Champions Leicester City will be without midfielder Danny Drinkwater for three games after he accepted a Football Association charge of violent misconduct, the club said yesterday.

Drinkwater appeared to elbow Watford’s Valon Behrami during his side’s 2-1 Premier League defeat on Saturday.

It was missed at the time by the match officials but after watching video evidence the FA charged the 26-year-old.

The automatic three-match ban means Drinkwater will miss the matches against Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Manchester City.

Hull can survive relegation – Dawson

The Hull City squad has what it takes to survive in the Premier League and the players will fight till the end of the season to avoid relegation, defender Michael Dawson has said.

Hull have 10 points from 12 games and are placed 18th in the league, two points above Sunderland and four points ahead of bottom-placed Swansea City.

“This squad is good enough to stay in the Premier League... It doesn’t matter how we get the points on the board, we’ve just got to get them,” Dawson said.

“It’s going to be a fight and there are a number of other teams in the fight but we’ll keep going and keep believing.”

Moyes frustrated by McNair’s injury

Paddy McNair’s season-ending knee injury is a “real shame” as the defender was just about settling into his groove at Sunderland, manager David Moyes said.

The Northern Ireland international ruptured a ligament right before half-time during his club’s 3-0 win against Hull City last week.

McNair, however, continued to play till the 88th minute when he suffered another blow and had to be replaced.

“Paddy was starting to understand more about the club, the supporters and the general game, so it’s a real shame for the boy,” Moyes said.

“He’d just started to find his way in the Premier League, the games he was having were bringing him on and giving him confidence.”

Sanchez wants to replicate Messi role

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is keen to play the same kind of role Lionel Messi performs at Barce-lona, the Chilean striker said.

Sanchez, who played with Messi in Spain before moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2014, has started in 11 of Arsenal’s 12 league games so far this season, scoring six goals.

“I like the way that Lionel Messi plays,” Sanchez said.

“He likes to drop deep and let other players run on ahead of him, like Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and myself, when I used to play on the right there, and then look to find him in the middle again.”

Bale to undergo ankle surgery

Gareth Bale will under-go ankle surgery next week to repair damaged tendons, Real Madrid said yesterday.

The Wales international picked up the injury during Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory at Sporting Lisbon.

“Real Madrid Sanitas Medical Services have decided that Gareth Bale will undergo an operation following the traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons of his right ankle,” La Liga leaders Real said.

“The operation will take place at King Edward VII Hospital in London on Tuesday 29th November by doctor James Calder, under the supervision of the club doctors Jesus Olmo and Mikel Aramberri.”

Italy coach Ventura seeks Balotelli talks

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has said he will talk to Nice striker Mario Balotelli before he selects his next squad in March.

Balotelli’s outstanding form for the Ligue 1 club has brought calls for him to return to the Italy team for the first time since the 2014 World Cup.

But although Ventura has overlooked the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward for his last two squads, he said the door was not closed to him.

“Balotelli’s not a player for a training camp – we’re talking about a player who has played in a World Cup,” he told reporters.

“I want to talk to him. Between now and March I will have the time to go and see him personally. Once he’s worked on himself, he will be considered.”

Arsenal’s Martinez pens new deal

Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has signed a new long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium.

The 24-year-old has been with the Gunners since joining the academy in 2010 and has played in both of the club’s EFL Cup games so far this season.

He is currently behind Petr Cech and David Ospina in the pecking order but, having been limited to 10 senior appearances, has now extended his stay.

“If you look at him, I personally see all the top qualities that a goalkeeper needs,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“He has the stature, he has the passion, he has the technical quality, he has the decision-making, he has huge power and he’s not frightened of anything.”

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us