Stoke vs Hull – Premier League preview and team news

Stoke City will be hoping to make it three Premier League wins in succession as they take on Hull City at the Britannia Stadium. Under Mark Hughes, the Potters are really beginning to show some quality, and they delivered arguably their best performance of the season last time out as they thrashed Aston Villa with the help of some slick attacking football. Now 12 points above the relegation zone and surely safe from the threat of going down, Stoke can now set their sights on their first top half finish…

Read More

Swansea vs Norwich – Premier League preview and team news

Two teams who still have work to do to ensure Premier League survival meet on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea will come into this game buoyed by their efforts at Arsenal, where a decent performance was rewarded by a somewhat fortunate late equaliser. That point could prove massive by the end of the season, but Garry Monk’s side need wins if they are to feel more comfortable, and they will see this game as a fine opportunity to pick up maximum points, with only five currently separating the Swans…

Read More

West Brom vs Cardiff – Premier League preview and team news

The Hawthorns is the venue for a Premier League six-pointer on Saturday as West Bromwich Albion take on fellow strugglers Cardiff City. West Brom are still perilously placed as they look for their first home win under Pepe Mel, as they sit just three points above their opponents, who lie second from bottom. Their last performance at Hull City did not suggest that the Baggies are going to survive comfortably, as Shane Long demonstrated to them what they are now missing. The hosts now look very short on strikers since…

Read More

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea – Premier League preview and team news

With their lead at the top of the Premier League now reduced to only a point, Chelsea will be aiming to stay there with a win away to Crystal Palace. The home side were left crestfallen last time out as they finally succumbed to Newcastle United’s late pressure, meaning that their cushion above the drop zone remains just a place and three points. Recently, the Eagles’ home record has not been as impressive as it was in the early weeks under Tony Pulis, but the Welshman will have his side…

Read More

Man Utd vs Aston Villa – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester United face mid-table Aston Villa in Saturday’s early kick-off as they look to bounce back from their heavy Manchester derby defeat. David Moyes’ team were outplayed in all departments on Tuesday. So much so, that they ended up relieved that the final score was only 3-0. It meant the champions have now lost the same number of home games as they have won, a record that the Scot knows must improve between now and the end of the season. Fifth place is the aim, but United are already condemned…

Read More

Ex-Liverpool winger Riera joins Watford

Watford have signed former Liverpool winger Albert Riera on a contract until the end of the season, Sky Sports has reported. The Reds paid Espanyol £8m to sign Riera in 2008 but he was sold to Olympiakos for around half that amount two years later. The Spaniard later transferred to Galatasaray but was released by the Turkish giants in January. He is due to join Udinese in the summer but will spend the rest of the season with the Hornets, who are owned by the same family as the Serie…

Read More

Pulis: Mourinho one of the best

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world, Sky Sports has reported. The sides meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday and Pulis was asked for his thoughts on the Portuguese at his pre-match Press conference. “For me Jose is one of the elite managers in the world,” Pulis said. “If you look at his record he has managed the great teams and the great teams need to win and he does that for them. He doesn’t just do…

Read More

Arsenal announce New York Red Bulls friendly

Arsenal will play Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls in a pre-season friendly, the club’s official website has confirmed. The game will take place at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on July 26. Henry, the Red Bulls captain, has scored 42 goals in 94 games since moving to the MLS side in 2010, having left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007. Arsenal hosted the Red Bulls in 2011 as part of the Emirates Cup but the game represents the Gunners’ first visit to the United States since 1989, when…

Read More

Allardyce confused by West Ham boos

Sam Allardyce has said West Ham fans need to realise how difficult the Premier League is after the Hammers were booed despite beating Hull on Wednesday, ESPN has reported. Allardyce’s team ran out 2-1 winners after James Chester’s own goal but the side was booed at the final whistle, having been booed off at half-time despite leading 1-0. Allardyce said after the match that the reaction of the fans dominated the half-time discussion among the players, unhelpfully, he thought. “I started at 16, got into the first team at 18…

Read More

Chelsea up interest in Diego Costa

Chelsea are said to have stepped up their interest in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and will make a £40m approach in the summer, ESPN has reported. Scouts from the Premier League club watched Atletico beat Granada 1-0 on Wednesday, with Costa scoring. The Brazil-born Spain international’s goal put Atletico three points clear at the top of the table after Real Madrid lost to Sevilla. Costa is expected to be part of the Spain squad at the World Cup having made his debut for La Roja in the recent friendly…

Read More

Fellaini: I didn’t elbow Zabaleta

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini has denied elbowing Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta in Tuesday’s Manchester derby, ESPN has reported, with the Belgian saying Zabaleta’s jaw ‘bounced off’ his elbow. Fellaini was shown a yellow card for the incident but Zabaleta said after the match that he felt the former Everton midfielder should have been sent off. Fellaini however denies purposely elbowing the Argentine. “I don’t know [if I should have been sent off] but I didn’t do it on purpose,” Fellaini said. “I put my arm up to try and protect…

Read More

Rodgers wants Liverpool calm

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has called on his side to keep calm as the climax of the Premier League title race approaches, ESPN has reported. The Reds are a point behind league leaders Chelsea after beating Sunderland 2-1 at Anfield on Wednesday, with Chelsea still to come to Anfield this season. “It is just reinforcing about calmness,” Rodgers said. “We reinforce to the players to dominate the ball. Our idea is to stay calm under pressure and it is important that they can think clearly under pressure. “We have had…

Read More

Man City have title momentum, says Zabaleta

Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabaleta has said that his side have all the momentum in the race to win this season’s Premier League title, reports the Manchester Evening News. As it stands, the Citizens are third in the table, two points behind Liverpool and three behind leaders Chelsea, but they have two games in hand as well as the Premier League’s best goal difference. The club’s previous game was a 3-0 Manchester derby victory at Old Trafford, and Zabaleta believes his side are coming into form at just the right…

Read More

Hull manager Bruce frustrated by refereeing

Hull City boss Steve Bruce was left annoyed by the decisions of referee Mike Dean after his team lost 2-1 at West Ham United on Wednesday, Sky Sports has reported. The game-changing moment came on 25 minutes when Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor was sent off for bringing down Mohamed Diame. Dean’s decision to award a penalty came some time after the incident took place, and McGregor also suffered kidney damage in making the challenge which forced him to spend the night in hospital. Mark Noble scored from the spot, by…

Read More

Arsenal defender Sagna offered a deal by Man City

Manchester City have offered Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna to make a summer move to the Etihad Stadium by offering the Frenchman a three-year contract, according to the Guardian. Sagna, whose contract with Arsenal is set to expire at the end of the season, is currently being strongly linked with a move to Inter. Erick Thohir, the Italian club’s president has already spoken of his desire to bring Sagna to the San Siro in the summer to join Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic. Arsenal have made several attempts to persuade Sagna…

Read More

Rodgers impressed by Liverpool’s character

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised his side’s ‘character’ and ‘winning mentality’, after they managed to hold on to a 2-1 victory against struggling Sunderland, reports the Daily Telegraph. As Sunderland defended deeply, Liverpool initially found it difficult to make a breakthrough at Anfield on Wednesday, but were relieved when Steven Gerrard fired home a free-kick eight minutes before half time. Daniel Sturridge made it two with a deflected shot early in the second half, but Sunderland rallied in the closing stages and threatened an equaliser once Ki Sung-Yueng had…

Read More

Man Utd have lost fear factor, admits Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has admitted teams no longer fear playing at Old Trafford after Manchester City inflicted the Premier League champions’ sixth home defeat of the season, ESPN has reported. ESPN adds that it is the first time in 36 years that United have lost six games at home and David Moyes’ side are now 15 points adrift of City, having finished last season 11 points clear under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. “It’s not good enough,” Rooney said. “We can’t lose six homes games in a…

Read More

Ba: PSG nothing special for Chelsea

Chelsea striker Demba Ba has said the Blues play teams the calibre of Champions League opponents Paris Saint-Germain regularly in the Premier League, ESPN has reported. Ba was speaking to a French radio station and said that the French club’s strike force – led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani – hold no fear for Chelsea since they play against strikers of such quality on a regular basis. “Of course PSG’s attack is good, but we play in the Premier League,” Ba, a PSG supporter, said. “When you play Manchester…

Read More

UEFA to introduce Nations League

UEFA will seek to introduce a 54-team Nations League from 2018-19 to replace international friendlies and run alongside the World Cup and European Championships, the Daily Telegraph has reported. The newspaper claims the governing body will pass the resolution establishing the competition at its Congress this week, with all member countries already agreeing to support the motion. While the exact format of the tournament isn’t yet known, the Telegraph adds that the top 16 countries in Europe will be divided into four groups of four with the teams meeting home…

Read More

Taylor pleased by Swansea fight

Neil Taylor has said he was happy to see Swansea City dig deep against Arsenal and come away with a draw, ITV Sport has reported. Swansea took the lead through Wilfried Bony, only for two quick Gunners goals to put Arsene Wenger’s side in front in the second half. But a Mathieu Flamini own goal delivered a point for Garry Monk’s side and Taylor believes both the point gained and the fight on display will prove useful as the Premier League’s relegation battle comes to a climax. “It just shows…

Read More

Dzeko: Man City could have scored more

Edin Dzeko believes Manchester City could have scored more goals against Manchester United in the Premier League meeting between the sides on Tuesday, ITV Sport has reported. City won 3-0 – with Dzeko scoring twice – and the striker said after the match that the scoreline could have been even more commanding if City had taken their chances. “It’s always good to win in a derby, especially when you win it like we did,” he said. “It was great for the fans to be here and to celebrate again. “We…

Read More

Liverpool vs Sunderland – Premier League preview and team news

A win for Liverpool against relegation-haunted Sunderland will see them move to within just a point of leaders Chelsea in this most intriguing of Premier League title races. The free-scoring football which has come to be expected under Brendan Rodgers was once again on display at Cardiff City on Saturday, with a Luis Suarez hat-trick and incisive attacking football helping them to victory in a nine-goal thriller. Matters at the back remain a concern, however, with three goals conceded in South Wales, where Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel were often…

Read More

West Ham vs Hull – Premier League preview and team news

Victory for either West Ham United or Hull City at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday evening should all but secure Premier League status for next season. West Ham are looking to end a three game losing streak. After battling in vain at Everton and Stoke City, Sam Allardyce’s team were undone by the brilliance of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney on Saturday. Despite huffing and puffing throughout, the Hammers did not really threaten a comeback, particularly after Rooney was gifted his second by Mark Noble’s errant clearance. The Tigers eased…

Read More

Chelsea striker Ba set for summer move

Chelsea striker Demba Ba is looking to leave the club this summer, and has announced that his agent has begun negotiations over a move away from Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports has reported. Ba arrived at Chelsea from Newcastle United in January 2013, but has struggled to establish himself as a regular in the first-team. Instead he has found himself behind Fernando Torres and, more recently, Samuel Eto’o in the Blues’ pecking order. The Senegalese international has only appeared sporadically this season, scoring five goals in 21 appearances, most of which…

Read More

Wenger frustrated by Arsenal draw

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused his players of being too conservative after they dropped more Premier League points on Tuesday against Swansea City, Sky Sports has reported. Swansea took an 11th minute lead through Wilfried Bony’s powerful header, and it took until past the midway point of the second half for the hosts to conjure a response, with Arsenal scoring twice in two minutes to turn the game around. First, Lukas Podolski met Kieran Gibbs’ low cross from the dead-ball line, before the German set up Olivier Giroud for…

Read More