London Soccer Shorts…

Saturday, February 13

Premier League

Crystal Palace v Burnley – Selhurst Park

Roy Hodgson was left disappointed with his Palace side following their Monday night defeat at Elland Road. “Everything depends upon the opposition and we met a good team. I’m disappointed in the way we started each half. It is, of course, going to put you on the back foot against any team, not least one of Leeds’ quality.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Etihad Stadium

Problems continue to mount for Jose Mourinho. Having ended their winless Premier League run against west Brown last Sunday, the Lilywhites provided a defensive horror show at Everton in the Emirates FA Cup.

Speaking after their exit on Merseyside, Mourinho told BBC Sport: “If you say it was fantastic, it was fantastic. I’m not a neutral.

“When you score four goals, you have to win. The way we played, we should win comfortably. Attacking football and defensive mistakes.”

Sky Bet Championship

Reading v Millwall – Madejski Stadium

Millwall boss, Gary Rowett will fancy more of the same when his Lions head to Reading on Saturday. 

His side walloped Sheffield Wednesday by four goals to one last time out, although Rowett confessed it wasn’t all plain sailing: “The first twenty-five minutes I was disappointed with,” he told BBC London 94.9.

“I thought we looked a little bit fearful, a team that were maybe waiting for the game to happen rather than impose ourselves on it.

“I could understand that because the conditions were difficult and our home for ten minutes before the penalty and getting the penalty gave us that little bit of confidence, a little bit of zip. From there on it was an outstanding performance.

“We created countless chances, about 25 shots to their four and but for their keeper Westwood, I think we would have won the game by more.”

Millwall fans snatch a vantage point to oversee the Lions 4-1 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Rotherham United v Queens Park Rangers – New York Stadium

A second-half goal from Yoann Barbet was enough to see the R’s home against Blackburn Rovers at Loftus Road last week, but they will face a tough task against a Rotherham side that has won three of their last five and moved clear of the dropzone.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9 after the Rovers clash, QPR boss, Mark Warburton, explained: “That’s a tough Championship game. Blackburn are a very good squad, with the subs they can bring off the bench, and they are where they are for a reason.

“We knew the threat they posed today but I thought we stood up to them with the block by Rob Dickie, the tackle by Lee Wallace – those type of moments in the game.

“It was a messy, scrappy horrible Championship game but a big one to win. To a man, they worked hard, with a good work-rate and a real desire to win the game. The boys deserve a lot of praise for that.”

Watford v Bristol City – Vicarage Road

Watford boss Xisco Munoz has demanded improvement from his side following last Saturday’s goalless encounter with Coventry City at St Andrews.

“It is true we must improve on different things but now is the moment for us to stick together and continue working hard,” te Spaniard explained.

“When we play away we have problems. This has not changed. 

Sometimes you need to take more risks to try and score. We need to try and change different things. It is not easy.

Sky Bet League One

AFC Wimbledon v Rochdale – Plough Lane

Interim boss, Mark Robinson, took it all in his side after guiding Wimbledon to a vital victory at fellow strugglers, Wigan Athletic, last weekend. 

“I feel reflective,” he told www.afcwimbledon.co.uk.

“I don’t think it’s my job to feel happy, or sad, or indifferent. I need to be reflective because if I am anything else it means I am taking my eye off the ball on what we need to do and where we need to go. I am reflecting now on what worked, why it worked, and what didn’t work. It is just three points and it doesn’t mean anything. 

“It doesn’t mean everything is better or cured. The performance is everything. It is processes and performances. My job is to look and reflect.” 

Charlton Athletic v Gillingham – The Valley

Lee Bowyer has done his homework ahead of the Addicks derby with Gillingham at The Valley.

“Gillingham play in a certain way so we’ll have to fight and compete,” he told www.cafc.co.uk.

“It might not be pretty at times. But when we win that ball, we have to do the right things. 

“We’ll also have to defend our box well. They will pepper the box with long balls and throws.”

Sky Bet League Two

Harrogate Town v Leyton Orient – The EnviroVent Stadium

Leading marksman, Danny Johnson could return to Leyton Orient’s starting line-up at Harrogate Town as they look to end a four-match winless sequence during which they have not found the net.

The O’s head north occupying tenth position, four points outside the play-off places.

Sunday, February 14

Premier League

Arsenal v Leeds United – The Emirates Stadium

Mikel Arteta will have Bernd Leno and David Luiz available for selection when Leeds United are the visitors’ after the pair served respective one-match bans following their dismissals during the defeat at Wolves. 

However, Thomas Partey remains sidelined with a hamstring issue, while Kieran Tierney also misses out, although is said to be recovering well from a strain to the lower of his right leg.

Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Everton v Fulham – Godison Park

Fulham boss Scott Parker told was left frustrated that his side hadn’t taken all three points from last Saturday’s capital derby with West Ham.

The former midfielder told BBC Match of the Day: “It’s a tough one to take because I felt from start to finish we were superb.

“We had 20-odd shots and our finishing was probably the deciding factor. We caused them loads of problems. The players executed the plan superbly – we were a real threat.

“We know what the difference is at this level. This is a group of players working tirelessly and I saw that today.

“We need to get that win, we need something to drop for us.”

Sky Bet Championship

Brentford v Barnsley – Brentford Community Stadium 

Head Coach Thomas Frank will fancy more of the same after his top of the table side extended their unbeaten league sequence to twenty-one games at Reading on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the Dane explained: “Of course we’re pleased to be top, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the next game that matters the most and we know that when we keep being unbeaten, it’s going to be harder to win the next one.”

Monday, February 15

Premier League

West Ham United v Sheffield United – London Stadium

David Moyes could be without Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko for the visit of Sheffield United on Monday.

The pair were both injured during the Emirates FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Michail Antonio remains a doubt after missing the trip to the North-West.

Chelsea v Newcastle United – Stamford Bridge

Thomas Tuchel remains unbeaten in the Chelsea hot seat, although the German wasn’t overly impressed with his side during their midweek Emirates FA Cup fifth-round win at Barnsley.

“Not enough courage and it was too deep for a long, long time,” the Blues boss bemoaned.

“We clearly can play better, so yes I expected more but not in terms that I am frustrated.

“We can do better but I don’t want to be too hard on the players.”

Brian Jeeves

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