London Soccer Shorts…

Saturday, March 9

Premier League

Crystal Palace v Luton Town – Selhurst Park

Palace boss, Oliver Glasner, has injury concerns ahead of their clash with fellow strugglers Luton Town at Selhurst Park.

Michael Olise, Rob Holding, Cheick Doucoure, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Marc Guehi remain sidelined, while Jordan Ayew will be assessed after teh player was withdrawn during the South Londoners defeat at Tottenham with a hip issue.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham – Molineux

Raul Jimenez’s thigh Injury prevents him from facing his former club when Fulham heads to Molineux.

However, there could be a call-up for Joao Palhinha who returns from suspension after accumulating ten bookings during the campaign.

Arsenal v Brentford – The Emirates Stadium

Free-scoring Arsenal are without Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jurrien Timber and David Raya for the visit of Brentford. The latter, unable to feature against his parent club, will be replaced by Aaron Ramsdale.

Meanwhile, the Bees head across town missing Bryan Mbeumo, Kevin Schade, Aaron Hickey, Ethan Pinnock, Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva 

and Ben Mee as they look to end a run of four Premier League matches without a victory.

Sky Bet Championship

Millwall v Birmingham City – The Den

Millwall hosts Birmingham and are looking to maintain their unbeaten sequence since Neil Harris returned to teh club.

Speaking to BBC Radio London after the Lions midweek draw at Blackburn, Harris said: “We’re really pleased with the points total of seven from three games. 

“The glass is definitely half full and there are lots of positives that I’ve learned today.”

Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough – Loftus Road

A pulsating draw with West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road extended QPR’s recent run to one defeat in eight. Nevertheless, boss, Marti Cifuentes, is aware some of those draws need to become victories, starting on Saturday when Middlesborough visits W12.

“With the way the other teams are performing down the table, they are taking a lot of points, so a draw is not what we wanted but I am encouraged by the way we play and the togetherness with the fans,” he explained to after four goals were shared with the Albion: “Football is about achieving, not about deserving.

“Tonight we definitely played for long minutes at a very high level and that is what encouraged me.

“The second half was perhaps the best half since I have been here. We played at a fantastic level against a very good team.”

Watford v Coventry City – Vicarage Road

Out of sorts Watford picked up a point against Swansea during the week, thanks to Ryan Porteous’ second-half goal. Nevertheless, it’s three without a win for the Hornets ahead of Saturday’s clash with play-off contenders Coventry City at the Old Vic.

Speaking to BBC Sport after Wednesday’s stalemate, under pressure Watford boss, Valerien Ismael, said: “We changed some players. We changed first half the way to play. We changed a lot of things around the training ground, the schedule, just to make sure the players are aware of the situation.

“It was difficult at half-time but we just said we have to stay in the game. We just need one goal.

“It’s a clear mental issue at the moment. We are working on it with the players but sometimes it takes time. We need that confidence.

“The best way to heal is to win a game. We have the chance now on Saturday. We focus now on that game and we go again.”

Sky Bet League One

Charlton Athletic v Carlisle United – The Valley

All of a sudden, Charlton are flying under Nathan Jones. Tuesday evening’s win at Cheltenham Town extended their unbeaten sequence to six matches.

“I thought we were magnificent,” the Addicks chief told CharltonTV.

“This is a real brutal place to come – how they play, they put you under pressure, you’ve got to win first, you’ve got to win seconds, you’ve got to handle so much intensity and I thought we were brilliant.

“I’d have taken any win tonight. But an away win against these with the way that they’re performing shows that we’re in a really good place.”

Jones is now looking forward to home comforts and a visit from bottom of the table Carlisle United: “The games are thick and fast,” 

“I’ve had seven games since I’ve been here, and five of them have been away. 

“We’ve been on the road so we’ve been travelling, just preparing. The schedule is just crazy.”

Wigan Athletic v Leyton Orient – DW Stadium

Orient head to teh North-West desperately needing a victory to remain in touch with the play-off places.

Damaging defeats at the hands of Burton Albion and Bristol Rovers recently have seen the East Londoners slip six points off the top six. 

Speaking to the media following last weekend’s loss to Rovers, O’s boss, Richie Wellens said: “It was a disappointing day in terms of results this afternoon but another really solid performance.

“We’ve lost two games when we’ve played midweek and the opposition haven’t.

“It’s not an excuse but we did look tired and hence why I need to make changes.”

Sky Bet League Two

Notts County v AFC Wimbledon – Meadow Lane

Back-to-back clean sheets and four points from a possible six against MK Dons and Grimsby have rekindled AFC Wimbledon’s hopes of a play-off place.

The Dons head to out-of-form Notts County on Saturday: “It’s a good game to look forward to,”boss, Johnnie Jackson told

“We’ve got four points in the space of three days, which is a good output. We need to take a lot of credit and not beat ourselves up. 

“We had a good result against Notts County here and we’ll be looking to take the game to them.”

Sutton United v Grimsby Town – VBS Community Stadium

It’s a case of now or never for bottom-of-the-table Sutton United when they host fellow strugglers Grimsby Town at Gander Green Lane.

A draw against Colchester followed by an exciting victory at Notts County lifted hopes of avoiding the drop. However, a late defeat at Tranmere last time out saw Sutton fall six points from safety with ten games to play.

Sunday, March 10

Premier League

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur – Villa Park

Richarlison will be assessed ahead of Tottenham’s huge clash with top-four contenders Aston Villa at Villa Park.

A knee issue kept the Brazilian out of the Lilywhites’ win over Crystal Palace in N17 last week. However, it appears the injury is not as serious as first feared.

However, Ryan Sessegnon, Fraser Forster, Manor Solomon and Pedro Porro remain in the treatment room and are unavailable for the trip to the West Midlands.

West Ham United v Burnley – London Stadium

David Moyes will be without Maxwel Cornet due to a hamstring injury. Alphonse Areola will return in goal after Lukasz Fabianski donned the gloves for the Hammers UEFA Europa League clash with SC Freiberg on Thursday evening.

Monday, March 11

Premier League

Chelsea v Newcastle United – Stamford Bridge

Mauricio Pochettion has further injury concerns to deal with ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Newcastle United at Staford Bridge.

Ben Chilwell, Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill will be assessed after joining Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku, Reece James, Benoit Badiashile Mukinayi Baya, Carney Chukwuemeka and Lesley Ugochukwu in casualty.

Brian Jeeves