EPL

Rodgers backs Potter for Chelsea success but warns of 'different pressure'

By Sports Desk September 08, 2022

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Graham Potter he can expect a "different pressure" at Chelsea but believes it is a "fantastic move".

Potter has been named as Thomas Tuchel's successor at Stamford Bridge, following the axing of the Champions League-winning boss on Wednesday.

New Blues owner Todd Boehly has been extremely active since taking over from Roman Abramovich, splashing vast amounts of money in the transfer market, and has now made his first managerial appointment.

Chelsea received permission from Brighton and Hove Albion to speak to Potter on Wednesday and confirmation of his appointment followed on Thursday.

Rodgers, who has experience in high-pressure clubs following his time with Liverpool, has told Potter he will encounter different challenges than his time at Brighton but feels it is the right move.

"It's a different pressure," Rodgers said in the press conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.

"He's done fantastic at Brighton, they've really developed. They're strategically well run behind the scenes. 

"It's that next step and it will be a fantastic move for him."

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    Jan Vertonghen was critical of Belgium's performance following a surprise 2-0 defeat to Morocco, referencing things he "better not say".

    The Red Devils would have become the second side to clinch their spot in the round of 16 with victory, but they were well short of their best, failing to create opportunities before succumbing to two late goals.

    Regarded as the last chance for glory for Belgium's golden generation, Roberto Martinez's side have now lost seven of their last 19 matches across all competitions (W9, D3), as many defeats as they had suffered across their previous 74 games combined (W57, D10).

    While Vertonghen feels Belgium were strong for the majority of the clash, he did not shy away from expressing his frustration at the manner in which the opening goal was conceded.

    Abdelhamid Sabiri's free-kick to the near post eluded Thibaut Courtois in a carbon copy of a first-half set-piece where Belgium were saved by an offside flag against Romain Saiss.

    "We didn't create much. I think we were good overall, we didn't give much away, just an identical goal twice," he told Sporza.

    "Twice a resumption of play at the first post. That ball should never go in. The first time we are lucky, but the second time not any more.

    "There are a lot of things going through my head that I better not say, or at least not outside [the dressing] rooms.

    "It's very frustrating. The first game was not good, and we got away with it well. Not today. I don't think we created any chances."

    Defeat to Croatia in the final Group F match on Thursday would result in an early exit from the competition, but Vertonghen believes his side still have the strength in the squad to progress.

    "I had the feeling that we were in a good position. We didn't get into trouble. They have a lot of quality in the front. So did we, but with them it came out more," he added.

    "After the first match, we thought it could only get better. We were hoping to qualify for the next round today.

    "Now we have a difficult final game in which everything will be at stake. The quality in the group is certainly there."

  • Man Utd 'a better buy' than Liverpool for investors, says Neville Man Utd 'a better buy' than Liverpool for investors, says Neville

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    England's two most successful clubs are on the market, with United and Liverpool's American owners open to offers.

    The Glazer family have been in charge of United since 2005, while fellow Americans Fenway Sports Group have owned Liverpool since 2010.

    Liverpool may have enjoyed far greater success than United over the past decade, but Neville insists his former side will be considered the more attractive club to purchase.

    "I don't want to be disrespectful to Liverpool at all because they're a massive football club," Neville told Sky Sports. 

    "When you look at the height of English football when it comes to viewing figures, fans, and commercial revenues – it's Manchester United and Liverpool at the very top.

    "Forget Manchester City at this moment in time create a higher revenue. Through traditional means, United and Liverpool are the two biggest clubs in the country by a mile.

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    "Liverpool are in a better position on and off the pitch at the moment, but you can't deny the scale of United," said Neville, who made more than 600 appearances for United. 

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    Richarlison believes God recognised his effort to get to the World Cup, as the Brazil forward turned his focus to Monday's clash with Switzerland.

    Tottenham attacker Richarlison scored both of the Selecao's goals in their opening 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday.

    After bundling in a rebound, Richarlison scored the goal of the tournament so far to double Brazil's tally, sending an acrobatic attempt into the left-hand corner.

    Richarlison has scored nine goals in his last seven appearances for Brazil in all competitions, becoming the eighth Brazilian to score a brace on his World Cup debut, and first since Neymar in 2014.

    Since his debut for the national side in September 2018, Richarlison has scored more goals in all competitions for Brazil than any other player (19).

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    "A few weeks ago, I was crying, not sure if it would come," Richarlison said, as quoted by the CBF's official website.

    "On the day of the exam, it was one of the longest days of my life. I remember it was a day off and I went for the exam, I stayed on the stretcher waiting for the result to come out.

    "The doctors went back and forth, I got nervous and time went slowly.

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    Brazil are favourites to top Group G, but Switzerland will be no pushovers. They won their first match too, beating Cameroon 1-0 thanks to Breel Embolo's goal.

    Switzerland are looking to win their opening two games at a World Cup for the first time. They last won consecutive games in the competition in 2006 against Togo and South Korea.

    Brazil will be without Neymar, however, with their talisman having suffered an ankle injury against Serbia that will see him miss the meeting with Switzerland, though coach Tite was confident the Paris Saint-Germain star will feature again in Qatar.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Brazil – Vinicius Junior

    Richarlison rightly took the limelight for his efforts against Serbia, but he is not the only quality attacker Brazil have at their disposal.

    With Neymar out, the onus will be on Vinicius Junior – who has shown his world-class ability at Real Madrid – to step up.

    Before he was taken off inside the final 15 minutes of Thursday's match, Vinicius had been involved of 50 per cent of Brazil's 16 shots, having four attempts himself and creating as many chances, including the assist for Richarlison's stunning second.

    Switzerland – Breel Embolo

    Embolo has scored in three of his last four matches for Switzerland, with all three of his strikes being the winner in each game.

    The last Swiss player to score in consecutive World Cup games was Alexander Frei in 2006, while the only players to score in Switzerland's first two games at a World Cup are Leopold Kielholz in 1934 and Andre Abegglen in 1938.

    PREDICTION

    Brazil are unbeaten in their last 16 group stage games at the World Cup, and they are aiming to become the first team to go 17 without defeat in the group stages of the competition.

    Opta's model backs them to do just that, giving Brazil a 62.7 per cent chance of victory.

    The probability of a draw is 21 per cent, while Opta rate the likelihood of a Switzerland win at 16.3 per cent.

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