London Soccer Shorts…

Brian Jeeves

Saturday, January 20

Premier League

Arsenal v Crystal Palace – Emirates Stadium

Arsenal could have Gabriel Jesus available for their clash with Crystal Palace after the player missed their FA Cup defeat to Liverpool due to a knee injury.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is doubtful with a problematic calf. Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira remain in the treatment room, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny are both on international duty.

Palace have Jordan Ayew away at the African Cup of Nations. Rob Holding, Michael Olise, Cheick Doucoure and Joel Ward miss out through injury.

Brentford v Nottingham Forest – Gtech Community Stadium

Brentford welcome striker Ivan Toney back following his eight-month ban after breaking Football Association gambling rules.

Toney is likely to feature alongside defender Sergio Reguilon, who has joined the West Londoners on loan for the remainder of the season from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Bees have a decent record against Forest of late, winning two and drawing three of the last five league meetings.

Sky Bet Championship

Bristol City v Watford – Ashton Gate

Watford moved within a point of the play-off places following last Sunday’s 2-1 win at Queen’s Park Rangers, and they will be looking to make it back-to-back wins on the road at West Ham United’s cup conquerors, Bristol City.

Jake Livermore’s brace earned the Hornets all three points at Loftus Road: “We are very pleased for Jake, he deserved it, he’s a great example for everyone, especially the younger players in the squad,” Watford head coach Valerien Ismael told BBC Three Counties Radio.

“There’s still a lot of games but it’s important to stay in contact – we have another away game next week, we know it will be tough but at least the win today will give us confidence.” 

Watford are without the services of midfielder Imran Louza after the players joined French Liga 1 outfit Lorient on loan for the rest of the season.

Queens Park Rangers v Millwall – Loftus Road

Queens Park Rangers manager Marti Cifuentes and his Millwall counterpart Joe Edwards have both endured mixed fortunes since taking the reigns at the respective London clubs.

Cifuentes’ R’s find themselves five points from safety and without a win in seven, while Millwall under Edwards has won three of their last four in the league. A sequence that has seen them climb comfortably clear of the dropzone.

Despite dominating the stats, Cifuentes looked on as the R’s slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Watford last time out: “We didn’t give up, we tried to push and their keeper made a fantastic save. At the end, I would say it’s a disappointing result but we need to score the chances,” he told BBC Sport.

Millwall could hand a debut to Japhet Tanganga after the 24-year-old defender linked up with the Lions from Tottenham Hotspur for the remainder of the season

Sky Bet League One

Burton Albion v Charlton Athletic – Pirelli Stadium

Charlton heads to Burton Albion having lost four of their last five League One outing and pressure mounting on boss, Michael Appleton.

The Addicks were beaten 2-1 by Peterborough United at The Valley last time out. Nevertheless, Appleton offered a positive spin: “We’ve got twenty games, sixty points to play for,” he told

“At the top end of the pitch, we’re missing a piece of the jigsaw that we’re working really, really hard to try and rectify.

“If we do that and possibly one or two more then I do believe we can win a massively significant amount of those sixty points.”

Leyton Orient v Bolton Wanderers – Brisbane Road

Brandon Cooper is set to feature for Leyton Orient after the player made his loan from Swansea City a permanent deal.

The O’s will be in a confident mood following last weekend’s 3-0 victory over league leaders Portsmouth at Fratton Park. However, they face a Bolton side that arrives in East London looking to extend their winning sequence to five matches.

Sky Bet League Two

AFC Wimbledon v Crawley Town – Plough Lane

AFC Wimbledon could hand a debut to forward John-Kymani after he joined the Plough Lane outfit from Crystal Palace on a loan deal for the remainder of the campaign.

Dons boss, Johnnie Jackson, was delighted to secure the services of the young Palace starlet: “John-Kymani is a really exciting young player that Crystal Palace have really high hopes for,” he told

“He has huge potential to one day play for them – it’s a great opportunity for him and us. He can play wide and he can play up front, he gives us options in attack. 

“He’s had success at the level already having been promoted with Carlisle last season, he fits the bill for the sort of player we’re looking for. He’ll be a real asset for us between now and the end of the season.”

Mansfield Town v Sutton United – One Call Stadium

Sutton United boss, Steve Morison could hand debuts to two new signings for the trip to Mansfield Town.

Morison recruited Fulham striker Olly Sanderson and Millwall defender Nino Adom-Malaki on loan deals until the end of the season.

Sutton are looking to build on a hard-earned share of the spoils with promotion-chasing Barrow in Morison’s first game in the hot seat, a result which saw them move off the foot of the table.

Sunday, January 21

Premier League

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Bramall Lane

West Ham United hopes to have leading marksman Jarrod Bowen back for their Premier League clash with bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Lucas Paqeta and Michail Antonio miss out through injury, while Mohammed Kudus and Nayef Aguerd are away at the African Cup of Nations. Said Benrahma is suspended following his red card during the Hammers Emirates FA Cup third-round replay defeat at the hands of Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Brian Jeeves