Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira injured again

The Portuguese right-back returned from a nine-month absence with knee ligament damage against Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday.

However, he had to be substituted at half time in Ukraine after complaining of a groin problem.

Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers provided an update on the 27-year-old, and fellow defender Caglar Soyuncu, following his side’s 2-1 win at Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday.

“Ricky has a slight, not a serious, issue with his groin, but probably one that will keep him out for 10 days to two weeks,” said Rodgers.

“It was unfortunate. The surface was very slippy and he’s just aggravated his groin, but hopefully it won’t be too long.”

Soyuncu also suffered a groin injury in Ukraine last week on his comeback. The Turkey international’s return from injury lasted just 16 minutes before he had to be replaced.

Rodgers said scans have shown that the recurrence of the groin problem that had sidelined him since October is not as bad as initially feared, but he did not put a time scale on the 24-year-old’s absence.

“Cags, it’s too early for him to come in, but thankfully it’s not as bad as we first thought,” said the Foxes boss.

“He’ll be out with the medical team next week, and we’ll monitor that, but hopefully it won’t be too long.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers was relieved to avoid an unwanted record at Bramall Lane on Sunday, where Jamie Vardy’s 90th-minute strike saw Leicester return to winning ways.

The Foxes were on the brink of a fifth straight match without a victory, which would have equalled the club’s longest streak without a win since Rodgers took charge in February 2019.

“It was very important for us that we won. It might be the longest period since I’ve been here that we haven’t won, but if not it’s certainly felt the longest. We haven’t performed so well (of late),” said Rodgers.

“It is important we are not used to losing. I’m delighted. After a tough week of travel, it’s a fantastic win for us.”

Sunday’s late defeat was a huge body blow for Sheffield United, who now have the ignominy of having made the worst ever start to a Premier League season.

A 10th defeat in 11 matches left Blades boss Chris Wilder visibly hurt, he said: “It’s one of the hardest periods I’ve been through in my managerial career because of my connection to this football club and we just want to get through it.

“Am I being a counsellor as much as a manager? Yes, it seems that way because we are trying to keep spirits high and people positive.

“These players have swum the channel to get this club in the position it is in. So I’m not going to smash them over the head. I support them.”

Toby Alderweireld out for Tottenham due to injury

But the Belgium international’s adductor injury suffered against Manchester City on Saturday is not as bad as first feared.

Manager Jose Mourinho said: “He has a muscular injury but not as big as we initially thought.

“He will have time to be out, but not like a month which was immediately what we thought. I would say between two and four weeks.

“It’s bad news, he was playing his best football. He’s an important player that we’ll miss.”

There had been doubts over the match taking place with reports in Bulgaria suggesting some Ludogorets players had tested positive for coronavirus.

But Mourinho said: “According to my information, that’s not true. The problems they had were immediately after the game we played there (3-1 win on November 5). They have had one more game after that, which they won, then the international break.

“Of the team that comes (on Thursday), I believe only two players who played against us are not playing. Apart from that, the other nine are in the list and ready to play.

“I don’t understand the news, there is a big contradiction between the news and the information we have.”

Leicester eyeing cup success as route to Europe

After a promising start, which has seen the Foxes take nine points from a possible 12, Rodgers has played down his side’s chances of title run, with a repeat of last season’s achievement of gaining Europa League qualification a more realistic ambition.

The former Liverpool manager was keen to point out that there are many other clubs in the Premier League with bigger budgets and resources than theirs, but outlined finding “another way of trying to qualify”.

This hints at targeting cup competitions, as winning the FA Cup results in qualification to the Europa League, a competition that they begin next week.

Leicester were drawn in a group with Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk, AEK Athens and Braga in their first appearance in the competition since it was rebranded from the UEFA Cup.

Should Leicester go all the way in that competition, it would mean a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016, where they made the quarter finals before being eliminated by Atletico Madrid.

Mesut Ozil left out of Arsenal Europa League squad

The 31-year-old has not played for the Gunners since March and has not featured in the matchday squad for the last 17 matches.

He only played twice in Europe last season and the arrivals of the likes of Thomas Partey, Willian and Gabriel mean manager Mikel Arteta’s decision to leave him out of their Europa League squad is the clearest message yet the former Germany international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has no future at the club.

Defender Sokratis and William Saliba have also been left out of the European squad.

On a reported £350,000-a-week, Ozil’s Arsenal future has long been a topic of debate amongst Gunners fans, with the club reportedly in discussions to cancel the final 12 months of his contract.

Harry Maguire calls on Manchester United to improve following Europa League exit

Goals from Suso and Luuk De Jong ended the Red Devils European journey in Germany, and Maguire echoed his manager’s comments by stating a semi final spot is not good enough.

The England international claimed United were the better team on the night, but the efficiency of Sevilla was too much to handle.

United have already secured their place in next season’s Champions League, but Maguire will be hoping his comments will resonate with his teammates as they jet off on summer holidays this week.

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Manchester United face Sevilla in Europa League semi final clash

The Norwegian has laid down the challenge to his players in midweek, by claiming that a semi final place is not enough for a club like United.

However, despite a rallying call from their boss, the United players will need to improve following their limp quarter final win over FC Copenhagen.

Bruno Fernandes’ extra time penalty saw them through, but United struggled against the Danes.

Eric Bailly is the only new fitness issue for Solskjaer, and Victor Lindelof could step in alongside Harry Maguire.

For Sevilla, despite the famous comments of John Aldridge and Ray Wilkins, are no push over in Europe.

In fact, Julen Lopetegui’s side are the Europa League most successful club, with three title wins in the last five seasons.

Lopetegui is expected to name an unchanged side from their win over Wolves.

Tomas Vaclik’s injury means that Bono, no not that one, this is the Moroccan international, will start, alongside former Manchester City star Jesus Navas.

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