My Soccer World

Football: Man United Look To Stretch Premier League Lead

Posted on: January 27, 2009

LONDON : Premier League leaders Manchester United can steal a march on closest pursuers Liverpool by going three points clear on Tuesday, 24 hours before their north-west rivals are next in action.

United are away to bottom-of-the-table West Browmich Albion and few would bet against the reigning English, European and world champions coming away from the Hawthorns with all three points.

If they did, that would leave them three clear of Liverpool, whom they currently lead on goal difference, and with a game in hand before the Reds’ potentially tricky away match against Wigan on Wednesday.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, renowned for playing ‘mind games’ with his side’s title challengers, appeared to be trying to take some of the pressure off his quadruple-chasing team.

“We will drop points in the run-in, there is no question about that,” Ferguson said. “We just hope we don’t drop as many as the rest.”

That Liverpool, fresh from two derby draws with Everton which have hampered their progress in both the Premier League and FA Cup, remain in the hunt is evidence of their ability, so far at least, to defy conventional football wisdom.

This states that successful sides are ones which enjoy stability both on and off the field.

But manager Rafael Benitez has fallen out with chief executive Rick Parry over the issue of transfers.

And with the Kuwait-based Al-Kharafi family reported to have pulled out of negotiations to buy the club, the spectre of a fresh power struggle between feuding co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett looms large over Anfield.

More worryingly for Benitez, Liverpool look unsettled on the pitch as well after three straight draws.

But Benitez said they could take heart from the way in which they’d come back against Everton in the FA Cup.

“I think the quality and character we have shown is very, very positive,” he said.

Aston Villa, riding high in fourth place, will be firm favourites to record an away win on Tuesday against Portsmouth even though Martin O’Neill’s men were held to a surprise goalless FA Cup draw by Doncaster.

Holders Portsmouth were dumped out of the Cup by second-tier Swansea on Saturday and manager Tony Adams, promoted after Harry Redknapp left to join Tottenham, knows that both he and the south coast club, now just three points above the relegation zone, badly need a win.

“We’ve got to put this to bed as quickly as possible,” Adams said.

“We’ve got a four-month battle coming up. We’ll have to scrap every game. I’m certainly going to scrap – I won’t be running away.”

Redknapp’s team face Stoke who, like Spurs, are one of five sides at the bottom of the table on 21 points.

Chelsea, who are just two points behind the leading duo, will look to keep pace at home to Middlesbrough on Wednesday when top six rivals Everton and Arsenal go head-to-head.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will play Newcastle in what will be their first match since the failure of their world record bid for AC Milan’s Kaka.

Fixtures (1945GMT unless stated)

Tuesday: Portsmouth v Aston Villa (2000GMT), Sunderland v Fulham, Tottenham v Stoke (2000GMT), West Brom v Manchester United

Wednesday: Blackburn v Bolton (2000GMT), Chelsea v Middlesbrough, Everton v Arsenal (2000GMT), Manchester City v Newcastle (1945GMT), West Ham v Hull (2000GMT), Wigan v Liverpool

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Man United Look To Stretch Premier League Lead

Posted on: January 27, 2009

LONDON : Premier League leaders Manchester United can steal a march on closest pursuers Liverpool by going three points clear on Tuesday, 24 hours before their north-west rivals are next in action.

United are away to bottom-of-the-table West Browmich Albion and few would bet against the reigning English, European and world champions coming away from the Hawthorns with all three points.

If they did, that would leave them three clear of Liverpool, whom they currently lead on goal difference, and with a game in hand before the Reds’ potentially tricky away match against Wigan on Wednesday.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, renowned for playing ‘mind games’ with his side’s title challengers, appeared to be trying to take some of the pressure off his quadruple-chasing team.

“We will drop points in the run-in, there is no question about that,” Ferguson said. “We just hope we don’t drop as many as the rest.”

That Liverpool, fresh from two derby draws with Everton which have hampered their progress in both the Premier League and FA Cup, remain in the hunt is evidence of their ability, so far at least, to defy conventional football wisdom.

This states that successful sides are ones which enjoy stability both on and off the field.

But manager Rafael Benitez has fallen out with chief executive Rick Parry over the issue of transfers.

And with the Kuwait-based Al-Kharafi family reported to have pulled out of negotiations to buy the club, the spectre of a fresh power struggle between feuding co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett looms large over Anfield.

More worryingly for Benitez, Liverpool look unsettled on the pitch as well after three straight draws.

But Benitez said they could take heart from the way in which they’d come back against Everton in the FA Cup.

“I think the quality and character we have shown is very, very positive,” he said.

Aston Villa, riding high in fourth place, will be firm favourites to record an away win on Tuesday against Portsmouth even though Martin O’Neill’s men were held to a surprise goalless FA Cup draw by Doncaster.

Holders Portsmouth were dumped out of the Cup by second-tier Swansea on Saturday and manager Tony Adams, promoted after Harry Redknapp left to join Tottenham, knows that both he and the south coast club, now just three points above the relegation zone, badly need a win.

“We’ve got to put this to bed as quickly as possible,” Adams said.

“We’ve got a four-month battle coming up. We’ll have to scrap every game. I’m certainly going to scrap – I won’t be running away.”

Redknapp’s team face Stoke who, like Spurs, are one of five sides at the bottom of the table on 21 points.

Chelsea, who are just two points behind the leading duo, will look to keep pace at home to Middlesbrough on Wednesday when top six rivals Everton and Arsenal go head-to-head.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will play Newcastle in what will be their first match since the failure of their world record bid for AC Milan’s Kaka.

Fixtures (1945GMT unless stated)

Tuesday: Portsmouth v Aston Villa (2000GMT), Sunderland v Fulham, Tottenham v Stoke (2000GMT), West Brom v Manchester United

Wednesday: Blackburn v Bolton (2000GMT), Chelsea v Middlesbrough, Everton v Arsenal (2000GMT), Manchester City v Newcastle (1945GMT), West Ham v Hull (2000GMT), Wigan v Liverpool

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Man United Look To Stretch Premier League Lead

Posted on: January 27, 2009

LONDON : Premier League leaders Manchester United can steal a march on closest pursuers Liverpool by going three points clear on Tuesday, 24 hours before their north-west rivals are next in action.

United are away to bottom-of-the-table West Browmich Albion and few would bet against the reigning English, European and world champions coming away from the Hawthorns with all three points.

If they did, that would leave them three clear of Liverpool, whom they currently lead on goal difference, and with a game in hand before the Reds’ potentially tricky away match against Wigan on Wednesday.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, renowned for playing ‘mind games’ with his side’s title challengers, appeared to be trying to take some of the pressure off his quadruple-chasing team.

“We will drop points in the run-in, there is no question about that,” Ferguson said. “We just hope we don’t drop as many as the rest.”

That Liverpool, fresh from two derby draws with Everton which have hampered their progress in both the Premier League and FA Cup, remain in the hunt is evidence of their ability, so far at least, to defy conventional football wisdom.

This states that successful sides are ones which enjoy stability both on and off the field.

But manager Rafael Benitez has fallen out with chief executive Rick Parry over the issue of transfers.

And with the Kuwait-based Al-Kharafi family reported to have pulled out of negotiations to buy the club, the spectre of a fresh power struggle between feuding co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett looms large over Anfield.

More worryingly for Benitez, Liverpool look unsettled on the pitch as well after three straight draws.

But Benitez said they could take heart from the way in which they’d come back against Everton in the FA Cup.

“I think the quality and character we have shown is very, very positive,” he said.

Aston Villa, riding high in fourth place, will be firm favourites to record an away win on Tuesday against Portsmouth even though Martin O’Neill’s men were held to a surprise goalless FA Cup draw by Doncaster.

Holders Portsmouth were dumped out of the Cup by second-tier Swansea on Saturday and manager Tony Adams, promoted after Harry Redknapp left to join Tottenham, knows that both he and the south coast club, now just three points above the relegation zone, badly need a win.

“We’ve got to put this to bed as quickly as possible,” Adams said.

“We’ve got a four-month battle coming up. We’ll have to scrap every game. I’m certainly going to scrap – I won’t be running away.”

Redknapp’s team face Stoke who, like Spurs, are one of five sides at the bottom of the table on 21 points.

Chelsea, who are just two points behind the leading duo, will look to keep pace at home to Middlesbrough on Wednesday when top six rivals Everton and Arsenal go head-to-head.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will play Newcastle in what will be their first match since the failure of their world record bid for AC Milan’s Kaka.

Fixtures (1945GMT unless stated)

Tuesday: Portsmouth v Aston Villa (2000GMT), Sunderland v Fulham, Tottenham v Stoke (2000GMT), West Brom v Manchester United

Wednesday: Blackburn v Bolton (2000GMT), Chelsea v Middlesbrough, Everton v Arsenal (2000GMT), Manchester City v Newcastle (1945GMT), West Ham v Hull (2000GMT), Wigan v Liverpool

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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