Last Update: December 26, 2020 - 5:30 pm
Last Update: March 18, 2019 - 2:30 pm
Last Update: December 26, 2020 - 5:30 pm
Last Update: December 26, 2020 - 5:30 pm
Arsenal v Chelsea: Premier League – live!
Arsenal v Chelsea: Premier League – live!

On being able to pick Reece James and Ben Chilwell: “It’s good news because they’ve been in great form this season,” he says. “Reece has a knee problem but we’re managing it. Chilly is playing with a bit of pain but we’ve all done that.”

No, we haven’t Frank. Also: Chilly?

2 - Chelsea have lost just two of their last 17 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W9 D6), with both of those defeats coming at the Emirates (0-3 in September 2016, 0-2 in January 2019). Guarded.

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Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace, Fulham 0-0 Southampton, EFL and more – live!
Mahomes magic to the Bills' rise: five gifts the NFL gave us in 2020
Mahomes magic to the Bills' rise: five gifts the NFL gave us in 2020

With the festive season upon us, we reflect on reasons for football fans to be thankful as the year draws to an end

Alex Smith was the deserved comeback player of the year before the season even began. His indescribable resolve pulled him through the spiral and compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula in 2018 that led to 17 surgeries after developing necrotizing fasciitis and onto Washington’s roster as their third-string quarterback for 2020. The 36-year-old came within 24 hours of losing his leg after his injury but was determined to eventually take a snap at FedExField. But would we see Smith as he sat behind Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen? Absolutely. Haskins’s underwhelming play meant he was scratched as the starter against the LA Rams and Allen stepped up. But injury struck and Smith was finally back, a mere 693 days since his last appearance under center. The veteran naturally completed his first pass with a quick strike to JD McKissick for six yards. As starter Smith delivered his first victory in 742 days for Washington against Cincinnati. “Just another thing I never thought I’d be doing,” said Smith. So far, so incredible. But the best was yet to come. A short trip to Pittsburgh to face the all-conquering, undefeated Steelers at 11-0 with his own team struggling at 4-7. So much for that. Smith erased Pittsburgh throwing for 296 yards and a crucial touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter that Dustin Hopkins converted to a stunning 23-17 win with two late field goals. NFL lore meet Alex Smith.

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Australia's Mitchell Starc lands late blow but India on top in Boxing Day Test
Australia's Mitchell Starc lands late blow but India on top in Boxing Day Test

Australian quick Mitchell Starc landed a late blow on India after the hosts were rolled for 195 on an eventful first day of the Boxing Day Test.

India went to stumps at 36-1 as the tourists endured 50 minutes of supreme fast bowling on the most lively MCG pitch for years.

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Ex-England cricketer and commentator Robin Jackman dies aged 75
Ex-England cricketer and commentator Robin Jackman dies aged 75

Former England and Surrey bowler Robin Jackman has died at the age of 75.

Jackman played in four Tests and 15 one-day internationals for his country, while he took 1,402 wickets in a 399-game first-class career between 1966 and 1982.

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Exeter were 'overlooked' at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, says Woodburn
Exeter were 'overlooked' at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, says Woodburn

  • ‘I think we were deserving of some mention,’ says wing
  • Chiefs make three changes for Boxing Day visit of Gloucester

The Exeter wing Olly Woodburn has said the Chiefs have become used to being overlooked after they ended up empty-handed at last Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards despite their domestic and European double.

Liverpool were crowned team of the year and Jürgen Klopp won the coaching award after the Reds claimed their first Premier League title in 30 years in June, having become European champions in May 2019. Exeter, meanwhile, won their first European title before adding their second Premiership title a week later – 10 years after they were promoted to the top flight. They were shortlisted for the team of the year award but Liverpool ended up with the prize.

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From 'cold champion' to world's best: Robert Lewandowski's journey to No 1
From 'cold champion' to world's best: Robert Lewandowski's journey to No 1

The prolific Pole has simply never stopped scoring whether for Dortmund or Bayern, and now he is finally getting the recognition his career deserves

There is a video with the title “Robert Lewandowski – All 250 Bundesliga Goals” on YouTube, lovingly prepared by the official Bundesliga account to celebrate the Bayern Munich striker reaching that milestone.

The only small problem is that even on the day it went up, 18 December, it was out of date. The Pole actually scored twice against Wolfsburg on the 16th, meaning he had 251 goals in 332 Bundesliga games. There was a solution though: the producer simply added a strapline saying “but it doesn’t end there …” and included the 251st strike as well.

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The 100 best male footballers 2020: see how every judge voted
The 100 best male footballers 2020: see how every judge voted

The positions of some players on our list have been debated. Here is your chance to see how all 9,640 votes were cast

Our 241 judges from 71 countries cast exactly 9,640 votes in total to choose the world’s top 100 male footballers for 2020. Led by 27 current and former professionals boasting a combined total of 1,087 international caps, each member of the Guardian panel chose their own top 40 players from a long list of global names. These votes were then collated to create the Guardian’s 100-best male footballers of the year.

Click on this link to see the spreadsheet that shows the full breakdown of 9,640 votes.

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'He has to slow down': Pep Guardiola calls for composure from Phil Foden
'He has to slow down': Pep Guardiola calls for composure from Phil Foden

Pep Guardiola says that Phil Foden must play the game at different speeds to maximise his enormous potential, slowing down during decisive moments close to goal.

The Manchester City manager offered rare insight into where he feels Foden must improve as he discussed the 20-year-old’s boundless energy, his desire to operate at full throttle all the time or, to borrow the phrase that he used, to “eat the world”.

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'You cannot force people to stay': Jürgen Klopp on Mohamed Salah's Liverpool future – video
'You cannot force people to stay': Jürgen Klopp on Mohamed Salah's Liverpool future – video

Jürgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah would not be held back from moving on from Liverpool – but the only reason to leave is the weather. Salah did not rule out a future move to Barcelona or Real Madrid when he gave a rare interview last week to the Spanish media

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'His mum and dad must be proud': Guardiola praises Stones after City's win over Southampton – video
'The best team lost,' says Mourinho as Liverpool snatch top spot from Spurs – video
'The best team lost,' says Mourinho as Liverpool snatch top spot from Spurs – video

José Mourinho claimed the 'best team lost' after Roberto Firmino’s late header at Anfield gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory against Tottenham to take the champions top of the Premier League. While Jürgen Klopp characterised a win that displaced Spurs as 'really special', Mourinho also criticised the German’s touchline behaviour, speculating he would have been sent off if 'grabbing' the fourth official’s board as he claimed his opposite number did.

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Tackling your questions in a Christmas special – Football Weekly Extra
Tackling your questions in a Christmas special – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Lars Sivertsen for a special Christmas Q&A edition

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Lars Sivertsen get together for a special Christmas edition, answering listener questions and tackling everything from Ireland at Italia ‘90 to anti-dandruff shampoo.

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The most eventful football matches ever played on Christmas Day | The Knowledge
The most eventful football matches ever played on Christmas Day | The Knowledge

Plus: the coldest football match and kings of Christmas. The Knowledge is having a festive break but returns on 6 January

“What has been the most eventful match played on Christmas Day,” asks Bryn Mills.

“I’d offer Bury 6-5 Manchester City in 1925,” answers, erm, Bryn, who was clearly always planning on featuring prominently in this week’s edition. “As was often the case in those days the reverse fixture was played on Boxing Day, with Bury winning 2-0 at Maine Road. Christmas Day matches were a Football League commonplace right up until the late 1950s, with a single late outlier of Blackpool 4-2 Blackburn on Christmas Day 1964. The most eventful English League Christmas Day seems to have been 25 December 1957, when Chelsea beat Portsmouth 7-4 at home in Division One and Swansea beat Bristol Rovers 6-4 at home in Division 2.”

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The Fiver Christmas Awards 2020
The Fiver Christmas Awards 2020

Give the one you love something special this year: a free subscription to The Fiver. The gift that never starts giving

Welcome to the 2020 Fiver Christmas Awards. We’ve long lost count of how many times we’ve done this, so don’t be expecting us to furnish you with a number now. All we know is, it’s been too many. You know it too. But despite the grinding familiarity and futility of it all, despite the absolute state of 2020, we go again. It’s a time-honoured festive tradition, see, like crackers, carols and government U-turns. So here it is, merry Christmas, everybody’s trudging on. Charge your glass with a generous shot of your cheapest aftershave, top it up with a little turps, dig out the packet of tablets you should have taken for your bad back a few months ago but decided to save for the holidays, and sink into a gorgeous haze of delight, the better to deal with the next few minutes of existence. Enjoy, enjoy.

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Gérard Houllier memories, the Tour de Trump and college football bedlam | Classic YouTube
Gérard Houllier memories, the Tour de Trump and college football bedlam | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features obstacles on the skeleton course and the delicate skills of Zinedine Zidane

1) Tributes have been pouring in this week for Gérard Houllier, the former Liverpool, Lyon, Aston Villa and France manager who died on Monday aged 73. And where better to start a Houllier highlights package than that thrilling 5-4 Uefa Cup final win over Alavés, the third part of Liverpool’s cup treble in 2001, following their League Cup final win over Birmingham and the Michael Owen-inspired FA Cup triumph over Arsenal. Here’s his Lyon side securing a vital victory over Marseille en route to the 2006 Ligue 1 title. And here he is in his own words on Liverpool.

2) With Donald Trump set to vacate the White House next month after four years, time to recall some other short-lived ventures of his. For two years he had a cycling race named after him. The Tour de Trump started in 1989, covering 837 miles in five eastern US states. The following year’s edition went from Wilmington, Delaware to Boston. Trump explains his motivations here, before it all went pear-shaped, Trump withdrawing his sponsorship from 1991 due to financial problems. The renamed Tour DuPont lasted until 1996.

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Premier League: 10 good and bad surprises of the season so far
Premier League: 10 good and bad surprises of the season so far

Grealish, Fabinho, Calvert-Lewin and Bamford are exceeding expectations. Aubameyang, Havertz, Martial and Traoré are not

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

We’ve made it to Christmas early in the Premier League schedule this year, but there has still been plenty of time for players and teams to impress and indeed underwhelm us. In a season full of surprises, here are 10 surprise packages so far, in terms of overachieving and underachieving.

A handful of teams have surpassed expectations, with Leicester, Everton and Southampton all sitting above Manchester City. However, there are two other teams whose places in the top half of the table are even more surprising given that they were expected to be involved in the relegation battle.

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