Preview: Chelsea hoping to extend lead at the top
With Arsenal set to be involved in another difficult fixture as they go against defending champions Manchester United, Mourinho and Chelsea will be hoping to take advantage by further extending their lead at the top. With both the second and the third team in the Barclays Premier League set to play on Wednesday, a victory tonight could see the Blues distance themselves from their title rivals by four to five points.
Last time out a rampant Chelsea side scored an impressive victory over Newcastle United subjecting the magpies to a 3-0 defeat. The victory at Stamford Bridge came a week after Chelsea became the only English club this season to defeat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The standout performer during that night was Belgian star Eden Hazard who followed his impressive showing against the Citizens with a hat trick against Newcastle.
The talk of relegation is not usually taken so seriously in February but the unpredictability of the Barclays Premier League this season has been miraculous, sparking up the most contested battle to beat the drop in the league's history.
From Aston Villa who currently sit in tenth spot down to the bottom it can be safely suggested that none of the teams are free from the drop. Only eight points separate the eleven clubs involved whilst the results in the league have been more than a little erratic.
For those familiar with 90’s music, if the Barclays Premier League was a song this season, it might have been the “Wind of Change” the Scorpions so passionately belted out. Arsenal topped the table until Manchester City took over in midweek. United is trying to get into…
Replacing a manager for a club in the Premier League can be tricky business. Whenever there is a sacking, a shortlist is instantly made and long discussions are held as to which person should be entrusted with the task of managing the side. Sometimes, a decision is made that can be met by surprise, disappointment or even anger.
These are the sort of emotions that have been prevalent at the Hawthorns, home of West Brom after it was announced that Pepe Mel would be managing the side. The Spaniard has only recently been sacked at Real Betis, a team that is rock bottom in the Primera Division.
Preview: Can Tottenham succeed under Tim Sherwood?
Tottenham, strangely enough, face a club in the same situation they themselves were in less than a week ago. Steve Clarke was fired after a poor run of results. The club, currently under the management of interim coach Keith Downing is in 16th place. They are looking for a turn in fortunes. Spurs on the other hand sit seventh. Following an exit in the Capital One Club at the hands of none other than West Ham United, they managed to beat Southampton 2-3.
Sherwood of course made alterations for this game. He switched to a two-striker system with Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor up front. Adebayor scored two of those goals. Tottenham already have six away wins to their name. However, their home record is rather poor. Only three wins at White Hart Lane have left the fans rather distraught.
Preview: City looking to improve away form in the league
The Citizens have climbed up to the third spot in the league thanks to two consecutive league wins which has seen them score nine goals without conceding any. Much for their dominant performances at the Etihad, City have not been the same side away from home winning just a single of the six away games they have played so far.
French playmaker Samir Nasri, who has blossomed this season under the tutelage of Manuel Pellegrini scoring twice in City’s last outing against Swansea lamented his team’s away form and insisted that it must improve if they are to emerge as title contenders this season.
Preview: Chelsea hopeful of maintaining home record at the expense of West Brom
Whereas their away record has been quite disappointing this season, Jose Mourinho’s second spell at the club has seen Chelsea once again maintaining their exemplary home record. The Blues have won all five matches they have played at home turf in the league this season, but have been able to notch all three points from only one away game.
In their last outing against Newcastle, Chelsea were humbled at St James’ Park as the Magpies strolled to a 2-0 victory. Jose Mourinho was hugely disappointed after the loss and one player who faced his wrath was Belgian winger Eden Hazard who was disciplined as a result of not being present for training on Monday. As a result the 22 year old was not included in the squad to face Schalke, but his Portuguese coach confirmed that his star player will be in contention to start against West Brom.
Preview: SAS to end Liverpool’s bad spell against the Baggies?
West Bromwich Albion are very tricky opponents and Liverpool know it. The latter have lost each of their last three Premier League meetings against the Baggies, conceding six goals and scoring none. The Reds will be careful to avoid yet another upset. This season, West Brom have pulled a few stunning results already.
They made the most of their home advantage to demolish Sunderland 3-0 last month and followed up on this achievement with two remarkable results: a 2-1 victory over David Moyes’ struggling Manchester United at Old Trafford and a 1-1 draw against Arsene Wenger’s high-flying Arsenal.
Preview: A penalty shoot-out will not help the Gunners on Sunday
Arsenal took on West Brom just a few weeks ago in a match where they featured a number of youth players. The Gunners were not at their best, but somehow, someway, they managed to leave the Hawthorns with a crucial victory.
A penalty shoot-out was needed after both sides played 120 minutes which ended in a 1-1 draw, but on Sunday, both sides will only get 90 minutes to take care of business.
The Gunners went into the weekend top of the Premier League, but a victory from Liverpool has Arsene Wenger's squad second. Three points on Sunday would put Arsenal back on top, but those three points will not come easy.
Preview: Moyes looking for a strong response after derby day humiliation
Moyes and his team will take motivation from their 1-0 victory over a strong Liverpool side in the Capital one Cup during midweek. A solitary goal from Javier Hernandez settled the tie for the Red Devils who really needed a victory following a heavy defeat at the hands of their title rivals last week at the Etihad Stadium.
Man United under their new manager David Moyes have had a dismal start to the Premier League campaign managing just two victories out of the five matches they have played so far in the league. As a result the Red Devils find themselves eighth in the table one position below Swansea City and their Scot manager is looking to make amends when his side meets West Brom.
Preview: Injuries force Arsenal to make more changes than expected
Arsenal's current run of form has been impressive, having won seven straight matches since their opening day debacle against Aston Villa. Most of the football world was quick to write off the Gunners, but since then, the North London side now find themselves top of the English Premier League.
On Wednesday, they will get a chance to continue their current winning streak, with an away match against West Bromwich Albion.
The Baggies have not been able to defeat the Gunners in the last three years, and considering their inconsistencies this season, Steve Clark's side could be in for another frustrating evening.
Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are both injured for West Brom. Marc-Antoine Fortune is suspended. Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Darren Fletcher are all out for Manchester United. Rafael is suspended.
Whether Sir Alex has the heart to form a game plan has to be questioned. One…
Oriol Romeu is set to be out for Chelsea until after the end of the current season. Gary Cahill was absent in midweek due to illness and is doubtful for this one. Cesar Azpilicueta is doubtful as he missed the midweek FA Cup tie with injury. Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are out for West Brom. Goran Popov is suspended…
Miami Beach, Florida (February 8, 2013) - ESPN2 has two matches for its viewers within the next three days. Like ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes, the channel will show Tottenham Hotspur’s 7:45 a.m. EST fixture against Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on Saturday as well as Liverpool’s crucial encounter against West Bromwich Albion on Monday, February 11, 2013.
Live football broadcast on ESPN3 will be eclectic with the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Third-place final match, Mali vs Ghana, among the biggest games in the line-up. Kick-off time for this African battle staged far away in South Africa is at 13:00 EST. Vitesse vs PSV, set to start at 14:45 EST, will close ESPN3’s Saturday schedule.
Villa was unhappy at Barcelona while Arsenal needed a great striker. All in all, Villa and Arsenal would be a match made in Heaven. However, Barcelona decided to step in. The Catalan club decided that they needed Villa to stay on for squad depth. The price tag for Villa was high too and Arsene Wenger, as we all…
The Baggies last victory against Manchester United away from home was a 5-3 win on 30 December 1978.
Wayne Rooney, Nani and Anderson will not be returning to match action any time soon until next year.
Shinji Kagawa is expected to make the bench after being sidelined…
Arsene Wenger has been in the spotlight all season, but none more than he has been over the last few weeks. With fans unhappy due to the poor results the London side has had, Wenger finds himself under immense pressure to get his team back to winning ways, and fast.
A mid-week defeat to Olympiakos away will have frustrated the French manager, despite the fact that he fielded a team that was far from his strongest. Rosicky got his first start since returning with an injury and even got his first goal of the season after a nice setup from Gervinho.
Draws against Everton and Aston Villa along with a defeats to Swansea and Olympiakos leave the Gunners winless in their last four official matches. The hosts will not be able to afford another poor performance in front of their fans or else things could get very bad.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez left Chelsea pondering after last Sunday’s eventful clash. Not only did the Uruguayan talisman rule out John Terry with a serious challenge, he also netted a vital equalizer to cut points for the Blues.
With the 1-1 draw, Roberto Di Matteo’s outfit fell from the second to the third position in the English Premier League. Manchester United will not play until 17:30 on Saturday. The setting of the fixtures means that the Blues could temporarily reclaim the top spot; that is if they defeat West Bromwich Albion.
Despite the financial and player quality differences that exist between both sides, the current English Premier League standings say otherwise. West Brom are only four points and two places below the reigning FA Cup champions. After successfully going past Wigan Athletic, the Baggies will be looking to clinch a positive result at home where they last defeated Southampton 2-0.