RODRI is bidding to become English football’s greatest “Invincible” in the Manchester derby on Sunday.The Manchester City colossus last lost a club game at Tottenham in February 2023.Rodri has not lost a game with Manchester City for more than 12 monthsCredit: GettyKyle Walker does not believe Declan Rice is on Rodri’s levelCredit: GettySince then he has gone 58 appearances unbeaten — equalling the record set by former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.A draw or a win for the midfielder against Manchester United this weekend will see him go ahead of that mark and emphasise, once again, his importance to Pep Guardiola’s team.No wonder his City team-mates claim the 27-year-old is the “finished article” — and put him in contention for one of football’s top player prizes.Asked if he should be in the frame for the Ballon d’Or, City skipper Kyle Walker said: “For what he did last season, what we did as a club, and the specialist he is in his position, he should be mentioned.READ MORE IN FOOTBALL”He doesn’t have social media. I don’t know . . . maybe it’s that!”It cannot be a coincidence that City have been unbeatable with Rodri in their line-up for over a year.When he was suspended early in the season, after a red card against Nottingham Forest, City lost all three games without him — at Newcastle, Wolves and Arsenal.City made a move for England’s Declan Rice in the summer before he opted to join Arsenal for £105million from West Ham.Most read in FootballCASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSRodri and Rice’s Premier League stats so far this seasonWalker is a huge fan of 25-year-old Rice but says he is not yet at Rodri’s level.He added: “I don’t think there is a better holding midfielder in the world right now than Rodri.’I’ve never seen that before’, says ITV commentator after spotting what Pep Guardiola did on touchline during FA Cup tie”Rice is playing really well and Mikel Arteta can teach him the philosophy and probably the Barcelona way that Rodri has grown up watching.”Dec’s got more than enough capability of doing that but he’s not the finished article.”The finished article — or a step above the rest — at the minute is Rodri.”Rodri does so much more than just protecting his defence — although he does a pretty decent job of that.His all-round game has improved. He pops up with some huge goals, none bigger than the one in Istanbul which won the Champions League in June.Walker added: “What’s key about him is his consistency, the level he always plays at and how he adapts and dedicates himself to the game.”Defender Nathan Ake is grateful for the barrier that Rodri gives the City backline — but says there is so much more to his game than that.The Dutch international said: “Rodri is massive for us. He’s probably the best in the world in his position.”The way he controls games and in vital moments comes up with crucial goals. He’s a great all-rounder.”It seems strange that after a largely underwhelming first season in 2019-20, some pundits wondered if the £62.5m signing was ready to step into the shoes of City legend Fernandinho.He has proved the doubters wrong in the three years since and wrote his name into club folklore with that goal to beat Inter to complete the Treble.Although he was given the night off at Luton this week — and City still rattled in six without him — he has become indispensable to Guardiola for the biggest games.During the pre-season tour of the Far East, Rodri admitted his workload had been too much.The medics at the Etihad seem to have listened as Phil Foden, Walker and Ederson have all played more minutes than him this season.City want Rodri available when it really matters and since his red-mist moment against Forest in September, he has cleaned up his act.READ MORE SUN STORIESHe has not been booked in his last seven domestic appearances — meaning his seven yellow cards give him some leeway before what could be a costly suspension.City have managed without key men such as Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne — but losing Rodri for any length of time would be a more significant blow.Walker heaped praise on team-mate RodriCredit: Reuters More
LUIS DIAZ is in line to be the biggest name exit from Liverpool this summer — if they can tie down Mo Salah to a new deal.Several Spanish clubs have their eyes on Kop forward Diaz.A number of Spanish clubs have an eye on Luis Diaz ahead of a shock summer transferCredit: GettyLiverpool are keen to agree a new contract with Mohamed SalahCredit: APThe Reds are prepared to listen to offers due to their wealth of attacking options.The top priority for Jurgen Klopp’s successor is new contracts for Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk.And the outcome relating to Salah in particular will have a bearing on the future of 27-year-old Colombia ace Diaz.He struggled in the first half of the season — even before his parents were kidnapped in his homeland.READ MORE LIVERPOOL NEWSBut Diaz has recently shown glimpses of his initial form after moving from Porto for £37m in January 2022.Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip are set to leave Anfield when their contracts expire this summer.Salah, Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk all have just one full season left on their current deals.Saudi Pro League clubs and Paris Saint-Germain want Salah while captain Van Dijk has rowed back on comments that he was unsure of his future after Klopp’s exit.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSThe Reds realise they can have only sensible conversations with their stars once a new sporting director and Klopp’s replacement are in place.The sporting director, who could be named in the coming fortnight, will have input into the identity of the new manager.Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Jayden Danns scores twice after Lewis Koumas goal as Klopp’s kids set up Man Utd FA Cup clashBayer Leverkusen chief Xabi Alonso — a former Kop hero — is favourite to get Klopp’s job.Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann, Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim are also candidates.No direct approaches have yet been made but it is believed Alonso’s camp have been kept informed of Liverpool’s timetable.Chiefs expect a relatively quiet summer in the transfer market although Bayern Munich are eyeing left-back Andy Robertson.And the Reds are braced for bids for back-up keeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who has shone in Alisson’s absence. More
MANCHESTER UNITED’S owners have been blasted for “smelly” facilities at their NFL franchise in a damning report.The Glazer Family own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alongside their majority stake in the Red Devils.The Glazers have been blasted in a new survey by the NFL Players AssociationCredit: GettyThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ facilities are ‘smelly’ with ‘bugs in showers’ the report claimsCredit: GettySince the Glazers’ takeover in 1995, the Buccaneers have won two Super Bowls, the only NFL championship triumphs in their history.However, an NFL report has now laid bare their alleged failings in Florida.It comes after regular criticism in recent months for neglecting United’s facilities.A survey conducted by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) exposed the shortcomings within the Buccaneers’ facilities.READ MORE MAN UTD NEWSNFLPA members were surveyed by members to gauge their thoughts on how their teams operate.Joel Glazer was given a rating of 6.1/10 for his willingness to invest in facilities, placing him 29th out of 32 franchise owners.Players claimed the locker room are left unclean, constantly smell and the showers have a persistent bug issue.Meanwhile, it was also revealed that the team’s saunas are mouldy.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSThe survey highlighted the Buccaneers as one of 12 teams that do not provide a family room during games.Whilst the Bucs do offer day care, it comes at a price of $90 per child.Inside Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s plans to replace Old Trafford with a ‘Wembley of the North’A summary of the NFLPA survey read: “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finish the year ranked 24th overall [from 32 teams]; the ranking could have been lower if the staff had not earned high marks among respondents.”The dietician, training staff and strength coaches all received solid grades from the players.”Club owner Joel Glazer ranks 29th across the league when it comes to the question about a perceived willingness to invest in the facilities, and the reason for assessment is reflected in the data collected across categories.”The players described the locker room as ‘unclean’ and ‘smelly’, and they even cited seeing bugs consistently in the showers. Respondents also described the team sauna as ‘dirty’, ‘small’ and ‘broken down’.”Younger players must have roommates on work travel, unless they pay the team more than $1,750 for their own room each season.”They do have a daycare room on gamedays, but charge players’ families $90 per child, which most other teams offer for free.”Outdated facilities are one thing, but providing clean showers and workspaces, and not charging players to have their own hotel room on work trips should be basic standards for a multi-billion-dollar professional sports enterprise.”Joel Glazer ranked 29th out of 32 NFL franchise owners for his willingness to invest in facilitiesCredit: The Mega Agency More
LEVI COLWILL is being lined up for a shock move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.The 21-year-old has emerged as a long-term transfer target for the Ligue 1 champions.Paris Saint-Germain are lining up a move for Chelsea defender Levi ColwillCredit: AlamyColwill has made 31 appearances for Chelsea so far this season, scoring once from defence.The academy graduate has established himself in the first-team after shining on loan at Brighton last season.His performances for the Seagulls saw him rewarded with a new six-year deal at Stamford Bridge back in the summer.Meanwhile, he was handed his senior England debut by Gareth Southgate in October.READ MORE CHELSEA NEWSAccording to Jonathan Johnson, though, he could now be set to leave the Premier League.Colwill is said to have emerged as a target for PSG, who are willing to play a long game to land their man, with the Blues unlikely to sell this summer.The report adds that he is seen as an alternative to first-choice defensive target Leny Yoro.Yoro, 18, has broken into the Lille first-team this season, sparking a transfer race involving PSG, Real Madrid and Liverpool.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSManchester United were also linked with a move before the January transfer window.The interest in Colwill comes after reports Chelsea may have to sell a host of players this summer in order to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.Chelsea 3 Leeds 2: Gallagher nets last-gasp winner ease pressure on Pochettino as Blues edge out brave Whites in FA CupIn addition, homegrown player sales are seen to provide greater value when adhering to FFP.This is because there are no reductions to the value of the sale in FFP calculations due to the price of the player’s initial contract.However, Colwill is not thought to be one of the stars Chelsea are willing to sell this summer. More
FORMER Newcastle star Matty Longstaff looks to be closing in on a return to football.The midfielder, 23, is close to signing for MLS side Toronto FC, according to reports.Longstaff says being a Newcastle player showed him how you could go from ‘the top to the bottom’ in footballCredit: PA:Empics SportLongstaff has been without a club this season after he was released by Newcastle last summer.The midfielder burst on the scene in October 2019 with a debut man of the match display and only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.He was only earning £850-a-week at the time and had the likes of Inter Milan and Marseille squabbling to sign him after his dramatic rise.But recurrent injury problems saw him drop out of the Newcastle first-team in subsequent seasons.READ MORE ON FOOTBALLUnsuccessful loan spells to Aberdeen and League Two clubs Mansfield Town and Colchester followed between 2021 and 2023 as he tried to rediscover his form.But Newcastle eventually cut their losses last summer and released the midfielder.He spoke to SportBible in October last year as he reflected on his experience with his boyhood club, saying: “You go from being at the top to the bottom. I guess me and Sean [Matty’s brother] have both experienced that.”When Sean first came through at Newcastle, he was flying. He was being talked about everywhere and then suddenly he was at the bottom and that was similar to me.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERS“I came through, did really well and then I was sent out on loan before ending up down at the bottom.“It’s football. It’s just one of those things. You have your highs and lows.Matty Longstaff performs injecting celebration to show he has ‘ice in his veins’ as he stuns Man Utd AGAIN for Newcastle“When I was breaking through, I was at the top and at the minute, I’m probably at the bottom with the injury and things but I guess when you’re there, there’s only one place you can go.“I’m really motivated to get back. I want to be a top player.”And now, the Daily Mail report that he will have the chance to do that in Canada with Toronto FC.The report says that the transfer came about after he finally recovered from his latest injury – which he has overcome with the help of Newcastle’s medical team, despite no longer being a member of the club.Longstaff opened up on his attempts to recover from injury in his SportBible interview, saying: “The club have been unbelievable with me throughout.“They have allowed me to stay around the place to do all my rehab, which means I’ve got top physios looking after me every day. If I need extra help on the pitch, the staff will always be there.READ MORE SUN STORIES“They’ll often ask how I’m getting on mentally, as well, and still treat me like I’m one of their players.“It just shows how good they are as human beings. They’ve all played the game and had injuries. They know what it’s like.” More
EVERTON are open to offering Dele Alli a new contract, according to reports.Dele, 27, has not made a competitive appearance in over a year.Dele Alli could be handed a new Everton contractCredit: GettyHe last starred for Besiktas in February 2023 while on loan from Everton, but his season was prematurely ended due to a muscle injury.The midfielder returned to Goodison Park in April but he is yet to break back into Sean Dyche’s squad.According to The Athletic, Everton are still open to handing Dele a new contract in a bid to help him reignite his career.However, the Toffees will have to hold talks with Tottenham first.Read More on FootballEverton did not have to pay an immediate fee after agreeing to sign the ex-England star, but they will have to fork out £10million when he reaches 20 appearances.That fee could prove to be too much for the cash-strapped Toffees this season.Dele has made 13 appearances since swapping north London for Merseyside.He completed the transfer in January 2022 and signed a two-and-a-half year deal upon his arrival.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSThat means his current contract expires at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.The midfielder is not expected to return to action before June, but Dyche could find a spot for him in his pre-season plans.I was forced into selling drugs aged 8 and was hung off a bridge by rival gang members, says Everton star Dele Alli Dele bravely opened up about his childhood trauma during an interview with Gary Neville in July.He also revealed that he went to rehab for a sleeping pill addiction.The football community was quick to support the former England star, with Everton fans unveiling a flag at Goodison Park. More
TOTTENHAM and Manchester City are interested in signing Eberechi Eze, according to reports.The Crystal Palace star has impressed this season, scoring five league goals in 16 matches.Eberechi Eze is attracting interest from top Premier League clubsCredit: GettyEze, 25, could leave Selhurst Park this summer despite his contract not expiring until 2027.Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou is keen to add more pace and depth to his attack.And two-time capped England ace Eze is reportedly one of their top targets.However, Man City are also in the battle to sign him and have been tracking the player for some time.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLThe Independent claim Eze is currently more swayed by a move to the Treble winners than Spurs.Therefore, the North London side have singled out Pedro Neto as an alternative.But the Wolves star is also wanted by Manchester United and Arsenal.Speculation suggests the club could demand around £60-£80million for the Portuguese winger.Most read in FootballHOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALLAny deal for the 23-year-old could be staggered to allow teams to pay the huge fee over several years.Additional clauses are also set to be involved to make up the total price.Tottenham fans say ‘that’s just ridiculous’ as transfer deadline day signing runs rings around defenders in viral video Wolves may need to sell to fund Gary O’Neil’s summer spending and not breach Profit and Sustainability Rules.At the moment, they are just about breaking even on PSR. More
MANCHESTER UNITED make the short trip to rivals City this Sunday desperate to get back to winning ways in the Premier League.Erik ten Hag’s side have been something of a punching bag for their noisy neighbours in recent years, losing five of their last six Manchester derbies.Erik ten Hag will be desperate to get one over on Pep GuardiolaCredit: The TimesMan City won 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the seasonCredit: Richard Pelham / The SunAfter a mini-revival of late, the Red Devils’ troubles were placed back under a microscope last weekend, when they meekly lost 2-1 to Fulham at Old Trafford.Following Alex Iwobi’s 97th minute, Jamie Carragher prepared a segment on Man Utd’s baffling tactics for Monday Night Football.The former Liverpool star highlighted the mixed messages that appear to have spread through United’s team – with attacking players trying to press but defenders sitting deep – leaving a chasm of space in the middle.Under-fire Ten Hag subsequently hit back, trying to claim that Carragher’s analysis of his side is seldom objective.But should he oversee another hiding at the hands of City, fans will not be impressed by the Dutchman’s excuses.Man Utd will likely try to play through Bruno Fernandes, as they often do, this weekend.Following last night’s 1-0 FA Cup win at Nottingham Forest Ten Hag launched a defence of his playmaker’s frequent play-acting.United insiders were even upset by a video posted by Fulham last weekend, which appeared to mock the Portuguese’s penchant for rolling around.Most read in FootballHOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALLThe Old Trafford faithful largely back their attacking midfield talisman in the same impassioned way that Ten Hag did.And if he can somehow bag a winner at the Etihad this weekend, surely Fernandes will feel every right to shush his detractors.’How is he our captain’ moan Man Utd fans as Bruno Fernandes spotted furiously arguing with referee after Fulham lossWhat is their form like?Prior to last weekend, Man Utd had strung four wins together on the trot in the Premier League.The mini-revival had fans dreaming of making what had seemed an unlikely push to towards the top four.But they were sent crashing back down to earth last weekend, by losing 2-1 at home to Fulham.They quickly bounced back by grabbing a late 1-0 FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest in mid-week.Man City, meanwhile trounced Luton 6-2 at Kenilworth Road to book their cup quarter-final place, with Erling Haaland grabbing a stunning five-goal haul.They have won 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions, with the sole exception being last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the Etihad.Man Utd pinched a last-gasp win at Nottingham ForetsCredit: GettyMan City routed Luton in mid-weekCredit: RexWhat is the team news?Erik ten Hag will remain without a number of long-term absentees.Mason Mount, Anthony Martial, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez are all sidelined.Rasmus Hojlund is recovering from a recent muscular injury, while Luke Shaw will miss out due to a thigh strain.Aaron Wan-Bissaka suffered an injury in training earlier this month, but Harry Maguire could return after missing the clash with Forest.As for City, Jack Grealish is set to miss out after sustaining a further injury set-back against Luton.After the game, Guardiola said: “I didn’t speak to the doctor yet but I think he complained about the groin, so maybe quite similar.”Man City may be boosted by a return for Josko Gvardiol, who has been out in recent weeks with an ankle injury.Rasmus Hojlund watched last weekend’s match alongside Mason Mount in the standsCredit: AFPGutted Jack Grealish suffered a fresh injury set-back against LutonCredit: RexWho will be the star men?Man Utd are likely to be dominated by their rivals, and will need to defend resolutely.If they are to nick a win, however, they need a spark going forward.With Marcus Rashford still misfiring and Hojlund out, Fernandes will be the man that Ten Hag will hope can conjure up a piece of match-winning magic.As for City, it’s hard to look past Haaland.The Norwegian scored five times against helpless Luton in mid-week, and would love nothing more than to take that form into Sunday’s derby.What have the managers said?Ten Hag was delighted with his side’s last-gasp win at Forest in mid-week.After the game, the Dutchman said: “It’s the best time to score at the end. On Saturday, we felt defeat in stoppage time.”Today, we scored just before the end of the time, so we scored at the right moment.”Guardiola, meanwhile, has been thrilled with the link-up between Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.He said: “I think Erling needs a guy with the vision, the quality and generosity. Kevin is a less selfish player in front of the goal, and if he could have helped him score another one, he would do it.“And Kevin needs the movement from Erling but of course we know how aggressive they are.”Erik ten Hag was relieved to get back to winning ways against ForestCredit: GettyPep Guardiola saw his side rattle six past LutonCredit: RexSunSport predictionIt’s very difficult to look beyond a comfortable Man City win on Sunday, as they begin their march towards their Treble defence.SunSport predicts: Man City 4 Man Utd 1When is Man City vs Man Utd?
Man City’s big derby clash with Man Utd will take place on Sunday, March 3.
The game kicks off at 3.30pm GMT and will be held at the Etihad Stadium.
The last time City played United, they won 3-0 at Old Trafford.
What channel is it and can it be live streamed?Man City vs Man Utd will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. You can live stream the action on the Sky Go or NOW TV app, both of which are available for download onto your mobile or tablet device. READ MORE SUN STORIESOdds
Man City – 1/4
Draw – 5/1
Man Utd – 17/2
*Odds courtesy of Paddy Power and correct at time of publication. More
MIKEL ARTETA is ready to finally unleash Thomas Partey at Bramall Lane.The Arsenal midfielder has been out for four months having suffered a thigh injury back in October – and was due to return earlier this year but for a slight setback.Thomas Partey is back in full trainingCredit: GettyAs a result, Partey has played just 15 minutes of football for the club since August.However, he has now trained on successive days with the first-team and will travel to Sheffield United for the Gunners’ Premier League clash on Monday night.On Partey’s inclusion against the Blades, Arteta said: “He should be part of the squad. He had a session before the last game and now he’s done two or three consecutive sessions.”Partey is just one of several players returning to full fitness as Arsenal’s medical room begins to empty at a crucial stage of the campaign.READ MORE ON ARSENALOleksandr Zinchenko [calf], Gabriel Jesus [knee] and Takehiro Tomiyasu [calf] could also make Monday’s squad.The return of four key faces would then just leave long-term absentee Jurrien Timber on the comeback trail as he begins light training with the team after ACL surgery in August.Jesus returned to the bench last weekend against Newcastle but was an unused substitute. Arteta is confident the Brazilian will NOT need another surgery this summer, despite struggling with fluid in the knee.Most read in FootballOn his availability to start from the off, Arteta added: “He’s fit enough. How long he will last that’s something different.“We didn’t want to take any risks after the result we had against Newcastle. Mikel Arteta ‘would QUIT Arsenal for Man Utd’ if Erik ten Hag leaves, claims club legend”We need him fit, he’s a massive player for us and now we want to make sure we load him in the right way.”With title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool struggling with injury issues, Arsenal’s recovery rate could tip the scales in the final weeks of the season.Asked what a fully fit squad will bring to the table, Arteta explained: “Unpredictability is one thing. Then depth because we don’t know what’s going to happen.“We’re going to have a lot of games. Freshness, more competition in the squad, the capacity to change games when the scenario is on our side and when we’re chasing games.“That’s something that is going to be critical.” More