London Soccer Shorts…

Friday, April 16 

Premier League

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur – Goodison Park

Jose Mourinho insisted that Tottenham are still in with a shout of a top-four finish, despite their indifferent form.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s trip to Everton, teh Lilywhite chief explained: “We’re very close to each other but there are more clubs around.

“There are some clubs with a few more points, some others with a few less but with still more than 20 points on the table, I think it’s still open.”

The North Londoners head to the North-west without the injured duo, Matt Doherty and Ben Davies.

Saturday, April 17

Emirates FA Cup semi-final

Chelsea v Manchester City – Wembley Stadium

Blues boss, Thomas Tuchel spoke is clearly listing the Emirates FA Cup amongst Chelsea’s priorities.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s semi-final clash with Manchester City at Wembley, the German said: “If we manage to beat Manchester City it will be a huge boost if not we will have to take it as a challenge and opportunity to grow because we have big fights coming up. It’s about the FA Cup, the Champions League and the top-four race.”

Premier League

Newcastle United v West Ham United – St James Park

David Moyes is wary his Hammers won’t have it all their own way against relegation-threatened Newcastle.

“A really difficult game but I don’t think we would go to any club in the league and not say it would be a difficult game, but they will also see it as a difficult game as well,” the Scotsman explained.

“There has been very little between a lot of the teams, you can see that there is not much between a lot of the result and a lot of the games have not gone maybe to plan as people expected. 

“It has been an interesting season and Newcastle is a tough game and always has been.”

Moyes will again be without Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, while Aaron Cresswell is a doubt after limping out of the 3-2 victory over Leicester City last weekend.

Sky Bet Championship

Brentford v Millwall – Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford head into the derby with Millwall, confidence sky-high following a 5-0 win at Preston: “Of course this was a good win and a big win for us, scoring five goals when we’ve struggled to do that lately,” Bees boss, Thomas Frank told BBC Radio London.

“It’s good to see that we are back to our offensive normal.”

Millwall chief, Gary Rowett is looking for a response after his side were crushed by Swansea City at The Den last week: “I’m disappointed, I thought there were moments in the game we needed to make go our way, they went the other way.

“I don’t think we played well enough. I didn’t think we asked quite enough questions in the final third of Swansea.

“What I would also say is we have to defend better for all three goals, we deservedly lost the game.”

Luton Town v Watford – Kennilworth Road

Watford hope to have Nathaniel Chalobah, William Troost-Ekong and Tom Cleverley available for the derby with Luton at Kenilworth Road.

The Hornets can take a huge step towards the Premier League with a victory: “We know the mentality of our fans and we can give one per cent more for them on Saturday,” Head Coach, Xisco Muñoz told www.watfordfc.com.

“We know how they feel when we play these games. It’s an amazing chance and we have a very good challenge to enjoy. This derby is a special game and I wish our players and fans all the best for this game.”

Middlesbrough v Queens Park Rangers – The Riverside Stadium

QPR boss Mark Warburton is under pressure following Tuesday’s defeat at Rotherham: “I am very respectful of Rotherham. They are very good at what they do. We knew it was coming and we had to deal with it better than we did.

“We are angry and frustrated right now but you have got to take the lessons from that.”

Sky Bet League One

AFC Wimbledon v Swindon Town – Plough Lane

Resounding back-to-back victories over Accrington and Ipswich have lifted the Dons clear of the dropzone and boss, Mark Robinson will be calling for more of the same when Swindon are teh visitors to Plough Lane.

“Just winning again was so important, but we have to do it again and again,” he told www.afcwimbledon.co.uk.

“With the last two wins, we didn’t go in front and look nervous or try to protect what we had. 

“The best way to protect is to stay on the front foot. At Accrington, we did that when we went 2-1 up and we did it again tonight. 

“I thought when they went down to 10 men they caused us more problems than they should have, but they are a good side. We tried to stay on the front foot, and we had 22 attempts, so that was pleasing.”

Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town – The Valley

Charlton can get right back in the mix for a play-off place with a win over Ipswich at The Valley.

The Addicks are unbeaten in eight matches following a stunning success at Sunderland last time out.

Boss, Nigel Adkins is taking nothing for granted, telling www.cafc.co.uk: “I went to watch Wimbledon against Ipswich on Tuesday evening. They’re having a challenging period but one thing I can guarantee is it’s going to be just as tough as it was against Sunderland for us. 

“They’re going to be really fired up for the game because they’re like us. We’re very close in the league table, they’re pushing for the play-off positions and so are we.” 

Sky Bet League Two

Leyton Orient v Barrow – Breyer Group Stadium

Despite picking up a single point from trips to Cheltenham and Harrogate, Orient remains in the hunt for a top-seven finish after other results went their way.

The O’s face Barrow in a ‘must win’ encounter. The Cumbrians having all but secured their EFL status following a run of four without defeat

Sunday, April 18

Premier League

Arsenal v Fulham – The Emirates Stadium 

Back-to-back wins in the Premier and Europa League have lifted spirits at the Emirates. Speaking to BT Sport following the 3-0 drubbing of Sheffield United, boss Mikel Arteta said: “I am really happy with the way we played, we scored some really nice goals and controlled the game the way we wanted. We played at a high level. From the start, I felt the boys were at it, we were efficient.

Meanwhile, Cottagers chief, Scott Parker remained defiant despite his relegation-haunted side slipping against Wolves: “You may think I am mad but I honestly believe in this team. 

“What is ingrained in me is a desire, an effort and fight and my team showed that tonight. It’s been fine margins all season, what’s key is you get back up fighting.

“There’s only one way we come back from this and that’s come back fighting with your hands up, jabbing away. 

“Never let anything sink us. I’m as low as the players tonight but I can guarantee you on Monday we’ll be back in and I’ll give everything.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]