Premier League midweek news: Matchday 18
Latest news, injury report and the fixtures for the upcoming matchday.
Cooper out, Nuno in
The second managerial casualty of the season has seen Nottingham Forest sack Steve Cooper. The move was some time coming, with Forest currently occupying 17th place and having failed to win any of their last six matches.
In his place is the returning Nuno Espirito Santo, who last managed Saudi side Al Ittihad. He is better remembered for his short-lived tenure as Tottenham manager in 2021 but more fondly remembered for his much more successful turn as Wolves manager from 2017-2021.
Forest are desperately hoping that Nuno will be able to work wonders with them like he did in his time with Wolves. They have seen just one win in their last 13 matches and with only five points between them and the drop zone, Nuno will need to hit the ground running.
Man United’s new ruthless contract approach
Manchester United will be implementing a more ruthless approach to their process over player contracts in a move to prioritise the right culture and recruitment strategy over business interests as part of the directive to strengthen football operations when the 25% stake owned by INEOS is ratified.
Simply put, United will be more ruthless with player contracts, becoming more willing to terminate contracts if it’s for the greater good.
These discussions are said to have already begun with Jadon Sancho, who has been very vocal about how unsettled he is at the club.
Rather than look at the financial and business gains in all dealings, Man United want to take a more Arsenal approach, who has been doing this sort of thing under the Mikel Arteta regime, notably with Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe.
With top-of-the-league Arsenal employing these methods, it shows it works, and with the claim former United player Nemanja Matic made about the club not so long ago, it is good news to hear the Red Devils are looking to prioritise the football club over profits.
Kalvin Phillips on Newcastle’s radar
Kalvin Phillips will be on the move in January as Pep Guardiola has already confirmed, and despite the midfielder not having much game time to show over the last 18 months, he is still on the list of some high-profile clubs.
One such team is Newcastle, who are said to be more interested in a loan move to cover for the suspended Sandro Tonali. City are looking to sell Phillips though, to offload his £135k a week wage.
Juventus are also in the market for a midfielder and have made him a target alongside Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
The list of potential interested parties seems to be growing for the England international which will certainly be pleasing for the out-of-favour Phillips.
Anthony Gordon limped off during Newcastle’s loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. It is unknown as of yet if he will be available for this weekend.
Christopher Nkunku made his long-anticipated Chelsea debut on Tuesday, coming off the bench in the 69th minute. He will likely make his Premier League debut this weekend.
Matchday 18 fixtures
Thursday 21st December
Crystal Palace vs Brighton, 8pm, Sky Sports
Friday 22nd December
Aston Villa vs Sheffield United, 8pm, Sky Sports
Saturday 23rd December
West Ham vs Manchester United, 12:30pm, TNT Sports
Fulham vs Burnley, 3pm
Luton vs Newcastle, 3pm
Nottingham Forest vs Bournemouth, 3pm
Tottenham vs Everton, 3pm
Liverpool vs Arsenal, 5:30pm, Sky Sports
Sunday 24th December
Wolves vs Chelsea, 1pm, Sky Sports