Premier League promoted clubs: Wolves, Fulham show transfer ambition; Cardiff less so
Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo will wear the No. 16 shirt this season after switching from No. 5.
Rojo has inherited the number vacated by Michael Carrick after the former England midfielder retired at the end of last season.
He has worn the No. 5 since arriving at Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 but will revert to No. 16 -- the number he wears for Argentina -- this season.
That leaves the No.5 free following a transfer window during which manager Jose Mourinho unsuccessfully pursued a centre-back.
New signing Diogo Dalot will wear No. 20, with second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero taking No. 22.
Fred is No. 17, Lee Grant No. 13 and Marcus Rashford has been confirmed as United's No. 10, following Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He becomes the first academy graduate to wear the shirt since David Beckham in 1996.
Meanwhile, youngster Tahith Chong has been rewarded for his positive performances during the tour of the United States by being given first-team shirt No. 44.
The Premier League returns this weekend with a few important tweaks to the rules and regulations. We highlight a few things to look out for.
In the past, any yellow card picked up in the Premier League, EFL, FA Cup or Carabao Cup would be totted up together. When a player received five yellow cards they would miss the next match, in whichever competition that may be. Reaching 10 yellow cards would see the player miss the next two games. And 15 would bring a three-game ban.
However, from this season yellow cards will only count in the competition they are received. And this has led to the following changes.
- One-match ban if five yellow cards received before 19 Premier League fixtures (Dec. 26 round)
- Further two-match ban if 10 yellow cards received before 32 fixtures (weekend of March 30)
- Further three-match ban if 15 yellows received (no fixture limit)
FA Cup and Carabao Cup:
- One match ban when two yellow cards have been received
- Cut off point will be the quarterfinals, so no player can miss the final through cumulative yellows
Red cards remain unchanged and a player would miss the following matches in any competition, so a dismissal in the Carabao Cup could still see a player miss a Premier League match, and vice versa
The FA is trialling a new system where "yellow and red cards will be issued by match officials for misconduct committed in the technical area." However, in the Premier League warnings shall be "issued verbally without the use of cards."
That means we will only see managers physically be shown yellow and red cards in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and also in the EFL.
Coaching staff who are booked/verbally warned will get a touchline ban for cumulative offences, just as players would be with yellow cards.
- 4 warnings = 1-match ban
- 8 warnings = 2-match ban
- 12 warnings = 3-match ban
- 16 warnings = Misconduct charge (ban decided by hearing)
The Football Association outlines irresponsible behaviour as:
- Inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials
- Kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent
- Sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials; entering the opponents' technical area in an inappropriate manner
- Gesturing waving an imaginary yellow/red card.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) changed the laws of the game in March to allow "the use of electronic and communication equipment in the technical area (small handheld mobile devices), strictly for tactical/coaching purposes and player safety."
That means we will see coaching staff on their iPads checking out the latest ProZone stats while a game is ongoing.
The has been scrapped and now any tie which is still level at the end of 90 minutes will go directly to penalties.
Video assistant referees (VAR) were the talk of the World Cup, but the Premier League has decided it is not yet ready for use in its competition and called "for VAR to be used more extensively in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup" on a trial basis. It will be tested in around 60 games this season when cup ties are held at Premier League grounds.
It means the Premier League will be the only major European league not to adopt VAR, with La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue already embracing the technology. However, UEFA is also not yet ready to use VAR in the Champions League and Europa League and will continue to have extra officials behind the goal.
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool "have to be" Rocky Balboa in this season's Premier League title race and compared Manchester City to Ivan Drago.
Liverpool finished 25 points behind champions Manchester City last season, and Klopp was asked at news conference on Friday what needed to be done to close the gap this time around after a summer in which Fabinho, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and goalkeeper Alisson joined the club.
Klopp used an analogy from the film 'Rocky IV,' where heavyweight boxer Balboa takes down the favourite Drago, to describe Liverpool's task ahead in the upcoming campaign.
"I know a lot of people because we were that active in the transfer window," he said. "That's all part of the business, but it doesn't decide anything.
"We want to -- that's clear for ages -- be the champion of England or winning the league.
"But how could we say that, what about the other clubs? The champions are Manchester City. They didn't lose any player. They brought in [Riyad] Mahrez, so that doesn't make them weaker. So they are top quality.
"We are still Rocky Balboa and not Ivan Drago. We cannot be. How? We are the ones that have to do more, to fight more, to do all these things. That must be our attitude.
"We didn't reach anything so far. We were in finals. Do we go to finals again? Yes, we should try to win it this time. In the league it's exactly the same.
"In the moment, it's nothing. It's like scientists without trying if it really works. We have to be like 'Rocky'."
Klopp insists, though, that Liverpool will do their utmost in 2018-19 to try and earn the club its first ever Premier League title.
They are looking to build on an appearance in last season's Champions League final and back-to-back finishes in the top four.
"We have to be more consistent. We know that," Klopp continued. "We have to be more clinical in the right moments. We have to be more aggressive in the right moments. There's a lot of things. We can improve everything.
"But again, you all ask me about the gap of City and what we have to do. It has nothing to do with City. Win all of them and it's good, but it's pretty difficult to do so.
"There are not only the big six or whatever, if you see what happens around -- you see how Wolverhampton acts, how Fulham acts, how Everton acts. I don't want to forget anybody but they are all ambitious.
"We can't go there and only because we are Liverpool we will win the game there. That's all really difficult. But it's not only difficult for us, it's difficult for the other teams as well. That's all.
"I don't think too much about what we have to do in general. I thought about it for the preseason, but now we have to be in this championship mood. We have to come in a championship mood. That's the plan -- that we really go for it."
Liverpool will be without Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan for Sunday's opener, while checks will be made on the fitness Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Lovren and Henderson have only just returned from extended holidays after the World Cup, with Fabinho suffering from illness after undergoing a scan on Thursday.
"The scan was clear, I heard you all know he had a scan so maybe at one point we can change that as well," Klopp said. "I don't know exactly how -- fancy dress for the players or whatever!
"But he felt ill when he came back so we sent him home again and I didn't see him so far and didn't ask anybody. We will see.
"[They] are all in a different shape. Trent, a bit longer in, which is good; [Henderson] in and full of power, but not too long in -- three or four days -- but it's Hendo so you always think about him. Dejan will not be available for the weekend, that's how it is.
"We will see, we have not big issues but we have these little things where we have to think about if it's a risk or not and if it's a risk do we take it or not and all that stuff.
"Ragnar, no real chance, he didn't train. Joel did parts of training yesterday, like Joe did, so we will see how they are today."
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at Selhurst Park until 2020.
Hodgson took over at Palace in September and steered them to safety after a disastrous start to the season.
The Croydon-born former England coach, 71, saw the Eagles finish in 11th place after they had lost their opening seven games of the campaign.
"I am delighted to have extended my contract with Crystal Palace," Hodgson said.
"It is a club that has been close to my heart since I was a youngster growing up in the borough of Croydon, and having stood on the terraces in the 1950s it is a wonderful thing to be managing my boyhood club all these years later.
"We can be proud of our achievements last season in turning things around despite a poor start, but this year we want to ensure we don't endure the same struggles.