GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL FANS
Rivals Manchester United and Manchester City lock horns today at Old Trafford.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been dealt with an injury blow as Raphael Varane limped out of the midweek Champions League draw at Atalanta.
Varane faces four to five weeks out with a hamstring injury, while Victor Lindelof is set for a late fitness test due to a recent knock.
Paul Pogba is also sidelined as he serves the second game of a three-match ban following his red card against Liverpool two weeks ago.
City boss Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, will be without Aymeric Laporte as he is suspended.
Laporte was sent off during last week’s 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace at the Etihad.
Guardiola will also make a late decision on Kyle Walker, who suffered a foot injury against Club Brugge on Wednesday in the Champions League.
Ferran Torres is also dealing with a foot problem of his own and will be absent against United.
Meanwhile, Barcelona legend Xavi is set to replace Ronald Koeman in the Barca dugout after the Blaugrana agreed a deal for his release with current club Al-Sadd.
The Qatari outfit released the following statement: “The #AlSadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.
“We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success.
“Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.”
Finally, Newcastle have reached a verbal agreement with Eddie Howe, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Magpies are still putting together some final details regarding Howe’s technical staff.
The ex-Bournemouth manager looks set to put pen to paper on a contract until 2024.
Romano tweeted: “Eddie Howe not announced yet as new Newcastle manager as there’s still something to be fixed to reach an agreement with his technical staff members. Newcastle board on it since today morning.
“Verbal agreement already reached with Eddie Howe deal until June 2024”