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Prutton’s Championship Predictions

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Who is David Prutton tipping for victory in the Sky Bet Championship on Boxing Day and December 27? Find out here…

Huddersfield vs Blackpool, Boxing Day 3pm – Live on Sky Sports Football Red Button

Two sides that both enjoyed returns to winning ways last weekend! Both Huddersfield and Blackpool have enjoyed good and not-so-good spells this season.

Neither is likely to get dragged into anything, but they’ll both need more consistency if they are to make a real charge for the play-offs. A win for either here would be a good place to start! But I think it will be a draw.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Hull vs Blackburn, Boxing Day 3pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

It was a first defeat in seven for Hull last weekend, although they will feel slightly unfortunate with the way they lost at Nottingham Forest, and they still gave a brilliant account of themselves.

This is the last team anyone wants to face in this current form. Anyone else and I’d fancy Hull to get back on the right path, but it is just impossible to back against Blackburn right now.

Prutton predicts: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds)

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Sunday 26th December 2:45pm Kick off 3:00pm

Luton vs Bristol City, Boxing Day 3pm – Live on Sky Sports Football Red Button

It’s tricky to get too much of an indication of where Luton are at right now because they’ve had more than a fortnight off, but they looked pretty good in holding Fulham in their last game.

Bristol City might wish they had a bit of a break as it’s not been an easy season for them so far under Nigel Pearson. I’ll back the home side here.
Prutton predicts: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds)

Middlesbrough vs Nottingham Forest, Boxing Day 3pm

These are two sides with a real spring in their step. Chris Wilder and Steve Cooper have reignited play-off hopes, and with the top sides stuttering, there may still even be half an eye on the automatics if they can keep on going.

Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest will both have hopes of being in the top six by the end of play on Boxing Day. It’s a big old game at the Riverside, and I can’t split the pair. Score draw.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Derby vs West Brom, Monday 3pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

Derby, like a lot of teams in the Championship, haven’t played in a couple of weeks. It may have given Wayne Rooney a chance to get some legs fresh because he has so little to operate with.

West Brom will feel they missed a real chance to heap the pressure on the top two as they drew at Barnsley last time out. This is another opportunity with so many postponements, and one they need to take advantage of. I think they’ll edge it.

Prutton predicts: 0-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Live EFL

Monday 27th December 2:45pm

QPR vs Bournemouth, Monday 5.30pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

More than three weeks will have passed since QPR’s last game when they play on Monday. It will have given Mark Warburton and his side a long time to dwell on that defeat against Stoke!

Bournemouth could have done with their last few games being called off, based on their recent form. It’s back-to-back defeats and no wins in six. Keep going like this and they’ll be out of the top two. It could well be a third defeat in a row.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds)

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Monday 27th December 5:15pm

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Man City Women Sign Midfielder Blakstad From Rosenborg

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Manchester City have signed midfielder Julie Blakstad from Rosenborg for an undisclosed fee on Women’s Super League Deadline Day.

The Norwegian international has joined City on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will wear the No 41 shirt for the remainder of the season.

The 20-year-old, who is a versatile talent capable of playing in multiple positions, scored 17 goals in 35 appearances for Rosenborg after joining them in 2020.

Blakstad’s move to City will see her play outside of her homeland for the first time having starred for Ottestad, FL Fart and most recently Rosenborg.

She has represented Norway at Under-15, U16, U17, U19 and U23 level before being handed her debut for the senior side against Wales in October 2020.

Image: Blakstad will wear the No 41 shirt at Manchester City

Blakstad said in a club statement: “It’s amazing to be a Manchester City player and I can’t wait to get started.

“Everybody has been amazing so far, and I’m so excited to meet my team-mates. At this point in my career, it’s important to take a new step to develop myself further and I believe this is the best place for me to do that.

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“You only have to look at the club – the facilities, the staff and the players all have incredible dedication to achieve something big and I really want to be a part of that.”

City head coach Gareth Taylor added: “We’re delighted to welcome Julie to Manchester City.

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Highlights of the WSL match between Man City and Arsenal

“At just 20 years old, she’s already proven what a talent she is for both club and country and she’s a player who will fit perfectly into our squad and ethos here at City.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with her over the coming years – she is an incredibly ambitious young player and we’re excited to help her develop and grow here in England.”

Follow Deadline Day with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Rangers Sign Man Utd Winger Diallo on Loan

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Rangers have completed the signing of Amad Diallo on loan from Manchester United.

The 19-year-old winger joins the Scottish Premiership leaders until the end of the season, a year after he moved to Old Trafford.

Diallo was signed by Manchester United in a deal worth ?37.2m from Atalanta and has made nine appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.

United believe this move will be good for his development, with Diallo understood to be a part of the Premier League club’s long-term plans.

Diallo could make his debut at Ross County, live on Sky Sports, and said: “I am delighted to join Rangers until the end of the season.

“It is fantastic for me at this stage of my career to have the opportunity to come to such a big club that is challenging on a number of fronts and will give me some excellent opportunities to test myself in many environments.

“I look forward to training with my teammates for the first-time tomorrow and to meeting the fans for the first time at Ross County on Saturday.”

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After Rangers’ win over Livingston manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said he was hoping to be busy before deadline day

Manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, added: “I am really pleased to add Amad to our squad for the rest of the season.

“He is a player who I have been aware of for some time, and when the opportunity to sign him came up, we were very keen to make it happen.

“He will add a lot to our squad and provide even more competition for the players in the forward areas.”

Diallo’s arrival follows the news winger Ianis Hagi will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery in London.

Who is Amad Diallo?

Image: Diallo has made nine appearances for Manchester United and scored in the Europa League

Diallo was born in the Ivory Coast, before moving to Italy around the age of 10, joining Atalanta in 2015.

The youngster made his debut for Atalanta in 2019, becoming the youngest player – at 17 years and 109 days old – to score on his Serie A debut in their 7-1 thrashing of Udinese.

As a result, the Ivorian travelled with the Atalanta squad to Lisbon for their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

The player impressed in training so much so that Papu Gomez likened him to a certain Lionel Messi.

“There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him. To stop him in training, we have to kick him! He plays like Messi,” said Atalanta’s captain before Diallo moved to United.

Diallo was handed his Manchester United debut in a 4-0 win at Real Sociedad in the Europa League last February before going on to score his first goal for the club against AC Milan in the same competition a few weeks later.

What will Diallo bring to Rangers?

Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom:

“One of the most exciting young prospects in the game” is how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Diallo after signing him for Manchester United last year.

The 19-year-old may not have had much first-team experience before making the move to Old Trafford, but he quickly made a big impression.

Operating from both wings or in the No 10 role, Diallo will bring versatility and energy to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

Left-footed, he is most comfortable cutting in from the right but his ability to play multiple positions in the final third is one of his standout attributes.

At just 5ft 8in, his size is no obstacle. The Ivory Coast international boasts significant strength on the ball and a low centre of gravity, as well as an impressive dribbling ability and eye for the right pass.

Diallo is raw, but his fearlessness and enthusiasm could be key as Rangers chase a second consecutive Scottish Premiership title.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Original Source: skysports.com

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Vitali Klitschko: Don’t Show Weakness, Joshua

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Anthony Joshua would “show weakness” if he does not fight Oleksandr Usyk for a second time, Vitali Klitschko has warned.

Joshua triggered a clause for a rematch with Usyk after losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships but the fight has still not been finalised.

Tyson Fury’s call-out of Dillian Whyte is a clear indication that they are likely to meet next in a WBC title fight, paving the way for Joshua and Usyk to clash.

Image: Joshua was outpointed in an IBF, WBA and WBO title fight by Usyk

Joshua had previously denied reports he would accept ?15m to step away from his contracted rematch to allow Fury and Usyk to fight.

“It is his decision,” former heavyweight champion Klitschko told Sky News.

“But my personal opinion? If Joshua sidesteps in this moment, when the boxing audience expects a rematch and wants to see Joshua vs Usyk, it would show weakness.

“Joshua, don’t do that please.

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“As fighters, we fight not just for ourselves but for the audience. The audience decides. If the audience wants the fight, it must happen.

“If Joshua sidesteps, I am not sure that the interest in Joshua would be so big in the future.”

Image: Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko and Andriy Shevchenko celebrate with Usyk

Vitali held the WBC belt while Wladimir Klitschko was IBF, WBA and WBO champion as the brothers from Ukraine dominated the generation of heavyweights prior to Joshua and Fury.

Wladimir was eventually beaten in world title fights by both Fury and Joshua.

But now Usyk, the Klitschkos’ compatriot, has brought some of the heavyweight gold back to Ukraine.

Vitali Klitschko added: “Everyone expects the rematch between Usyk and Joshua. Usyk is so strong or did Joshua make mistakes? Who is stronger? That question interests every boxing fan. Let’s receive an answer. That’s why this fight must happen.

“Huge fight. Right now, everybody doubts if Joshua is strong enough to fight Fury.

“He can give the answer in the Usyk fight.

“If Joshua beats Usyk there will be huge interest [in Joshua vs Fury]. It will be the main fight of the past 10 years.

“Joshua is a classic boxer, Fury is unorthodox. Both are punchers, both can decide the fight at any moment.

“Both are world-class fighters and can knock each other out at any second.”

Image: Vitali watched his brother Wladimir Klitschko lose to Tyson Fury and Joshua

Asked to predict the winner if Joshua faced Fury, Klitschko said: “No expert can expect the decision in fights, especially with heavyweights where one punch can decide.

“That is why boxing is so interesting.

“Heavyweight fighters are like gladiators and have huge attention from the whole world.”

Klitschko retired a decade ago with 45 wins in 47 fights but admitted to occasionally sizing up Joshua and Fury: “I am not active anymore. But sometimes I feel that, if I were younger and in shape, these would be a good fights.

“I know the key to both fighters.”

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

Sunday January 30 in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Nico Ali Walsh

Saturday February 5 in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Saturday February 19 in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Natasha Jonas’ world title fight
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut

Saturday February 26 in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane – Scottish heavyweight title

Saturday March 5 in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Sunday March 20 in New York
Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls
Keyshawn Davis
Xander Zayas

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