Hull vs Fulham – Premier League preview and team news

Fulham will be looking to build on their Boxing day success with a win against Hull City, who gave Manchester United a mighty scare. Hull will have come away from that game with mixed emotions. They will be very frustrated at losing from a winning position, but highly encouraged by their display as they more than matched the champions and deserved a point for their efforts, which was testament to the progress they have made on their return to the Premier League after three seasons away. Scott Parker was the…

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Norwich vs Man Utd – Premier League preview and team news

Victory for Manchester United at Norwich City will be their sixth in a row, and will have them right back into the Premier League title race. Defeat against Fulham on Boxing Day was very costly for Chris Hughton’s team, who are now just three points clear of danger in what is a very tight bottom half. Although the winner from Scott Parker was a wonderful strike, some of Norwich’s defending against the Cottagers was disappointing, particularly for the Fulham equaliser, as the defensive wall for Pajtim Kasami’s free-kick was highly…

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Man City vs Crystal Palace – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester City can go top of the Premier League – at least temporarily – with victory over rejuvenated Crystal Palace on Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini’s team came through their toughest home game yet on Boxing Day to make it nine wins from nine at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool arrived and more than matched their hosts, but Man City came through the test to make it six wins from their last seven Premier League outings, leaving them second going into this game, which comes before three successive away matches. Crystal Palace showed…

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West Ham vs West Brom – Premier League preview and team news

Lowly West Ham United meet fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion in crucial Premier League encounter at Upton Park. West Ham were largely outplayed by Arsenal on Boxing Day, but had a couple of fine opportunities to win it. As it was, they lost 3-1, and their misery was compounded by all of the bottom three winning away from home, leaving them in a desperate position, second from bottom. Frustration is growing in East London, and this is simply a must-win game for the Hammers. A battling display and a 1-1…

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New Cardiff boss to be given extensive January funds

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has promised extensive funds to the club’s next manager, having instructed chairman Mehmet Dalman to find a successor to Malky Mackay, writes BBC Sport. The promise from Tan comes just weeks after he claimed that the club overspent by around 15m during the summer, where he funded the signings of players including Andreas Cornelius, John Brayford, Steven Caulker and Gary Medel. Tan, who saved Cardiff from administration in 2011 also said that no money would be made available in January, after Mackay – sacked on…

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Man City’s Lescott warns of Crystal Palace threat

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has warned his side not to expect an easy game when Crystal Palace visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported. Currently second in the Premier League, a point behind leaders Arsenal, Man City have won all nine of their home matches this season, scoring an impressive 37 goals in the process. Their latest victory came on Boxing Day, when goals from captain Vincent Kompany and striker Alvaro Negredo saw them come from behind to beat Liverpool. Crystal Palace have been rejuvenated since…

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Cardiff City sack manager Malky Mackay

Cardiff City have sacked manager Malky Mackay, according to BBC Sport. Mackay was finally dismissed after weeks of media speculation after club owner Vincent Tan sent an email to the Scot telling him to either resign or be sacked. The former Watford boss refused to walk out on the club, stating that he was proud to be Cardiff manager and took the time to praise the fans for their continued support. Those fans have been extremely vocal in their support for their now former manager, but Mackay also attracted much…

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Wasteful Hammers finishing frustrates Allardyce

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce was critical of his side’s finishing as they lost 3-1 at home to Arsenal, Sky Sports has reported. After a goalless first half which was largely dictated by the visitors, West Ham took the lead just seconds into the second half as Carlton Cole converted a rebound as Wojciech Szczesny failed to hold on to Kevin Nolan’s shot. The Hammers then had chances to add to their lead as Matt Jarvis saw a shot saved by Szczesny, Joey O’Brien sent a header wide before…

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Hughes fumes at officials after Stoke lose at Newcastle

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has declared himself ‘dismayed’ at the performance of referee Martin Atkinson in the 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Boxing Day, writes the club’s Official website. Oussama Assaidi curled Stoke in front after half an hour at St. James’ Park, but the game changed completely soon after as the Potters went down to nine men as Glenn Whelan – from two bookings – and Marc Wilson – for a professional foul – were both sent off. Although Thomas Sorensen kept out the penalty which resulted…

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Liverpool’s Mignolet refuses to dwell on Man City error

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has said that he is unfazed by the error he made at Manchester City on Boxing Day which ended up giving the hosts all three points, Sky Sports is reporting. After Philippe Coutinho had put Liverpool in front with an angled shot into an unguarded net, and Vincent Kompany had headed Man City level when he headed in from a left-wing corner, Mignolet failed to deal with Alvaro Negredo’s chip on the stroke of half-time, as the Belgian could only help it into the Reds’ net.…

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Man City vs Liverpool – Premier League preview and team news

Arguably the two most entertaining teams to watch in the Premier League this season meet in Boxing Day’s late kick-off, as Manchester City face leaders Liverpool. Man City return to the Etihad Stadium – where they have been unbeatable in the league this season – after a hard-earned victory at lowly Fulham on Saturday, as they held off the home side’s comeback to claim their third away victory of the campaign. For the second home game in a row, the leaders are the visitors, but after putting six past Arsenal,…

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Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – Premier League preview and team news

The first of two consecutive home games for out-of-form Aston Villa is against Crystal Palace, with both sides looking to recover from disappointing defeats last time out. Villa were once again disappointing as they lost at Stoke City on Saturday, creating very few chances. That result meant they have now won just twice in 11 Premier League games, and defeat here would lead to fears that they could be dragged into the relegation battle. Their home form does not inspire confidence, and even more worrying for Paul Lambert, goalscoring is…

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Tottenham vs West Brom – Premier League preview and team news

Tim Sherwood takes charge of Tottenham for the first time since being named Head Coach on a permanent basis as the North London club host West Bromwich Albion, who are looking for a new boss of their own. The somewhat surprising decision to appoint Sherwood came after he masterminded the victory at Southampton, fielding a very attacking starting line-up. This gave them the freedom to create more chances than they did under Andre Villas-Boas, and it was Emmanuel Adebayor, an outcast of the previous regime, who scored the vital goals,…

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Norwich vs Fulham – Premier League preview and team news

The first of four crucial games for Premier League strugglers Fulham takes place at Carrow Road on Boxing Day as they take on Norwich City. The Canaries are on a strong run of form, with their heavy defeat at leaders Liverpool their only major blemish since the beginning of November. Their defensive record has also improved, as the clean sheet against Sunderland last time out was their third in the last five Premier League encounters, helping to ensure they have a six point cushion above the bottom three. Fulham have…

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Cardiff vs Southampton – Premier League preview and team news

Malky Mackay has not yet been sacked by Cardiff City, so should be in charge for the game against out-of-form Southampton. The defeat at Liverpool on Saturday looked set to be Mackay’s final game as Bluebirds boss, with owner Vincent Tan in the stands expected to give the Scot his marching orders in the immediate aftermath. However, Mackay has been spared the sack for now, and he will have been encouraged by the second half performance at Anfield as they battled hard to avoid losing by a heavy scoreline. Southampton’s…

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Chelsea vs Swansea – Premier League preview and team news

Neither Chelsea nor Swansea City have truly convinced this season, but the Blues come into this game just two points behind leaders Liverpool. In some ways, Chelsea’s trip to Arsenal on Monday was a containment exercise, but manager Jose Mourinho was still left to rue a lack of aggression going forward as few chances were created by either side. However, avoiding defeat was imperative, and it keeps the West London club in the running in what is a very close title race. Swansea again fell short at home on Sunday…

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West Ham vs Arsenal – Premier League preview and team news

Arsenal’s penultimate game of 2013 is away to London rivals West Ham United, who need the win for altogether different reasons. Sam Allardyce’s side were thankful that other results went their way on Saturday, as the comprehensive defeat at Manchester United could have seen them slip into the relegation zone. As it is, they still have a one point cushion, and after this game, they have a crucial run of fixtures against relegation rivals, as West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Cardiff City are their next three Premier League opponents. Arsenal…

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Hull vs Man Utd – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester United will be looking for their fifth straight win in all competitions when they travel to Hull City on Boxing Day. Hull were left frustrated at their failure to hang on to their lead to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, conceding an equaliser four minutes from time. That goal prevented the Tigers from moving into the top half of the Premier League and establishing a healthy nine point cushion above the relegation zone ahead of three games against title contenders in their next four fixtures. Although Man Utd’s…

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Everton vs Sunderland – Premier League preview and team news

Everton take on bottom club Sunderland looking to continue their wonderful season so far under new boss Roberto Martinez. The omens are good for the Toffees. Not only do Sunderland have a terrible record at Goodison Park, but they have not lost at home in the Premier League since the end of 2012. On Sunday, they once again proved themselves as contenders for a Champions League place, with the winner against Swansea scored by Ross Barkley, the youngster who is receiving so much attention for his excellent displays. Sunderland were…

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West Ham vs Arsenal – Premier League best and worst

West Ham United meet Arsenal on Boxing Day in a fixture which has delivered plenty of action in the Premier League over the years: Last Meeting West Ham began last season in strong form at Upton Park, and looked like they could continue their run when Mohamed Diame curled them in front midway through the first half. However, Arsenal were excellent on the day, and Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla scored after half time to give them a 3-1 win, after Olivier Giroud had scored his first Premier League goal…

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Chelsea manager Mourinho labels Arsenal boring

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has branded title rivals Arsenal ‘boring’ for failing to score in the 0-0 draw between the two clubs at the Emirates Stadium on Monday, Sky Sports is reporting. Mourinho’s side were booed off by the home fans, who perceived their tactics to be negative, but the 50-year-old responded by saying that the Gunners should have received such disapproval for their performance in the stalemate. He said: “I think boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score a goal. That’s boring. If somebody was…

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Liverpool set to hand Rodgers a new contract

Liverpool are going to reward manager Brendan Rodgers for the club’s excellent start to the season by offering him a contract worth up to £2m per year, writes the Daily Mirror. After being appointed in the summer of 2012, Rodgers guided Liverpool to seventh in the Premier League in his first season in charge after a strong finish to the campaign. So far this time around, they have built on that hugely, and the club sit top of the table going into the tricky Boxing Day trip to Manchester City.…

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Arsenal quoted £22m by Newcastle for midfielder Cabaye

Arsenal have been told by Newcastle United that if they want to sign midfielder Yohan Cabaye in January, they must pay at least £22m, according to the Daily Mail. Cabaye was the target of a bid of around £10m made by Arsenal in the summer, which was rejected. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is looking to add more creativity to his midfield, but Ligue 1 leaders Paris St. Germain are also thought to be in the running to sign the 27-year-old. As a result of that bid back in August, Cabaye…

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Fulham boss Meulensteen welcomes arrival of Curbishley

Fulham Head Coach Rene Meulensteen has spoken of his delight at the club’s appointment of Alan Curbishley as technical director, Sky Sports has reported. The experienced Curbishley has been out of work for over five years, since he resigned as manager of West Ham United back in August 2008. Prior to his arrival at Upton Park, he spent 15 years as Charlton Athletic boss, leading them to a highest Premier League position of seventh in 2004. Following Curbishley’s decision to come to Craven Cottage, Meulensteen said: “It was something the…

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Top 5 Players to watch in the Premier League on Boxing Day

Boxing Day fixtures in the Premier League often provide plenty of entertainment and this one should be no different. These five players could be right in the thick of the action: Oscar The Brazilian has been absent with an injury in recent weeks and made his comeback as a substitute at Arsenal on Monday. Before he was ruled out, Oscar had been arguably Chelsea’s best player during the season, and it will be intriguing to see if the youngster can regain that excellent form and prise open the Swansea City…

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