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EPL: Chelsea, Tottenham in top four crunch, Everton face Arsenal test

first_imgWith the league’s first winter break done and dusted, it is full steam ahead for the clubs fighting to secure the lucrative Champions League berths behind champions-elect Liverpool.Any London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham is a feisty occasion, but there is an extra spice to the rivals’ latest meeting as they are in direct competition for a European place.Fourth placed Chelsea are just one point ahead of fifth placed Tottenham and a victory for Jose Mourinho’s men would take them above his former club.Chelsea are reeling from a lacklustre 2-0 home defeat against Manchester United on Monday, but injury-hit Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by Leipzig in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Wednesday.Hampered by their continued failure to turn possession in tangible rewards, Chelsea have won one of their last six league games, and none of their last four, leading to reports Blues boss Frank Lampard might find his position under scrutiny if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.Lampard’s decision to drop Kepa Arrizabalaga for the last three games is said to have frustrated the Chelsea hierarchy, who made the Spaniard the world’s most expensive goalkeeper less than two years ago.It is the kind of delicate and potentially damaging issue Mourinho had plenty of experience negotiating during his two spells as Chelsea manager.There is respect between Mourinho and Lampard from their successful time together at Chelsea, but sympathy will be in short supply this weekend given what is at stake for both men.Tottenham have won their last three league games to close the gap on Chelsea, but injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have left Mourinho without a senior striker.– ‘Take responsibility’ –Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn and Dele Alli are Mourinho’s alternative options and Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld is convinced Tottenham can cope.“People have to take responsibility about that,” he said. “I think we have to solve this as a team.“We have people with different qualities upfront now. We have to keep the belief that people will step up for making goals.”Carlo Ancelotti has sparked Everton’s recent revival Loading… Read Also: Focus on Paderborn, not Chelsea – Flick warns Bayern MunichLiverpool’s staggering 22-point lead over City has turned the title race into a procession and Monday’s visit from struggling West Ham offers an ideal chance to bounce back from a 1-0 Champions League last 16 first leg defeat at Atletico Madrid.Jurgen Klopp’s team have dropped just two points all season and are on a run of 17 consecutive league wins.They need just five more wins from their remaining 12 games to take the title for the first time since 1990.Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)SaturdayBurnley v Bournemouth, Chelsea v Tottenham (1230 GMT), Crystal Palace v Newcastle, Leicester v Manchester City (1730 GMT), Sheffield United v Brighton, Southampton v Aston VillaSundayArsenal v Everton (1630 GMT), Manchester United v Watford (1400 GMT), Wolves v Norwich (1400 GMT)MondayLiverpool v West Ham (2000 GMT)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 All eyes will be on Stamford Bridge and the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League this weekend as the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League heats up, while runaway leaders Liverpool can take another step towards the title.Advertisementcenter_img Arsenal and Everton, who meet in north London, are further behind in the race, but the possibility of Manchester City losing their appeal against a two-year Champions League ban means a fifth place finish could be enough to reach Europe’s elite club competition.Everton sit four points behind Tottenham after a five-game unbeaten run featuring successive wins over Watford and Crystal Palace.Carlo Ancelotti has masterminded Everton’s revival since taking over from the sacked Marco Silva, but he has yet to secure a statement win over one of the league’s bigger clubs.Beating Arsenal on their own turf would qualify as a significant moment for Ancelotti’s side, especially as the Gunners looked in good form in their 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle last weekend.Arsenal are unbeaten in their last six league games and lie two points adrift of Everton, with Manchester United, Sheffield United and Wolves also in the mix.Manchester City play their second game since the shock European ban when they travel to third placed Leicester, a game that will play second fiddle to next week’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid for Pep Guardiola’s side. 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Arsene Wenger believes a week off can work wonders for his Gunners

first_img They are a point ahead of Leicester and City – although the Foxes will regain the lead if they beat Chelsea on Monday – and boss Wenger believes a week off will do wonders for the Gunners. He said: “It’s a big game, we want to win at home and beat City at home. We have eight days to prepare. It will be an interesting one but we at least can recover first and prepare then. “I was a bit anxious because we had given a lot on Wednesday and came back very late on Thursday morning. I knew Villa were fighting to survive.” Giroud netted his 14th goal of the season and 50th in the league for the Gunners after Theo Walcott was brought down in the area by Alan Hutton. He added to his hat-trick from Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League win at Olympiacos and Wenger says the 29-year-old deserves some credit. He said: “I believe he is at the top of his game. He is questioned sometimes but finally the numbers get people to realise he is a good player. “Olivier has improved technically. His link play is better and when you have the option to go for long balls he is always an interesting option. “He’s not got electric pace, he is more a player who likes to play with his back to goal. He is not spectacular individually but he is a very efficient player for the team. Mentally he is very strong.” Wenger managed Aston Villa boss Remi Garde at Arsenal, with Garde winning the title in 1998, and had words of encouragement for his former midfielder. “It’s not completely a lost cause yet. E very year we have seen teams survive that, before Christmas, everyone was saying they had absolutely no chance. Last year one of those were Leicester,” he added. Garde is yet to win in his five games as Villa boss with the side without a league victory since the opening day of the season and eight points from safety. The former Lyon boss said: “We can still be safe but we are coming into a period where we have to win. I see this situation as more of an opportunity than a problem but we have to be ready. “I still believe we are capable of winning the next game. I enjoy working in this league. We are struggling, I still haven’t won a game and I’m very frustrated but I know in football you can change things with work.” But Garde knows his side need more belief up front with Villa the league’s joint lowest scorers having netted just 13 times. He added: “I’m happy to have a team who still create chances. Some of the players need more confidence. “I know there is a big expectation for strikers when we play at Villa Park. We played the league leaders which is not easy for anyone.” Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal will be in perfect shape for their crunch clash with Manchester City. The Gunners host City next Monday after going top of the Barclays Premier League with Sunday’s 2-0 win at Aston Villa. Olivier Giroud’s penalty and Aaron Ramsey’s goal gave the Gunners a comfortable victory against the rock bottom hosts. Press Associationlast_img read more

Career Highs Abound In 3-1 Loss At Bradley

first_img Full Schedule Roster Box Score (HTML) Bradley defeated the Bulldogs by set scores of 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 26-24.  Print Friendly Version PEORIA, Ill. – The Drake University volleyball team closed out its current Missouri Valley Conference road trip with a 3-1 loss at Bradley Saturday evening. Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats Next Game: ESPN+ Southern Illinois 11/9/2018 – 7 p.m. Watch Live Bradley’s win also snapped a seven-game Drake winning streak in the series. Drake’s middle blockers also had a strong night as Elle Tubbs (Clinton, Iowa), Natalie Fry (Allen, Texas) and Gillian Gergen (Janesville, Iowa) had a combined 22 kills and 9.5 of the Bulldogs’ 12 blocks. Drake (17-12, 5-9 MVC) was held to .120 hitting in the loss with Emily Plock (Altoona, Iowa), Cathryn Cheek (Coppell, Texas) and Grace Schofield (Mundelein, Ill.) all recording double-figure kills. Schofield also added a career-high 29 digs as the senior battles through injury. Cheek nearly matched that with a career-high in digs as well with 25 while Kylee Macke (Ankeny, Iowa) added 31, also a career high. Bradley (20-7, 10-5 MVC) was led by a school-record 42 digs from Yavianliz Rosado. Erica Haslag added 20 kills for the Braves to help earn the season split with the Bulldogs. Box Score (PDF) Story Links The Bulldogs return home next weekend for their final MVC home series of the season when they host SIU and Missouri State Nov. 9 and 10 at the Knapp Center.last_img read more