Solskjaer MUST win Europa League to hang on to his job, says Murphy

Top-four finish won’t be enough for Man United boss, while Chelsea players disgust Portuguese legend.

SOCCER: Danny Murphy says Manchester United will sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if he fails to deliver Europa League glory this season and not even a top-four finish will save him.

The Red Devils were knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester on Sunday and lie second in the Premier League, 14 points behind neighbours Manchester City.

They are 1/16 with Paddy Power to finish in the top four in the Premier League and secure a Champions League spot for next season.

However, former Liverpool midfielder Murphy, speaking on TalkSport, believes that is the bare minimum Solskjaer should be achieving.

"He's in a position for me where the Europa League, for me, has become monumental for him and the club," he said.

"I like him and I'm not one who wants to see managers sacked and I do think they've made some strides forward, but Manchester United have to be doing better.

"If they don't win the Europa League and only finish in the top four then I think they'll make a change."

Solksjaer's chances of hanging onto his job, even if Murphy's assumptions are right, are still good, though.

Paddy Power have United as 13/8 favourites to win the Europa League after they were drawn against Granada in the last eight.

Fellow Premier League side Arsenal are seen as their biggest threats at 3/1.

Newcastle keeper ready to turn his back on England

SOCCER: Newcastle United keeper Karl Darlow is ready to pledge his international future to Wales after being overlooked by England.

The 30-year-old was approached to play for Wales by Ryan Giggs in 2018 but rejected the advances.

However, The Sun reports that Northampton-born Darlow considers the time right to switch allegiances after failing to make England's latest squad.

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The opening left by Jordan Pickford's injury was filled by Sam Johnstone and Darlow is now willing to commit to Wales on the strength of his grandfather Ken Leek.

Leek played for Wales when they reached the last eight of the World Cup in 1958.

Darlow, who is rated an 18/1 shot to make England's Euro squad with Sky Bet, is also out of favour at Newcastle having recently been deposed by Martin Dubravka.

Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey is the current Welsh No. 1.

'Disgusted' Futre wants Porto players to die for cause against Blues

SOCCER: Porto legend Paulo Futre was incensed after hearing reports Chelsea players celebrated their Champions League draw against the Portuguese side.

Portuguese outlet Record reports that the 55-year-old was "disgusted" by the Blues players' reaction to being paired with the tournament outsiders - Porto can be backed at 40/1 with Betfred to win the tournament.

Responding to the draw on Portuguese TV channel CMTV, Futre called on the Porto players to "sweat blood" to get past the Premier League side.

He said: "Porto players have to run like never before in these two games. Do you know why? They think they have already won the tie. They celebrated."

Futre even made a call to the English Press to confirm the stories on the Chelsea players' reactions.

"When I spoke to the person I was disgusted and I would give anything to play against Chelsea.

"FC Porto players have to die on the pitch, they think they are already in the semi-finals. They celebrated in the morning when they saw they got FC Porto. They can get through, but they have to sweat blood."

Betfred rate the chances of Porto sweating enough blood to make the last four at 2/1.

Chelsea are 5/1 to win the Champions League, with Manchester City the 2/1 favourites.

* All odds correct at time of publication

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