Chelsea – Southampton Preview: Mourinho bullish about Premier League chances
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has backed his players to bounce back from their Champions League elimination when they take on Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Stamford Bridge outfit drew 2-2 with French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday to crash out of Europe on away goals – Thiago Silva netting the decisive effort in extra-time.
Mourinho’s sole focus is now on sealing the Premier League title, urging reporters at his news conference on Friday to direct their Champions League questions at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger or Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, both of whom remain in the competition.
Manchester United – Tottenham preview: Van Gaal seeks Premier League reaction
Louis van Gaal has urged his Manchester United side to react positively to their FA Cup defeat to Arsenal when they face fellow Champions League hopefuls Tottenham on Sunday.
United’s last hope of silverware in 2014-15 went up in smoke on Monday as former striker Danny Welbeck netted the winner in a 2-1 triumph for the Gunners at Old Trafford.
That was only United’s second defeat in their past 11 matches in all competitions and followed back-to-back league victories over Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Van Gaal, though, insists he has seen a good reaction in training and is hopeful of gaining some momentum against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Arsenal – West Ham Preview: Wenger calls on players to stand up and be counted
Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal to stand up and be counted ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham.
Arsenal battled to a 2-1 victory at Manchester United on Monday to book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals, but face the daunting task of coming from 3-1 down at Monaco in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie next Tuesday.
With his side sitting third in the top flight, Wenger recognises the pressures that come with fighting for silverware on three fronts, but says it is time for his players to make a name for themselves.
Burnley – Manchester City Preview: Strugglers aiming to avoid another nightmare start
Burnley host Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, hoping to avoid a repeat of the shocking start they suffered when the teams last met at Turf Moor.
In the corresponding fixture in April 2010, City blew Burnley away with a devastating attacking display – featuring three goals in the first seven minutes – as they enhanced their hopes of a top-four finish and heightened Burnley’s relegation fears.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez all found the net in a flying start, before Patrick Vieira and Adebayor’s second gave City a 5-0 lead at the break.
The match finished 6-1 as Burnley slipped towards the drop, while City were eventually pipped to fourth by Tottenham.
Saturday’s meeting sees Burnley scrapping against relegation again following their promotion last season, while City have raised their sights in the intervening five years and are now regular challengers for the Premier League title.
Sean Dyche’s side have taken just two points from their last seven league outings and find themselves second-from-bottom in the table, three points adrift of safety.
They stunned reigning champions City in the reverse fixture back in December, coming from two down at half-time to rescue a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
City, meanwhile, are five points behind league leaders Chelsea having played a game more, and can ill-afford any slip-ups as they enter the final stretch of the season.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have stuttered slightly in recent weeks, but one positive for City fans has been the performances of David Silva, who has scored four goals in his last six league appearances.