Tottenham Europa Conference clash OFF, vaccine passports or negative test for Prem games, Chelsea transfer news

Tottenham Europa Conference clash OFF, vaccine passports or negative test for Prem games, Chelsea transfer news

December 9, 2021

TOTTENHAM'S Europa Conference League clash against Rennes is OFF.

Covid-19 has ravaged the Spurs squad – with ELEVEN cases including staff.

And after talks with Health Security Agency and the Government on Wednesday night, Tottenham announced the Group G clash was postponed, with the club’s Hotspur Way training ground closed.

As a result, Spurs’ Premier League fixture against Brighton at the Amex on Sunday will be in doubt.

And Eddie Howe is eyeing up Stoke striker Tyrese Campbell as his first signing at Newcastle.

The son of former Everton forward Kevin Campbell, Tyrese has scored twice in nine games for the Potters this season.

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Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…

  • William Pugh

    GOOD MORNING FOOTY FANS!

    You’re waking up to the aftermath of a night of high drama in the Champions League.

    A complete shocker from keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen confirmed Barcelona’s earliest Champions League exit for 21 years.

    The last time Barca failed to progress to the Champions League last 16 was way back in 2000-01.

    That season, current manager Xavi was a fresh-faced 20-year-old in the team alongside Pep Guardiola in midfield.

    In other results, Manchester United were already through as Group F winners but they failed to avenge their defeat at the hands of Young Boys back in September.

    The Red Devils could only manage a 1-1 draw with the Swiss visitors as new boss Ralf Rangnick sent out his own youngsters at Old Trafford.

    Chelsea missed out on the chance to top their group with a dramatic 3-3 draw away to Zenit St Petersburg.

    And in other news, the Government confirmed plans to introduce vaccine passports at English football grounds as part of their ‘Plan B’ response to growing Covid-19 fears.

  • Tristan Barclay

    BUNGLING BARCA

    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen’s embarrassing shocker confirmed woeful Barcelona's earliest Champions League exit for 21 years.

    The German, 29, allowed compatriot Leroy Sane's long-range effort to slip through his hands just before half-time in the flop 3-0 defeat away at Bayern Munich.

    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen turned in a poor performance between the sticksCredit: Reuters

    The last time Barca failed to progress to the Champions League last-16 was way back in 2000-01.

    That season, current manager Xavi was a fresh-faced 20-year-old in the team alongside Pep Guardiola in midfield.

    AC Milan topped the group with Leeds, who went on to reach the semis, second, Barca third and Besiktas last.

    Finishing third sees Barcelona drop into the Europa League where they could face the likes of Borussia Dortmund, West Ham or Leicester at some stage.

  • Tristan Barclay

    CONTE CRISIS

    Tottenham’s Europa Conference League group stage tie with Rennes has been called off due to their Covid-19 crisis.

    Antonio Conte revealed Spurs have 13 positive cases – eight players and five members of staff – which left them with ELEVEN fit senior players.

    Antonio Conte earlier admitted the was fear around Tottenham over the virusCredit: Getty

    After talks with the Health Security Agency and government last night, Tottenham announced the Group G clash was postponed with the club’s Hotspur Way training ground closed.

    As a result, Spurs’ Premier League fixture against Brighton at the Amex on Sunday will be in doubt.

    And Prem rivals Leicester have also been hit by the virus after Brendan Rodgers confirmed they have had some positive cases before tonight’s Europa League tie at Napoli.

    Spurs would have to play the rearranged fixture before the end of the month to remain in the competition.

  • Tristan Barclay

    SNOW GO

    ATALANTA'S Champions League tie with Villarreal was called off due to a snowstorm – with the showdown for a last-16 place set back to Thursday.

    The two sides returned to the snow-laden pitch to applaud their fans for turning out after the fierce blizzard meant play was impossible.

    Ref Anthony Taylor sheltered under an umbrella as he inspected the pitchCredit: Getty

    Whoever wins the clash will finish Group F runners-up to Manchester United.

    And football chiefs intend to play what will be the final group match of this year's tournament 24 hours later.

    Referee Anthony Taylor was covered by an umbrella as he inspected the pitch, with his fellow officials smiling.

    And kick-off was initially put back 20 minutes before Taylor bowed to the elements and postponed the crucial encounter.

  • Tristan Barclay

    ZENIT 3 CHELSEA 3

    Timo Werner gave Chelsea the perfect start but it turned into a long night as they surrendered top spot in their Champions League group.

    Recent problems with concentration returned to haunt them as the reigning European champions twice threw away the lead for the second game in a row.

    Thomas Tuchel's men missed out on the chance to top the groupCredit: Reuters

    They failed to capitalise on Werner’s opener after one minute and 23 seconds – the fastest goal in Chelsea’s Champions League history.

    Zenit then took a surprise lead with two goals in three minutes and then pulled it back themselves four minutes into second-half injury time in a see-saw match that will feel like defeat for boss Thomas Tuchel.

    Sloppy marking cost Chelsea dearly in the first half as on-loan midfielder Saul Niguez’s panicked clearance and rookie Malang Sarr’s slipshod marking gifted Zenit an equaliser in the 38th minute.

    Three minutes after that Andreas Christensen, nutmegged for a goal at West Ham on Saturday, was caught in two minds which allowed Sardar Asmoun a perfect opportunity to make it 2-1 after rounding stand-in Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

    Romelu Lukaku’s first goal since spending five weeks out with an ankle injury pulled it level once more in the second half and Werner looked to have won it with a classy solo goal five minutes from time.

    But yet another lapse in focus saw the Russians snatch a gutsy draw and deny Chelsea the luxury of first place in Group H by blasting home the third equaliser of the game deep into stoppage time.

  • Tristan Barclay

    MO WORRIES

    Michael Owen has defended Chelsea’s decision to sell Mo Salah five years ago, insisting the Egyptian used to be an ‘average finisher’.

    But Owen now believes Salah, 29, is an ‘unbelievable’ player, admitting the forward’s incredible rise has surprised him.

    Mo Salah previously played at Chelsea and RomaCredit: EPA

    Salah scored his 20th goal in 21 games this season as Liverpool beat AC Milan 2-1 last night.

    He now has 145 goals in 224 matches for the Reds, including an incredible debut season that saw him hit the target 44 times.

    But things were very different for Salah during his time at Stamford Bridge after a 2014 switch

    The hitman managed just two goals in 19 games before being shipped off on loan to Fiorentina and Roma.

    Italy’s capital club then snapped Salah from Chelsea in 2016 up before selling to Liverpool in 2017.

    And Owen reckons the goal-machine has come on leaps and bounds, claiming Chelsea could not have known how good Salah would be as he was ‘average’ at best in London.

    Reflecting on Salah’s goal against Milan, Owen said: “He makes it look so easy, it’s not an easy finish at all.

    “He takes it as it’s coming down. A yard lower the keeper saves it, a yard higher he saves it.

    “He just makes it look easy. He was an average finisher earlier in his career and now he is just unbelievable.”

  • Tristan Barclay

    PLAN B

    FOOTBALL fans will be forced to show 'vaccine passport' to enter grounds from this weekend.

    Boris Johnson confirmed on Wednesday even that the government is adopting its Covid “Plan B” in a bid to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant.

    Fans will have to show proof of vaccination at Premier League groundsCredit: Getty

    Now, people will have to prove they are double vaccinated to go to matches and nightclubs, as well as working from home and adopting more mask-wearing rules.

    Football will feel the immediate effect – with clubs having to enforce the new rules or prevent supporters from entering grounds from Wednesday.

    Boris Johnson announced tonight that the NHS Covid pass will be mandatory in England in venues where large crowds gather – including football games.

    Premier League clubs were warned of the likely imposition of the new regulations during last Friday’s virtual 'shareholder' meeting.

    But while the clubs are braced for backlash and potential issues from fans who are told they cannot take up seats they have paid for without proof of double vaccination or immune status – they are ready for the challenge.

  • Tristan Barclay

    WALK THIS WAY

    Kyle Walker faces an anxious wait to discover if he can play any part in Manchester City’s Champions League last 16 tie.

    England ace Walker saw red for a wild kick at Leipzig’s Andre Silva as City slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat in their final group game. 

    Kyle Walker was given his marching orders for a wild kick at Andre SilvaCredit: PA

    Under Uefa rules, it means Walker will serve a minimum one-match Euro ban for his dismissal.

    But there is no fixed penalty for red cards in Europe, unlike in the Prem, with each case assessed separately by the control and disciplinary committee.

    Walker could still escape with a single match ban.

    But Article 15 of Uefa regulations states that suspension can be imposed for 'a specified period' for offences including 'rough play', with an extra game added to the mandatory minimum.

    A date for the committee to sit has yet to be set and it could be as early as this week.

    But with Uefa competitions now going into their winter break, Walker may have to wait until early in the New Year before discovering the full price of his moment of madness.

  • Tristan Barclay

    WAITING GAME

    Tottenham’s match with Rennes is reportedly set to go ahead despite a Covid outbreak in the Spurs camp.

    A total of 13 people at the club have tested positive for coronavirus, including eight players.

    Antonio Conte is down to the bare bones of his Tottenham squadCredit: Getty

    That means Antonio Conte could be down to a threadbare squad for the visit of Rennes.

    Uefa are monitoring the situation but the match has not been called off, according to BBC reporter Simon Stone.

    It is Spurs' final group game of the Europa Conference League with the French side already confirmed as Group G winners.

    Tottenham are level on points with Vitesse following their last-minute defeat to Mura last time out.

    And with Rennes currently unbeaten in the competition, Conte faces a big task to qualify.

    From the photos emerging from Spurs training on Wednesday it appears there could be a number of important players missing.

  • Tristan Barclay

    JABS FOR THE BOYS

    Some pointed comments from West Ham manager David Moyes on the growing unease around Covid-19 this Christmas.

    The Hammers boss says it’s time for the Premier League to introduce vaccine passports and only allow fans into grounds if they’ve been jabbed.

    West Ham boss David Moyes said he'd had enough of CovidCredit: Reuters

    He believes, after two years being blighted by the virus, the game must help do its bit to eradicate the illness from the world.

    And that includes demanding fans be vaccinated if they want to attend matches.

    Moyes said: “I do feel that I think we're getting to a stage now where we don't want any more Covid. There's been too many deaths throughout the world.

    “I think we need to try and make sure we try and eliminate it the best we can.

    “If I was a football supporter, I'd want to go and sit next to somebody who I know had been vaccinated and gives me the best chance of not contracting the virus.

    “I'm a football supporter, I watch games and I really want to go to games. I want to keep going. I think the crowds are so important to football.

    “I know that people have a right to make their own choices and I respect that.

    “But I actually think it's something now which we would seriously have to consider because if I was a supporter I'd really would want to go to a game next to someone who I knew had been vaccinated.”

  • Tristan Barclay

    BLUE MOVERS

    Chelsea take on Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League tonight as they attempt to finish top of Group H.

    Victory would almost certainly see them go through to the knockout stages as group winners, given their superior goal difference over second-place Juventus.

    If they do manage to top the group, that would make it four from four for English teams in Europe’s elite competition.

    Liverpool, Manchester City and Man United are all through to the last-16 after breezing through the first round.

    And those Premier League heavyweights are packed full of ex-Chelsea talent.

    Every time Kevin De Bruyne or Mo Salah put in a Man of the Match performance, for example – Blues fans are hit with a pinch of sadness.

    SunSport decided to run the rule over which Chelsea youngsters are now starring for different clubs.

    Who knows how dominant Thomas Tuchel’s side would be if they’d kept this band of brothers together…

  • Tristan Barclay

    LEGEND TREATED

    Brazil legend Pele is back in hospital for colon cancer treatment.

    The 81-year-old was hospitalised for nearly a month earlier this year after having a tumour removed.

    Pele has previously been in hospital for cancer treatmentCredit: AFP

    And the three-time World Cup-winner has been readmitted for further treatment this week.

    His condition is described as stable and he is expected to be discharged from  Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital within a few days.

  • Justin Lawrence

    'WE'RE SCARED' 

    Tottenham are reportedly set to ask the Premier League to postpone their match with Brighton this Sunday as EIGHT players and five members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

    On Tuesday it was reported that seven players and two members of staff had tested positive for Covid.

    And now it has been confirmed by Antonio Conte that a total of 13 members of the squad have returned positive tests.

    Spurs face Rennes in the Europa Conference League on Thursday – a fixture they will have to fulfil providing they have 13 players and a registered keeper available.

    But there is no such rule for Premier League games as they are decided on a case-by-case basis.

    And The Athletic are reporting that Spurs will request the match against Brighton at the Amex Stadium be postponed due to the Covid chaos.

  • Justin Lawrence

    IT’S EASY

    Kylian Mbappe has switched allegiance in the GOAT debate from Cristiano Ronaldo to Lionel Messi.

    The French star previously revealed he preferred Manchester United ace Ronaldo but having played with Messi at Paris Saint-Germain, he appears to have had a change of heart.

    Mbappe scored twice in the first eight minutes as PSG beat Club Brugge 4-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    Messi scored twice more to complete the thrashing and after the match, Mbappe, 22, heaped praise on the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

    He said: “It’s easy to play with Lionel Messi.

    “He’s the best player in the world.

    “He won the Ballon d’Or a few days ago, he scored two goals today and he is happy.”

    Mbappe’s apparent change of stance came after he labelled Ronaldo the GOAT and his idol in 2020.

  • Justin Lawrence

    NOT GUNNER HAPPEN

    Ex-Blackburn Rovers Chris Sutton doesn’t think Liverpool super-sub Divorick Origi can fit into Arsenal’s first team.

    Sutton also doubts Origi would make it at Chelsea, but does see the Belgian doing well at clubs like Aston Villa or Norwich.

    He said: “It’s all about playing. “I am not saying Origi can go to Chelsea. I am not saying he can go to an Arsenal.

    “But maybe an Aston Villa or a Norwich City where he would play regularly. I am not comparing Villa and Norwich, by the way.

    “Villa are well ahead of Norwich in the table.

    “But a team like that where he is playing week in and week out. That’s what you want to do is play regular football.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    TOP FIVE

    Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has named Liverpool and Manchester City among the five clubs he reckons can lift the Champions League this season.

    However, Manchester United and Chelsea didn't make Allegri's cut along with his own club Juve.

    Instead, Allegri thinks Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are in the running to clinch the European prize.

    He said to 90min: "I think the favourites for this edition of the Champions League are: Liverpool, Bayern, Manchester City, Real [Madrid] and PSG."

  • Justin Lawrence

    MAREN MISSED

    Maren Mjelde looks set to miss Chelsea’s Champions League duel with Juventus this evening.

    And Emma Hayes revealed fans are unlikely to see the right-back in action before Christmas with the club wanting the player to boost her strength.

    Mjelde, 32, made her long-awaited return in November in Chelsea’s 7-0 thumping of Servette after suffering a painful knee injury during their Conti Cup trophy win in March.

    Blues chief Hayes, 44, whose side host Juve at home, said: “Maren has still got a little bit of work to do on developing her strength.

    “We're taking that time to do that so I don't think Maren will play this side of Christmas.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    BLUE CHILL

    Chelsea's stars braced the Russian snow as they prepared for their Champions League tie against Zenit today.

    The Blues were captured trudging through thick snow with just puffer jackets to keep them warm in the extreme weather conditions in Russia.

    But Thomas Tuchel's men were all smiles despite the snow as they top the group going into tonight's clash.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)

  • Justin Lawrence

    BAD PHILL-ING

    England and Leeds star Kalvin Phillips is reportedly set for two months out with a hamstring injury.

    The Three Lions midfield ace limped off 55 minutes into the Whites' 2-2 draw with Brentford and looks likely to be out until the new year.

    Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was unable to confirm the nature of Phillips' injury after Sunday's match at Elland Road.

    But it has now emerged it was a hamstring injury which could keep him out until February, according to the Mail.

  • Justin Lawrence

    FESTIVE BLOW

    Football fans are set to be forced to show “vaccine passport” to enter grounds from this weekend.

    The Government is understood to be on the verge of confirming it is adopting its Covid “Plan B” in a bid to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant.

    That will see people needing to prove they are double vaccinated to enter public buildings as well as working from home directives and more mask-wearing rules.

    And football will feel the immediate effect with clubs expected to enforce the new rules or prevent supporters entering grounds.

    Premier League clubs were warned of the likely imposition of the new regulations during last Friday’s virtual “shareholder” meeting.

    League officials explained that extra measures were likely to be brought in before Christmas, adding to the pressures on clubs.

  • Justin Lawrence

    SUPER SUB

    Rio Ferdinand has compared Divock Origi to a few of his old Manchester United team-mates after the Belgian’s late heroics for Liverpool.

    Origi was on song last night to help the Reds maintain their 100% record in the Champions League against AC Milan.

    And Ferdinand had to admit that Origi reminded him of United super subs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Javier Hernandez who used to come on and help the Red Devils seal victories with crucial goals.

    Ferdinand told BT Sport: “I’ve played with players that have done what he does coming off the bench, the Chicaritos, the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s.

    “The appreciation for them within the squad, all the players love players like that because you need them – they’re so integral if you’re going to win multiple competitions.

    “You need people to be able to come off the bench and have an impact.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    STRETCH THE RULES

    Ralf Rangnick has been fighting for 15 YEARS to change one of the most fundamental rules in football – the size of the goal.

    The Manchester United boss, 63, is well-known as a revolutionary within the beautiful game.

    His pioneering tactics – considered the father of Gegenpress – has helped influence a generation of managers, including Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.

    But Rangnick isn’t content to just change the way footballers play, he wants to change the very game itself.

    Incredibly, the German chief wants to make the goals BIGGER – claiming humans are, on average, 10cm bigger than when the dimensions of the goalposts were drawn up.

  • Justin Lawrence

    MARC HIM OUT

    Ajax have issued a stern hands-off warning to clubs seeking to lure Marc Overmars away after the Dutchman signed a contract extension.

    The club’s director of football will now stay with Ajax until 2026 amid reports linking him to the Newcastle job.

    And now that the ex-Arsenal star has penned a new deal with Ajax, the club warned potential suitors to ‘stop calling Marc’ on Twitter.

    Overmars also expressed his joy at committing to Ajax.

    He said: “I still feel very excited by my work and get a lot of satisfaction out of it.

    “The cooperation with my fellow board members is very good, as well as with the people at the Toekomst (the Ajax sports complex) with whom I work together in the fields of scouting, youth, transfers, and the like.

    “I have a feeling that my work at Ajax is not done yet, so I would like to continue here.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    NAT'S BACK

    Liverpool defender Nat Phillips sent social media into meltdown on Tuesday night after bamboozling Zlatan Ibrahimovic with an audacious Cruyff turn.

    The 24-year-old starred in his first Champions League start of the season as the Reds beat AC Milan 2-1 at the San Siro.

    The ex-Stuttgart loanee dazzled supporters with an outrageous piece of skill inside his own box in the 69th minute.

    Phillips reacted quickly after Konate intercepted a pass, before calmly performing a Cruyff turn which sent Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie the wrong way.

    Commenting on the incident, one user tweeted: "Just Nat Phillips sending Zlatan Ibrahimovic into the next dimension with a Cruyff turn."

    Another remarked: "Nat Phillips doing Cruyff turns in the San Siro is the content we are here for!"

  • Justin Lawrence

    MO MONEY 

    Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah should demand to be the best-paid player in the Premier League, according to Peter Crouch.

    The Reds star has 18 months left on his contract and is currently in discussions with the Merseyside outfit over a new deal.

    And ex-Liverpool striker Crouch believes the Egyptian deserves to earn the most of any player in English football.

    Speaking on BT Sport, the former England striker said: “There's nobody better in the league at the moment.

    “Whatever the best player in the league is on, give him that.”

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