London Soccer Shorts…

Saturday, May 1

Premier League

Crystal Palace v Manchester City – Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson saw encouraging signs during Monday night’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester. However, the Eagles will have to replicate that, and some, if they are to topple champions-elect, Manchester City at Selhurst Park.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the King Power Stadium setback, the former England chief said: “I thought for long periods we were going to get at least a point. At half-time, I thought we might go on to win.

Chelsea v Fulham – Stamford Bridge

Chelsea returns to Premier League action following Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first-leg draw with Real Madrid. However, with a top-four place still up for grabs, there is no respite for Thomas Tuchel’s men.

Fulham return to action following a thirteen-day break from the Premier League but in the knowledge that defeat to their local rivals will all but end their short stay back in the top-flight

Sky Bet Championship

Brentford v Watford – Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford hope to have hit form just at the right time – with back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Rotherham. 

Speaking to BBC Sport after Tuesday’s win over the Millers, Bees boss, Thomas Frank, said: “It’s important that we build momentum at this stage of the season and it was a hard-earned win.

“We are starting to see new relationships grow on the pitch at just the right time.

Meanwhile, Watford has already secured their place in the Premier League next season following a victory over Millwall at Vicarage Road; “It is an amazing moment, and it is the moment to say thank you to everyone who has helped me and the players,” Hornets boss, Xisco Munoz told BBC3CR.

Millwall v Bristol City – The Den

Gary Rowett was happy with his sides’ performance at Watford last time out but will be looking for a little more of a cutting edge when out of sorts Bristol City visit The Den on Saturday.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the Vicarage Road setback, the Lions chief said: “Just that little bit of quality was missing. I don’t think we could have done much more than we did.£

Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers – Bet365 Stadium

Mark Warburton was far from impressed by the Rangers’ performance against Norwich and will demand better when they head to the Potteries on Saturday.

“I think we showed far too much respect to a good team in the first half,” he told BBC Radio London after the canaries 3-1 success at Loftus Road.

“We’ve got to manage the game better.”

Sky Bet League One

Accrington Stanley v Charlton Athletic – Wham Stadium

Charlton was left stunned by a late Crewe equaliser at The valley during the week. Nevertheless, boss Nigel Adkins remained upbeat ahead of the Addicks trip to East Lancashire on Saturday.

“It’s still in our own hands,” he told www.cafc.co.uk. 

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up – that could be a very valuable point in the grand scheme of things because let’s face it: three games to go, it’s in our hands. We’ll learn the lessons from the game as we always do and we’ll get the lads prepared for the next game which is really, really important. 

“They’ve worked really hard tonight – scored a great goal, scored another goal from a corner and we just haven’t really seen the game out.”

AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth – Plough Lane

Wimbledon can secure their League One status with a positive result against Portsmouth at Plough Lane.

The Dons salvaged a point from Tuesday’s clash with Rochdale, thanks to Joe Pigott’s goal seven minutes into stoppage time to leave the South Londoners six points clear of the dropzone, a superior goal difference and two to play.

Sky Bet League Two

Leyton Orient v Carlisle United – Breyer Group Stadium

Jobi McAnuff pulled no punches following the O’s 2-1 defeat at Southend last time out.

“Us not getting into the play-offs isn’t about today, it’s about all season,” he bemoaned.

Even under my charge, there have been games where we’ve failed to win when they’ve been there for the taking.

“For me, that comes down to a lack of character, lack of leadership. We’re very much middle of the road and even though Southend hadn’t scored many goals recently, we weren’t that hard to score against today”.

Sunday, May 2

Premier League

Newcastle United v Arsenal – St James Park 

Mikel Arteta believed his erratic Arsenal side were unlucky to slip to defeat against Everton.

“I think we didn’t deserve to lose the match at the end,” he told www.arsenal.com.

“There are some things that we can do better and we can control and unfortunately, there are others that we can’t and [they] really affect the game.

“We didn’t have the clarity and the quality to resolve some situations. I think we created some chances, certainly more than them and we had much more control of the game.”

Following their Europa League exploits on Thursday evening, the Gunners now take on a Newcastle side buoyed by their performance in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Ryan Mason and Spurs must overcome last weekend’s Carabao Cup final frustration and finish the season with a flourish to secure European football next season.

Speaking to www.tottenhamhotspur.com after the Wembley defeat to Manchester City, the Lilywhites interim chief said: “It’s tough for me, tough for the players, tough for everyone associated with the Club, our fans because we want to give them moments where they have joy. 

“So, it’s disappointing, but we have a big game to prepare for next weekend and once we get over this, our focus will be on that.”

Monday, May 3

Premier League

Burnley v West Ham United – Turf Moor

West Ham boss David Moyes will be looking to squeeze every ounce of energy out of his injury-hit side at Burnley on Monday.

Back-to-back defeats have hit the Hammers top-four aspirations. Speaking to www.whufc.com after the single-goal setback to Chelsea, the Scotsman said; “We’re ahead of where we want to be. Because we are, I want to get there now and get some form of European football.

“We fell a little bit short of what we had at our disposal.”

Advertisement

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]