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Team News: Saka starts for Arsenal, Ben White absent



Bukayo Saka is passed fit to start for Arsenal in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley.
Bukayo Saka is passed fit to start for Arsenal in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley.
Arsenal: Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Jorginho, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Trossard, MartinelliSubs: Ramsdale, Nketiah, Kiwior, Vieira, Nelson, Elneny, Ibrahim, Sagoe Jr, Walters
Burnley: Trafford; Vitinho, O’Shea, Beyer, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Berge, Koleosho; Amdouni, RodriguezSubs: Vigouroux, Roberts, Ramsey, Cullen, Delcroix, Obafemi, Odobert, Bruun Larsen, Redmond
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Aaron Ramsdale has been training well, Arsenal will only allow permanent transfer




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Arsenal will only consider a permanent transfer for goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale amid speculation that he would be interested in joining Newcastle United in January, David Ornstein claims.

The England international has fallen down the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta this term and he has been the second-choice behind David Raya since September.

Raya has been guilty of some high-profile mistakes including a couple at Luton Town in midweek, but manager Mikel Arteta is likely to continue to back his summer signing.

It was recently reported that Ramsdale would be open to joining Eddie Howe’s side next month with Nick Pope sidelined for months with a shoulder injury but a move seems unlikely.

In an Q&A session on The Athletic, Ornstein said that the Gunners would only allow a permanent transfer and that would also need to be at a level that provides them with proper finances to play with.

He added that Ramsdale has been training well despite the lack of playing time and the north London giants would ideally want to address his situation at the end of the season.

He said: “I don’t think Arsenal would allow a loan only a permanent transfer, and that would need to be at a level of fee that gives the proper finances to play with, and I’m not aware of any movement on that front yet.”

“Of course, Ramsdale wants and needs to be playing but I hear, unsurprisingly, that he has been training well and being a model pro. Ideally for Arsenal, this would be addressed next summer.”

Ramsdale likely to stay at Arsenal until next summer

The Gunners currently value their shot-stopper at £50 million and it is unlikely that any European club will make such a huge outlay on a goalkeeper midway through the campaign.

The Magpies need to find quality cover for Pope to keep their top-four hopes alive, but they also have Financial Fair Play concerns to deal with and may not meet the demands.

A loan deal is an option at their disposal but the Gunners are unlikely to accept, considering the Magpies are now direct rivals to them for one of the Champions League positions.

Hence, a decision over Ramsdale’s future could be delayed until the summer. The Englishman could yet have the opportunity to displace Raya between the sticks at the club.

Raya needs to redeem himself over the coming games. If the Spaniard continues to stay error-prone, Arteta may have to contemplate replacing him with Ramsdale in goal.

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Preview: Clermont vs. Lille – prediction, team news, lineups





Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Clermont and Lille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Lille can stretch their unbeaten run to 13 matches in all competitions when they travel to Stade Gabriel Montpied on Sunday for a date with Clermont.
CF63 began this month with a 3-0 defeat at Brest and are currently three points below the relegation line, while Les Dogues are fourth in the Ligue 1 table, following a 2-0 triumph over Metz....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
The positive results have been few and far between for Clermont, who followed up a 1-0 victory versus Lorient with a pair of 3-0 defeats against Lens and Brest while playing to a 1-1 draw with Montpellier in the middle of all that.

Pascal Gastien got them into the top-flight during the 2020-21 Ligue 2 season, but the 60-year-old is having difficulty keeping them afloat.
A late surge down the stretch of the 2022-23 season kept them in the top flight as they won eight of their final 10 league fixtures, but after 14 matchdays in this campaign, Les Lanciers have only claimed three points on two occasions.
It would be an understatement to say that this side have been poor in the attacking third throughout this competition, netting a mere nine times thus far, fewer than every team in the top five European leagues.
They have scored just a single goal in four all-time meetings with Lille in this competition, though that one strike was enough to earn them a 1-0 triumph at home during the 2021-22 campaign.
Only four of their 10 points this season have come at home, though this team have been much more compact on the back end at Stade Gabriel Montpied, conceding a goal or fewer in five of seven encounters.
© Reuters
Heroic goalkeeping and clinical finishing powered Lille to another domestic triumph last Sunday, their third successive victory by a 2-0 score in all competitions.

With 26 points in league play this season, Les Nordistes have equalled their second-highest total after 14 matches in this competition, earning just three fewer points than they had at this same stage of their title-winning campaign in 2020-21.
Although Paulo Fonseca’s men won their previous away fixture in Ligue 1 against Lyon (1-0), Les Dogues have not recorded consecutive league triumphs as the visitors since August-September 2022 (two).
Their impressive unbeaten run has earned them a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League and put them within striking distance of a Champions League berth next season, a point behind Monaco for third place in Ligue 1 and just two back of Nice, who are second.
From the beginning of the new campaign until now, Lille have never lost a competitive match when netting multiple times, dropping points in only one of those contests (2-2 away at Rennes in Ligue 1).
Lille have only suffered one defeat versus Clermont in all of their top-flight fixtures, outscoring them 6-1 in four encounters.

Clermont Ligue 1 form:

Lille Ligue 1 form:

Lille form (all competitions):

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Team News
© Reuters
Clermont will be without three players this weekend because of suspensions, including Cheick Oumar Konate, Maxime Gonalons and Maximiliano Caufriez.
Johan Gastien is likely a few weeks away from recovering after previously sustaining a muscle sprain, while Florent Ogier is out until late December with a knee injury.
After collecting a clean sheet in a November victory over Lorient, goalkeeper Mory Diaw has conceded seven goals in his last three domestic affairs.
Les Dogues will be without Tiago Djalo for at least another week due to an ACL sprain, while Ivan Cavaleiro should be back by late December following his thigh injury.
Last Sunday, Lucas Chevalier became the second goalkeeper in Ligue 1 this season to stop two penalty kicks, saving Simon Elisor in the opening half and doing the same to Lamine Camara in half number two.
Yusuf Yazici and Jonathan David each found the back of the net in stoppage time of the opening half against Metz to propel them to victory.Clermont possible starting lineup:Diaw; Pelmard, Caufriez, Borges; Cham, Magnin, Keita, Allevinah; Boutobba, Nicholson, Kyei
Lille possible starting lineup:Chevalier; Santos, Yoro, Alexsandro, Gudmundsson; Andre, Gomes; Haraldsson, Yazici, Cabella; David

We say: Clermont 0-3 Lille
Given the contrasting forms of each side, not to mention the significantly superior quality of the visitors we project, Clermont will suffer another blow that will take them further into the relegation zone.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Almere City – prediction, team news, lineups




Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Almere City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
AZ Alkmaar will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last time out when they welcome Almere City to the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.
The away side, on the other hand, make the journey this weekend aiming to avoid a third defeat on the bounce and get their season back on track. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
AZ Alkmaar were on the receiving end of a narrow albeit shock 2-1 defeat against NEC Nijmegen in Wednesday’s encounter between the teams.

Pascal Jansen’s men found themselves two down at half time thanks to strikes from Bas Dost and Bruno Martins Indi after which Vangelis Pavlidis pulled one back.
Whie the Cheeseheads remain third in the Eredivisie table, they have now fallen a whopping 15 points behind PSV Eindhoven in the race for the title.
Coming up next is the task of facing off against an opposing outfit who have been beaten in the previous two editions of this fixture by a combined score of 4-0.
Off the back of what was only a first league at home in over six months, Saturday’s hosts will be confident of securing an immediate return to winning ways in front of their fans.
Eredivisie newcomers Almere City fell to a 3-0 thrashing against Heerenveen when the sides faced off at the Abe Lenstra Stadion on Friday evening.
First-half goals from Pelle van Amersfoort and Sven van Beek left Alex Pastoor’s men with a mountain to climb at the interval before Van Amersfoort made sure of the result 20 minutes from time.
With just 13 points amassed from 14 matches this term, De Zwarte Schapen sit 16th in the standings, although they are only in the drop zone on goal difference.

Having seen their five game unbeaten streak on the road come to an end last time out, Saturday’s visitors now set out to avoid consecutive away losses for the first time since August.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):

Almere City Eredivisie form:

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Team News
Mees de Wit is yet to make an appearance for AZ Alkmaar since late August and will not be playing any part in this weekend’s contest.
Vangelis Pavlidis has found the back of the net in each of his last four outings for the home side, making him one to keep an eye on here.
Twenty-three-year-old Hamdi Akujobi remains unavailable for selection having missed each of Almere’s last seven games through a damaged knee.
The home side will also be without the services of Faiz Mattoir but the Comoros international is not far off making a return to action.
AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:Ryan; Sugawara, Bazoer, Penetra, Wolfe; Clasie, Mijnans; Lahdo, De Wit, Van Brederode; Pavlidis
Almere City possible starting lineup:Bakker; Castell, Mbe, Van Bruggen, Jacobs, Floranus; Koopmeiners, Robinet, Resink; Hansen, Van La Parra

We say: AZ Alkmaar 4-1 Almere City
AZ Alkmaar hit a bump in the road last time out but we can see them serving up an immediate response with a comfortable win this time around, scoring plenty of goals en route.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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