Manchester United v Newcastle United: match preview

After just 11 matches Manchester United trail the leaders, Manchester City, by eight points and are already playing catch-up. Their last outing was the defeat at Chelsea and, given how shrewd Rafael Benítez is, Newcastle United may provide a real test at Old Trafford. But Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are all back in the match-day squad to give United a considerable boost and if they are to genuinely challenge for the title, José Mourinho’s side really have to win. Jamie Jackson Kick-off Saturday 5.30pm 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"

What are the challenges facing away fans in the age of televised football? – video

The away-day experience for thousands of football fans is becoming increasingly difficult due to the number of games that are rescheduled for television. Some kick-off times require fans to take time off work and broadcasters only need to provide six weeks' notice when moving fixtures, leaving some supporters unable to book cheap travel and hotels. We follow three sets of travelling fans to gain an insight into away days in the age of televised football • Away days: on the road to Ayr United with Hibs fans Continue reading...

What are the challenges facing away fans in the age of televised football? – video

The away-day experience for thousands of football fans is becoming increasingly difficult due to the number of games that are rescheduled for television. Some kick-off times require fans to take time off work and broadcasters only need to provide six weeks' notice when moving fixtures, leaving some supporters unable to book cheap travel and hotels. We follow three sets of travelling fans to gain an insight into away days in the age of televised football • Away days: on the road to Ayr United with Hibs fans Continue reading...

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"