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Tactics Tuesday: Gameweek 12

Tactics Tuesday: Gameweek 12
Heading into the international break, Chuck takes a look at some of the stories from last weekend's action in the Premier League.
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Antonio Valencia marked his return to competitive action with a goal in Ecuador’s 2-0 win over Peru during the early hours of Friday morning.

The Red Devils captain started for the first time since October, and speaking after the friendly, Valencia suggested that his recent absence from the United squad was a tactical decision, rather than injury-related. "The relationship with Mourinho has always been a good one," he told Area Deportiva radio. "The player who has been in my place [Ashley Young] has been playing well. You have to respect the decision." However, this contradicts Mourinho’s comments from earlier this month which suggested Valencia was unavailable for selection. "I watched something funny in his Instagram where he says 'work, work, work' in the gym," he said. "He should say 'work, work, work’ alone because I am injured, and I cannot train with the team." Jose criticised Valencia’s lack of fitness at the start of the campaign after he limped off after just 7 minutes in a pre-season friendly against San Jose because of a calf problem.
Source: Football365
Nov 16 - 10:42 AM

Romelu Lukaku has failed to recover from a hamstring related problem ruling the Manchester United striker out of Belgium’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Iceland.

The 25-year-old returned to Jose Mourinho’s matchday squad on Sunday having missed the two previous games with a muscle/tendon injury which he sustained on the eve of the trip to Bournemouth in game week eleven. Initially, United had hoped that Lukaku could recover in time for the trip to Turin in the Champions League four days later, but he wasn’t cleared to rejoin the group until later in the week. "He could be back," Jose said ahead of the derby. "We have one more session [to see if] he is ready." Lukaku was passed fit and entered the game at the Etihad as a substitute, but it appears that he aggravated the problem once more during his 30-minute cameo and he has been unable to train with the national team. Belgium face Switzerland on Sunday and it remains unclear whether Lukaku is fit enough to feature in Luzern.
Source: Reuters
Nov 15 - 3:46 PM

Charlie Austin will not face any disciplinary proceedings from the FA after his explosive criticism of referee Simon Hooper after the Saints' 1-1 draw with Watford in GW12.

Southampton are struggling at the foot of the Premier League table and had what would have been a game-winning goal by Austin ruled out on Saturday due to offside. Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida was incorrectly adjudged to have interfered with play. Austin also lamented the lack of VAR in the Premier League, so he will be doubly happy to hear that the technology is to be introduced next season.
Source: Daily Echo
Nov 15 - 11:42 AM

Manchester City confirm Benjamin Mendy has undergone surgery in Spain.

The France international was released from the national team on Monday due to what the French Federation called a left knee sprain and meniscal lesion. It is not the same knee which was subject to reconstructive surgery back in September 2017. On Tuesday, Mendy hinted that a visit to see surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat was in the offing following an Instagram post from Barcelona, after reports from his homeland suggested he would need an operation to remedy the problem. Although there has been no official timeline given by the club, you can expect the player to remain side-lined for at least a month, with a view to Mendy returning to the training pitches within four-to-six weeks. So, barring a setback, he could play again before the end of the year. Pep Guardiola may look to Fabian Delph or Oleksandr Zinchenko to fill the void, alternatively, Danilo is fully fit, and the right-footed full-back has been called upon before to switch flanks.
Source: BBC Sport
Nov 15 - 11:32 AM

Veteran Brighton striker Glenn Murray has signed a one-year extension to his current contract which will keep him at the AMEX until the end of next season.

Murray, 35 since September, is the Seagulls' top scorer so far this term with six Premier League goals - just two short of Golden Boot leader Sergio Aguero. Brighton manager Chris Hughton said: "We are delighted to have extended Glenn’s contract. He has proved a vital member of the team and his goals have been crucial to us." Murray recently passed the 100 goal milestone for Brighton, and he is now just 23 short of taking the all-time record. Many expected Murray to fade out of the Brighton side this season but so far, he has successfully made himself undroppable.
Source: The Argus
Nov 15 - 11:28 AM

Brighton's former record-signing Jurgen Locadia wants to leave the club in January according to reports in his homeland, The Netherlands.

Locadia claims he "never had the chance" to show his ability for the Premier League club, whilst also claiming that he is not sure why he hasn't been playing nor does he believe the situation will improve. Locadia spoke about his initial good form after his January move but aired his frustration at how that didn't translate into game-time, with his pre-season efforts apparently going without notice. Judging by Locadia's quotes, it seems it will be very difficult for Chris Hughton to bring Locadia into the first team without appearing to bow to player pressure even though the team are performing well. A move away, or at least a loan, seems likely in the winter transfer window.
Source: The Argus
Nov 15 - 10:58 AM

Shane Long looks set for a spell on the side-lines as he may need surgery to cure a longstanding ankle problem.

The Southampton striker was poised to line-up against Watford last weekend, but suffered a setback in training on Friday, and now Mark Hughes believes that an operation may be the only answer. "He might need a small procedure on his ankle to address that problem he had had for some time," he said. "If he does, and it's not confirmed as yet, it could be a little bit of washout to free out the ankle. That would be two weeks maybe." However, the Saints boss went onto add that if the problem is more serious than initially thought, then Long could be missing for up-to six weeks, ruling him out until the new year. With Danny Ings currently nursing a hamstring problem, Southampton would potentially head into game week 13 relying on Charlie Austin as the only experienced out-and-out striker available.
Source: Daily Echo
Nov 14 - 4:23 PM

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Matthew Doherty has been withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming internationals due to injury.

The 26-year-old took a nasty knock in the face [cheek] at Arsenal and met with a specialist yesterday to determine the extent of the problem. Although the precise details are yet to be revealed, the Football Association of Ireland [FAI] confirmed on Wednesday that Doherty will miss the friendly with Northern Ireland and the UEFA Nations League game in Denmark next week. Doherty received pelters at the Emirates on Sunday from Gunners fans - who believed he was playacting - following lengthy treatment late on with the score tied at 1-1. However, Doherty will now return to Compton Park and is considered an early doubt for the clash with Huddersfield Town at Molineux when the Premier League fixtures resume. Doherty has started every game this term, but if he does miss out, then Nuno Espírito Santo may look to Adama Traore who impressed from the bench last time out.
Nov 14 - 8:22 AM
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