So) Tricky Trees.

Watch 90min’s TFP on YouTube as Harry Symeou, Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan, Lawrence Bury and Daniel Childs look ahead to the Premier League’s return. Subscribe to the channel here!

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Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford scored against Burnley in the Carabao Cup just ten days after England’s World Cup quarter-final exit / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

GK: David De Gea – Martin Dubravka’s vendetta against his own clean sheet in the Carabao Cup has only underlined De Gea’s standing as the squad’s first-choice goalkeeper.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Ten Hag surprisingly admitted that Manchester United “missed him in the first 14 games of the Premier League”. If Wan-Bissaka continues to perform with the same verve which defined his display against Burnley, many more may come to agree with United’s manager.

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CB: Casemiro – In the last decade, Casemiro has started just six matches as a centre-back (per Transfermarkt). If Harry Maguire cannot recover from his illness by Tuesday, that tally may have to climb to seven.

CB: Victor Lindelof – The Iceman lived up to his nickname when he trained with the ice hockey team Manchester Storm in 2018.

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LB: Luke Shaw – One of three players who had a one-year extension to their contract triggered after the World Cup.

CM: Scott McTominay – In the space of two years as a teenager, McTominay grew 14 inches, rocketing up to the towering height of 6’4.

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CM: Christian Eriksen – The Dane’s former national team manager turned to the animal kingdom in an attempt to describe Eriksen’s vision. “Flies have eyes that can see all the way around the head,” Age Hareide said. “So does Christian Eriksen.”

AM: Bruno Fernandes – According to the man himself, a referee’s opinion of Fernandes changes with the score. “Bruno, all the time you are winning, you are such a good guy. But when you are losing or drawing, oh my god, you are a pain in my ass.”

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RW: Antony – When Manchester United travelled to Istanbul to face Galatasaray in 1993, they were greeted with a banner which read: “Welcome to Hell.” That is hardly a threat to Antony, who grew up in a Sao Paulo favela known as ‘Inferninho’, Little Hell.

ST: Anthony Martial – In September, Martial lamented his absence from the 2018 World Cup-winning France squad. “I should have been there,” he groaned. Martial wasn’t included in the 2022 edition which reached the final either.

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LW: Marcus Rashford – Across the last two months, Rashford has averaged a goal every 93 minutes for club and country.



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EPL

Fabio Paratici opens up on Antonio Conte’s Tottenham exit & provides update on manager search

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Tottenham Hotspur managing director of football Fabio Paratici has discussed the decision to part ways with head coach Antonio Conte.

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Spurs reached a mutual agreement for Conte to depart the club on Sunday night following a disappointing run of results.

Conte oversaw exits in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and UEFA Champions League this season despite high hopes of ending the club’s 15-year trophy drought.

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In his personal life, Conte lost three close friends – Spurs fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, former Italy colleague Gianluca Vialli and Serie A legend Sinisa Mihajlovic – while he had to undergo emergency surgery on his gallbladder at the start of February.

Speaking to Tottenham club channels, Paratici leaned on these reasons as to why Conte’s reign ended so sourly.

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“About Antonio, we know how difficult this season was for him personally. Gian Piero died, Vialli and Mihajlovic [died], the surgery, the club supported him a lot about this and everyone was close with each other. But we arrived to this mutual agreement, and I think the decision we made was the right decision to everyone,” Paratici said.

Paratici went on to talk about interim manager Cristian Stellini – Conte’s former assistant who took charge of Tottenham in his absence this year – as well as speculation over a permanent successor.

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“So Cristian managed the team even when Antonio was sick this season and was good. He has a lot of experience as a second and even first coach in the past. We have Ryan Mason who can help him a lot because he’s been part of this club for a long time, he knows everything about this club and this kind of group of players. So I think we are really, really confident that these two persons can do a very good job,” Paratici continued.

“The players doesn’t have to change a bit, the style of training. So change everything when you have just 10 games to go I think would be really difficult to the players.

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“I would like to see, not just this season but even last season, when we came here we speak about ‘rebuild’ a bit. We started to play Conference League, starting not so good. Then at the end of the season we achieved a big result to get Champions League.

“Then this season, we played Champions League, we passed the group, it was a good achievement for us. And then we get out against Milan.

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“I think about growing up, the team and the club. The pathway for the club was good about results in that way. And then of course we are disappointed because we can be better in the FA [Cup] against Sheffield [United]. Every time you lose one game, you regret it.

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“Of course we are focused and looking forward about being better arriving at the end of the season and the next season better again.

“The Premier League always is tough, so we have a lot of teams and clubs [who are] really, really prepared…but we fight, we like that. So we will fight to achieve our target, we are prepared to fight until the end of the season. We have to be focused on the last part of the season.

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“We don’t speak about other coaches or follow the speculation in the media because this is just speculation. We are focused and now concentrating on helping Cristian and the staff, the players.

“I think today we have to be focused on our squad and our manager because it’s an important moment.”

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Paratici is one of 12 former Juventus officials who were due in court this week regarding the club’s financial mismanagement, though a date for the hearing has now been pushed back until May.

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On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Bruno Fernandes disagrees with Cristiano Ronaldo’s assessment of Roberto Martinez

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Bruno Fernandes has revealed he does not agree with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo regarding the impact of new Portugal head coach Roberto Martinez.

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The former Everton and Belgium boss was named as the surprise successor to Fernando Santos following the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

While Martinez has been known to coach attacking and entertaining football, his teams are often characterised by their haphazard and sloppy defending – almost the inverse to how Portugal played under Santos.

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Ronaldo, who scored four goals in two games for Portugal this month, was quick to tell reporters of the positive impact Martinez has had on the team.

“It’s a new chapter for everyone, for the players, the staff and the country. We feel good energy. It’s a breath of fresh air,” the Al Nassr forward said.

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But when speaking to Portuguese channel RTP3, Fernandes simmered Ronaldo’s excited judgement.

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When asked if he agreed with Ronaldo’s comments, Fernandes replied: “No, it’s just a new coach with new ideas. There is no breath of fresh air at all. It’s just a transition period.

“The atmosphere in the national team has always been good. There’s never been anything that wasn’t fresh of the air, so I think it’s just new dynamics, new coach, and you have to assimilate his ideas.”

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Portugal have made a perfect start under Martinez’s management, securing a 4-0 win at home to Liechtenstein before beating Luxembourg 6-0 on the road.

Fernandes and Ronaldo’s recent careers have been intertwined due to their prominence with the Portugal national team and their 15-month spell together at Manchester United.

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Upon Fernandes’ arrival in England, the Old Trafford faithful devised a chant which referenced his arrival ‘from Sporting like Cristiano’.

The duo didn’t quite hit their best heights in tandem while at United, and Ronaldo’s bitter exit in November 2022 was followed by the two appearing to be on frosty terms ahead of the World Cup.

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But Ronaldo dismissed this suggestion at the time, telling the press: “My relationship with him is excellent.”

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On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Premier League clubs keen to sign wantaway Lorient star Enzo Le Fee

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A number of Premier League sides are monitoring Lorient midfielder Enzo Le Fee after he confirmed his desire to leave the club this summer, 90min understands.

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The 23-year-old has dazzled this season for Lorient, impressing both defensively and in attack and chipping in with four goals and five assists in 28 games.

90min reported in November that Leicester had begun tracking Le Fee as they prepared for the departure of Youri Tielemans, and sources have confirmed to 90min that the Foxes are by no means alone with their interest.

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Both Fulham and Wolves have voiced an interest in Le Fee while one source also named Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham as admirers of the France Under-21 international.

The interest in Le Fee has follows the midfielder’s public admission that he does not plan to extend his contract, which expires in the summer of 2024, and his desire to secure a move away from Lorient this summer.

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“It’s time for me to leave,” Le Fee told Le Telegramme on Monday.

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“I have a special bond with the club and that’s why I wanted to extend my contract at the start of the season. I waited for a contract offer from Lorient until December. It never came. Now, I don’t expect anything from the club and I won’t extend my contract.

“I hope to leave this summer so that my transfer will bring money to Lorient.”

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Before that interview, Le Fee told L’Equipe of his desire to finish the season strongly to boost his chances of a summer transfer.

“I’ve never wanted to leave Lorient through the back door,” he stressed. “We’re having a very good season and I know these last few months are very important if I want to join a big club.

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“I am someone who likes challenges, risks too. I want to show that I am capable of playing at the highest level.”

LISTEN NOW

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On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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