London Soccer Shorts…

Friday, August 25

Premier League

Chelsea v Luton Town – Stamford Bridge

Chelsea boss, Mauricio Pochettino (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Mauricio Pochettino insisted that his teams’ results haven’t matched their performances after picking up a single point from their opening two matches.

Pochettino hopes three points are forthcoming against Luton Town at Stamford Bridge on Friday, this after a draw with Liverpool and a damaging defeat at West Ham United: “It’s a concern that the results haven’t followed the performance,” he told www.chelsea.com following their 3-1 setback at the London Stadium.

“But if we played bad but won the games I think we should be more worried because then it’s only time until you start to lose games and then you need to find a way to perform.”

Saturday, August 26

Premier League

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur – The Vitality Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son in action during the Lilywhites 2-0 win over Manchester United last weekend (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Despite their strong start to the season Tottenham captain, Heung-min Son insisted it is too early to talk about ending their long wait for a trophy: “It’s too early to talk, we still have so many games,” he told BBC Match of the Day.

“The fans were fantastic, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s too early because we have to give everything. We never know for the end of the season but to win something we have to give everything for the shirt.

“It’s very good and everyone is very positive, looking forward to playing for this team. We have to keep going with this positive energy when we have a good time, but also when we’re not having a good time.”

Arsenal v Fulham – The Emirates Stadium

Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta will be hoping for back-to-back derby success when Fulham are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Gunners edged out Crystal Palace last time out thanks to Martin Odegaard’s second-half spot-kick: “I loved it, absolutely loved it,” Arteta told www.arsenal.com.

“It’s a really difficult place to come. We played how we wanted to play 11 against 11, we dominated the game, we created enough chances, we missed two very, very huge chances that normally we put away, but we never gave up. 

“We continued the way we wanted to continue. Eddie earned us the right to go ahead with his action, we scored the penalty and then we had to play half an hour with 10 men, which is obviously a conflict that we didn’t prepare.”

Fulham begin life without the talismanic Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal. Boss, Marco Silva has plenty to think about following the Cottagers’ 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Brentford which also saw the seemingly harsh sending off of Tim Ream,

“That moment decided the game, finished,” Silva told BBC Match of the Day.

“I have seen the moment 10 times, I can not see anything. Just the 

referee saw, and probably the VAR they saw it as well.

“It is difficult to understand because in my opinion, this was a clear error from the referee.”

Brentford v Crystal Palace – The Gtech Stadium

Brentford boss, Thomas Frank heaped praise on goalkeeper Mark Flekken after the stopper comfortably stepped into the role left by Arsenal-bound David Raya: “Of course, it’s big shoes to fill but Mark is showing how good he is. He was one of the best in the Bundesliga when we signed him. He had a good solid performance today. I am pleased for that,” he told BBC Sport following the Bees 3-0 win at Fulham.

On his attacking options, Frank added: “I’ve been asked, what will we do when Ivan is not here? We have seen that Mbeumo and Wissa have scored goals. We are very confident. We have been cool and haven’t rushed out to get another striker.”

Palace boss, Roy Hodgson was fairly satisfied with what he saw from his side during their single-goal defeat against Arsenal: “I don’t know if I could have asked that much more from the players in that situation, or more from the players in that 90 minutes,” he told www.cpfc.co.uk. 

“It was a very well organised performance and disciplined performance. On another day, we wouldn’t have conceded a penalty, and on another day, we could have had an equaliser despite the penalty.”

Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United – AMEX Stadium

Yellow Sports Brian Jeeves will be covering Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United from the AMEX Stadium

Nayef Aguerd will miss West Ham United’s trip to Brighton following his dismissal during the Hammers’ 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea last Sunday.

David Moyes could hand a debut to Greece international Konstantinos Mavropanos following his move to East London from German Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart.

Brighton have proved to be something of a bogey team to West Ham in recent times and are unbeaten in all twelve meetings since they returned to the Premier League six seasons ago.

Sky Bet Championship

Millwall v Stoke City – The Den

Millwall v Stoke City at The Den

Millwall boss Gary Rowett came under fire following his side’s 3-1 defeat at Norwich City last Sunday: “It was incredibly disappointing. To go first game of the season at Middlesbrough and perform really, really well with a real focus, desire and drive about us, and then to be so lacklustre was a real disappointment,” he told BBC Radio London.

“If you don’t do the basics in football, the quality doesn’t even come into question.”

Southampton v Queen’s Park Rangers – St Mary’s Stadium

Gareth Ainsworth will be hoping for a similar performance but a different outcome when Rangers head to the south coast.

The R’s played some good football but ultimately slipped to a single-goal defeat against unbeaten Ipswich Town last time out. Ainsworth focused on the positives: “I’ve got to look past this result. We’re a mile away from where we were last season and it’s so good to see. The boys were brilliant and gave everything,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’m gutted we haven’t got anything from it but I’m also hugely happy with the performance. Mark my words – and I really hope I’m proved right here – I think we can achieve things. I think we’re going to be fine. Write us off at your peril this year.”

Sky Bet League One

Leyton Orient v Cambridge United – Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient v Cambridge United at Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient boss, Richie Wellens will have Dan Happe available for the O’s clash with table-topping Cambridge United at Brisbane Road.

Defender Happe returns from suspension, while the O’s boss also hopes Darren Pratley, Max Sanders, Jayden Sweeney and Rob Hunt can return to the squad after illness and concussion respectively.

Oxford United v Charlton Athletic – 

Under pressure Addicks boss, has added the loan signing of forward Chem Campbell from Wolverhampton Wanderers to his squad following back-to-back defeats at The valley to Bristol Rovers and Port Vale.

Holden told www.charltonafc.com: “Chem is an exciting young attacker, who can play across the forward line. He has plenty of pace and the ability to beat a player and made good progress last season playing games in the Premier League for Wolves, along with a positive loan at Wycombe Wanderers. He is a good finisher who can create and score goals. He will add a lot of quality to our front line.”

Sky Bet League Two

AFC Wimbledon v Forest Green Rovers – Plough Lane

AFC Wimbledon will be confident of maintaining their unbeaten start to the season when struggling Forest Green Rovers are the visitors to Plough Lane on Saturday.

The Dons maintained their place in the top three with a 3-0 win at local rivals Sutton United last time out with Ryan Johnson, Harry Pell and James Tilley all on the scoresheet: “I thought we were outstanding. We knew we’d have to come here, fight, block, tackle, run and match them physically before anything else,” Boss, Johnnie Jackson told www.afcwimbledon.co.uk.

“Our players knew they were in a proper game, a proper derby and they knew what it means to the Club.”

Jackson added: “We won’t take our foot off in terms of the work this week but we will look after the lads physically in the first part of the week before we hammer the preparations for Forest Green.”

Newport County v Sutton United – Rodney Parade

Sutton United look likely to be without striker Kylian Kouassi for the trip to Newport County as the player looks set to complete a move to Championship outfit Blackpool.

Sunday, August 27

Sky Bet Championship

Watford v Blackburn Rovers – Vicarage Road

Watford boss Val Ismael will look for a huge improvement from his side after they suffered defeat for the first time this season at Stoke last weekend.

The Hornets entertain a similarly inconsistent Blackburn side at Vicarage Road. Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the Stoke setback, Ismael said: “We were missing our identity in the first half. We improved a lot in the second half and had chances.

“But Stoke wanted it more than us in some periods of the game.

“We conceded the goals in our best period but that is the Championship for you. You have to be ruthless.

“It is only matchday number three. We have a lot of games in front of us.”

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk