London Soccer Shorts…

Brian Jeeves
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Saturday, April 13

Premier League

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – St James Park

Brazilian frontman Richarlison is rated fifty-fifty for Tottenham’s huge clash with Newcastle United at St James Park.

The former Watford and Everton man is struggling with a knee injury> Nevertheless, the club are optimistic that he will make the trip to the North-East.

However, the Spurs remain without Fraser Forster Ryan Sessegnon and Manor Solomon due to ankle, thigh and knee injuries respectively.

Brentford v Sheffield United – Gtech Community Stadium

Brentford can take a huge step towards safety with a victory over Sheffield United at the Gtech.

The Bees have slipped towards the danger zone following a nine-match winless sequence. They will also be wary that they have failed to win any of their last six against the Blades.

Sky Bet Championship

Hull City v Queen’s Park Rangers – MKM Stadium

Rangers remain in trouble after taking one point from a possible six against relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle.

And they won’t find it any easier against a Hull side with an outside chance of reaching the play-offs.

Albert Adomah’s late own goal denied the R’s a victory at Plymouth. Head Coach Marti Cifuentes told BBC Sport: “It was obviously disappointing because we created enough chances to not only win the game, but to close the game.

“But that’s the reality of football, it’s not a new rule, I mentioned some weeks ago that it is unfortunately something that we’ve experienced this season, we don’t have the accuracy to close games.

Millwall v Cardiff City – The Den

Millwall gave themselves a huge boost in their battle to avoid the drop by seeing off title-chasing Leicester City during the week.

And they can all but secure their place in the Championship with a win over Cardiff at The Den.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Lions boss, Neil Harris said: “Firstly, it’s so Millwall-like to lose to Rotherham and Huddersfield, both in the last minute, and then beat the league leaders.

“That’s what this club does. Not just this group. The last 30 years of Millwall Football Club.

“We scored a goal that would win any game at this level. I thought it was an excellent Millwall performance. To play against arguably the best team in the league and limit them to very little was so impressive.

“We’re moving in the right direction. What I’m seeing in the group is a lot of positives.”

Southampton v Watford – St Mary’s Stadium 

Watford continues to evolve under interim boss Tom Cleverley. The midweek draw at title-chasing Ipswich was their fourth on the bounce and will give them further confidence ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio following the Portman Road stalemate, Cleverley said: “Three clean sheets in five is a solid foundation moving forward. We are setting small markers down with draws against Leeds, away at West Brom, now away at Ipswich. Now we want to put a big one down with a win away at Southampton on Saturday.”

Sky Bet League One

Cambridge United v Charlton Athletic The Abbey Stadium

Charlton hopes to extend their unbeaten sequence to thirteen matches when they head to struggling Cambridge United.

The Addicks have become something of a resolute outfit since Nathan Jones took charge at The Valley. Nevertheless, the Charltyon chief was left frustrated by his side’s midweek draw with Wigan Athletic at The Valley.

“This team hasn’t kept many clean sheets,” he told www.charltonafc.com.

“There’s been three managers now and no one’s kept clean sheets, me included.

“That’s something that we need to address and we’ve got to be better at because I don’t want us to have to score three goals at home to win a football game.

“We created enough to have punished them tonight,” he said. “If that’s 4-2 or 5-2 then no one’s moaning, no one’s saying we’ve got lucky there.

“We’ve had twenty shots tonight. We’ve had double their shots, double their shots on target. It shows that we’ve had a right go tonight. The fans want three points but they’ve seen a team that’s proper front-footed tonight.

“But when you don’t put them away, then it’s a 2-2 game, and that wasn’t a 2-2 game.”

Derby County v Leyton Orient – Pride Park

Brandon Cooper could miss Leyton Orient’s trip to Derby after limping out of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Exeter City at Brisbane Road.

Subsequently, the O’s were forced to play the game out with ten men, allowing the visitors an opportunity to recover a two-goal deficit. much to the frustration of boss Richie Wellens: “Both teams gave too many turnovers, especially us. When we go into a 2-0 lead and down to ten men, it’s a problem. But it should only be a small problem and we just lacked experience,” he explained.

“The game tonight was comfortable for us but the injuries and the lack of bodies we had before tonight was severe. But it’s extreme now, we’ll have a patched-up team for Derby on Saturday.”

Sky Bet League Two

Harrogate Town v Sutton United – The EnviroVent Stadium

Sutton United has just three matches to preserve their EFL status. However, four victories from their last six have given Steve Morison’s men every chance of avoiding the drop.

Sutton heads to Harrogate on Saturday, a side still harbouring outside aspirations of the play-offs. The visitors are sweating over the fitness of Charlie Lakin who limped out of their defeat by leaders Stockport County last time out.

Swindon Town v AFC Wimbledon – The County Ground

Only a victory will do for play-off-chasing AFC Wimbledon when they take on Swindon Town at the County Ground on Saturday.

The Dons did their top seven aspirations the power of good with a single-goal success over Salford City last time out: “The most important thing is that we won – that’s what matters at this stage of the season,” boss Johnnie Jackson told www.afcwimbledon.co.uk.

“It doesn’t matter how you do it, it’s about getting it done. The boys gave absolutely everything. 

“We got another clean sheet. It was a resolute performance even if we weren’t at our best. We’ve kept the season alive with three games to go.”

Sunday, April 14

Premier League

Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Anfield

Crystal Palace has injury issues ahead of a daunting trip to Anfield. 

Cheick Doucoure, Marc Guehi, Rob Holding, Christopher Richards, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Matheus Franca de Oliveira remain in the Selhurst Park treatment room. The Eagles are without a league victory in five matches.

West Ham United v Fulham – London Stadium

David Moyes will be without injured trio Alphonse Areola, Jarrod Bowen and Kalvin Phillips for the Hammers capital derby with Fulham at the London Stadium.

Meanwhile, Fulham boss, Marco Silva, has no fresh injury concerns. His side travel across London looking to end a three-match winless sequence.

Arsenal v Aston Villa – Emirates Stadium

Jurrien Timber’s knee issue is the only injury problem faced by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. 

The Gunners currently top the table and are now many people’s favourites to take the title.

Monday, April 15

Premier League

Chelsea v Everton – Stamford Bridge

Chelsea will be looking to extend their excellent home record against the Toffees. 

The Blues have avoided defeat in each of their last twenty-eight Premier League meetings at Stamford Bridge. Everton’s last success at the West Londoners home came back in November 1994 when Paul Rideout’s first-half goal handed the Mrseysiders the points.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk