Posts Tagged match previews
copyright Andrew Orchard
Date: Saturday, December 21 Venue: Old Trafford Kick-Off: 15:00
Can Manchester United continue their mini-revival in the Premier League, or will they fall to three successive home league defeats for the first time since 1978-79 when West Ham visit Old Trafford?
Wayne Rooney “has a chance” of being fit to play against West Ham, despite missing the midweek League Cup win over Stoke, according to United manager David Moyes.
However, Nemanja Vidic is a doubt while Michael Carrick and Robin van Persie are definitely out.
West Ham captain Kevin Nolan serves the last game of his three-match ban, but James Tomkins will return from a groin injury.
Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Mladen Petric, Winston Reid and Ricardo Vaz Te are all sidelined.
If United lose to West Ham, they will have lost three successive home league games for the first time since 1978-79.
However, they have not lost to the Hammers in their last nine league encounters.
West Ham have won just two of their last 15 Premier League matches (W2 D5 L8).
The Red Devils have 25 points after 16 matches – their lowest at this stage of a Premier League season since 2001-02.
De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj, Rooney, Welbeck
Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Collins, Tomkins, Demel, Diame, Morrison, Collison, Noble, Jarvis, Maiga
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This fixture used to be a nailed-on six-pointer for Manchester United, but is now one that could represent another banana skin based on recent form.
United have not lost to West Ham in their last nine league encounters, have picked up twenty wins from 23 Hammers visits to Old Trafford since 1986, and haven’t conceded a single goal against the visitors in the last five.
Yet this season is different, and the Theatre of Dreams is no longer an impenetrable fortress where opponents fear to tread.
United have lost three times at home already this season, and haven’t lost more games in front of their own fans in a single season since 2001-02 – and it’s not yet Christmas.
A loss here would represent a third-successive home league defeat for the first time since 1978-79 and would, pardon the pun, Hammer the final nail into the coffin of their title defence.
Fortunately, West Ham aren’t exactly in a rich vein of form themselves – two wins in their last 15 Premier League matches have left the Londoners a point and a place above the relegation zone, and they could slip into the bottom three by the end of play this weekend.
For all United’s fallacies this season, I’m still backing them to get back on track and put serious pressure on Sam Allardyce’s side.
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Date: Wednesday, December 4th Venue: Craven Cottage Kick-off: 19:45
Martin Jol was deprived the chance to get things back on track for Fulham against his former club this week, and instead the task falls to Rene Meulensteen – that chap who was sat next to Alex Ferguson for past couple of years. The fact Fergie rated him highly enough to make him his first team couch is credit enough for his coaching skills. Whether he can front a Premiere League club will be put to the test as his Fulham enter into the grueling Christmas fixtures. They have won just four of their last 21 watches and collected just four points from their last ten.
AVB and his goal-shy and leaky Spurs side have equally as many questions to answer, and this may or may not prove to be the best match for them to truly show their credentials. While they are just three points outside of the top four, the fact they received such a drubbing from City ten days ago and the form of their neighbors has brought their early season promise into doubt.
Spurns trounced Fulham in the corresponding fixture last season 0-3, but Fulham walked away with the three points when they visited the Lane at the end of last season and snatched a hard fought 0-1.
Both teams go into this with much to prove. For Fulham, they’ve lost their last five successive matches, and are quickly in danger of going into Christmas at the root of the table. Meanwhile, Spurs form is nowhere near what the fans expected it would be after a promising if not awe-inspiring start. Despite the point against United, the drubbing received from the other Manchester outfit will still be on the tip of their tongues.
Don’t expect wholesale changes from Fulham; Meulensteen has been influencing their play since the start of the campaign. They will still be without other former spurs man Dimitar Berbatov, so Darren Bent is likely to continue his loan spell from Villa as a lone striker for the Cottagers.
The big question surrounding the Spurs’ line up will be whether AVB decides to stand by his goal-shy 26-million pound penalty taker Roberto Soldado or go with Jermaine Defoe who has been prolific in the Uefa Cup. Andros Townsend also looks likely to get a start after missing out on the weekend.
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Hughes, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson; Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Duff, Bent, Ruiz
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen; Sandro, Paulinho; Townsend, Sigurdsson, Lennon; Soldado
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Venue: Villa Park Referee: Martin Atkinson Date: 9th of November
Aston Villa’s poor run has stemmed from the dip in form of their front trio Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann, and Christian Benteke. They will be without Agbonlahor and Weimann for the Cardiff clash, which means a new look attacking pairing again for Lambert’s men. Left-back continues to be a problem area for the Midlands side, with Antonion Luna and Joe Bennett both ruled out with injury – leaving Lambert to stick with a makeshift left-side with Leandro Bacuna set to deputise.
Cardiff City are playing with confidence, but have had unwanted distractions from the club’s owner Vincent Tan. Nevertheless, they will still be on cloud nine following the Swansea victory and will regard this weekend’s match as winnable considering Aston Villa poor home form – with just one win at Villa Park this season.
Aston Villa are enduring an injury crisis of late. Antonio Luna, Jores Okore are out of action, and the side could also be without Andreas Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph, and Joe Bennett.
Cardiff have just Andres Cornelius as the only absentee from the first-team.
Villa have been suffering from a goal drought of late – with the side failing to score in their last four league outings. With just one win from their previous five games means the Villans regard this fixture as a must-win.
Cardiff have been in decent form, recently beating Swansea City 1-0 in the first ever South Wales derby in the Premier League. The Bluebirds have won just once on their travels so far this campaign, but are sitting pretty in 12th place – three places and two points above Villa.
- Aston Villa (3-5-2) – GK: Brad Guzan, DC: Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker & Ron Vlaar, LWB: Leandro Bacuna, MC: Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood & Karim El-Ahmadi, RWB: Matty Lowton, ST: Libor Kozak & Christian Benteke
- Cardiff City (4-1-4-1) – GK: David Marshall, DL: Andrew Taylor, DC: Ben Turner & Steven Caulker, DR: Theophile-Catherine, DMC: Gary Medel, ML: Craig Bellamy, MC: Peter Whittingham & Jordon Mutch, MR: Don Cowie, ST: Peter Odemwingie
Source: BBC Football
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Venue: Anfield Referee: Michael Jones Date: 9th of November
Liverpool will be hopeful of putting the Arsenal defeat behind them as they continue to keep themselves in contention with Arsenal at the summit. Coutinho is hit and miss whether he will indeed start against a Fulham side greatly lacking in confidence, but Brendan Rodgers’ men are heavy favourites to dole out another defeat for the Cottagers.
Martin Jol and Fulham look to be in another relegation dogfight this season as they cannot stop conceding goals. The side are surrendering chances far too readily in the Premier League this campaign, and the manager’s job is on the line as a result. They’ll do well to keep Liverpool quiet, as only two other sides have scored more league goals than the Reds this season.
Liverpool will be without Iago Aspas, Jose Enrique, and Sebastien Coates, but Steven Gerrard who was a doubt is expected to start.
Fulham have Hugo Rodallega out on a long-term injury, and Matthew Briggs is also out of action. Brede Hangeland is doubtful. Sascha Reither is undergoing action on a violent conduct charge, and is undergoing a three-match ban.
The Reds have been sent back down to earth following a 2-0 away to Arsenal, but the side are still in 3rd place in the league. They’ve lost just once at home this season, which incidentally was the only time they haven’t scored at Anfield this campaign.
After back-to-back wins against Stoke City and Crystal Palace respectively, Fulham have recently succumbed to back-to-back defeats to Southampton and Manchester United. As a result, the Cottagers are now just two points ahead of the drop zone.
- Liverpool (3-5-2) – GK: Simon Mignolet, DC: Sakho, Skrtel & Toure, LWB: Cissokho, MC, Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva & Jordan Henderson, RWB: Glen Johnson, ST: Daniel Sturridge & Luis Suarez
- Fulham (4-4-1-1) – GK: Maarten Stekelenburg: DL: Kieran Richardson, DC: Fernando Amorebieta & Philippe Senderos, DR: Aaron Hughes, ML: Patjim Kasami, MC: Scott Parker, MC: Steve Sidwell, MR: Alex Kacaniklic, AMC: Bryan Ruiz, ST: Dimitar Berbatov
Source: BBC Football
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copyright Andrew Orchard
Venue: Craven Cottage Referee: Lee Probert Date: Saturday 2nd of November
The Cottagers will be without Hugo Rodallega and Matthew Briggs for today’s tough home fixture. Influential defender Brede Hangeland remains doubtful. Manager Martin Jol is likely to stick with Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov up front, while Kacaniklic could be preferred in midfield over Bryan Ruiz.
Manchester United have Danny Welbeck and Darren Fletcher as the confirmed absentees. Marouane Fellaini is likely to start alongside Michael Carrick in midfield – replacing the equally unimpressive Tom Cleverley. Manager David Moyes must consider whether Javier Hernandez deserves a starting birth after his recent goal-scoring form.
Fulham are coming off the back a 4-3 defeat to Championship side Leicester City in the Capital One Cup. The side also lost to Southampton 2-0 prior to the cup game. Jol is under intense pressure as the London outfit are currently enduring a lukewarm start to the season.
Manchester United have started to enjoy an upturn in form, with victories against Stoke City & Norwich in the league and Capital One Cup respectively. They also boast a flawless recent record against Fulham – winning their last six meetings.
- Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stekelenburg, Riether, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson, Kasami, Parker, Sidwell, Kacaniklic, Berbatov, Bent
- Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Januzaj, Rooney, Nani, Van Persie
source – bbc football
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Venue: Upton Park Referee: Howard Webb Date: Saturday 2nd of November
For West Ham United; Matt Taylor, Alou Diarra, James Collins, Andy Carroll, Ricardo Vaz Te and Stephen Henderson are all confirmed absentees. Mladen Petric and James Tomkins are doubtful for the clash, so manager Sam Allardyce is hardly spoilt for choice with his squad.
The Villans are short of options at left-back, with Antonio Luna and Joe Bennett both ruled out of action, meaning centre-back Nathan Baker could deputise in their absence. Forward Gabriel Agbonlahor is also doubtful, meaning Lambert will most likely give the out-of-form Andi Weimann a start.
The home side find themselves in poor form of late, with just one win in their last eight games. The Hammers are in 15th place with 9 points from 9 games and are likely to once again be without a recognised striker. West Ham’s home form has been below par this campaign – with three defeats from four outings at Upton Park.
Aston Villa’s recent form has also been lacking. The Midlands outfit have failed to score in their last three league games, with their most recent PL victory coming at the end of September. However, Villa boast a good run of form on their travels – with the side having taken 7 points from a possible 12.
- West Ham (4-2-3-1): Jaaskelainen, Rat, Reid, Tomkins, Demel, Nolan, Noble, Jarvis, Morrison, Downing, Diame
- Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, El-Ahmadi, Delph, Bacuna, Tonev, Weimann, Benteke
source – bbc football
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Date: Wednesday, October 23 Venue: Old Trafford Kick-Off: 19:45 BST
Can Manchester United seize control of Group A of the Champions League with a much-needed win over Real Sociedad?
Manchester United manager David Moyes has concerns over the fitness of defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic ahead of the visit of Real Sociedad to Old Trafford.
The centre-backs missed the 1-1 draw with Southampton at the weekend after sustaining minor knocks.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley has a calf injury and missed training on Tuesday while striker Danny Welbeck was also absent from United’s final training session ahead of this tie.
Adnan Januzaj has however been added to the Champions League squad as a home-grown player and could make his European debut for the Red Devils.
This is the first competitive meeting between these two teams.
Manchester Utd have only won one of their last six Champions League games (two draws, three defeats).
Real Sociedad have won none of their last eight Champions League games (three draws, five defeats), their last win coming against Galatasaray in September 2003.
Wayne Rooney has scored in only one of his last 10 Champions League games at Old Trafford – his brace in the 4-2 win v Bayer Leverkusen this season.
De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Valencia, Januzaj, Rooney, Van Persie
Bravo, Martinez, Gonzalez, I. Martinez, De la Bella, Pardo, Bergara, Vela, Prieto, Griezmann, Seferovic
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Manchester United play host to Real Sociedad tonight knowing a win is essential to pick up flagging morale.
Domestically, United have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season after dropping yet more points against Southampton at the weekend, and will be looking to get their European campaign back on track also.
A late Shakhtar Donetsk strike in the Red Devil’s last outing ruined what would have been a flawless start to the group stages and with Group A finely balanced with a point separating first and third place, three points here is crucial.
This is the first ever competitive meeting between these two sides but United’s record against Spanish opposition isn’t terrific.
Of their last 12 games against opposition from Spain, Moyes’s men have won only two games – against Barcelona in April 2008 and Valencia in September 2010.
And the last time a Basque club came to Old Trafford? The Reds were outplayed by Athletic Bilbao over two legs and dumped out of the Europa League. Food for thought then for Moyes.
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Date: Wednesday, October 23 Venue: Arena Khimki, Moscow Kick-Off: 17:00 BST
Can Manchester City get their Champions League campaign back up and running with victory over CSKA Moscow in this afternoon’s early kick-off in Group D?
CSKA Moscow are set to play former Manchester United man Zoran To i for Manchester City’s visit to Russia in Group D.
Igor Akinfeev will replace Sergey Chepchugov in goal, while Keisuke Honda will once again continue his role in midfield.
Manchester City will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who is still sidelined with a thigh injury.
That means one of either Joleon Lescott or Javi Garcia will partner Matija Nastasic at centre-back.
Midfielder Jack Rodwell, who has been suffering from a hamstring problem, has not travelled to the Russian capital.
CSKA Moscow have failed to score in four of their six Champions League games against English sides. Their only win against English opposition came in October 2006 against Arsenal.
Manchester City have won four of their 14 Champions League games (four draws, six defeats) and only one of their last eight (v Viktoria Plzen).
Manchester City have lost five of their seven away games in the Champions League (two wins).
CSKA have won three of their last 12 Champions League games (three draws, six defeats).
Akinfeev, Berezoutski, Ignashevitch, Berezoutski, Nababkin, Honda, Wernbloom, Milanov, Zuber, Tosic, Musa
Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Silva, Negredo
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Manchester City travel to Russia for their next Champions League game in Group D and know they can not afford another defeat if they are to qualify for the knock-out stages for the first time.
The 2011-12 Premier League champions were humbled 3-1 by defending European champions Bayern Munich in their last game and need three points here to consolidate second place.
Opponents CSKA are level with the Citizens on three points and with Bayern playing pointless Viktoria Plzen, both sides will know three points is crucial for their qualification hopes.
Not only will City be playing a difficult-to-beat CSKA side that includes Keisuke Honda and former Manchester United man Zoran To i , but they will also have to cope with awful pitch conditions.
The Arena Khimki is in a poor state – having taken heavy rain for the past month, CSKA have not played a game there since August 30.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini condemned the state of the pitch earlier this week, and it will be interesting to see how his side cope with the adverse conditions.
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Manchester United crashed to their worst start to a Premier League season since 1989 with a shock defeat against West Brom at Old Trafford.
Second half goals from Morgan Amalfitano and Saido Berahino either side of a sumptuous Wayne Rooney freekick condemned the defending champions to their second consecutive league loss.
The Red Devils started the brighter of the two and had the Baggies hemmed into their own half in the early exchanges, with Javier Hernandez and Nani looking threatening.
The latter almost created an opening midway through the first half after floating a cross in toward Rooney, who saw the ball drift past him out of play.
West Brom weren’t without their chances either, and were happy to operate on the counter attack for large swathes of the first half.
Stephane Sessegnon came the closest for the away side when he flashed a header across the face of goal on the half hour mark, after Berahino saw a header of his own drift wide.
But the best chance of the first half was created by Anderson, who, 10 minutes before the interval, latched onto the end of Shinji Kagawa’s cross before powering a header against the crossbar.
The Brazilian reacted quickly when the ball bounced back into play, but saw his miscued rebound sky over the bar.
With the game still deadlocked at the interval, West Brom gradually grew in confidence and their swashbuckling counter attacking paid dividends early in the second half.
Amalfitano first collected the ball on the halfway line, waltzed past Michael Carrick, nutmegged Rio Ferdinand and chipped past David de Gea when through one-on-one with 53 minutes played.
But the lead lasted just three minutes after Phil Jones was first hauled down outside the penalty area before Rooney saw his freekick float into the bottom corner of Boaz Myhill’s goal.
The Baggies were more than holding their own at this point and were perhaps unfortunate to only be level when Jonas Olsson hit the bar.
The visitors were well on top after Rooney’s strike and Berahino finally restored his side’s lead on the 66 minute mark.
The 20-year-old let loose a sublime long-ranged strike from the edge of the area that nestled in the corner of de Gea’s net to stun Old Trafford.
There was still time for late drama however as United stepped up pressure, and thought they had levelled late on when substitute Marouane Fellaini converted Nani’s cross.
But the referee correctly blew for offside as the Baggies held on to only their second win of the season.
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Sky Sports Monday Night Football is brought to you this week from Deepdale as Preston North End host Oldham Athletic in the absence of Premier League football. If you’re missing televised football at the moment due to the international break then I suggest you watch what promises to be a great game from Sky Bet League One.
North End, unbeaten in the league, sit 1 point and 3 places above the Latics who have scored 9 goals in 3 away games so far this season. Preston won’t be worried about that though as they have turned Deepdale into somewhat of a Fortress recently- conceding just 3 in their last 10 official games there (with 2 of those coming in their last home game against MK Dons).
Preston North End
Recent Form; Walsall (A) 0-3 W, Burnley (A) 2-0 L, Coventry (A) 4-4 D, MK Dons (H) 2-2 D, Rotherham (A) 0-0 D, Blackpool (H) 1-0 W, Wolves (H) 0-0 D. – 2 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss.
Preston have made a steady start to Simon Grayson’s first full season in charge at the club and after exiting the League Cup in the second Round to fellow Lancashire club Burnley, they sit eleventh in League One after an unbeaten start to the season in which they have drawn four and won one. Probably not the start that most at Deepdale were hoping for after such a strong finish to last season but as Simon Grayson would tell you, it’s definitely a platform to build on and after their first win, and an emphatic one at that away at Walsall, of the league season you’d definitely expect the Preston players to be raring to go after an expectedly boring 10 days without a game, due to receiving a bye in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round. Preston’s big name signing of the summer, Kevin Davies, is yet to make an impact on the scoring charts so Preston fans will be thankful that they’ve had 6 different goalscorers already this season, and their defence is standing strong- conceding just 8 goals in 7 games this season but are let down by 4 of those coming away at an astounding Coventry side.
Scorers; Joel Byrom, Tom Clarke & Chris Humphrey – 2. Joe Garner, Lee Holmes & Bailey Wright – 1.
Recent Form; Shrewsbury (A) 1-4 W, Tranmere (H) 0-1 L, Port Vale (H) 3-1 W, Peterborough (A) 2-1 L, Walsall (H) 0-1 L, Derby (H) 0-1 L, Stevenage (A) 3-4 W. – 3 wins, 4 losses.
Oldham Athletic have made their expected roller coaster start to the season, but probably not in the fashion most will have expected. Tipped by many at the start of the season to be relegation fodder, the Latics have leaned towards the side of winners rather than losers. They have scored 11 in their 3 wins and conceded just 5 in their 4 losses and look set to cause a few upsets along the way. So could Preston be one of them? It’s no secret that Latics are better on the road than they are at home, scoring 3 in 4 games at Boundary Park and 9 in 3 away games. Manager Lee Johnson probably couldn’t have hoped for a better result coming into this game with a 4-1 victory away at Shrewsbury in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy which has given him a selection headache going into Monday’s clash. Latics’ big signing of the summer has made a better start to the season than Preston’s and has scored 3 already, with all 3 coming within the last 3 games.
Top Scorers; Adam Rooney – 3. Danny Philliskirk & Jose Baxter – 2. James Dayton, Charlie MacDonald, Cristian Montano, Sidney Schmeltz & James Tarkowski – 1.
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