London Soccer Shorts…

Extending our ‘London Soccer Shorts’ coverage, this Saturday lunchtime Yellow Sport will be at The Valley, providing updates, as well as a report and reaction from relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic’s vital Sky Bet Championship encounter with capital rivals, Queen’s Park Rangers.

Friday, June 26
Sky Bet Championship
Brentford v West Bromwich Albion – Griffin Park

Brentford can make further inroads towards the automatic promotion places with a victory over league leaders, West Brom at Griffin Park.

The Bees stylishly returned to action with a 2-0 success over play-off and West London rivals, Fulham, last weekend. Manager, Thomas Frank, was left purring over the performance of Algerian frontman, Said Benrahma, telling BBC London; “Said is a top player in this division and an extremely important player for our team,” Frank said.

“And we know if we want to have a chance to achieve what we’re dreaming about, he and some of our top players need top form.”

Saturday, June 27
Sky Bet Championship
Barnsley v Millwall – Oakwell

Millwall look to repair the damage at Oakwell after slipping to defeat against Derby County at The Den last weekend.

Louie Sibley’s hat-trick dented The Lion’s play-off aspirations, with boss, Gary Rowett, believing his side missed the backing of their fervent fans.

“We’re a team that thrives off the energy of the crowd in certain moments in the game and I think we found it hard when the game felt flat,” he told BBC Sport

“Derby navigated it better than us, with their technical players and slow build-up play.”

Millwall and now three points outside the top six. Meanwhile, relegation-haunted Barnsley gave themselves a lift with a single-goal success over Queen’s Park Rangers on their travels. The Tykes sit next to bottom.

Charlton Athletic v Queen’s Park Rangers – The Valley

Charlton leapfrogged Hull City and moved out of the dropzone thanks to Jason Pearce’s first-half header at the KCOM.

“I think it was well deserved. From the first whistle, we looked sharp,” Addicks chief, Lee Bowyer told BBC Radio London.

“To get the goal quite early on was nice, we settled down and got into some good areas. On another day, we could have scored another two or three goals.

“A clean sheet as well – I’m very pleased.

“We’re out of the bottom three and now it’s in our hands. It’s a good start but it’s not over yet. We’ve got to keep fighting for every point and the players did that today. I’m really proud of them.”

Charlton face a Rangers side who fell flat on their return as lowly Barnsley recorded a 1-0 success in West London.

“As a team, we let ourselves down today,” R’s chief, Mark Warburton, bemoaned.

“We knew what we faced. They are the youngest team in the league and have real energy. They brought in real pace and we knew they would press us and we had to manage the game better.

“In the second half it was much better, but still probably a six or six-and-a-half out of ten. Still, there were no shots on goal.

“Then we created chances but then you have to take chances even when you are playing below your best.”

Leeds United v Fulham – Elland Road

Both Fulham and Leeds will be looking to get their promotion show back on the road after suffering potentially damaging defeats last time out.

Leeds slipped up at Cardiff, while The Cottagers went down at home against play-off rivals, Brentford.

“I thought we had a very good spell in the second half when we had a goal disallowed,” Fulham boss, Scott Parker, explained.

Then the keeper pulled off a great save from Mitrovic,” he said.
“We just needed one of those to go in and see out the game. So it’s a killer blow, a sucker punch, and the second is a runaway goal when we were trying to push.

“Overall it’s disappointing but we dust ourselves off and move on. I was pleased with the players’ application and efforts.”

Sunday, June 28
Premier League
Watford v Southampton – Vicarage Road

Watford will have another crack at putting daylight between themselves and the Premier League dropzone when Southampton are the visitors to Vicarage Road on Sunday.

The Hornets were left frustrated after a Jay Rodriguez goal twenty minutes from time condemned them to defeat at Burnley on Thursday evening.

“We just made too many unforced errors in the first half which didn’t allow us to find any rhythm in the game and consequently it was hard for us to have the impact that we wanted,” boss Nigel Pearson told www.watfordfc.com.

Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final
Sheffield United v Arsenal – Bramall Lane

Thirteen-times FA Cup winners, Arsenal, head to Bramall Lane looking to book a last-four berth as well as build on Thursday’s performance at Southampton.

“It’s very important because confidence is everything in sport in general,” boss Mikel Arteta explained.

“When you play team sports it’s even better because you have to share that chemistry, those feelings, that energy.

“The win will be really good for the squad, for the belief, to keep going in the process that we have set and as well because of all the injuries and things that are happening.

“The team has suffered a little bit and it’s a lot to take in a very short space of time, but they are so willing.”

Leicester City v Chelsea – The King Power Stadium

Chelsea head to the King Power Stadium buoyed by Thursday’s impressive performance against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

“It was a big performance from us,” Blues boss, Frank Lampard, told www.chelseafc.com.

“We had to work a lot off the ball, as you do against Pep Guardiola’s Man City. It was tough, but the work ethic the lads put in throughout the game, the focus, how dangerous we were – we had the better chances – we deserved to win.”

The Blues hope to take a step closer to their third final in four years. They last won the competition in 2018, beating Manchester United by a goal to nil at Wembley Stadium.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]