Crystal Palace v Everton: match preview

These sides’ miserable starts have cost them managers, though, while Everton still wait to make a permanent appointment, they are in better shape now than they were a few weeks ago. The visitors ended an eight-match winless run just before the international break and have reintegrated Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas to their squad. Crystal Palace’s entire points tally for the season to date has been gleaned from their last two home fixtures, and Christian Benteke is fit again. Both teams will consider this an opportunity to maintain the recovery. Dominic Fifield Kick-off Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Eden Hazard may tire of being kicked, Tony Pulis is under pressure at West Brom and Pep Guardiola may seek more firepower in January Eden Hazard was fouled six times at Stamford Bridge. At one point in the second half the Belgium international was fouled by not one but three opponents in the colours of Manchester United, dragged to the ground by a combination of Nemanja Matic, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones like a man being crushed by falling trees. It is a regular experience for Chelsea’s No10, who can duck in and out from season to season, but who is at least consistent in his role as a human piñata for opposition teams. Hazard is kicked constantly in the Premier League, usually without complaint. He will be 27 in two months and it is hard to say whether he is a better player than he was three years ago. Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Be cautious with Harry Kane, Mauricio Pochettino urges England

• Striker substituted as precaution in Tottenham’s win over Crystal Palace
• Dele Alli ruled out of England games, while Harry Winks is doubtfulMauricio Pochettino has urged Gareth Southgate to handle Harry Kane with care during the upcoming international break while the Tottenham Hotspur manager reported that Harry Winks was a doubt for England’s games against Germany and Brazil and Dele Alli has been ruled out of them. Winks twisted his ankle in the 19th minute of Spurs’ 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday and, although he played on after treatment, he did not appear for the second half. The 21-year-old will now be assessed by Tottenham and England medics. Continue reading...