London Soccer Shorts…

Friday, April 23

Premier League

Arsenal v Everton – The Emirates

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have a little momentum behind them following a four-match unbeaten sequence.

Speaking to www.arsenal.com ahead of Everton’s visit to the Emirates, the Spaniard said: “Yes I think we do, and the way we are playing as well. But the Fulham game, not winning that one was a real shame for us because that would have put us in a much better position. 

“But we have to move on, we still have a lot to play for in the league and playing the semi-final of the Europa League so we are all excited about the way we can finish this season.”

Saturday, April 24

Premier League

West Ham United v Chelsea – London Stadium

David Moyes insisted the spirit is still good at West Ham, despite last week’s frustrating 3-2 defeat at Newcastle.

“The morale is absolutely fantastic,” the Scotsman confirmed on www.whufc.com.

“The character the players showed to come back from 2-0 down with ten men was brilliant. We said at the time it was no drama, we move on, we’ve had brilliant results and we want to keep it going. And undoubtedly we’re in the mix now right to the end.

“We’re in the mix certainly for some form of European football, whether it’s the big one, I don’t know, but we’re going to try and make sure we’re close.

“Look, we’ve got a couple of difficult games coming up and we’ve got a few injuries like everyone else, but I can see us going right to the last game of the season with something to play for.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel hopes for a little more energy from his side. Speaking to BBC Match of the Day following Tuesday’s goalless draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge, the German said: “We did not make it and were lucky not to lose. We made big mistakes, looked tired, mentally tired. We did not deserve to win, which is maybe for the first time since I come here.”

Sky Bet Championship

AFC Bournemouth v Brentford – The Vitality Stadium

Thomas Frank focused on the positives following Brentford’s frustrating midweek draw with Cardiff.

The Bees now face fellow play-off contenders, Bournemouth. Speaking after the midweek draw in West London, Frank said: “I value the team on four parameters – hard work, attitude, performance and togetherness – and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Queen’s Park Rangers v Norwich City – Loftus Road

Following on from their win at Swansea in midweek, Mark Warburton will be keen for more of the same when already promoted Norwich visit Loftus Road on Saturday.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the victory in South Wales, the R’s chief said: “We were playing well before Christmas and couldn’t score for fun. Second half of the season we’ve responded really well.

“I hate this mid-table mediocrity nonsense. It’s your responsibility to hunt down every point when you pull the shirt on. We’ve moved to eighth tonight and we want to finish strongly.”

Watford v Millwall – Vicarage Road

Watford can take a huge step towards automatic promotion with a win over Millwall at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets won by a goal to nil at Norwich during the week to move within four points of an automatic return to the top-flight: Watford head coach Xisco Munoz said: “Everyone is moving in the right direction, everyone is working hard. There is big confidence in the team.”

Meanwhile, Millwall chief, Gary Rowett will demand a response following the Lions midweek hammering at the hands of Bournemouth: “We couldn’t cope with them and quite frankly it looked like the game didn’t mean as much to us as it did to Bournemouth,” he bemoaned.

Sky Bet League One

Charlton Athletic v Peterborough United – The Valley

A 6-0 win at Plymouth has set play-off hopefuls, Charlton, up nicely ahead of their massive clash with Peterborough at The Valley.

“We’ve got momentum with the run of games that we’ve been on,” Addicks boss, Nigel Adkins, told www.cafc.co.uk.

“We’re going into the final couple of weeks of the season with a momentum, with a spirit and with everybody working really, really hard for each other. 

“We’ve got that defensive resolve at the moment where we’re keeping clean sheets and the offensive creativity and ruthlessness to score goals.”

Ipswich Town v AFC Wimbledon – Portman Road

Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Oxford United moved The Dons five [points clear of the dropzone.

Midfielder, Alex Woodyard – who netted his first goal for the club – enthused: “Obviously, it’s great to get my first goal for the club, but as long as we won – that’s the main thing. 

“We knew that it would be a different test, they are a good team, but we stuck at it. It’s four wins on the bounce – unbelievable.”

Wimbledon now faces an Ipswich side who continue to slip down the table. The Suffolk side was beaten 3-0 at Northampton on Tuesday night and are now five points adrift of the top six.

Sky Bet League Two

Southend United v Leyton Orient – Roots Hall Stadium

Only three points will do if Leyton Orient are to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

The O’s are currently four points outside the top seven. Meanwhile, hosts Southend will relinquish their 100-year membership of the EFL should they fail to pick up the three points.

Sunday, April 25

Carabao Cup Final

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Wembley Stadium

Interim boss, Ryan Mason hopes to have Harry Kane fit for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with Manchester City on Sunday.

The England frontman limped off in the final stages of the Lily whites draw at Everton and subsequently missed Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Southampton.

“It’s still the same,” Mason told www.tottenhamhotspur.com.

“He wasn’t with the group today, and we’ll see how he is tomorrow. Progress? Yes, definite progress. Like I said all along, Harry is probably one of the most professional footballers in the world, and there will be no doubt that he’ll be doing absolutely everything to get this injury gone as soon as possible.”

Monday, April 26

Premier League

Leicester City v Crystal Palace – King Power Stadium

Roy Hodgson has one or two of his injured party back in contention ahead of the trip to Leicester.

“We’ve got a lot of players back, which is good news,” he told www.cpfc.co.uk.

“Jeffrey Schlupp is training with us again, as is Mamadou Sakho – even James Tomkins is out there training.

“So in fact, this is as big a group as we’ve had training for a long time. Connor Wickham is out on the training field but not training with the squad, and that also applies to Nathan Ferguson.

“To be honest, we’ve had so many in the past in the treatment room, it feels strange.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]