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VAR to be used in Champions League knockout stages

VAR was rejected for the Premier League 2018/19 season. Credit: PA

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) technology will be used in the knockout stages of this season's Champions League and Europa League competitions.

European football's governing body confirmed the move following the meeting of its executive committee in Dublin.

VAR will also be used at next summer's Nations League Finals - which will feature England as well as Portugal, Holland and Switzerland.

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Hazard out for Chelsea's Europa League clash

Credit: PA

Eden Hazard is out of Chelsea's clash with PAOK as the Blues seek to confirm top spot in Europa League Group L.

Hazard has an ankle injury following last Saturday's loss to Tottenham, but should be fit to play Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Victor Moses (back) is also out, with head coach Maurizio Sarri likely to make changes ahead of 10 matches in the month of December.

Provisional squad: Kepa, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Pedro, Kovacic, Giroud, Zappacosta, Willian, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Morata, Luiz, Emerson Palmieri, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Ampadu, Bulka.

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Guardiola wants Man City Champions League qualification secured against Lyon

Man City can secure safe passage to the next round with win over Lyon. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to leave nothing to chance and wrap up qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare in Lyon tonight.

The Premier League champions were moments away from securing a place in the knockout stages as they thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 earlier this month only for a late Hoffenheim goal against Lyon to delay them.

They will now look to finish the job themselves as they take on the French side in their penultimate Group F fixture at the Groupama Stadium.

A draw would suffice for City - who are bidding to reach the knockout stage for a sixth consecutive year - but a win would see them through as group winners.

Guardiola said: "I want to qualify, that is the first target. That is the most important issue.

"If you make one or two mistakes you can be out. It's not done until it's done. We have two chances but we would like to avoid the pressure against Hoffenheim."

A clutch of midfield injuries could see Guardiola turn to youngster Phil Foden in France.

Bernardo Silva has not recovered from the knock that kept him out of Saturday's victory at West Ham while Ilkay Gundogan has since joined a casualty list that also includes Kevin De Bruyne.

Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy are also out, but it is in one of the midfield positions there could be an opening for 18-year-old Foden.

"He played 20 minutes in the last game and was so aggressive with the ball and intense without it," said Guardiola at his pre-match press conference.

"I have the feeling that, every time he has played, he has played good. In pre-season or during the season, a few minutes or 90 minutes, he always plays good. He's ready to play, he's part of the squad. He's definitely ready."

Uefa boss hints VAR could be rolled-out for Champions League knockout rounds

Video assistant referees (VAR) could be introduced to the Champions League and Europa League this season. Credit: PA

Video assistant referees (VAR) could be introduced to the Champions League and Europa League this season, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli have revealed.

European football's governing body opted against using VAR this season despite it being used by most major European leagues and FIFA this summer at the World Cup in Russia.

Speaking at a joint UEFA and ECA press conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Ceferin said the European governing body's refereeing chief Roberto Rosetti has been leading efforts to make sure UEFA's pool of referees are ready for VAR and all "technical aspects" have been addressed.

"I expect the report in a week or so and then we will see when we can implement it - (at) the latest, next season," said Ceferin.

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