London Soccer Shorts…

Brian Jeeves

Saturday, March 16

Premier League

Burnley v Brentford – Turf Moor

Brentford are still without a clutch of talent ahead of their clash with Burnley at Turf Moor.

Ben Mee, Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva, Aaron Hickey, Bryan Mbeumo, Kevin Schade and Ethan Pinnock are all missing, although Sergio Reguilon could return following a thigh injury.

Christian Norgaard is expected to feature despite limping out of last weekend’s defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur – Craven Cottage

Raul Jimenez could return for Fulham against Spurs at Craven Cottage.

Meanwhile, the North Londoners will be missing Micky van de Ven, Ryan Sessegnon, Fraser Forster and Manor Solomon. Richarlison could return following a knee injury. 

Sky Bet Championship

Birmingham City v Watford – St Andrews

Watford head to Birmingham under the interim guidance of Tom Cleverly following the dismissal of Head Coach Valerien Ismael.

Ismael and the club parted company following a woeful run which saw the Hornets win one of their last ten matches and fall away from play-off contention. 

His departure means the club are now looking for their eighth Head Coach since the end of the 2020-21 season.

Sunderland v Queen’s Park Rangers – The Stadium of Light

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes pulled no punches following the West Londoner’s defeat at the hands of Middlesborough at Loftus Road during the week.

Cifuentes will demand more from his side when they head to Sunderland on Saturday: “Trust me, I don’t need a defeat to have a reality check,” he told BBC Sport.

“It’s a really difficult situation. I’m convinced that we’re going to manage to reach the target, but if anyone thought it was easy they were making a big mistake.

“I’m not a magician. I’m here to help. But to expect we’re going to win every game is delusional. It’s going to be tough. We have a sad feeling because it’s true that we had big expectations about this game and we didn’t perform – not even close to the last game.”

Sky Bet League One

Fleetwood Town v Charlton Athletic – Highbury Stadium

Nathan Jones will be keen to see more of the same from his in-form Charlton Athletic side when they take on struggling Fleetwood Town in the North-West on Saturday.

The Addicks are now seven without defeat after Carlisle United were edged out at The Valley last weekend: “We’re climbing that league. We’ve got 44 points whereas we had 30 or something like that when I came in,” Jones told www.charltonafc.com.

“So it shows we’re in decent form and I’m very happy with that.”

“Keeping clean sheets is a great habit, not losing is another great habit. But winning games is even better.”

Stevenage v Leyton Orient – Lamex Stadium

Leyton Orient’s faint play-off hopes were all but extinguished following Tuesday night’s goalless draw with Port Vale at Brisbane Road.

The O’s head to Stevenage on Saturday off the back of a three-match winless sequence. They are without the injured Dan Agyei, Jordan Graham, Theo Archibald and Dan Happe, while Ethan Galbraith served the second of a three-match ban

Sky Bet League Two

AFC Wimbledon v Newport County – Plough Lane

Johnnie Jackson believes his AFC Wimbledon side are back on track for the play-offs following their midweek win over Gillingham at Plough Lane.

The Dons entertain Newport County this weekend with Jackson speaking clearly about focusing on the task at hand.

“We’ve chalked another off and now we have eight to go,” he told www.afcwimbledon.co.uk. 

“We’re three points closer to where we need to be but we haven’t cracked anything. 

“The boys need to stay really focused, which they have been. They’ve been outstanding. 

“They need to focus on their recovery and then we look ahead to Newport here. 

“If we come off of our levels we will come unstuck really quickly. Let’s focus on us.”

Forest Green Rovers v Sutton United – The New Lawn

It’s a must-win match for Sutton United when they head to fellow strugglers Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

They are now six points adrift following Tuesday’s defeat at Crewe, their twenty-first setback from eight Sky Bet League Two matches to date.

Sunday, March 17

Premier League

West Ham United v Aston Villa – London Stadium

David Moyes has no further injury issues to deal with ahead of West Ham United’s clash with Aston Villa at the London Stadium.

Maxwel Cornet remains sidelined with a thigh Injury. Emerson will be assessed following a pelvic issue.

Sky Bet Championship

Leeds United v Millwall – Elland Road

Millwall boss Neil Harris heaped praise on Tottenham loanee Japhet Tanganga after his late goal saw off Birmingham City and edged the Lions further clear of the dropzone.

“Japh’s got great pedigree, he’s got a great CV in terms of games at the top level and playing in Europe,” Harris told BBC Sport.

“Sometimes you have to be a different player here, and the reason I’m at the football club is to try and teach the players what a Millwall player looks like, whether that’s a goalkeeper or a centre-half or a centre-forward.

“All I said to Japh was just to make your decisions and I’ll support you, but you can be as aggressive as you like.

“Ultimately, he’s headed the ball a lot and to be a good Millwall centre-half you have to do that.”

Millwall now heads to old adversaries Leeds having picked up ten points from a possible twelve since Harris returned to the club.

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk