London Soccer Shorts…

Saturday, February 24

Premier League

Crystal Palace v Burnley – Selhurst Park

Former Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner will take charge of Crystal Palace for the first time after taking the reigns from Roy Hodgson.

Glasner watched Palace’s 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park during the week and will now be looking for a winnings rat against a relegation-threatened Burnley side smarting from last weekend’s five-goal drubbing at the hands of Arsenal.

Manchester United v Fulham – Old Trafford

Fulham will be with Joao Palhinha for their trip to Old Trafford after the player picked up a two-match ban having accumulated ten bookings.

The West Londoners will also be without the injured Raul Jimenez, while Kenny Tete and Armando Broja remain a doubt

Arsenal v Newcastle United – Emirates Stadium

Mikel Arteta has injury issues ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle United at the Emirates.

Gabriel Jesus, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jurrien Timber are all in the treatment room. The game could come too soon for Thomas Partey, who is now back in training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with muscular injuries.

Sky Bet Championship

Queens Park Rangers v Rotherham United – Loftus Road

QPR face a huge relegation six-pointed with fellow strugglers Rotherham United at Loftus Road.

The R’s are just a point shy of Millwall, who sit fourth from the bottom, after Ilias Chair’s first hl;af strike earned the West Londoners three priceless points at Bristol City last time out.

Speaking to BBC Radio London after the Ashton Gate success, Rangers boss, Marti Cifuentes said: “I’m very happy for the lads because we spoke about good teams, they always try to respond and I think we responded not only with the result but with the performance as well.

“The second half was really good. I think we could have scored two or three more goals.”

Southampton v Millwall – St Mary’s Stadium

Millwall legend Neil Harris returns to the Lions hot seat following the dismissal of Joe Edwards, charged with the huge task of pulling the south-east Londoners clear of teh relegation zone.

It isn’t an easy start for Harris, whose side faces a Southampton side challenging for automatic promotion and keen to bounce back following their midweek loss to Hull City.

Speaking to www.millwallfc.co.uk, Harris said: “To get the phone call to be asked to come back here was an honour – a surprise as well, it came out of the blue – but I’m galvanised and energetic. I want to be here.

“We’re in a sticky situation at the moment, so there is work to be done quickly; full focus goes into the next couple of months.

Watford v Huddersfield Town – Vicarage Road

Watford are looking to make it back-to-back victories when Huddersfield head to the Old Vis.

The Hornets earned a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at relegation-haunted Rotherham United last time out: “We were ready for the battle, we needed fighting spirit for this game. Our focus was all about the result,” Hornets Head Coach, Valerien Ismael, told BBC Three Counties Radio.

“We knew the pitch would be an additional challenge for us and we dealt with the situation very well, we were strong. Finally another clean sheet, we stopped the bleeding and it’s a good reward.

Sky Bet League One

Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth – The Valley

Nathan Jones will demand more of the same from his Charlton side when high-flying Portsmouth heads to The Valley.

Jones saw his side play out a hugely entertaining 3-3 draw with promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers last time out: “If we keep increasing the performance and getting better, then that’s all we can do,” he told www.charltonafc.com.

“Then, God willing, we’ll get enough points that we moonwalk out of this position.”

Oxford United v Leyton Orient – Kassam Stadium

Leyton Orient face a tough task as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Burton Albion at Brisbane Road.

The O’s now face an Oxford United side among the play-off contenders. Speaking to the media after the Burton setback, Orient boss, Richie Wellens said: “Fair play to Burton as they stayed in the game and got a smash and grab. 

“We haven’t got the squad to push. We still have a small opportunity but this 1ten per cent drop off is huge for us.”

Sky Bet League Two

Doncaster Rovers v AFC Wimbledon – Eco-Power Stadium

Johnnie Jackson will demand a response from his AFC Wimbledon side when they travel to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The Dons were beaten at home by Crawley Town during the week. Speaking to www.afcwimbledon.co.uk ahead of the trip to Yorkshire, Jackson said: “We have to be clinical. There’s no point in carving out these chances that we are and not taking them. 

“The outstanding chances of the night came to us and we didn’t take them. We have to drill home the defensive side of things – we can’t be sloppy in our own box.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we have another game in a few days, we may look to freshen things up. Saturday is a game we can go and win but we have to better in both boxes.”

Sutton United v Colchester United – VBS Community Stadium

There’s a huge relegation battle at the VBS Community Stadium, where bottom-of-the-table Sutton United entertain a Colchester side three places higher.

The U’s haven’t won any of the nine league matches Steve Morison has overseen. However, the former Millwall frontman reminded supporters: “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”

Sunday, February 25

Carabao Cup Final

Chelsea v Liverpool – Wembley Stadium 

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to land his first silverware as a Head Coach in the English game when Chelsea take on Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.

Chelsea have won the League Cup on seven previous occasions. Benoit Badiashile, Reece James, Marc Cucurella, Romeo Lavia and Wesley Fofana remain sidelined, while Carney Chukwuemeka and Thiago Silva are close, but the match might come too soon for their return to the squad

Monday, February 26

Premier League

West Ham United v Brentford – London Stadium

Pressure continues to mount upon Hammers boss David Moyes ahead of their capital derby with Brentford.

The Hammers are without a Premier League win in six and have lost all five meetings with the Bees, since the West Londoners were promoted in 2021.

West Ham have tasted defeat in each of their last three league outings, conceding eleven goals in the process. Indeed, only struggling Burnley have picked up fewer points in 2024.

Brentford have picked up since Ivan Toney returned from suspension. The Bees frontman has found the net four times since his return to the starting line-up six matches ago.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk