London Soccer Shorts… 

Brian Jeeves

Saturday, May 4

Premier League

Arsenal v Bournemouth – Emirates Stadium

Arsenal continue their title tilt against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday but comes up against a Cherries side full of confidence after wins over Wolves and Brighton.

The Gunners have won their last three and currently top the table, although they made rather heavy going of last weekend’s North London derby, after racing into a three-goal lead at the break.

That win in N17 was Mikel Arteta’s one hundredth in the Gunners’ hot seat. The Spaniard believes his side are mentally right ahead of the run-in.

Speaking to, he said: “I think so, when you win it is always the case. Last year we didn’t – we went to West Ham and we needed a result and we missed a penalty, and then against Liverpool, we conceded in the 91st minute and we are not capable. 

“The judgement is going to be based on the result – if we concede a goal in the last minute and it’s 3-3… the margins are so small so we don’t get carried away with yourself. Just understand that we have to be better and the margin for improvement, and go again against Bournemouth which is going to be really tough.”

Brentford v Fulham  – Gtech Community Stadium

Brentford boss, Thomas Frank will expect more from his side when they face Fulham in what is sure to be an entertaining West London derby at the Gtech.

Frank was left frustrated after teh Bes were beaten at Everton last time out: “It has always been our aim to finish as high as possible and be an asset to the Premier League. It is important we finish well and keep the momentum,” he told BBC Sport.

“As a team, we played average, not many players stood out. Our front three weren’t at their best. It was a starting point for Ivan and he will be better next time.”

Fulham make the short trip in the knowledge they have lost six of their last seven against Brentford in all competition. Nevertheless, Marco Silva has a clean bill of health amongst his squad, who have won just one of their last six Premier League matches.

Sky Bet Championship 

Coventry City v Queen’s Park Rangers – The Coventry Building Society Arena

Rangers head to Coventy safe from relegation and keen to finish their season on a high with three wins on the bounce.

The R’s secured their Championship status with a resounding 4-0 thrashing of promotion-chasing Leeds United at Loftus Road.

Speaking to BBC Sport, QPR boss Marti Cifuentes, said: “I came here, perhaps I was crazy thinking we could manage the great escape.

“The atmosphere has been unbelievable since I came here. Everybody thought tonight could be a special night to achieve our target.

“Big players deliver big performances and our players all did that tonight.

“There’s a long way to achieve the levels we want to achieve and where this club wants to get to.”

Middlesbrough v Watford – Riverside Stadium

Watford boss, Tom Cleverley will be aiming for a North-East double when his Hornets side take on Middlesborough at the Riverside Stadium.

Watford saw off Sunderland by a goal to nil last time out, their first win in five outings.

Speaking to told BBC Three Counties Radio, the Hornets chief said: “I would have taken that before the game – a bang average performance but a 1-0 win. It’s possibly our poorest performance since I’ve been in charge, and football has a funny way of working out.

“Our defence was very good but we were sloppy in possession. Sunderland created a lot of problems in the second half and we showed a bit of grit to see it out.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t a stellar performance, but the result was huge for us. I wasn’t pleased with the performance. There’s a lot of scope for improvement.”

Swansea City v Millwall – Stadium

Neil Harris takes his Millwall side to Swansea on the final day of the season, looking to record a fifth-straight league victory.

The Lions legend has led the South Londoners to safety following his reappointment in mid-February: “I don’t look any further back than when I arrived, it was a difficult moment when I came in and my job was to stay in the division and unite the football club. We have achieved both,” he explained in his post-match press conference following last weekends single-goal success over Plymouth Argyle at The Den.

Sunday, May 5

Premier League

Chelsea v West Ham United – Stamford Bridge

Injury-hit Chelsea will fancy their chances of extending their excellent recent home form, which stands as nine wins from eleven following Thursday’s 2-0 triumph over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to BBC Sport after that derby success, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, said: “The first half was fantastic. Then you have to contain and suffer. Tottenham have quality players. Not too much to say, all credit to the players.”

David Moyes was encouraged by his side’s battling qualities against Liverpool last time out. Speaking to TNT Sport after their 2-2 drraw with the Reds, Hammers boss, David Moyes, said: “They started the first half on fire, we couldn’t get the ball. Everyone probably watched Everton v Liverpool and Everton were similar, compact and hard to play against. We did much of the same.

“The first goal was important for us. Great credit to the lads for the character they showed to come back from there.”

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur – Anfield

Three successive defeats have all but ended Tottenham’s top-four aspirations, and they won’t find it any easier against Liverpool at Anfield.

An agitated Ange Postecoglou spoke to the media after the North Londoners 2-0 defeat at Chelsea during the week: “They’ve lost a little bit of belief and conviction in their football and that’s for me to fix,” he explained.

Monday, May 6

Premier League

Crystal Palace v Manchester United – Selhurst Park

Palace will be looking to extend their unbeaten league sequence to five matches when Manchester United come calling on Monday.

A draw with Fulham last time out, coupled with defeats for Luton and Nottingham Forest, secured Palace’s Premier League status. Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, boss Oliver Glasner, said: “At the end, maybe the result is OK. 

“I’m really pleased with the performance, a totally deserved point that we got today. I’m pleased and I really appreciate it.

“The feeling is that we were the better team. It was the third game in six days and we cleared staying in the Premier League.”


Brian Jeeves