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Summary

  1. Premier League returns on Saturday after international break
  2. Six news conferences to come on Friday afternoon from 13:30 BST
  3. Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham among those scheduled
  4. Have your say: #bbcfootball and text 81111

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Friday's football latest

    That's the Premier League news conferences done and dusted for another week.

    You can keep up to date with all the latest football news on the BBC Sport website and you can hear the best of it all on BBC Radio 5 Live.

  2. 'It's a massive game' - Benitez

    Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town (15:00 GMT)

    Finally for now for Friday's football live, back to Rafa Benitez with Newcastle sitting a point and two places above Huddersfield who were their rivals for much of last season in the Championship. So this represents a pivotal fixture for both towards their hopes of Premier League survival.

    Neither club is out of the woods yet and Benitez is hoping to reach 40 points sooner rather than later.

    “If we win, it will be a big step,” he said. “I say 40 points is the figure, but it may be less. We have to play, we have to win and after that, we have to keep fighting.

    "When you are getting close to the end, these games are even more important. For us, it’s a massive game, but also for them.We have to give the fans something to cheer about. High tempo, score an early goal. It becomes easier and better for everyone in the stadium.

    “Huddersfield are aggressive, they press. They can also wait for the right time. They have a mentality of going for games if they can and it will be interesting to see how we manage.”

    Provisional squad: Dubravka, Darlow, Yedlin, Manquillo, Dummett, Haidara, Gamez, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Shelvey, Merino, Hayden, Ritchie, Atsu, Murphy, Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Gayle, Slimani

    Rafa Benitez
  3. Mourinho: 'I opened the door for more Portuguese coaches'

    Manchester United v Swansea City (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Manchester United

    Jose Mourinho

    Manchester United have won twice without conceding at Swansea this season, but they arrive at Old Trafford in far better form under Carlos Carvalhal.

    Carvalhal has also been making headlines with his expressive press conference comments, saying ahead of Saturday's match that Mourinho was "our king of football".

    "I spoke with him last night - he said I was the king of the coaches, not the king of football," the United boss said.

    "And he said that since my winning period with Porto, and since the moment I left the country, I opened the door for more Portuguese coaches to leave, which is something that I know is true.

    "But I speak with Carlos a couple of times every week. This week was not different. So last night we spoke a little and I thanked him for his nice words because one thing is to think, and one thing is to say."

    Isn't that nice? And with that, that's it from Mourinho.

  4. Pep on politics

    Everton v Man City (Saturday, 17:30 BST)

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    It is rare these days that Pep Guardiola is not asked about the latest situation in Catalonia.

    It was inevitable the subject would come up today given exiled president Carles Puigdemont was detained in Germany earlier this week.

    Wearing a yellow ribbon in support of the protestors as he did his press conference, Guardiola was as forthright as usual.

    He said: "Like everyone else who doesn't wish bad things I am obviously worried. What the 6million Catalan people showed in the street was always peaceful.

    "They can agree with our ideas or not and the judges are there to do their job but it is wrong they compare us - the Catalan people - with a terrorist group like ETA. It is unfair everything they are saying."

    Pep Guardiola
  5. Slimani set to make Newcastle bow

    Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Newcastle United

    Over at Newcastle, manager Rafael Benitez has been talking up the prospect of Islam Slimani finally making his debut for the Magpies against Huddersfield after the Algeria forward joined the club on 31 January.

    The good news for Newcastle fans is that Slimani played 25 minutes for his country on Tuesday evening with the blessing of Benitez and looks set to boost competition for places.

    “We had a plan (with Slimani). He had to progress and was following the plan and we were talking with the Algerian federation. The idea that he could play some minutes in the second game (for Algeria) was good. He is in the squad tomorrow," Benitez told the media.

    "Just signing Slimani added competition to the strikers. To have another player, another face, another characteristic in your attack...you can be stronger.”

    .
  6. Carroll may return but Lanzini a doubt

    West Ham v Southampton (15:00 BST)

    West Ham United

    West Ham striker Andy Carroll

    Finally for now from West Ham, news that striker Andy Carroll could be close to a return.

    "He's doing a lot of running," says Moyes. "Can I get him fit to play 90 minutes between now and the end of the season? I don't know, but if I can get him fit to play 20-30 minutes then that would be good."

    Midfielder Manuel Lanzini, though, is a concern with a knee injury while defender Arthur Masuaku also available after returning from suspension.

    "We're assessing Lanzini's knee," he said. "He's done a good bit of running so he's got a chance. Edimilson Fernandes is back and Arthur is back after an eternity of his ban, but he deserved it."

  7. Jose pays tribute to Zlatan

    Manchester United v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Manchester United

    Back to Manchester United and after striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic completed his move to LA Galaxy, Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to the Swede.

    "He's a huge, big player that top football, European football, is losing now - and will lose forever because he will not be back to this level of football," Mourinho said.

    "But it's fantastic for him in this period, I think it is a fantastic way for him not to go from being a player to being a former player.

    "I think this period with Galaxy, these couple of years, probably will be very good for him and American football."

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho
  8. Pep's not thinking about the title

    Everton v Man City (Saturday, 17:30 BST)

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he spent some time during the past three weeks thinking about Wednesday's Champions League trip to Liverpool.

    However, Guardiola is adamant his focus now is only on tomorrow's opponents Everton - and he is absolutely not believing the Premier League title is over - even though, mathematically, it could be in nine days' time.

    He said: "We have Everton tomorrow and Goodison is always tough. Then it is Manchester United and the derby is difficult. And we all know how tough Tottenham will be at Wembley. We'll celebrate when it's done."

    Pep Guardiola
  9. Moyes: 'If it happens again we will be prepared'

    West Ham v Southampton (15:00 BST)

    West Ham United

    Hammers boss David Moyes
    Image caption: Hammers boss David Moyes

    To West Ham now and manager David Moyes says his players are prepared for any more crowd trouble.

    The Hammers' last outing at the London Stadium against Burnley was marred by pitch invasions, missile throwing and protests against the board and his side lost 3-0.

    West Ham now face a huge clash with relegation rivals Southampton on Saturday.

    "We have got such a strong and powerful support base that when it's good, it's good but when it's not, they let you know," said Moyes.

    "We have to make sure that we are in the game, we've got to make sure we don't let anything alter our mindset. "I think the players are in a different mindset now. They are prepared."

  10. 'I can understand that the fans are very upset'

    West Bromwich Albion v Burnley (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    West Bromwich Albion

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    Image caption: West Brom have won just one Premier League game in their last 29 fixtures

    One glimmer of hope for West Brom is that in Burnley they are at least facing opponents that they have already beaten this season - quite a big thing when you've only won three games all campaign.

    On the downside, the Clarets who occupy seventh in the table, have shown themselves to be formidable opponents under Sean Dyche, to the extent that they are pushing for European football.

    “Burnley are a good side who are having a good season," Pardew said. "We are focusing on one game at a time and getting a win against Burnley on Saturday. That’s as simplistic as I’ve put it to the group.

    "The results since I've been here should have been better and I'd like to come back next season with a squad that better reflects the way I play, with a bit more attacking prowess."

  11. 'Barry, Chadli and Sturridge still out'

    West Bromwich Albion v Burnley (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    West Bromwich Albion

    .
    Image caption: Daniel Sturridge has not featured for West Brom since early February

    If one word sums up West Brom's season and the situation that manager Alan Pardew finds himself in, beleaguered would certainly do it.

    The Baggies are rock bottom of the Premier League, on 20 points, 10 points from safety and after eight consecutive defeats there appears to be little prospect of any reinforcements returning from injury against Burnley to buoy belief of a miraculous escape from relegation.

    “We have a few knocks," Pardew told the media.

    "Sam Field won’t be involved - he picked up an injury while away with England. [Nacer] Chadli and [Daniel] Sturridge will be held back and need a little bit more work. Gareth Barry still has a problem with his knee.”

  12. Klopp: 'We will see Joe back this season'

    Crystal Palace v Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30 BST)

    The Reds, however, will have to do without centre-back Joe Gomez, who was injured playing for England during the international break.

    Gomez, 20, was forced off after only 10 minutes of England's friendly against Holland last Friday with an ankle injury and has been assessed at Melwood this week.

    "After the initial shock, we got the best news we could get," said Klopp. "At the moment, it's serious - and serious enough to rule him out for the next couple of games.

    "But I think we will see Joe back on the pitch this season, it's pretty sure, how it looks at the moment."

    That's it for now from Klopp who will be celebrating his 100th game in charge of the Reds on Saturday.

    Joe Gomez
  13. Clyne fit for Liverpool

    Crystal Palace v Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30 BST)

    Liverpool

    Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in training
    Image caption: Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in training

    On the injury front there is mixed news for Liverpool.

    Right-back Nathaniel Clyne is fit again and becomes another option at full-back for Jurgen Klopp.

    "Three of the most interesting full-backs are in our squad which is nice but they cannot always play together.," said Klopp. "Clyney is fit now which is good."

  14. Klopp: No deal yet with Can

    Crystal Palace v Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30 BST)

    Liverpool

    Liverpool's Emre Can
    Image caption: Liverpool's Emre Can - will he sign?

    Over on Merseyside, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been asked by the media about reports that midfielder Emre Can, who is out of contract in the summer, wants £200,000-a-week to commit his future to Anfield.

    "It's £250,000," he joked.

    "The situation is open. Nothing is decided so we are in talks with him and all good so far apart for that he hasn't signed a contract for us. But OK. No problem with that."

  15. Stones to miss out for City

    Everton v Man City (Saturday, 17:30 BST)

    Manchester City

    And some injury news from Guardiola, John Stones will miss the game at Goodison Park after he suffered concussion while on England duty against Italy on Tuesday.

    Sergio Aguero faces a late fitness test on the knee injury which has kept him out for a month.

    JOhn Stones
  16. Bad memories for Pep

    Everton v Man City (Sat, 17:30BST)

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    Pep Guardiola did not particularly enjoy his first visit to Goodison Park last season.

    The 4-0 defeat remains the worst Premier League defeat he has suffered as Manchester City manager.

    At that point, it could not be envisaged that, within 15 months, City would have moved so far ahead of the remainder of the league - and Ronald Koeman would have been sacked.

  17. Shaw not ruled out for United

    Manchester United v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    But there is bad news too for Mourinho with goalkeeper Sergio Romero out for several weeks after picking up an injury in a clash with Diego Costa on international duty with Argentina against Spain.

    However, on the subject of defender Luke Shaw whose relationship with Mourinho has been the subject of much speculation, the Portuguese suggested the 22-year-old could be in line for a recall.

    "If he's available or unavailable, Luke Shaw is always an option," Mourinho insisted. "Ashley Young was available to play against Brighton and I started with Luke Shaw, so that's not a problem."

    Luke Shaw
  18. Jones and Rojo both fit for United

    Manchester United v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Some early injury news from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

    And it is good news with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo both fit to face Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday.

    In addition, Ashley Young could feature, despite picking up a knock on duty for England.

    Ashley Young
  19. Pep's tough schedule

    Everton v Man City (Sat, 17:30 BST)

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham.

    Massive matches looming, after which it is likely Manchester City will have been confirmed as Premier League champions and, they hope, Champions League semi-finalists.

    City need to avoid defeat at Everton and also match Manchester United's result against Swansea tomorrow to give them the opportunity of winning the title against Jose Mourinho's side in a week's time.

    Pep Guardiola is due to speak at 13:30 BST.

    ..
  20. Allardyce: City spending a big factor

    Everton v Man City (Saturday, 17:30 BST)

    Everton

    Sam Allardyce and Pep Guardiola last season
    Image caption: Sam Allardyce and Pep Guardiola last season

    Allardyce insists the level of spending by Manchester City should not be ignored as a factor in their success.

    The Toffees take on the runaway Premier League leaders on Saturday, with City manager Pep Guardiola receiving plaudits for getting results with style.

    Allardyce was asked what the difference was for City between last season and this season, and joked: "£350million - that will have a bit to do with it! In all fairness, the money's been really well spent, hasn't it?

    "It's a lot of money but it's been spent on quality players over his short period there and I think those players have brought so much more to the team overall.

    "The average age of the player has been reduced. Certainly the confidence has grown where they believe every game they walk out on they are not going to get beat.

    "That grows and becomes another force before that even start. We can't be intimidated by that."